Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hey, It's Okay: Do I Remember?

Well, I have not done a meme/linky/join-up in a LONG time!! I hope I remember how to do them.

This particular one is hosted by the ever fabulous Amber over at Airing My Dirty Laundry. She's so fabulous that she's even written a book, the Swimmer's Assistant. She's a mommy and wife to a man in uniform. The Air Force to be precise. She is just all around awesome!!

So what is it? Well, its just a list of things that its okay to be about. Sometimes we think that what we are about is not okay but guess what, it's okay!! Because honestly, in this crazy world, are you really going to jump down my throat because of:

- the fact that I am still scared of the dark. Yep. I can't walk in front of a mirror at night without freaking out that some creature is going to grab at me an pull me through the other side

- I had a good one to add to this list and I can't remember what it is

- I remember what it is! I like country music. Yes, I like it!

- I also like heavy metal.

- I'm a very complicated person, especially when I can't decide what to eat

- I'm trying really really really hard to lose weight and get healthy but I just LOVE chocolate

- I have not had COFFEE in a week

- My idea of a good time is relaxing at home, watching my kids play - nicely

- Nicely NEVER happens

- I don't believe in the whole "if I take gluten and casein away from my children they will be cured of their autism"

- I'm very opinionated and if you ask me for my opinion, I will tell you.

- I will give you a warning first

- I'm not your typical girl

- I sometimes wonder if there is such a thing as typical anything anymore

Well, this is my list of things that I can say "It's Okay" to...what can you say "It's Okay" too? Join in on the fun and make sure to link up at Airing My Dirty Laundry. Let her know that I sent you. It may place me on the cool list!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Accountability Mondays: Before

Okay, so I'm not in the best of shape and my body is no where near what it used to be...how could it be?!?! I have six kids. Let me repeat that SIX kids!!!!

While I get the comment "You don't look like you've had six children"...thank you but you're lying! What does one look like after they have had six kids? I've looked it up...honestly, I don't know what you're comparing me too!!

I'm not healthy or in shape by any means. I prefer burgers and ice cream over salads and vegetables.

I have no energy and all I want to do is sleep and eat.

I hate the way I look in clothes and even less in a bathing suit.

I'm not getting any younger and I am not going to miraculously lose weight, have more energy, and fit into a bikini by wishing on a shooting start.

So, I've taken the first step in turning my life around and joined Lean Moms.

Lean Moms offers a 12 week fitness program and meal guide to get started on living a more active and healthy lifestyle.

It was developed by a mom who went through all that I am going through now. She turned her life around and is using that to help other women like her make the same changes.

One thing that they are big on is accountability and recording your progress publically so that you are accountable for your own success and can get the public support to cheer you on.

So, aside from the membership, I am going to use my blog to keep me going.

So today I'm sharing with you my before pictures.

The 12 weeks start today.

I will update weekly with my progress, feelings, and even measurements!!

I'm laying it all out there...putting myself out there...its time to make a difference for me because nobody else is going to do it!

So, here are the before pics...

Damn! I need to even out my tan and finally finish my tattoo already!!!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Its not always easy

I just saw a Mother's Day commercial...

That's all I'm going to say


Thursday, April 25, 2013

My emotions are a bitch, not me. I promise!!

There are so many glorious things about being a woman...we get to carry our children in our wombs and give them life. We are able to nurture them with our own milk. We smell sweet and look beautiful to the men that love us.

But we are also emotional roller coasters of estrogen that can snap at any moment without announcement or notice.

Okay, that's just a generalization. Not all women smell sweet - trust me, I've been to a few gyms in my time and can tell you that for some, no amount of baths or deodorant could help them out. Just sayin'.

The truth is I'm an emotional basket case...and that is why I may come off as bitchy at times.

I'm not a bitch, I promise! My emotions are and dealing with them is even harder.

This is true of any woman who has had to go through learning that her children have autism, learning that the dreams she had for her future were drastically going to change, knowing that her marriage had failed and knowing that her children are so far away from her that pieces of her heart were missing.

My emotions fluctuate like the waves out on the ocean. There are good days, there are bad days, and there are great days that turn into black holes.

So sometimes my emotions take hold of the puppet strings of my attitude and turn me from Glenda the Good Witch to the Evil Green Hag with the Flying Monkeys.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I was in such a great mood because I was able to talk to my babies and I was going to be able to do something I wanted to do since I moved to paradise.

I was so in the mood to go to the beach after work. Mr. Big agreed to take me since he had the day off.

I was excited - I got ready at work and called him to confirm where I was to meet him.

Suddenly, the plans changed. Instead of going to the beach I wanted to go to, we were going to another one. So, I griped a bit but then remembered that Mr. Big showed me aerial pics of this new beach and it seemed pretty cool so I said okay and waited for him to meet me at home.

When we got to the new beach my mood had improved and I gathered the towel, the beach chair and was amped up once again.

Downer. It wasn't what I had imagined. While it was beautiful, it was not a sandy beach where I could have lied on the sand and caught some sun or played in the shallow areas of the water with Mr. Big. No. It was a rock beach. And on the bay/lagoon part of the "beach" it was also rocks. And only about two feet of shallow water and then a ginormous drop into blue black water. I was not happy. I plopped my chair down and just sat there and sulked. Mr. Big on the other hand, walked around, enjoyed the views of the water and then waited till the steam dissipated from around my head and approached me.

He asked if I was going to go in the water. **Return of the steam** I not so gently told him my reasons for not going into the water (see aforementioned rocks and ginormous drop). And he chuckled, stood up, walked away, then returned for his fishing pole and went at it (I told you, this man LOVES to fish).

After a while of stewing in my own self-pity that my day had been ruined. I got up, wrapped the towel around me (it was very windy!) and walked over to where he was. He was fishing. He was smiling. Then I started smiling too. We walked, he fished, I talked, a few barracudas went after his lure but no real catch. I began to enjoy myself.

After a while we decided to leave the "beach" and head out...I mentioned that we could go over to Bahia Honda which was just on the other side of the bridge from where we were. I was plotting my beach outing in my head. He agreed (to go, not to my plot because duh! it was going on in my head).

I was all like....real beach here I come!!....nope.

Once again my mood went from happy rainbows and blue birds to Dante's inferno.

We drove around...well, he drove around Bahia Honda and we looked at the different camp sites and waterways. We even drove by a beach and saw a couple going at it in the water a distance away....brave couple!! (Well, they were the only ones out there except for us peeping toms in our truck).

My mood began to uplift itself once again.

Then we left the park and came to another bridge. He parked. Got out. Got his fishing pole.

Cue Steam

I was hungry and needed to pee. The last place I wanted to be was on a bridge fishing. So once again I sulked. I grabbed my towel and just walked along the bridge behind him. Staying just enough distance so he could not see how upset I was. I even started crying. Yeah, who knew?!

When he was finally done and we headed back to the truck he asked me what were we going to eat...my reply..."Food"...in total bitch. Yeap, the bitch came out.

I didn't mean to! I swear! I wanted to take it back the moment it came out.

We headed towards one of our favorite places, the No Name Pub. I highly recommend it if you can find it. I walked straight to the bathroom and when I returned, still with bitch mode in full effect, I picked up my phone because I just wanted to shut everything out.

Then, I came across this picture that I took while on my solemn walk on the bridge

Yes, I have a thing for sunsets...get off me!

And my heart just softened once again. I looked over at Mr. Big, he looked at me and smiled. Then I smiled.  I was out with the man that I love. The man that has just sat there and tolerated me waiting to calm down. Being patient with my ever changing moods.

He just smiled at me again, and blew me a kiss. I was all good again.

I'm lucky. What else can I say?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Hottie and Waterway Conservation

When you think of an environmentalist you think of a geeky, nerdy, tie himself to a tree with a chain type of person right? No? Oh, maybe my point of view has been skewed by too much television.


I say this because this weekend I had the pleasure to meet Justin Riney, Founder and CEO of Mother Ocean and I have to say, he is not like that at all!! Aside from the fact that he is a total hottie (see below), he's also down to Earth and easy to talk to.

How did I get to meet such a guy?

Well, you see, he has embarked on a year long expedition around the coastlines and waterways of my home state of Florida....while paddle-boarding I might add!!! This journey is better known as Expedition Florida 500.

According to the Mother Ocean website, the purpose of this expedition is to "highlight the importance of stewardship efforts as they relate to the ocean, coastlines, waterways, and the marine ecosystem. Florida is unique in that it embodies the entire aquatic ecosystem from source to sea – one of the few places on Earth with such a vast array of thriving wildlife and a natural environment based around water. The team will document their journey through daily blogging, daily photos and videos for social media outlets, filming for their own documentary, and filming for Tahoe SUP’s EXPLORE project series."

Still, how did I get to meet him? Well, one of his stops was here in Key West!! 

A new and dear friend of mine, Ruth, sponsored his time here in Key West to go along with Earth Day and raise awareness for Expedition Florida 500 and the much needed conservation efforts as well. Thanks for this Ruth!!

Justin paddled to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park from Lazy Dog Key West, and managed to fit in an Ocean Hour Coastal Clean-Up before heading out.

He is passionate about what he is doing and why he is doing it but he isn't pushy about it.

I didn't get to take a picture with him, wish I did. My phone was acting up for some reason and the poor guy was tired from such a long trek that I wasn't going to be pushy...but I did get a hug!! He even asked about me and where I was from, my kids, etc. Yeah, he couldn't believe it either how many kids I have.

Okay, back on topic here....

Justin is an amazing man and the rest of the Expedition Florida 500 team are doing great things. I wish more people knew about it and how important protecting our oceans, waterways, and coastlines is.

I grew up on these waters. They are my second home. I love to swim, boat, fish, and now even snorkel but if we do not take care of how we treat them, they are not going to be here to enjoy. Future generations will not be able to see the beauty that we see now.

This was evident when I went fishing with Mr. Big yesterday, there was trash everywhere! We went into the mangroves and rocks and I was amazed. How could people treat the waters and lands this way? If we keep it up, there will be no place to enjoy the wildlife and water sports because there will be nothing left.

So please, take a moment to learn more about Expedition Florida 500, Mother Ocean (links below), and the wonderful work that Justin and his team are doing to save our waters!!

Mother Ocean Official Website

Expedition Florida 500 Facebook Page

Also, please remember...take your trash with you and dispose of it properly...let the lands and water be there for our children and grand children.

Justin, thank you for taking such a large time out of your life to raise awareness and make a difference!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Love and a fishing pole

I'm not going to deny it.

I'm not the hopeless romantic type that expects Prince Charming to come sweep me off my feet and wisk me away to a kingdom far far away.

All I asked for was a simple man who liked to relax and spend time with me. We had to have enough things in common to keep the relationship alive. But, we also had to have enough things that were different so that we would be able to learn from one another but also maintain our own identities.

Oh, and he also had to be good to my kids....that's numero uno!

I definitely found that in Mr. Big. He's everything I never knew I wanted along with everything I knew I did.

He's the whole enchilada.

Except for one thing....fishing.

I have never denied that fishing is not my thing. Its his thing. Let me say that better HIS thing.

I'm a water sprite, ocean child, whatever you want to call me...but not a fishing person.

So if I'm not a fishing person how did I end up here?

Easy...Mr. Big is fishing. Just like he does on every day off and I accompany him.

No biggie right? Well, not really but still some getting used to.

Now that we live in paradise and are surrounded by water, the options to go fishing are no longer restricted to the early mornings while I am at work. Now he can fish, whenever, wherever! Yeah THAT much fishing.

But because I love him, I go along and sit on the jagged rocks....

Under a bridge.

To watch him fish ginormous catches like this!!!

Huge right?

Well, he loves it and I have to say I am actually starting to enjoy it. But shhh...don't tell him that.

I enjoy watching him catch the fish, regardless of size and get excited. Or how he talks to his shrimp as he places them on the hook or talks to the fish as he takes those off his hook. He REALLY gets into it. His personality just comes out when he's fishing. It makes it all worth it!

And not all the locations are under bridges...sometimes we move to the sides of the bridges and find locations like this...

But yes, there are still rocks to sit on. But look! I found a penny!!

He did do one thing that made my heart catch in my throat yesterday. He sat HERE!!

Yeah, THERE - look, he's standing up to show you just how on edge he is...crazy!!

But hey, this move apparently was worth it because he caught this....

and this....

See how happy he is?

I'm just looking forward to when his boat is ready and we can go fishing out on the water...THAT is fun! THAT I like...and maybe hopefully I will learn how to fish...like they say "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"

And even if we continue shore/bridge fishing....I still get to enjoy sights like this...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I miss you. I love you.

Dear my wonderful children,

I am writing to tell you that I love you! Eternally, will always love you!

I know that right now it is a hard time for you. You don't know which way is up and you are struggling to find your way.

You are hearing so many things about your life and your family.

You don't know who is right and who is wrong.

You are missing me and are afraid to admit it for fear of not being loyal to your family at home.

I want you to know something; something very important.

Love is ever growing and there is never too much love to give to someone. I am always going to be your mother and love you for every day of my life and beyond. I might not be by your side every day but that does not take away the fact that all six of you are my number one priority and I count the seconds until you can be by my side again. Even if its for a short while.

You see, I have a lot of love for you. Every day that I am with you my love grows. On those days when I am not with you, my love grows 100 times faster because I need you in my life so much that my heart just pulls and calls for you.

You, my beautiful children, are the greatest gift in the world. I could not imagine a life without you.

Your smiles are contagious.

Your laughter is the cure to everything that ails me.

Your hugs are my kryptonite.

When I hear you argue about calling me mom, momma, or mommy it warms my heart. You can each call me whatever you want because I will answer to it all.

Living so far away from you is killing me and trying to work visitation out is not easy given the current living arrangements but it does not mean that I will give up. I will never give up on you, NEVER.

I want you to know that no matter what happens, we are always a family and will always be a family. We are just a different family. But we are a family with a lot of love to give and share. We are a family that will make it through all of this hard stuff.

I can't wait to see you soon! I can't wait to see your eyes light up and hear you giggle as I tickle you.

I can't wait to breathe in your smell as I give you the tightest hugs that you always tell me are too tight.

I can't wait to hold your hands and kiss you to pieces.

I can't wait to tell you to stop doing something that you are not supposed to do.

I miss you. I love you.

Mom (aka Momma, Mommy)

(Writer's Note: I just want to make it clear to those new readers that my children live with their father, step-mom, and step-sister. They are not in any form of foster care/adoption. Our separation is due to divorce and a long distance move. Thank You.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


What do you say today?

Tragedy has come to our doorsteps, to our land, to our people and there are no answers.

Injuries, death, broken hearts, tears, blood, crying, fear, anxiety, horror, the list of words goes on and on to describe the senseless act of violence and cowardice that occurred yesterday during the Boston Marathon.

How do we move forward from this? Can we?

Not just a short time ago our nation was grieving for children whose lives were taken without cause or reason.

The marathon yesterday was in their honor and in honor of the school staff that gave their lives to protect them.

26 miles for 26 victims.

We had to explain this horrible act to our children once.

How do we explain it to them again?

How do we make them feel safe in their own homes? In their schools? In their communities?

We need to talk to our children and build that confidence and trust in them. It is not going to go away. We cannot deny that it happened.

This article posted in the Washington Post has some guidance on how to talk to our children about this and other tragedies.

But most of all, love them. Hold them. Tell them that they are loved. Tell them that they mean the world to you.

Don't ever miss a moment in the day to show them that there is good in this world.

Take your time to do an act of kindness, share the word that nothing is going to tear us down as a nation, as a people, as a global community.

Most of all, love one another - is that too hard to ask?

Too all the victims, their families, survivors, first responders and the people of Boston, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend goal: DONE

This weekend my goal was to get my mind off of all the stress that I have been going through lately. It is not good for me emotionally or physically so I need to remember that only time will help me through it all and things will get better...it just has to right?

So I make a goal of keeping myself occupied this weekend and my mind off of the negative.

Goal accomplished!!

On Saturday I woke up early with the intention of going out on the boat with Ms. Em (a close family friend) and do water aerobics out by the beach. She was also going to teach me how to snorkel (yes, a Florida native who does not know how to snorkel! Oh the horror!!) and even teach me to drive the boat. I'm a water baby, there is no denying that but I've always been the passenger and never taught how to drive a boat because  let's face it, my dad does not let anyone manage his boat and getting him to teach...well, that's a whole other story.

The morning started off a bit cloudy but since it was early the sun wasn't peeking out yet so we got everything ready and headed out. We reached the bay and she had me take over the wheel!! What?!? Yeah, she gave me a few tips and instructions to get me started. I was so nervous I could not keep the boat straight! There are no rear view mirrors or side mirrors and so many things to consider!! My mind was racing.

(The smile is just a cover...my mind was screaming AHHHHH!!!!)

She then took over so we can navigate under the bridge and through the channels to our destination.

The weather began to turn.

The wind picked up and the sun decided it was better to stay hidden for the morning.

So instead of our water work out, the boat lessons continued.

She once again had me take the wheel and steer. This time it was more difficult because we were in open water and the winds were fierce. Also we were headed at a different angle so instead of cutting through the waves we were surfing on them. A whole new experience when trying to gauge how much speed to use and steering. The waves though were manageable and I did a pretty good job.

The wind was picking up again so Ms. Em took over and headed for home...

Little did I know she wasn't really heading home, she was headed back into the bay area and giving me the wheel once more. She had me learning how to "plane" the boat and maintain it. She also had me making wide turns and small turns. I felt like I was in a marine version of NASCAR!

She even felt confident enough to let me bring the boat back into the canal so that she could dock it.

This was a rush!! I was excited and I felt great in the fact that I was learning something that I had always wanted to do and I am actually enjoying it.

See....look!! That's a REAL smile!! (This is right before she told me she was having me coast the boat into the canal - that brought on the panic again LOL)

Once we arrived, I cleaned up the boat, flushed the engine, did all the stuff I would watch my dad do but this time it was me! I could do it!! I was so proud of myself so was Ms. Em. Said I was a natural! What do you think of that?!?

We continued with our plans to work out except it was just a 3 mile walk which was enough cardio for me after the exhilarating morning. The weather improved and the sun was shining. No water aerobics but still good activity none the less.

 On Sunday I went to go to one of my dad's races. Yes, my 60 year old father races. Cars. Real Cars. A little Miata to be exact.

The best part was that Mr. Big had the day off. The bad thing, he got the racing bug too and wanted to be part of the action - since he did not have a tiny car to race, he did the next thing...volunteer to work the course.

Great! Now I'm petrified that something will happen to my father in his teeny-tiny car with no roof because he thought topless was the way to go today and then my love out on the course where any stray movement or wrong turn by a driver could leave him flat like a pancake. Needless to say. I was NOT happy. I had my temper tantrum and everything. NOT my proudest moment I admit.

But it was not that bad.

There was a camaraderie and excitement from all the participants and everyone was just having a great time! Mr. Big was loving it because where he was standing he was able to see the runs from good perspectives and got to watch awesome action like one driver making a turn and not getting enough grip and the tail end of the car whipping behind her (yeah, a her!) and him wondering if the pole he was standing next to would protect him. He was so amped up and excited when it was over that he had the smile of a child walking into a candy store.

Two of the drivers were not able to finish their runs for mechanical issues and you should have seen how everyone was right there to help them. There was none of the competitive nature where I'm not helping you because we're competing. No, they were all there to help and make sure they made it home safely.

We went for lunch after the race and just enjoyed each other's company. It was a great day.

Mr. Big and I ended it by going fishing. Well, he fished, I sat and watched and relaxed again. Enjoying spending my time with him and the relaxation of the sunset and views around me.

I was a bit saddened because I saw a dad fishing with his two young children and it made me miss mine. My heart tugged and tightened a bit but then I was okay. Because all in all, it was a good day and I'm allowed to miss my kids but I cannot fall apart because if I do, I'm no good to them or me for that matter.

So all in all, mission accomplished, a weekend to take me away from it all.

How can you not relax when there is a view like this?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hit the spot

Yesterday I was saying I needed something to make me laugh because of all the emotions I'm going through. I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief when Mr. Big came home last night. He knew something was wrong and told me "Just tell me, it'll make you feel better"...I was hesitant to at first because I knew I would sound like a blubbering idiot and then when I was ready, I told him.

He didn't respond, he just sat there and listened.

He knows exactly what not to say.

And he was right, I did feel better.

So today, with a better outlook and that weight off my chest I stumbled across this video that just made me smile...

Its a rescued baby penguin being tickled...how cute right?!?

I needed this, even in its simplicity it was just enough to hit the spot.

Happy Friday everyone!! Make it a good one and above all, love your kids...hug them...tell them how much they mean to you.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Looking for laughter

I'm looking for things to make me laugh to get me through this day,this week, this month.

You see, I'm not going to be able to see my babies until next month sometime because due to scheduling issues, visitation is not possible.

Do you know how hard this is? It is excruciating!

Yesterday I went with Mr. Big fishing before dinner. This usually relaxes me as I watch him fish so patiently. I like to look at the sunset and watch the waves move across the water and just listen to the sounds around me. Its a great stress relief for me, one I didn't think would actually work. Except for yesterday.

Yesterday all I could do was cry.

I didn't let Mr. Big see it because then the questions would start and he would not be too happy about the current visitation situation. He does not like it almost as much as I do.

I pulled out my phone and looked at the over 400 pictures I have of my children and my heart just began to ache and I felt like I couldn't breathe.

My chest was tight.

My throat was closing in.

My eyes were stinging with tears.

My mouth drying out.

I hated that feeling.

I was just numb and did not talk.

I still feel like that right now.

I tried making the best of the end of the day after our fishing excursion. I poured myself a glass of wine and began to watch Duck Dynasty while Mr. Big began to make dinner. Yes, I laughed, it helped a bit but was short lived.

The only comfort I found was lying next to Mr. Big in bed as we went to bed. This is the only place I feel calm right now.

I still have not told him how I'm feeling though...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pure Panic

I have been catching up on episodes of Ally McBeal because yeah, I'm that far behind and I was watching the episode where Haley Joel Osmet guest stars as a little boy who is suing God because he is dying of cancer shortly after his father died and his church will not help with the money for treatment even though his family has been regular donors to the church and stuff. Very touching and just heart wrenching.

This episode not only made me cry but also made my heart race...

Race? you ask

Yes, because as a mother I always get that purest sense of panic and anxiety wondering, Could that happen to my child?

I never used to think about that until the word Autism came into my life.

Now I fear everything and anything!!

I know we cannot control every thing in life and therefore should not worry about every little detail or thing beyond my control but still...I'm a mom...Its in my nature to worry...Its in my nature to want control...I hate nature sometimes!!

My panic list:
The influences their friends have on them.

Their naiveté about many things in life.

Not having all the answers to their questions or not explaining things properly to them.

And then there are the other horrors...kidnapping, car accidents, illnesses beyond my control, school shootings, child abusers,  child molesters

I know as parents we all get these fears and panic moments...its just natural.

I just hate it when they take over my every moment of thought and breath sometimes. My children are growing up. It scares me!

They don't see the world and all of its dangers. And its not like the dangers were not there before. These things have been going on since the beginning of time. They were just not as talked about as often or "in your face" when we were younger. Maybe its because our parents shielded us from it all just as we shield our children.

Whoever said being a parent was going to be easy lied. Its a panic every moment of every day. Hoping that your children wake up healthy every morning and go to bed with a smile on their face, happiness warming their bodies, and love in their hearts.

Just take it one day at a time is what I am trying to do as I bet you are as well....oh, and reciting this as well...

God, grant me the
SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change
the COURAGE to change the things I can,
and the WISDOM to know the difference.

Love your kids every day, hold them, hug them, because we can't keep them in a bubble for long

Friday, April 5, 2013

What NOT to say to parents with children with autism

As any parent, there are just some things that people say to you that make you think...."WTF?!?" This is especially true if you are the parent of a child with autism.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have had to bite my tongue because people in public have said things that just make me want to scream, rip their eye-balls out, and throw a poopy diaper in their back seats...yes, I know sounds vicious but seriously, if you don't know what to say, don't say anything at all...I know sometimes people are just trying to be nice and encouraging but it does not always work that way.

Since I'm not the only autism mommy on this earth I decided to see if I was the only crazy one who felt like this. I posted on a social networking site for parents of children with autism MyAutismTeam the following question:

"Working on a post for my blog and need your help. I want to know, what are the things as autism parents that you hate to hear the most from people? I want to write a post "What not to say to an autism parent..." but I want to hear from other parents...thank you!!"

These are some of the responses I received...

DMS:  "I don't want people to apologize to me or say they feel bad. Having a kid with Autism isn't horrible."

Firas:  "I hate it when people tell me Oh its okay all kids that age do that or act that way.....Biggest pet peeve"

Bruniesmom: "I can't stand when I am trying to teach [my daughter] proper responses and/or actions in public and I get told 'oh, don't worry about it, kids will be kids!' Not ours, they have to learn the social cues and responses!"

MomofSammy: "I can't stand when my son is having a meltdown, and some stranger says "you know how you should handle this...." grrrr like they would know!"

JenniferF: "But she doesn't look like she has Aspergers/Autism. That has to be the most idiotic statement!"

KarenAgrestiBellafiore: "What I hate most is the stares. Not from children but adults!"

PamelaMari: "If you don't do something he's gonna end up in an institution"

Julmer: "He'll grow out of it...just get tougher on him, if you put the food in front him he'll eat if he's hungry enough."

Katziah: "Its good to hear he's improving, but is he talking yet?"

MomtoKiddo: "Everything happens for a reason..."

Letourngo: "I got a lot of 'he'll grow out of it', 'he's just a late bloomer' and the old...'he acts that way cuz you spoiled him'..."

The following two statements summarize a lot of the responses as well:
- "God does not give you more than you can handle"
- "I don't know how you do it!"

This is not to say that we do not want to hear from others or talk to other people. No by any means at all. We just want people to think about what they say before they say it because we live our lives charged with emotion and anxiety. Our days are full of stress and worry about what will happen tomorrow or what will trigger the next melt down. What we want is people to just listen to us and offer to help. And by help we mean, learn about autism, what it really is - not just Rainman or Mercury Rising references; teach tolerance to your children that its okay to be different and that people should not be judged because of the fact that they are different.

We are parents just like you are. We love our children with all our hearts. We are not martyrs or miracle workers. We take care of our children because they are our children. They are not wards or burdens on our lives. They are our flesh and blood. We cry for them when they are sick just like you cry for yours. We stay up late with children who have fevers and scare monsters out from under the beds.

We also have to deal with taking the tags off our children's clothes because they bother or making sure they have 7 pairs of the same shorts because they will not wear anything else. We also have to make sure that their cups are filled "just right" and that there are no chocolate floaty things in their chocolate milk. The music cannot be at certain levels and their trains all need to be facing the same way. They have to go the same route to school every day and to grandma's house every weekend. They have a particular hair band and should they lose it we have to rely on the kindness of museum personnel to find that one hair tie because even though they have 20 more at home that look just like it...they need THAT one... (This particular story is a true story that a mom with a little girl faced when visiting the Titanic exhibit and wrote about it on her blog One Girl Circus)

So please, next time you are around an autism parent, just smile a smile of understanding because that's all we really need. And maybe a glass of wine when the kids go to sleep for the night (if we can get them to sleep...LOL)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Taking a moment

I was out fishing with Mr. Big yesterday after dinner and was sitting watching the sunset and I was just amazed with the beauty of it. I realized that I never take the time to enjoy the simplest of things in the world around me because I am always worried and anxious. Yesterday reminded me that life is so short that I need to relax and enjoy the simple things in life...family, friends, love...the rest will all fall in to place.

So here, enjoy the sunset and take a moment to relax today, you deserve it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shock factor

These are the statistics of children diagnosed with autism through the years...

The numbers are scary...

The costs of supporting children on the spectrum are increasing...

There is no end in sight...

Until we get the right awareness and the access to services that we need, the numbers will continue to shock people...

1 in 50:  my children are included, the children of my friends, the children of some bloggers I know...how about you?

Click if you want to find out more about Pour Your Heart Out. It’s about what you want to pour out: it’s personal, so there isn’t an assigned topic. It’s also about being supportive of others who are sharing: so visit other linkers and be kind with your comments.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness Day 2013

It's April 2nd and aside from it being the birthday of my twin cousins, it is also World Autism Awareness Day!!

To raise awareness people are asked to wear blue today and light up their porches with blue light tonight.

In honor of Autism Awareness Day I wore my PuraVida Autism Awareness bracelet that was being sold last year to raise money for the Autism Society of America. My cousin, one of the ones who's birthday it is today bought it for me as a gift last year and I have not taken it off since! (I couldn't wear blue because I wear a uniform to work but I'm still showing my support every day!)

See...you can tell its worn out....

Oh, and even my hair tie is blue!!! :-)

What are you doing today to raise awareness? Were you planning on something in advance? Did you just find out about it today? Are you affected by autism? I'd like to hear from you!!

Here are some pictures of places around the world that have already started "Lighting it up blue" for autism awareness!!
Aspen, CO

Empire State Building

Sydney Opera House

University of Connecticut


For my children, I love you!! You are miracles overcoming obstacles that nobody can even imagine in your daily lives. I am proud to be your mother!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Color it Blue!: Autism Awareness Month is Here!!

It's time to bring the blue out!! It's Autism Awareness Month!!

If you haven't figured it out by now, Autism is very dear to me...my children have it. They fall all over the spectrum, neither one is like the other.

While there are many reports going around about what autism is, that the numbers are increasing exponentially, that there are people who believe in the cause being that of vaccines and mercury poisoning or dietary cures, all I am going to say is that the ony school of thought that I subscribe to is that of intervention and therapy.

There needs to be more awareness because while the numbers of children being diagnosed now are reported to be 1 in 50, awareness is not there where it is needed. Insurance companies need to realize the need for coverage of more than just occupational, speech, and physical therapy. Legislation needs to be revamped as well to make sure that children, adults, and families living with autism every day are protected. Education needs to be re-evaluated to take into account the abilities of the children instead of focusing on what they cannot do....trust me they will amaze you!!

Autism is not a disease, it is not a curse so we need to stop treating those affected by it as such.

So for this month, it is all about my children and raising awareness for their daily lives.

Join me tomorrow in wearing blue in honor of Autism Awareness Day!!

Also, light it up blue this month!! Change the light on your front porch to a blue bulb so that when you turn it on you are showing your support to the world!!

Thank you for your support!!