Monday, September 30, 2013

Yeah, I really read it for the articles

Honestly, I usually pick up the Metro Parent Magazine to check out their GREAT resource of their calendar for awesome family events around town. But this time, I really did read the articles. :)

A friend of mine referred me for an article her friend was writing. The series is dealing with mamas who are going back to work after taking time off to raise kids. I felt a little stupid at first because at the time of the interview, I had only been back to work for a week! So not-so highly qualified.  I guess insightful just the same.

But, if you are out and about and want to see the funniest picture of Eric and hear my rambling thoughts that were eloquently woven together by a talented writer, grab the zine.

Here's the link:

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Working at my church allows me to get a little bit of a bird's eye view of things. Particularly the children's ministry. I see how faithful, dedicated, and loving our volunteers can be. I see beautiful glimpses of kids getting excited about Jesus. I hear screaming, um...singing of praise (well, the whole church does). I see messy real-life problems. I see lots. But today I paid attention to how much it impacts my children.

Elijah sat in church with Eric and our beautiful friend Laura, who I can honestly say loves my children. Although, I think it is completely impossible for her not to love ANY child. That's just the kind of lady she is. Laura asked if she could hang out with Elijah once per month during the service and leave with him (to blow bubbles) when he reached his limit in the sanctuary. Today was her first day to hang with him. She blessed us by allowing Eric to stay in service (which I got to join him for one song) and caring for our boy. She is truly a blessing to us. Community.

Manny gave me a hug when I walked in from work today. I asked him, "What did you learn about today?" He answered with "When I am afraid, I will trust in you Palms 56:3". I was floored and I giggled that he said Palms instead of Psalms. I hadn't taught him this. We actually have never sat down to memorize scripture. But this! Amazing. For all the anxiety that he has been feeling from school, from being away from me. This is a great scripture to know.  It's due to leaders and teachers in the elementary ministry that taught him this. Community.

Judah sat on my lap and told me about Joseph. "See mom, he was really smart and there was a famine and he fed everyone." Spot on baby! It opened up this conversation about Joseph (Judah knew he had lots of brothers, kinda like him), about how his brothers treated him so BAD, but he forgave them and fed them when they were very hungry. We were able to apply this to HIS life. Judah's 4 and he got it. His teachers taught him a story from the Word and he GOT it. Community.

Asher. Well, Asher didn't tell me a story, a scripture, or had a special buddy. But when I dropped Asher off, he was pissed. He screamed and kicked a little, but his teacher held him, walked him, calmed him. It only took 2 minutes, but as I walked by the classroom several times (not to check just on MY kid or anything), there were like six 2-year-olds and two adults sitting on the floor playing. Community.

As I was flipping the 4th load of laundry over, these were my thoughts. I love my community. I love how intentional they are (or sometimes unintentionally intentional) with me and my family. Gushy sappy thoughts for the night.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The 'Nother Mothers

We have had two women step into our messy lives and, whether intentionally or unintentionally, helped us mother our children.

The first 'nother mother was Heather. We met her the year she sent her youngest to kindergarten. She was our neighbor that morphed into much, much more than that. She has been there for major, major life moments for us.  When I dropped Elijah off at his first day of preschool, Eric called her to console me as he headed off to work (I was sobbing uncontrollably). She walked with me around the park and told me about her experiences dropping her beautiful boys off at school. She calmed me; one of her many, many gifts. Heather saw me though the birth of our third son Judah. Her, and her family, cared for our two boys while I was in labor. And after he was born, Heather cared for Judah as he was her own. She would hear him screaming through the walls of our house and run over to grab him. She was the reason I didn't need anti-depressants! While seeing her let her dogs out; I would open the window and say, "Hey, you want a baby!?", to which she would almost always reply yes. Judah was the shittiest baby ever (the kid cried and screamed all day for me), but he calmed immediately for Heather! She was magic and he loved her.
After we moved, it wasn't as easy to keep in touch. But she was, and always will be, the original 'nother mother. 

The second 'nother mother comes from school. Becky came into our lives as Elijah's original para-pro from his first classroom in Birmingham Public. She (and Lynn) transitioned him, welcomed him, cared for him, and taught him potty training! We had been trying for 3 years and it took them 3 months! Becky really stands out as a 'nother mother because she moved away from her longtime team to stay with Elijah when he went to a new school. She stayed with him through new school years and new teachers so that he would have a consistent and familiar face. She is his favorite. When he sees her picture, Elijah lights up and does his happy dance. Becky is able to tell my son's moods; she knows his language; she knows his migraine triggers; she's my eyes and ears in the classroom; she's his constant. 
But all good things come to an end. Becky has selflessly put aside a career using her Masters in Counseling to see Elijah through many transitions. I'm happy to say that she is headed to a job to use those skills. Tomorrow is her last day with Lijah at school.  It's a good thing, but I'm still sobbing as I write this. I'm so incredibly thankful that Becky has successfully transitioned Elijah to a wonderful, super awesome new teacher over the last year. She has helped him feel comfortable and helped the team learn his "quirks".  He is a better person because of her. 

I'm not sure if another 'nother mother will enter our lives or not, but these two have left a big impact on us. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ASD vs Neuro-typical: Back to School Edition

I should be working on lesson plans for tomorrow, but I should get these swirling thoughts out of my head first.

Yesterday was the first day of school. Today was the second. My kids surprised me with their reactions to a) going back to school, b) the new routine, and c) mama going back to work.

Here are my observations.

Going back to school
Elijah LOVES school. He loves the routine, his teacher, his interpreters, and his beloved Becky (who will be moving on to a job in her field very soon here). He loves going back to the same classroom with most of the same kids. There is comfort in that planned out routine. He was standing at the door anxiously waiting for the squeaky brakes of the bus. When he finally heard them, Elijah did his sweet little happy dance. The teacher called me that afternoon to tell me what a wonderful day he had. *Sigh* It has been a good start.

Manny has not had a good start. On the first day, there was a glitch with his residency paperwork that left us in the office for 10 minutes figuring it all out. He was the last kid to walk into class. But, the first day was pretty good overall. The second day of school (today), my mom dropped him off and he cried, clung to her leg, and would not let go. He wanted mama and I couldn't be there (enter super duper mama guilt). They eventually got him calm and in the room. Later, I received a phone call from the office saying he was still having trouble but the sweet secretary with a light British accent pulled him out, made him feel special, calmed him down, and brought him back to class. She even called me to ask if I wanted to leave him a message to encourage him through the rest of the day. This is the note he clutched all afternoon:
He did great the rest of the day. I am SO thankful for his amazing teacher and the wonderful staff at his school.

Tomorrow I need to drop him off at friend's house so he can get a ride to school. I'm praying things go well. 
 I need them to as much as he does.

I can't really say why this is happening so backward. My ASD kid should be freaking out and my neuro-typical kid should super pumped, right? All the praying and prep work around me finding a job revolved around concern for Elijah. (We were blessed with a job that I can get him on the bus and Eric will be home to get him off the bus, so he is not effected at all!)

I'm not sure that I have a resolution other than intense prayer that my other 3 boys can go with the flow of different babysitters 3 days a week and a mama who shows up to work just a smidge late everyday because she wants an extra kiss from her baby or she is trying to fit in dropping kids off at school to maintain a sense of normal.

Shoot, I'm supposed to write about 2 other points. Well, another day perhaps. My man just brought me some ice cream and I should probably get to those kick-ass lesson plans.