faith and health

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I left off my “reversion” story here, and now I’ll continue, if you’ll have me!

Faith

The story continues during my third pregnancy, and everything was going REALLY WELL, until early in the third trimester, my father in law was up for a visit, and we took the 2 kids to see a movie.. suddenly during the movie, I became unable to breathe well.. and it was a LOT different than the normal shortness of breath that comes with late pregnancy.

I went straight to labor and delivery at the hospital, where they went a little into panic mode and sent me for an ultrasound of my legs and a CAT scan.. they told me later they were looking for a pulmonary embolism. They did not find one. (it turns out, I had sudden onset bronchitis)

They did, however find a “mysterious growth” on my liver.

Turns out, no. NO ONE KNEW WHAT IT MEANT..
I was referred to:

infectious diseases

liver specialist

gastroenterology

nuclear medicine…

I felt like I needed to warn EVERYONE around me!!

They did wait for all testing until I had given birth.

A birth that wasn’t ideal, but everyone turned out alright in the end!

So, long story made slightly shorter..

Infectious Diseases, they found nothing.

Gastroenterology, found nothing.

The Liver Specialist.. found something..in the scans.

I needed a biopsy.

This “thing” was HUGE, after biopsy came back benign, they scheduled the liver resection.

Because I was still nursing a baby (He was seven months at the time) he wanted to try a “new” style of incision, I agreed.

It didn’t work so well.. the scar runs from my sternum to my belly button.

I wasn’t able to hold my baby for six weeks, let alone nurse him!

My mother was there to help, but no one could give me back that time with my baby..

When the results came in from the surgery, my tumor was 12cm large.. and wasn’t likely to remain benign, and I would’ve died very quickly if it changed it’s ugly mind.

The doctor sat down with my husband and I and explained that the tumor was caused by..

brace yourself..

HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL!!

OK, God. I got it.. I had ALREADY said we were done with the crap!!

I meant it! But now it’s in my medical records so maybe I’ll get less grief from medical professionals? Ah, no.

There you have it, my first son, my autistic son, SAVED MY LIFE!

Embrace the Ordinary {vol.2}

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Getting back into a routine this week has been mildly spoiled by my husband going out of town and the youngest not sleeping well.

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they grow too quickly

We’ve gotten into a better pace of school and no one has flat refused me this week!

Autumn head colds have hit a couple of the kids this week also. So as I write this, We are having a bit of a couch potato day..
And that’s ok!

Go join Gina at Someday Saints and embrace the ordinary!

Making peace

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Making Peace

Body image sucks in America as a woman, doesn’t it?

I am really attempting to make peace with my body shape and size. To love myself.
To see the beauty of me.

But WHY IS IT SO HARD!?
My body has done freaking miraculous stuff!!

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Six kids! Six. After I was told I would never have ONE!

I have struggled with nursing, but by George, I’ve done it, at least in part, six times!
Snap!

My husband sees me as beautiful, why can’t I see it? Why is it that I ONLY see flaws?

I see lumps, hairs, sag, flab, pimples, pores..

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I want to see what my husband sees! I want to feel good in my skin.

I need to embrace the fact that I inherited my grandmothers large upper arms.

I need to see that my belly has carried these beautiful children.
The scars are from mistakes, from life saving surgeries, from birth!
These markings should be cause for celebration, not criticism!

I want to do this for myself, I want to embrace the person God made me to be.

January has made a HUGE impact on my mindset. I am not a “media perfect” woman, but God made me in His infinite perfection.. DAMMIT!

I deserve this, my husband deserve it, my daughters deserve it, and my sons deserve having a mother happy to be herself.

I have slowly come to a decision I’m no longer dieting. I will cook real foods, but I will also celebrate, and not fret about fast foods from time to time, not fret about a few bites of chocolate.

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I will wear make up when *I* want to wear make up (I always feel better about myself when I do), I will GET DRESSED EVERY DAY (this also really helps)!

I will commit to doing this. Holding my head high, and smiling more often.

I am more than my pant size.

I’d like to thank Sarah at Wifeytini for your help.. I’m sure you need a drink now!

**all images are from google searches, none are my own.

Baby steps & hope

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We started Occupational Therapy again this week. We’ve been out because of a move, and before that our OT had to have major surgery and was out for a good long while.

 

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Monkey bars!

 

To say that there was progress lost would be a VAST understatement.

But, I feel that this is a step in the right direction.

We discussed the fact that he’s always on the defensive, always feeling attacked.

I feel like I might actually start to learn how to be his mama, to have patience with him, to have empathy for him, to increase my compassion.

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balancing at OT

I was also praised a bit for how we have handled food with him so far, and given HOPE that we will work on this!!

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King Sandwich, peanut butter and animal crackers.

One session in, and I feel like we will be moving so much more smoothly.

I can’t say that it wasn’t a really HARD day for us all, because it REALLY was.

But.. baby steps, right?

copycat Liebster award!

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I wasn’t actually NOMINATED for this award by Amelia at “One Catholic Mama“, but she offered these questions for us to play along, so here I go!

1. What’s one thing you do really well?

Procrastinating!! And doing things pretty darn well at the last possible second.

this is 100% true

Seriously, if I know you’re coming for dinner, I clean like a crazy person for the hour before you arrive.

2. What’s your favorite blog post you’ve written (include link)?

I’m not sure that this is my favorite, but I feel like it was freeing, to have it out there.

“Where do I begin”

3. What is one blog post or article by another writer that has stuck with you for a long time (include link)?

This blog post is one of the reasons I wanted to even homeschool.. and when we started, it wasn’t at ALL what I wanted.

And this isn’t the exact link, but it’s a good start, the Christmas Unit from Elizabeth Foss

We loved getting these books, and learning, talking, and just being together doing this unit.

If only it could ALWAYS be so simple.
4. Are you a “cat person” or a “dog person”?

I only like the IDEA of pets, we have both a dog and a cat, but we had kids first, so I think I feel differently than others about this.

I also think kittens are liars..lol adorable little liars, they are so cute and sweet, then they grow up scratch your eyes out and pee on your bed!

5. How well do you get along with your siblings?

They’re all horrible and I hate them. (I’m an only child)

6.  Do you subscribe to any publications?

We don’t pay for any anymore, however.. some just won’t stop showing up!

7. If your house was on fire, and you had time to grab ONE object to save (assume all other people and pets are already out safely), what would it be?
This is a hard one!
I think our wedding album. We were married before the digital age, so if that goes, we have no photographs to turn to.
8. Are there any kids’ toys that you suspect you might enjoy playing with as much as/more than the kids?
I would (secretly) like to learn to play mine craft.
9. What kind of candy will you be handing out for Halloween?
chocolates, decent ones, so if any are left over, we can has them!
Play along, if you want, answer in comments, or link back to your blog!

how to autism

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This is not a “how to” post, this is an actual question..

How To_

I have no clue what I’m doing as a mother, let alone a mother of a high functioning autistic child.

He’s also smart, sweet, STUBBORN, handsome, clever, and extremely sensitive.

There aren’t enough words to compile a list of all that my son is, so we’ll leave it at that.

I don’t know how to deal with the following issues with him, how to know when it’s personality, when it’s autism, and NOT A SINGLE CLUE how to respond to any of it.

Here are a few of my questions:

Will he ever be happy, or how can I get him to see the bright side.. of ANYTHING?

-I had an idea the other night, and I don’t know that it would work.. would getting him a journal to write down or draw pictures in any little thing that he found good.. so he can go back and see his personal happy?

Will I ever be able to get him to follow a sensory diet at home?

His OT can suggest stuff out the wazoo, but he has epic meltdowns if I bring up OT exercises to be done at home. I just don’t even know how to get him to help himself!

He doesn’t interact with other kids, will he ever make friends?

We homeschool, and that’s part of why he hasn’t made friends at every new school, he’s always going to the same school! We tried scouts and it really was not a good fit for him nor my husband.. no sir. He loves Legos and mine craft, mine craft isn’t so good for making tangible people friends.

Will he EVER eat?

He eats the following foods, with very few variations:

pancakes, cereal, PB&Js, “buttered” noodles (but you can’t actually put BUTTER on them), rice, and Chick Fil A nuggets.

Here’s why this is frustrating, he’s ANGRY that he “always eats the same thing”.. I menu plan so I will cook things I think he’d be willing to try. I’m always wrong. So I also ALWAYS plan on either rice or pasta as a side dish for him.

He also has a lot more meltdowns on days when we don’t have foods on his list in the house, even if we’re not having those foods that day.

Say, I made pancakes.. if we don’t have cereal here, he freaks out.

We’re starting Occupational Therapy again this week, so I’m hoping the new therapist will have some answers, some ideas, some help..

But I’m also hoping that some of you, dear readers, will be able to help offer up prayers and tips!

the satisfaction of imperfection {church shopping}

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Please forgive me, I have missed a couple days of the October blogging challenge.IMG_8997.JPG

I hate that term “church shopping“, because as a Catholic, the church should be UNIVERSAL. Sadly, that’s not always the case.

 

As a military family, we’re changing parishes every three years (on average), and it’s always challenging to find a parish home.

You want a parish that is true to the Catholic church and her teaching.

You also REALLY want a parish that is accepting of children. Lots of children.

We have been to churches where anything goes, with the priests (flash back pop songs as homilies?), with the families (toys with sound/lights and messy snacks).. and we’ve found that isn’t the best fit for us, we want our “bells and smells”.

We’ve also been to parishes that are filled with the most perfect of children, all well dressed, all sitting with perfect posture..

That’s not us either.

We are more of a “trying really hard to keep the kids from burning down the church” and a “gee, I hope someone is getting SOMETHING out of this Mass” family. We don’t bring snacks or toys, but I do attempt to bring crayons, coloring books, and religious books for those too wee to be still. We also try to take any monkey business to the narthex, when possible.

Our current parish is such a wonderful fit for us, Mass in the extraordinary form and LOTS of REAL children! (including but not limited to our kids)

It is so refreshing to find this (im)perfection!

 

It’s also just another amazing way that The Lord has always ALWAYS made sure we’re in the right parish for us at the right time.

 

 

Mental Health

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I am a surprisingly social person.
I say surprisingly because I’m actually shy, but only for a moment.

I crave friendships. I need human interaction in order to be at my best for my family.
This is a challenge when you’re homeschooling, and doubly difficult when you move frequently.

Today, I’m having coffee therapy with a few dance moms, and it is quite timely.

This week hasn’t been the easiest on me. The slight departure from our schedule can really mess up my psyche!

This week was a lot of deviation!

I’m ready for a mom-break, and coffee is always welcome!

Embrace the Ordinary {vol.1}

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I’m joining Gina at Someday Saints in embracing the ordinary of our days.

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This is my first entry in the series dedicated to finding simple beauty in everyday living.

If you have any kids, you know seeing beauty admits the mad chaos isn’t always something we have time for, is it?

It’s an important thing to do, though, because these moments pass so quickly, and they become incredibly hard to recall, so I think it is vital to the vocation of motherhood.

When you’re faced with mountains of laundry, dog hair tumbleweeds, and endless grading to do, you need a boost!

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beware of the sugar vampires. The danger is REAL!

 

Plus, it gives me a reason to photo drop my beautiful babies at you!

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He’s off to plant his pickle seed!

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they were all snuggled, then I attempted to snatch the moment. Silly me.

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she loves this dog, and this dog loves her

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another sleepy moment I ruined with my iPhone!

 

So, here I go, finding some glimmer of joy in the daily grind.

honest realization about autism & homeschooling

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We are a homeschooling family, we have six kids, four are of age to actually do school work. My oldest son, 8, is on the autism spectrum. He had a VERY hard time with following rules and learning while my husband was deployed last school year.

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This year, so far, he’s refusing to even do school most days. It has been so bad, that I have seriously considered the possibility of sending him to a brick and mortar school.
The more I think about that, though, the more I know that it is not a true option for us. He would have REALLY GREAT days, but he would also have really bad days. (yes, I know that I am saying the exact same thing about homeschooling.. stay with me here!)

He would come home from a long day of being stimulated on every sensory level, and he would be tired, and he would break down. We know this because he had a three day long day camp at our church this summer, and he had an absolute blast the first day. That first night, however, was pure misery for all of us. He was so tired, and he was so overwhelmed. He refused to attend the second day, however, we pushed, and he did go, and he did finish the three days. The three nights were a nightmare.

I can not even imagine adding homework into this equation.

I realized, just this morning, that I have been thinking of sending my son to school to save MYSELF the trouble of having him here.

How horrible is that?

I need to learn to work WITH him, not make him work with me.

We’re staring with our skeleton schedule, and as long as we STICK TO IT, exactly, we can get our school work done. I’ll build up to chores once we get the basics hammered down.

This autism stuff, it’s not easy, and I really want something to be EASY!!

Easy will have to wait for eternity, eh??