Could this be why my daughter doesn’t like to read?

hidden learning disability

I thought McKenna would be easy to homeschool. She is very smart. She retains words quickly and she's very inquisitive. Preschool was great and kindergarten started off great until we progressed into harder levels of reading. Guess what her favorite thing to say about homeschool is? I love school with Mommy but I don't like to read! This girl has me so confused. She knows SO many words but she doesn't want to put them together. She doesn't even want to try. If we open a book and she doesn't know that she will be able to read it perfectly she refuses to attempt it at all. I try not to compare my children but Parker and McKenna are the same age and it's hard to watch him progress through Continue Reading

This is our autism

this is our autism

Since the beginning of my life as an autism mom I have been surrounded by versions of what people think autism is. Well-meaning onlookers have mentioned that my daughter doesn't count 5,000 items in 30 seconds like Rain Man or memorize the name of every US president like that one other person with autism they know. In the early days of her diagnosis, some questioned it so much that I questioned it myself, even though we were given the label by a nationally known autism expert who just happened to be a short car ride away. But here is the thing, our autism is not their autism and it's not your autism either. There is a saying out there autism parents like to use because it is so very Continue Reading

Huge Frozen toy giveaway!

Do your kids eat, sleep and breathe Frozen? My kids are obsessed and I may have the Disney store on speed dial so I can check if they've gotten a shipment of Elsa dolls in every Monday. These toys are next to impossible to find. Luckily, Stephanie from Binkies and Briefcases just so happened to be at Target at the exact same time that they were restocking the shelves and she scored an entire lot of toys from Disney's Frozen. Yes, she even found an Elsa doll! Now a group of us are working together to give them away. That's $120 worth of toys, and we're giving them all to one lucky winner. What better way to cool off in July than with some Frozen treats? One Grand Prize winner will Continue Reading

Holding on

kids on July 4th

When my kids were younger and their cuteness was compacted into three feet or less I often had the urge to scoop them up and carry them when they didn't need carrying. Whoever's cuteness I was trying to wrangle would resist, of course, because generally toddlers only want held when they are sticky and you are already holding all the things including a diaper bag dangling from your teeth. As soon as I would lift them they would push and wiggle and their cuteness would turn to stubborn toddler-ness and I would return them to their feet and a pursuit of something far more interesting. Everyone is big-ish now. only asking to be held when they are tired or we're at the furthest point of the Continue Reading

Crafter’s Crate giveaway

star necklace

Sometimes, as I scroll through Pinterest, inspiration and energy strike me at the same time. I jump up (sort of) from my laptop and ask the kids if they want to do a project. They excitedly answer "yes" "YAY" "is it going to be pink?" as I head to our loosely-named craft cupboard. I scan the cupboards, realize that I have ten times the amount of paper bags we need but zero drops of something else the craft calls for. I contemplate piling everyone into the car to head to the craft store and then I announce that we are making the famous paper bag puppets and switch a few crayons out for markers before anyone can say we did this last week. Last week McKenna received the best package in Continue Reading

Their story

holding preemies

I'm not sure which one of them told me their version of the story first but I know they were wrong. They had gotten ahead of me, as they always did and figured out a story that I hadn't yet told. Bedtime books and too much Elmo were to blame. My children thought they followed the typical formula for being born. Essentially they did, but mostly they didn't. There was no "we had a baby and then the next day, Daddy brought Mommy and the baby home" in our story. Our story was much more complicated and full of rushing doctors and beeping machines and long, long days of waiting. I began to explain it to them. I chose words with soft edges and watercolor details and watched their faces to Continue Reading

Riding a roller coaster as a mom, this is not a metaphor

amusement park with kids

Over the weekend we took the kids to their first amusement park. I have not been to a place like this since before I had children. That might have been almost two decades ago but one second into our first (mini)roller coaster I was shocked right back into memory of who I used to be and what parenting has done to my mind. Riding on a roller coaster pre and post kids: Pre-kids- Wheeeee Post-kids- Here we go, did we remember all children? Should we have started off with a more mild ride? Oh look there's the carousel, maybe we should have eased them into things with something like that, then the bumper cars then the… are we really already going this fast? Pre-kids- I hope I don't Continue Reading

Because you are my youngest

boy sleeping

Because you are my youngest I am writing your birthday post two days after it passed. I've exchanged filling in your baby book for keeping your brother from scaling the television while you teethed on my shoulder and your sisters cried on the floor. Your pacifiers were cleaned off on the thigh of my jeans and "candy" was your second word. Because you are my youngest I slid you in our bed when it made nights easier and I hugged your crib before we took it down. You walked when you wanted to and talked when you wanted to and I didn't consult a single chart or book. I've let you be picky with your food and insistent on your clothes and stepped over you when it was a meltdown you Continue Reading

Autism and adulthood

kids at the aquarium

Let me explain what it is like to go from having a child with autism to having an adult. If you already know what it's like feel free to skip ahead to the picture at the end of this post. If you already know because you happen to be one of the few parents of 18 year-old girls with autism on the planet CALL ME (yes I'm doing that awkward thing where you make a phone with your hand and put it up to the side of your head). So you are moseying along, you've already read that you got on the wrong plane, you are in Holland, etc, etc. You have discovered that there's some nice scenery but it can also be torn down, smeared with meltdowns and covered with poop. Someone told you you had to learn Continue Reading

Rinse, wash, repeat

sawyer fishing

Our dryer broke on Friday or maybe Thursday, it's all a blur of laundry at this point. The neighbor let me drag my loads of wet clothes to her house to dry and I'm sure she's trying to figure my portion of her utility bills right about now after underestimating the volume of laundry I trekked to her home. We walked back and forth, all long weekend long. Me with one kid or the other, pulling a wagon full of wet laundry and carrying another home dry. Sometimes we stayed to talk for a bit and sometimes an extra kid stowed away in the piles and the boys surprised us at just how long they could laugh at things that aren't funny. I strung a line between our house and garage to hang sheets Continue Reading