Their story

holding preemies

I'm not sure which one of them told me their version of the story first but I know they were wrong. They had gotten ahead of me, as they always did and figured out a story that I hadn't yet told. Bedtime books and too much Elmo were to blame. My children thought they followed the typical formula for being born. Essentially they did, but mostly they didn't. There was no "we had a baby and then the next day, Daddy brought Mommy and the baby home" in our story. Our story was much more complicated and full of rushing doctors and beeping machines and long, long days of waiting. I began to explain it to them. I chose words with soft edges and watercolor details and watched their faces to Continue Reading

Riding a roller coaster as a mom, this is not a metaphor

amusement park with kids

Over the weekend we took the kids to their first amusement park. I have not been to a place like this since before I had children. That might have been almost two decades ago but one second into our first (mini)roller coaster I was shocked right back into memory of who I used to be and what parenting has done to my mind. Riding on a roller coaster pre and post kids: Pre-kids- Wheeeee Post-kids- Here we go, did we remember all children? Should we have started off with a more mild ride? Oh look there's the carousel, maybe we should have eased them into things with something like that, then the bumper cars then the… are we really already going this fast? Pre-kids- I hope I don't Continue Reading

Because you are my youngest

boy sleeping

Because you are my youngest I am writing your birthday post two days after it passed. I've exchanged filling in your baby book for keeping your brother from scaling the television while you teethed on my shoulder and your sisters cried on the floor. Your pacifiers were cleaned off on the thigh of my jeans and "candy" was your second word. Because you are my youngest I slid you in our bed when it made nights easier and I hugged your crib before we took it down. You walked when you wanted to and talked when you wanted to and I didn't consult a single chart or book. I've let you be picky with your food and insistent on your clothes and stepped over you when it was a meltdown you Continue Reading

Autism and adulthood

kids at the aquarium

Let me explain what it is like to go from having a child with autism to having an adult. If you already know what it's like feel free to skip ahead to the picture at the end of this post. If you already know because you happen to be one of the few parents of 18 year-old girls with autism on the planet CALL ME (yes I'm doing that awkward thing where you make a phone with your hand and put it up to the side of your head). So you are moseying along, you've already read that you got on the wrong plane, you are in Holland, etc, etc. You have discovered that there's some nice scenery but it can also be torn down, smeared with meltdowns and covered with poop. Someone told you you had to learn Continue Reading

Rinse, wash, repeat

sawyer fishing

Our dryer broke on Friday or maybe Thursday, it's all a blur of laundry at this point. The neighbor let me drag my loads of wet clothes to her house to dry and I'm sure she's trying to figure my portion of her utility bills right about now after underestimating the volume of laundry I trekked to her home. We walked back and forth, all long weekend long. Me with one kid or the other, pulling a wagon full of wet laundry and carrying another home dry. Sometimes we stayed to talk for a bit and sometimes an extra kid stowed away in the piles and the boys surprised us at just how long they could laugh at things that aren't funny. I strung a line between our house and garage to hang sheets Continue Reading

Your heart

cast bow

When my hair was bigger than my face but still competing with the size of my glasses I used to pour my heart into an invisible microphone. Somewhere between Holly Hobby curtains and the beginning of boy band posters, I belted out my desire to "Dance With Somebody" and be allowed to wear a tight mini-skirt like Whitney Houston. I haven't lost myself in lyrics since the days of rewinding (and rewinding and rewinding) my cassette tapes which was a huge improvement on trying to get that record needle in the right spot. It's possibly because I'm never alone to listen to music and definitely because there's too much noise around here to hear them anyway. The last few months I've finally Continue Reading

Walk the walk

mom and daughter

McKenna has been looking at herself in the mirror a lot lately. Not just a little check of her fairy wings or wiggle of a loose tooth but long investigations of her hair, her freckles and the monstrous tooth growing into the space where there once were two. I sat at the edge of her bath the other day and she asked about the sun and if it would start making her freckles go away or if it would keep making them come out. She explained that her brother doesn't have freckles and his hair isn't brown right Mommy? His hair is pretty yellow? Parker is not plagued with anxiety and is great at sight words and his legs are like two toothpicks with a marble in the middle for a knee. McKenna can Continue Reading

And you get a crib!

photo courtesy of JarradHenderson.com

Last week I wrote an article for Huffington Post Women about Blog U (which you should really attend if you aren't already because it's going to be an epic conference and I never use the word epic for much of anything other than LTYM which I will write about as soon as I can wrap my brain around the experience) and about a group of women who supported me when I was a teen mom. The article led to all kinds of emails from organizations working to support young and/or at risk moms and promote healthy babies. One email in particular caught my eye because it was from a company that is DOING SOMETHING to promote what they preach. This year alone, Delta Children will giveaway $1,000,000 worth Continue Reading

Oink

watching the pig

We've had a pet, seriously really a live one, for over three weeks now. And she's still a live one. The house plant comparison is so not true and omg there are so many bacon jokes out there. I am still not used to people saying "your pig is cute" or "thanks for letting us pet your pig." It just doesn't roll off the tongue and land into the ears the same way sweet phrases about puppies and kittens do. The kids have walked her and wiggled her into ridiculous costumes. McKenna has staged photo shoots complete with tablecloth backdrops and magic wands and no pig in sight because Ruby might let us dress her like a flower/rabbit/belly dancer but she's not holding her own wand. We let her Continue Reading

Dining with children

eating spaghetti

A year or so ago, in a moment of temporary insanity and empty cupboards, I took my children out to dinner. By myself. Pulling into the parking lot I felt empowered. They were getting older, only one runs from me the minute I let go of his hand and sure, all four of them can switch to full-on meltdown mode faster than I can say "pass me the salt" but I had hope. Let me just share a few things that I learned about the family meal while dining out: The amount of noise coming from your table does not cause the food to magically appear. Stickers, crayons and the entire cast of Toy Story can be launched impressively far by a small nap-less toddler. Trips to the bathroom Continue Reading