Sunday, May 22, 2011

and everything is going to be okay


recently, reagan was diagnosed with autism. after years of concern and months of testing and waiting, this did not come as a surprise. i think i have known for quite a while. the news came as a relief. answers! as a mother, i believe that you can know things about your children that no one else can. for a long time i was filled with guilt and anxiety that i hadn't done something right. that i was missing something. in actuality, one of the most important parenting lessons i have learned is that when you do have those feelings, that means you are doing something right because you are aware and you are caring. moms are privy to feelings that i know to be God-given. i have always known reagan to be a smart and kind and wonderful boy. he is so special. but i also felt that he was struggling with things that he couldn't articulate. things that didn't even seem to bother him much, except for when others would participate and he would have a hard time interacting. and even then, being alone didn't bother him.

after we heard from the doctor reagan's diagnosis of having high-functioning autism, i was overwhelmed with one thought, everything is going to be okay. not perfect, not easy, not always great, but okay. and i'm good with that. i know that was the Spirit speaking to my heart and my mind. i feel so much peace. i know that the Spirit guides and prompts and comforts.

a few people that i have told have asked how i knew. for me there are 2 main indicators. the first was from his 3k pre-school teacher ms. angela. she was very aware that reagan was struggling socially, but not academically. she got us started on the road to figuring out what to do. my other indicator was scarlett. scarlett is a very warm, out-going and loving child. scarlett was always giving me hugs and kisses and telling me that she loved me. she is a communicator. reagan has only told me that he loves me one time. i remember everything about that moment. it still brings tears to my eyes. it is one of my most precious memories. scarlett has been such a blessing as she pulls reagan out of his shell and reagan keeps scarlett from jumping off the fridge or whatever antic she is up to that day. they are best friends! i know their relationship and their places in our family are no coincidence.
so, we are moving forward. reagan will always be mainstreamed in school because that is how he learns best. we expect great things from him because he is so smart. we know we will learn together and that our family will be strengthened and united. we are a happy family. we have plenty of struggles but i don't like to dwell on that. everybody had got their thing. this is just one of ours.

we have autism and everything is going to be okay.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


why i am not the fun parent:
i'm a stickler for bedtimes, but on thursday i allowed the kids to play in the backyard for a little extra time before they needed to go put jammies on and get ready for bed. in the course of about 30 seconds we went from happy-go-lucky children joy-riding in the lovely springtime weather to this:

scarlett normally doesn't drive the jeep, she relies on reagan or the neighbor boy to cart her around but this night she decided to take the wheel. she immediately drove the jeep into the creek in our backyard:
this picture is a little deceptive. there is about 5 foot drop from the yard to the creek.
and the jeep had flipped over in the process so i had to summon my bionic strength to lift it and flip it back over.
the kids were still under the jeep when i got to them. i sort of screamed like a little girl watching her barbie dolls melt. BUT, on a positive note, i have never ran faster. i wish someone had been timing me.
miraculously, no one was hurt even though the creek is full of rocks and the water is deeper than it looks. when i jumped in i sank down in the mud until the water was up to my knees. all i could think of once i stuck the landing was :

a. how many snakes might be in the creek

b. this is why i don't let the kids have fun

c. thank goodness i wasn't wearing anything nice

i had to find a happy place as i was hauling the kids out. which is super hard when they are whining and asking question like, "why aren't you strong enough to lift the jeep out too?"

this is going to be on our redneck christmas card:
if only i had been my normal kill-joy parenting self and sent the kids to bed i would have avoided 
1. hosing them off in the front yard in front of the entire world.
2. having to explain to my neighbors the screaming(well, this time anyway)
3. explaining to my other neighbor why i needed some help pulling a jeep out of the creek
4. hoping that he will still send his kids over to play with us.
in the end, everyone was fine except for scarlett's extra boogery nose.

Monday, May 09, 2011

happy monster's day

mother's day has come and gone
it was a memorable one
i enjoy being a mom
my kids and husband are the bomb

scarlett had a mother's day program at her school.

she made mother's day especially memorable this year with her heartfelt sentiments:
my mom is 4 years old (close)
her favorite color is pink (i think she meant black)
her favorite food is carrot and tomatoes (they both rank pretty high)her favorite thing to watch on tv is marrying (i do enjoy "say yes to the dress")
if i could buy my mom a present i would buy a barbie doll (i'd like the peaches n' cream one)
my favorite thing to do with my mom is play (safe answer)
what does my mom look like? a monster (awesome, parenting through fear is working)

and we went to a fun park to commemorate how much fun parenting is.

for my mama:

Monday, May 02, 2011


the week i turned 31:

on thursday, the day of my momentous birth i got up at 5:45 to fit in two workouts. i am always trying to pack too many activities on my birthday, as if this is the year i will be super organized and i will shuffle off my coil of sloth and procrastination. so, while i did work out twice, i was super tired all day too. and i did eat twice as much ice cream and brownies too. because i am 31 and i am the master of my own destiny.

my favorite picture of the day:

i did get some high brow reading out of the way too.

my birthday coincided with the nfl draft. reagan showed our aj green support(he was the #4 pick) on nfl draft day. i'm such a wonderful, selfless wife that thomas and i actually watched the draft live on thursday night. on MY birthday. how magnanimous of me.

i also spent a lot of time thursday watching the news, contacting alabama friends and trolling for updates on the aftermath of the tornado that destroyed parts of my beloved adopted hometown of tuscaloosa, alabama.

what's left of hobby lobby and full moon barbeque:
 it was heartbreaking to see. the full moon barbeque building that was completely destroyed used to house the poppa's college custard that thomas and i frequented when i was pregnant with reagan. i owe most of my baby weight to their oreo fudge brownie sundae. the krispy kreme that was destroyed was where i sometimes would buy doughnuts for my seminary students. the washington mutual finance office i worked at was a few blocks from the 15th street and macfarland intersection that the tornado tore down. for that reason, it was a very sad birthday.

saturday, thomas surprised me with new wheels. i am the terror of the neighborhood. now i can not only yell at speeding teenagers(and sometimes their parents), i can chase them down on my bike.

and on sunday, this is how we survived stake conference. we sat in the relief society room by ourselves:
it worked. the kids were reverent-ish. we were able to listen to the speakers. apparently sitting by other people is the problem.

and after conference, we ate more cake. i'm not sure what is going on here. but my triple layer red velvet brownie cake was especially delicious.
and then as a special treat, osama bin laden was killed last night. thomas really knows how to go all out.
happy birfday to me.