I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Gratitudes

I'm worried my post from yesterday turned into a big 'ol whine fest. So, I'm trying to dig myself out of the funk I've been in lately by realizing how blessed we are...

1. We may be up to our eyeballs in debt, but at least we have a roof over our head, food to eat, and air conditioning to keep us cool.  AND Sim and I are in agreement that we have to break down this mountain and we're slowly chipping away at it one penny at a time.

2. Noah may not qualify for SSI, but we are blessed to have been able to provide therapies for him for the last 10 years. He's never gone without and I'm so thankful that we've been in a position to give him what he needs.

3. N &E may have explosive tempers, but they both also have very sweet sides, are wonderful with Noah and Naveen, and we are very fortunate that their tempers are no longer violent.

4. Nandi's at Math & Reading camp this week through our local elementary school and it means we're all up, dressed, teeth brushed, fed and out the door by 7.45. I love being back on a schedule!

5. I have mountains of laundry to wash and fold, but how can I complain when there are so many people who have nothing?

6. We have been abundantly blessed with hand-me-downs and new clothes for Naveen and Nandi. Thank you Jeanie, Jennifer, Lisa, and Emily for thinking of us!

7. We may only have a grocery/diaper/dog food budget of $100 a week for a family of 6 (with food allergies), BUT there are people in the world surviving off 30 cents a day. We have never gone hungry. Never.

Ever.

And we always manage. Always. It's hard, but at least we have that $100 to spend.

8. I'm thankful for parents who live nearby who let me "borrow" rolls of toilet paper when we run out and who let us eat at their place once a week. (And who load my kids up on "the good stuff" when they start feeling deprived.)

9. Sometimes I throw myself a pity party because Sim is gone 12-14 hours a day, but I'm so thankful he has a job to go to, that pays well, and allows me to stay home. Geesh, why am I complaining? I'm also blessed that we're a double parent household and that he does come each night. I know that I'm very lucky.

10. I'm so fortunate that Noah's autism, though considered severe, is a mild form of severe. He's not violent. He's so sweet and gentle. He sleeps through the night (for the most part) and we are so so so blessed.

11. Naveen pees about every 20 minutes. He is constantly peeing. I found myself getting frustrated from constantly taking him to the toilet, but then I thought, you know what? I should be grateful that he pees so much. He has one working kidney and even that one's not at full capacity. How blessed we are that Naveen's kidney is working so well.

12. I also found myself getting frustrated at Eli's incessant talking. He.Never.Stops.Talking.Never.Ever.Ever and I'm a person who thrives on peace and quiet. The other day I actually said, 'Will you please stop talking?!" And it occurred to me that I constantly pray that Noah will start talking and here I am begging my very verbal kid to stop. Wrong attitude.

13. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by Naveen's clinginess. He becomes hysterical if I leave the house or if we go to my parents because he thinks I'm going to leave them there. He's fine when it's just us alone at home, but once Sim comes home, Naveen follows me like a little puppy everywhere I go. He's terrified I'll leave. But I am so thankful that he's bonded to me and that he's so attached to me and that he feels so secure with me. Just remind me of this when I'm on here in a few months complaining that I ended up having to get a pap smear with Naveen sitting in a stroller in the corner. Do you think they let three year olds come back when you get a mammogram?

14. Naveen may have parasites, but at least we have the medicine to fix them. There are so many people in other parts of the world who have to watch their children whither away from something that could be cured with a simple pill. We are blessed beyond measure!

Plus, I'm so thankful I've never opened up a diaper full of worms. *gag* No, really. I've just caused myself to gag. I have a terribly vivid imagination.

Okay, so there's more, but now I'm starting to feel embarrassed about all my whinging yesterday. I feel so selfish in reading these. But maybe every now and then I do need to set my pride aside and realize how blessed I am. I think I see the light more clearly when I write it all down and it's just sitting there staring back at me. It ain't pretty, that's for sure. But it does help me recognize that I need to change my way of thinking. Pity parties are great. For about 5 minutes. And then it's time move on.

So for today, I'm going to be thankful that Nandi's at Math & Reading camp. I have some free time to tackle chores. We have a pool for the kids to cool off in. We have a fabulous Occupational Therapist to work with the kids this afternoon. I have a husband who will be home in 11 and a half hours, and there's food in the fridge.

It's gonna be alright.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Just a Quick Update

I can't believe it's been a whole month since I last blogged. Things have been crazy busy around here, but thought I'd pop in and give a quick update.

Summers are pretty rough for us due to our family dynamics. Nandi thrives on structure, Eli abhors it, Noah could spend all day spinning Tupperware lids on his his knees, and Naveen wakes up with an agenda to see how much he can destroy! haha   And then, of course, Nandi and Eli are like oil and water. They both compete for my attention and have pretty explosive tempers. And when you add a child who has severe autism, plus a newly adopted three year old who acts three so incredibly well....  well.... you get the drift. It's been kind of rough 'round these parts.

The end is in sight, though, with school starting up again on the 27th. Nandi and Eli are both in public school, with Nandi going into 2nd grade and Eli into 3rd. Public school has it's drawbacks for sure - and the hours of 3.30 - bedtime are usually disastrous, but it will give me several hours in the day to devote my time solely to Noah and Naveen (who both desperately need it!!!).  Once N & E come home, nothing else gets accomplished for the whole day.

We're headed to Austin in a few weeks so that Noah can work with Soma at HALO. We'll just be there a few days, but the kids are looking forward to it. A pool AND cable TV in the hotel? They think they're at Disney. I'm so glad that it takes so little to please them at this age.

This summer has also been full of doctor's appointments. Nandi, Eli, and Noah are all in OT. Nandi's had her ears checked. Turns out she can hear... she's just been ignoring us. I pretty much suspected it, but wanted to be sure.  She hit her head and had to go to the ER last month. They ran a CT scan, which was normal (except for her brain cyst). Still paying off that bill...

Eli goes on Wednesday to get his eyes checked. Naveen had some sort of kidney tests run a few weeks ago. They had to sedate them and we were there for ages. He goes to the nephrologist on the 13th for the results. That same day, Noah will get his new Neurodevelopment evaluation through A Hope and A Future .

AND... Naveen's bloodwork, urine, and stool tests all came back. He tested positive for parasites. *Shudder*  Which reminds me that I keep forgetting to pick up his Flagyl from CVS.

Sim and I have just started doing the Dave Ramsey program. Our goal is to be credit card free by my 40th birthday, which is next August. Considering that we financed an entire adoption on our credit card(s), we have a looooong way to go. It was worth it, but now that the kids are getting older, their bills are getting more expensive. Nandi's cavity from last month set us back over $200. For one baby tooth that's going to fall out eventually.  Anyway, our budget is tight. I've always wondered how other parents of children with special needs do it. We are definitely starting to feel the pinch. All the kids need a variety of therapies and we don't qualify for SSI.... so, we're just going to buckle down and do it. A couple of years of hard work will pay off in the long term, and we really do need to start thinking about our future. To tell you how serious I am about it, I have held off on buying hair dye and gave my mom my birthday wish list for next month - hair dye, conditioner, and face moisturizer.  I'm currently moisturizing my face with the same lavender baby lotion that I slather on Naveen's butt!

Okay, so this is possibly the most boring blog post ever. A total ramble. But nothing exciting 's been going on. Naveen is doing great. He's soooo three!! He has a bit of a temper and is definitely exerting his independence. He's still firmly attached to me and doesn't care much for Sim or my parents (much to their dismay). Our social worker comes at the end of the month for our 2nd post placement visit, so we'll run through some ideas with her.

Nandi broke my camera, so I don't have any pictures to show, but if I can figure out how to get them out of the camera and onto the computer, I'll post some.  And hopefully not wait so long to update again! Who knows, maybe when school starts up, my sense of humor and personality will come back?! =)  I hope so!