Friday, December 31, 2010

From every end comes a beginning

Well we made it to another new year. I hope 2011 brings just as much happiness at 2010 has brought me, maybe a little less sadness and stress, but definitely growth. This year wasn't horrible but I'm ready for 2011.

2010 brought me:
  • A definitive answer that Lex could hear. The sedated test was not enjoyable for either of us but knowing that it wasn't his hearing that was preventing him from speaking was thrilling.
  • A diagnosis of Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. These labels have allowed my son to obtain the services he's needed, that we've needed, to help him expand his horizons and grow.
  • A 3 year old. Lex celebrated his 3rd birthday in October and I celebrated 3 amazing years of motherhood. While never easy it's always worthwhile.
  • A good friend moved away almost to the year after another friend moved. While sad for me I'm excited that she'll get to experience a whole new beginning in a city she has wanted to move to for a long time now.
  • My younger brother returned safely from Afghanistan. I couldn't watch the news or read papers with any regularity because I would worry too much. It also brought the notification that he, my uncle and my cousin will all be going to Iraq. While this is also nerve wracking they will all be in the same area and our family looks out for each other, I know these 3 will return safely.
  • My baby brother announced that he and his fiancee will be having my first nephew (related by blood) in April. I can't wait to see them in February for the baby shower and then to meet my new nephew.
  • A separation and pending divorce. This has not been an easy thing for me and Lex and most likely for Nate but we are learning how to handle it every day. It's hard when any relationship ends but it'll be for the best in the end.
  • Words. Lex has started saying more words with more regularity. I can't get enough of "Buzz", "Wah-ee", "E-ah" and "pwease". He's trying new words almost daily and he has an absolutely beautiful voice when he's not screaming or squealing. It's the most beautiful sound I know outside of his laugh.
Every year I make resolutions and this year is no exception. I want to continue working on losing this weight I'm carrying with me. I want to get my financial stuff in control. I want to continue doing the absolute best I can for Lex and find us a different apartment.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Autism Night Before Christmas by Cindy Waeltermann

Autism Night Before Christmas
by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
......The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract
The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head
Did I get the right gift
The right color And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come
But they don't understand
The pleasure he gets
Just from flapping his hands.
"He needs discipline," they say
"Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent"
And on goes the attack
We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is moot
Let them all take a side

We know what it's like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions
But what they don't know
...And what they don't see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity
He said "hello"
He ate something green!
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!
He peed on the potty
Who cares if he's ten,
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!

Others don't realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope

But what they don't see
Is the joy we can't hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride
We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred
Or even distaste,
But what they don't know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.

We don't get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings
Children with autism
Try hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky
So to those who don't get it
Or can't get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I'll assure you
That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You'll look at me
With respect, even shock.

You will realize
What it is I go through
And the next time you judge
I can assure you
That you won't say a thing
You'll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thank you Santa

Christmas was good to us this year. Lex and I got to enjoy some quality time with our family at my mom's house. Lex was spoiled rotten, he got a lot of new toys and some clothes. I was equally spoiled since Lex did better than he has since infancy at the family parties, tantrums were limited, he was funny and playful, even though he was obviously exhausted today. I was so proud of my little boy.

I think his favorite gift came from my parents. Lex has been really into Toy Story lately, I frequently get requests to watch "Buzz", so I had planned to get him a Buzz Lightyear but by time I could afford to get it for him I couldn't find the one I wanted to get him so instead he got Woody. He absolutely loves his Woody doll but last night his dreams came true. After I posted on facebook the night before that I couldn't find Buzz my dad made it his personal mission to find Buzz and he did. Lex was very excited when he opened that gift. He has been carrying Buzz and Woody everywhere. I even got an adorable picture of him sleeping with Woody.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

He amazes me

Today Lex went to my best friend's house for the day so I could work and admittedly I was worried it wasn't going to be a good day. He has been there a couple of times for birthday parties and he knows her kids from other things we've done together but I have always been there when he is. He took off like a shot into the house, obviously a good sign. I sent her a text at lunch time just to see how things were going and she said he was the best kid of the three (she has a 3 and 5 year old boys) Unless she was looking for Lex he was playing quietly all day and he was giving her kisses and hugs, huge change from the high five he barely gave her before. I was amazed he did so well out of his comfort zone. I still can't believe how lucky I am when it comes to Lex.

After work tomorrow we will begin our Christmas celebration, he and I will make one final stop and then once he's in bed I'll put up his train set under the Christmas tree so he can see if first thing in the morning Christmas Eve. Santa will be making a special appearance at my mom's house that evening, I just hope Lex will let my cousin's kids see him before he takes over. Saturday is another Christmas party at my mom's house. Sunday will be spent playing with all the new toys and washing all the new clothes. and gearing up for Lex's trip to Nate's. I'm sure Lexy will do fine though the whole thing. He's become so adaptive lately.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Tomorrow this all becomes real. I don't see the goal as being the "easy" but it's a goal. I'm meeting with a lawyer to go over the divorce paperwork and hopefully start the ball rolling on getting what I need to take care of Lex. Nate has been out of the house for almost 2 months and has been helping where he can but tomorrow signifies my desire to make it just me, even if I'm having some doubts about that. They are purely idiotic doubts, things so ridiculous they shouldn't be slipping into my mind but they are. To me tomorrow is sealing off of a connection that I've had for so long. It's the end of Lex having a full blooded sibling. It's the end of a relationship that was based on love. I know I'm just meeting with the lawyer, we aren't signing the final papers but this one step scares the crap out of me. I know Nate and I can't coexist but what about Lex?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Night Song of the Week

One of Lex's favorite movies is Madagascar 2 and while this video is from the first movie every time I hear this song it makes me think of him.

On a side note he actually did a full pee in the toilet tonight! I'm so excited for him!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What drives you?

Everyone everywhere has something that keeps them waking up and moving forward. For me it's Lex. Don't get me wrong I would still have a life if Lex wasn't here but it would be a very different life, one I can't even begin to imagine.

Every day with Lex is it's own adventure, not because he has special needs but because he's a headstrong, rough and tumble 3 year old. Some days the adventure is extremely trying, we both end up in tears and can't begin to look for the sunshine through the clouds and then there are days where I can't imagine that he was never a part of my daily life. Today was definitely the latter.

He has been making some small strides in speech the last few days repeating "yellow" (yell-ew) and "joker" (jo-cur) shortly after I told him what color his car was and the name of the Batman character he brought me. Last night he started saying "please" (peas) while signing it to ask for things.

Today he didn't say please as much but we had another small success, he asked me to bring him to the bathroom (grabbed my hand and pulled me that way) after handing me a pull up. I helped him get situated so he could sit on the toilet and gave him his potty book. A few seconds later I heard a few drops hit the toilet water, he did it! Now up to this point Lex had been iffy on his willingness to sit on the toilet for me, he'd do it only if I encouraged him and brought him in and sat with him.

I think we may be rounding a corner with him when it comes to self help skills and speech, a very exciting thing for me (and him).

Even on days that aren't like today I live to take care of this little boy. I do as much research about autism and sensory integration disorder as my free time allows (to steal Jenny McCarthy's  idea I would definitely have a graduate degree in Google research) so I can have a glimmer of an idea to what life holds for him, a glimmer of what he could be seeing or experiencing in any given day.

I love sitting in his bedroom and playing with his cars and blocks and whatever he's interested in at the moment even if he's not into playing with me. I live to hear every attempt at speech, see every new skill and celebrate every new success.

Things that don't come easy are worth the effort, the frustration is worth it, even the tears and temper tantrums are worth it. Those things give me a better idea of who Lex is, what matters to him and tells me just how important everything I do with him really is.

Sure there are days where I would kill for him to be like other kids his age, talking, able to understand that I'm not just saying no but explaining why he can't stick the knife in the outlet.

But in the end Lex is Lex, a kid with autism and sensory integration disorder, a volatile temper (just like his mom), a strong desire to do what he wants, big beautiful blue eyes and an amazing sense of humor (and awesome laugh to go with it).

Lex is the child I never thought I'd have.

For good or bad he will always be my miracle.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Night Song of the Week

One of my best friends is starting a journey into the unknown in the next few weeks. She's moving out of our town and down to Green Bay. I'm very happy for her, I think this will be the start of many good things for her. P!nk has always reminded me of her and this song definitely does.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday Night Song of the Week

It's another 2 for the price of one! I'm addicted to Glee and I couldn't choose just one of these videos. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is really special to me. When I was in the orchestra in high school this was the song our conductor chose as our specialty. I've also sang it to Lex at least once weekly since he was born. When he gets married it's the song I want to dance with him to.

I just love this song! I remember seeing Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time in high school and then doing the "Time Warp" for the dance portion of my drama class it was a lot of fun.