Friday, December 6, 2013

Something HUGE

Today is Friday, can I get a whoop whoop?! Not to mention, Evan has been working a job from 9-4 this week, and is supposed to be off the weekend!!! Praise Jesus, just when Evan was working to the point of exhaustion, something different comes along for him. With the same company, just a different line of work.

Being Friday, I do my normally running minis around. We leave our house by 7:00, to get Aaden around the corner to school, in enough time to eat a good breakfast with his friends. Then it's across town, about 30 minutes to have Brady at school for 8:45. Then, back 30 minutes towards our house, to grab Aaden by 10:45, and then BACK 30 minutes to get Brady by 12:45. Phew, yes I do that, on Wednesday's and Friday's.

My boys have made me so proud today--- Brady has had a difficult time with Momma leaving him at school. Crying for 20-45 minutes each day. Well today, he walked the entire way into his classroom, grabbed his name tag, and told me where to put his tote. All alone. With ZERO tears!!!
When I picked him up, his teacher said he had an amazing day! He participated in every activity, was very vocal, and even hugged another student when we were leaving.  I haven't shared much with Brady, because unlike Aaden, we seem to be able to work thru Brady's sensory issues, and they aren't quite as severe. We do plan to have Brady evaluated though, just a a precaution for some things we have seen lately. So, for Brady to be vocal, and hug another person, or acknowledge his classmates was HUGE
Geaux my little Brady Bear!!! So very proud of you!!!

Well, while I get a very small amount of alone time with Aaden, on the 2 days Brady is in school, today we ran to Whole Foods, I had to grab a few new things I wanted to try with Aaden and whatnot. Plus, Whole Foods artichokes are, no lie, bigger than a personal size watermelon. So worth the long drive. At The Quarry, Santa has a special little house set up. As we drove by, I showed it to Aaden, told him Santa was in there roasting his little toes by the fire, because it is FREEZING in San Antonio today. We did our shopping, he was denied the toy he wanted to purchase- he accepted 'no', without tears or a huge scene. He pushed his little buggy the whole trip, picked out all of Brady's veggies and his own supplements. Very very proud. However, this isn't what I am writing about today… When we got in our car, he ASKED to go see Santa!! Holy COW!!! He ASKED-

Asking to us is multiple things.
1. He was genuinely  asking for something. Instead of demanding it.
2. This is something that he was terrified of 2 weeks ago
3. By asking, he knew there was a possibility of being told no.

So, we went to see Santa!!! He had someone else in his 'House' at the time, so we PATIENTLY waited, without backing out of our mission or whinging because we had to wait. When Santa walked out to grab Aaden, he didn't pull back, no regression. He happily walked inside… answered every. single. one. of Santa's questions. <I had already told him Santa didn't have toys today, and he was not getting anything, other than being able to speak with Santa> So Aaden did this willingly! Not in spirits of gaining something. He told Santa he wanted a few things: a real two-headed turtle (remember? we saw one at the Zoo-now we never stop talking about it), a ninja turtle, and a ninja toy. Now this is normal, all things to be alike ;) When Santa explained that he couldn't bring a 'real' turtle because of the sleigh situation, Aaden understood, and said yes sir! <Um--- huge there too, accepting alternative>
He hopped right into Santa's lap and gave his most handsome smile.
Now, we are just in school clothes, and jeans… nothing special. But that's what makes it even more special to me- that is what makes this about Aaden. About the child who stepped way out of his normal box, and did something courageous. It's about him, not what and when I wanted to fight him to put on something he didn't want to wear, and go when it's convenient to my schedule. This is Aaden, and this is why I'm so proud.





This Momma is proud! I do hate that Evan was not able to witness this… or that Brady isn't in the picture. But this was a very special moment, that currently has tears in my eyes. I am so proud of my boy, my sweet Aspie Aaden.

Until next time…

With love,
Courtney

PS- Any family that wants a copy of the picture, let me know. I will email you the original copy! You will lose quality by saving from the blog post.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brady is THREE

How many of you remember my post on Facebook, announcing we were expecting #2??
Well--- that baby is THREE years old today!!









That huge surprise has turned into one of our greatest blessings. It breaks my heart to think about how much I cried when I found out I was pregnant. I was completely terrified to bring another little human on this planet. It's such a scary place, and Aaden wasn't One yet. Phew… times were easier when they were smaller!! But Brady brings so much happiness and joy and belly laughs to this family. We need his crazy little self to keep us sane. He was God sent, timing and all, and I am Oh so thankful.

While the boys do play well together, they have also started the sibling rivalry too. Aaden still has the upper hand, but it won't be for much longer… Brady is 2 inches shorter, and 3 lbs lighter.

Have any of you ever wondered who Brady looks like?

^^^ This is Evan!! ^^^

Brady's First Day of Pre-School 3.

Until next time… 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Finding ME

Have you ever sat back and really thought about who you are? Like dug really deep, and found your joy? I have been questioning myself lately, almost as if I have an alternate ego. Which is definitely not the case. I am most probably the most simple person there is. Or am I really?

There are multiple things that have been on my mind lately... The best way I know how to explain it, is go category by category, and share my alternate perspectives. 

So, with that being said...
1. I am almost 27! Wow, almost 30... bring. it. on.
-How do I really feel about being on the edge of 30- I have absolutely no issue whatsoever with it, I am ready! My car insurance will go down again, that is a huge bonus!! ;)
-Alternate ego- ummm, 30 seems so young these days. Its as if you are treated with a different kind of respect once you hit the big 3-0. Now, to me, that doesn't necessarily mean I will act any different or grown up anymore than I have already. All in all, it's just a number. A number I am not scared to hit.

2. Marriage--Evan and I got married at 21, we had been together since we were 17, in high school.
-Perks, we have grown together, as a couple, and as individuals. We have been thru some really hard times, and some really fun easy times, considering we were such great friends before we started 'dating'. I love that I can trust him with anything, I can talk to him, and rely on him to always be there. Even when we are butting heads about stupid things.
-Alternate ego- Marriage is tough. Period. While we have grown up together, there are also times when we have very different opinions about things. Hell, I know this is something all relationships go thru. Although, sometimes, I think it's more difficult to grow as individuals, because we have relied on each other for so long, the the times when we were trying to learn who 'we' were.

3. Kids
-Honestly, I have no idea where to start. Our boys are complete crazies. But would I change it... absolutely not. Do they give me a headache every single day, with their nonstop shenanigans? YES!!! Every single day. They pitch fits in the store when they are told no, because they are spoiled little brats. I know this. This is the truth. However, when we all lay our heads down in the same bed, yes, all 4 of us-in the same bed- there is not one single thing I would change.
-I don't think I have an alternate ego on this one. I love my babies, and that is that ;)

4. Money
-Ok, I really have no idea where to start on this one. There was a point in time when we barely had enough money for groceries, heck, I have borrowed money from my Granny for groceries before. Things happen. Now that we are a lot more financially stable, I find ourselves splurging a lot. A lot more than I think we intend to. It seems the more money you make, the more you spend. I think it is absolutely impossible to stay on the same budget when your pay doubles... I never would have thought I would admit that. But there it is. So, with that... we go thru stages of wanting to save every penny we make, to buying EVERYthing. Right now we are on the saving everything binge. Which is great! Until my...
-Alternate ego kicks in... I mean, you can't take money to the grave with you, right?? Example- We are complete label whores, I am not denying that one bit. I have a major crush on designer handbags. So when I walked into the Kate Spade outlet, and they were having a HUGE sale, I bought a purse. Normally a $468, I got for under $140. Do I feel bad for spending that money on myself? Um, yes. But am I happy with my bag?? Um, YES! I am in love.  Then there is grocery shopping, you know, the night you go grocery shopping and spend $200 on groceries, but then pick up fast food because you are so worn out from shopping? That's us. Oh well. Money technically does grown on trees ;)

Ok, well those are a few of the things I have been thinking about lately... Now to get all juicy on you.
I will be 27 in less than a month, and honestly, I do not feel like I know ME. Who am I? What do I enjoy doing? Why do I keep so much anger locked up inside? Have I not grieved properly after losing my mom at such a young age? 

I have no idea.

I have a very hard time trusting people. I am probably the most shy person you will meet. I strive for acceptance. I fear rejection. I am terrified of the dark. I have very few good friends. I have a hard time showing affection. I have absolutely no energy until about 8:00 at night (random, but true). I completely suck at communicating.

I lost my mom to a tragic car accident when I was 9 years old. Although my parents were already divorced and remarried- and I lived with my dad- growing up without a compassionate mother figure was hard. Yes, my dad was remarried, but my step-mom, at the time, and I didn't get along very well. We would go, literally, months without speaking a word to each other. From a very early age, I'm talking 1st grade, I was doing all the laundry in the house. So, just call me Cinderella. Sometimes I feel like I haven't forgiven my dad for what I went thru with her. But then, I can't really blame him, because he was completely blind to it. I am so thankful for my Daddy, I really am. I wish we could go back to when we were a lot closer. But living 8 hours away, and he having a 'new family' is really difficult. So much has changed over the last 8 years. But I do think that is part of the reason I have a hard time trusting people. The mother figure in my life, completely abused me mentally- for 14 years. With all that being said, we are on speaking terms now, and I have forgiven her of her jealousy, because that's what it was. Seriously, where would I be without my Grandparents?! My Granny and Pawpaw & my Mawmaw and Pawpaw are all 4 complete warriors for helping raise me. I am forever grateful for them, and that my babies are able to enjoy them as well.
I often think how different things would be if my Mom was still here. Granted, I have the best guardian angel there is, but oh I wish she was here.

Deep down, I like to think I have accepted Aaden's Aspergers diagnosis, but then again, I don't think I have. I know it is just a label, and with that label comes the best way to help him. It gives us a guideline- a plan. But it is so dang hard. He is 4, so how do you differentiate between what is normal 4 year old stuff and what is Aspergers related? Sometimes what seems like normal 4 year old behavior turns into something unconsolably Aspergers related. It sucks. I wouldn't change Aaden, for the world, but I wish I understood. So, have I accepted it? Yes and No. Do I wish he was 'normal' (if there is a such thing)? Yes, there are times I wonder why the gift of Aspergers was given to us. Because, that's what it is, a gift.


I had this post all planned out perfectly in my head, I guess you can say I'm a little ADD, because I went completely off path. So, definitely a 'Finding ME' Part 2, to come. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Christmas Planning

87 Days Until Christmas!!!

You read that correctly! Can you believe it?! I canNOT!!!! Honestly, it still feels like we just moved to Texas!! With all the holidays coming up, you know how fast time will fly by. 

Since we have implemented a new budget, Christmas shopping has to start sooner than the second week of December this year. Also, I have started a 'Family Binder', it has all our important information, Our Bill Log (yes a paper version), any papers Aaden may need for school, etc. I just added a new page from Coleman Chronicles, it is her Christmas Planning Printable. I have seen many different ones on Pinterest. but this one, with it's adorable font and bright colors stood out to me!!! I LOVE it, which means, I will use it more. Ha-ha. I cannot wait to get started Christmas shopping.

While we are on the subject of gifts.... Check out TheSunFlowerSeed!! I have adorable acrylic monogrammed necklaces, bracelets, and earrings at prices that cannot be beat!! I also have monogrammed acrylic tumblers, personalized flip flops (because we all know in Louisiana you can wear flip flops all year, lol), personalized watches, waxed sealed jewelry, and multiple clothing sales going on a weekly basis.  Tell us you read about the shop on the blog, and get 15% off your next purchase!!! :)








Also!! I just ordered my boy's their Halloween bags and shirts, Thanksgiving shirts, and Christmas shirts and pajamas from Butterfly Kisses Embroidery & Gifts. The shop owner is a good friend of mine, with a heart of gold!!! She is also very organized, you have to love an organized small business owner! She loves to do custom orders as well! Here are a few things she has going on now: 


Then a few samples of adorable things she can do!!! 



My sweet Aaden 

She has tons of Halloween, Fall, and Christmas Appliqu├ęs available in her folders on Facebook! Her prices are amazing too!! Plan ahead... she is getting busy busy, right now her turn around time is 2 weeks, but can't guarantee that's what it will be as time goes on. 


What kind of things do you do to prepare yourself, your house, and budget, for Christmas time?!

Until next time...



Monday, August 26, 2013

Budgeting

MY ERIN CONDREN LIFE PLANNER WILL BE HERE TOMORROW!!! Can you tell I'm pumped up?!

Since I have been waiting for my Erin Condren planner, I have done a lot of thinking about organizing, the dreaded budget, and making an actual family binder. While discussing the ECLP (Erin Condren Life Planner) with a dear friend, she came across IHeart Organizing. Well needless to say, I have spent hours on her site, and am madly in love with everything!!! While I did choose to purchase my ECLP, because of the size, I will definitely be printing Jen's budget designs from IHeart Organizing.

Ok, while I know 'how' to budget, I am interested in knowing how you do!! Just a few categories that I'm interested in. Mainly food-imagine that, me worried about food ;)

Groceries:
We feed a family of 4. I have one kiddo that eats everything, and another one that will barely eat ANYthing. I would love to eat clean or juice meals-but with pickier eaters than Evan and I are, we just don't. Aaden eats- any type of cheese, goldfish, teddy grahams (anything along the cracker lines), peaches, oranges, yogurt, and macaroni. Basically that is all. So yay for processed foods... <sarcasm>

We spend anywhere from $100-$120 a week on groceries.

On the weeks Evan is at work, I cook 5-6 times a week. One of those nights is dedicated to pizza!! The other, may just be too worn out to eat.

On the weeks Evan is off... we tend to eat out at LEAST once a day, if not multiple times.

Which brings up my questions:

  • How often do you grocery shop?
  • How much are you spending?
  • How often do you eat out?
For those of you with kiddos at home during the day:
  • What do they eat?
  • Do you cook every meal while at home?
  • Just for fun--- do you take them grocery shopping with you?
Savings:
Starting in September, I plan to 'zero' out our check book each month. Meaning, at the beginning of the month, I will know how each dollar will be spent. This is kind of hard for me to do because Evan puts gas in his car everyday for work, and his schedule comes out weekly, so technically, I have no idea how  much he will work. But I'm going to try anyway. I plan to put away a certain percentage in savings.
  • How do you determine the dollar amount to save?
  • Do you have it direct deposited into a separate account, so you can't see it? (out of sight, out of mind?
  • When you want to increase what you're saving, what 'corners' do you cut, in order to save more money?

To me, vehicles, cell phones, health insurance, car insurance, household utilities, etc, these are all things that do not necessarily change... So, of course they are budgeted for, but I'm want to talk about things that CAN be manipulated.

Ok, so yeah, basically--- just trying to see how other do their budget compared to what I do now, and what I 'quote' plan to do in September (that is only like 5 days away).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New things

Well hello 5:30! Sheesh, can't say waking up at 5 am to blog is something I ever thought I would do.  Yet here I am.

*WARNING* If you are a regular reader of mine, you know my posts can sometimes get a little drawn out, with a lot of commas (Thanks for pointing that out, Emiley ;) ). This will be one of those posts. Hence the reason I am up at 5:30 typing my little heart out, when I should be catching some ZZZZZ's with the minis before they awaken for the day!

Since it's been SO long since my last post, as always, a lot has changed. First of all, my cousin, Maverick, was in town for 3 weeks. He came to help me with the boys while I packed the house and all of other fun things that goes along with moving. Bless his heart, Aaden had him up before 9 every single day to go swimming in the 'Big Pool', which is our neighborhood pool. He always sent A to ask me if it was ok! Umm, DUH! Take his hyper tail and ware him out, haha. I know Mav loves A more than anything on this planet, but I just can't help but feel sorry for him all those mornings when I know Mav didn't want to go to the pool, he just did because he knew it was helping me out, and it would make Aaden's day. He even watched BB for me while I brought A to therapy 2 times a week, which meant, I had 1.5 hours to MYself, while I waited for Aaden. Ah-mazing. I forgot how to process my own thoughts!! I am so thankful he was able to be here for an extended amount of time!





A week before the move, Marjo and Lauren, moved to San Antonio! They will be staying with us for a while until they get on their feet. Please pray for a smooth transition for them, while they have found jobs, I want it to exceed any job they could find elsewhere, and be happy!!

While both of the Jones' boys were in town, we went bowling! The mini's tagged along too! It was a lot of fun, and I'm happy we were able to do something with all of them, and Evan was finally off work. I'll never forget when Marjo said, 'I thought Evan and Maverick would be my competition, not Courtney.' It just made my day! Aaden and Brady had a blast!!! Aaden turn his finger, so after that, he was done for a bit, but Brady would have bowled for every single person, for 2 hours, if we would have let him. Then, when the galactic bowling started, you couldn't keep Brady still. He was obsessed with chasing the lights around on the floor and dancing. By far one of the cutest things ever!

So, within the last week, we have had 9 people in our house! Seriously, how much fun is that!? Granny and Pawpaw came to pick up Maverick, and help us move. The minis were just completely besides themselves when they walked in the door. I think that is the hard thing about moving away from family, when you miss them, you can't just, "Go to Grannys" or "Go to Mawmaw's". But it makes the visits with them so much more meaningful.

If you know me, you know I cannot stand a small appliance on the countertop, or anything for that matter. Everything has a place, and the toaster, blender, etc, doesn't need my counter space! I really have no idea why I'm like that, but it takes .01 seconds to take it out the pantry, so that's what happens around here. So, without thinking about my grandparents coming in town, and needing coffee, I packed up that little sucker. Needless to say, I made the Starbucks run the next couple of mornings, with Brady in tow, of course. He wanted his 'coppee' and 'take pop' (cake pop).

Our move went fairly smoothly, I think anyway. Considering we were downsizing, because, quite frankly, cleaning a 3,000 sq ft house, is no where near fun at all. Especially when the space isn't all utilized anyway. It just so happened, we decided to downsize the same week Marjo and Lauren made plans to move, but hey, it has all worked out so far!! The minis still sleep with us, and we downsized the amount of toys, so everything has it's spot in their room, I am even ok with toys being in there. Yes, I know, crazy again. I do not like toys to be in their bedrooms. I think a bedroom is a place for rest, not playtime. I guess since they don't actually sleep in there, toys aren't hurting anything ;)

We have been in the new house for a week, and it is already a whole lot more 'homey' feeling then the old house. Although, I did shed a few tears when I started taking down pictures to pack up. Mainly because, we took a huge leap of faith moving here, not knowing if Evan's job would be permanent, or how long it would last, he got the call and he was on the road less than 12 hours later. Well, the old house is what became 'home', even though it never really was. It just never felt right. We struggled with Aaden and Brady always wanting to be upstairs or downstairs, of course, whichever one we weren't on, at that time. They are already playing in their room, the living room, and getting their own snacks!!! Huge plus. lol. Instead of needing me for every single little thing. They are taking their own initiative, which makes 'Mom Life' a little easier.



Ok, so when I woke up at 5 this morning, I checked my email, having one from Bloglovin', where I follow a lot of different blogs about Aspergers. Reading some of the trails other families go thru on a daily basis seems to ease my mind, when I'm asking myself, 'Is this normal?', 'Is this part of his condition?', 'Is this something we can change?'. Not that I ever want to change who Aaden is, but sometimes I wonder if he does some things that aren't Aspergers related, and we could correct. If that makes any sense at all. Well, those questions lead me to a whole other way of thinking... and the big question, WHY!? I have accepted the fact that Aaden is not normal, I have accepted that Aspergers is an amazing condition, that Aaden will be brilliant, he will succeed, he will just need more of our help. The 'Why?' question pops in my head when I wonder why God chose to bless us with an Aspergers child. Why are we that special? What is He trying to teach us, about OURSELVES? Without questioning his authority and decision, of course.
I have yet to find the answers, but we will. I do see myself changing, everyday. I am learning to communicate better. I am learning to distract Brady away from the chaos, so he doesn't think it's ok to react as Aaden does, and cannot help. I want to change for them, for my little family. Evan and I were chosen to be Aspergers parents for a reason.











Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nonstop

Have you ever just felt completely worn down, and your 'to-do' list keeps getting larger and most extensive? 

That's me, right now. 

We decided to move, still in San Antonio, and actually- still in the same neighborhood we are in now. We are downsizing this monster size house we originally moved into. So joy! Seriously, no more cleaning a 2800 sq ft house, or having to go up and down the stairs 50 times because Aaden is scared, lower payments including all our utilities. Can't beat saving money. Sarcastic yay- because moving bites. A big one. Especially when Evan will probably be working, and we will have to move late at night for a few days. 
Although we don't move until July 22, I feel as if there is so much to get done. Since we are downsizing, and we currently have our 4 BR plus loft house filled- I'm nervous to fit everything into a smaller house. My purchases for this house have been things I've wanted FORever- and I LOVE, or I recreated. Such as my $10 Craigslist table... 

I think it turned out fairly well- and I adore it. I have to find a place for it!! Then, there's me being a weirdo OCD freak, I don't like the boys having toys in their room, I have no idea why, there really isn't any logic behind it- it's just not my preference. Well we don't have an extra room in the new house. So, since they don't really play with a lot of their toys- they will be donated. We enjoy coloring and cooking projects. Luckily- there is TONS of extra cabinet and pantry space at the new place. 

In better news, Aaden has been expressing his feelings a lot better! Or actually at all! Although he is flat out blunt as can be, and has zero filter. Most things are funny- but figuring out how to correct him when he says the ugly things, without hindering the prospect of him continuing this new thing, is tough. 



BB has been a complete chatterbox. If you know Brady, you know he speaks his own little language, as my FIL named it, BBneise. He has been doing much better! He does still have a lot of gibberish when he gets excited, but if you ask him to repeat it, you get the same exact response. He is such a little ham!! 



We have also added a new family member- 

Meet Brutus 



Brutus is a 2 year old English Bulldog. Aaden loves that we own his school mascot! He tells everyone. We re-homed Brutus from a husband/wife who are in the service, and didn't have time for him. You can tell he was so out of shape, we took him on his first walk, and half way around the block, we had to make Aaden walk, and put the dog in the stroller. Yes, you read that correctly. Haha. We have enjoyed him- he is perfect. He's big enough where the boys can't pick him up and throw him, but not too big so he's knocking them over and whatnot. 

In other news, my Mawmaw, my dads mom, was diagnosed with Lupus. She received her blood work results yesterday, and it has not affected her organs. So that is positive news. I just ask you to lift her up in prayer to stay positive and make any changes to their current lifestyle super smooth.

Until next time...


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bloglovin'

I have found a new way to share the blog! It's called Bloglovin'. Bascially, you sign up on Bloglovin' and 'follow' ABCE's, and you will be emailed when I make new posts.

Also, with Bloglovin' you can follow any blog that is linked up, and there is notifications of how many posts by the blogs you follow, that you have not read.

How awesome is that?!?

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/8229013/?claim=marqs83f74b">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Doubting

I'll just get right to the point. I have been struggling lately.

Doubting yourself as a parent- well sucks. When you have a child that you just don't understand, you can't 'explain' him to a dr, because honestly, he reacts different to every single situation, is hard. It makes you feel like you don't know your baby.... Which is even more difficult to fathom. 

From the day we started struggling with Aaden, I have a,ways told myself, 'Choose your battles wisely'.  Sometimes that is impossible. Mainly because, when Aaden is in a good mood and happy, he is 'normal', therefore you think disciplining him should be 'normal'. 

Is there a normal? A normal child, a normal way to discipline? I have no idea. 

Our normal is chaotic, our normal is hard. 

Trying to stay consistent, with a child who isn't... Just doesn't happen. Aaden is doing better, much much better. He is doing well in school. His teacher just bragged about how sweet he is and how well he plays with the other children. He is also doing very well in his sensory integration therapy. Every Tuesday and Thursday when I pick him up, they say 'He had a good day.'  Then we walk away from school or therapy and he hangs his head down to the ground. 

What am I doing so wrong?? Maybe counseling is our next step. 

With that being said- Brady Bear is TWO, y'all. Lets just say, definitely terrible two as well. I often wonder if the reason he acts out is because Aaden needs more attention.... Or is this something that started 2 years ago when he was born. He was always so easy, that we didn't really have to discipline him. Now, it's definitely caught up to us. He still plays well by himself, and he is still a good, sweet little boy. Sometimes I feel as if he is acting out for attention, and that just breaks my heart. I hate that Brady is struggling because of the issues we have with Aaden. But, making adjustments is whats needed to help our family function at a more mellow pace.

Anytime we are asked how close in age the boys are, the first thing that pops in my head is, "God knew if he didn't surprise us with Brady, he probably wouldn't have happened" haha. In all honesty, I am so thankful for his crazy little self- I can be down about something, turn to look at BB- and he is making a goofy face, to himself. Or swinging his head back and forth 'dancing'. He takes after me, no rhythm :/ poor kiddo.

So back to the 'choosing your battles wisely'. I question myself everyday with 'Should I have corrected him this way, or that way', 'Should I have let that go?'. It is so hard to think about your child being Out of Sync (which has been an amazing book, by the way).  With an Aspergers diagnosis, no child fits all points of the syndrome, Aaden is most of them- of course some more than others. But reading about Aspergers is just as hard as living with a child with Aspergers. Nothing is 100%, you could do it this way, or that way. It is so hard for me to comprehend! Maybe I need to be tested for ADD, in all seriousness.

I just ask for you to pray for us, as a family, to figure out what to do next, and we learn to function as a family.

Until next time...


Friday, May 10, 2013

Silhouette Giveaway from Ginger Snap Crafts

As most of you  know, I am a huge crafter. But also, a bit frugal when it comes to my crafting supplies. I have found the most adorable website, Ginger Snap Crafts. Right now, Ginger is doing a Giveaway for a Silhouette Portrait. This is exactly what I need for my little business, TheSunFlowerSeed. How amazing would it be to WIN it!? EEEEkkkk.



Be sure to check out all the adorable things Ginger Snap has to offer. She also has May 2013 Silhouette Promotions listed.

Happy creating, shopping, and blog reading!!!

Until  next time...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sick days

How many of you remember Barf Vader Aaden? If you don't know what I'm referring to- you don't remember. Let's say I would take that little acid reflux-spit up half his bottle- baby back any day over the sickness he's had the past 24 hours.
That's right, we had our first encounter with big boy 'trow wup'. Poor toot just has not been feeling well! We have actually watched 3 ENTIRE movies, plus multiple shows on TV-without getting up and jumping on the couch. You know he feels bad!!  With that being said- although I wish he were not sick- it has been a pretty calm day!! We all napped, cuddled with kittens-because of course 5 week old baby 'titties' (gotta love Aaden's speech issues) can always make you feel better!! He has been running about 101/8 fever all day- while on Tylenol... sigh. Hate seeing my booger man sick. Same goes for Brady- he has wanted nothing more than to make his bubbie feel better! He has sat next to us in bed with the Pedialyte, syringe, Aaden's water bottle, and ear thermometer.



Poor babe just wanted it to work so bad!! He's been a huge help to me today. He even phoned in Aaden's temp a few times. "Yes, ok ok, ok, ok BYE"


Yes, that is Aaden- in his own bed! He asked to go lay down in his room. This is how he's been all day. 

Before we had a litter of kittens, I have always been curious if the saying, 'Cats have 9 lives', was true. Well, our boys have proven the myth to be very true. While Aaden, for the most part, is very sweet and loving with the babies. Brady is not. I'm pretty sure I have mentioned Brady carries them around by their necks- case proven. 




Now that we are on the story of the BB- sadly, I don't talk about Brady as much as I should. Or as much as I would like to... This kid is an absolute nut. There is never a dull moment. He has the sweetest loving personality. All while being crazy non-stop. Everyone always jokes about how messy he is. As you can see, they are all right on point. Brady attracts dirt. Seriously, if there is a little dirt spot or mud- he's all in there. 

My sweet little cowboy.


A few years ago Santa started hitting the clearance section after Halloween for dress up clothes. Smart Santa! The Ingram mini's love it!!



As I said, dirt. The kid expresses dirt from his pores. I believe that!


Sweet boy was so excited Woody had his own towel!!


He he he get it from his Granny ;) The kid loves coffee!!


You're never too old to take a bath in the sink, right?! Lately, the boys have been LOVING to bathe in the sink. Works for me, they will sit there for an hour!! Plus my floor gets mopped in the process.



If you can't tell, there is never a dull moment around our house. Regardless if there is a sickness going around, or if we are taking twenty gazzillion baths a day. Boys will be boys, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Until next time... 


Monday, April 29, 2013

Update

I started this blog because my sister suggested it, she said it would be cool to have all of our life updates on our own webpage, that we could visit forever. Well, I am so happy I listened to her. Smart girl ;)
As the time has gone by, I've realized, I am doing this for our family, to remember the fun times, etc. But now, I am not only doing this for me, but I am in hopes of possibly reaching out to other parents who struggle with the issues we have had with Aaden. If there is one parent I have helped through this process, I feel like all this typing is worth it. If you are a parent of a child that you feel isn't 'normal' please contact me- I would love to get to know you!

With that being said- when I mention not 'normal' I don't mean there is something 'wrong' with Aaden. Because he is, by far, brilliant. When he was 14 months old having 2-4 hour fits because he wanted a blue sippy cup, when 14 month old children shouldn't have any recognition of their colors, that is what I classify has brilliant. As a parent, you know when something isn't right, you know when there is more going on, you know your child better than anyone else on this planet. Don't EVER let a family member or your pediatrician tell you otherwise. You are not bound to the pediatrician you picked before your child was born- no one knows the type of child your baby will develop into, so if you don't feel comfortable with the advice you are getting from your pedi- SWITCH! Seek help-  we found our own behavior councilor, which led us to a neurologist. Please don't settle for 'It's just a fit' or 'Let him cry it out'. Evan and I did that- and all I can say about it now is, I wish we wouldn't have. I am crying now, thinking about all we have been through, and not being by Aaden's side when he was having a bad day, or while he was unconsolably screaming and couldn't explain to us what was wrong- while I was in the next room letting him 'cry it out', breaks my heart. We have had countless people tell us there is nothing wrong, or they don't believe the diagnosis, or we shouldn't have Aaden on medicine. I can tell you now- medicine has saved his life, the way his brain functions- or that he has any function to his brain. Some of these people are close family, and we have agreed to disagree about any prognosis, which has worked for us. They still pray for Aaden, and I know they want what is best for him. Well- we are his parents, and we have done what is best. I honestly, wholeheartedly believe that.

I never knew what an 'Attachment Parent' was. From what I remember growing up, I was not raised that way. My dad always said, 'Children were meant to be seen, not heard'. This is what I took with me when Aaden was born. Not that my dad was wrong, but when you have a child who can't tell you what is wrong, that concept doesn't work. I grew up respecting my parents- or at least I feel I am still a respective adult. So, I am thankful for the way I was brought up! We had chores, we didn't talk back, we were required to make good grade, etc- and when we didn't, there were consequences. Now, anyone that remembers me in high school- I was punished the whole 4 years... obviously I am a bit stubborn and thought the consequences were more fun than just doing what I was supposed to do. I look back now, and wonder if that's where or when I started having anxiety issues- I certainly have them now, and they were around way before Ev and I said 'We do'. Anxiety isn't something my parents pushed on me, or 'let' happen. But now, as a parent, I do believe there are different ways to handle a teenager like I was. I commend my dad and grandparents for helping me grow and develop into the person I am today, I am beyond thankful I was responsible and held accountable for my actions. 

I don't think I am 100% Attachment Parent. However, figuring out what works best for my kids has led me to believe the AP way...
  • Tantrums represent real emotions and as such should be taken seriously
  • Some emotions are too powerful for a young child's underdeveloped brain to manage in a more socially acceptable manner
  • A parent's role in tantrums is to comfort the child, not to get angry or punish her
When you have a child who doesn't respond to the 'crying it out' or whippings... the only thing you can do is stand by their side. Now, I can't say I've never raised my voice at the boys- because I have, neither can I say Evan and I haven't fought in front of them. Because although we are working on it, we still do. I do believe children learn by example. So if I am yelling at Aaden, and he yells back- isn't that a learned behavior?! Yes, I believe it is. So how can I fuss at him for doing something I do? It's kind of like a parent who curses and/or smokes, telling their child not to. You lead my example. 

We also co-sleep. Yes, all 4 of us sleep in the same bed. I know a lot of people who do not agree with this, and that is fine. Aaden slept in his own room for about 4 months, of his whole life. Maybe that's when Brady came along... yep it was. :) One day I hope he will feel comfortable sleeping in his own bed, but he doesn't right now, and I'm not going to force him in his room while he is scared, or not ready. Brady on the other hand just likes to snuggle & that's fine by me!! 

All parents do this parenting thing differently, and have their own beliefs. Evan and I were not raised the same way, and we do struggle with how to discipline etc. But it's really not about how we were raised, it's about meeting the needs of our children.

With all that being said- last week we finally saw the developmental pediatrician we have been waiting to see for months. It is easy to say I knew we were in the right place when the behaviorist walked in the waiting room with a maltese puppy that was ABA certified. Pretty amazing.  Prior to the appointment, I filled out a book worth of paper work. Tons of different ranking scales, family history, our 'story', and other evaluations that have been completed. So going into the appointment, I thought Ms. Diana, the behaviorist, would have a general idea of who Aaden was. Well a few minutes into the appointment, she handed me, yet another, ranking scale. Then told me she doesn't normally look over the paperwork we submit prior to the appointment, because she wants to get to know the child, not 'know' what the parent wrote down. We talked for a while, luckily Evan was actually able to come to this meeting. The whole time, Aaden set there so quite, and acted as if he was tired, definitely not the normal Aaden, who is always bouncing off the walls and being as loud as possible. It was time for her to start testing- she asked if he would do better with us in or out of the room, before we could answer, she went ahead and started with us there. I am so happy she did, because sitting there, I learned so much about Aaden- and saw a side of him we don't see at home. She did an IQ comprehension test first, where he had to verbally answer some questions- the crazy kid was whispering- i had no idea he could do that!! ;) He did fairly well, but you could tell when he didn't know the answer, because he would just throw his finger at the book and point to something... Then she did a deaf IQ test (I'm unsure of the medical term) but he sat in a desk, and she placed a card with different patterns at the top, then gave him blocks to match to it. He went a good 12 rounds before he missed one series of patterns. He did outstanding. It was adorable to watch him concentrate, he would stick out his little tongue, and place his head on his hands. What really got me was- if the blocks were colored, he would work the pattern out a color at a time. Same with shapes, he would do a particular shape at a time. That is just how his brain sees and processes things, and I love it.


So after hours of being in evaluation, answering millions of questions, and chatting with the behaviorist,  Aaden was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Before Thursday, I had only heard of Aspergers, never even read about it. With the explanation from Ms. Diana, the gap between Aaden's communication/verbal age, which is about 2 1/2, and his non verbal/IQ age, which is almost 6, is what classifies him as an Aspergers child. He does communicate, and he does talk- that isn't the issue. The issue lies with him being able to think things through, or make sense out of common things. An example I used while talking to my dad about it was... Aaden knows who the Easter Bunny is, and he knows the Easter Bunny leaves him surprises, however, if he actually thought about the whole idea of the Easter Bunny- and thought about the Bunny actually having to come into our house to deliver the goodies, he would not be a fan. He would by far be completely terrified. So basically Aaden is a child who suffers from anxiety that has a communication problem, but is intelligent beyond his years. We have a very good plan in place- he is going to start receiving speech therapy at school, he will start occupational therapy, and will start a program at Busy Bees. Busy Bees will also help with his sensory disfunction. All the therapy is in addition to 'Eating Right for your Type', which is eating for your blood type. We have a prescription to have some blood tests done, to see if this is a genetic disorder, to verify the Respirdonal he takes isn't giving off too many female hormones, to name a few. Luckily, he has major veins, unlike myself, so it shouldn't be an issue.

We will currently remain on the same medicine regiment. As Ms. Diana said, by starting medicine when we did, we saved his brain! Talk about the best sentence I have ever heard, since most of the time- all we hear are negative comments about meds. What she meant was- if Aaden would not be on medicine, and he was still having major meltdowns, as he was at 14 months old. It would have slowed down his development. Although the neurologist we saw in Baton Rouge wasn't completely correct about Aaden's first diagnosis, she was on the right path. 
A few people I have discussed the new diagnosis with have asked me how I feel about it- to be honest- It's just a label. One I don't necessarily need, other than knowing how I can help Aaden. We have thought for a long time that Aaden had some form of Autism. Of course, the high functioning Autism, but none the less. It really doesn't matter. I hate that he suffers from anxiety, and can't express himself how he would like to. But at the same time, with a diagnosis, comes a plan to make him better. So as this is all new, and I still do not know much about it, I am fine with the diagnosis. Aaden is my sweet, smart little man. No label can take that away from me, nor him. 


Just to recap- as I said before, you know your child better than anyone else. Fight for them!!! They can't fight for themselves!!