Eight years ago I became a momma for the first time. My beautiful baby boys were born less than a minute apart, 9:35am and 9:36am. I had no idea what to expect when they were born. It was a scheduled early delivery at 32 weeks gestation. They shared an amniotic sac, and so that made it a high risk pregnancy, with a 50% chance of mortality. Such a miracle that God brought them safely and healthy into this world.

The doctors told us they would leave for the NICU as soon as they were born. But there was a chance they may need to be resuscitated and intubated before that. They were breathing well enough on their own for the time being, so that wasn’t necessary. Tyrell was crying when they pulled him out, something I wasn’t expecting since I wasn’t sure if he would be breathing. It was the most beautiful sound! The doctors held each one up so I could take a peek. They were the tiniest babies and so, so cute! Tyrell weighed 3lbs 4oz and was 16.5 inches long, and Terrence weighed 3lbs 6oz and was 16.75 inches long.

I couldn’t wait to hold them, but until that time, pictures would have to do. The nurses took polaroids so that I could see them right away. After I was done in recovery they wheeled my bed in between their two little beds. I was in love just looking at them. I couldn’t believe those two perfect little boys had just been in my stomach hours before. They placed both boys side by side on my chest, and I could have held them like that all day. That ended up being the way I would hold them and rock them to sleep countless times after that.

They spent 5 weeks and 5 days in the NICU. Most days were good, they were born healthy, and so they just needed to grow, maintain body temperature, breath without having apnea, and learn to breathe, suck and swallow. Some days were hard, when Tyrell got a little cold virus, and then Terrence got it, and it turned into bronchiolitis. He spent a week on a ventilator, and I couldn’t hold him that entire time. It was a little scary and a stressful week, but he rebounded quickly after getting off the vent. The doctors prepared us that Tyrell may come home first, with the setback Terrence had being sick. But Terrence picked right back up from where he had been with eating, and just over a week later they were home!

I was so, so, so excited to finally have my baby boys home! I just wanted to hold them all the time. They were such sweet, good natured babies. I felt so incredibly blessed to be their mommy. It was so cute seeing them interact together as brothers, especially when they got to the age where they realized they had a playmate.Image

I seriously can’t believe eight years have passed since that time. I look at pictures from those years, and I am amazed at how they have grown into the amazing boys that they are today. In a lot of ways they are alike, and yet very different. Both boys are very athletic. Right now their current favorite thing is swimming. They would go swimming every single day if they could. They have mastered the water slides, diving board, high dive and even the tallest platform to jump off, they have no fear. This summer they did a soccer camp and loved it, so they will play soccer this fall.

Both boys are very social, with Terrence being a little more on the extroverted side, Tyrell a little more introverted. They love their relationships with everyone in our family, and the friends that they have. This last year they mastered reading and writing. They love reading books, and everywhere they go, they are reading whatever signs they see.

My kids are so awesome. God’s greatest blessing to me, was allowing me to be their momma. They are truly miracles, and every day they show me that. They are the most fun, loving, kind, sweet boys, and I can’t wait to see what this next year holds for them. Happy Birthday my sweet boys!

almost 5?

April 17, 2011

My baby turns 5 in less than two months. Five?? Really? It seems like just yesterday the boys were babies, and yet they will be 7years old this summer. And my baby will be 5. Just seems so grown up. So final that there are no more baby, toddler or even preschoolers left in our house. Come next fall, all the kids will be in elementary school. Crazy.

Tonight after we read a couple books, I was holding Adisyn and telling her how I used to hold her all the time when she was a baby. Then she would get older and start to play more on her own, but I still always loved holding and cuddling her. Even now, when I go to cuddle my “baby” and all the sudden she is all grown up, barely fitting in my arms, I still love holding her. I said “Adisyn, you have to stop growing up now. You are mama’s baby, and I want you to stay this way.” She said, “No mommy! First I’ll be 5 then 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 and 10!” I said “Well, ok. But will you still be my baby?” She said she would be. I went to tuck her in, kissed her and said “Ok, no more growing up.” She said “Don’t worry mommy, you’ll still always be my baby.”

My kids are just so sweet. All 3 of my babies. I am just so blessed. I wish I could go back and relive every moment, just soaking in every stage, because it goes incredibly fast.

So I thank God for precious, precious memories like these, they keep me going through the frustrations of single parenting, the back-talk and bad attitudes I already get, and remind me of the awesome task I have at growing my children into kind, compassionate, determined, Christ-following, hard-working, loving people. A daunting task, for sure. But with God’s strength and grace, I know we’ll make it. And it will be worth every moment.

Quite a while…

February 28, 2011

Whoa, it really has been forever since I’ve posted…. It’s funny because I have started so many posts in my head, and never got around to writing them. Then I wanted to catch up on all the big events, and didn’t get past the boys’ birthday post. I will get that posted, even though it’s over 6 months late :)

The kids and I have been keeping quite busy. This fall Adisyn started preschool at Springfield Christian Preschool. She LOVES school, has an amazing teacher, and some very sweet friends. She is learning all her letters and numbers, she can write her name and many other words. Her favorite things to do are art/craft projects, playing with her My Little Ponies, reading, playing with her brothers and playing tea party. She has quite the imagination, and I love watching her play when she doesn’t realize I can see, or am listening to her. I can’t believe she will soon be 5 years old.

Tyrell and Terrence started kindergarten at Ridgeview Elementary this past fall. I had debated on whether I was going to homeschool them or send them to public school. Some situations can be so overwhelming that they just withdraw, and I was not sure how they would do in their classroom. They have been doing AMAZING!  They love school so much and are so excited to go every day. They love to learn! They both are learning to read, doing their math worksheets, and their vocabulary is constantly growing. Like Adisyn, they love to read. They love being read to, but they will also just sit and look/read books on their own. They know all of their letter sounds by site, and are learning how to string the word sounds together.

At the beginning of the year, both Tyrell and Terrence were behind in their fine motor skills. They would not hold a pencil correctly, and when cutting with scissors they would just make snips, and not know hold to move their hand along the paper as they went. They are now cutting like pros, and they have great handwriting. I just love seeing them sitting at the table doing their homework papers, and working on projects.

Just before Christmas, the boys had a little singing program at school. All of the kindergarten students were together on the stage while they sang many different songs that they have learned in music class. They have an excellent music program and the teacher works so well with the kids. Adisyn also had a Christmas program at her school. She even had her own line that she said, no shyness there!

I also went back to school last fall. I just have a few more classes until I apply for the nursing program next fall. It has been fun being back in school, but an adjustment as well. I have to be sure I am making time for studying. But I know it will be worth it. I’m looking forward to getting on to this next stage of my schooling. I couldn’t do it without the help and support of my family and friends! It makes it a lot easier knowing that the kids can be with my parents or close friends while I am at school or studying.

I will wrap up with a few pics of my sweet kiddos. And hopefully it won’t be another 8 months before I post again. :)

 

Enjoying the whole 1.5inches of snow we had last week :)

 

Terrence shows off his awesome cutting

 

Tyrell’s hard at work :)

 

Tyrell all ready for the National Championship game! My kids are Duck fans already :)

 

…Future musicians…

 

Enjoying a beautiful day at the park

 

So, once again, it’s taken me FORever to update my blog. I know, it’s torturous for all my faithful blog-followers…. Lol! But really, there has been a lot going on, and a lot I’d like to write about. But then I think about how much I’d have to catch up on, it feels like too much work, so I don’t do anything. Makes sense, no?

So, let’s start with the most exciting event, I ran the Eugene 1/2 Marathon!!! In January I was not a runner/jogger. Many times before I had started a training program and never made it past week 2. This time I actually stuck to my program, and ended up jogging approx. 10-10.5 miles and walking the rest in intervals!

I had SO much fun! There were so many people there, and the atmosphere was very exciting. The weather was perfect, it didn’t rain at all, and it wasn’t too warm. I had some family and friends cheering me on around the 3 mile mark, 6.5 mile mark, 9 mile mark and of course at the finish line. That always gave me an added boost of energy when I’d see them :) We all finished in Hayward field which was so awesome. We ran in on the northeast side, and finished a half lap on the track. “Running in the footsteps of legends” was the theme. I loved it, and I am excited for the next one I will do on Labor Day weekend! My goal for that one is to jog the entire race. And of course beat my current time of 3hrs 9min. My next run before that will be the Butte to Butte 10k on July 4th. I’m looking forward to that. Now just need to get back on track with my training. (my pictures are unfortunately not uploading now, I will try to get them on soon. Knowing me it will be a month or two.) :)

Mhh, let’s see, what else has happened? After spring break, I made the decision to move Tyrell to going to school only two days a week. I could tell he was getting overwhelmed, and during his spring break, he seemed to totally relax. A lot of the “challenging behaviors” that come when he gets really over-stimulated had gone away. I considered taking him all the way out of school, but I have seen definite growth in him from being in class. He’s so interested in playing with his friends, and participating in games. So I decided to try going to 2 days a week and see if that made a difference. It definitely did, and even in school his teachers see a big difference. He’s much more relaxed, participates and talks more in class. Tyrell loves “school” work, saying letters and letter sounds, writing, and is starting to read! I am SO proud of him!

Terrence also loves “school” stuff. My Nana is one of our amazing volunteers, and she started keeping a journal about their time together. She bought Tyrell and Terrence both their own journals, and Terrence is so proud of his. He loves to write in it, and show me. His favorite saying these days is “Mommy, watch me! Watch me, Mom!” I love hearing that from him. He’s just such a sweetheart.

Adisyn will be 4 years old on monday…. *sniff, sniff* I can’t believe my baby will be 4. I remember so well the day she was born, and falling in love all over again with that sweet little girl. Before she was born, I remember rocking the boys, my heart completely overflowing with love for them, and wondering how I could love another child as much as I loved them. But as soon as I saw her, I loved her. I remember the doctor said “She’s just a little peanut” And she was, all 6lb 110z of her. She’s an amazing sister to her brothers, and they just adore her. They’ve all been playing this game lately that is just too cute. They are role-playing out a part from a Barney movie…. :) Two of the kids go and swing on the swings outside, and the 3rd is inside. So the 3rd walks out and says “Hello Everybody!!” Then the 2 on the swings say “Barney!!” and they all run to each other and give a big group hug. It’s the cutest thing! Then they rotate who will play what role, and do it again. Over and over. Too funny.

They are super excited for summer to be here! Me too… I’m SO OVER this rain…. makes me grumpy…. lol. Seriously though, I really miss working in my yard. I have only about half of my garden planted so far. I hope the seeds I plant will have time to grow by the time I get them in. Terrence keeps asking to go in the swimming pool. Such a cutie.

Last week for the first time, I took them hiking. I love to hike. I haven’t gone in forever, unless you count walking up Mountaingate, where my parents used to live. ‘Cause that is a pretty good hike. But that was one thing that just got put to the wayside over the last many years. Anyway, I figured that since my kids love being active, and love being outside, they’d probably do really great going for a hike. So Saturday morning, my cousin Heather and I loaded everyone up and went to Mt. Pisgah. We didn’t go all the way to the top. I think Tyrell could definitely make it, and maybe Adisyn. But Terrence is more into taking his time, and taking in all the sights, flowers and bugs that he could fine. So we did a short loop, probably about 1.5miles, and the kids loved it! It was an awesome day weather wise, no raining. They had so much fun! I can’t wait to take them back.

Then on Memorial day, the kids and I drove up to Salem to meet up with my good friend Stacy. It was her birthday, and so we packed all 7 of us into her truck and drove out to Silver Falls. I had never been there before, but Stacy had many times. I had heard from a lot of people how pretty it is, so I was excited to go. Once again, the kids did amazing! We saw the South Falls, and it was absolutely beautiful! I’m pretty sure it was the first big waterfall the kids got to see up close. The trail went behind it, across the bridge at the bottom, and at the top. I can’t wait to go back without the kidlets so I can do the long hike that takes you past several falls.

Oh! And, more exciting news, that I’m sure all my faithful blog-followers (ok, all 2 of you) already know is, my sister Michelle and Tim are engaged!! He proposed at the beach on memorial day. :) *singing* “Goin’ to the chapel and they’re…. gonna get ma-a-a-ried!” I’m so excited for them!! They’re thinking next summer for their wedding, and I’m sure the next year is going to be full of fun planning, and go by way too fast.

Well on that note, I’m out of things to say for now. :)  I’ll try to update sooner than another few months….

(I’m having an issue posting pics, so I’ll try posting them on a separate post)

Finished training week #4

January 31, 2010

I found a Beginner Runner’s training plan from runnersworld.com, and I have started it many times before now. Probably 6 or 7. I’d get through week 1, which is easy for a former non-runner like me. Run 1 minute, walk 2, 10 times. Then I’d get to week 2 and modify it a bit, run 2 minutes walk 2, and stay on that instead of adding running minutes. Then I’d go a mile, or 1.5miles, and then stop running altogether. Then I’d start over. :) So I’m very excited to say that I have finished week #4 of the beginning running program. This week I went just over 13miles total, and a little over 10.5 of that was running. Well, more like fast jogging, but you know what I mean. :) I have found that I prefer to run outside rather than on a treadmill. For me, the time goes by much faster. I’m very, very thankful to my family, especially my mom, who has made herself available to watch my kids so I can be sure to get my workouts in. I have found that music with a good tempo is an absolute must. I need to work on getting more, because right now I just repeat the same 4-5 songs… :)

Anyway, I have a couple more weeks left on the beginners plan, then I’ll start adding more mileage to get me ready for the 1/2 marathon. Wow… May is sure coming up fast. I keep wishing for summer on one hand, because I’m so excited for warm weather, and working in my yard. But on the other hand, I’m glad it’s still a little ways away, so I can get ready. Oh, and I have lost 6.4lbs so far. I have two friends doing a diet plan where you eat mini meals every 2-3 hours, and a larger dinner. So I have been doing that this last week. I’m still tracking my calories with points, from weight watchers. My mind is just geared more towards that right now. So I distribute my points throughout the day, and make sure I have at least 10 grams of protein at each meal. I really like it! I don’t get hungry between meals, and I think making sure I have enough protein has really helped keep my energy up. On the days I don’t run I have been going to the cardio kickboxing class at my gym, which is so fun. And I add in weights and recently started doing a yoga video. It’s a Biggest Loser one, and Bob, one of the trainers from BL is the instructor, and past contestants are on there. It’s been fun. Adisyn usually does her “oh-ga” workout with me. :) Sweet girl.

We have been blessed with some wonderful weather this month, and today I finally remembered to take my camera to the park with us. But my kids were way too excited to be outside, and focused on playing to want to pose for many pictures. :) I did get a few cute ones….

This slide is sooo tall!! Now even Adisyn goes down, and they all went down probably at least 40 times today. They love it!!

Terrence will be crossing the monkey bars soon, I’m sure, he’s so determined. He got to the second one today.

Tyrelly, such a happy boy!! They played non-stop for over 1.5hrs.

I finally got Adisyn to pose for some pictures for me. :)

The boys had gone down the slide together, then Adi went down, and for about 1/10 of a second they were all sitting in a row, but I wasn’t fast enough with my camera….

This was the closest I got to a group picture. :)

Hope everyone has a great week!!


2010

January 11, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve posted… I know… shocking. :) December was quite the busy month. I don’t think it hit me that summer was over until I was decorating for Christmas. All through the fall, at least once or twice a week I thought that “just a couple weeks ago” was August. Thanksgiving would have welcomed me to the winter, but that week was a blur in our house. I got sick with the flu, probably swine although I wasn’t tested. Then the kids got it as well. I definitely would NOT have survived without the help from my awesome family! I don’t think I’ve ever been that sick in my whole life. And having to take care of kids was almost impossible. I’m so thankful we didn’t share the germs with my parents and siblings. Anyway, I am now realizing summer has been over for quite a while, but am eagerly anticipating the arrival of my tulips and daffodils that I planted bulbs for!

Christmas was a very special holiday for us this year. My kids are at a whole new level of awareness, and it is so exciting! For weeks they talked about Jesus’ birthday, and making a cake to celebrate His birthday. We went and saw a live Nativity scene, with real animals, and they loved it! For the first year Tyrell and Terrence were interested in, and participated in opening presents that were given to them. It was so much fun!! We had a great time at my parents house, and we all spent Christmas Eve night over there. Along with Charity and John, and Josiah. One big slumber party. :) I think this is one of our funnest Christmases so far.

Right after Christmas, the next day actually, Mom and Dad and Michelle moved to a rental house just one block over from us!! They were pretty close before, only a few minutes car drive. But with living up on the hill, we couldn’t easily walk over. Now we can! It just takes a few minutes, and the kids love going to Grammie and Grandpa’s new house.

Now we are settling back into the routine of things. Tyrell was back to school last week, just for 1 day, and this will be his first full week after Christmas break. It was only 1 year ago we received their autism diagnosis, and so much has changed since then! We are still loving our Son-rise program. One of my goals for this week is to work on fliers for recruiting volunteers. We have seen the positive changes that happen when the boys are in the playroom more, and so I’m wanting to get a bigger team of volunteers to they can spend as much time as possible in there.

In case anyone noticed and was wondering…. we have a new theme here at our blog. :) From the Inside Out. First of all for my boys. Autism has been described as a child being in their “own world” or in a fog. They’re there inside, and aren’t quite sure how to get out. I have learned amazing tools to reach them, connect with them and draw them out of their worlds. So I thought this was a very fitting title for this journey we are on.

But that theme is also for myself. I have decided to open up about a personal journey I am on. My friend Kim, who is so brave, has recently started a weight loss journey, and is blogging about it  here. She inspired me to be more brave, and open myself up too. :)

I have struggled with weight issues for a long time. At the end of high school I became a lot more active, and conscious of what I was eating, and was feeling really good about myself. I then got a job at a credit union where there was always food around, and was dealing with a lot of stress in my personal life, so I turned to food. For every emotion I felt, I turned to food. I didn’t like the choices I was making, or the person I was becoming, so I was hiding myself, literally and figuratively behind my weight. It became my excuse for everything. “Oh I can’t do that…” “Fat girls don’t do that…” I stopped living and enjoying life the way I could have been.

After having the boys I had gained even more weight. I didn’t realize how much it had gotten in the way until they were becoming more mobile, and it was hard to keep up with them. After Adisyn was born, my sister got engaged, and was planning a wedding for later that year. I decided I needed to make a change, so I joined my friends in following the Weight Watchers plan. Over the next few months I lost 30lbs and was feeling really good. I hadn’t been down to that weight since before I had the boys. Then over the next 6 months or so, the weight crept back on, and I gained back 23lbs of that. Again, I was dealing with a lot of emotional stress and so I once again turned to food. That was my way of coping. The next year the same thing happened. I committed myself to going to the gym, and eating right, and lost 31lbs. This time I got down to a weight that I hadn’t been at since 2000, when I passed it as I was gaining weight. Welp, you guessed it, that didn’t last, and over the next few months the pounds came back on. Once again I turned to food for my coping mechanism for dealing with stress and emotional hurts.

Most of you know, I got a divorce this last summer. For the first time in years I have been able to look past the weight, and see the real issues that needed fixing. For the past 6 months or so, I feel like I have grown and God has healed so much of my heart. I am finally feeling emotionally healthy. For the first time in my adult life. You know how you grow up, and go from a teenager, and through the stage where you “find yourself” as an adult? I feel like I’m finally figuring that out. I was married at 18, and I made my identity as a wife. Once I had kids, I was a mom. I’m now realizing that although I am a mom, I am also Kacy, and it’s been fun discovering “who I am” and the woman God has intended for me to be.

I feel that, over the past decade or so, there have been so many things that I have wanted to do, but haven’t. I would use my weight as an excuse to not even try. I was embarrassed by my weight, so I would just skip out on doing lots of things for fear of failing because I wasn’t physically able to do something. Two years ago my sisters both participated in the Eugene 1/2 Marathon. I remember going to that, and thinking that I wanted to run that also. Of course in my mind, I thought I’d never be able to do that until I got a lot thinner, because fat girls don’t run. The next years marathon came and went, and my desire to run it was being buried under my self doubts.

After watching the last couple seasons of The Biggest Loser, a lot of contestants have run the 1/2 marathon, and a full marathon. So a few weeks ago, I decided that this May, I am going to run the Eugene 1/2 Marathon! Once I decided, I asked my friend Stacy if she wanted to run it with me. In the past, we had talked about it before. But I was still so scared. I didn’t mention it to hardly anyone else, just a couple close friends. I didn’t say anything, cause then I was really committed. Then I would have to follow through. I would have to find the belief in myself that I can do it. I can change. Two nights ago, after reading Kim’s blog, I decided I’d “go public” with this journey on my blog as well. There’s no going back now. :) I’m sure I’ll post all kinds of boring updates, like how far I’ve ran, etc. Especially since the farthest I’ve ran so far is 1.5mi…..

So, thanks to runnersworld.com, I have a beginners running training guide that I am following. In addition to doing strength training and other cardio workouts on the off running days. After those 8 weeks, which is 7 now, cause I did the first week, I will follow their 1/2 marathon training. I’m really nervous, but incredibly excited to actually accomplish a huge goal that I’ve set for myself. And put to rest a lot of self-doubts that I’ve had. I am also following weight watchers to keep track of my eating, so I’m hoping to loose a lot of weight in the process. I’m not nearly as brave as my friend Kim who posted pictures and her weight on her blog. :) But I will say that my goal is to loose 78lbs. I’m not putting a time limit on that, but I hope to keep it off once and for all.

So how does this tie in with our theme, From the Inside Out? Well, it’s a journey of one momma who wants to become the confident, happy, God-fearing, self-loving woman God has intended her to be, who is doing everything she can to bring her precious boys out from their autistic world. My favorite song right now is by Kutless, and at the beginning of the second verse it says ” It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard. Impossible is not a word. It’s just a reason for someone not to try.” I have said over and over, for many different things, that something would be impossible for me to do. And I’d say that without even giving it a try. Many people believe that it is impossible for kids with Autism to recover, so they don’t try. Impossible is no longer a word in my vocabulary!

I can’t wait to see the relationship that will continue to grow between Adisyn and her brothers. I’m excited to be a physically and emotionally healthy role model for all 3 of my sweet kiddos. God has really carried us through everything this last year, and I know He will continue to do so. I’m thankful He brought the Son-rise program to us, and I know He is the ultimate healer. For my boys and for me.

Kutless – What Faith Can Do
Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don’t have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That’s what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

Unless….

December 14, 2009

….you are a parent of a child with autism, you don’t know how helpless you feel when you can’t reach them. You don’t know how it breaks your heart to see them withdraw into their world. How badly you want to help them, understand them and you can’t reach them.

I thank God daily for us finding the Son-rise program. It has been life-changing for my family. My boys have made so much progress. If anyone has any doubt that children with autism can recover, all they need to do is visit my home and see my boys, and hear my stories of where they came from.

Thankfully, we have way fever instances where I feel that helpless feeling. Because of Son-rise, and our playroom, I know how to connect with my sons. At the same time, the instances where they know what they want, and me not being able to either understand them, or for some reason not being able to get what they want, are emotionally harder for me to deal with. Because they know what they want, and they know they are able to communicate to me, but they get frustrated when I don’t understand.

Tonight for instance: we came home, and it was after 8:00, so I told the boys it was time to get ready for bed. Terrence asked for his ABC jammies. Now, it is not an unusual occurrence for them to request what jammies they want to wear. Actually for all of their clothes, they’ve become quite opinionated. :) However, I have NO IDEA what ABC jammies are. They have Elmo jammies (that are 2 years old, and the pants are like capri’s and the shirt is a belly shirt, but they still love them!), they have fire truck jammies, ball jammies, dinosaur jammies, cars jammies….. But no ABC jammies. Terrence was adamant. He was even so good about using his words. He’d tell me he want his ABC jammies, and I’d tell him he doesn’t have them. So he said “ABC jammies, go find it, in the garage” (that’s where the laundry is). “Go find it in the dresser”. I even had him go and see if he saw what he was thinking about, but he didn’t.

I felt so bad because he knew exactly what he was thinking of, but I just have no idea what he means by ABC jammies. So I found the ball jammies, which are one of his favorites. He didn’t want those. I offered him just a t-shirt to sleep in. He didn’t want that. By this time, he’s in a full meltdown. After about 15 minutes I started feeling sorry for myself. “This is the type of behavior that it seems like I am the only one blessed to be able to experience….”  “It’s not fair….” blah blah blah……

I decided to try to just dress him in his ball jammies. I don’t like forcing him to do things, the whole control issue… but I knew how tired he was, and we weren’t getting anywhere. I was barely able to get him undressed, and there was no way I was going to be able to dress him. So I just put him up on his bed, and tried to tuck him in. Obviously he didn’t like that, and kept crying. So I went on tucking Tyrell in, and went to try to talk to Terrence.

He was sitting on his bed, crying, and when I actually took the time to look at his face, I knew he wasn’t “there”. He had withdrawn into his autistic world. He was doing the best he could to cope. I felt so helpless. Looking into his eyes, I could practically see him in there, lost, just needing a connection. I asked him if he wanted a hug, and he yelled “No!” The thought flashed in my mind that if I needed to, I’d take him to the playroom. We can always connect in there, and I didn’t want him going to bed crying like this. I tried again, saying “Terrence, want mommy holdy you?” That’s the phrase I always use when they’re upset, and they say the same thing when they want to be held. I honestly didn’t think he’d respond, but he held out his arms to me.

I took him and sat on the floor and wrapped a blanket around him. I am grateful, so much, for the Son-rise program, and the tools it has given me to reach my boys. But still, I have those moments of feeling absolutely helpless. With knowing what they can accomplish, and seeing how incredibly far they have come, but still seeing the struggles they have. My heart broke as I sat there rocking my sweet Terrence.

I was telling Terrence how much I loved him and had started to cry over the emotions I felt, when he said “I go to bed”. And I knew I had my Terrence back. That quickly he was able to connect with me again. I asked hesitantly “Do you want your ball jammies?” He said “Sure!” Then got up and asked to go potty.

Before the Son-rise program, my helpless feelings would have quickly been shown as frustration and irritation towards their meltdowns. I didn’t know how else to deal with them. He would have felt my frustration, and my un-acceptance of what was happening, and it would have been a downward spiral from there. Even though tonight I had started feeling sorry for myself, I tried my best to respond calmly and without frustration. I think that is why Terrence was able to connect with me so quickly after that.

I got him into his jammies, tucked in and prayed for, and he went to sleep calmly and happy. I left their room with the thought of this post on my heart, and just had to write it. I am so so so thankful that I have met so many wonderful mommies and daddies with children on the autism spectrum. Who know the gut-wrenching helpless feeling, wanting to help our children, feeling a love for them so strong you can hardly speak. Because there is just something comforting about knowing that other parents can truly know how I feel.  I thank God that He gave me these tools through the Son-rise program so I can reach my boys. It feels like the feeling you’d have when you are stranded in the ocean and someone throws you a life raft.

Farmer Terrence

Me and my sweet Terrence-do

This picture is 2 years old, but still one of my favorites of Terrence. :)

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