A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

School Does NOT Suck This Year

Many people followed our school plight last year with the school sucks saga and have asked me in the past few weeks how things are going this year. Night and day, my friends. Night and day. If you're unfamiliar with the story, feel free to catch up on the old posts here. Suffice it to say, last year Little Bird was placed in the wrong program. I knew it right away. She knew it right away, too, which is why her behavior matched her discomfort. Her teachers knew it, too. The only people who didn't get it were the school district's special education administrators (big surprise, amiright?). So, we fought and fought and fought some more to get the girl placed in the right program. We were victorious, but not until April. Yes, that means that from September through March, I sent my kid to school every day, fighting with the administration, trying to get her moved, getting phone calls from the school about her behavior (which was pretty typical for a kid with ASD, but not at all typical for the kind of kids these teachers were accustomed to teaching). Within days of moving into the ASD program, which we'd wanted all along, we knew she was where she belonged.

So, here we are today: new school year, great ASD program, great ASD teacher and paraprofessionals, great support staff, great therapists who understand my kid and are working on things that are truly relevant to what she needs. Her teacher emailed me last week saying "we will do anything for {Bird} to be successful and happy." ohmyfreakinggd I want to clone this woman!

Little Bird is in an ASD class with 5 other kids for a good chunk of the day. She mainstreams into a general ed second grade class with a teacher whose background is in literacy- perfect for my books/reading/spelling obsessed kiddo! She goes and comes home smiling. She belongs. She is loved. She is achieving more academically and socially than she even had the opportunity to in the last program. She brings home more smiley face stickers and even 100% markings on her work. Hallelujah.

Is it perfect? No. Are there some issues? Yes. She loves the teacher and wants her attention. Sometimes she even acts out to get it. "Throwing your shoes into the toilet is not okay" is a thing I had to say to her. She literally does these kind of things and waits to see the teacher's reaction. Not sure where this rebel streak comes from. *looks away innocently*

Last year, I had a nagging feeling that Little Bird was unwanted in her classroom by the teachers. This year? She missed 2 days of school so we could travel to visit the doctor and when we got back to school, I got a note from the teacher saying that they missed her and her sweet, happy smile :)

Yes, we won. Victory!*

*For now.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What's My Relationship Status?

Last month I posted about Why I'm Waiting For Marriage and Having a Baby First. In the last week, I've been asked by three different places to define my relationship with a check mark. 

There have to be more options than this. If I have been married before and divorced, and now I'm in a different relationship, but not married, am I in some kind of "divorced purgatory" until I get married? And what if I don't? 

I think I'm two of these things

I think I'm technically three, possibly four of these.

Oh, society. How you baffle me so. How about we all just "be"?

This week's writing prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word RING. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pregnancy After Disability

I am now more than halfway through this pregnancy. I've tried to write this post a couple time, but I'm just too tired. Sorry if it's sub-par. Little Bird will be nine by the time "baby brother" arrives. It took me nine years to be ready and willing to walk through the fear, the what ifs. Truthfully, I never thought I'd do this again. It's taken a tremendous amount of hope, faith, and trust in the process to get here.

Surprisingly, I've had far less anxiety than I thought I would. The worry and the constant "what if"ing was definitely a concern before trying to conceive. I'm sure being distracted by the nausea, dizziness, discomfort, heartburn, fat thighs weight gain, and the kick boxer living inside my belly helps to distract me. But mostly, I think the surreality of being pregnant and having another child has replaced any opportunity for too much anxiety. Of course it's there, but it's not an obsession, like I'd expected/feared. Apparently, this is a common thing with moms pregnant after having a child with a disability. A friend described the same feelings with her second pregnancy, too. Almost unable to grasp the gravity of the pregnancy because of that surreality.

I'm lucky enough to have a friend also going through a pregnancy after having a child with a disability/disease who understands these strange feelings and is able to share them with me. It's a blessing to have people in my life that get it.

Am I scared? YES. I don't know that I have the strength to go through the same struggles I'd endured, continue to endure, and those that lie ahead with Little Bird. Of course, I didn't know I had it the first time around either. What's that saying about finding out how strong moms are once they're in hot water? Or is that tea bags? Whatever.

People ask me, "are there any tests you can do?" They mean to detect the Autism that made my life, well, my life. There aren't any tests. There are tests for other things, yes. But, not this. I remain cautiously optimistic, but I'm afraid to be too happy, too excited, to have expectations. I'm sure that's a normal response for someone in my slippers shoes. Finally! Something that's normal about my experience!

Am I happy to be having a baby? YES! Excited at the hopeful possibilities? YES! Scared? YES! Cautiously optimistic? YES. I'm all those things. Thankfully, more than anything, I'm excited for him to be here to complete our family, to hug and kiss him and to love him like mad.

25 weeks

Friday, October 18, 2013

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Friday, October 11, 2013

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Friday, October 4, 2013

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

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See, it's not just my mom! (since Jan 1, 2010)