Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2004

Eleven years ago today (also on a Monday), I found out I was pregnant with Joey. I've told the story on this blog before so I will spare you the details. Long story short:  I got pregnant on my 4th cycle of Clomid, the last one before we were scheduled to take a break. It was also 12 days after I found out my Mom was in Congestive Heart Failure so I was so stressed, I really didn't think I was pregnant.

Fast forward 11 years....I'm divorced from Joey's dad, I've earned 2 Master's Degrees, and I remarried and am now separated from my 2nd husband of almost 6 years. Joey was born happy and healthy, hit all his physcial milestones, was diagnoesed with ASD and epilepsy, learned to speak, practically has outgrown his seizures, was mainstreamed in Kindergarten and is now on grade level in all subjects in 4th grade, has excelled in soccer, football, and cross country, and is the funniest, most loving, and sassiest 10 year old you could ever meet.

Knowing that I will never again feel the excitement of being told I am pregnant again, I wish I could go back and relive so many moments, including Joey being a sweet little baby, and especially the one when the doctor told me I was going to be a Mom.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

It's definitely been a challenge to be in the Christmas spirit this year, but I have a very excited 10 year old who is still excited for Santa. He even asked me what cookies we should leave out at 4 a.m. this morning. So much will be different next year, so for the next 2 days I will be jolly, and enjoy Christmas through the eyes of my baby who still believes in the magic of Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!

 Joey's 1st Christmas

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Happy 10th Birthday

Happy 10th Birthday to my sweet little pepper, Joey! My toughest boss, my most important teacher, my constant companion, and the reason I live this life. I wished for you for so long before I was blessed with you and that's the reason I get so emotional as the time seems to be flying by. Double're really not my baby anymore. I am so proud of the young man you are becoming. We've been through a lot, me and you. I can't promise that the journey will always be's been really hard at times...but I can guarantee that I will always be by your side, as long as I am on this earth. "You are the best thing that's ever been mine." I love you! (And yes, I make him read this).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

6 years ago today

It's hard to believe that 6 years ago today, my sweet little pepper was diagnosed with ASD. What a journey we have been on together. Sometimes, it's hard to look back on how far we've come. As much as I want to relive his time as a baby, there are certain moments, days, even months that I would rather skip. The very talkative young man that stands as high as my shoulder now, used to be a quiet, frustrated, little boy, living in a world I wasn't allowed to be a part of. The boy who runs to hug me used to never want to be touched. I am lucky that he is present in our lives and enjoying so many things kids his age enjoy. My littlest soul mate has taught me the biggest life lessons. And I am forever grateful. #tbt September 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grandparents Day

Happy Grandparents Day to all the grandparents out there and to two special ones, Neems and Gramps! Growing up without grandparents, it is very important to me that Joey have a relationship with my parents. I am fortunate that they live a light away. They have been witness to the highs and lows in my little man's life and provided support, unconditional love, and a home away from home, full of tasty snacks, life lessons, and lots of belly laughs. Happy (almost) 10 years of being Grandparents. Here's to (at least) 30 more!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When is the right time to tell your child he has Autism?

Don't ask me because I haven't had the conversation with Joey yet. I've been told by colleagues that I should and I've even started the conversation when I thought it was a good time, such as when he spoke about having a hard time making friends. But he told me he didn't want to talk about it anymore and I respected his wishes.

Here is a great article with some tips on when and how to start that conversation.


Your child has autism. How (and when) do you tell him?

Max Burkholder, left, plays a teen with Asperger syndrome on NBC's "Parenthood." A 2011 episode explored how his parents talked to him about his diagnosis.(Jordin Althaus/NBC)
Max Burkholder, left, plays a teen with Asperger syndrome on NBC’s “Parenthood.” A 2011 episode explored how his parents talked to him about his diagnosis.
(Jordin Althaus/NBC)

It’s a conversation that requires  more thought and planning than talks about sex, money, religion or drugs. For parents of a child who has an autism spectrum disorder, discussing what makes him different and why is a delicate matter.

When do you need to have the talk, and how do you do it so your child comes away feeling good about himself (and doesn’t start using it as an excuse for every little thing he doesn’t want to do)?

NBC’s “Parenthood” tackled this beautifully in a 2011 episode called “Qualities and Difficulties.”
After Max, who has Asperger syndrome, overhears his father and uncle talking (okay, shouting)
about his diagnosis, his parents Adam and Kristina, seek advice from a therapist on how to discuss it with Max. The answer? Emphasize his strengths and talk about how, just like anyone else, he has challenges too:

Link for Parenthood clip:

I recently spoke with Jim Ball, the executive chairman of the National Board for the Autism Society, and Amy Keefer, a clinical psychologist at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders. They agreed with the approach advocated in the show: Emphasize that everyone, every single person, is good at some things and struggles with others.

“Most families aren’t uncomfortable with having the talk, they just question when to do it and struggle with whether he or she has to know,” Ball said. “For a lot of our individuals, they see the world differently and they just go about their business, so why throw a wrench in it? That’s just how they see the world. It’s more about should I or shouldn’t I, as opposed to being afraid.”

It also helps to remember that even if you are really nervous about the conversation, most kids have either a neutral or a positive response to the news, Keefer said, and go about their day after the talk.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Twelve days before I found out I was finally pregnant, I found out that I could lose my Mom. Miraculously, she is still with us 10 years later. I know our days with "Neema" may be numbered, but I am thankful for the long warning that she would be leaving us earlier than she should. Some people don't get that warning. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I'm so glad that Joey has had a chance to create some fabulous and long lasting memories with you.