3rd Birthday

  
Yesterday was my sweet baby’s 3rd birthday. It hasn’t been long enough for me to forget any of the details but time has rounded out the edges of the memory for me. In all honesty while his birthday was very important, it was one of the happiest days of my life, 4 days after he was born when they told us he had a rare genetic disorder is what haunts me the most. I try to forget that anniversary but….it’s coming right up. It reminds me of the darkness that started to overtake me the moment we were admitted and hasn’t completely lifted even now. I still sit in my therapists office sometimes and grieve the loss of normalcy and the cloud of an uncertain future that hangs over us. I still sometimes sit in the dark and have a good cry over all of the things that didn’t go well from the beginning for us. 

  
And then I move on. For a time. I can’t seem to completely get over the sadness I feel that my son and our family have to struggle so hard sometimes to do things that most families don’t even think about. 

Let’s get back to the birthday fun part shall we…?

He had a blast. He had French fries (his favorite food) and got to go jump on trampolines for kids just his size, and got to play outside, and run around like a little boy on his 3rd birthday should. None of the previous day’s pain when he had tubes placed in his ears effected him. He was carefree and giggling and happy. I loved everything about yesterday.

And then Facebook showed me a picture from 3 years ago, and I did what I always do…I retreated and hoped the storm inside me would pass. 

  
I was just telling a new friend at my new job about my son and his condition and something remarkable happened. I forgave myself for my own reaction to Avery’s diagnosis. I realized that for me to experience the level of anxiety that I have and that I still do is understandable because….it was traumatic and unfair (although I hate that word). To repeat out loud to someone I barely know that when my son was 4 days old the pediatric oncology floor became our home for 4 days sounds….shocking even to me. 

  
Lately I try to look forward and not backward. Behind me are things I’ve already conquered and feelings I’ve already felt. I need to deal with today and the feelings I have now. I need to look towards tomorrow and the challenges we have to get through. 

  
I love my son more than I could ever possibly explain, and for that reason alone I don’t give into the darkness of depression that used to be a second nature to me. He deserves a happy momma. He needs to see me being strong and taking things in stride and smiling. He needs me to be his words and understand his needs until we can unlock the door that will let our little boy out. 

3 years went by so fast but I have loved every single second of being his mommy. 

  

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Anxiety unleashed

I woke up with a weird headache today. It’s probably from something simple- dehydration, teeth grinding last night, slept wrong and the muscles in my neck are strained….who knows.  Regardless of the reason since I struggle with mornings anyway it bumped up my anxiety a notch or two. My biggest worry has always been something happening to me and Avery not having his momma. I try to realize that things happen, and I can’t prevent all of the worst case scenarios from happening. If it’s my time, and God calls me home I have to just trust that he will take care of my boy after I no longer can. 

The worst part of this thing called “generalized anxiety” is that it hits me sometimes unexpectedly too. It also, sadly, effects my social skills. It’s the worst to be an introverted person and have anxiety make you seem that much more socially awkward. 

I took Av to school this morning, feeling unbalanced and anxious. When I got him there, late (he wouldn’t eat breakfast), I had to explain to his wonderful therapists that he may get cranky ‘cuz he’s hungry. That alone always makes me want to crawl under a rock and hide. I know it’s not really my fault he won’t eat, but I hate telling anyone my baby skipped breakfast. It just sounds like bad parenting when it’s said out loud. 

Then….because I’m all jittery and off kilter, I think I made a poor dad watching his kid uncomfortable. We can watch therapy from the hallway and there was a young father who is not normally there watching. I knew who he was because I talk to his wife a bit but I didn’t address him right away. He’s military like my husband and I know what his job in the Air Force is so I knew he might be a little harder to talk to anyway. Then one of the therapists comes out and starts talking to him. Once she knew he was in the military, and of course I’m standing there still, so now she includes me in the conversation. Seems innocent enough but I can’t be trusted to not have verbal diarrhea when I’m anxious. It’s a blur at this point what I said but I will tell you he didn’t stay much longer after that conversation to watch his son. In fact….he left as soon as it seemed socially acceptable to do so. *awkward shrug* I can’t help it sometimes. I can’t tell you what comes over me. I’m normally a very quiet person at times like this. 

I’m now sitting in my car trying to deflate from my anxiety ridden social mishap. 

I am thankful for the rain again today. If I’m feeling yucky for some reason rain and colder temps always help me feel better. 

I have a delivery of cookies to make and Posh samples to finish. Might try to sneak in a nap too. Being so anxious is exhausting. 

Too many cooks in the kitchen, and other stories from my stovetop

Well, we made it through my birthday in one piece. I hate birthdays for the record. They’ve always been a hard time for me even since I was a kid, mostly because we were really poor then. Not the point today but a good bit of info…anywho….

I have come to the conclusion recently that I’m trying too hard and doing too much to make money from home. It’s an important thing, obviously, but right now I’m also trying to sort out all kinds of medical appointments for my son. Too many “cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth” and all of that. Too many make money from home plans makes me a little distracted and unfocused. 

So far this week I’m making cookies for my friend, trying to find time to set up my Etsy shop and crochet, and making and dropping off samples of Posh to my previous co-workers. All of that plus a busy almost 3 yr old and his therapies. I apparently just really want to spike my anxiety because I have zero down time to myself. Lots of essential oils and deep breathing will be needed. 

Today will be busy but lovely because of the weather. It’s chilly and raining. Perfect day to bake. Tonight will be an “oven meal” because it’s cold enough to use the oven. For dinner we’re having good old shake and bake (pork chops) and potatoes as well as home made applesauce.  It’s the hubby’s favorite. I need to get back on my “no wheat” eating plan. I feel so much better when I eat a little better. *side note: I don’t have celiac disease or am doing a gluten free diet. I have a diagnosed (tested) intolerance. Sad face.*

I think if my brain were to slow down, or possibly stop, for 5 whole minutes, my focus and reasoning would be much clearer. I do need to make some money, but like any job, I need to pick one and stick to it. It’s harder as a SAHM because Avery is so busy. He’s a full time job by himself. One that doesn’t pay me unfortunately. So….until I find out about SSI, and WIC and his benefits from the state here is where we sit.

I never thought I’d be someone openly talking about state designated benefits but it’s time we took the shame out of needing help. A lot of families are struggling and it’s ok to accept/request help. •end rant• 

I’ll post the applesauce recipe in case I haven’t ever done that (it’s been so long since I posted a recipe!). 

I hope the rest of the week goes smoothly for you all! 

Home made applesauce

Apples of your choice- about 8ish medium sized apples (I use Jonathan’s or jonagolds because I like the flavor and they are a little firmer. We like chunky applesauce)

I use an apple peeler. It peels, cores, and slices all at once. You can find one fairly cheap at Bed Bath and Beyond. If you don’t have an apple peeler you can do it by hand, it’s just a bigger labor of love to make this applesauce that way. 

Use a huge stock pot. Pour enough cold water over the apples to just barely cover them. Then pour in about 1/2 to 1 cup sugar, and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling turn down to simmer and let cook down. Mine takes roughly an hour but it will depend on the type of apples you use. Once the apples are cooked and breaking apart, mash up to your liking (immersion blender for smooth texture. Be careful because the sauce wil be hot.) and add cinnamon if you like or nutmeg or both. I find it lasts longer (cinnamon is a natural preservative) in the fridge if you add it but it would be good without. That’s it! 

Not So Great Mother’s Day eve

I had a bad mother moment on one of those days that makes you feel the worst. The night before I’m supposed to be “celebrated” for being a mom my son was in near hysterics. 

I might have cracked when for the 5,678,453 my son was covered in poop. 

This post is not about that, but it is, because I lost my temper. I’m usually so patient and calm and comforting. Seriously though.

My son is sensitive to tone, volume, body language…he can’t even handle when I get mad when I’m driving. 

I don’t know what happened. I knew when I was pregnant that I would soon be responsible for cleaning up someone else’s bodily functions. I accepted it as fact and moved on. Has it grossed me out since he started eating solids? Yes….but it’s the worst to have a child with a sensitive digestive tract and sensory issues. He “digs”. It’s the most disgusting thing EVER, and I get super frustrated. I try not to…..but it’s one thing to clean poop off of your child, and another to constantly wash walls, bedding, carpet, the dog, and numerous other household items that you wish had never even been close to fecal matter. 

We’ve bought a ton of one piece outfits and that’s almost fixed it. But really it’s not feasible to always have him in footie Pjs, especially during the summer. 

So, yeah. Hysterics. He hates when his momma is unhappy but loses it when she’s unhappy with him. 

*can you see me bawling from there? And I’m fresh out of ice cream*

I apologized and got him calmed down before bed. I rocked him, stroked his hair, dried his tears, and prayed for the 5 billionth time that he won’t remember how many times I failed him. 

I really do ask God sometimes if he’s made a mistake. If maybe I’m just not strong enough to be this child’s momma. 

Don’t get me wrong….I love him more than anything. He is a piece of my soul living outside of my body. He’s my sweet boy. It tears me apart when I let him down. And I have no idea if he will ever understand how hard I try to be the best for him….but it’s so hard. Some days I let things get the best of me. 

This momma job is harder than every other job I’ve ever done. 

Lord, please help him to forget how I’ve failed him. 

Hustlin’

Well, as I’ve mentioned every post in the last month or more….new job. Monday. Not looking forward to it. 

However.

I got panicky about all of the upcoming things for Avery and…started applying to part time gigs. I just, felt my boy still needs me home. 

I’m still doing cookies for my sweet friends. And that whole Etsy shop thing is going to get done…eventually. I also started selling Perfectly Posh. (google it. Amazing products) 

With all of that in mind…I actually got hired at a part time job that only takes me away from my boy two days a week. 

This by no means is a permanent job/situation. We do need me to work more….eventually. I just want to wait till fall when my son goes to pre-school in the school system. I want to get through all of our upcoming appointments and feel good about being there for him during some rough stuff. He’s got numerous doctors appointments and surgery (tubes in his ears) coming up just in the next two months. 

Yeah. I’m going to do some hustlin this summer. We’ll just scrape by for a few months (unless SSI happens) and I think that’s going to be just fine. I’ve always felt that who I leave my baby with matters because he is different. One day a week with someone other than me or his dad I can manage. 

God will provide. 

Connections

My son is a sweet boy. He’s a cuddler, a snuggle bug, a lover….if he connects with you. 

That’s autism for you. 

He’s been at his school for almost a year. We were never going to make it that long because he “ages out” this month when he turns 3. 

In the time we’ve been going to therapy, or school as we call it, he’s made a lot of progress. He’s learned so much and changed in a lot of ways. His therapists have all been great. We loved his speech therapist and his recent occupational therapist the most. The speech therapist had a baby recently so she’s been gone. His occupational therapist, Joy, has only been working with him since February. Time doesn’t matter, he loves her. Hugs, kisses, snuggles, he gave them all to her once a week. 

Since things for us and his child care have changed drastically over the last week we decided to stop school early and let Avery adjust to his new routine right away. The decision was made on Monday. As in….2 days ago. So….I told his sweet ot when I picked him up on Monday that that was his last day. She is wonderful. She hugged him lots, kissed him, and told him how proud of him she was. I naturally bawled my eyes out. I feel a loss I’m not sure he knows or understands. 

I’m so grateful for her and all our therapists that have taken him on and helped him find his way. We aren’t allowed pictures of our therapists but I will always remember what she looks like, the connection she made and the love she had for my special child. 

  

Authenti-Cyndi 

If there’s anything I’ve learned lately it’s that when I try to be anything other than me it doesn’t work. 

With that said….I have to admit I’m trying too hard to figure out how to make money from home. I will honestly admit that I thought about doing a different blog in the hope of eventually making money at it. Here’s the lesson: my life right now isn’t all about style/food/fashion and I just can’t feel good about an online format where I don’t mention the trials of life that happen to us almost weekly. It works for a lot of other people, and to them I high five from a distance, but in all actuality I wear sweats at least 4 days a week right now. Nobody wants an instagramed picture of that….even with a filter. I’m thankful for this space where I’ve gotten so much support and love just by being myself. 

Success is about frame of mind and timing. I’ve always said God has a plan for me and for us, and this is the plan right now. I’m starting a new job on Monday, and my childcare fell through, and then I found someone else. BUT…I had to disenroll my son from his school 3 weeks early. It’s all part of our journey. I keep telling myself that God knows what he’s doing, and he holds my hand the whole way. 

We say goodbye to this chapter and move into a new one. It will be hard. There will be tears (mostly mine but maybe Avery’s as well). 

I’m trying to spend every day being true to who I am, finding the bright spot in it all, and trusting God.