Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Bring it on 2012!

I've written and re-written this post several times today and I finally have realized that celebrating the new year and reflecting on it is something that I don't do very well.

I want to show appreciation for the things we have, the things we have been able to do and all the ups and downs in life, but when I'm put on the spot I can't do it. Perhaps maybe it has something to do with my memory and my inability to recall things the way others do. So while you're reading my next tangent, keep in mind I suck at writing and reflecting.

I know that this year was better than the one before it, but not by much. It wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be, but nothing ever truly is. My expectations are always so high that even I fall short most of the time. But just like soft teeth, color blindness, hyper flexibility and autism, my high expectations are deeply rooted and not easily changed. Its who I am.

Autism itself has changed a lot of things in my family this past year. Some of them have been surprising changes. Like the communication between my oldest daughter and I. Knowing now that having Asperger's is the reason we're different than other people, and one of the biggest reasons we are so much alike has been a blessing to us. Instead of feeling alone, we both have taken to texting each other when we have a need to be understood. Sometimes our conversations are lighthearted and fun, and other times we end up discussing some really deep things. Some of my happiest moments as a mom have come from these conversations. When your child says something to you, and you can hear yourself in what they say.. (and its something good..) the proud realization that you have shaped a human being is felt. This year was filled with so many of those moments that I can only guess it means she's growing up..

This year was one of forgiveness and moving on in my life. I won't say that the moving on part has been completely finished, but I'm trying my best to wake up each day with a smile. If there would be any resolution to keep, or attempt in this new year it would be to live more for myself and to choose happiness over sadness. It seems simple enough but its really difficult for me.

What makes me happy? This.
I get caught up in the every day stress of who is watching the kids, who is cleaning the house, doing dishes, cat boxes and laundry, appointments.. and to be honest, the answer is almost always "me."  I've been stuck in a battle against my husband and I'm guessing this battle won't ever be won fairly enough to make it worthwhile. So I'm going to try to resolve that those jobs are simply mine. It isn't fair. I don't think it ever will be. So instead of fighting and trying to make it fair, I need to figure out a system that makes me the happiest. Because this is my life too.

I don't have all the answers. I only know that I love my children with and without autism, and that I love my husband with and without his issues. I don't want to leave him because I have dishes to do. I don't want to feel unappreciated and walked on either. I want happiness. And being totally honest with myself.. I want control while simultaneously wanting someone else to take control. Someone else that is capable of it. And that someone else doesn't exist. So like it or not, its on my shoulders. How can I be happy with it?

How can I make each day a happy day no matter what? Is it possible to become happy even if our marriage isn't "fair"? With so many naysayers telling me that divorce is the only option, I've shut people out of my life even more than usual and I want to change that as well.

I want 2012 to be a year of honesty and happiness from the inside out. I may not be able to change the things that other people do and say, but I can change my outlook. At least I hope I can anyway.

Are you in control over your own happiness? Does it come naturally to you or did you have to work at it?

While I try to cheer myself up from having a horrible day with the kiddos (Ivy's hyperactivity is driving me crazy to be honest.. I'm considering medication.) we'll be eating overpriced Chinese food soon and celebrating the end of 2011 and welcoming in 2012 by watching the ball drop. (its so boring to me but.. its tradition) I hope your family is as blessed as mine and you're able to find happiness every day no matter how small.

I also hope that I'm able to take my own advice at least once in awhile. ;)

Happy New Year folks. <3

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Plugged In and Checked Out

January is almost here, and with the new calendar comes more appointments for me and hopefully more answers. You see, three of us are officially diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently I have two children in various stages of evaluation, and my youngest just got referred as well. I'm so used to the testing and the questions that it seems almost silly to get official diagnosis's for anyone, but I know that without it, they might not be able to access services they might need in the coming years.

I wish I had more support, but I'm married to a man that carries different diagnosis's, all of them given in his childhood.. so really, I don't know whats going on with him. For all I know he could be on the spectrum himself. Getting him to seek out any help for himself is challenging. And being married is more like having a 6th child most of the time. He spends all of his time with his Iphone stuck to the front of his face. He doesn't play the PS3 during the day because we finally came to the agreement that he needed to stay tuned into life. So instead, he games on his phone. Somehow he thinks its different. When I talk to him, and he doesn't listen to anything I'd said. Or when I look at him and feel those feelings of love, and realize.. no matter what I can't get him to look at me back long enough to have "a moment." He's tuned into his phone literally 24/7. He's worse than my 13 year old. And he's totally checked out of life completely.

I often wonder if other women feel this way in their marriages. I feel like we've long since passed that in love stage, and we're straight into argue about absolutely everything area.

Ever since his leg surgery and his addiction, Chris has been an angry, isolated person. And since I have Asperger's you'd expect this to be okay with me.. except its not. Because its not the relationship I came into. We BOTH were introverts and we relied on each other to help us peek out of our shells. One of us continued to try and push every day, and one of us fell into the shadows and has let his childhood demons come back to haunt him.

I don't know about you.. but its not that much fun loving someone with a history of trauma. I should know, I have my own baggage and it can be daunting sometimes! Its not easy to be told that I'm doing things that remind the person of their abuse. This is something new to our relationship. We used to share our stories and talk about what happened.. never did we put blame on each other for anything.

Maybe it comes with being together for so long? Its been a decade now. The longest relationship I've ever had. Even longer than my parents had with me, ...only my grandmother knew me longer.. and its fast approaching the 15 year mark.

What I can say is this.. sometimes talking doesn't help. Most of the time it makes things worse in my case. The type of conversation that I think is helpful and makes me feel better, makes him feel shame and because of that he withdraws. Then we spend hours deadlocked. I alternate between crying and withdrawing, to trying to talk using all my communication skills and feeling defeated. Eventually I give up. After some time, if I give up completely and pretend things are fine then he'll come around. On his own time. In his own way. But the issue that caused us to argue in the first place is never resolved and inside my heart I feel sad and alone.

I think about our marriage and those feelings of sadness and isolation are what caused me to leave my last marriage and seek out that love from someone else. Knowing that I don't want that, my instinct is to work through things and try to fix it. However its really hard when one person isn't communicating at all, and the other is somehow not communicating effectively. At least half the time I feel doomed. Like a gerbil spinning in a wheel. I feel like I'm giving all of myself, my soul, and heart to my children and this marriage and not getting in return what I need to feel fulfilled and loved. I want so much to reach out, but the past has shown me that talking does no good. And it hurts so much to be rejected the way I have been lately.

I don't know whats in store for my life down the road. I only know where I am and where I want to be. I want happiness and love. I'm struggling, but still trying to keep this relationship together. I wonder if we have what it takes to still be together. I wonder if thats the right path or if we're fighting a losing battle. I don't have answers to any of those questions and its frustrating that Google can't answer it for me..

I think I need to find a pen pal, or a forum somewhere and get back into communication with other people. I need to feel like people are listening to me somewhere because I'm not feeling the bond in my home right now. Its not just being a woman with an autism spectrum disorder, but its parenting 5 children.. several of which have autism as well. My life isn't an easy one, but somehow I will make it work because I know others have it far worse. Its what keeps me going. Knowing that to someone else, I have it easy.

So how much does communication really matter in a marriage? Do you think its possible to love someone, be married, parent and have a gap in communication? Does it feed into trust or distrust? Am I doomed?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Its Christmas Eve in our home

Once again, its time to wrap presents and get ready for Yule/Christmas morning. I'll be honest, I'm not excited this year, but I'm going to try and kickstart my excitement by blogging about the things I was able to get them.

I think the cost of buying presents, plus the clutter in my house, added to the fact that my kids couldn't think of things they wanted at all. I was able to find them a few things that I think they'll enjoy.

Ivy loves pigs, so for her I found an awesome picture of a pig and printed it out and framed it in a simple frame. For Sierra, I framed a zebra. Piper isn't done yet, and I still have to find the perfect unicorn or horse picture. It seems like I've seen the images all a million times and none of them stand out as "the one" that will really make her smile. Their rooms are bare walls still, so I thought I'd start by giving them something to hang in their rooms that make them happy. I wanted to add letters to hang and spell their names out, but Yule just came too soon for that idea. So it'll be on the back burner. Maybe my next project? (I'm stuck between decoupaging cardboard ones, buying white ones, or buying wooden ones and painting them) If you know of an awesome idea, let me know!

This year the only thing the kids asked for was Harry Potter legos. That was the major item they all wanted. So I was able to get a couple of small sets for them. They really want the people. And I really don't want to hear, "ITS MY TURN TO BE HARRY NOW!!! GIVE IT TO MEEEE!!!! MOM!!" all day long..

Toys for Tots this year was okay. I was able to find a few things for Odin and Persephone. A sit and spin is his big gift, I think he'll like it. I was surprised the weight/age goes up to 5 years old. And I think we lucked out and somehow got the one that doesn't have music and flashing lights! We've wanted to get one for years but didn't want the craziness of the ones we saw. This one is just a Sit and Spin. The end! (I haven't opened it yet so I'm only going by the box...)

There were a couple Littlest Pet Shop toys, and a small Lego set. I opted out of picking out books and stuffed animals because the books would be doubles of what we already have, and the stuffies just take up a lot of room. (and I won't use stuffed animals that aren't brand new because of our bedbug nightmare from years ago. It really limits my thrift store shopping in a major way.)

If it tells you anything about the year at TFT, I found a yellow matchbox car. I was so happy! Because not only was it yellow, but it was the only matchbox car I had found in the whole place. Finally! In the bottom of the last box I had gone through.

I worry though that this year will be difficult with Persephone because she's older now. And I wasn't able to buy much for her. Even though the girls don't have much, I had been saving things that people gave me over the past year.. neighbor hand-me-downs, gramma's boxes of goodies, halloween gifts and candy that was never eaten. It'll appear that the girls have more. I'm hoping Odin and PJ will have enough to keep them happy. We have never gone overboard with gifts, but this year was the first year I've sat down with the kids and talked to them about it. I told them this year would be a little different than the past, because the things they want are more expensive, and.. well.. we just can't afford to get everything they want. They nod and smile and say, "Don't worry! Santa will take care of it Mom." and not another thought it given. If only it were that easy girls..if only..

I used Amazon to buy the few things I bought. I'm sure it wasn't the best most kid friendly move, but I bought books. Yep. I bought several. I consider it an investment because they are special books. An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child, The Autism Acceptance Book, Ed Emberley's Complete Funprint Drawing BookAidan's First Full Moon Circle

Brand new books about autism, Paganism, and a cool art book. I think they'll be really happy with them. Sure, we could borrow them from the library, but we read books. We really read them. And now that Ivy can read very well, she is going to just eat these up! All those questions she has about herself and autism and about our religious beliefs. Questions answered!

Also, to go along with the new books about Paganism.. the girls are both getting tiny little pentacle necklaces. Its a very big deal to us because its their very FIRST pentacles. :)

I found a set of Ty beanie babies of the Wonder pets. And I found tuck on a fly boat. Those are Odin's two gifts. The Lego sets are to all of them. I was also tricky and didn't let Odin open his other gift that came in early. His weighted blanket! Its got Cat in the Hat on one side, and Blues Clues on the other. He will love it! I'll take a picture of it as soon as he opens it. I can't wait to see his reaction. We've been wanting a bigger weighted blanket for him with cat in the hat for a long time! (Of course it was made by Dreamcatcher Weighted Blankets just like Ivy's was. I love them! I have never been disappointed yet! 4 years later and Ivy's blanket is still like its brand new. And she still uses it! I'm actually seriously considering looking into whether our state insurance would pay for an adult with Asperger's to get one. I think it would be really helpful.)

Sierra of course went out with her grandmother.. er.. great great aunt? I don't know what relation she is anymore. Heh. Either way, they always go out shopping and thats what they did. I think she got me something really nice, but I have to wait until tomorrow to find out! I'm pretty sure she got some balls, a few sleds, and some of those lalaloopsy dolls.

So in a few hours the grandparents are coming over. (Yes, they made it up for Christmas!) We'll be doing gifts to and from them, and also our secret Santa gifts from the kids to each other tonight before bed.

I have no idea what kind of Christmas this will actually be because the kids are acting up horribly and Chris is, of course.. sick.

I've gotta chug my coffee and get ready for the day. Grandparents will be here in two hours and I still have 4 naked kiddos bouncing around the house. I hope they enjoy the day and make some yummy sugar cookies for Santa!

Merry Christmas and Blessed Yule to all my blog readers! I hope you have a wonderful evening and day with your children, and remember.. no matter what you have wrapped.. its the time and love you have for your children and your friends and family that really matter this holiday. I have several friends that don't have a tree or any gifts this year, and I know how it feels to wish you could do more..  but just remember.. its what is inside your heart that truly matters. Honest. I wouldn't lie to you. Make the most of what you have, and feel blessed! Because you are. <3

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Perpetually Alone

I've been having a hard time finding the time to sit and let my thoughts out. It seems there are always dishes to wash, laundry to fold, and kids that are crying and need attention. If anyone that is thinking about starting a family finds this blog, please know that having children is rewarding and fun.. but very hard. Sometimes it can fill your soul, othertimes you lose yourself.

I believe a big factor in which way you end up is in the support system you have around you. Then theres the little things that make or break you. Are your children developing at the "normal" expected rate, or do they have delays or gaps? Special medical situations? What about you? Are you "normal"? So many of us are nowadays, if the term "normal" is to be used. I've never been able to define what it really means myself...   For this purpose, do you have depression? anxiety? ocd? autism? medical issues?  What about your relationship? Single parent, or married, divorced?   Now I want you to put those big issues aside and think about all the tiny details of having children. Right now they're dreams, and you sigh when you think about them. Well someday you'll be crying. I promise. No really! I'm not trying to be a downer. Just a realist.

You will make choices that you will question. Nearly every single day. And if you're a good parent, you'll agonize over those choices. You'll beat yourself up until no can even recognize that you're under there anymore. Under that Mommy hat. The one you take off less and less the more kids you have and the more years that go by.

I wrote a post years ago about losing myself, and trying to find it again. Sometimes I wish I knew how much other mothers go through. I wish I had someone to tell me to sit down and stop cleaning. (Other than my husband who doesn't do much of the cleaning at all.) I wish I had that support system that other people seem to have (and ironically don't want.) You see, I can't just sit down and relax. I can't put my feet up and just let life happen, because I have such a hard time feeling calm and together when there is chaos. And with 5 kids there is a lot of chaos!

Its 9:52 in the morning and I decided to try to write this blog post. One child was coloring, one was playing the PSP, one was watching Spongebob on the Ipod Touch, and another one is watching daddy play the PS3. Everyone was relatively calm. So why can't I feel calm enough to let the dishes sit in the sink? Why do I feel like the laundry MUST be folded? And why do I put those feelings onto other people? I wish I knew.

Everyone would say its because I do the bulk of everything in this house. I'm overwhelmed and frusterated. My husband should do more. Things should be 50/50. And I agree. But I don't know how to accomplish that. I'm not him. I can't make him do anything and all those little things about leaving dishes in the sink until he does them, etc.. they don't work. He really will just wash what he needs and go about his day. Somewhere along his childhood, he didn't learn responsibility. I know a lot of parents that don't seem to be parenting. They aren't present, they aren't THERE. they're off at the bars, or gambling, or texting, or facebooking or playing video games. For them, the laundry can and does wait. They don't worry about money or how to keep a coat on their kids in the middle of winter. I know, because I see their children in sweatshirts in December, shivering at the bus stop.

So why then, do I feel that I need at least SOME of what they have? I don't know. I feel like I don't have balance over my life. I wear that Mommy hat all the time and I don't ever get to take it off.

I don't know. Sometimes I wonder if this situation is normal. Does EVERY married woman do all the chores, and take care of the kids 100% of the time? We can't be the only couple that has this issue. I'm the ONLY woman with issues, married to a man with issues, that has kids?! .. That can't be true. Yet it is. I don't know.. it just seems that things are never as easy as other people. Yet I know that isn't true either because my children don't have severe medical issues, and their other issues we are working with..   Others have it far worse than I do. It seems to come full circle to support. I have no one to talk to, no one to complain to, no one to cry to, and no one to look to for advice or love. Once upon a time I had my husband. Like all good things though that, for the most part.. has come to an end. He's here. But he isn't really.

So just what is the connection in this blog post? How does all this rambling add up? Well it doesn't. Its disjointed, disconnected, rambling, incoherant at times, and downright confusing. It is exactly like my life is.

I promise there is more to me than confusion and sadness. I simply have a hard time accessing it right now. I need people around me that are positive supports, and at this time I have no one except a handful of people willing to listen in texts. I need real life. I need coffee and talking. I need someone to help organize my spice cupboard and clean my clutter with me. I need someone to listen to  my last fight and remember how funny things were 10 years ago.

I started this blog years ago as my own way to open up and have validation and support. Oddly enough people read but rarely comment. I suspect there is a certain voyerism to listening to me vent. And of course, there is the disjointed part. Maybe people wanting to know more about what its like to have autism, or parent children with autism.. will be the ones to understand this blog the best.

I contemplated deleting it the other day, but I decided for my own sake not too. ... but I find it pretty telling that even on the internet, with the potential to reach millions.. I am still alone. I don't know if anyone reads my posts or even cares. All I know is I feel so lost and so overwhelmed, and so alone all the time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Handmade Yule ornaments

The kids had fun stringing beads onto wire yesterday and bending them into shapes. PJ and Odin were phenomenal at it too! I was impressed. Ivy tried but kept getting frustrated and dumping the bead bowl, and Piper has a hard time making any craft that wasn't her idea in the first place. Eventually she asked me to finish hers for her. But Odin stood there holding his "circle" for two hours while we put the Yule tree up and fought with the lights that were clumped together and not all working. Every strand only half lit.

Anyway, I wanted to post our craft project and show how we decorated our tree this year. So far anyway, with a month left we have a lot of time to decorate still. :) I have decoupage ideas in my head to spruce up our old balls. (the Beavis and Butthead in me is laughing right now) it seems like such a waste to buy ornaments so this year we're going green and making or repurposing items to make ornaments.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What our family does..

Our Yule tree went up today

Quill Clan, Yule 2011

It's been awhile since I've written. I feel badly because I had a lot on my plate and a lot of people counting on me for things, but I've been ill the past month and am still battling some strange virus or infection, I'm not even sure which.

Even though I'm not feeling the spirit of the season, we put up the Yule tree today. To help me muster some happiness up, I picked up my camera and took a few pictures. It helped me a little. If nothing else, I can still document that my children are alive, well, and they even look happy!

Just like every other challenge I've faced, I will get through it. Hopefully it'll be soon because I'm really becoming depressed that I'm still feeling sick for so long. Even Thanksgiving wasn't normal. Chris made not only the turkey, but everything else as well. Literally. I didn't wash a potato, or bake a pie. Nothing. I've taken up crocheting, and drawing. Things that don't take a lot of abstract thinking because its just not there. The pressure in my head and the aching on a constant basis.. its overwhelming. I'd be lying if I didn't say at least once or twice a day I break down sobbing for no other reason then I just want to feel well again. 

So I just noticed that Blogger has changed quite a bit. I feel like I'm in a foreign country or something. Buttons in odd places... this is going to take some getting used to again!

Before my computer eats my post, I'll hit the publish button. If all goes well, I should have my own .com shortly. I don't really need one, but I have to get one for Spiralscouts anyway so I'll get one with enough space for my blog and hopefully my online store. Once my head feels connected to my body again, maybe I can actually follow through with the dreams I had before. They feel so far away sometimes.

Oh, Odin's appointment with the developmental pediatrician is on Tuesday, and then with a different neuro psychologist on Wednesday. We booked appointments and they happened to fall that way. We've been waiting several years for these appointments however, so I'm really nervous. This is the big diagnosis appointment so wish us luck.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The second kiddie table

Its now up and being used. So my meal table can continue to be a
holding spot for my craft things! :D haha naw just kidding. This small
(heh) table IS my crafting table. Now the seats 16 people table will
be for people and food and not my crafts. Lol

So far Odin and PJ are enjoying it a lot.

Friday, September 09, 2011

My new old clock in less than 10 minutes

So what did i do with my time while Piper was at her first day of school? (truthfully Odin was a handful today and PJ is still constipated..'nuff said)

I repainted the clock my sister in law gave me a few years ago. Love the pentacle, hated the silver color. I live silver don't get me wrong, but on jewelry not my walls.

A fresh coat of paint on the clock though, and I love it! Do you? I'm not sure if I'm finished with it or if I want ivy on it, or even an accent light baby sea green or whatever this color is we're using. XD

Bloggers new iPhone Ap..

Well it does pictures, what else? Okay it won't text horizontal so that's obviously got to change. Hmm..

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ivy can wear regular earrings now! Yay!

The allergy to metal like mine seems to have disappeared? I hope! She
woke these cheap cute ones from Walmart on her first day of school!
She loved them! Finally something that helped her fit in a little more
:) the report on her first day of school? She had a great day! Her one
on one aid was so helpful and she said she helped her through so much.
I have high hopes for this year!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

My $200 curio table I bought for $14 and it's first purpose as a focus/meditation altar.

School starts day after tomorrow for Sierra and Ivy. This coming
Thursday is Pipers screening/testing and her open house. Then her
first day of school is on Friday! In 5 days! I'm getting nervous
myself! This is baby #3 that's headed off to school. And Ivy is going
into third grade. It's such a jump. Suddenly there are no cute
pictures on the wall, no colorful chairs, ... I felt a lump in my
throat immediately and realized it was that sudden jump that made 3rd
the worst for me as a child. I'm trying so hard not to add my emotions
into her anxiety. Only positive thoughts allowed! I think the table
will help me as much as it helps them. My babies are growing up. Like
most things I want so much to be as prepared as possible, but I've
learned that parenting doesn't work like that. I could pack the house
with me, bring everything I own, and I can't prepare myself
emotionally and mentally as much as I'd like to. I feel so raw all the
time, changes are happening so fast. Some good some bad. To my brain,
change is bad period. So it's been a rough end to our summer. A rough
start to our school year, as all our ism's and dx's keep us from
feeling calm, rational, and peaceful. Anxiety rips through this house
like wildfire. We'll make it. We have to. Nothing beats anxiety and
fear faster than simply not having a choice. Thank goodness we have
each other, family and good friends. I'm not sure if I would have made
it this far! Thank you. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When Wordless Wednesday is Every day

My new Nikon. Happy 7 years baby <3
Have you ever caught yourself stuck in so much that you can't properly articulate the situation? Are you ever sinking so fast that you don't have time to ask for help, let alone take a picture or blog about it? Well lately I've had pictures, but nothing else. In fact, taking pictures has been my survival.

For all the new followers, please know this. I take a lot of pictures. Photography is one of my passions. My "special interest" in autism-speak. I also use it as a form of self therapy for myself, and also as a self stimulation and a response to stress. Instead of a cigarette, cookie, or razor blade.. I reach for my camera. Some would say its healthy. Others argue that its excessive. The jury is still out I guess. In any event, please know that I take a lot of pictures. Sometimes its my kids, but often its of nature. Life. I'm obsessed with the moments other people don't catch, or the ones that no one else sees. I love candid photos, and a picture with a smile looking directly at me feels like a million sunburns on my skin. "Ugh! Look away! Smile at that flower or something! .. .much better! Beautiful!"  Eye contact remains an issue, even behind the lens of a Nikon D3100.

Pagan Pride Day 2011. Me. :)
When there are few written words on my blog, not much on my twitter, and close friends or family don't see much on my Facebook.. it means I'm having a hard time. I'm trying to balance being a mom, a wife to a husband going through his own psychological issues and being me. And the me part is being snuffed out. Seriously snuffed out. Suicide crossed my mind the past few months. Cutting returned. So in an effort to stay at an even keel, I have been taking more pictures. I apologize in advance. I know what I find beautiful, or my need to have a record of everything because my memory is so poor.. I know it is of little value to other people. This blog however, means everything to me. It is me. Good and bad. Boring and uninteresting. Bold and blunt. Emotional and irrational. Its mine. So few things I can say that with. With that said, please be gentle with any comments you leave me. My shields are down and theres no way they can be repaired quickly. Its going to take some time. <3

Friday, August 26, 2011

Piper's mobile spinning in my living room

She is so crafty! Always coming up with new ideas every minute. I gave
her a "special craft box" that I throw my leftover "stuff" from around
the house. Paper towel rolls, glue, ribbon, markers etc. And I don't
have to get