Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Growing Our Family

As most of my family and friends know, we are expecting our second child.

Since the day I had Eli, I always wanted another baby. My husband was determined to wait as long as possible, until he finally caved. Looking back, I am grateful for him making us wait this long; this is truly the right time for us, for many reasons.

Eli has needed so much of my attention; he has been in therapy since he was 18 months old. Sure, I could absolutely have another child while my first child is in therapy, I see plenty of mothers in the waiting room with their other children. However, for me, giving Eli my full attention was necessary. There were times he needed me back in his therapy rooms during a meltdown, how could I give him my full attention with a brother or sister attached to my hip? I wanted to be able to give him all I had while he needed it. This time for him before kindergarten is the most critical and intense for his therapy regimen. Everyone wants to get as many hours as they can so he can be school ready. Life is busy enough chauffeuring him all over San Diego to different appointments, throwing in a nursing newborn would have drained me even more.

Aside from Eli deserving my attention, we also needed to consider his emotions in having a second child. Would he have accepted a sibling a year or two ago? He needed so much of our attention because he didn’t talk until he was 3 ½. He needed us to be able to hear him even when he couldn’t say anything. How could he get across to me what he needed while I was occupied with another tiny human? He was already having so many tantrums back then from not being able to communicate, what would his tantrums be like if I was too busy to help him? He has loved his cousin since she was born, but she didn’t live with us and didn’t take up all my time. Yes, a child should learn to wait their turn, but that is a lot easier said than done with Eli. He’s better now, but back then waiting wasn’t really an option (without a tantrum in tow).

 

Now that we have a second baby in the making, I wanted to make sure Eli knew what happening so there were no surprises. He went with me to my first doctor appointment and he saw the baby on the ultrasound. Everything was pointed out to him, I told him where the baby was growing. He told everyone there was a baby in mommy’s tummy. When asked If the baby was a boy or a girl he would always answer It’s a boy. When we finally found out that the baby is in fact a girl, he didn’t take the news that well. No tantrums, but he still insisted it’s a boy. The doctor must be wrong… He is finally coming around to the idea of having a sister. All this interacting and interest with my pregnancy shows me that Eli was ready for this. He is old enough to understand what’s happening. He is also quite fond of my newest niece and loves babysitting. He likes to be near her and help take care of her. He will ask to hold her and if she is upset he will lean down and try to cheer her up with silly faces.

As far as our busy schedule goes, it will still be pretty busy for me. We both know what to expect when we make our move back to San Diego though and hopefully it won’t be too hard to fall back in to our old schedules. Plus, there’s only a short amount of time until Eli will start Kindergarten (stop, I’m not even ready to think about that yet). Another thought that crossed my mind is- what if this baby has delays like Eli’s? What if she is diagnosed with autism too? I don’t really have any fears about it. So, what if she does? I am more prepared and experienced that a lot of other people out there. I know exactly what to look for, I know what resources to get, I know exactly what my insurance will pay for, and all the hoops I will need to jump through. I’m already bringing one child to therapy all week, might as well just throw them both in there at the same time!

 

We couldn’t be more excited to bring another bundle into the world and for our little family the time is just right!

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Posted in family, Uncategorized

Spring is here…. finally!

Spring is finally here. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and my son can finally play outside. After 3 months of being cooped up indoors with a hyper 4 year old I am beyond excited to throw some shoes on him and shove him in the backyard so I can watch the new keeping up with the kardashians in peace. 
With the new season comes a lot of new changes for us. Our schedules are becoming fuller by the week. I had to buy a new dry erase calendar just to keep myself organized. Aside from our normal speech/OT sessions I started part time work and Eli picked up 2 days of daycare a week. I also signed Eli up for soccer this summer. I am so nervous yet excited to see how Eli handles himself in a group sport. I figured soccer was our safest best. T-ball is too much standing around for a boy who’s constantly on the move. I think that getting him involved with as many kids as possible this summer is going to be so great for him. Like his mom and dad, Eli is a bit uncomfortable around people he doesn’t know and it does take him a bit to feel comfortable. (That’s what he gets for having introverts as parents!)

Our biggest change in schedule, however, is starting ABA therapy again. We had our initial evaluation a couple days ago and she would like to have Eli in 25 hours of (in home) therapy. Holy moley. Now that’s not set in stone yet because our insurance is the one who ultimately decides how many hours he can get. But having someone there working with Eli 5 days a week again is going to be great. I have our work station ready and waiting for our new therapist to arrive. 

Aside from our busy schedules, the spring season opens up so many more adventures and activities we can do. For Eli’s birthday we got a whole new batch of outdoor toys for him to use (soccer ball and net, water table, scooter, golf clubs, tball set). There is also a lot of places to go now that the cold and snow are gone. 

-Grandpa’s cabin on the lake


Tahquamenon Falls


Kitchitikipi


Mackinac Island


-camping


-Lake Superior/ Sand Dunes


The goal for the summer is to stay balanced. We have a lot of work on the schedule, but for every day of work, we reward ourselves with a day of play. I say this every year but, this may be our last summer here for a while so we might as well do as much as we can! 

Posted in family, Uncategorized

You have failed as a parent


I saw this photo on Facebook a few weeks back and it took a lot not to comment on it (I actually deleted the person who shared it so I didn’t have to see that negativity again). Saying that someone has failed as a parent for something so trivial as letting your child watch Mickey Mouse clubhouse at the dinner table is a far stretch. And often enough the people who are so quick to throw stones at others are ones who aren’t perfect themselves. So why do people feel the need to shame other parents for the way they raise their kids? Though it’s a flawed quality, everyone at some point is guilty of passing judgement; but having a thought/opinion about someone is a few steps short of publicly shaming someone/group of people. 
There are so many parenting topics that constantly come down to two groups shaming the other group for their choices. To be more specific, hot topics I see too often are: proper car seat installation, vaccination, breast/formula feeding, and so many more. I’m not here to give my opinion on each topic (although I’d be more than happy too!) I’m more concerned with how far some people go to get people to their side. In my experience people are usually set in their ways and opinions, starting a Facebook argument will not make them change their minds. But in the social media era where everything is put online to be judged, shared, disputed, or made fun of, it’s hard not to see daily Facebook arguments. (Ok, fine just one opinion. vaccines don’t cause autism and even if they do, as a parent of an ASD child, i would take autism over polio or measles any day of the week. That’s my only one!)

To get to the actual picture that sparked the interest in this post… I’m not sure if the person who created this means parents who let their children in front of tv/games/iPads/etc all day every day or if this just means if you have ever let your child take an iPad to the table you suck. I do believe children should be limited to amount of electronic time they’re given, but I also am I fan of electronics and believe they do help my son. He can sit on the computer and play abc mouse as long as he wants for all I care (he’ll lose interest before it becomes an issue anyway) but I’d rather have him playing educational games than play something that doesn’t help him in any way. Playing Mario kart helped Eli with his hand eye coordination, abc mouse website helped him with colors, his iPad has educational apps. Aside from what electronics do for him educationally, it keeps him occupied. Eli has a lot of issues eating and mealtimes can be a hassle. If I need to bring out an iPad to keep him at the table long enough to finish a plate of food, you bet your sweet ass I am. And when it comes to restaurants, a parent can’t win. If our children are hyper, running around, or throwing a tantrum we’re judged and stared at or even asked to leave. But according to this meme if we occupy our children with iPads so they are well behaved, we are crap parents who have failed at life. Not many children are perfect angels 100% of the time and can sit still, follow directions, and eat their meals silently. Most of the time my child refuses to eat and sneaks goldfish or dry cereal in lieu of a meal. I will use whatever means necessary to get my child to do certain tasks, as a parent sometimes you just gotta do what you have to do and that does NOT make you a bad parent. Between 3 types of therapies, constantly talking with companies and insurances, getting into schools and sports, attending IEP meetings, and personally getting my son to the same level as his peers, letting him watch Netflix while he eats white rice at the kitchen table doesn’t have an affect on my parenting. I have far from failed as a parent and whoever created that meme can kiss my imperfect behind. 💁🏼