November 12, 2013

Well, I never thought I'd be saying this, but my little Christmas baby has rubbed off on me over the last few years. I find myself wanting to put out my decorations, hit play on my Elvis CD, and watch Rudolph.

But strangely, I am getting resistance on the home front. What gives?? I know it's early, I'm well aware of the Halloween candy still sitting on the table. But with the weather changing(only slightly lol), I'm in holiday mode. 

Perhaps it's because I don't have much to do during the day. Perhaps it's because I love the nights of sitting with hot chocolate and staring at the lights. But I'm pretty sure it's because of the family that I am blessed to have, with now four amazing children that I can't wait to spend the holidays with!

It could be worse. I could still be living in the days of Alex listening to Christmas music year round and wanting the tree up in July :)

November 4, 2013

Facebook gets my thumbs up!

I know I'm not the only one here that is heard some of the terrible stories that come along with the demons of Facebook. Friendships are questioned, friendships end. Boys and girls fight, both young and old. People break up, people get divorced, and so on. I've heard Facebook is nothing but trouble, Facebook is the devil, I would never join Facebook.

But how about the other side of Facebook? The amazing side of Facebook? Sure there's other social media, but nothing quite as far-reaching as Facebook. The friend you haven't seen in 20 years since high school or childhood. The long-lost family that hasn't heard from you in ages. The family that you miss far away, but you feel like you're always there celebrating with them for the special occasions because you get to hear about all of the different steps along the way, and see all the amazing photos.

Sure I have to had my share of problems on Facebook, but have also had the privilege of mending relationships through Facebook as well. I have formed better friendships with people on Facebook. I get to chatter with cousins I miss so much. I have a new found respect for and stronger relationship with a family member through Facebook, that I never thought possible, and I am so grateful for.

There's the easy idea that if you don't like it, close your browser window or delete your Facebook app. But I say take the time to use it to its fullest potential! :)

October 9, 2013

He's not the problem, their list is.

Last week we went to the boys' annual checkup at the pediatrician. You know the appointment, you wait for what feels like an eternity, just to get into the tiny room, be poked at for a minute, then released to pay? Ya. But when I checked out I was given a new kind of 'receipt'. On each was the child's stats from the current visit, along with any other pertinent health happenings from birth to now. And I was faced with this on the top of Alex's paper:

PROBLEM LIST. That was the first thing I noticed. Those ding dongs that just want money, see my son as having problems. Nice. But after I got past that title, the list below it hit me. Hard. 

Our Autism journey has been nothing short of a miracle as most of you know. I wish I had documented more of our last 7 years. But now is so different than then. Alex is mainstreamed. He doesn't shut up. He's funny as hell. Yes, he struggles with his words sometimes, his anger sometimes, definitely with schoolwork. Isn't that what being a normal 8 year old is all about?

Sure, there are days I'll see him do something a little 'off' that gets my mind running, and I slip back into some dark memories. Thankfully those days are far and few between. Some newer friends don't even know our story or how far we've(he's) come. And that's ok with me, we just more forward.  

The Problem List upset me though, because most days I can forget about it. Ignore it. But it reminded me that these societal labels will follow him for all of his days. I'm so grateful they no longer define who he is, but it still hurts. 

I guess I need to see the positive side of that list(me, positive?), and look at it like a badge of honor. Oh Autism? Language Disorder? Yea, I remember those....we kicked their asses. 

Ho, Ho, Nooooo!

Why am I being handed Christmas lists already? It's way. Too. Early. I have way bigger things to think about(um wedding in 13 days!), and spending an obscene amount of money on items that wind up sitting in a closet until at least July is not a priority.

I can remember asking for things when I was younger, and getting maybe 1 of the items on my list. My dad would give my mom a very tight budget for Christmas shopping, and she stuck to it. I got some nice items that I still have, but the list was usually out the window. So why is it so different these days?

I find myself making sure I got everything on the lists, and then some. I save up for half a year to top the previous Christmas, and I'm pretty sure the kids now expect it. Which is why this year I'm all about operation 'scale back.' Sure, I was ticked when that Strawberry Shortcake doll wasn't under the tree, but I was grateful for what was. We were taught that you don't get everything you want, and there are going to be disappointments now and again. 

Perhaps it's another area of life where we go too far for our children, myself included. Setting them up to expect too much in life? Then how will they cope when things don't go the way they hope, or they don't get everything their hearts desire? A small dose of disappointment might sound mean, but I say it's healthy in the long run.

I know, I know, easier said than done :)

ps- no lectures on the true meaning of Christmas, or the gift of family and love....I get all that, this is just a ramble about the goods!

September 12, 2013

Me -n- Google

I noticed the weirdest thing this morning. When I went onto Google to find some information, I found myself automatically typing in "Should I.....". I stopped after the results came up and though 'wth, when did I trust Google so much to ask it's OPINION on matters of life?' Sure, I love Google... we get along well. I am a pretty rad searcher gal, and always find what I need. But this is a way deeper relationship with Google than I planned on having.

Do I not value people's opinions enough so I ask a search engine? Do I just need some affirmation of my own decisions? Am I just that naive? Not really sure. She(yes, my Google is a she) did give me the results I was hoping looking for, but I'm not sure if I trust her. I'm sure she could have given me lots of results on both sides of the fence, but she went with all the positive ones as her top choices. Is Google now in the business of just pleasing me and telling me what I want to hear?

I don't want my bad choice to ask Google her thoughts to effect our relationship. I am going to really try to make a conscious effort to just stick to fact-based searching, and not ask what she thinks. Besides, any time I ask for opinions from others, I don't really take them into account anyway(well except my guy of course). I beat to my own drum, and make my own decisions(I feel a theme in my posts lately?).

So Google, please don't think I'm being rude. I don't want to break up, but I do want to just be fact-friends. I don't like you like you or need you to say what I want to hear. I hope you can respect this, and give me the information I need, not want. :)