Sometimes you just need a break….

8638dc183fb5bf2f386c66468bc4cf38
It is funny how procrastination works. It seems (for me at least) that the more I think about needing to do something, the more I tend to avoid it. I have not written in 4 long months. I can hardly believe it has been that long and during that time so much has happened. Many people have asked me if I quit the blog, gave it up or just decided not to write anymore and quite honestly I have not really been able to give a real answer because I was unsure of why I was not writing, where this “writer’s block” was coming from or if I would start sharing again anytime soon. My answers are always fairly honest – I have been busy, we just moved, I am tied up with the kids and getting our lives together, by the end of the day/night I am too tired, drained and exhausted to sit down and write, etc. These are all true statements and in fact it has been a very hectic but fun few months following our move to the new house, getting Charlie settled in school only to have summer come along which meant a change in schedules, a lot of down time with the kids, weekends at the beach and more. Yet every single night I remember and remind myself that I am supposed to write, I am supposed to share, I am supposed to do more.

And that is the exact reason why I have not been writing. Feeling like I am obliged or required to sit down and share my story makes writing so much harder than it needs to be. Apparently I have learned in life that I am a big “should-er.” I so easily tell myself about all of the things that I should be doing, should have done, should want to do that I simply forget to live in the moment, let go of what I or anyone else thinks I should be doing and actually just live my life. But sometimes, I just need a break and sometimes you just need a break too.

In them midst of the craziness day to day, the kids, the work, the house, family obligations, the unexpected things that happen no matter how much we plan, just life being life I have to believe that it is okay for all of us to take a break. Checking out when you are a parent or a spouse is not really an option and for good reason but for me while I can’t check out on life (nor would I ever want to), I can choose to let a few things go for some time in order to just get back to the basics and figure out what’s next. What do I really want to say? Writing just to write, well that is so not my style and so dear friends who have asked, and emailed, and texted and called I have no deep, profound answer expect that I simply was taking a break, a mini-vacation if you will. For the blog was something I started for myself and if I could not share in a beneficial way than I thought it best to simply step back and give myself some time.

There is more to come, there always is. It has been a summer of ups and downs, of amazing outings, days on the beach and a supportive team of therapists. It has been a summer of frustration and tears and meltdowns and tantrums. It has been a summer of changes and learning for everyone in my family and it changes day by day, minute by minute in our case and I finally feel like things are calming down enough to start to share yet again.

For those of you who have reached out, I thank you – thank you for caring for checking in and for wanting to know how we are all doing over here ( I truly appreciate it). And while it has been a tiring but fun summer, I can tell you that I am looking forward to the fall and getting into a normal routine, I will certainly miss the time with my boys; watching them on the beach, seeing my baby discover sand for the first time, learning that Charlie has a major obsession with popsicles, being able to spend so much time with family and close fiends, throwing a first birthday party on the beach and so much more. But I was always the sort of person who was excited for the first day of school, for the next change, for the excitement, hope and unknown that could be around the corner and I am still that person. I am grateful for the break in writing and in general because I feel that I have much more to say now after my semi-bout of silence so here is to an awesome last few weeks of summer and sunshine and looking forward to seeing what is next….

Is awareness a bad thing?

About 2 months ago I came across a blog written by an adult woman on the autism spectrum disorder. I don’t recall the specific article or topic that led me to this blog but I liked it and found it helpful for me so I decided to start following along. Then a few weeks ago there were two separate articles posted that really made me stop and think about why I write, if it is wrong for me to write and about the potential impact on my son (both good and bad). In fact I have been so bothered by these specific articles that I pretty much stopped writing because I felt really bad about this particular blogger’s message. I have gone back a few times to reread the articles and am feeling a bit better about sharing our story via my writings but there continues to be some doubt. Writing for me is a really enjoyable hobby regardless of the topic. I started to write because I like it and those who follow my posts know that while I may have started writing or sharing my experiences being Charlie’s mom, many of my posts have nothing to do with autism. I don’t view my role as a burden nor do I view Charlie’s diagnosis as a tragedy…..it’s just what our world is and in my view I guess I feel that sharing information could be really helpful for those who spend time with Charlie. It is my job to navigate the world for him, to help others understand who he is and what he needs and to make sure that I understand as much as I can about how the world works for him. Do I have to share this via a blog? I guess I don’t to be honest and if writing has a negative impact on my son or his life than I don’t want to do it. Quite simply writing has been a nice outlet and I have met some really great people or connected with those I have not talked to in a while so I guess I don’t see how that could be viewed negatively. (more…)

Making the move….

bigger house

It has been a month since I have been able to find some downtime to write and as I type these words I am on a plane heading to California.  There are a few reasons I have not been writing lately (more to come on that)  but the major reason is because we  are finally moving!  I wanted to share this news a while back but after a few deals that fell through I was pretty sure it would be best to wait until the deal was actually done.  Our official move date is next Saturday but we settled on the new place a few weeks ago and I am definitely getting excited.   I have really been trying to find the time to sit down and write but any free time has been spent packing, organizing or coordinating the move so I figured since I am stuck on a 6 hour flight (not a good thing for my ADHD self) it was the perfect time to post. (more…)

No worries about a thing……

calm-calmness-content-contentment-inspirational-Favim.com-426306

Vacation was great yet somehow it already feels like a lifetime ago since we returned back home. It has been a few weeks since I have written (for quite a few reasons) and in a way the time away left me with a lot of things to consider and think about before I started posting again. Being back home is even better because I missed my boys terribly and seeing their faces when we returned was just awesome. There is something to be said for going away on vacation now that we are parents because while I used to cry on our last day of a vacation and be sad about leaving, now I have something way better to look forward to in going back home and it makes the end of vacation just as good as the beginning…but I digress.

My husband and I enjoyed an extremely relaxing, chill, fun and wonderful vacation in Jamaica. Days were spent on the beach, napping, swimming in the ocean, kayaking and of course enjoying the many fruity cocktails on hand. It was a much needed break from our hectic lifestyle and a chance for us to “just be” with no expectations, deadlines or needs to be met. We missed the boys a lot and talked about them or looked at pictures often because no matter how far away we may have been, our boys are a part of who we are and nothing will change that. I considered writing while we were away but decided that it was best to leave the computer at home and just take the time to unwind and recharge which was exactly what I did. (more…)

Bring on the sunshine…….

oprah

I am pretty sure that at this point everyone is ready for spring time, sunshine and warm weather. Yet another snow day today which means the kids are home, parents are cooped up inside, food stores are emptied out and we are all trying to come up with new ways to stay entertained. I am certainly no different and after catching the stomach bug again this week (that is twice this month!) I am itching to get out but alas the weather has different plans for me. We have a lot going on in the next month or two and I am getting stressed about all that needs to be done (more to come on that in a future post). When I get in the mode of worry, anxiety and stress over everything that I have to do, I often become paralyzed and unable to start any one project. But time is not always on my side and if one thing is for sure, my husband is getting on a plane to Jamaica next Tuesday whether or not I am with him so I best start packing, start planning and start getting excited because whatever may be happening here in NJ I am most definitely only 5 days away from some serious sunshine. (more…)

HELP……a four letter word

help

I really don’t like asking for help. Part of me may even hate it a bit. I don’t know exactly why this is a challenge for me but I guess I can be a bit of a control freak about things ( I can imagine my husband laughing at these words when he reads this). Those who have worked with me in the business setting know this all to well and my family and friends have been exposed to my inability to just let other people help, do the work, give me a break, etc. It is certainly not that I think I can do it all….because I humbly admit that I cannot. It is not because I don’t trust other people to handle things or that I believe I am best suited for every project or parenting moment because many times I doubt my own ability at a given task. Lately, I have been doing some research on this issue to try and understand why it is so hard for me to just ask for HELP. This is certainly ironic considering how long it has taken us to get Charlie to ask for help in a variety of scenarios. He simply was unable or unwilling to admit his frustration and ask us to help him. We worked on this for a very long time and were first successful in getting Charlie to use the sign for help with him eventually saying the actual word (although we often still have to prompt him to say “HELP mom”). I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after all….. (more…)

A different kind of snow day….

WhatsFunForOtherPeople_124759
Today we had a snow day – but not the typical version that most people have. There were no snow angels, no sledding, no hot chocolate. We did not even make it outside and while this fact used to drive me crazy, I have come to accept that just because it is called a snow day doesn’t mean we are going to actually be in the snow. With our little guy, the battle of snow suits and boots and hats and gloves and the cold just don’t really seem worth the upset and while there was a time when we would have pushed and pushed to make those picture perfect memories take place, it seems we have started to realize that there is no one version of how things should be and many times it’s finding the things that Charlie thinks are fun that turn into our best moments. (more…)

I just hate it….today

bad day

I make an effort when writing to be honest and truthful as much as possible while at the same time aiming to have a positive outlook in regards to the daily struggles of being a parent of a child with special needs (or even just being a parent in general). Most of the time this is not a challenge for me as I truly believe that we are very lucky but sometimes I have a bad day (or a bad week) and I struggle with being able to let that be – to just be mad or sad or frustrated and know that it’s okay. One bad day, one bad week is not going to determine the rest of my life and just as we acknowledge how hard some things can be for Charlie to deal with or experience, there are situations that are as equally challenging for us as his parents. (more…)

The follow-up appointment…..

In my January 28th post, I wrote about how we had our evaluation with Charlie at CHOP and that my husband and I were scheduled for our follow-up meeting with the developmental pediatrician and other team members this past Wednesday. In all honesty, I was not really that stressed about the appointment because we have been through so many evaluations either with the early intervention team, the school child study team or with our previous developmental pediatrician. In a way I felt we knew what to expect and were prepared for whatever the CHOP team may tell us. I was not nervous about the meeting and was fairly calm walking into the appointment. A good friend who has been through this experience with her own son and who had met with a team at the same facility called me the day before and was extremely helpful in providing both support and advice regarding our follow-up session. The last thing she told me was to “expect the worst.” This was meant not to scare or upset me but rather to help me. Prepare for the worst so that you are not caught off guard or upset by whatever the doctor may say. This was great advice but I was not convinced this applied to me simply because this team had seen everything that other evaluators had and I felt strongly that they would tell my husband and me that they were unsure about Charlie; he would continue to perplex them as he had so many before and that we would need to continue living in this ” we don’t really know” existence for a while longer while they figured him out.

It turns out that I was wrong. So much for mother’s intuition or perhaps we can call it optimism in this case. The doctor came into our meeting, explained she had multiple reports to review with us and out of the gate advised my husband and me that based on their full evaluation and the three different tests that were conducted on Charlie, they are providing a diagnosis of Autism. I felt my pulse quicken and my heart pounding and immediately looked over to my husband to gauge his reaction (he is far less emotional than I am and more difficult to read but I could tell he was shaken as well). The next hour and half consisted of a review of the various reports provided by the doctor, psychologist, speech therapist and occupational therapist. Both the speech and occupational therapist came into the meeting to review their reports and recommendations which was helpful and appreciated. During this meeting, I was definitely listening and paying attention and taking it all in but I was also distracted and my mind was reeling. Autism – it was official….finally. (more…)

Ah, how I missed you

I feel like it has been forever since I have posted and in a way for me it has! I have not gone this long without a post that it seems almost weird writing again. I have so much to share and so much in my head that I need to actually refresh myself on my own posts so that I know where I last left off.

The reason for the long silence on my part is two fold. First, I was in such a state of waiting to have our follow-up appointment at CHOP that I was in a sense distracting myself with many other things that had little or nothing to do with this blog or Charlie’s issues. I guess in a way, I was purposely focusing on other areas of my life in an effort to pass the time and avoid thinking about the meeting with the CHOP team. Second, on my way to that CHOP appointment on Wednesday I started feeling sick and by Wednesday night I was in full blown virus/flu type mode. The last few days have been a complete blur consisting of me mostly being asleep in my bed, chugging fluids, making my husband pick up the slack at home and being extremely thankful that my in-laws were kind enough to take the baby for a few days so that I could rest and recover and also in an effort to avoid getting him sick since he is so young and has not been vaccinated. I am starting to turn the corner today (saturday) and while I realize I am definitely not 100% I am coherent, not asleep and actually feeling semi-normal. I spent most of the day cleaning, washing and disinfecting my entire house and feel like life has returned to normal somewhat (whatever that means)!

So for those who have reached out via this blog, personal emails or text wondering where I disappeared to, why I have not provided a post or update I do apologize but I was seriously down for the count. I am guessing this hiatus will certainly impact my future posts on what has happened in the last week because I have had more time to think about things which is good for me as I can sometimes jump the gun or become overly focused in certain areas of my life. Maybe me getting sick was a sign that I just needed to take some time for me (even if that meant being asleep for most of it).

Stay tuned, more to come. And thanks for the follow-up and caring from those of you who did reach out, I truly appreciate it.