Me and Jacob

Me and Jacob

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Long Time, No See

        It's been 2 1/2 years since my last post. I can't really put my finger on the reason that I haven't blogged. Maybe it's Maybe it's because it's not as cathartic as it once was. Maybe it's because I'm working more than ever and every second of my time is spent packing school lunches, doing laundry and writing contracts. Maybe it's a mixture of all three. I love my jobs. Mom, Wife, Realtor. They are all hard, but they are all worth it.

        We are 6 days away from Jacob turning 12. TWELVE. XII. WHAT? That is an insane reality. Honestly I believe that the reason I haven't written in such a long time is because we have come so far with Jacob and the woes of autism have slowly faded.  The need to share our story to relieve stress is simply not there anymore. Is he cured? No! Does he still have autism? Absolutely! Are we still dealing with weird autism quirks? Yes. I could go into detail about this, but honestly, I will just say that we are hitting the pre-teen and puberty stage of autism and leave it at that. Your welcome.

        Jacob has become quite the comedian. He loves to make jokes and make people laugh. Every now and then he will say "Okay, who's ready for a knock knock joke?" Then, he proceeds to tell us a knock knock joke that doesn't make any sense and then dies laughing. We laugh along with him because his laugh is contagious. He is growing up to be quite a pleasure to be around. He is still dependent on me and Erick for a lot of daily tasks, but he's getting there. He's doing so well that in many ways, raising our typically developing 7 year old, is harder than dealing with Jacob. Erick and I used to worry that Jacob would still be living with us when he is an adult. The reality that I would have to take care of him for the rest of my life used to be daunting and unbearable to think about. Now, we kinda hope he sticks around. However, I would love to watch him branch out into the world and make it on his own.

        Recently, Jacob discovered the camera on his phone. He loves taking pictures of things.  Random things that no one else would take pictures of. Nonetheless, he's kinda found a hobby. Which is something he's never had before. I watch him as he perfects the exact angle he desires for his picture. Caleb is not as enthused with his picture taking skills though. I don't blame him. It's pretty annoying when you are watching TV and he rewinds the show 10 times to get the perfect angle of a door in the back ground that no one else even saw or cared about. I like the pictures and I like that Jacob seems to be interested in something. It's also better than the alternative video option. He will video him saying something really annoying and then play it over and over until I threaten to take his phone.

        So who am I kidding? This was totally more cathartic than I thought it was going to be. Sitting down and writing about how far Jacob has come, how far we've ALL come, has been really encouraging. Maybe I should do this more often. Maybe I will.



Friday, January 29, 2016

My Two Weeks Notice and That Laundry Over There

     That's it, I'm turning in my two weeks notice on my life. I am quitting autism, I'm quitting being a mom, I'm quitting being a wife, I'm quitting being a maid, cook, chauffeur, referee and therapist. I'm wiping my last tear, cleaning my last skinned knee, giving my last dose of ADHD medicine and sleep aids and vitamins and essential oils. I'm calling it quits. I will no longer be available at 3 a.m. when they have a bad dream. I will no longer be succumbed to the demands of autism.

      And then there's that laundry over there that snaps me out of that irrational craziness and reminds me of the bodies that fill those clothes. The nine and five year old that depend on me for everything and a husband who, I am convinced, couldn't survive without me. I mean, I am the finder of the keys and the glasses. If you can't drive or see then what kind of life is that? Erick, from the bottom of my heart, you are welcome.

     It's easy to feel overwhelmed and overworked. Being an adult isn't as fun as you imagined as a kid. I often wake up and think to myself "do I really have to adult today?" The answer is always yes, yes I do. Yes, I have to wake up and feed my kids. Yes, I do have to make tough choices for them. Yes, I have to teach them how to be kind. Yes I have to give my kid his meds or his teacher will be calling and asking if things are okay at home. Yes, I have to hold my tongue or else I will smart off and say to his teacher "My kid has autism, what do you think? That is in fact not a good idea, and no I'm not speaking from experience. Let's just stop here and learn a little something...If you see a kid with autism acting wild and unruly (Or any kid for that matter), don't ask the mom if there are problems at home. First off, yes there are problems, my kid has autism and the stress level is pretty much always maxed out.  Second, sometimes I forget to give him his medicine which doesn't mean that my husband and I are fighting or that we are beating the kids.'s none of your business!

     I have to continue to believe that there is a purpose to all the crazy sadness life can bring. If I don't, then that first paragraph could become more than just a crazy ideal. Furthermore, if that first paragraph were real, I would miss out on a lot of great things. However, sometimes it's hard to think that the world is not conspiring against you. For instance, my husband worked until 9:30 last night. I normally go to bed at 10:00 because the yellow heaven on wheels comes early (it's a yellow hell on wheels at 3:00, but we won't talk about that). Last night Erick and I got into a great conversation about our day and I stayed up way too late, but hey, you have to make time to fit in the important people in your life, right? At 4:45 a.m. I hear, not one set of footsteps, but two. Both boys were wide awake and headed downstairs to play. In my, all too often, mean mama fashion I scolded them both and sent them back to bed, knowing good and well that Jacob was up for the morning. Let's face it, getting Jacob to go back to sleep in the middle of the night is harder than going back and un-sinking the Titanic. However, I sent him back to bed. Ten minutes later he comes in fake puking, which was quite hysterical coming from a kid with social and cognitive delays. He's pretty smart though. I gave in and went downstairs with him. He played on (which is pretty awesome for kids) while I guzzled a cup of coffee, or creamer really. Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm on a caffeine high or a sugar high, but that's beside the point. I later find out that the reason they were both up was because Caleb had a nightmare about an alien abducting his Grandobby so that he could play with him and so he decided to wake up the only one that won't go back to sleep. Yay!

    Truth is, I will continue being a wife and a mom to two crazy kids. I will continue to cook, clean, chauffeur, referee and be a therapist. I will continue to wipe tears and be a boo boo fixer and give out the daily doses of medicine. I will continue to wake up when there is a bad dream or fake puking and I will continue on with the task of raising autism. I will continue to search for keys and glasses. I will not be turning in my two weeks notice, as tempting as it may seem at times. My family is wild and crazy, but they are my wild and crazy. To be honest, I need them as much as they need me.

    Life throws you curves. It doesn't matter if you're raising a kid with autism, a loved one is struggling with cancer or you feel like you need to be in the nut house. (Or like me, all the above) Life is hard  Enjoy the good moments and persevere through the bad times. Be kind and compassionate to those in your life, after all they are the reasons that you do what you do.

"Love bears all things, 
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things,"
1 Corinthians 13:7




Monday, November 16, 2015

A Clean Heart

A good man brings good things 
out of the good stored up in his heart, 
and an evil man brings evil things 
out of the evil stored up in his heart. 
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Luke 6:45

A verse that haunts my thoughts lately.

As I teach my children to be kind, I am often reminded that I am not kind. As I teach my children to be patient, I find that I too am impatient. As I teach my children to be selfless, I realize that I am the most selfish. As I teach my children to love, I think about all the times that I've been unloving.

I met a woman the other day. She is the mom of a little boy that is in Caleb's class at preschool. She was kind, soft spoken and seemed to have a grasp on loving well. I envied her. I desired to see that in myself. That kind of change is hard.  

I use the excuse that, I am the way I am, God made me this way, it's human nature or it's my personality. That is just flat out spiritual laziness in my opinion. I am spiritually lazy, you can add that to my long list of personality flaws. 

The verse in Romans could be my life verse...

I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do! Romans 7:15

Too many times I'm reminded in scripture to be transformed, renewed, repentant. More times than that I fail to do these things. I'm just going to be very honest here. I don't love the poor, even at Christmas when it's cool to love the poor, I don't. I get annoyed if I have to go out of my way to help someone, and if I do go out of the way I have to make sure they know it. I'm impatient when things don't go my way or my plans get changed. I want things now, not later. When I'm doing something and don't want to be bothered, I use unkind words with my children. When my kids don't do things my way, I get angry. When my husband does something or thinks differently than I do, I pout. When someone is in need, I am the last person that wants to help. I am quick to get angry, yet sometimes slow to forgive. 

Let me tell you what I am great at doing...I am great at pointing out where everyone else fails. 

I don't want to use excuses anymore. There are too many scriptures to lend towards the change in our hearts. I want to ignore these verses and give a blind eye to the fact that I need to change and that I can change. Because, like I said, I am spiritually lazy. I don't want to be bothered. Am I missing out on the abundant life the Christ has promised me because I'm too stubborn to think I can change?

Create in me a clean heart and renew and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing out their opinions. Proverbs 18:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is. His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

I know that this is so much harder said than done. It's not something that's going to happen overnight and it certainly won't be a road without fault. But if I'm wanting to see a change around me then I must be willing to change myself. If I want to teach my kids to be humble, loving, kind, patient...I must, painstakingly, change the way I live. It's important, it's hard, it's beautiful and it's daunting. I must be the change that I want to see in my kids. 

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says. James 1:22

I leave you with a song that I love running to in the mornings (when I actually run). It's been an inspiration in the long journey of realizing that I need a change of heart. My favorite Lyric...

"Create in me a miracle, something real and something beautiful"

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Proof Is In The Proof

I posted Jacob's school picture on Facebook yesterday. It was an awesome picture and I was super happy. However, opening Jacob's school picture has always been a delight of mine. You really never know what they are going to look like with this kid, and more often than not, You get a big laugh out of them. So, to be able to really appreciate the new school pic, I thought you all deserved to see a snapshot of what the others have looked like in the past.

I wasn't able to find them all but, you get the "picture!" (pun intended)

He's so photogenic!!

Love this sweet faced boy and his new school pictures!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Call For Redemption

     This morning, as my husband and I laid in bed chatting, the subject of Ashley Madison came up. I told him that the whole situation made me sad. I tried to explain why, but my thoughts had not totally been put together about the situation. My mind has reeled with confusion and frustration about the entire situation. To be honest it's not just about the Ashley Madison situation, but a whole conglomerate of situations that have surfaced over the past 8 months.

     I firmly believe that Christ doesn't put our sin on a scale and weigh sins to figure out which one is greater than another. We are separated from Christ because of our sin, no matter whether it's lying, cheating on our spouse or being gay. We are separated from Christ because of our sin nature, not because of the severity of one particular sin over another.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:23

     I believe there are two different types of people in this world. Those who have accepted the gift that Christ freely gave his life for and those who have not. Those who believe in Christ and those who reject Him. The only difference between these two people is that one is freed from the penalty of sin because of Christ. 

"Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous.
He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us
from the penalty of our sin."
Romans 3:24

     Christians are not freed from the temptation of sin on this earth. As much as I wish we were!! Being a Christian doesn't make you immune to sin and the lies that the evil one tells you. Even though I believe that Christ doesn't scale our sins from least to greatest, I do believe that the consequences are different for each sin. But why do we feel that a white lie is lesser of a sin than cheating on your spouse? Why is it different when we know that all sin is sin? My only conclusion is this...for humans, the level of sin is influenced by the way that it affects our lives. Sexual sin is deep, dark and blushable. Sex is intimate and sacred and when used outside of the context God intended, it hurts more than just the offender. We can't just look past it as easily as a white lie because of the affect that it has on everyone else. Sexual sin shatters lives. It shatters relationships, whether it be a spouse or your children. There have been marriages ruined. There have been people that have committed suicide because of this. There are parents and pastors and politicians who's dirty laundry has been aired out for all to see. You can't tell me that the guilt, consequences, and shame of this type of sin is not different than gluttony or gossip. Although the hackers were doing something illegal and probably shouldn't have shared the info to the world, it's not the leak of information that makes me sad. It's the thousands and thousands of relationships that are ruined because of sin. Sin that would be there regardless of the leak or not.

     It makes me more sad that there are Christians mixed up in the scandal. Not because I believe that Christians don't sin, but that the world sees these Christians fall. Do they ever get to see them repent, then redeemed and forgiven?  I can't help but imagine that these Christians got mixed up in something they never intended to let get that far. Yet, the sin started small, maybe just watching a show on TV that seems harmless. But our desires lead to thoughts, and thoughts lead to actions and what is in our heart, if we aren't seeking God's will, will reveal itself in the light. If we aren't repentive of our sin when it begins then it will fester and grow and will become a landslide of guilt and shame and will eventually ruin the lives of those we love.

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me."
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by 
their own evil desires and enticed. 
Then, after desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it's full grown, gives birth to death
Don't be deceived dear brothers and sisters.
James 1:13-16

Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, 
so that they were trampling on one another,
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples, saying: 
"Be on your guard against the yeast of the pharisees,
which is hypocrisy. There is nothing that is concealed 
that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, 
and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms 
will be proclaimed from the roofs."
Luke 12:1-3

     My prayer is this...that this be an opportunity for true believing Christians to be open and honest about sin and their journey to forgiveness. That people can finally see that Christ is the only difference between the lost and the saved. Christians aren't perfect and most of us don't claim to be, yet we are broken people who all pursue to worship a God that has died to set us free from the bondage of sin. I pray that marriages are renewed and that forgiveness takes place above all else. I pray that it encourages people to throw away the sins that pull them in.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us. 
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. 
For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, 
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will 
not grow weary and lose heart. 
In your struggle against sin,
 you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement 
that addresses you, as a father addresses his son?
It says, "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, 
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
Because the Lord disciplines the ones he loves
and chastens everyone he accepts as his son."
Hebrews 12:1-6

     On to my second those who are picking up their verbal stones to throw at the ones caught in sins trap. Let's choose to throw away our sin of self righteousness and pride. Let's, with loving and kind words, lead them to repentance and accept them when they confess and are redeemed. Let's choose to show the world that this doesn't define us as Christians...


Let's be reminded that this is the only reason we can be defined as Christians.

Image result for Christ on the cross

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hate the Autism, Love the Boy

In case any of you were wondering...I HATE autism!!

I've had many people ask me if Jacob has a special gift. They've seen Rain Man and imagine in their minds that Jacob has some miraculous power where he can count ridiculously or have a unwavering memory. Or, maybe he is obsessed with science or words. It's nice to think about Jacob having a super human ability. I think it would make the autism seem less invasive and more interesting. That is not how Jacob is. Unless he's hiding his superman powers away in his little body, I have seen nothing similar to rain man, except for the constantly repeating himself.

I hate that I sit up at night just waiting on him to fall asleep and then I wake up to him barreling in our room bouncing from one foot to the other yelling "Can you go downstairs with me, can you go downstairs with me, can you go downstairs with me?" I hate waking up this way. I hate waking up at 5:30 to get him ready for school only to find that he's hidden his shoes...AGAIN!!!! You would think that an 8 year old little boy wouldn't be able to hide two, size 4, bright neon green shoes. I hate that my first thought is to check the bushes. I mean, who else thinks to check the bushes for their kids shoes!! I hate that I spend 30 minutes asking him where his shoes are, only to hear him say "I know" but in reality he doesn't really know and he can't tell me anyway.

I hate how we fight about medicine every morning and every night. I hate that he even has to take medicine. I hate that I can only think of two things to pack for him for lunch because he's just so doggone picky. I hate myself for being excited when the school bus gets here. I hate that when he gets home he can't tell me about his day. I hate that I can't go anywhere and just walk straight in like normal people do. I hate that I have to chase Jacob out of the bushes. I hate that I have to threaten to hold his hand if he doesn't walk with me. I hate that he doesn't listen. I hate that the typical discipline techniques don't work with him. I hate that other people think I should just be more firm with typical discipline techniques.

I hate that all he wants to talk about is doll houses. I also hate that he obsesses about things, because if he obsesses, we must all obsess with him. Right now, it's doll houses. I hate that you have a weird look on your face while you are reading this because my almost 9 year old boy loves doll houses. I hate that we can't go into Hobby Lobby without spending a great amount of time begging for doll houses and doll house furniture.I hate that I have to buy him something small so that I can get out of Hobby Lobby with at least a little dignity left. I hate that when he is at home all he wants to do is sit at the computer on google and look at doll houses, and make me look at doll houses. I hate that he makes me talk about doll houses. I hate that I've typed the words doll houses this much.

 I hate when he asks a question and he doesn't give me enough time to answer, much less think about my answer before he's asking the same question again, louder than the time before. I hate that I'm constantly telling him to match my voice. I hate that I'm constantly telling him to speak nicely. I hate that he laughs when he disobeys and then asks if I think it's funny. I hate that he still poops in his pants sometimes. I hate that it happens when we have guests over. I hate feeling that they are disgusted with him. I hate that, often times, I find him running around in the front yard with nothing but a smile on. I hate that he doesn't understand that it's not appropriate.

 I hate that we fight over food at every. single. meal! I hate that I still hand feed him sometimes. I hate having to bathe my almost 9 year old son. I hate that he screams when you wash his hair. I hate that he bites the toothbrush when I brush his teeth and that he contorts his mouth, on purpose, so that I can't brush his teeth properly. I hate that I used to have to sit on him to brush his teeth. I hate that getting pajamas on is a struggle every night. I hate how when I'm singing to him at night he interrupts me to ask if he can sing, then he doesn't sing. Then he interrupts me again to ask if he can sing, and then he doesn't sing. Then he interrupts me again to ask if he can sing, and then he doesn't sing. Then he cries when the song is over because he didn't get to sing.

 I hate that I sit awake at night just waiting for him to fall asleep. I hate that while I'm sitting awake at night that I think about how I hate that every day is a struggle. I hate that I miss out on a special relationship with him because of his autism. I hate that I hate his autism. I hate the person that it makes me. I hate that I feel guilty constantly. I hate that autism is messy, dirty and hard. I hate that we can't be a normal family in normal situations for any amount of time. I hate that we don't fit in anywhere, except for special needs events. I hate his autism, but I love him dearly. I hate that I love him so much it hurts all time. I would give everything to find a cure for him. I would give everything to have a normal relationship with him. I would give everything to see him unhindered by this ugly, messy, dirty thing called autism.

I also hate that this reads like the ending of the movie "Ten Things I Hate About You," but that's beside the point.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates

I didn't use to drink coffee.

I use to sleep good every night.

But then again, I didn't use to be a mom to autism.

Last night we had some wonderful friends over that we haven't seen in a few years. Now, I normally am a strict mama about bedtimes, but we were having a fun time visiting so the boys got to stay up and play. The boys finally settled down around 10:45 (2 hours and 45 minutes past their normal bedtime). Erick and I fell asleep like 2 seconds after them.

Around 1:30 I was awoken by Erick and Jacob standing in our room and Erick whispering to me that Jacob had thrown up in his bed. This isn't a new thing. There have been many, many times that he has done this with no explanation, leaving Erick and I scratching our heads as to why it happened. We cleaned Jacob and his bed up, all the while he was being such a sweet little boy. We all settled down a good 30 minutes later...or so we thought. About 5 minutes after laying down in bed, we heard his heavy little footsteps stomping down the stairs. Let me just say, that when Jacob gets woken up in the middle of the night, he has a hard time going back to sleep. Erick coaxed him back in bed and this time it was a success. But just a few short minutes later, we heard the other little sleep depriver crack open his door and say "I want someone to sleep with me!" At this moment I was about to scream "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!" I politely told him "no" and told him I would turn his lamp on for him. He took me up on that offer and back we all went to our rooms. I didn't sleep worth a lick after all the commotion,

My alarm never wakes me up in the morning. Not because I'm a heavy sleeper, but because my 52 lb. led foot that lives in my house wakes me up by stomping down the stairs, way earlier than I anticipated with the setting of my alarm clock. However, this morning, my alarm clock woke me up. Then the snooze woke me up, and then the snooze woke me up again. Everyone was still sound asleep. The summer school bus was to be arriving in ten minutes, but Jacob was still knocked out asleep in his bed. I know this because he wasn't rocking, which normally means that the beast is beginning to stir. I made the calculated decision to let him sleep and tell the bus drivers he would not be riding with them today.

I jumped back in bed to catch a few more minutes of rest. Erick was scurrying around getting ready for work as a thought came to my mind..."I have no caramel macchiato creamer left!!" You know those moments when you know you have one chance to get something right. This was that moment for me. I jumped up, got dressed and headed for the door in search for my sanity, aka coffee creamer...cause let me just tell you, it's all about the creamer. Caleb has already gotten up at this point and we are being extremely quite, tip toeing around so that Jacob can get some rest, because if he wakes up, he's NOT going back to sleep. I'm headed to the front door, holding tightly to my keys as not to make any noise. I open the front door quietly and with no warning, like it has never done the ENTIRE 4 years that we've lived in this house, the smoke alarm goes off...RIGHT OUTSIDE of Jacob's bedroom door. I ran as fast as my 30 year old legs could run up the stairs and start jumping up in down in hopes that in one of those jumps my finger would hit the silent button. I continue doing this as if Jacob miraculously didn't ear it. I finally manage to turn it off...or so I thought...and in the quietness of the moment I could hear Jacob softly through his bedroom door mocking the sound of the smoke alarm, "beep, beep, beep...beep, beep, beep. It was done, it was over.

I walked out to my car, still desperately trying to make it to the store to get my Heaven in a bottle. I opened my car door and to my surprise, Caleb's booster seat is sitting in the driver seat. It immediately made me think of Jessie, my sweet short friend from high school. I teased her about needing a booster seat to drive her car when she turned 16. Then, I remembered last night, while we were eating dinner with our friends, my car horn going off. It was obviously not my car alarm going off but it was the sweet chubby hands of my four year old we like to call Rambo. It was the memory of my car alarm that made me realize why that booster seat was sitting there.

As I was running through the grocery store, hurrying to get back so that Erick could leave for work, I realized that life is just plain crazy sometimes. It's crazy with kids, it's crazier with boys and even crazier with autism. I remember a time when each of my days felt like I was just racing around trying to keep my head above water and looking for something to just make it better. Whether it be caramel macchiato creamer, retail therapy or facebook. These crazy days are becoming fewer and farther between and I'm thankful for that.

I returned home to both of my boys playing and giggling together in the living room. We then were able to sit down together to eat some bacon and eggs, a rarity at our house to eat breakfast together. Even though we were talking about poots, butts and burps, I was thankful for that moment. Without the chaos of the morning, that moment wouldn't have been as sweet.

So Things have changed...

I love to drink coffee.

I can sleep when I'm dead.

I am a mom to Autism and Rambo.

Life can be crazy but at least it's not boring!!