Monday, September 12, 2011


Life is really crazy lately. I plan on doing a "Day in the Life of" post soon but honestly my day is so full that it is kinda scary for me to actually write out what our day is like! So I'm going to note a few things that are filling my time and mind lately just so I can keep a record of it.

This has been a hectic month for me. So many changes and so much on my mind. I spend my days so busy that at the end of the day I worry that I didn't hold Thea enough, that I scolded Jolee too many times, and that I didn't spend enough one on one time helping James learn some things. I struggle in my mind to find a balance for myself and each kid. I need to get on the treadmill and do my C25K, I need to make lunches, oh shoot, Jolee is waiting on the potty for help etc. etc. I manage to get it all done and sleep from 12am to 6am every night. Thank the Good Lord that Thea sleeps straight for those hours!

I struggle wondering how much of my day should I devote to working with James? I have 2 other children who want my attention too. I wonder how they'll fare in life if I am always so worried about making James function normally. I stress so much about that and wonder if receiving his diagnosis was not such a good thing for us. I mean, before we knew he needed help but there was never a clear cut reason why. Now there is and I feel that it is entirely my job to help him. I forget that for 6 hours a day at school, there are 3 or more people helping when he comes home I am making him talk to me, look at me, asking questions...sometimes maybe I am too much for him...When I take a step back I think "Should I just let him be a kid? Let him be him?" I don't want to miss an opportunity to help him, yet I don't want to be overbearing so he cannot enjoy my time with him or his little life. AH! I wish there were answers!

And because Thea is such an angel baby I feel like I neglect her. She had a slight flattened spot on her head and I panicked that it was because I wasn't holding her I made Jarrod hold her for 2 hours while watching football! I am a mess. 3 kids is more work than I ever imagined.

I have been working on the treadmill and find that my mind is racing while I am there wishing I could be doing more things with the kids or around the house but knowing I need to lose some weight and have made this an additional priority. It gives me time to think...although I should not be stressing so much! I find myself contemplating being finished having children. Maybe 3 is enough? Maybe we cannot handle any more. Now that James will need additional help in life, are we really done? Ah, breathe.

I watch Thea's eye contact and remember how great James' eye contact was...Will I know this time too if she is ok? And why do I say that? Ok? James is ok!

Then I sit around and wish I could volunteer our family for a research study with a geneticist...It seems pretty clear cut to me although most doctors disagree with me....

I have MTHFR. I didn't know this with James....He is on the Autism scale.
I have MTHFR. I didn't know this with my second pregnancy. John Isaac. Baby Jack passed away at 18 weeks.
I have MTHFR. I didn't know this with my third pregnancy. Baby Hope. Baby Hope passed away at 10 weeks.
I have MTHFR. I knew this with my fourth pregnancy and took extra medication. Jolee Ruth was born healty.
I have MTHFR. I knew this with my fifth pregnancy and took extra medication. Thea Hope was born healthy, and so far, is meeting her milestones normally.

Do YOU see a pattern? Why don't the Dr's? Why is it so hard to see that this might not be coincidence?

I cannot process folate at all. I need it broken down. Folate aids in brain development. Is it really that difficult or costly to figure this out.

I see a pattern and wish that highly educated Dr's would spend some time figuring it out. I spend my time looking things up so I can help my child, and maybe another out there......

But then again, I don't want to be the spokesperson for MTHFR. I don't want to be the spokesperson for Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders. I just want to be a good Mom. I just want to relax.....I just want another cup of coffee to do it all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First day of Kindergarten

Today was the first day of Kindergarten. Here I sit, waiting to pick up the bravest soul I have ever met. This morning I left our house with a very excited 5 year old. About 45 minutes later I came home with a humble heart. I have never in my life been as brave as my own child. In his short 5 years he has already surpassed his Mama in the courage department. I wonder how much more he will accomplish in his life that I'd never had the courage to do. I wonder how much easier life would be for him if only he were like the other kids. I drove him wishing that the only thing he had to worry about was remembering his lunchbox. I drove home hearing the words he repeated over and over...."I'm gonna miss you Mom."

My heart ripped in two when I saw him wandering the classroom glancing back with his tiny bottom lip quivering, "I'm gonna miss you Mom". And I walked out. I had to. I'll always have to let him find HIS way....I know this. When we recently received James' autism/PDD-NOS diagnosis I convinced myself that we would never use it as a crutch or let ourselves feel sorry for James or our family...and yet today I found myself wishing it away. I was set on embracing it and allowing it in, because afterall, it is a part of is a TINY part, but it's there.

While the other children had just as many jitters and were shy and clinging to Mommies, my Jamesie had a ton more to contend with. He couldn't go into the gym to line up with the other students because it was just too much....noise, smells, sights, sensory overload....I wish I could tell his tiny little mind to calm down and not worry about everything around him. But I can' is something that in the next few years, he will learn. He will learn to cope and tell his own mind to calm down...right now that is what Mommy does...

He smiled and said hi to his old preschool teacher as we passed her in the hall. He smiled as we went into his new class...He is so ready. He put his things where they belonged and gave me our usual "kiss, hug, and high five Mom"...We did that twice, just because we can ;) Then his lip started to quiver and he got quiet. He is never quiet..

He slowly walked away knowing I had to go. He didn't want me to leave him there but he knew I had to. Never once did he ask me to stay. Never once did he ask to leave with me, but I knew he'd jump in my arms if I offered him the chance....he knew what was happening and where he had to be. So he said "I'm gonna miss you Mom", to which I replied "I'm gonna miss you too Buddy, but I'll be right back."

And then I walked out...and then hurriedly got out of there. I couldn't fight back the tears as I reached the sidewalk...then I sobbed, all the way to the car, to Jarrod's work, on the phone with my Mom, and until I reached home. The only reason I am not sobbing now is because it took 3 hours for the redness to leave my face and in 3 hours I will be with my boy. I could never show him my tears...he wouldn't just say "It's ok Mom." He would need to know why I was crying. And I can't lie to him....

I'm crying because I want it to be easier for him...I don't want him to worry about things. I don't want things to overwhelm him, I don't want it to be hard....but it has to be.

Not just for him, but for all of us. Life isn't easy...sometimes we go it alone. We fail, and we fail often. We are scared, and we are scared often...of losing someone, of failing, of the dark, of monsters, of being left out...but the truth is life is hard sometimes...and it's lonely at times...but without knowing those feelings and experiencing adversity, we wouldn't see how fun life can be. We need to appreciate the calm...the times when we are not worrying, the times when we are just at home eating chicken nuggets and playing with our farm toys...the times when we are reading to our kids when they are in the bathtub, or cuddling them at night after "just one more story." We have to miss people sometimes, so when we see them, our hugs are tighter and mean so much more.

My James is a brave kid...He walked away with his mind going crazy with new things and just said "I'm gonna miss you Mom".....In that tiny moment in my life, he became my hero. He became someone to look up to. He became, for me, the picture of courage...I look up to someone I have to look down to see....That moment in my life, makes any struggle or tear worth it.

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress." Frederick Douglass

EDIT: I thought I should add that my boy had an amazing day. He and the teacher both gave me 2 thumbs up for a great day. I asked him ow his day was and he said  "I like Kindergarten Mom." I asked if his teacher was nice and he said "Yes Mom, Mrs. Corrigan is nice and I'm nice too.".....and then I relaxed, for the first time in like, kiddo will make it in this world...even when it's hard, even when some might think it impossible....He WILL far exceed any success I can even imagine. And he will always be my little Hero.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My dearest James,

This letter is hard for me to write...not because of what I have to tell you, but because of how much I love you. I could never begin to tell you how much I truly adore you. You  are perfect and you are mine. You were the single greatest gift I had ever received from God. You made me a Mother and that is the greatest thing I will ever be. Your Mother. I am honored to have been chosen by God to carry YOU. You belong in our family.We were chosen for YOU.

For the past 5.5 years I always knew you were special. You are so adorable, with your amazingly gorgeous blue eyes. Everyone still stops me to tell me how pretty your eyes are. But what they don't know, is what your eyes see. I hope at the beginning of each day, and when you go to bed at night that you see me and Daddy and the love in our eyes. You are special have talents and abilities that surpass your short little 5 years. You remember more than I ever could. You remember times, dates, smells, sounds, places and people. It fascinates me. You are the smartest child I have ever met. You knew your numbers, letters, and letter sounds before you were 3. You are off the charts when it comes to intelligence. I hope one day I learn half of what you know. Will you teach me those things one day?

If I promise to teach you what I know, will you do the same for me? Will you tell me what YOU see?

You are the most affectionate child I have also met. You give big, huge, loving hugs. Each time Daddy and I leave you you ask for a "kiss, hug, and a high five". It's our thing Buddy. I hope it is always our thing.

You are best big brother Jolee and Thea could have. You kiss them, hug them, talk to them, share with them, and do your best to care for them. I am so proud of the little man you have become.You watch out for danger for yourself and for your sisters and I always know that I can count on you for that.

So what I need to tell you Buddy, is that I love you. I will always love you. And you are perfectly made by God, for our family. But you have something different about you....Mommy always knew, always. And I loved you for it. But now, or one day soon we have to explain some things to you to help you a little bit in life.

Your brain works a bit different than Mommy's and Daddy's and Jolee's. You brain takes a special route when it finds things out. Your brain for some reason is different and it is so cool. It makes you smarter and faster than Mama. Doctors call people with special brains just like yours, Autistic. More specifically your brain has something called a bunch of letters. Maybe you'll remember these letters, PDD-NOS. It just means that your brain works differently, and that makes you special. Some people have trouble reading things the right way, their brains are special too. Doctors call that Dyslexia. Some people walk different, or talk different and that makes them special too.

Some things may be harder for you to learn. But remember how easy learning to read was? Remember how easy learning to potty train was? And count? And run and jump? Those things were a piece of cake for you remember?

Well for some people those things were hard to learn.

Because your brain is extra special, Mommy and Daddy have some hard work ahead of them! You, my sweet boy, don't have to do a thing different in life! We are just going to have to teach you a lot about people. We have to teach you about other people's feelings, wants, desires, and needs. Your brain for some silly reason overlooks that. We just have to try harder to teach you some what the doctor calls "social skills". We'll have to teach you how to make a lot of friends, what to say to them, and how to be nice to them just like you are to Mommy, Daddy, Jolee, and Thea.

We'll do it Buddy, we will work so hard. That is our life long promise to you. Mommy and Daddy will do all the work for you. Please don't worry about a thing!

Mommy has always known how special you are. Because you are headed to school soon, I took you to see those 5 Doctors. You remember them right? You had such a great time playing with them and they loved you! They told me how great of a job I have done with you. We could have had someone come to our home all these years but the Doctors said that no one could have done a better job than what Daddy and Mommy have.They even told Mommy she should become a Special Education teacher to help kids like you! Because of you, I might one day be able to help other kiddos!

You are headed to Kindergarten soon! You are super smart and totally ready. You'll always go to school with everyone else and you should rarely need help. Some times the teacher might help you make friends, or ask you to join in small groups with other kids. Sometimes your brain will tell you to hang out alone, but don't be afraid to meet new people! Always be kind to others just as you are to your family. Friends are a great thing to have! Mommy and Daddy will work extra hard to make sure no matter where we live, that we find little kids to be friends with you! Friends are so fun. I know you remember Jack, you still talk about him sometimes. He was your very first friend and his Mommy is one of my best friends! You love your cousin Kadey and your sisters and have so much fun with them! I can't wait to see who you meet in Kindergarten too!

Mommy is embracing this new knowledge. I've always known that you needed some extra love and I have done my best to give you that...but I will tell you this Buddy....I can't let you ever use this as a crutch in life. You have to follow the same rules as your sisters. There is no get out of jail free pass for you my Bub. Mommy and Daddy are tough, and we believe that you'll need that in life. Your brain is super cool...but you can never use that to get away with something. You have to fit into this giant world full of interesting people. The world is not always friendly but you still have to learn to fit in. No matter how hard it is James, you can do it. We won't allow you to settle for anything less than what you deserve in life.

To Mommy and Daddy, you do not have a disability. You do not have a disorder. You have a brain that works differently. Just as if you walked different than others, we would teach you to walk. If you read different than others, we would teach you to read....You live in a home with high expectations. We expect good things from you and your sisters. The rules are the same, and always will be. We will work hard to help you in every way...but we won't let you be a jerk. We will not allow you to be rude or misbehave. It's tough here Buddy. But you can do it! So can Jolee and Thea. You will all make it in this world. We are sure of it...

Sometimes the world is a tough at home, we might be tougher on you than most parents. We are bound and determined that you WILL succeed in everything you do.You are smart, loving and full of potential. You can use the knowledge of your brain working differently to make a better life for yourself...Mommy doesn't have your memory, your pace, or even your drive. I wish I did! So we are going to make sure that you use those things to your advantage in life.

People aren't always going to be nice, or understanding. Not to Mommy, Daddy, Jolee, Thea and you. A lot of people are jerks...but don't ever let that get in your way of succeeding.

You are PERFECT! Perfectly made by God. Perfectly made to be just you. God has never, ever, ever, ever made a mistake, and he never will. He doesn't make mediocre work. He is Perfection and only makes that. And God loves each and every thing about YOU and the way YOU work. To think any less of yourself or how you were made is to think less of God's work, and you will never do that James.

Mommy and Daddy love you to the moon and back. And there again, a few more times......
You take up a giant part of my heart and make me so proud to be your mother....

Love always,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fia, Fee, and our happenings....

Wow, I need to update more. Since I am 29 weeks I guess it has been 7 weeks since I last posted! Once we end shore tour here I am sure I will have more time to blog. I hope to one day be able to add more pictures, add cute backgrounds, and post daily but that is just a bit off for now.

In James news, he is doing well in school and anxiously awaiting kindergarten. He is reading most 3 letter words and sounding things out on his own all the time. I do hear "Mom, what spells this?" all darn day! ;) He spends most of his time riding his new power wheels-esque tractor outside, digging up anything he can, playing in water tables, helping Daddy burn boxes at the firepit, playing soccer outside, and just getting downright dirty! No amount of Oxiclean can save his beloved Mini Boden clothes! I went ahead and hit the $5 table at Walmart because I am sad (don't laugh) each time he gets the good stuff dirty! I have since moved my purchasing of better clothes onto the girlies....

Speaking of all things girlie, Miss Jolee will be 2 in July! I can't believe it! She is the cutest, tiniest, most aggressive ball of love you will ever meet. As sweet as can be in one moment, and a biter/pincher/hitter the next! I get the brunt of her frustration but I know when it is coming, and it is then that she gets tossed right into her crib for nap or bed. I can never let that child tire one minute past bedtime or I'm getting whacked! She doesn't play with toys much, or watch tv, so she hangs on me all day or at the door to go outside. My children could live outdoors if only you tossed them a sandwich and some watermelon here and there!

Both kids seem to be growing like weeds. James got on the scale and looks to be about 47 or so pounds. He is in size 5/6 clothing and 12 or 13 shoes! He is finally in a booster seat because he just can't fit in harnesses anymore! Jolee got on the scale and was hoping it would say 22 but no-go. She is about 21.5 pounds now. She is getting a bit taller so she fits her 18 month clothing better. I did buy 24 month for summer but whoa, only the dresses will fit and albeit long. Her size 5 shoes fit great but we bought size 6 in case she needs a new pair this summer!

Thea Hope is probably a giant by the looks of my belly. I get a first weight sonogram for her this Friday to see what she weighs...I think James weighed 3 pounds at this point and I never had a check for Jolee. Thea is my strongest baby so far and both children enjoy feeling her kicks. James refers to her as Fia and Jolee calls her Fee. Both kiss my belly, and pull my shirt up at the most inappropriate times. Luckily the belly is pretty and no stretch marks so far! I pray daily for the safe arrival of my girl and wonder every night during Braxton hicks contractions, if she is going to just fall out soon. This pregnancy is hard! Whoa, that is an understatement. I am in pain most nights after dinner because whenever I do ANYthing more than sit, I feel like she is going to pop out....And I still have a ways to go!

Vermont is um, well...pretty still but I won't shed tears when we leave. I am ready for civilization again! I will miss the super tiny class sizes and school system that has been amazing for James!

Things are up in the air a bit as far as when/where we go next but in due time we should know more....Jarrod is rocking his Masters degree with a 3.85 gpa and is set to walk the stage June 17ish....I can't wait to see him complete what has been a really daunting task! It makes me totally reconsider grad school for one day when all the kiddos have left the nest! It is no joke!

The kids and I are headed to MD for next week while Jarrod has the students' graduation. It is too hectic of a week for me to stick around and $100 round trip flights were calling James', Jolee's, and my name! The last week of May we will also be making the drive to MD...whilst I am 32/33 BLAH! weeks prego! J is having Lasik done in Bethesda and we are tagging along to stay at my parent's house.....Wow, busy.

We finally got things out of the attic and washed for Miss Thea because we are not here most weekends in May! Once we get back from all of our travels(there are other work/Navy related trips in there too) it will be June and she'll be coming any day! This time is just going to fly by!

There is so much more I want to write about Osama's death and the history being made but I have small people to tend too! I promise to update more when I can! Love to all!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

22 weeksish

A few more days and I will be 22 weeks pregnant! We are having another beautiful daughter, Thea Hope. I am really enjoying my pregnancy with Thea because she kicks often to let me know she is more sickness, just complete exhaustion. I do credit the 2 older children for that last part ;)

James is doing great in school and isn't too fond of days off. I however, am missing him more and more each day. I do watch the clock for the whopping 2.5 hours he is in school and am excited to get to him in the afternoons! I am definitely not throwing homeschool out just yet! He is making vast improvements in language and is reading quite a bit of words I didn't know he knew! I've yet to formally teach the child anything, yet he amazes me with all he knows. This summer we are working on handwriting...which has greatly improved already. I need to keep him ahead of the curve next year since we anticipate moving mid-year. We are undecided on whether we will homeschool or send him to Catholic school, but if the latter, he'll need to pass acceptance tests and our schools run under the state averages.

Jolee is a still a tiny peanut at a whopping 21 pounds! She is slowly getting into her 18 month clothing and a trip to Target (2 hours away) yielded many a matching outfit in sizes Newborn and 24 months. They are not twins of course, but a girl can pretend right? If Thea comes out the size of James, they will definitely be in the same sizes at some point!

The girls (I love the sound of that) are shacking up together after the first few months. I have to order a matching crib for Thea soon....It is going to be adorable to see 2 girls in cribs, side by side...and then toddler beds, ah...melts my heart!

Jarrod's work is out of control busy. I don't even really have words for it. He also graduates with his Masters this summer and that is even more exciting! I can't believe he accomplished so much while here! Me, on the other's just blah here now. I miss friends, malls, places to go, game nights, football just doesn't happen here and it's been a long year. Where we used to want to extend to stay in Vermont (because the place really is gorgeous)....we miss things so much. Having Thea this summer will surely keep us busy though!

The snow is ridiculous! We have 10 foot mounds everywhere and as I write this, is snowing.

We are headed to Michigan to see lots of J's family....most I've never met. It is a haul though, road trippin' 14 plus hours with the kids! Yikes!

I will take lots of pictures though! Our adventure will last 9 days and I'm sure be full of tot chaos!

Stay tuned for more updates, trip photos, and info on Miss Thea!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Wow, it has been so long since I have updated! I guess there are plenty of good reasons! We are expecting our third baby in July! I am 17 weeks along and doing well! Although I worry for the entire 9 months of each pregnancy, I can only out faith in God that this child is meant to bless our home. I spent the first 15.5 weeks very sick, tired, and well a tad overwhelmed. But luckily the bigger two kiddos are super excited and have been a joy, even when cooped up in the house!

James started preschool and is doing amazing! He is so bright and so in love with all things school! Today he wore his backpack around the entire hour before just waiting to go! I am so glad that we put homeschool plans on hold for a bit to give him the social interactions he craves. We are exploring all types of education options but are seeming to settle on parochial schools. Next year will be a trial run at public school kindergarten and when we move, hopefully we can get him into a good Catholic school.

Jolee is a tiny little tornado! She is such a peanut topping the scales at about 20 pounds at 18 months old. I even had her in a 6/9 month onesie yesterday! Her blonde locks are too cute for words, but catch all things sticky! She wants everything big brother has and that makes things a bit difficult. Right now we are waiting for a kids table to arrive so she can get out of the high chair. She really hates it! She is also very ready to potty train...I never would have believed it but after finding her pants-less on the toilet saying "Mama, poop!", I think I should let her try! She keeps me on my toes but is such a sweetheart. Rocking her to sleep is my favorite part of the day with her. She tells me "Night night" and kisses me over and over. Pure joy!

I am working on handwriting with James and soon, more reading. Right now I am just letting him enjoy pre-k but he constantly asks me "Mom, what does this spell?" a little instruction might be back in the cards for us.

We are buried in feet of snow and really enjoy it. It is a bit of a hassle to dress kids in snow gear and get anywhere on time but we manage. Next year with 3 kids, I might need more coffee!

Our baby names are picked out and once we find out what we are having Feb. 25th...I promise to introduce everyone to our newest bundle of joy!

Monday, December 6, 2010


I need to blog more. There are plenty of reasons that I just don't have the time it seems! I wish I could share them all but in due time! Enjoy the holidays and stay warm! We are in the midst of daily snow and loving Vermont life.....Can't wait to blog in the New Year! ;)