Oink

watching the pig

We've had a pet, seriously really a live one, for over three weeks now. And she's still a live one. The house plant comparison is so not true and omg there are so many bacon jokes out there. I am still not used to people saying "your pig is cute" or "thanks for letting us pet your pig." It just doesn't roll off the tongue and land into the ears the same way sweet phrases about puppies and kittens do. The kids have walked her and wiggled her into ridiculous costumes. McKenna has staged photo shoots complete with tablecloth backdrops and magic wands and no pig in sight because Ruby might let us dress her like a flower/rabbit/belly dancer but she's not holding her own wand. We let her Continue Reading

Dining with children

eating spaghetti

A year or so ago, in a moment of temporary insanity and empty cupboards, I took my children out to dinner. By myself. Pulling into the parking lot I felt empowered. They were getting older, only one runs from me the minute I let go of his hand and sure, all four of them can switch to full-on meltdown mode faster than I can say "pass me the salt" but I had hope. Let me just share a few things that I learned about the family meal while dining out: The amount of noise coming from your table does not cause the food to magically appear. Stickers, crayons and the entire cast of Toy Story can be launched impressively far by a small nap-less toddler. Trips to the bathroom Continue Reading

Out loud

Saint Andrews Hall

I have never read my words aloud. I enjoy my safe place behind the laptop, telling stories when they come to me and sitting in front of a blank screen when they don't. Since November, I have been working with a team of women who have now become the closest of friends to bring stories TO A STAGE. What was I thinking? I was thinking that other women would read. They would share their stories and we would build the platform for them to do so. Things would be warm and sepia toned with breaks for tissues, hugs and chocolate. This is all true, until the part of our process where I committed to getting on stage and reading something I had written as well. You see, I had an exit plan since the Continue Reading

Drop

rainbow

Towards the end of preschool Parker made a rainbow painting at school with streamers hanging down from the end of each color. My love for rainbows hung it no where but the best place. It sways from a hook up high in our kitchen so we can walk under it often because hanging out under rainbows is important. The streamers have held on as crepe paper affixed by a five year-old's glue stick do. The first few dropped soon after I hung the picture. Others waved as kids raced by or dangled from a quarter-inch shred because I couldn't bear to cut them. I'm sure someone who knows more than me about interior decorating (which would be everyone) would tell me the artwork should be displayed somewhere Continue Reading

I will not be a broken record

candle light vigil

With April comes Autism Awareness month. In the past I was the first mom to wave my puzzle piece ribbon while shining my blue light but I'm just not there anymore. Everyone knows someone with autism. I don't need to remind you that the numbers have now risen to 1 in every 68 children. I'm aware, you're aware and there's a certain broken record quality to announcing the month. Which is why I'm so glad the month has finally turned into a time of DOING rather than just talking. The Candlelight Vigil for Autistic Children Who Have Lost Their Lives After Wandering was created this year and I have to say, being part of this group and this event has been eye-opening, tearfully, heartbreakingly Continue Reading

I’m with the band

Special Olympics

There's this strange argument I used to have with myself and I've always wondered if other parents did the same. As the mom of a special needs child, I looked for every opportunity for her to be with her "peers." I wanted her to be treated like them. I wanted her to be included in gym and art and to never ever ever have to sit alone in a cafeteria.   So if I wanted all these things was it fair for me to ask for special treatment in order for her to be included? If I wanted her to be just like the rest of the class should she have to do things just like the rest of the class? As I became a worn down seasoned advocate I learned the answer to this question. It was the work she put Continue Reading

Just what he needed

kids hugging

My husband is not a jewelry wearer and he's not a lover of framed quotes. I've looked for something meaningful to get for him for years. I wanted to find something he can carry with him every day that is a reminder of Hadley. Something more subtle than a necklace with her name on it but less painful than a tattoo across his back (he's also not really a tattoo guy). We have a photo he took of the kids last summer where they are all hugging and rays from the sun are streaming down over their heads. Neither of us can look at the picture with out feeling a little whisper of her hello. Recently I discovered Jewelry Keepsakes. They create beautiful cremation jewelry like the necklace I wear Continue Reading

DIY St. Patrick’s Day Garland

diy St. Patrick's Day garland

We've been snowed in long enough to attempt crafts. I've even handed over the stapler to people under the age of 18. The kids and I made the cutest St. Patrick's Day garland and they loved hanging it up above our fireplace almost as much as they loved using the stapler. It was a great way for them to work on tracing and cutting and counting and sharing the coveted stapler. 1. Cut strips of paper vertically (we used a ruler to trace the lines). 2. Fold the paper in half and staple at the center. Then bend the paper outward so the ends touch and staple again. 3. Once you have three hearts made, connect them at the bottom with a staple. 4. Connect each shamrock with a Continue Reading

What you can call me

My little brothers who might have called me bossy a time or two.

My 30 second caffeine gulping this morning coincided with Good Morning America's preview of a new campaign to end the word "bossy." Female celebrities and politicians and businesswomen flashed across the screen and the GMA anchor teased the segment that would land somewhere between my explanation of the necessity of toothpaste and why two socks are always better than one. I kept thinking about this new campaign because there had to be more to the story and since more to the story would likely air while I was sandwiched in the kindergarten drop-off line, I had to resort to Google after I got home. The CliffNotes version for people living under the same rock as myself is this: Huge Continue Reading

Stop Saying It

end the r word

Today is the official day of the End the R word campaign. There is a story I could share about how this word was directed towards someone I love dearly. But I won't. I heard what was muttered and the person it was directed towards did not. Putting it in print will not help either of us. I was crushed, I wanted to cry and become an expert kick-boxer all at once so I could hurt this person the way they had just hurt me. The incident still lingers in my mind but it's purpose has been transformed. Being slapped in the face with such ignorance changed my future. I began to seek out places of acceptance rather than yearn for places of "normal." If there were not Continue Reading