Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Yesterday, it was a week since the bombings at the Marathon. My husband and I have gone to the Boston Marathon for years, and then we had kids and haven't gone since.  Our favorite spot to stand and watch and cheer on the runners was just as the runners come out of the bridge on Comm Ave.  After the elite runners come by, we would wander over to the finish line on Boylston St.  This year the kids are 4 and 5 and as we were watching the marathon on TV we talked about when we could go back in to Boston and watch.  I actually had mentioned going in to Boston later in the afternoon and just hang around with the kids.  We ended up watching it on TV and hanging out at home.  Later that afternoon, I got an alert on my phone about an explosion in Boston.  I didn't think anything of it thinking it was something little, not realizing that the explosion was actually 2 homemade bombs that had exploded near the finish line.

Once I realized that it was actually a bombing and not an accidental explosion, my husband and I were glued to the TV.  As the week went on and we got more info, it became more and more emotional for me.  Anytime I heard something or saw something on the TV, I would cry.  I would think about how we always went to the marathon and how we were always in that area at the times the bombs went off. I would think about how I wanted to head into Boston later the day the bombs exploded and how horrible it could have been.  I would think about the people who died because of the crazy people who put bombs at this wonderful international event.  I would think about the injured and those that either ran the race or were spectators at the race and how this would affect them for the rest of their life.

Then Friday, when Boston and the surrounding towns were under lockdown as officials we after the two suspected bombers, I was an emotional wreck again.  When they spoke about how young the bombers were, I couldn't help wondering what made these kids do something so horrible.  How does the 19 year old, who had others say nothing but positive things about him, change to the point that he was able to carryout these horrific acts of terror?  I am always intrigued by what makes people do the things they do.  This does not mean that I even remotely think that there is an excuse for the horrific act these 2 people carried out.  I believe that the 19 year old (the 26 year old died during the chase) should be punished to the fullest extent possible.  There is no excuse for what they did no matter what the reason.  It is completely crazy and sick that people can do something like that to others.

Yesterday,  1 week after the bombing, I found out I knew the person that was holding the 8 year old boy that died.  I felt horrible that this person I knew had to lie with this experience.  She is a nurse that was helping out at the medical tent for the runners and she ends up trying to save this little boys life, only to have him die in her arms.  This is something that would be hard for even the strongest person to handle emotionally, but she is not.  I can't imagine how horrible this must be for her.  I am crazy emotional even now, and I wasn't even there!

I hope that our country never has to go through another horrific thing like this.  If there was one positive, it is how our community came together came together and helped out, either by helping the wounded, giving blood, donating money, doing fundraisers, and just banding together for support.  We are Boston strong!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Response To Recent Comments

I am always appreciative of any comments, but when people take time to comment like Anonymous did on the last post about Michael, I really, really appreciate it.  I will try to answer some of the questions posed in the comments.

First, Michael has been on an IEP since he was 3 for his significant speech delay.  He was only in EI for 6 month because we had hoped that he was just a little slow in talking, like my husband was.  He started in an integrated classroom, but after a couple of months, it was felt like he needed more support. We got together and revamped his IEP to include an extended year program as well as a much higher teacher to student ratio.  I believe that this has been a great help.

We finally decided to have him evaluated for Autism and ultimately, he was diagnosed May of 2012.  We had another IEP meeting and asked that he be evaluated for OT since he was also given a sensory integration diagnosis along with his PDD NOS.  OT felt that he did not have any OT needs that impacted his school day.  Speech on the other hand continues to be involved.  He is being seen for speech, both individually and in a small group setting, as well as in the integrated classroom.

I love the idea of seeing him in the classroom, but I think I may be more of a distraction.  I have been in to see him, but very informally.  He tends to stay with me and not do classroom things.  He also doesn't transition well after I leave (though it is only for a short time).

I think he is probably doing better than I am thinking, but I am still a little apprehensive.  He isn't fully potty trained and still wears pull ups at school.

We have a transition meeting set up for April 2nd.  His current teacher, his speech teacher, the integrated kindergarten teacher (who has observed him in both his classroom and the integrated classroom), and my husband and myself will be there.  I think that this meeting will help.  I think having the kindergarten teacher there will help.  I guess I don't do well with transitions like Michael.

I need to look at the kindergarten standards.  I think that he is doing well, but is probably a little behind.

As for sleep, I think this is where his sensory stuff really comes into play.  He just can't seem to settle on his own.  With out Melatonin, he will stay awake and have a ton of energy, just like the energizer bunny!

I am also noticing that he is getting more fearful of sounds than he used to be.  He was literally in tears when the fire alarm went off at the mall.  That meant I was literally in tears too.  He is starting to comment about the dryers in the bathroom making sure that I am not going to put them on when we go in.  He is also fearful of those squishy balls with hair, almost koosh like, but different.  He's not a fan of Koosh balls either.

As for music, it was where he shined with his verbal skills.  Even when he couldn't talk, he would attempt to sing and dance just like in music videos.  He loves acting out his TV shows now, sometimes in a repetitive way and sometimes in a way that just amazes me how much he remembers of the shows that he loves.  Sometimes, it's things like this that make me think he should be in music/theater groups instead of soccer.  If he were to go into a sport, I think swimming would be where he would shine.  Again, probably his sensory issues and inability to slow down are more relaxed in the water.  

As I look this over, I think it make be a little disjointed, like most of my writing.  I am not a writer and I am not great at grammar, but writing my blogs are something I love to do.  Please, if anyone has thoughts on Autism, feel free to share.  I will start sharing some things from my other 2 kids days too.  This blog is supposed to be about my crazy but amazing life as a married mom of 3 trying to work and enjoy life and all it's craziness!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This is Michael's last year in pre-school.  In September, he will move on to a new teacher, a new school, and a new "regular class (I believe).  Now this transition is hard for most parents of
"neuro-typical" children, but Michael has autism.  He doesn't always deal well with change (tough that is improving a little), he doesn't socialize with others very much (or at least he doesn't without someone guiding and modeling what to do), he has repetitive behaviors and can sometimes go into his own world when it comes to imaginary play.  His speech has come so far, yet his volleying back and forth with communication still needs a lot of work.  He doesn't answer questions reliably or at all sometimes. He will ask for things, which he was delayed doing.  He is also not potty trained with poop.  I am not sure what his IEP will look like.  I don't know if he will have someone in the class giving him extra attention so that his socialization skills continue to improve.  We are having a transition meeting in the next couple of weeks, so I'm sure that this will help with some of my anxiety, but I won't feel better until I actually see how he does in school.  Right now, he is in a class of 7 or 8 students and has 3 teachers in the room.  He does go to a regular pre-school class 3 times a week for lunch and circle time. This has been going well, but it is a more structured time, so I don't know how he would do in a less structured situation.

The one good area that I have been really happy with is his sleep.  We have been doing Melatonin for the last 2 1/2 months and have had to up the dose from 1 MG to 2 MG.  It still takes a good 45 minutes to kick in, but it does kick in.  He has been sleeping through the night and has been getting up a a reasonable time.  No more waking his up for school.  No more sleeping til 10:00 if we let him.  He is now asleep by 8:30 and is usually awake by 7:30 at the latest.  This morning he was actually up at 6:00.  I am hopeful that his improved sleep pattern, like all of us, is helping his overall.  He used to fall asleep closer to 10 or even 11 and then not want to wake up the next morning til 9 or 10.  We tried to do a sensory diet which helped somewhat, but it really didn't make a huge difference.  I am hoping that once spring is here and we are outside more, things will be even better.

Michael finally has something that he loves.  He had been really focused on Caillou to the point of reciting lines and acting out episodes sometimes at inappropriate times and often repetitive ways such as bedtime routine.  He now loves Wall-e and Mickey Mouse.  He doesn't seem to act out these shows as much, though he can recite the lines to them as he watches them.  In wall-e, the is a part from Hello Dolly and we watched it a couple of weeks ago.  He wasn't interested in it until that scene came on and he ran into the  room and sang with the song.We probably watch too much TV in this house and I am working on changing that.  He does love music and the Polar Express sound track right now is his favorite!

One thing that is bothering me right now is a family member who is trying to pressure us into signing him up for kindergarten soccer.  he has shown little interest in  soccer or anything like that.  He tends to enjoy digging in the dirt, running around, riding his bike, climbing,  and swimming.  Personally, I would rather see him in swimming lessons where he would thrive not in an organized team sport where he doesn't like to play with other kids.  The problem I have is that this person keeps pushing and pushing and pushing.  I just want to say "STOP TELLING ME WHAT I NEED TO DO FOR MY CHILD".  Yes that was meant to be yelling.  She always tells people what they need to do, not suggest an option that is available.  She then goes on to push her agenda.  With regards to soccer, she was a soccer coach for her kids and they still play soccer in high school and college.  I totally feel like this is her agenda and not mine.  Yesterday, we took Michael to spend $20 of his birthday money at the book store.  I posted it on Facebook (and maybe that's my problem, I open myself up for criticism by putting it out there), and she responded that I should be putting his money away for college.  He will have some go in his bank account, but I think it is important to let him spend some money on a gift.  Again, it is my child, and my decision.  No one else's, except my husband.  Again, I just want to yell, "stop telling me what to do!"

Thanks for listening to my rant!  I am so happy that I have some where to get out things both good and bad instead of only unloading on my husband!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Pictures 2012

A little something from 2012.

1/2012 talking a walk at Pleasure Island

2/2012 Waiting for Michael's bus

3/2012 Franklin Park Zoo

4/2012 North Station first train ride

5/2012 washing the fire truck at Michael's school

6/2012 sunglasses from the Festival by the Lake

7/2012 looking at the pond at the Peabody bike trail

8/2012 Newburyport

9/2012 North Conway Railroad Station

10/2012 Halloween

11/2012 Thanksgiving

12/2012 Christmas

There were so many other pictures to post with the different things that we did this year.  I just wanted to post 1 from each month.  Happy 2013!


Monday, January 7, 2013


Without going into all the details, getting Michael to sleep has not been one of my best moments as a mom.  I was clueless about schedules until he started daycare at 6 months.  Even then, we weren't and still aren't crazy about schedules.  Once we had the twins, a bunch of my friends and other twin moms mentioned how important it was to have a schedule, and it really helped.  Having 3 kids in under a year made having a schedule huge.  Having a schedule helped me keep my sanity, mostly.

Michael has always had a problem with sleep.  Once we changed his diet, at least he started to sleep through the night.  Getting Michael to sleep was probably one of the toughest ongoing issues as a parent.  The twins, especially Thomas, pretty much always had no problem getting and staying asleep.

Once Michael was diagnosed with PDD NOS, we talked about sleep issues and the difficulty he had getting to sleep, slowing down at night.  We tried a routine, but that worked a little and got to a point where it just got crazy.  We tried a sensory diet, but that only worked a little.  Michael wasn't falling asleep some nights until eleven pm.  It was crazy.  I wanted to fall asleep before he fell asleep.  I wanted time to myself, or with my husband to clean the house, do laundry, or some of my hobbies.  Never mind that Michael absolutely needed his sleep.

We talked to his doctor that diagnosed his PDD NOS and she recommended 1 MG of Melatonin.  We started the weekend before Christmas, and it was amazing.  He fell asleep about 2-30 minutes after he had the melatonin.  He wakes up so much easier now.  It is not a fight to get him out of bed for school.  He is getting the rest he needs.  I am able to have some time before I go to bed.  I can go to bed earlier if I want to.  Best of all, bedtime is not a hassle anymore.  He has a small drink with the melatonin in it about 20 minutes before I want him to go to bed and then he cuddles with me and falls asleep.  I get cuddles from him like when he was a baby.

I am not really a medication fan, but I think giving Michael melatonin has benefitted everyone in the house.  Thankfully it is something without negative side effects and it works.  It seems like kids who are on the autism spectrum have trouble getting to sleep.  Michael has more energy than most kids I know.  He hasn't napped since he was 2, goes to a 5 hour preschool program and still loves to be outside running around.  I am not a fan of winter, because it is not as easy for him to be outside getting out his energy.  But, even if he gets his energy out, he still has a tough time at night.  Melatonin, may not be the answer for everyone, but for us, it was a godsend, literally.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun Holidays Times

This year, for Christmas, Michael is 4 years 10 months and the twins are 3 years 11 months.  Unlike most of my friends, whose kids have "gotten" the idea of Christmas and Santa, my kids are just getting the whole idea this year.  It's pretty exciting to see them connect things more and more (not just Christmas but a lot of different things).  This year, we are talking about Santa, and I am trying to introduce the Nativity idea.  I grew up a pretty strict Catholic but once I went to college, even though my roommate went to church every weekend and holy day, I pretty much stopped and became that Catholic that went to church on Easter and Christmas.  I want to share Santa with my kids, but I really want to start talking about the other reason we celebrate Christmas.

This year, like the past 3 years, we went to our towns Holiday Stroll.  The kids saw ice sculptures and had fun watching a juggling act.  This year we went later than usual so we missed out on a good amount of things (I think).

Ice Sculpture at The Holiday Stroll Wakefield 2012

We made our Santa Plate for cookies for Santa and ornaments for the Christmas tree.

We drove around and saw Christmas lights.

And I'm trying to have a some what handmade Christmas.  I'm, as usual, definitely behind.  I still have  lot to sew, and I'm not really sure how I'm going to get it all finished, but it will get done.  If I have to stay up really late, it will get done.

1 Christmas stocking complete (I have to finish 2 more and hope that I can do 2 more after that)

Eva Rose's hand sewn Christmas ornament (I still need to make the boys and maybe one for Tom)

1 of 2 completed pillow cases.  I still have 1 more to sew, but it is fully cut out and pinned.  It just needs to be sewn.

I still have PJ pants to make, but that should be simple.  The other 2 stockings just need to have the cuff embroidered and then sew the cuff on.  I have to finish the boys felt ornament.  Then there are all the crazy started projects to finish.  I had wanted to knit some washcloths, but I have a feeling that there is not enough time!!!!  I always think that I have plenty of time, but there is just too much to do and not enough time.  I do want to make sure that we have some fun traditions, and that includes being totally excited for the holidays, Santa, Jesus, gifts, Christmas lights, town events, and handmade gifts.  One day I'll figure out how to get it all done.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Monday, October 22, 2012

Time For Me

I love being with my kids, but I also love trying to make sure that I do things that I love for me!  One thing that I love to do is craft.  I love to just absorb myself in being creative, no matter what kind of crafting it is.  I do have favorites, but pretty much any creative outlet is fun for me.  I try to tell my husband that we both need to find time to be creative (his is mainly woodworking and mine is anything from sewing to knitting/crocheting to paper crafting).  I am trying to do more than pin things on interest and watch youtube videos!

One of my twin mom friends has me a little obsessed with English Paper Piecing.  I saw a post she did on hexagon quilting and from there on, I have been obsessed.  I started learning all I could with hexagon quilting.  I put together a hexagon quilting kit.  I bought and made templates.  Now I have moved on from hexagon paper piecing to different shapes.

I am still obsessed with leaning different things about English Paper Piecing.  I really want to learn the history behind it, especially now that I have been actually doing it.  I have also started to become obsessed/addicted to youtube craft videos, including English Paper Piecing!

One of the things that I love about paper piecing is that you can take it with you.  There is also the newness factor of trying and learning a new craft, but the biggest thing is the portability of it.  I love that i can take it with me where ever I go.  I can do it while the kids are playing outside.  I can do it while I watch TV.  I could take it in the car while my husband drives.  I love that you can buy the templates already made, you can buy acrylic templates, or you can create your own.  So far I have either created my own of I have bought acrylic templates.

I haven't started yet, but I am little obsessed with the whole dresden plate template.  I have bought one and plan to use it soon, but just haven't found the time yet.  I guess in general, I am starting to get a little obsessed with the whole template things.  I am totally loving listening to youtube craft videos while I drive, while I lay in bed, or even while I half listen to TV.

I guess I am just a little obsessed with crafting again, and I am loving it!  I just wish I had more time!

English Paper Pieced multi shaped hexagon

English Paper Pieced multi shaped hexagon

English Paper Pieced multi shaped hexagon

Card I made from a youtube tutorial

Spiderman card I made from a youtube tutorial

 My first paper pieced hexagons