Friday, November 17, 2017

Part Two - Our Great Big (Adoptive) Family

Part Two of Our Roller Coast Ride - Our Great Big (Adoptive) Family  
The story of us and how our journey continues to go....Thankful for everyday, as we continue to grow and learn more from one another as well as the ones around us. Never a dull moment and there is always a surprise or two. GOD BLESS!

In Case you Missed it - here is the link - Part One - Our Great Big (Adoptive) Family 

Until Next Time...Make it A Great Day!


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Part One - Our Great Big (Adoptive) Family

Our family has experienced many things through the foster care system while we have seen the many sides of the adoption process. I am completely honored to have written a little piece of our reality for RG Adoption Consulting. Part One was posted today! See link below.

Stay Tuned for Part Two.....GOD  BLESS!

Our Great Big (Adoptive) Family - Part 1

Until Next Time...Make it A Great Day!


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Sunday, November 5, 2017

November - Special Month of Awareness

Another year that seems to have flown by in a blink of an eye. This year has had many ups, downs, twist and turns on our roller coaster ride along with many exciting additions, new adventures and goals set for our future. The upside to having a large family is that most every month we have something going on; however, November brings many celebrations of anniversary's, birthday's and recognizing awareness of National Adoption Month, National CRPS/RSD Month and National Epilepsy Month. With that said, I cannot stress enough how differently this month holds a very special place in my heart. 

Our family grew again by way of adoption this year. As we went through the process this time; it was a bit different from previous adoptions due to our state having policy changes at the first of the year. During this adoption, I learned more about the social service system, other adoption and foster situations from fellow foster/adopt friends and most importantly from birth families. People ask me all the time "why we choose to stay in contact with our children's family"? The answer is a no-brainer for me. My response never waivers as I say, "it is their family and the last thing I would ever want is to not to keep contact". 

I must admit there are times the contact has become scarce on both sides with all our adopted families.  Reason...LIFE! Not so much for the updates or just sending a hello message but trying to get a visit in and working with everyone's schedule does not always work. This is where I am grateful for technology as without it I am not sure what would we all do. Nevertheless, without the choice that my husband and I made those many years ago to become foster parents never really thinking that we would adopt hard to believe that here we are FIVE adoptions later.
In return, what I have really learned that this path we are on is so beyond our control. Our journey is not over. Not one to never say never as life has so much to offer but when the rat race takes over I think we only see a glimpse of what is in store. Remember it is okay to hit your inner kid side and blow bubbles every now and again. It is fun and it is a form of therapy. You never know how strong you truly are until you are tested. We all have inner strength; it is just hidden and needs the will to come out.

As for our family, we embrace one another through all; the good and the not so good, and this month a bit more wholeheartedly. Where our path may lead, I do not have any idea but we are currently in the process of working with an adoption consultant for boy/girl twins. I totally understand that it may be a total impossible journey but I also believe if something is meant to happen it will. I also acknowledge that a large family does not fit everyone's cup of tea. For me it is something that even with my disability I have had to learn to navigate through the chaos of motherhood times eight and through it all in the end it is what my inner strength, my family, my faith, my honesty, my awesome support system, my drama free zone and my guardian angel (my mom) is what gets me through.

"Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” Marcus Aurelius

Plus, it helps being a bit OCD and not taking "no" for an answer most of the on that note. Waking up each day, knowing I have figured the management of my disability and pain to a certain extent along with life has throwing plenty of curve balls but when you can bring families together through the way of adoption and maintain a relationship the payoff is beyond what I can express in a short story or a few words. For that there is no measure... GOD BLESS
So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem
improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” Christopher Reeve

Until Next Time...Make it A Great Day!


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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Life You Are Given...Are You Climbing or Walking?

Recently, sitting in the waiting room of the children's hospital I found myself deep in thought. For starters I was there with just one kiddo where I was lucky enough that between schools and additional support at home, I could have that time to just take a minute or two. However in the time, I find the quietness of my personal space; not my normal thus causing such a feeling of unease. Nonetheless, I do not think it will matter how many times I step foot into the children's hospital, I never have an easy feeling. It is the hospital of which it has become a staple in our lives.

That day, I sat there staring out the huge glass windows just looking at the coming and goings. Daily life of others. This particular day, I have a family sitting to my right as they are waiting for their child. We kindly exchange a hello as we all smile at one other giving off a sense of calm. I do not know how to explain that feeling maybe it is because I frequent the children's hospital enough. You tend to start to notice other parents, children and just the things around you but the calm sense you tend to feel it at times. If you are lucky. Though by the looks of their belongings they are not here just for a procedure but I could be wrong. Just never know what people tend to pack for anything, right? Then to my left I have a mother and a friend who have been pretty loud in their conversations. Deep in their conversation, no exchanges made but pretty much everyone can here why they are here and everything else they are speaking of.  Let me just say I could be sitting twenty-five feet away and still hear them speak perfectly. Maybe privacy and what you speak amongst yourselves does not matter but what made my ears really perk was I heard the mother say to her friend, "why I do have this life when none of my friends do but don't get me wrong I love (xxxx) more than anything but why?"

What did I hear? At first I thought did I hear that right? Yes, I most certainly did as when the response of the friend came out loud and clear, it solidified that I truly did. It is not place to give the specifics of her child as I could provide more based on observations and overheard conversations being in the waiting room that day of the children's hospital, but it is not that. Who I am I? I am just another Mom, A Parent, A Caregiver who too has a child in need of services from a doctor, a specialist, a nurse or a medical personnel but I that Mom, Parent, Caregiver heard that statement which hit me not in a good way. That statement, I was somewhat dumbfounded. I have too have asked myself that same question. It was many years ago when my own life changed. I asked pretty much that same statement or a variation of it everyday for almost three years. Then one day I had the most humbling moment by my own child. A moment when it seem like I was hit by a ton of bricks. I stopped in the moment and figured out the life that I had been given was exactly what it was supposed to be. However, the path that I had been walking, I was the one making it a rough climb and not a peaceful walk. From that point on, my life, my husband and our family lives all began to change.

Just as the parent with a child in need, God truly does not gives us more than we can handle. It may not be easy but I do believe a lot has to do how you believe, how you think of yourself and what support system you truly have within. Dealing with special needs or a disability is no walk in the park and at times it feels like it is a no win situation but there are times the most minor things seems like the biggest accomplishments. For that instance is what makes everything worth it.

So when I hear the statement made in the back of my mind or re-read from this post, I can think two ways, maybe three. One, she is the most selfish parent and only hope for the best care for her child along with peace for herself. Two, that she was given her life that God entrusted her with and her child as he knew best that she would love, keep safe and care for her child as he and she knows best. Three, I do not even want to comment. I do hope that two is the option as I believe and maybe just as I was humbled many years ago that as you are blessed in your life with children by way of homegrown, guardianship, foster or adoption their timing into your life is their timing not yours.


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope - Jeremiah 29:11

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

Send a Tweet Julie@ACrazyBigFamily

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Forever Growing Family

I want to say having a large family is not for the faint of heart but there are some out there that will probably disagree. Our family is not like the large families you see on television...19 and counting, Kate plus 8 or another show that has a large number in the household. Needless to say, we at this point are a family of ten and counting as unknown if there will be any new additions to our family. I say this as never quite certain we know to full content of life's future plan.

I can say many years ago, I would have said, I wanted to have a full time career, be a mother but not be a stay at home mother. Our family would have been two to three kids possibly four as I am not one for odd numbers. My OCD kicks in there. Then add in our family dog, cat and whatever else at the time and we would be good. Well things change, fast forward to now as we are a family of ten; hence the even number and things have definitely changed. You can say! Thinking back to my own family, as myself being the number eight, the baby too. I never thought in a million years I would be in the same exact position of my mother.

Not that she was not a great teacher on the contrary she was. My mother was awesome, she was someone I spoke to pretty much everyday when she was on this earth but how did she cook everything from scratch on a daily basis, make homemade bread, or can everything under the sun and still find the time for her family and never waver in her faith. I guess in that statement I did learn how to do it in my own way. Though, I may not cook everything homemade, may not always have my laundry put away but I do find the time to be with my family. I find the time to enjoy to moments to see the smiles, the laughter, remember to trust and have faith, to advocate, to embrace to boo-boos and cherish cries, to hug and hold, to find time for butterfly and Eskimo kisses, to sing silly songs and most of all to be the mother my mother taught me to be in the never ending adventure of our large family life.

From my mother's kinder spirit and my father's attention to detail which have been embedded deep inside my heart and soul along with my own life changing moment to really realize the full aspect of parenting. The hard work, more than interesting moments, humbling feelings, frustrating times, fulfilling beats, saddening junctures, a true greatness for love and compassion which has wholeheartedly taken my or for that matter all of our hearts but most importantly what we have become is this forever growing family that is absolutely priceless.

In a nutshell this is us from the big kiddos to the littles...where we go from here, is unknown but what I do know is that our quaint family is really larger than the ten of us. That is where the tremendous amount of blessings come as a reminder to our family on a daily basis. For that is beyond the words that I can express and are truly thankful to All!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

Send a Tweet Julie@ACrazyBigFamily

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Inner Voice Inside You, Is Loud and Clear, Just Listen!

It is that time of the morning, it is quiet as my teenager has just left for school but the littles have yet to be awake. I sit here in my master bedroom sitting area, taking this moment of silence, to just think. I have my trusty morning Pepsi by my side along with my computer as I sit, scrolling through social media feeds to see what are the happenings for the morning or checking the umpteen emails I have received. Over everything, I sit and watch the beauty of the sunrise. I know the time is limited as one by one as the sun continues to rise the Little's will wake; once again the house will be filled with little voices of this and that and our day will truly start. My real question is I am thinking is how I got to this beautiful place of our life along with how in an instant it may be taken away....I can vouch on that as ten seconds can change your life. We have been there......

In those moments where the clarity is so vivid, there are many that just go along with the day-to -day routine just as the last day like nothing has changed. We only tend to think there might be a slight possibility of change when we hear of a tragic accident that hits close to home or hear of medical news that may not have the best outcome. Only then do we tend to think there may be more to life; then there is that feeling that some get that is in the deep pit of your stomach that is telling you something may not be right. Really no words or signs to describe it. The feeling is just there. Well, let me tell you when you have the feeling, please do not ignore it. God gave us this sense for a reason. I completely understand some are in tune with their voice more than others as some straight up just ignore it.

So here it goes, a couple months back I had a strange dream. One where I woke in the middle of the night drench in sweat. First I found this to be odd as my sleep pattern is not so great since my accident but I did not think much of it. The next day what I could recall is that I was running through clouds but thick clouds, basically not normal as the fluffy and white pretty ones we see in the daily sky. My body was weird looking like I was looking through circus mirrors. Also, being a recipient of breast implants both were gone. Weird, I know as I fully woke and began to think about it; I figured I was somewhat over tired, maybe not feeling good, having a flare up but I had to keep things going and after checking everything over, laid back down for a bit as I took a moment before starting the day.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later, I was standing in our kitchen and a got this overwhelming sense I needed to see the doctor along with the urge to call my mother though not possible as she has been gone now for over two years. So I figured with my not so much love for the doctor, any doctor because I see enough, doctors, specialists, techs, etc., due to my CRPS/RSD; I just could not shake the feeling. A couple of days later, still having the overwhelming feeling, an appointment was made just to double check all was good. Never mind you I have had my breast implants for almost seventeen years now. On one hand I have been told, if all is good do not change anything. Basically, if all appears normal leave well enough alone but also been told implants have a shelf life for so many years. I have far exceeded that number. I can truly say that currently my entire body has a shelf life of something, from wires, implants to batteries. So to me it is what it is.

The day my doctor appointment came; my visit with the doctor went great. Everything seemed to check out okay but without being able to have an MRI (due to metal) I would not truly know. So, I was somewhat relieved but I thought I was just being over cautious. Still something was there in the pit of my stomach. I still could not help thinking was I being rash and how was I going to explain this to my husband or family for that matter. I could just hear him saying you just want "new ones" but no I really did not. Surgery in my stage of life with an unknown outcome was not in my cards. However, the doctor was great. He gave me a couple of options for me to explore and off I went to discuss with my husband as I prayed for guidance. After a few days, I opted to do an exchange just to be on the safe side, having implants for almost seventeen years, I felt lucky that I really have not had issues but was I pushing my luck, if I did nothing?  Needless to say, I felt I was better being safe than sorry!

After all the paperwork and medical checks, my surgery was scheduled for a little over a month after my initial doctor visit. With the days approaching I could not help but to feel apprehensive and hesitant. So much so that I was willing to forfeit the money we paid but with the support of my mom in spirit, prayer, my family and friends the day came and another surgery under general anesthetics was added to my wall of tally marks since all my surgeries began in 2004.

After surgery, upon waking in recovery I was told all went well and honestly I was expecting or at least hoping to hear nothing was wrong and I exchanged my implants just because....NOPE that was not the case. As soon as heard the nurse say that one of my implants was ruptured I knew I was right from day one. The sense of relief I felt at the moment, I have no words to describe. I was right to listen to my inner voice, that feeling in pit of my stomach. That sense that somehow intervention intertwine in this. I was told the doctor had to do some extra procedures to ensure all the silicone gel from the ruptured implant was cleared away from the area but all in all everything turned out A-Okay! Grateful and Blessed.

So, I had what is called a Silent signs, no symptoms but what I did have is my own body telling me check it out. Thank God I listened to ME along with EVERTHING ELSE!!!

Breast implant manufacturers concur that breast implants are not considered lifetime devices—they may rupture or deflate. While ruptures can occur at any time after surgery, they are more likely to transpire the longer the implant has been implanted.

Why Do Ruptures Occur?

Ruptures can happen for various reasons, including, but not limited to:
  • closed capsulotomy
  • trauma to the breast
  • injury from surgical instruments
  • normal wear and tear on the implant
  • severe cases of capsular contracture
  • mechanical damage prior to or during surgery

Types of Ruptures

There are two types of ruptures: silent and symptomatic.
  1. Silent rupture of silicone gel breast implants - A silent rupture is when an implant ruptures, resulting in no symptoms. This means that neither you nor your surgeon would know of the rupture without some sort of diagnostic imaging such as a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Because most silicone breast implant ruptures are silent, a MRI is recommended at three years post-op, and every two years thereafter to screen for rupture. This is a phenomenon that has increased in frequency due to the use of thicker (“cohesive”) silicone gel implants that maintain their shape following rupture, unlike earlier versions of leaking implants that would distort.
  2. Symptomatic rupture - A symptomatic rupture is when an implant ruptures, producing glaring symptoms that cannot be ignored by the patient.

I was Completely Right not to Ignore my Inner Voice.....
So Remember To
Never under Estimate the Power within Yourself.


"Always trust your gut feeling, and never second guess. Your gut feeling is always right". - Ritu Ghatourey

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

Send a Tweet Julie@ACrazyBigFamily
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Friday, May 5, 2017

We Are Foster Parents

My Husband and I are Foster Parents. We have been for several years, such we are defined by the  website as
Noun1.foster-parent - a person who acts as parent and guardian for a child in place of the child's natural parents but without legally adopting the child
defender, guardian, protector, shielder - a person who cares for persons or property
foster father, foster-father - a man who is a foster parent
foster mother, foster-mother - a woman who is a foster parent and raises another's child
  • We Are Foster Parents
Raising someone else's child or children is not for the faint of heart. The process of children in and out of the system is not a pretty one no matter what the situation maybe. I can say it teaches you very quickly to be humble. To learn that everything is not always what it seems. Dealing with many people over the years, I have listened, seen and read that truly someone's perception is a main factor of another one's reality. Therefore causing a highly stressed situation to be a mole hill that turns into a mountain. (Though not in all cases but some)
  • We Are Foster Parents
While being foster parents, we have learned to love more than ever. I say this wholeheartedly. It does not matter the length of stay, the love is there. Taking care of someone else child or children for that matter has been a true gift. To be entrusted to make sure that all is well at the end of every day until they are reunited with their parents or family is work, play, never-ending of this and that and definitely a daily learning process. As Foster Parents it is apparent as sometimes we need to be there just to listen even when words are not being spoken. Actions sometimes as we all know speak louder than words. For the time we have we can love, laugh, keep safe, cry with, engage and again really listen when there is those times when all hits the fan.
  • We Are Foster Parents
From the minute you sign on to become Foster Parents, life becomes an open book with the government. From extensive background checks, as we answered very personal questions between my husband and myself and our family. Thus having social workers in and out of our home monthly and sometimes weekly depending on the children in our home. Visits also can be announced or unannounced so really like I said, an Open Book! We are not protected party in the case except for a statement here and there that states "Confidential Address" but still sometimes our information is put on documentation by accident or shared with parties that it was not meant for. We get threats because we are the caregivers for children based on actions made by their parents/caregivers. We sometimes get stalkers, which has us having code words in our family because the cities overlap with the children families whereas at times we may come across family members. We have safety protocols in place on how we travel from visits, state offices as to are we being followed, take a different route, make a stop, making sure always to be on guard, etc. This all may seem over the top, but until anyone reading this, actually has been a Foster Parent and been in this not judge? All of this has happened.
  • We Are Foster Parents
Children in foster care whatever their back story maybe; we, as their caregivers, must remember this is not where they would like to be either. No matter how bad things may be in their environment. I can remember one of the children placed into our home, it did not matter how bad things were that little one still wanted to be with mom and why was Mom! The little knew no different. It was not for us to judge it was for us to be there to keep safe, love and listen while in our care. Being in many social groups for foster care or adoption I read many posts and some seem to forget that, our precious cargo that we agree to care for, love, keep safe on a temporary basis seem to forget that the goal is to hopefully reunify. Until the parents rights have been terminated they still have rights, we are Foster Parents, the caregiver, we have limited rights if no rights at all. Our rights are determined by Department of Social Services and the Judge that is presiding on the case. I get sometimes things are not what is in the best interest for the child or children but again what is the letter of the law. We are not attorneys. Someone posted in social media it best the other day something close to this....if you disagreed with how things were going with your foster child then basically stop fostering and become an advocate and start working within the community to help make changes within the system. We can complain all we want by speaking while not acting does nothing. Again actions speak louder than words. This lesson I have learned many times over.
  • We Are Foster Parents
I understand everyone has their reason from becoming Foster Parents. Our reason was to give back nothing more nothing less. This really has not changed over the years. We were already blessed with three beautiful children and with our life coming to a halt years earlier due to my accident, we made a decision to help. I can also say, we were the only couple in our training class that was there to just foster, everyone else wanted to adopt. Looking back now, I have to say there was another plan as now five adoption later which was really never in cards it just happened that way. My mom always would say, there is reason a baby, toddler, child was placed with us and a reason for their stay. Upon leaving no matter how we felt, our home was able to care for another child. This is the bittersweet process of Foster Care. You do get attached. If someone says they do not then they are crazy. I can still name every single child that has been in our home. There is a piece of them in our hearts. Each and every one has been reunified, placed with family or adopted. I will be forever grateful for this process, I have been become a different person than when we first started this process. I learn something new everyday, I see things through the eyes of my children and for the system currently it is what it is, good and bad. We foster to give back and help children in need. The Department of Social Services is what oversees our home as currently changes are being made within the system; it is another learning curve of the system that we will endure and until then...We Are Foster Parents


“Humility is not a one time lesson that comes when you have lost everything. It is a daily reminder of how far we have come, yet still short of who we can be through HIS guidance. Blessed is the soul that can recognize that he isn’t moving mountains, but God is for him.”  Shannon L. Alder

Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

Send a Tweet Julie@ACrazyBigFamily

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Child's Order through all the Chaos

The month of April is known for many things, such as April Showers bring May Flowers, April Fool's Day or the list of many causes to be aware of

  • Arab American Heritage Month
  • Autism Awareness Month
  • Cancer Control Month
  • Confederate History Month (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia)
  • Donate Life Month
  • Financial Literacy Month
  • Jazz Appreciation Month
  • Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month
  • National Poetry Month
  • National Poetry Writing Month
  • National Prevent Child Abuse Month
  • National Volunteer Month
  • Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  • or the two zodiac signs of Aries and Taurus depending on where your birthday falls then comes spring break for many based on school calendars across the globe then there is the Easter Holiday which most of the time falls in the month of April. Furthermore there is the day that some are not so fond of - Official Tax Filing Day. All in all April seems to be a pretty busy month, enough to keep the social media feeds busy plus I am sure I am missing more that can be accounted in this fourth month of the year. However, as the majority take part in the tax filing day along with our own family celebrating April Birthday's there is an awareness that we also take too heart. As I do take the time to recognize the month of April a bit more so, I do not turn my social media blue or light it up blue at home, as it is not just the month of April that it is part of my life, my children's life or our families it is a 24/7 awareness here in our home as well for all who live in the world of Autism.

    A few weeks back I was in our sons room picking up the toys which it is not surprising that there is an organized chaos of toys, especially with five children under eight - reiterating three of them are on the spectrum. I, myself, have a system on how things are cleaned and picked up and definitely trying to pick up while they are awake does not work. I have tried and it is a fail every time.  The wee hours of the morning usually are the best because one I cannot sleep and two it seems things in my own world are less chaotic. Tired but awake I walked into the best scene. In the middle of what most would say is a mess, I saw the beauty of my son's room. Their ability to be organized reflecting this trait as their ability to comfort themselves and provide a sense of order in their own mind and world. Yes, it is a compulsive order and at times has a downside hence another reason why the wee hours is a good time to clean, they are sleeping and the meticulous line of toys can be broken - meltdowns are at a minimum because the change and disorder will happen thus is not always a great thing in our world.

    For me, I see cars, dinosaurs, blocks, toilet paper, water bottles, cards along with many other things lined up all through out the day but this day was just a bit different. Not sure why but it was just a beautiful snap shot in our daily roller coaster of a life. A reminder of no matter what is going on, good or bad, there is always a light at the end of tunnel or no matter how much chaos is around you there is a peaceful line of something in the midst of all of it. You just have to be willing to stop and look for it. The line of car was a clear reminder for me to just stop and take a moment to breathe. GOD BLESS

    "Without order nothing can exist - without chaos nothing can evolve". - Unknown

    Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

    Send a Tweet Julie@ACrazyBigFamily


    Monday, March 6, 2017

    A Much Needed Moment - Mommy Time Out

    The other day I posted a comment via social media, "Right now is a Moment I want To Scream but I am instead taking a quick Mommy Timeout away in the Laundry Room, this way I secretly can hear everything going on." Truthfully I was on the other side of the wall, I could hear everything my Little's were doing (as for the baby sleeping, the other three Little's where in full mode with their little minds of what could I get into, just minutes prior). At my moment of need "Mommy Time Out" I was able to get the three to play with My Ponies, A Dinosaur and A Baby while the new Disney flick played in the background. 

    It was a day that had been building from what I could describe as a mid-west hurricane gone wild. From rice cereal being used as glue all over the family room and kitchen in less than a five minute span to washable paints used to create a conspired Little's Art Masterpiece all over the upstairs loft couch and carpet. Never mind all the daily grind of our this and that but it was the icing all over my cupcake.

    I am sure you are reading the above words and saying something to the fact as I would be...were they not being watched? On the contrary, yes our children are watched constantly for these very reasons and many more but there are a few minutes here and there that it is not a lapse in judgement or that I just felt they did not need supervision. It is these few minutes (most often less than five) more often seconds (i.e. bathroom breaks, a telephone call which may require walking from a room to the next to get a pen and paper or just going upstairs or downstairs to get laundry, snacks, or whatever may be needed at the time) is where the chaos seems happen. 

    So, I tend to do things when I have additional help in the house and when naps are in full effect but there are times when things are absolutely necessary and need to be completed. Hence why we have backwards doorknobs, additional locks and alarms on doors, gates on the stairs and where we think it is otherwise necessary but take a determined child and pretty much everything is not child or fool proof. 

    I also keep a general rule when moods tend to be in full swing, I like to keep in line with the moon. As crazy as that sounds, the full moon makes emotions on high alert. Our full moon is coming (from this point about a week away) then add on my kiddos sensory auditory processing, autism, limited impulse control and them just being kids; in my books it was a perfect storm. As I said, our own mid-west hurricane gone wild! 

    For that moment, I spent in the laundry with my umpteen Pepsi for the day (no candy at the time) I sat there and listened to them playing and asking one another where I was all the while asking their toys. One would say I was hiding, while the other one would say no mama lost. With no one in agreeance, expect me. I was lost for that moment. 

    When I finally opened the door after a few minutes of laundry room silence, they were all standing there with their big eyes quickly turned into smiles, then without hesitation, the littlest one said Mommy you lost! I smiled back at all of them. I reiterated that I was not lost just needed a moment to do laundry. In that brief moment our life was back to our level of craziness, our roller coaster ride of ups and downs. My "Mommy Time Out" was just a blur to them but those few minutes to me was a bit of clarity. Truthfully, the few minutes was a refresh to keep moving forward. A mere reminder that sometimes stepping out or stepping back is just what is needed to keep all the wheels moving. GOD BLESS

    "sometimes, you just need a break. in a beautiful place. alone. to figure everything out. " Author Unknown - OR A LAUNDRY ROOM!

    Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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    Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Struggle Is Real - Missing You!

    A few days ago our family celebrated what would have been our mothers 83rd Birthday. Meaning she is an Angel in Heaven now. Everyday, I believe she is with us all, watching, being with us somehow every moment of the day.

    Over the last two years since her departure from our real world it has been somewhat of a struggle for me. I miss her tremendously. I have said it over and over. In conversation, in my posts, in my writings. She was my rock, my sounding board, my reasoning when I just needed someone tell me it would be okay when I really knew it was not. Do not get me wrong, I have my husband who I love dearly. We have been through a lot. I can confide in him about anything but honestly it is just not the same.

    She is My Mother!

    I sit here and think how much she has been missing but is she really missing? How many birthdays, holidays, weddings, new births, special moments, first milestones of the my Little's, moments for all her grandchildren's/great-grandchildren's to the first steps into the real world of something but again is she really missing?

    She is Their Grandmother!

    Then I wonder about my Father and how he has managed over these last two years. I see him often and speak to him quite frequently. When we speak of her, I see his eyes fill with tears and can hear the toll it has taken. The emotion of missing her and how much he truly misses her. The validation that you truly appreciate of someone only to fully recognize when that someone is no longer with you.

    She is His Wife!

    For my all sibling's, we still all hold crazy schedules, but I know I have watchers just as my mother wished for. For that I am forever grateful. For the sibling's I am not able to see as often as we are capable, I know that we are all connected in spirit furthermore thankful for social media and technology.

    She is Our Mother!

    For my crazy big family, I was given great opportunities to learn many times over on being a wife and mother while being blessed with a beautiful women who showed love, compassion, honesty, to believe in your faith, strength, friendship, pride, humor to name a few but best of all she was always there no matter what time of day. It did not matter, even if you would call and she could not talk she would find a moment and then politely state for another time. Basically in a nut shell, she always found the time.

    She is My Mother!

    Yes, the struggle without her is real. It is not just because her birthday has passed along with the many reminders thanks to social media or the fact that I speak of her daily to the kiddos as the hummingbird at our sliding glass door. I do miss her, I do catch myself picking up the phone to call her to tell her something exciting that has just happened or wanting to call her to ask her for help, needing an opinion for our current situation or just wanting to let her know that yet again her family has grown. She is truly missed. Until we meet again.


    No Matter your Age, You Always Need Your Mom - Author Unknown

    I Love You Always and Forever Mom! GOD BLESS

    Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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    Monday, January 23, 2017

    He Looks Just Like Every Other Teenager

    Everyday there is a call that I have to make for for something. I mean a call for an appointment, a therapy service, a reminder for this and that when it comes to our Little's but when a call needs to be placed for our teenager it strikes a cord within.

    I am speaking about our little but not so little guy. Yes meaning our teenager who has been diagnosed with Asperger's now it is all on the Autism Spectrum. The day he was born, I could tell you then something was quite not right. Having been our third born child, we were semi pros right? He did not want to be swaddled. What newborn does not want to be swaddled and held? Not our son, he wanted to be free range and definitely not laying in the hospital isolette. When it was time to nurse, it was a game, he needed to be stripped to a diaper, his feet pitched and even then it was a task to eat.

    At first, I thought it was me and all the medication that was given to me from the time I was thirteen weeks pregnant to keep him from being born too early but after a bout of jaundice he made his way home where his quirkiness continued. So, me being me, resourceful, he began in-home early intervention therapies. All the while not knowing a thing about autism. By the age of three is where the first diagnosis came then the fight to learn, advocate and how to become resilient began.

    I commend my son, how I would love to be in his mind for just a mere minute. Just to have a glimpse of his thought process. The where, what and why of things. How does he put things together? What make his mind spin and his ability to stream things together is uncanny. Many times over the years, I have had to explain his situation due to something that has happened. At times apologize for something he did and apologize for something he did not do but only because he was there. It is crazy because I am always baffled by someones expression or comments. Comments of, "did not know he was autistic, well he looks normal" or "he is just acting out for attention" or "he is getting great grades, would have not known it" or "better yet he does not comes across as being autistic". Really? What is wrong with people? Well, I stopped asking that along time ago.

    Well first of all let me say, what is normal to anyone's standards? Second, does anyone who does not truly know the definition or the characteristics of autism know what being on the autism spectrum is? Lastly, does anyone outside our home truly know my son have a right to say anything. I say this because as he has for many many years he has had to adapt in general setting of life of what "normal people" take for granted.

    Believe me it has not be easy, watching from inside and outside. Especially being a mother, his mother! With having older children who were invited to the monthly birthday parties or hanging out with friends then with our guy who is happy doing his own thing, being glued to X-Box, Play Station or whatever the new technology is at the moment. However, his source of group activity comes from striving at sports because my husband never stopped pushing and started him at a young age to empower himself to never quit but it also has another side to that where we have had to also help him learn that losing is okay and being a team player is just that a team and there has been a lot of work instilling that. Though there are times he does step out of his comfort zone to do things with in the "social aspects" of life but our world is not always user friendly and this takes work, work everyday.

    Yes, we have done things differently when it came to therapy because a diagnosis of Asperger was not recognized in the DSM as a true diagnoses of Autism those many years ago. Now as it falls under the Autism Spectrum per the DSM-V thus there are more resources available. Believe me there is still the fight to obtain those resources. However, it does not matter, we will continue to advocate. You figure you do not come to a point to stop or turn back but there the times when you want to but you are so grateful for the help, services and people that have bent over backwards and beyond to get you through an issue or situation to better help our child which keeps the will to fight there.

    His understanding that the world does not really consist of the in between gray matter as his world mainly consists of black and white. Needless to say everyday, is a new day. A new day of the unknown. To that I am thankful is he is pretty straightforward and very smart. Always analyzing something. Numbers, football stats, people. Observing someone, something or someplace, whatever the case maybe he is his own person trying to be his "normal".

    With that said, our teenage son looks just like any other teenager just trying to get through; an only difference maybe, one you cannot see, he is on the Autism Spectrum along with three of his siblings and many others throughout the world. I ask before you speak, judge or think you know of a situation or circumstance; please take a moment, smile, be kind and think before you speak because you just do not know what that teenager, child, mother, father, grandparent, caregiver or sibling just happened to be going through.

    Love you Little One, To the Moon and Back - GOD BLESS

    “The most interesting people you’ll find are ones that don’t fit into your average cardboard box. They’ll make what they need, they’ll make their own boxes,” Dr. Temple Grandin
     “This is a FOREVER journey with this creative, funny, highly intelligent, aggressive, impulsive, nonsocial, behavioral, often times loving individual. The nurse said to me after 6 hours with him ‘He is a gift’ INDEED he is,” Janet Frenchette Held, Parent

    Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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    Sunday, January 1, 2017

    The New Year Time to Embrace 2017

    Today is day one of 2017, a beginning of a New Year! What a ride 2016 has been. Honestly, hard to believe another year down, birthday's and anniversary's celebrated along with new milestones met along the way. In other words, Life Happened in a Blink of an Eye!

    As Hubby and I took to date night last night to kindly reminisce on 2016 memories while spending some time together, we are happily celebrating the new year low key style.
    Looking back at our 2016, with many ups and downs that we rode through, I am so very thankful everyday for our life.

    I was fully reminded of this couple of weeks ago while having a conversation with a stranger while waiting at the DMV.  He commented that I was too young to be carrying a cane, well I would love to have agreed but my awesome pink or black cane (depending on the day) has been my side kick for over twelve years now. In that statement came a short version of why I walk with a cane but all in all we were both reminded that something or someone may have things not as well off.

    I post many times that life is an up and down roller coaster. I am the first to say, we have been in the down part of the roller coaster not knowing if the climb up would happen. However, I can say with much perseverance, prayers, hard work, patience (not always easy for me), support in each other and never giving up the up hill climb came. So whatever the 2016 year was for you, the good, bad or ugly, take your experiences, make the most of them, use your time wisely and continue to move forward through all of it. Remembering written goals are much more achievable than spoken goals. Try a step out of your "normal box", make a change if things are complacent and if you do resolutions, do them, just do not say them!

    Life does go by in a blink of an eye, nothing happens without action or sometimes major changes. With this sometimes comes errors, but then can come success too. Fear of the unknown is in all of us, some more than others but take a leap of faith here is a brand new year to make things happen. Embrace 2017 and make every minute count!

    Wishing Peace, Happiness, Joy and Many Blessings to All...Happy New Year! GOD BLESS

    Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. Helen Keller

    I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something. - Neil Gaiman

    Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

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