Mommy Moment Monday…put the phones down, people!!!

I’m including myself in the movement of people who need to just put the blankity-blank phone down. Aside from a real emergency, when we are with friends and family we should try to really be with them, you know?

Saw this on Facebook and had to share…

Whether you made your friend really pay for checking their phone or not, I think it would be a nice idea to keep everyone a little more present in the moment. Maybe an idea to use for the next ladies’ night out?

Have a great week everyone!



A “Special” Kind of Blog Hop: Stronger Together


We are asking our bloggy friends – and friends of friends – to write on the theme Stronger Together. This can include posts featuring things we do to support others in the military and/or special needs community, how you’ve been helped in the past and intend to pay it forward, stories of families coming together during sequestration, finding your “tribe” through online support groups and blogging, or anything else that goes with the general theme.

To participate, write your story. Then come over here and follow the instructions on how to “link up.” Then share and promote the link-up page on your blog, Facebook and other social media platforms. Finally, click-through and read some of the other outstanding bloggers who have linked-up. This is a great way for military special needs bloggers to connect & discover new favorites.

To read the other blog hoppers, please click on the above icon. You will go to the Inlinkz site. A list of blogs will be there for your viewing pleasure. Please stop by and read a couple. And make sure you leave a comment when you visit our fellow bloggers – comments are like gold to bloggers. You’ll make someone’s day, I promise.

Today’s post is part of our “Special” Kind of Blog Hop series. This week’s blog is based on the theme of Stronger Together.

Stronger Together:

When you have children of your own, you are immediately told to never compare them to your friend’s children, neighborhood children or even siblings. However, I feel the person who often tells that lie, has a normal child and has never had to deal with the little voice in the back of their head yelling “something just isn’t right!”. At least that is how it was for me. I pushed the little voice in my head to the back and slapped some duct tape on its mouth.

Bug was diagnosed in January of 2011 with Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). At the time, Bug’s diagnosis was really no shock to me. I saw red flags and I knew enough from my past to know Bug was not developing as a “normal” child. Eventually, as my confidence grew as a mother, I learned to listen to my instincts. After walking out of the doctor’s office being given Bug’s diagnosis, Hubs turned to me and said “if he has Autism, then so do I”. I will never forget that moment. I knew I would be doing a lot of this swimming alone. I managed those first couple of months just fine. It was hard doing it alone, but with the support of his therapists we did great.

It was when our middle child was diagnosed with Autism in October of 2011 that I was thrown into the water and felt like I was drowning. Diva was seemingly normal. I kept lying to myself that all her red flags were merely mirrors of her brother; that their closeness in age, personality and her love for him made her want to be him. After her diagnosis is when I started reaching out; trying to find a life preserver to hold onto. However, that was also when I realized that due to location and life style, if I wanted to keep afloat I was going to have to do it swim it alone.

I doggie padded, swallowed a lot of water and barely made it those first few months. I learned Hubs was still in denial about Bug’s diagnosis and therefore did not take Diva’s lightly. He still has yet to go to more than a handful of each of their appointments combined. This is the point in my story I tell you about my life preserver.

She is a Army wife. She mother of special needs children. And she is funny; funny as heck. Funny is what I needed. Her understanding and laughter is what taught me to swim. Shortly after we initially meet and before any of her children were diagnosed, we ironically joined a local organization, MOPS. Through this group, we were able to be surrounded by other peers. However, to my knowledge, we were the only ones with special needs children.

If you know me, you know that wouldn’t stop me or make me feel secluded. Instead, I asked to be the guest speaker at one of their meetings in regards to understanding EFMP, children’s milestones and health. Additionally, I talked about resources and what to do if you heard that little voice screaming in your head “something just isn’t right!”.

That meeting was a gateway to open up a line of communication that would have forever been sealed. I have learned people don’t happily and openingly talk about what is wrong with their kids. They want everyone to think they are that perfect little happy family. I am here to tell you to know think that way. My life preserver and I would have never made that connection that saved us both if I was ashamed of my family.

Be open in talking.  Be open in taking.  Be a open book. If people have questions; educate them. If people have hugs; take them. If people have rude comments and stares; well……

We are all in the together. We are all bonded by the same thing and that is love for our children and our family.

The Moment When…

The moment when you are at your husbands work function, honoring some amazing co-workers, when your ASD (maybe OCD!) son has his manhood out to the world.

A few weeks back we were having a work event saying goodbye to old friends and introducing ourselves to new ones. We were all circled around our friend who was giving a heartfelt good-bye speech (of course) when I look at Bug standing in front of Hubs- with his manhood pulled out for everyone to view. Not only did he have it pulled out, he was stretching it out to make sure he got every grain of sand that was stuck to it plucked off.

I look behind me to see a row of people laughing hysterically at it. Hello! Could nobody have stopped him or told me?! No, let’s just all laugh at the boy with his thing pulled out and being freed of sand. Ugh.

Take Me, Or Leave Me

Before you had your own children you saw a screaming kid in a restaurant, hands flailing with a parent trying to bargain a peace treaty. You said to yourself “My kid will never act like that; because I wont let them”. You commented about how the parent should do this, or try that. All the while, the child is still running the show and the patrons out of the restaurant.

After having your own child/children you see a parent who is trying to calm the child whose is screaming and who’s hands are covering their ears because the level of noise we don’t notice… is unbearable to a child with sensory issues. The noise level of the dinners, the clinking of glasses, the occasional plate to crash and hit the floor, the rushing and quick movement of the waiters all sets your child into a state of sensory overload. They are screaming and other patrons are looking with learning eyes; the same looks that you gave once. It hits you and now you understand. Nothing is as simple as it seems from the outside.

Having a child on the Spectrum is never easy. I get asked all the time how I do it. But how do I do what? I am a parent.I keep moving forward. I do what it takes to raise my children as best I can, despite what conditions they have. I will raise my child to be a productive member of society to the best of their ability. Anyone who tries to do less, needs to put the well being of their child first.

Yes, it takes work, and there is a lot of lonely days as a parent. The friends you had are replaced by the ABA’s, respite workers, OT’s, Speech therapists and other additional workers your child requires. When you have two or more children who require all these, the workers double; but if you can manage, sometimes your friends can too. Because they are not just workers who come into your home seven days a week, they are the people who see your dirty laundry (literally at times), who eat meals with your family, and who see you and your children at their worst.

What bothers me most about this lifestyle, is when the few “outsider” friends see this, they assume I have a nanny, a private cook or maid. They assume I have help and two parents become numerous ones to raise one child. At first, even my husband hated the notion of someone coming into our home and working with our child. But after he saw the behavior improve and the life of our child became better; he realized we were still the parents We were still the ones raising our child, disciplining our child and grooming him into the man who we hope he becomes. But without the help of these people, our child would be destined for less. He is reaching his true potential because of these people.

If you know of someone who has workers coming into their home, do not assume their life is easy. In fact, it is harder that you could imagine. My children don’t have regular play dates because they have 12 hours of OT, PT, Speech, ABA therapy a week. Therefore, I don’t get play dates either. My friends I had assume I was a recluse or felt that I had more important things to do. I do, it is called being a parent. I put my children’s needs first. If you can not accept that from me or someone you know, then we don’t have time to make for you. But that’s the catch. If you are accepting and understanding of our lifestyle, then making time to spend with you as a friend, can become the most important.

I learned that for a relationship to work for you, both friends need to see what they can get out of it. It might seem selfish; but its honesty. Is it a private sounding board, a gym buddy, a good story teller, or a every day companion? It takes a lot of energy to maintain a friendship. And having the lifestyle we live, it is important to realize who is a true friend. One who can accept you, your children and your lifestyle. So put your big girl pants on and start accessing those friendships you have. Remember its quality, not quantity.