Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Asperger's Kid, Chapter 2

Two years after Max came Leo.  Wow! What a different baby.  Leo was so smiley and happy, and he loved to SLEEP!  In his OWN bed!  Josh and I had noticed that Max was always very serious, but it became even more pronounced when compared to Leo.  We still didn't think much of it, though.  Neither Josh nor I are very easy laughers, so we just decided he came by it naturally.  We even thought his not wanting to sleep was sort of hereditary, as Josh had trouble sleeping when he was a kid because he just couldn't stop thinking.

Sleeping changed, a little, for Max as time wore on.  A few months after he turned a year old, we put him in his own bed.  We would lie down with him until he fell asleep.  It still took a long time, but he did at least sleep in his own bed for a large portion of the night before he would sneak into ours.  But then we didn't care because we were able to have some time alone and sleep without a little person on top of us or kicking us.

Around the time Max turned two, we saw an episode of The Super Nanny that focused on getting kids to go to sleep on their own and in their own beds.  We thought, "Heck, why not?  It can't hurt."  Her instructions were (after going through your bedtime routine) to sit quietly next to the bed without talking or looking at the child and to scoot a little farther away each night so that by the end of a week you just walk out the door.  We followed her instructions, well Josh did, because I couldn't stand the thoughts of not hugging Max or cuddling him if he wanted me.  It went fabulously!  He had no trouble until the night that Josh just walked out the door.  And cried off and on for about an hour.  However, he got used to it.  He would get out of bed a lot because he "needed to tell us something," but it was so much better.

With the sleeping changed, life focused on other things.  In pretty much all other areas Max was super easy.  He reached all his milestones in the range he was supposed to, and he was healthy.  We loved watching him learn and grow.  Parenting became more simple, and we had a season of refreshment.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Asperger's Kid, Chapter 1


I have never really been a girly-girl. Growing up, I never planned my wedding, didn't even really think about having a husband until late high school. I did think about kids, though. I thought about what they would look like, what they would say, and how they would play. I remember specifically thinking about boys. I don't know why, I've just always jived with them better than girls. Little girls are annoying. There, I said it.

I had these visions of a pudgy little boy on the floor, half on his belly with one arm under his head, watching his cars as he drove them back and forth, making the engine sounds. I had these visions of being the perfect mommy. And visions of the perfect child.

When Max came along, I was elated to put it mildly. He was my world. Josh (my husband) would head off to work every day, and then it was just the two of us. It was fabulous! I was smitten. I loved taking him with me everywhere. I loved that he was so beautiful that people couldn't help but comment. I loved that he was such a good baby. The thing I loved the most, though, was that he loved me. I was secretly thrilled that he never wanted anyone else. Our days were filled with cuddles and nursing, and my heart was full. For awhile.

In babyhood, Max would not sleep in his own bed. And please don't judge me and say that we didn't try hard enough because you weren't there. I didn't even think twice about it when he was a newborn because I knew that babies that breastfeed eat often, so I just assumed that he was hungry a lot. He became attached to me to the point that at times I thought I would lose my mind. And because I was a first-time mother, I was afraid to put him down. It wasn't until kid #2 that I realized babies won't die if you put them down and let them cry sometimes. So there I was, straddling this fence of loving every minute of cuddling, yet feeling so overwhelmed because I couldn't ever put this child down. I felt like I was going to choke sometimes because I had this ball of something continually rising in my chest and I was going to explode because I couldn't even fold one load of laundry without him sitting on my lap. I distinctly remember one evening when Josh came home and I burst into tears. Sobbing, I choked out, "I'm so tired of being a mommy."

The key word there is "tired." My amazingly selfless, sweet, wonderful husband took over. Instead of Max using my breast as a pacifier (because he wouldn't take a real pacifier), Josh walked the halls with him. And bounced him. And sang to him. And cuddled him. And swayed with him. And watched TV with him. And still he wouldn't sleep. Hours it would take him to finally conk out, only to wake as soon as Josh put him in his crib. We quit trying to lay him down because we were so exhausted. Josh lovingly and without complaint did this every night so I could rest and then would bring him to bed with us where he would stay asleep. Praise the Lord!!!!! Then, a new day would dawn, and we would forget that long night and see that face. He was absolutely breathtaking.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!


My baby is a year old now. Seriously!?! Where has this year gone? She is cruising around everywhere and even has a few words now. I am not ready for my last baby to grow up! The thought of not having a baby around anymore makes me sad. I love getting to experience all their stages of learning and growing. Alas, I must come to terms with the end to this era.

I do, indeed celebrate these little lives God has given me the great pleasure of overseeing. So I'll delight in my life now while my kids are little because this is it. No more kids, until I have grandchildren that is. And we're not going to talk about that.

Clemmie got to celebrate her birthday this year by sharing a party with her cousin, Scout, who turned four.

Happy birthday, my beautiful Clemence.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Country Roads, Take Me Home


My friends, we are movin' back! To ole' West Virginny that is. It has been a bit sketchy these last few months, but we now have a plan. God is good. He knows my limitations and has given me the info that I need to start making plans, which I needed to do before going crazy.

My sweet Josh was not accepted anywhere to pursue his MFA in creative writing, so our direction has changed. Although, we love our Mountain Mama we never really anticipated going back there. God has apparently always had a different plan. :) We are super excited to be moving back home and be close to our family. We are also very excited to see how God will have us minister there.

As of right now, we have no foreseeable means of income, so if you know of something that Josh can do please let us know! We like to eat!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The End of My Hiatus


No, I didn't really take a hiatus, but having that baby girl in June mixed with the other three has made blogging a back-burner item. I think, too, the old Facebook status steals my blogging thunder as well. I really want to be someone who can blog regularly. Daily is probably out of the question, maybe even weekly, but my goal right now is to at least do a monthly post. That's my promise to you, faithful reader. :o)

I think right now I'll talk about friends. They are truly God-given. After spending a lovely evening with some friends last night, I have come to the conclusion that they are truly probably the sweetest people I know. They are so loving to each other and to their children, so in turn, their children are super sweet and loving. There are moments when it is easy to react in a loving and sweet way, but this isn't just a reaction for these folks. They are always this way.

I have thought before that for me to be sweet to my children requires their obedience. If they would just do what I ask, then I wouldn't have to get upset and discipline. Or with Josh, if he would just take care of me the way I need, I would repay him by being a more loving wife. Why do I do that? If I had to guess, I would probably say pride, which comes from my sin nature. I want things and people to be a certain way so as to fall in with my plan, and if that happens, then I can love them.

I realized last night as I was putting the kids to bed that these people had inspired me. I was patient. I was loving. I was sweet. I didn't yell. I didn't fume. I didn't belittle. I just enjoyed my children. What I also realized was that I had made a conscious decision to act in this way. I didn't expect my 2-year-old to act like he was 10. I let my 5-year-old take his time getting his pajamas on. I didn't get aggravated that my 7-year-old's obsessive teeth-brushing routine takes so long. I let them be, just be. They don't need to be any certain way for me to love them and to have my respect.

I think the Lord gave us yesterday evening to just relax and be with people we enjoy and to teach me to step back and quit expecting perfection.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drop out


I was reading a blog post a bit ago by someone I know. It was about her dropping out of a Master's program. It got me thinking.

When I graduated high school in 1996, I had every intention of getting a Bachelor's degree and having a career. I went to Marshall University for three years. While there I started working full time and going to class in the evening. You must understand one thing about me, though. I HATE, yes HATE, school. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy learning things. However, I do not enjoy homework. I do not enjoy research. I do not enjoy group projects. I am an introvert. This thing called school, it overwhelms me.

I decided to sit out for a semester and take a break from the misery. It was a great time, totally stress free. And you guessed it, I never went back. I wondered, really, what would be the reason for it. I had a full-time job, as I mentioned, that I really enjoyed. I decided it would be fine for me to work there forever. I liked my job, and they were letting me work there without a degree already.

Josh and I decided to get married not too long after that. I certainly didn't have time for school then. I was busy planning a wedding! Then, I was too busy just getting used to being married and working full-time. I had become the assistant manager with a lot of responsibilities after all. Then, I got pregnant with Max. I worked until a few weeks before he was due and became a stay-at-home mom. It was truthfully one of the greatest phases of my life. Since then, I have worked full time a bit, but mostly part time off and on because we have always needed that extra little bit of money. Currently, for the first time since Max was born, I am unemployed, and I LOVE IT! Certainly, there are times of frustration, but it is so great to be home with my kids.

I know you are probably wondering, is she ever going to make a point? Yes, yes I am. My point is that over these past ten years or so I have wished off and on that I would have stuck it out and gotten my degree, but most of the time I'm at peace about it. I'm just delighted that I have a husband who is willing to let me stay home and works SO hard to take care of us. Plus, I get to be around my four blessings all the time. I'm prayerful that the Lord will keep reminding me that this is a special time in my life and let the frustrations go.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Death by coffee.


It has happened, my friends. The Mac, our beloved Mac, is dead. Sweet, little, angelic Finn has spilled coffee into it. Alas, I'm typing this on our old Gateway, which I'm delighted works, by the way. I do miss the fact that I open the Mac lid and it's immediately on. Our Gateway takes, um, 10 minutes to power up. Not as bad as the old days on our Compaq Presario, though. :) I am thankful.

Josh and I have decided there is a lesson in this. Well, two lessons. The obvious first not leave our drinks next to the computer. The second, we spend too much time on the computer. We are planning to monitor that better in the future.

*A side note...the Mac is extra special to me because of its name.