"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to give you a hope and a future."

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Friday, June 17, 2016

The Broken-hearted

8 1/2 years ago I had a hernia surgery just above my belly button. And ever since I have had pain. It turns out I have scar tissue and the surgeon said possibly a new hernia under the mesh net.  My surgery is scheduled for June 30.

 It turns out it ended up being a very dramatic day going to see the surgeon.   I had an idea that she may say I needed surgery again.   But I wasn't prepared for something else that would hit me when I walked into that office.

 Just over five years ago Chris and I were pregnant with our third child.  A pregnancy that once again stunned my doctors that even at one point told me it was "impossible" to get pregnant on my own.
 But our God is a God of the impossible's.  So here I was for a third time pregnant and my doctor seem to shake their head in wonderment.

 My OB/GYN office was under construction. And they had moved into a temporary office.   The day that I found out that our third baby had no heartbeat it was in the temporary office.   Not long after that they move back into their permanent office and I never had to go back to that same building.   Until the day I went to see my surgeon who had moved into a new office.   Would you believe that the new office the surgeon moved into was the same office that my doctor had been in temporarily?

 As soon as I walked in I knew I was in the same place.  I tried not to think about it. After all time does help to heal your wounds.   But as I sat there in that waiting room all those feelings began to come back to me. I actually had a hard time even remembering what medicines I was allergic to and could not even write them all down. Thankfully the nurse said they have them on record. My blood pressure was even very low. And I felt faint.   The doctor was very quick and confirmed that I need surgery and set up a date.

 I held it together as I left. But as I got into the elevator a pregnant woman got in with me.   I remembered going to that office in looking at the other pregnant bellies knowing that mine was no longer supporting a life anymore.   I remember what a failure I felt like.  As soon as I got to the van I cried my eyes out.   Chris called me and I told him how I needed the surgery. He was very supportive but he did not quite understand why I was so upset.  But then I told him that it was the same office where we went when we found out that our third baby did not have a heartbeat.   He comforted me as best he could. My mom called me too. My dad text me to say he was praying for me.   Isn't family great?

 I went to pick up Katelyn from my friends house.  As soon as I saw her I cried some more. She held me for a while not even knowing what was wrong with me.   Then she made me a cup of coffee. And we had a talk.  She said we never know what things will affect us from
Traumatic events. I had no idea I would have been so upset going back there.

But I am reminded even in this of my blessings. I have my fourth baby girl Katelyn. Her name means "pure" and her middle name is Joy. Pure Joy. The doctors called me "lucky" but I know better.

I am reminded that grief, that soul wrenching grief that physically hurts because  it's so powerful, can pop back up at any moment. That is why day by day we need our Savior. I am reminded of the peace I felt even in the turmoil. I am reminded how it felt to be held and carried by my Heavenly Father when I was too weak to stand. I remember how being held meant I so close that He spoke words only meant for my heart that I don't feel I would share and yet I won't ever forget them. I remember how I felt the prayers of so many like a heavy blanket across my weary heart.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.

I am disappointed that after the 30th I will need time to recover because I love having my kids home in the summer. I enjoy their company and all the activities we do. And I don't find asking for help to come very easily to me.

But it will work out. :)

I am not looking forward to going back to that office for my post op appointment but perhaps this time I will be more prepared!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trying New Things

 After having a lot of knee pain I ended up going to the doctor to see what was going on. I have had an x-ray and now an MRI.   My orthopedic said that my cartilage is breaking down in both of my knees. Even though only one of my knees , my right one, is bothering me.

 The MRI showed that I had some fluid on my knee and some inflamation. The doctor wants to give me a shot this coming Monday.   I am not looking forward to that.

 I have been told I have to stop running and stop doing squats.   Also they want me on Naproxen and glucosamine/chondroitin.  I do not like taking Naproxen as I do not like taking medicine in general.  But I am taking it temporarily to try it out. But so far it does not seem to be making that much of a difference.

 I miss running.

 I have bought myself some rollerblades and I have been biking more and doing different things at the gym. I have been focusing more on weight training and less on cardio. I am now 1 pound less than my goal weight.

 But I still miss running.

 When one of my favorite running songs comes on the tempraion is there just to get on the treadmill and run anyways. But my knee pain is definitely stopping me from doing that.  My knee often hurts just walking or even doing the elliptical anymore.

 But I still miss running!

 There is nothing like running and nothing gives you the same feeling. Pushing past your limits, going faster,  and beating your last time.   I had gotten where I was able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes or less.   Every time I wanted to quit and give up I would do something strange. I would actually go faster.   Every time my head said I wanted to stop I would make the treadmill go faster or if I was outside I would run faster.   Or I would turn up my music or make sure he had a peppy song on.

 Rollerblading has been fun  but it is not the same as running.   I am trying to come to the realization that I should not run anymore. I know it is bad for my knees since I am already having knee problems.   I do have to say that the appeal of going to the gym has lessoned for me. I would rather go outside and ride my bike or rollerblade than go to the gym and do the elliptical.   So I have been focusing more on weights and getting toned.

 I am the type of person who needs a goal. Right now my goal is to learn to do pull-ups.   Having done mostly running and biking most of my strength is in my legs.   My arms have always been pretty weak and mushy.  Ha ha  but now my arms are changing. I  actually have muscles in my arms now that you can see!

 When I began trying to do pull-ups   I did it with 100 pounds of assistance. Which means I was not really pulling up much of my own bodyweight. The assistance was helping me lot.  Now I am down to 50 pounds of assistance.   I haven't quite been able to get beyond that.  On the weights that you pull down I can now pull down 90 to 110 pounds.  The trick is getting the weights down and I have to hang on the weights until I get them all the way down and then I can use my arms to do them.   On the pull back row weights I do around 80 pounds.   On the curl machine I am doing about 40 pounds.   The calf machine I can do 90 pounds. I avoid the other leg machines as they hurt my knees. Seeing as how I started most of these weight machines at around 20 pounds I have  come a long way!

 As far as food and nutrition goes Chris and I have really enjoyed the website Skinny Taste!  She makes very normal family friendly recipes but just shows you how to lighten them up a little bit with less calories.

 If anyone is actually interested my calorie goal is 1500 a day.  Most days I am right on that goal. Some days if I have been extremely active I might eat around 1600 a day.  I never say I am on an official diet.   It's not like I'm not allowed to eat a piece of cake or I have to stay away from carbs or I'm taking some kind of shake or supplement. I am just eating better foods and less of them. And exercising more.

 I am trying a new recipe tonight for a quinoa casserole. If it taste pretty good maybe I can post it on here.

 Well that is it for now!  Back to work ! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Style

I haven't blogged in a while because nothing all that new is happening with us. :)

I am thinking of doing some more fitness and diet based posts for anyone interested. My idea to write about my work outs and what we are eating and recipes.

Chris has lost 32 pounds now! I have lost 41 and hit my goal weight.

Our plan is to keep the weight off of course!  I feel like I understand nutrition better now and have a better handle on it that I ever have before.

 So I am not sure if anybody would be interested but in case you are I am hoping to update more often with more fitness and exercise posts.

Nathan had a dentist appointment today and he did great! So did Emma and Katelyn. Going to the dentist used to be such a stressful day for everyone!

The end.... For now....

Friday, January 17, 2014

I've Had People Say.....

I have not updated in a while but I was thinking about the times I've told someone my son has Asperger's and how they have reacted. 

I've had people say, "I am so sorry!"

Sorry?  If you've said this before don't feel bad.  It comes from a good place in your heart.... I hope.  Saying you are sorry is like saying "poor you to be stuck with that kid" or "poor kid he will never be all right."  But I am not sorry.  He is the same boy whether or not there is a diagnosis attached to him.  Don't be sorry.  Be understanding.

I've had people say, "Really?  Are you sure?"

Ummm....yea... I am sure.  This reaction usually comes from people who have not spent much time with Nathan.  They have seen him on his good days and on his best behavior.  This comment does not offend me,  It reminds me that four years of Social Groups, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy are working.  But some do get offended by this statement.  I've heard parents say it sounds like you are doubting what they know and they wish you could see the hard days, the tantrums, the stubbornness, the gagging at smells, the loud sounds, the shutting down moments.......  Yes....we are sure.

I've had people say, "My kid does those things too.  It's normal for boys."

This statement probably also comes from a good place in your heart and hopefully an honest place.  Hopefully you are trying to connect and be sympathetic and kind.  It does not offend me.  In fact it's nice to hear that my kid is "normal."  But I can tell you others find it offensive.  Why?   You are implying that maybe it's a misdiagnosis, over diagnosis, or just not that bad. So just be careful with that one.  Maybe say, "My child does some things similar to that at times."  Or just nod because maybe the mom needs to vent to you for a bit and just wants a listening ear.

I've had people say, "What is Asperger's?"

This is not at all offensive and should not be to anyone.  My opinion is just because you have had to become an expert on a topic such as autism and Asperger's does not mean the rest of the world has had to.  So educate yourself and be prepared to educate others in a kind way. 

I've had people give me the look. 

You know what I mean. That look that says, "Why is your son acting that way?"  "Isn't he too old to be doing that?"  "Why can't you control your kid?"  "He needs better discipline."  Yea....that look.   When Nathan was four he talked like an adult.  He spouted off the Presidents names, first, middle, and last like a party trick and people loved it.  He talked about soil erosion and history.  So people thought he should act like an adult too.  So when he acted like a four year sometimes acts then people give you the look.  Because of his obsessive personality he would do things that would make people look.  I don't mind people looking but not if they are giving "the look."  You know what I mean.

I've had people be downright rude.

"How old is your son?" 
"He is eight."
"Really?" said in the most nastiest way you can imagine. 
This happened when Nathan was at the park having a fit on his bike.  He was crying because he couldn't keep up with the  other kids.  And this woman was wanting me to tell him to "stop" or "be a man" or "don't be a cry baby" or something.  According to her my son was not acting his age.  According to her my son wasn't doing or behaving the way she thought he should.  Now, there are plenty of times when I have dealt with this and will explain to the person, "He  has Aspergers.  It's hard for him." But if you are being mean and nasty and thinking your two girls with their perfectly done hair eating cherries like candy are the epitome of your perfect parenting style and my son crying on his bike is not... then you get no explanation.  I'd rather go comfort and encourage my son than waste my time trying to change your mind.  Sorry.  Rude?  Maybe?  Or just the truth.....

I've had people step away.

I was talking with a woman in Target close to Christmas.  She was looking  at Imaginext toys.  Nathan's favorite.  He was not with me.  Shopping alone!  A mini vacation!  :)  She looked confused as she browsed the toys.  I asked if I could help.  She told me what her son wanted, a castle with a orange door.  I said, "It's this castle.  I know them all.  My son loves these."
"How old is your son?" she asked me cheerfully as she grabbed the castle from the shelf.
"He is eight." 
"What else does he play with?" she asked. 
"Not too much else.  He loves Imaginext toys."
She smiled.  "Really?  But like what other toys?  I need ideas for my son."
I shrugged.  I was enjoying my conversation with her.  She was so friendly and so I thought I'll just open up a bit.  "He pretty much plays with Imaginext and maybe a few action figures.  He has Aspergers so his interest are limited."
Her face changed then and I am not lying when I say  she took a step back as if she might catch a disease.  "Oh," she said and then grabbed her cart and hurried away!  I was shocked!  Her whole face went from friendly to scared in a matter of  minutes like just being near me might infect her. 

And I've  had people be kind to me and Nathan and their children be kind. 

So what is the right reaction?

If you don't know then ask questions.  How did you know? How was he diagnosed?  How does he do in school? 
If you don't know what to say then maybe keep quiet or ask the mom or dad how they are doing.  Some days are rough! 
If you want to comfort then comfort but most of us don't need comfort.  We want you to just understand and help your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews understand and to be taught kindness. 
Ask how you can help? 
Sometimes we have a lot of appointments and places and therapies and it can help to watch other kids or to even offer to go with the mom or dad to some of the appointments.
Be a friend.  Sometimes we have to be hard on our kids or always on them to try and prevent  meltdowns.
Warn us.  People with Aspergers like a plan and they liked to know what will happen.  So let us in on details for a play date before it occurs so we can prep.   
Treat our children like normal children.  Just have a little extra patience and kindness.
Be a friend.  Encourage your children to be a friend.   


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Some choose to remain silent and not talk about their loss and I think that is just fine and some choose to frequently talk about their loss, to blog about it, to facebook it, to tattoo their baby's name or due dates on their body.

We had already announced our pregnancy and had shared photos of us surprising our family on Christmas Day.  Since our pregnancy was public so was our loss.  But we are so grateful for the outpouring of love we received, the cards, the well wishes, the Bible verses, the flowers, and the prayers!

People choose to grieve or to remember in many different ways.

We don't really need a day to remember our loss as we remember all the time.  But it sure is nice to have a day to remember we are not alone.

To all who have lost a pregnancy, had a still birth, or lost an infant, you aren't alone.  Many will choose to light a candle between the hours of 7-8 tonight.  We usually do not. 

Here is an interesting article about today. 

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Monday, September 9, 2013

School School School

After a busy and fun filled summer the kids had their first week of school last week and have entered into the second week today.

So far so good!

Emma likes her 1st grade teacher and is doing really well.  I think she tends to respond better to other people teaching her than her own mother!  She is reading and doing more math than I thought she could do.  She always tells me she doesn't know how to read but this momma caught her reading!  Stinker.  She is still always on the go and never stops.  As soon as her head hits the pillow it's light out.  If you don't hurry to say good night then she will be asleep before you get there to tuck her in.

Katelyn is 19 months and a busy bee.  She is not thrilled that her brother and sister are now in school.  She is absolutely in love with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and now has taken a liking to Dora.  We call her the hoarder because she likes to walk around the house with her arms absolutely full of toys!  I stopped nursing her at 18 months.  I am not weird.  I am not insane.  :)  But it was time for us to end it.  She is a easy going baby (Toddler: ahhh) and a true joy to be around. 

Nathan has done great at school!  He loves his teacher and he really thrives on the set schedule.  He acts like a movie star waving and talking to all the teachers and staff and knows their names and room numbers.  He is excited that this year might be harder for him.  His teacher is talking about getting him into the gifted program this year.  He will continue to do PT 2 times in a 6 day cycle and he will also see the school psychiatrist 2 times in a 6 day cycle which is actually more than last year.

The mornings and nights are cooling off and it seems like fall is already in the air!  I love this cooler weather.  Time sure passes fast with kids.  They are growing up very fast. 

Time for homework! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Nathan's 504 for the coming year

I am finally getting around to updating about Nathan's 504.  It actually means a lot that a few people have asked me to update and let them know how things went.  Thanks to all who prayed!

First we got a great report from Nathan's Physical Therapist.  She said Nathan went through a slump where he refused to do anything, said he couldn't do it, it was too hard, and would just give up.  This must have been when we got the report that was less than stellar and I found to be very discouraging.  Let me also make it clear that I have no desire for my son to become some super star athlete and that we are beyond grateful for what he can do.  We look at him receiving PT (physical therapy) as a way to help better him in a few areas that are lacking. So please don't ever think we are complaining.  We are glad Nathan can walk and run!  Anything after that is icing on the cake.

Anyways, his therapist said she was considering contacting me and telling me Nathan wasn't cooperating and she wasn't sure what to do.  That he had given up but then something changed.  She said Nathan began to doing what he was supposed to do and even trying hard to do it for longer than his goal time!  His last report was glowing!  He has met many of his goals. 

In the coming school year he still qualifies for PT.  They will work on environmental awareness: not tripping over objects, paying attention to his surroundings, and things such as that.  They will work on him catching a ball.  Nathan rarely can catch a ball that is thrown to him.  They will work on his kicking a ball that has been rolled to him.  He can't kick it if it's rolling.  His timing is too off.  These may seem like minor goals but the real point of these goals is a focus on Nathan's motor skills which are lacking. 

Nathan will meet the with school Psychologist once every 6 days.  They will focus less on not interrupting and taking control of the class and more on the aspects of friendships and what being a  friend means. 

They are also considering the use of noise canceling headphones during loud times at school.  Nathan has been very stressed this year when there have been assemblies, loud  lunches, and too much noise in his classroom.  Strict guidelines will be put in place for use of the headphone due to Nathan's obsessive personality. 

So that's about it for his 504.  We have more paperwork, more things to sign, and we are grateful for all of it!

Emma did very well for her kindergarten year.  She was sad to leave her teacher and friends but happy about the summer. She has learned to read a little and do some math.

Katelyn has hit the terrible 2's even though she's only 16 months old.  She goes from happy to crying in 2 seconds flat!  The words "no" really makes her angry! 

This week at church we are doing a VBS.  The first day was yesterday and we had a great turn out.  Nathan has made friends with a boy from his school and it's nice to hear the two of them chatting away to each other. 
Some of the neighborhood boys have "disappeared" and don't come around anymore.  It's difficult for Nathan to keep the friends he makes. 

Chris and I notice more things are definitely to do with Nathan's Asperger's and his way of thinking than just typical 7 yr old boy thinking.  I won't go into details but Nathan pitched an absolute fit the other day because the kids weren't playing the way he wanted them to play.  He wanted them to stop their game and play his game and when they said no he lost it.  It's time like these I wish there was more understanding because Chris and I both tried to reason with him and make him understand but he would not and could it.  It's during times like these his Asperger's is more apparent.  It's just a funny way of thinking he has. 

Chris said he recently heard  someone say that kids with Autism and Aspergers are just disobedient kids needing discipline.  We couldn't disagree more.  We know when Nathan is just being a naughty seven year old and needs to be disciplined and believe me he gets put in the corner and has things taken away.  We never let him use his Aspergers as an excuse to be bad.  But we also know when he is reacting as a child with Aspergers to something.  When a tantrum is "not normal" but we also don't let him get too rude or wild.  There is a limit.  If he needs to go to his room and shout and scream because he's angry or upset or something didn't go the way he pre-planned then he is allowed but only before for so long.  After a while we make sure he  knows enough is enough.

We are human.  We get frustrated.  We get perplexed.
 And above all
We are

So here comes summer.  Here comes fun.  Here comes pool days, lazy days, beach, zoo, and friends.  And for us here comes drama, tears, and misunderstandings and trying to get Nathan to make and keep friends and not chase them away.  And lot so  pre-planning and notification about what we will do in a day to keep his stress level down.
We pray for wisdom in parenting all our children.  We are grateful for each of them.  Nathan and Emma have both now asked the Lord Jesus into their hearts. We pray now it was true and we will see the "fruit" or proof of that in their lives.
I am amazed I wrote all this in one sitting but Katelyn's telling me enough is enough and I think she's right!  :)