Sunday, April 27, 2008


Ok, how about a little transparency.... I'm having a somewhat melancholy day.   The past few days have been rather difficult for Lucas.  He seems to be more highly frustrated than normal.  Maybe that is why I am more sensitive today.  I hate to see him struggle.   I would give anything to be able to have a conversation with him, but our days are filled with simple, short requests ( or sometimes loud demands)- no stories, no silly sayings, no inquisitive questions.  Brian and I are worried we will never have this wonderful type of interaction with him.  I'm sure in time we will.  It just feels like we won't.  I am praying for patience and the discipline to not compare him to other kiddos his age.  Yet, I feel this knot in my stomach and an ache in my heart.

I need to remind myself.  We are blessed!  At least he is affectionate, loves hugs and kisses and tells me almost everyday now, "Ah- you, momma"- which means I love you.  In fact, his favorite way to stall for bedtime is to beg to "snuggo".  What a smart kid!  It's hard to say no to that!  There's nothing better than having a soft, warm little one wrapped up in your arms! 

See, I'm starting to feel better already!  I think I'll go find someone to snuggle!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Goodbye Old Friend!

Ah, we must say goodbye to a much loved friend!  These slippers were a hand-me-down from my sister Jenny's daughter, Lauren.  They have been an important part of Lydia's wardrobe... a "must" on her list of fashionable accessories.  She wore these nearly everyday this winter and looked forward to putting them on.  I would tell her, "Go find your kitty slippers!" and off she would go to hunt them down.  A short time later she would return with a look of triumph and glee, sticking her feet out for some help.  Now that we are having such warm spring days we find ourselves going barefoot and in no need of slippers.  I will miss not seeing them around.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Can It Be True?

It looks as though a nearly life-long dream of mine is coming true.  Yes...I'm quitting my job to be home full time with our kids.  I almost feel as though I dare not speak of it!  My itch to be home came on strong after I had Lucas and I've been hoping and praying for nearly 3 years to be able to fulfill this dream.  After much prayer it is finally coming to pass!  I know it won't always be roses and sunshine, but I feel this is where God has called me to be at this season of my life!

Brian and I are going to have to make some sacrifices- give up some things we enjoy.  I'm ready to do it...not that it won't be hard.  No more impulse buys from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  Far fewer coffee stops to Caribou or Starbucks- a way I tend to pamper myself.  Not that I go overboard with these things, but enough to make a difference.  I'm also grateful to Brian for giving up some things so that this can be possible for me.  I don't know if he fully understands what a wonderful gift he has given me!   

I can't wait to get started being a full time mom!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Lot to Learn

***Warning- long post filled with ramblings from the heart***

Boy, it's been a few days since I last posted.  Lydia's had some mysterious illness and it just seems like the kids have been more needy lately.  

Last weekend I was able to get away for the night for an annual "girls weekend away" with my sisters and my mom.  We had a great time filled with laughter and chocolate.  We spend most of our time scrapbooking or working on various crafts that we've had to put on hold.  I think my 3 sisters and my mom have all had some stressful past months in one way or another (although, who doesn't have some form of stress in their lives?) so it was a much needed break from reality. I wish we could do it more often.  Those girls mean the world to me.

Our latest news and a new learning curve for me comes in the form of a diagnosis for Lucas.  Since late last summer we have been concerned about some things we were seeing in his behavior and we noticed his speech was quite delayed.   Last week we took him to the developmental peds. office at the Children's hospital in our area.  We've been pursuing this appointment since last September.  In the past 4-6 weeks he has shown a lot of improvement in his speech and overall ability to cope with things.  What an encouragement!  I seriously considered canceling his appointment, but since it took so long to be seen I thought we should go just to play it safe.  I didn't want to have to play "the waiting game" again if I changed my mind and wanted to be seen again.

It was a long 4 hours for him (and me), but he handled it quite well.  For him, it was mostly play designed to observe his reactions, behavior, etc.  The diagnosis he has been given is PDD-NOS, which stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified.  The best way I know how to explain this is to create a word picture.  Picture PDD (different from PDD-NOS) as an umbrella.  What is covered under the umbrella is where Lucas' diagnosis is.  Under the umbrella is Autism, Aspergers, Fragile X, Retts Syndrome and PDD-NOS.  Long story short (kind of) is that PDD-NOS means Lucas has some of the characteristics of the pervasive developmental disorders, but not enough of them to characterize him as having one specific disorder.  A lot of parents feel like it's a blanket term to say "we don't know what's wrong with your child" and some feel like it's high functioning autism.  I still have a lot to learn so I'm not sure where I stand.  The psychologist said as he gets older he may fit better into the Asperger category.  Only time will tell.

I know as a parent this diagnosis brings a small amount of relief.  That may sound odd, but when your child has some autistic tendencies you begin to doubt yourself as a parent.  At least I do.  You begin to believe you are missing a piece of  the puzzle in parenting and your child is "different" because you are a poor parent.  Sometimes it feels like people think you have a "brat" when in reality your child is just having difficulty adjusting the way other kids do naturally.  Unfortunately, I do sometimes find myself avoiding "play dates" or social outings because I don't know how to help him interact appropriately with kids his age.  When he melts down I get embarrassed.    It's something I need to work on!

This diagnosis also brings some sadness.  We have the great news that he is above average intelligence.  He will function just fine in life, but he may always struggle with social connection  and OCD type behavior.  As a mom, I just don't want him to have to struggle in this way, but I'm hoping to be able to mold it to his advantage.

It's also difficult because Autism awareness has been increasing lately I feel like people think it's a fad diagnosis.  Sure, all kids probably exhibit some autistic behaviors from time to time, but when everyday is filled with these behaviors you begin to wonder.  I have felt opposition from people who are close to me and that hurts.  I don't want him to have a diagnosis to prove me right... I just want to be able to get him the help he needs.  It can be a lonely road.  I tend to question and doubt myself a lot.  

The bottom line is Lucas is still Lucas.  Loving.  Silly.  Smart.  Energetic.  Precious.  This doesn't change the way we feel about him.  We want to be his advocate and help him reach his full potential.  And what wonderful potential he has!  

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Budding Artist and Other Random Things

This week I finally got around to helping the kids decorate eggs. I mean, Easter was early this year, right? So I figure I'm right about on time. Due to Lydia's allergies I decided to forgo real eggs and dye and picked up some plastic eggs, stickers and feathers. Above is Lucas' decorated egg. I like his has flair. Lydia was more interested in taking the eggs apart and piling all the stickers inside the eggs. It only held their attention for about 15 minutes, but I think they enjoyed it.

This week I took a couple vacation days. Since I work part time if I plan it just right a couple days translates into nearly two weeks.... heaven!!! I have really enjoyed being home with the kids and it just confirms in my heart that I want to be a full time stay-at-home mom. I'm trying not to think too much about Monday. I'm dreading it....I know, two days a week- big deal, but me no likey my job. It has certainly served it's purpose and I don't regret getting my degree, but I want to invest as much time as possible into my kids lives. Everyone tells me they are all grown up and gone before you know it. I believe them! Back to my previous thought... we've filled our time with a trip to Michigan to see family, running errands, buying some summer clothes to round out Lucas' wardrobe. I also finished painting our master bedroom (just the closet), crafted some cards with my sister, made some pillow covers for our bed and mountains of laundry. The kids and I had a great dinner with the neighbors behind us (we are so blessed to have them as neighbors) and we made a trip or two to the park.

Brian's been in Mexico on a missions trip for the past week. He's on his way home today and will be home in the wee morning hours. We really look forward to seeing him! We've missed him! Plus, he celebrated his 29th birthday while there, so we have some celebrating to do when he gets home. I think I'm going to make a breakfast casserole for a brunch and pick up something ooey, gooey good from Dorothy Lane Market. I don't do that very often, but I figure once a year is okay.

***side note- does anyone know the possessive form of Lucas? I think I have an acceptable form, but I searched on the internet and I've seen everything from Lucas' to Lucases (but I think that was referring to a last name). I'm definitely not strong on proper English!!