30 09, 2011

Charity Never Faileth???

By |September 30th, 2011|Autism, Life, Parenting|1 Comment|

The other night Chris wasn’t home so I was doing the nighttime routine on my own. I got the boys in the tubby and had Bridger out already. I was just zipping up his “jammies” when I heard a knock at the door. I thought it might be Chris coming home and the door was locked so he was knocking. I ran quickly down the stairs, I had to move fast since Noah was still in the tub. Not sure what age it’s safe to leave your kids unattended in the bathtub but that’s one of those things that I’m ultra paranoid about! When I swung the door open, it was not Chris but a cute little girl from our neighborhood. She was collecting money for the local children’s hospital which we spent many hours at with our Bridger starting when he was just weeks old all the way through his first year of life. I couldn’t turn her away. I sprinted for my purse and stuffed some money in the envelope and sent her on her way. When I arrived back up the stairs Noah was perfectly safe…BUT…Bridger had joined him back in the tub…fully clothed in the pajamas I had just put on him…sigh…I just shook my head and started over thinking this should not be my reward for trying to be charitable…Lol.

“My hands are small I know, But they’re not yours, they are my own, But they’re not yours, they are my own, I am never broken, In the end only kindness matters…”–Jewel

29 09, 2011

GNO with Taylor Swift

By |September 29th, 2011|Blended Family, Life, Parenting|0 Comments|

This year the Easter Bunny left tickets to the Taylor Swift Concert for Celeste and Sydney. Last night was the concert so the girls and I headed out for the long awaited event. We started out at the Pizza Factory to grab some dinner, after that we made our way up to Salt Lake City to see the show.

Excitement was in the air as we hunted down our parking spot and walked quickly to the Energy Solutions Arena. Always such great people watching at concerts. A good percentage of the concert goers were Mom’s and daughters like us. There was a little bit of everything though. Male, female, old, young and everything in between.

We got settled into our great seats and waited…it’s always a long time for kids waiting that 20 minutes for the headliner to come out. We missed the opening act (by design). Then finally the lights dimmed and we held our breath as Taylor took the stage!

It was so fun watching my girls dance and sing. I always love when a crowd of people are all singing together. There’s something about it that makes me feel a part of something. I love the unity that it implies. I loved when young, overly sweet Taylor said “there are 14,000 people in this room with 14,000 different stories. So true.

My favorite moment of the night came when Taylor was moving off the main stage to a smaller stage that was closer to us. Sydney climbed up on her chair and while I held her stable she yelled with everything she had in her “I love you Taylor!!!!” and then with her hands made the signature heart gesture. So adorable.  At that moment, I felt her passion and her sincerity and I felt the sweetness of being a mom. Me and Celeste just looked at each other and smiled…

“Cause I don’t know how it gets better than this, You take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless, And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance, In a storm in my best dress, fearless”–Taylor Swift

26 09, 2011

Finally after 9 years!

By |September 26th, 2011|Blended Family, Life, Parenting|0 Comments|

For the last 9 years, the duration of my relationship with my husband and his 2 daughters, I have dreamed of having the girls live with us. My husband has had joint custody and his ex-wife had physical custody. We have always spent a lot of time with them but still have basically been the secondary parents.

A couple Friday nights ago, we were summons by the ex to meet at Starbucks. We walked in with nervous jitters having no idea what was coming this time. She handed us a 2 page letter giving us temporary custody until the end of 2011. Only 3 months but I’ll take it!!!!

There are obviously a lot of crazy details that lead up to this point that I don’t feel I can share due to the feelings of all parties that are involved. All I can say is that for now, from my perspective, all is right in the world…<3

“Well I’m going home, back to the place where I belong, and where your love has always been enough for me.”–Daughtry

25 09, 2011

The Scene of the Accident

By |September 25th, 2011|Autism, Life, Parenting|0 Comments|

There was nothing unusual about the Saturday morning it happened.  Chris got a call and had to do some work (on his computer from home), the boys were playing, Sydney was watching tv downstairs, and Celeste and I headed to the mall to buy her Homecoming Dress for the upcoming dance. We bought the dress and then grabbed a drink on the way out of the mall. We stopped at an empty parking lot before we got home so that she could take a couple spins around it with her newly acquired permit.

We were a few blocks from home when we got the call. Sydney was frantically telling me that Bridger fell. The adrenaline kicked in and I probably went 100 mph on the street to our house.  When we arrived Chris was putting my crying, broken baby boy in the van. We switched him to the already running car, Celeste took Sydney and Noah inside and we took off toward the hospital. I was next to Bridger trying to sooth him. I was trying to stay calm as I watched my frantic husband trying to get us to the hospital just a few blocks away. Calm is usually his role so this was not an easy task for me.

I made it into the ER without a tear but when I picked up the phone to talk to the receptionist and she asked what happened, the tears poured and I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t explain why my little boy had a huge bump on his head and scrapes and bruises down his body. Luckily, Chris rushed in after parking the car and I shoved the phone at him and choked out “tell her”.  He explained how our little autistic boy, who knows no fear, had climbed over a railing outside and fell to the bottom of the cement stairs that led down to a basement entrance. They rushed us through the door as I held my iphone close to Bridger’s ear so that he could hear the Sesame Street music I was playing to try and calm him down.

The doctor told us that they needed to sedate him and do an MRI. They acted quickly and before I knew it Bridger was quietly, limp and sleeping on the hospital bed. Chris carried him down the hall and laid him in that big contraption that they use to take a picture of your brain. I just kept praying “please not his brain, we need every bit that he has in there, please bless my baby.”

It didn’t take too long before they came back and said his brain is fine. Sigh….I was so relieved. I can handle everything else. I just needed his brain to be okay. They said the ketamine could take up to an hour to wear off. They don’t know my Bridger though. I knew it would take significantly less time for him to be up running around and all over the place again. I was right! After 20 minutes he woke up and tried to start walking which he couldn’t do. His limbs were still rubber so in spite of his best efforts he didn’t make it very far.

After a quick check from the doctor to make sure nothing was broken we were on our way back home. The rest of the day is kind of hazy. After a hospital Facebook post, we got calls, text and visits from friends checking up on our little guy.  It’s overwhelming how many people love Bridger.  Without any words he just draws people in. It must be the feeling of love he puts out.

Bridger bounced back quickly. His wounds healed and except for some initial throwing up the afternoon of the accident, he got right back to normal. I, however, did not. I was a basket case for days. It’s been over a week and I still can’t let him outside by himself. He loves to roam around the backyard. It’s his freedom. We put up a make-shift fence around the stairs. It looks kind of ghetto but if it will prevent my little boy’s head from meeting the pavement again I don’t care! I’m still afraid.  I’m afraid now that we Bridger-proofed that area he’ll find some other dangerous place where he can hurt himself.

I feel so motivated to get him to work harder, to get him to understand that some things are dangerous and you have to stay away. Please be careful Bridger, Mommy loves you and cannot stand to see you hurting!

“Sunny Day, Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame Street”

25 09, 2011

The Great Church Debate

By |September 25th, 2011|Autism, Life, Parenting|1 Comment|

I know that having a special needs child can influence your “spirituality” in many ways but I wasn’t expecting it to affect my decisions about attending church, I mean after all, we are all God’s children and part of his congregation right?

My husband and I were both brought up as devout church goers. Granted I’m sure I’ve enjoyed my church attendance more than he has but we both have pretty much always gone. Recently the church thing has been a real source of contention at our house. Our religion is very family oriented so you see lots of families with teenagers and babies and everything in between. People are usually pretty tolerant of loud children, or at least they’re used to it, however, Bridger is an anomaly.

Church is at 9am. The first hour is the whole family together then the kids go together for the next two hours while the parents either teach the children or go to adult classes. Yes that is a total of THREE HOURS! We rush around getting everyone showered, fed and into the car and hope when we walk in ten minutes late there will still be a bench big enough for all 6 of us to sit on. I’m usually pretty grumpy by the time we get there, definitely not feeling warm and fuzzy and spiritual. I bring a large bag of toys, snacks, books, ANYTHING, that might keep Bridger and Noah occupied so we can make it through the next hour without any major outbursts. Noah is fairly loud with his 2 year old self but he can keep himself entertained for the most part.

Bridger is the real challenge. He doesn’t sit for more than a couple minutes at a time. He won’t stay focused on any toys. He might chew on something for a couple minutes or turn the pages of a book but the rest of the time we’re wrestling him to try to keep him sitting and as quiet as possible. We have to be quick so that he doesn’t throw anything at the people in back of us or grab someone’s hair on the bench in front of us. He’s still non-verbal so he yells at inopportune times. Honestly, I hardly notice it anymore, although I’m sure it’s highly disruptive to others meditation and worship. He does love the music so when there is a hymn we might get a break for a couple minutes. Literally, by the time the hour is over my hair is rustled into knots my clothes have food particles on them and are sometimes even ripped. Bridger isn’t tantrumming or unhappy he just can’t sit still. Typically, Chris ends up taking him out for a large portion of the meeting. The bottom line or at least Chris’ bottom line is that we get NOTHING from going. We truly rarely hear anything, let alone anything that can make us feel uplifted or rejuvenated. I mean I feel totally relieved every time it ends! We are COMPLETELY disruptive to everyone around us and probably detract from the spirit that others are trying to feel.

I actually kind of agree with Chris. It really feels pointless but I just feel so motivated to go to church because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to teach our kids. It’s a way to show Heavenly Father that we will worship him no matter the circumstance, although is he really going to be disappointed in us if we keep Bridger home instead of going? He knows Bridger. He knows his challenges and the disruption he is to all the other children of God. I also want Bridger to learn to sit in places that he needs to be. Do we just keep him home from everything because he won’t sit still????

I’m sure the church goers will feel confident that we should buck up and keep going. The non-church goers will probably say to stay home and find other ways to worship. I don’t think this has any bearing on the way we feel about God. It seems like a simple issue to resolve but it’s so hard when you’re in it. I know that in theory everyone at church will say that he’s sweet and the disruption isn’t a big deal, but I see the looks, I know the reality.

I thought I would grow up and raise my family the same way I was raised, going to church each Sunday. I didn’t plan anything different. It makes me sad. Sometimes I just wish it could be how I pictured it…

“I need thee, oh, I need thee; Ev’ry hour I need thee! Oh, bless me now, my Savior; I come to thee!”–Annie S. Hawks