My Breastfeeding Badges of Honor

The good, the bad and the sicker

9:04:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
We'll start with the sicker, otherwise known as Rob. He just called while he's on his way to the pharmacy with his prescriptions. Apparently he has an especially nasty case of bronchitis. Luckily we caught it just before it got really nasty and became pneumonia. They told him to drink lots of fluids and to rest. The fluids we can do. The rest is going to be a little trickier. So far, at least one prayer has been answered: Rob was in and out quickly with enough time to get to the pharmacy. Thank God.

Now for the good: Wild Cherry M&M's. Have you tried them yet? No? Well, you need to. I spotted them while picking up the necessities and Rob's NyQuil at Giant Eagle. They are delish! Of course, I'm partial to anything cherry and chocolate flavored. ;) lol

The bad? Well, no bad really. Just stressed. But the title doesn't really work without three different things, does it? ;) lol

I gave my hubby the BOOT!

6:48:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
Not *that* kind of boot! lol

Rob started getting sick last night. And per usual Rob-style, he's gone from fine to sick to near-death, all in under 24 hours. Yesterday morning he was fine. By bed time, he was sick. Now he's near-death.

I've been trying to convince him for about an hour to go to our local statcare and he kept arguing that he's only been sick for a day. My arguement is that A) this how his body operates, B) he has a 2 yr old at home, C) he has a high risk pregnant wife at home. Not to mention the fact that everyone knows this stuff operates this way!

He finally gave in and just left a few minutes ago. Hopefully they get him in and out in time to get his prescriptions filled before our pharmacy closes at 10pm.

Please pray that he is seen quickly so he can begin to recover quickly. Also please pray that Elliott Richard and I don't get this because it could be bad news for either one of us.

And it just keeps getting better...

12:25:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I had my standard appointment today. I couldn't get in to see my OB this week because of snow days and general insanity so I saw the Nurse Practitioner. I admit, I didn't like her at first but she's starting to grow on me. I still prefer Dr. D though.

So the stats are:
Weight 166lb (-2lb from Wednesday, my guess is that the hospital's scale was off)
BP 100/68
Tiny's HB 167bpm
Fundal Height 17 cm

My "big" ultrasound is next Thursday, March 6th at 9am. Then we have an appointment with Dr. D at 9:30am. Kelli, the NP, wanted me to be sure to make an appointment to see Dr. D after the ultrasound. Apparently, I need to see Dr. D after the ultrasound to go over the results.

I don't know if you remember my last ultrasound but the ultrasound tech was concerned with the placement of my placenta. Well, Dr. D and Kelli won't formally diagnose me with placenta previa (partial not complete) unless and until Barb, their ultrasound tech, can see it. Since they can't see the ultrasound pics from the hospital. They only receive a report.

So after my ultrasound on March 6th I have to meet with Dr. D and discuss the current placement of my placenta. In most cases, the placenta moves up and away from the cervix so it's nothing to worry about. Hopefully, that's the case here. If it is in fact a case of placenta previa, they will keep a close eye on things via ultrasound throughout the pregnancy. Hopefully, by or before July my placenta will have moved up and it won't require me to have a c-section delivery.
Other than that, things are pretty good. Kate watched Elliott Richard for the morning so that I could go to my appointment. (Thanks so much!) I even got a bunch of stuff accomplished for the PTA! Yippee! Now I'm home. Waiting for Kate to return my baby. Then I'll go pick Gavin up from school and veg for the rest of the day. I even picked up a frozen pizza for dinner so I wouldn't have to think about what to make. lol

Of course poor Rob is sick with that nasty respiratory flu that's going around. And he doesn't just get sick. He gets deathly ill and usually ends up in the hospital. I got him some NyQuil and DayQuil so hopefully that will help him.

Ah, let the fun begin.

Thank God it's almost friday.....

5:36:00 PM Posted In , , , , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
A quick update on Lizze. She is doing about the same as before meaning she is still having problems but we have to let the meds run their course. She is still very miserable so I hope they kick in real soon because she's been through enough. Please keep her and Tiny in your prayers..

On to Gavin... We had our appointment this morning and things pretty much went as expected. We are now treating for bi-polar disorder. The list now includes Aspergers, ADHD, PTSD, Sensory Integration Disorder, OCD and now possibly bi-polar disorder as well. Needles to say this is yet another unwelcome blow. We will have to see Dr.R every week now until Gavin is better. Hopefully the new meds will work and we can re-claim our son once again. Gavin is still really struggling in school (and at home) but his teachers are VERY, VERY patient with him. A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to them again for all they do...

My turn...I have managed to get that flu that is going around. I NEVER get sick but when I do I usually end up in the hospital. I just also got confirmation that I have a new house to start in the morning. This is good news as we need the money but the timing is bad.. My brother who works for me does such a good job that our company just got put in charge of all the model homes in the area. Good work B. This doesn't directly effect us but it helps alittle.

I had a few computers come in this week to work on. I also just got off the phone with someone who managed to find our old business website: http://www.computerrenew.com/
This was unexpected to say the least but next week I have a bunch of video to transfer to DVD. I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways. Hopefully I will manage to survive Friday and Monday working on the house (but please keep them coming).

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. I can't tell you how good it feels to come to this blog and see new dots on the map and read all of your kind words. I humbly ask for your continued prayers and support and hopefully someday we will be able to move forward again.

I'm home-lee...

11:18:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 2 Comments »
(Sorry, that's an inside joke that only my Mom will really get. lol)

It's nearly 11pm here. I just got home a few minutes ago. My mom is a life-saver and has both boys for the night, unless I receive a "ransome" call sometime tonight. It feels strange without the boys in the house but I could definitely use the sleep. So I'll go with it.

Now what you've all really been waiting for...Your prayers worked!!!!!

I am okay. Tiny is okay. (I'm tearing up as I type this. It's been a long day.) I have been having cramping pretty consistantly all day today. At times it felt as if I had contractions sneaking in here and there. Then shortly after 5pm (of course) I had a few other things going on that gave me reason to pause.

I called the answering service fully expecting to hear that everything was tied to me starting the progesterone injections yesterday. No such luck. The on-call nurse wanted me to go to the ER because of my history of preterm labor. While she was debating if I should go to the ER or to Labor & Delivery by way of the ER, I asked out right if I could go to L&D. (Last time I was in the ER they flat out told me that they didn't have enough experience with OB cases, which doesn't instill faith especially given our complications.) She agreed that would be best given my history.

We got there. The ER debated with L&D over who would take me. I won out in the end and up to L&D we went. My nurse B(renda) was amazing! My med student/resident was amazing! My doctor (not Dr. D) was amazing! They were all super nice and treated me really, really well. I could not have asked for a better group of people (except for Dr. D and his nurses, of course).

They all did a bunch of tests which came back negative. Except for 2 that we won't have the results for another 2-3 days. And the one that showed I may have some type of infection. So I'm on some antibiotics for the next 7 days. The infection stinks but at least it wasn't preterm labor. I just hope this solves my problems.

Thank you all for you love and support and concern. Thank you a million times over for your prayers! I firmly believe that all of the prayers offered up to God on our behalf are a big part of how and why things are going as "smoothly" with this pregnancy as they are. Thank you.

If you want to keep "helping" please pray that the antibiotics work. That the preterm labor stays at bay and the progesterone injections help. And please pray that Tiny decides to hang around and "bake" 4-5 months longer. Aside from that, sanity and peace of mind of Rob and I. Lord knows we need tons of that!

Thank you again. I truly believe that you are all so so SO important right now. And I don't know if you realize how much your love, support and prayers means for/to us right now. It may seem like a small thing for you, but it helps to know that you care. So thank you.

I'm going to drink some more fluids and rest some more. Then it's off to bed.

Love you all!

Start Praying (if you'd like)

6:41:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 4 Comments »
Rob and I are on our way to Labor & Delivery. Just waiting for my mom to pick up the boys. Will update upon our return.

Prayers would be GREATLY appreciated.

It's the best I could do....

5:44:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I know how important going to "Cat's" this weekend was to you. So I thought I would do the next best thing and bring them to you. Well, about 7 minutes of them anyway. I hope you enjoy and I am sorry that things are preventing you from going but maybe next time........

Continue to hang in there. I love you....

Rob


Where is the bottom????

4:34:00 PM Posted In , , , , , , , , , , Edit This 2 Comments »
I thought we had already hit rock bottom a long time ago but I guess we were wrong. About 8 or 9 months ago Gavin was really out of control. He had become "dangerous" for lack of a better word. He was hearing voices and interacting with people and things that were not there. He was talking about death and killing things all the time and that was very concerning. We would wake up in the middle of the night and find him "watching us sleep".

Elliott was still very little at the time and we were advised to lock the three of us in our room at night. We had motion sensors to monitor Gavin's movements during the night. We weren't sure if the voices (if they were even voices) were telling him to do bad things. He had also begun lashing out at everyone, including Elliott. He would hit himself, bang his head into the wall or floor and kick anything he could when he got angry (which was quite often). He would leave bruises where he hit himself and even gave himself a black eye. He was really struggling to keep his feet on the ground. We had run out of options and it was recommended we seek inpatient treatment for him. It was the only way to ensure his safety as well as our own. That was one of the darkest, scariest moments of our lives. Hearing that there is nothing left you can do for your child but send him away is horrible. Lizze and I cried for along time. We felt like complete failures as parents. We made ourselves physically ill trying to figure out what we did wrong and what we could do better in order to avoid sending him away. Maybe if we tried just harder we could help him more. It tooks some time but we finally resigned to the fact that it is in his best interest to send him.

Then through the grace of God and his AMAZING doctors we were able to pull him through it. We finally had a light at the end of the tunnel. What we have been seeing since then are autistic related things. These were just as exhausting and overwhelming as the others but in a different way. We were no longer fearing for our safety....

However, for the past few months he has been taking a turn for the worse. Most recently in the past few weeks he has really begun to spiral out of control. His play is becoming more violent and usually revolves around dead people or people getting killed, although not by him. Today we got a letter from his teacher letting us know about what they are seeing from him during the day. They are seeing this same trend also. He is once again interacting with people and things that aren't there. They are having a VERY difficult time keeping him on task. He seems unable to remember anything anymore. He can't sit still and is constantly rocking his chair, running in place or just throwing himself around. He is becoming aggressive with Elliott (but usually not intentionally if that makes any sense). Lizze and I are at a loss as to what to do. We are so completely overwhelmed already and we are terrified that we are going back down that same road again. We have an appointment in the morning with Dr. R and will hopefully have some direction after that. In the mean time please keep Gavin and the rest of us in your prayers. He is a really great kid and we desperately want to help him in whatever way we can. Your continued thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

Lizze and I have found that keeping this blog is very therapeutic.
Thanks again to all of you for stopping by and taking the time to read this. We love seeing new dots on the map :) It helps us not to feel so alone.......

The 164 lb Pregnant Elephant in the Room.

12:57:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 3 Comments »
Yeah, that would be me. I'm the 164 lb pregnant elephant in the room that no one wants to mention or acknowledge.

It's Moment's Like This........

10:31:00 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
This is one of the very few things that keep us going anymore.
Hope this brightens your day as it did ours......


Well, phooey.

7:58:00 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
I would just like to have a pity party for one, for just a moment or two. Feel free to ignore me.

My mom has 2 tickets to see CATS in Cleveland with her, my Aunt Paula, and two cousins. The original plan was for me to have one of her tickets. We've been waiting to see how I was doing before I was able to commit to going. I really, really REALLY want to go. But when I think about it, I've already had issues with cramping and a few contrations. Then while I was thinking and debating what was best for Tiny and I, my cramping became a few pretty strong contractions. I took that as a sign that us going would be a bad idea.

I'm disappointed that I can't go. Honestly, I'm not likely to get another chance like this any time soon. But it's up to me to make sure that Tiny is safe and I'm not certain that I can do that in Cleveland for the day. Our doctors are here. Our hospital is here. Everything we need is here. So no CATS for us. :(

Tum...Ta...Tum...Tum

7:49:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
What Tiny's up to this week: Your amazing little baby is now around 10 inches in length! If this seems a bit shocking, you’ll be relieved to know they’ve not actually grown over 3 inches, but that their little legs are now straight enough to be measured. This is when doctors begin measuring fetal growth from head to toe, (no longer “crown to rump” or CR). Lanugo (little hairs) covers their whole body now, trapping that charming cheese-like vernix caseosa (see week 18) to the surface to the skin. This week your lil’ fetus will start on an appetizing diet of amniotic fluid which they are now capable of swallowing, digesting, and passing the fluid as far as their tiny “large” intestines. Fortunately for you, this nice little lump of baby-poop won’t be coming out while they’re still in your womb. Some time shortly after they’re born, this fun lump will become the first in a long line of baby poops. (What finally comes out— commonly known as “meconium” to the science world, will be black and sticky, and you’ll be very glad it happens only once!)

I can't believe I'm almost half way there! *ack* Tiny has been moving and grooving all over the place lately. Yesterday while I was getting Elliott Richard ready for bed, I was able to kind of figure out how Tiny was laying. There was a big lump up by my belly button, which could have been either the head or the butt. How's that for definitive for you. ;) lol

The heartburn has begun. If I eat, I have it. If I don't eat, I have it. I'm starting to think that if I even think about food, I have it. I can take Tums but they have been leaving this nasty metallic taste in my mouth after wards, which usually make me nauseous. Blech. I guess it's a trade-off. Heartburn or nausea.

Why this blog?

8:51:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
When I first started my Blogger account in January of 2007, it's sole purpose was to allow me to post comments to my cousin Sam's blog. I started the Cheerio Confessions blog in August of 2007 because the idea for the title struck me at one point and I went with it. (FYI: All posts before the one in August are posts I ported over from my old livejournal account.)

My initial intention was for this to be a funny, witty blog about parenthood from the stand point of a woman who lives her entire life "outside the box". There are times when Rob says I live so far outside the box that I can't even see the box anymore. lol It was going to be this really humorous, light and funny blog - everyone was going to love it and comment all the time by the way. I was going to be pretty much everything I wish my life could be.

As time went on it became clear to me, that is not my life. I am not Pollyanna. My rose colored glasses broke beyond repair a long time ago. My life is messy, crazy, chaotic and sometimes down right ugly. I've made plenty of mistakes and plenty of choices in the heat of the moment that probably shouldn't have been made. For better or worse, they are my "mistakes" and I stand by my choices. Sometimes I am witty and humorous and light-hearted. (I prefer me this way for what it's worth.) More often than not though; I'm stressed, over-whelmed and lost within my own life without a map.

As much as I may wish it were, my blog is not pretty and uplifting. I am not living within a bubble where everything comes up roses and each day is more beautiful and wonderful than the one before.

That's not to say that I'm not grateful for the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. I am. The fact that we were able to bring Gavin back from where ever he was (mentally) last summer, is nothing short of a miracle. The fact that we made it to 36 weeks before Elliott Richard was born, is also nothing short of a miracle. The fact that I found Rob, another miracle. I am grateful for all of these things and then some. At the same time, my miracles are few and far between. That can be exhausting.

Our lives can be exhausting. My children are exhausting. My life is exhausting. Are you catching on here? I'm exhausted. But that's not the point of this post. The point is the fact that as much as I would love to give you a happy, rosey, sugar-coated rendition of my life; that would make me a liar. I don't like liars. I won't go so far as to say that I don't lie because I do. I'm a human being. But I don't tell big lies. So I want you to know, that I've tried. I've considered it. I've looked at it from every angle. That is not my life. Odds are it will probably never be my life. I've come to accept that.

I hope that our over-abundance of drama will not drive you away. I hope that our exhaustion and stress will not over-whelm you. At the same time, I will not leave those things out of my blogs or gloss over them to help you feel better about my life.

For better or for worse, this is my life. I hope that y'all can love us, support us and follow our story in spite of our drama and stress. *steps off of her soap box* :)

Thanks for listening to me, yet again. It truly means more than you will ever know.

I don't think God is listening :(

8:38:00 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 2 Comments »
I say this because Gavin and I just got home from an appointment it will not stop freaking snowing. The roads are horrible and getting worse. I wouldn't be suprised if school was canceled tonight..... While I'm writing this post I can hear my mother in the back of my mind saying "I really hope it's a snow day". She lived for snow days. She loved it when we got to stay home from school. I think she was more excited about them then we were (for those that don't know I am the oldest of 6 kids). However, things weren't nearly as complicated for my parents as they are for us to say the least. For Lizze and I, School+Gavin = Break. We don't get nearly enough of a break. But if I have to spin this into a positive way at least the teachers get a break. Lizze and I aways say they are angels. I don't know what we would do without Gavin's teachers. They are so good to him and we are very grateful for all they have done. That being said, let's all ask God for the snow to stop... FYI... If it doesn't stop then this will be me in the morning... LOL

Please God, No More Snow...Please...

2:35:00 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 1 Comment »

A quick math lesson on this fine snow day.

1) Snow + Freezing Rain = Snow Day

2) Snow Day + Continued Snow and Freezing Rain = Little Hope For School Tomorrow

3) Snow Day + Snow Day = Sad Panda (speaking of sad panda)

On a side note: We don't have a clue who Chris or Megan are but thanks so much for the video.

One down, 17 to go...

10:13:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
My nurse, Lisa, just left a little bit ago. She was here for about 45 minutes because we had paperwork and whatnot to do this time. My stats are:

Temp 98.6
BP 110/60
Tiny's HB 146

I was worried that Matria (the company she works for) would be a home health care company where the turnover rate is really high and they didn't really specialize in maternity and obstetrics. Apparently, maternity and obstetrics are all Matria does. Plus some preemie home care. Matria is also part of Summa Health Care, which is a pretty big health care/insurance group up north of here. So I felt much better just knowing that.

Lisa was super nice and really good at her job. She put me completely at ease. We talked for a little while. Then she took my vitals (see above) and then she gave me my injection. We had sent Gavin to his room when she got there because the sight of needles sends him into a tailspin, even if they aren't for him. Rob kept Elliott Richard busy in the office because he does okay with the sight of needles, unless they are directed at me. That freaks him out and makes him angry. The injection was relatively painless. It takes a little over a minute for her to push the whole amount in because it's suspended in oil, which makes it really thick. I'm a little sore but not too bad. I told her that she has to be my nurse for the rest of the pregnancy because she's so good. :)

We spent a lot of the time talking about the boys. At one point our conversation turned to Gavin and his Autism/Asperger's. She said a good friend's son had been recently diagnosed. So I mentioned Gavin's school and ADHD. At that point I learned a little bit about her daughter and situation. It was nice to be talked to as a human being rather just another patient, just another number.

I'm incredibly greatful Lisa was assigned my case. I prayed to God that my nurse would be nice and good at giving the injections. Trust me when I say that some nurses suck at giving this type of injection! God granted this prayer...Lisa is awesome! She is going to be what helps make these injections livable for the next 18 weeks. Well, her and hearing Tiny's heartbeat once a week. :)

The 200th Post!

9:50:00 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Woo, I can't believe I've posted 200 times. Granted, some of them are stuck in limbo for some reason another but still, I've written 200 posts. Crazy. lol

Something Cool

8:50:00 AM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I was NOT having a real good day yesterday (no real surprise). I was 30 minutes late for an appointment because 77N was at a stand still for 20 minutes. A drive that normally takes 6 minutes took over 20. Later that afternoon I dropped Gavin off at speech and OT, and ran over to Circuit City to help friends pick out a new computer. I love helping people with computers, so that was really fun for me. While we were waiting to check out I got a call from Lizze (These calls always make me nervous, because I never know what is wrong). I answered the phone and the next thing I heard was Elliott saying "Daddy, I love you. Bye, Bye daddy." He missed me and brought the phone to Lizze and said "Daddy, phone." She called me so he could say hello. Words can't even begin to describe how much that meant to my. That was his very first phone call. I felt so good after that. A 30 sec. phone call made all the difference in the world.

Thanks Elliott..... Daddy loves you. :)

Eh...

8:01:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
I'm grumpy. I'm hormonal (part of the whole pregnancy gig). I'm sick. I've been stalking my own blog lately for lack of anything else to do while sit here. I've tried to work on the Help in Stark County blog but I just don't have the attention span to do it right now.

I have a migraine so I took my medications, which make me loopy. When I'm loopy I usually either want to talk or write. Tonight I want to write.

Gavin had speech and occupational therapies today. Rob brought him home with a letter stating that Gavin's Speech Therapist would be leaving the practice in the middle of March. I want her to be happy and do what she needs to, however, she will be sorely missed. She was the best match for Gavin that I could have imagined. This is going to be a setback for him, for us. Now they have to try and find therapists to take over her patients, when they are all already so overloaded as it is. Plus we just got his schedule to the point where he had Occupational Therapy and then Speech immediately following; which worked out wonderfully for Gavin, as well, as for us. It's another wrench in our lives, that we really didn't need right now.

My fate is set.

4:28:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I received my progesterone injection kits this morning by FedEx. My nurse's name is Lisa and she will be here bright and early tomorrow morning at 8:30am. She said we would figure out then what my standing weekly appointment would be. We needed to get these injections started though so for now it's tomorrow. I'm still torn between being excited to hear Tiny. And between the fact that there will be mandatory needles involved.

When is enough, enough?

2:29:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
When is it enough? How as a parent of a special needs child do we know when it's time to wave the white flag? When Gavin was attending our local public school, it was Hell. Plain and simple.

He had an I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan) that stated he was to be sent to the Behavioral Specialist with a note, or even a blank piece of paper pretending to be a note, if he became upset but still manageable. His teacher Ms. Chenault (I have no qualms using her name here because other parents need to know what she was like from the stand point of a parent as a special needs child.) refused to do this. She would get into power struggles with him. She would yell in his face. Banish him to one side of the room to sit alone because the other children feared him.

When I set his I.E.P. up for kindergarten that year, I had his therapist there. I also had the school psychologist as well as a few other professionals. While we planned the I.E.P. his therapist was going to give Ms. Chenault tips and tricks for dealing with Gavin. Ms. Chenault refused to attend the meeting, although by law she is required to do so at some point during the meeting. Then when it came time for her to sign it - thereby agreeing to follow it - we had to wait for her to return from the bank! She was too busy with her own life to do what is required by law for her job. Gavin's I.E.P. had provisions for all of his difficulties. We tried our best to cover every base and every angle. Still Gavin struggled daily.

It became apparent to Rob and I that public schools, especially this particular district, was the wrong fit for Gavin when we were informed that Ms. Chenault had allowed another child's grandparent/guardian to take Gavin into the hallway and yell at him for his behavior and frightening her granddaughter. This never should have happened.

It was shortly there after that we learned Gavin was Autistic. You should have seen how quickly the principal's eyes became dollar signs when he heard that! I took great satisfaction in informing him that Gavin would be pulled from his school/school district to attend a charter school. He tried to assure me that his staff was "more than capable of teaching and caring for Gavin". I assured him that "his dollar signs were showing and they weren't quite so willing to teach him or care for him before the diagnosis so thanks but no thanks". It made me sick.

Granted, Rob and I would have probably pulled him anyway. The staff had no interest in doing what was best for Gavin, especially not if it inconvenienced them. However, even if they had tried we would have pulled Gavin. Trying does not mean that it is the best environment for any child. Gavin's teachers were in over their heads, on the best of days. His classmates were absolutely terrified of him. The other parents were wary of me because they had heard of me "through the grape vine". It was uncomfortable, at best.

We pulled him for his own safety, as well as for the safety of his classmates. There comes a point, when as a parent you need to make a decision that may make your life more difficult. There comes a point where, as a parent you must realize the one thing you would like to ignore above all else...that your child is a threat to himself and others. There comes a point, when action needs to be taken and sticking your head in the sand is no longer a defense mechanism. At that point, denying the truth does nothing more than harm others and make you look completely irresponsible.


While to some this post may make perfect sense, I'm sure that to the rest of you this is completely confusing. Unfortunately, this is another of those situations where unless you've lived it, you cannot truly understand it.


I simply needed to vent this. I needed to put this out there, even if only for my own benefit.

Belly Love...

12:12:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Elliott Richard has become obsessed with the "belly". Whenever he notices that the belly is there, he looks at me so sweetly and says "Belly?" So I show him the belly and he gives it hugs and kisses. I always ask him if he would like to tell the "belly" stories and he leans in really close and says "story". He won't tell you that the baby is in the belly. But if you ask him "where's the baby" he'll point to the belly. Recently he's started trying to play catch with the belly. It's so sweet! I'll have to have Rob take some video so I can post it.

I need more moments like this...

9:04:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
My girlfriend, April, recently posted a comment to my "Help, we've fallen and we can't get up" blog that made me cry. I needed this. I needed to feel the unconditional love of a friend whom I've never had the privledge to meet face-to-face. A friend who does not judge me. I can't explain exactly how it helps or why it helps me to know that others believe in me and love me.

I've been struggling lately...I know, I hide it well. ;) I struggle to do the right thing for both of my boys. I struggle to eat the right things for Tiny. I struggle to get enough sleep. It is beginning to feel as if absolutely everything in my life lately has become a struggle. Gavin is a struggle. Elliott Richard is non-stop when Gavin is home. (The difference between Elliott Richard while Gavin was staying with my mom and Elliott Richard with Gavin at home is quite noticable.) I struggle to communicate with Rob effectively. I struggle to communicate my emotions period a lot of the time. And now I'm struggling to stay healthy.

As crazy as it may sound, while I know intellectually that my friends and family love and support me...sometimes it's just nice to hear it. It's nice to see it and read it. I recognize that not everyone can take Gavin for a day or two but it helps to know that you are there (or here) and care. An email. A joke. A glitter comment. Whatever. I just can't put into words how much it helps me to know that you love and support me (and all of us). In that moment, when I'm reading a comment or an email or whatever, I don't feel quite so alone. I don't feel like everything is stacked against me. Even if it's only for a moment, it helps.

I'm just so tired. Tired of being sick. Tired of everything being a struggle. I just want to go to bed and sleep for a week. Maybe two.

Eh, why not...

10:14:00 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
I'm supposed to be working on labels and whatnot to try and make life easier within my household. I'm sick. I don't want to. So I'm stalling.

My laptop appears to be slowly dying. It's sad because I really like my little laptop. She's been good to me. But she's old and tired. Her CD/DVD Rom Drive just died. She doesn't even try anymore. *sniff* As long as the internet continues to work at least until Tiny is born, I'll be okay.

Help, we've fallen and we can't get up.

9:42:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
***I've been working on this post for a week now. I've been torn between not posting it and posting it. So I've fiddled with it and saved it a dozen times but I think it best describes the past week and why we did what we did.***

I'm still feeling like crap. Life has been crazy, per usual.

As for what's going on, I haven't blogged about it yet because I'm not sure how to say it without sounding like a...I guess a horrible person and failure as a mother.

I've posted before about how difficult it can be to live with Gavin and his Autism/Asperger's and everything else that he has (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression - just to name a few). Currently our family is in a state of "survival mode" as Gavin's psychiatrist puts it. Even daily life is a struggle to survive right now.

I've never been sick so many times - back to back - like this in my life. Usually I either get a cold that last a day or two and then I'm better or I get the really bad stuff like pneumonia. Lately though, I can't get well. It's one thing after another after another. I'm stressed. Elliott Richard isn't sleeping, which means Rob and I aren't sleeping either. The whole house is just filled with stress. It's suffocating. In an attempt to bring our family out of this spiral we're in, Gavin has gone to spend some time with my parents.

On the one hand, I know that this had to happen. I know that we had to get a break and get some help. On the other hand, I feel like I'm failing as a mother because I should have both of my children home with me. I should be able to handle this. I should be able to juggle everything and still come out on top. But I just can't right now.

We cannot do this alone. We are trying. We are struggling. And one of my biggest fears is that we will fail. My parents help us, any time that we need it. A few other family members try and help when they can. As horrible as this sounds, it isn't enough. I will be forever greatful for the help my parents offer us. I will be forever greatful for the help others other us when they can. However, it truly isn't enough. My parents can't help us as much as we need. We are trying to get respite care set up to get us as much help as possible but that requires two things we don't have enough of: money and time.

I've been searching the internet looking for contacts that can be made that will help. So far I've come across "Help Me Grow", I've never used this agency before because I really didn't understand who they were or what they did. I feel lucky that I've stumbled upon them when I did, hopefully they will be able to help us. Gavin's (MRDD) SSA, Andrea, is looking into funding but it will take a while to get it pushed through and approved. She is also going to help us with respite care, which will be tricky because respite care workers are prone to high turn-over rates and we can't have one person only to have start all over when that person up and quits. I'm doing everything within my power to pull a rabbit out of my hat and make this family work. But it still feels as if I'm not doing enough.

Help, we've fallen and we can't get up.

Poo...poo...poo...

7:22:00 AM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
That's how I feel. I took a 2.5 hour nap yesterday and still went to bed at 10:00pm. And now I've got an ear ache and a sore throat. Blech.

I've been trying to make a list of the things I'd like to have accomplished before Tiny is born and/or I end up on bed rest. It feels like every time I write something down, I think of 5 more things to add. *sigh*

So far my list of Must Do items includes: get Elliott Richard's room gutted, get Elliott Richard sleeping in his room, rewash all the baby stuff in baby safe soap, have all of the out-grown baby clothes packed up and stored in the attic, find a way to make life as easy and smooth as possible for everyone, go on a tour of the hospital's new maternity/labor and delivery ward, have all of our contacts and case workers set up and established

And my list of Try to Do items includes: finish updating Gavin and Elliott Richard's baby books, finish the cross stitch birth announcement for Tiny, gut the attic and sell everything that is just taking up space, keep up with my pregnancy calendars and journal, find a baby book and baby journal for Tiny

That's all I can remember off the top of my head right now but those lists are still pretty long. I've already set up our tour of the hospital. I went for the earliest date I could get in case I do end up on bed rest, I want to have already seen the hosptial. Especially if I end up in the hospital, it would be nice to know where we are going. lol

I can't believe that Elliott Richard is going to be 2 years old in less than 2 weeks! It's crazy how quickly the time flies. He's still cutting his last tooth, which is being incredibly stubborn at this point. I'm not sure what we will be doing for his birthday though. It can't be anything that will get Gavin's back up and honestly, everything seems to get his back up lately. It's been suggested that we do nothing but that just seems wrong and unfair.

Today is Gavin's first day home in a week. Last Monday I called my Mom sobbing because after all the days off of school, coupled with snow days and weekends our house had been non-stop. I was sick, again, and not getting any better. And we were all on edge and getting on each other's nerves, so I asked her if she would take Gavin for a while. She took him Monday night after work and he came home last night after going grocery shopping with Grammy. Granted he came home for a few hours every day after school but for the most part he was with my parents. The break certainly helped but it feels like we barely just scratched the surface. Rob and I spent the whole week basically sleeping and trying to recoup, so we accomplished nothing. *sigh*

I keep trying to come up with ways to...peacefully co-exist, for lack of a better way to put it. But I keep falling short. I can't help but feel that if I were just a little more organized and on top of things that everything would be better. I try, Lord knows I do but it goes against everything I am. I don't know how to be organized. I can figure it out enough to set it up but when it comes time to implement it I just can't seem to get my brain around it and make sense of it. There's got to be a way though. I just haven't found it yet. At least, I hope there's a way and I just haven't found it yet. *sigh*

Um...yay?

4:45:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I just heard from the nurse with my insurance company. Insurance actually approved the progesterone injections so I'll have the package with the kits on Monday and then I'll call them and they'll tell me what my standing appointment is. I'm trying to focus on the positive, I'll get to listen to Tiny once a week (not counting Dr. D appointments and whatnot). I'm also trying to ignore the negative, pain in the butt (literally - lol) and needles. I'm terrified of needles. *shivers*

Check it out!

2:11:00 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
I've decided to open a second blog. The purpose of the second blog is to make a database of sorts that local people can find agencies and resources for assistance. I'm still gathering information but I'm hoping to have it up and running shortly.

Check it out and pass it on! :)

http://helpinstarkcountyohio.blogspot.com

18 weeks

9:49:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
What Tiny's been up to this week: We have two more ounces! Your "getting bigger-n-better by the minute baby" is already up to 7 ounces and 6 inches! This is a big week for their baby skin. There are now two distinct layers—the epidermis (or the surface skin) and dermis. Currently, their skin is covered with a greasy, waxy, cheese-like substance, known as vernix caseosa. Sure, it sounds pretty nasty, but this mixture of fatty secretions covering your little swimmer from head to toe is the best way to protect their oh-so-thin skin from bruising and abrasions as well as chapping caused by amniotic fluid exposure (and your little one is swimming in that stuff!). Still don’t like the fact your little darling is currently slathered in fatty cream like a greased pig? Well, you know the birthing process? Where you have to push something the size of a watermelon out a hole the size of a grape? That adorable little greased piglet would have a lot harder time getting through the birth canal without the vernix caseosa. Fun fact for momma’s with baby girls: it’s a uterus within a uterus! Your little girl will have developed a uterus and vagina canal by the end of this week.


Tiny has certainly been a busy little bee this week. I've been feeling more and more movement every day, although it's still a little muted from the placement of the placenta. The other night I was laying in bed after helping Elliott Richard fall back to sleep and I could feel the unmistakable "bomp bomp bomp" of the hiccups. :) Pregnancy is so amazing!

Update on the weekly progesterone shots: I spoke with Lori, one of the nurses at Dr. D's office. She said that I am the first patient ever to have been recommended the shots by my insurance company. Usually Dr. D requests the shots and the insurance company fights them on it. So when the insurance company suggested the injections, Dr. D jumped at the opportunity. So now I just have to wait for the nurse to call and set up my weekly appointments.

Life, Liberty & the Persuit of a "Typical" Pregnancy

6:52:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
Busy. Busy. Busy.

It feels like my phone has rang non-stop all day yesterday. A few phone calls were just personal in nature. However, one of the phone calls was from a nurse with my insurance agency. Apparently they've just figured out that I'm pregnant and wanted to offer their assistance. They've set me up with a case manager to act as my liaison for all of my needs and whatnot throughout the pregnancy. Which is going to help in more ways than one. My case worker will be able to help me with services we need. She'll also be able to help me when the time comes for the blood thinners to start since it takes some special authorization to get them in the pre-filled syringes.

While I was talking to that first nurse she asked a bunch of questions about my previous pregnancies. So of course the topic of my preterm labor at 27 weeks with Elliott Richard came up, as well as all of my other complications throughout the pregnancy. So since I had preterm labor starting at 27 weeks and he born at 36 weeks, technically premature, that qualifies me for some certain things; which the nurse referred me for. The big thing at this point are weekly progesterone injections. There have been studies done that say that women with a history of preterm labor are 33% less likely to have preterm labor again if they receive these injections. On the one hand I'm excited because the way it works is that I'll have a standing weekly appointment with a visiting nurse. She'll come, take my vitals, check Tiny, listen to the heartbeat, assess me for signs of preterm labor and give me my injection.

I know that it will be very reassuring for me to have those weekly appointments. Just to have the opportunity to hear Tiny's heartbeat once a week independently of my appointments with Dr. D. At the same time though, I'm still doing research and trying to figure out if there are side effects that would lead me to not have the injections. So far, I've found some posts about a higher risk of hypospadias. But since Tiny's parts are all already formed it shouldn't affect us.

I've called Dr. D to get their opinions just to be sure. Although he had to send the referral after my case worker sent him the suggestion that I might benefit from the injections. So I'm sure he's okay with it. I just want to be sure. If he's on board, then I just have to wait for my insurance to approve what they suggested (how's that for slightly screwy? lol) and then set up my weekly dates with a needle and Tiny's heartbeat. :)

Please Watch...AMAZING!!!!!!

3:14:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

I saw this the other day and then recieved about 1,000 forwards since then so I thought I would share. Very moving. Watch and you will see what I mean.....

Did you know?

2:17:00 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
There is going to be a total lunar eclipse tonight. The main event begins at 9:01 p.m. ET, when the moon is completely covered by the darkest part of Earth's shadow. That translates to 8:01 p.m. CT, 7:01 p.m. MT and 6:01 p.m. PT. The total phase of the eclipse lasts 51 minutes, and the moon starts coming out of the darkest shadow, or umbra, at 9:52 p.m. ET.

Please stop the roller coaster...I want off now.

11:08:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
I can't believe that it's only Tuesday. Oy. It seems so much later in the week.

Yesterday was insanity. I just tried to go to the grocery store. That's it. And it all went downhill from there. Gavin was hyper and "stimming" (stimulating behaviors used for the purpose of self-soothing) the whole time. Then my debit card wouldn't work so Rob had to bring me his and of course rather than suspending the transaction like he was supposed to, the manager voided the whole thing out. *sigh* So once I got back in the store with Rob's debit card I had to wait while she rang up all $150 worth of groceries again. When she had finished the total was $6 cheaper than it was the first time. *head desk* So then we spent 10 minutes trying to figure out what was off. Finally the manager (different from the one who voided the transaction) said to just let me pay and go home.

Some where during all of the Elliott carrying, cart pushing, dashing back and forth after debit cards etc I twisted my right knee, which is weakened anyway from an old gymnastics injury. So now my right knee is swollen and killing me! I have a knee brace with steel re-inforcements on both sides of my knees, that of course I can't find. *sigh*

Today has been pretty quiet. Elliott Richard and I had to have my car in to the Saturn dealership for repairs. Apparently there has been a recall of one of the belts and they need to replace it. While it's in there Rob and I decided to have the oil changed as well. So now I'm home with my nifty Pontiac Grand Prix rental car waiting to pick Gavin up from school and then go get my car back.

I'm still sick too. I think I'm getting worse but I'm not bad enough that the Dr. D could actually do anything for me. It just sucks. I'm stuffed up, coughing (as if both lungs are threatening to come up), my whole body hurts (especially my chest from all this coughing) and I think I'm starting to get a fever because my eyes are starting to burn they way they do when I'm spiking a fever. (I haven't taken my temp yet because the thermometer is upstairs and me and my bad knee are downstairs.) I just feel like poo.

It just feels like life is getting crazier by the day. So I have decided I would like off the roller coaster for a while. Please?

Let the swelling begin!

10:37:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
I'll be 18 weeks tomorrow. In 2 weeks time, I'll be exactly half way there. Slowly over the last week or so my hands have begun to swell. It's mostly in the morning and usually goes away by lunch. Although the swelling is making it rather diffcult to get my engagement ring, wedding band and Grandmother's ring off my fingers. I think I'm going to have to find a silver chain somewhere so that I can just switch over to wearing my rings on a chain around my neck for the rest of the pregnancy.

*sigh*

5:48:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
A friend of mine (Thanks Amanda!) sent me a link for an article about the fall-out/follow up from the whole BB9 fiasco. A part of me recognizes that CBS has no real control over the houseguests. A part of me also feels that if other houseguests have been kicked off for racists comments, then it's time to follow that up here. Something needs to be done. In BB8 a houseguest broke the house rules and BB brought about consequences for it. They need to find a consequence for this.

Complete Overload

12:48:00 PM Posted In Edit This 4 Comments »
I'm sick, again. It would appear that I have that nasty cold thing that turns horribly nasty overnight. I feel like I've been run over by a semi, which keeps backing up over me again every once in a while.

I just wanted to post something real quick before I return to my couch. I stumbled upon this story on MSN.com's main page. It's a story about a 1 yr old who surrived a tornado but lost his mother. It could be a combo of hormones, complete overload and being sick. But I sobbed while I read the story. What a miracle, little "Tumbleweed" is.

Back to my couch, now.

We've got a NAME!

9:55:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
Yup, Rob and I have picked out a name. Too bad I can't tell you what it is because then you'd know Tiny's sex. It's a shame because it's a cute name. Ah well, you'll find out in 4.5 months. :p lol

Ick

7:53:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
My poor body is so confused. To look outside, it appears to be later than 8:00am. To listen to my body, it's more like 3 or 4 am. *sigh* I feel like poo. I don't know if I'm having a Fibro flare or if I'm coming down with some nasty bug. I've been lucky so far this pregnancy in that I haven't had any Fibro flares yet. Rob did some research on pregnancy and Fibro. Apparently, if you start the pregnancy in the midst of a flare there's a good chance the flare could last most, if not all, of the pregnancy. However, if you start the pregnancy while you are not experiencing a flare or any major symptoms, there is a small chance that the Fibro may not come back. I was hoping for the latter but it doesn't appear I'll be that lucky.

Of course, I could have just over-done things more than I realized yesterday. I had some running around to do and then I picked Gavin up at my parents house. After that I wanted to take the boys to an indoor playland at McDonald's so they could get some wiggles out. The winter weather is killing us all but them especially because they have no room to wiggle. lol So I called my BFF Debbie to see if she wanted to meet us with her son, Marc. (Marc and Gavin were in the same class last year.)

So we all met at McDonald's and had lunch. Then Gavin and Marc played in the playland for a while before Debbie and I decided to check out The Flower Factory, which is never a good idea for me when I can't actually buy anything. lol But we had fun. Gavin and Marc did really well. Elliott Richard was a champ considering it was way past his nap time and he was exhausted. And Debbie and I got to pretend for a little while that we didn't have the weight of the world on our shoulders. :) We will definitely have to do that again, soon!

Of course, I couldn't leave my day at that because that would have been the sensible thing to do. lol Once we got home I put Elliott Richard to bed (he had fallen asleep in the car 5 minutes before we got home) and relaxed for a little while. Once he woke up I tackled my bedroom. I had baskets and baskets of clean clothes that had been folded but never sorted or put away. I put them away. Then I needed to use the Linen Closet but couldn't because it had become a sort of "catch all/junk closet" so I cleaned it out. I pitched a ton of stuff! :) Then I reorganized the closet so that some of the space/drawers could be used to store my PTA stuff. So I put some of the PTA stuff away so that Elliott Richard can't keep playing with it. The rest of the night was pretty quiet.

And now, here I sit. Exhausted with swollen fingers (yes, it's starting already) feeling like poo. Rob and I are considering having an "Ebay Garage Sale". There's a ton of stuff that we have and don't need or want and would love to get rid of. So I'm checking out Ebay to see if it's even worth messing with...I think I'm going to be lazy today, which stinks because I was hoping to get the mess in Elliott Richard's room/nursery sorted out so that we can begin to seriously plan for Tiny. Shoot. Ah well, there's always tomorrow.

17 week Belly Pictures

3:59:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
What Tiny's been up to this week: Don't be too shocked but... your baby is EVEN bigger than it was last week, not to mention getting cuter, and smarter every day! As you’ve come to expect, there’s no shortage of growth and development this week: your fantastic little bean stalk has added yet another half inch to their overall height-- making them nearly half a foot long! Their little limbs have reached (or are within one week of) their relative proportions, and will continue to grow evenly with the rest of the body after this week. Reactive listening has begun for your baby, even though their ears are not yet structurally complete or fully functional. Meanwhile, different parts of their astonishingly complex brain are developing to process your little one’s hearing and other senses, (you know, sight, smell, taste and touch). Mind boggling factoid of the week: if you’re having going to have a little girl, her ovaries have already produced millions of primordial egg cells, which, within a few weeks, will develop into actual eggs! Phew… just wait till she’s a teenager eh?


The belly! I think the flat part up front is starting to round out. Rob disagrees. :p
This one is kind of dark but it's my view when I try and see my feet. Seriously. That's all I can see anymore. lol
Tiny's first close-up! Well, not counting the ultrasounds.
And of course, on from the side in color. I think I look smaller in this one though.
(FYI: My shirt says "I'm IRISH, I only look sweet and innocent." lol)

MFoP: Many Faces of Pregnancy at 17 weeks

3:49:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
Exasperated
"How do I feel? HUGE!"
Exhaustion
"Do you have an idea how difficult it already is trying to sleep and eat for two?!"

Hysteria
"I've got how many weeks left?! You're kidding, right?!"

Elliott Richard

3:44:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Elliott Richard in Daddy's hat.
Go on, tell me he isn't the cutest kid you've ever seen! Try! You can't do it can you?! lol

At McDonald's for lunch today. Elliott took his last few remaining fries and stuck them all in his ketchup. Then he took them out and licked the ketchup off, one by one.

Gavin, the Artist (say it with a French accent)

3:39:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
This piece is "Duck sticking out his tongue". It is a specialty piece Gavin created especially for Grandma W.
This piece is "Snowman in Green". It is also a specialty piece created by Gavin for me. :) The "I love you" banner came from Elliott Richard's Hershey Kiss. I added it because sometimes it's nice to feel loved. lol

The joys of pregnancy

8:17:00 AM Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
It's only 8:19am and I feel as if I have been awake for ages not 45 minutes. Elliott Richard slept through the night until about 5:30am, which is an unusual occurance in our home. Sometimes I think that's worse than having to get up a dozen times with him because then my body gets a taste of what it so desperately needs. lol

I had crazy pregnancy dreams last night. I dreamt that I was sleeping and had a dream. Then I dreamt that I was living what I had dreamt in my dream. Confused? lol There was something about Kelly Rippa. I think we went to her house for a party but when I was telling my Mom that I had dreamed the whole thing, Kelly Rippa went crazy saying that I was a demon or something. There was something about me giving birth to Tiny. In my dream Tiny was a boy but I couldn't find a name I liked. (So far I've had 1 Tiny as a girl dream and 1 Tiny as a boy dream.) The hospital staff was getting really angry that I was "refusing" to name Tiny. The whole dream was just odd.

Now I'm trying desperately to wake up and failing miserably. I'm feeling really sentimental for some reason this morning. And I have that nagging feeling like something big and meaningful is going to take place today but that could be left over from my funky dream. Only time will tell I suppose.

Rob and I have been discussing returning to church. I so desperately want to return to church! It's just a burning inside - if that makes any sense. We are just momentarily clashing over the churches we should look into.

I'm thrilled to report that Gavin returned to school on Thursday. He asked Wednesday night if he was going to have school the next day. We assured him that even if we had to strap our snow shovel to the front of our car, he would have school Thursday. ;) lol I was worried that Thursday and Friday would be pretty rocky days since his schedule was thrown so far off track but he did really well. Although I don't know that they accomplished a whole lot. lol

Elliott Richard's been going stir crazy with the rest of us. Of course he almost go a one way ticket to the local Emergency Department. Lately Gavin has taken to sitting on the arm of the couch and swinging his legs over to get off the couch. As is typical with Gavin, we've told him not to sit on the arm of the couch but he forgets and does it anyway. Well the Elliott Richard decided that he would sit on the arm of the couch. Then he began to loose his balance and fall backwards. Necks don't tend to be very good at breaking a fall, they just break. As Rob puts it, my "lightning fast cat-like reflexes" (*eye roll* lol) pulled Elliott Richard off the arm of the couch just in time. Unfortunately, he conked his head on the way down but at least it wasn't anything worse.

For the most part Gavin has been...well, Gavin lately. One of our big struggles has been trying to get him to understand that Elliott Richard worships him and mimics every little thing he does. Plus we can't get him to stop doing those things that he shouldn't be doing. I've tried absolutely everything I can think of and nothing seems to stick. It's so frustrating because it was one thing when it was just Gavin because then his actions were directly effecting him. I didn't like it when he got hurt but the "natural consequences" were his and his alone. Lately though, since Elliott Richard has developed this "Gavin obsession" what should be Gavin's natural consequences have become Elliott's. And it's difficult enough to teach Gavin with natural consequences that he experiences but it's nearly impossible to teach him through natural consequences that other's experience because of him.

Bobby Cutts, Jr. an end to the nightmare?

12:44:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
For those of you who haven't heard, last summer a local woman went missing. Her name was Jessie Davis and she was 9 months pregnant. (We all know what my feeling are on crimes against pregnant women.) She was missing for nearly two weeks before the father of her children (that had a 2 year old son together) led the local police to her body just north of here. His trial began 2 weeks ago and the verdicts came in from the jury today. During his trial, Cutts' defense was that he was arguing with Jessie (a 5 foot tall 9 month pregnant woman - OBVIOUSLY a huge threat - that's sarcasm by the way) and accidentally elbowed her in the throat, to death, at which point he called a friend and they disposed of her and Baby Chloe's bodies "in a panic". The ADA argued that Cutts' strangled her, called his friend and disposed of the body to try and cover the whole thing up. Keeping in mind that he was an area cop. Kind of scary that a cop is capable of this. Here is the break down of his verdicts:


Count 1 VERDICT: Not Guilty Aggravated Murder Cutts purposely
caused Jessie M. Davis' death during the commission of an aggravated burglary.
VERDICT: NO RULING Specification 1 Cutts committed the aggravated murder during
a course of conduct that involved the purposeful killing of two or more persons,
namely Davis and her unborn child. VERDICT: NO RULING Specification 2 Cutts
committed the aggravated murder during an aggravated burglary and was the actual
killer. VERDICT: GUILTY As to the lesser included charge of murder, defined as
purposely causing the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's
pregnancy.

Count 2 VERDICT: GUILTY Aggravated Murder Cutts purposely
caused the unlawful termination of Davis' pregnancy during an aggravated
burglary. VERDICT: GUILTY Specification 1 Cutts committed the aggravated murder
during a course of conduct that involved the purposeful killing of two or more
persons, namely Davis and her unborn child. VERDICT: GUILTY Specification 2
Cutts committed the aggravated murder during an aggravated burglary and was the
actual killer. VERDICT: GUILTY Specification 3 Cutts purposely caused the death
of Davis' viable, unborn child, who was under 13 years of age, and he was the
actual killer. VERDICT: NO RULING As to the lesser included charge of murder,
defined as purposely causing the death of another or the unlawful termination of
another's pregnancy.

Count 3 VERDICT: GUILTY Aggravated Murder Cutts purposely
caused the death of Davis' viable, unborn child, who was under 13 years of age.
VERDICT: GUILTY Specification 1 Cutts committed the aggravated murder during a
course of conduct that involved the purposeful killing of two or more persons,
namely Davis and her unborn child. VERDICT: GUILTY Specification 2 Cutts
committed the aggravated murder during an aggravated burglary and was the actual
killer. VERDICT: GUILTY Specification 3 Cutts purposely caused the death of
Davis' viable, unborn child, who was under 13 years of age, and he was the
actual killer. VERDICT: NO RULING As to the lesser included charge of murder,
defined as purposely causing the death of another or the unlawful termination of
another's pregnancy.


Apparently they were able to charge him with Aggravated Murder of Chloe (Count 3) because even after he killed Jessie there was a small window where he could have called 911 and saved Chloe's life because she was a 9 month old viable "fetus". He chose not to call 911 and save Chloe so it qualified as "Aggravated Murder".

They begin the sentencing part of the trial on February 25th. Part of me is hoping that the jury gives him the death penalty. However, I've heard that the jury was asking questions to the effect of having the choice to not give the death penalty but to sentence him to a life sentence without the possibility of parole and without the option of solitary protective confinement. Upon hearing this, I've decided that I like that future compared to death. Death is too quick. I say give him a lifetime to pay his dues to the general population of a maximum security prison. Let the convicts pass him around for the rest of his days. General populations in prison don't tend to take to child abusers, molesters, and murderers. What a shame for Bobby.

For more information:
Breakdown of today in court
Blog of whole proceedings
Pictures from trial

This makes me sad...

8:49:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
I've been doing more research on the United Autism Foundation. It appears that not only does Adam do the PR but he owns it. It makes me sad that he said the things he said because from what I can find, he's done good works. I can't understand how anyone can claim to want to help children with Autism and various other disabilities but then SAY that?!

It's ON!

8:13:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 3 Comments »
As I've mentioned before, I *heart* Big Brother. In fact, I'm probably mildly obsessed. That aside, I'm furious right now! On MySpace, I am a member of a group called "Autism Connections". I woke up this morning and check my MySpace info to find a bulletin from Autism Connections about my beloved Big Brother. (see below)

Feb 15, 2008 1:12 AM
Subject:
Man on CBS show Big Brother calls kids
with
autism "retards"
Body:
***** I got this from Joy. Thanks for
making us
aware Joy.original message from Joy:I hated seeing this and it
made me angry!! A
PR Guy on the big brother show works for an autism
foundation and called
children with autism, RETARDS!!I don't know about you,
but I will be making and
filing a complaint against CBS and I'm goning to
try to find out where and what
the foundation is, that the guy is working
at. I'm sorry to post this on
valentines day , but I wanted to know and see
this! Please repost and pass
along!!Our children are at risk by this guys
presence at the foundation he
works!God Bless,JOY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNwuXRY8X7E



So I follow the link to YouTube and this is what I find:
(It won't allow me to embed the video for some reason so please go and watch at the link for yourself.)

CBS AIRED THIS!!!!

I am sickened by this...this...I don't know what to call him. No real man would call Autistic children retards and then defend the statement by saying "What? I work with them all day, I'll call them what I want." or "Well, they are. They're all retards, it's not my fault." Whatever he is, he's sick. And not in the "oh I kind of pity him, he doesn't know any better" kind of sick. He's just a sick, self-centered, narcisstic....ARGH!

So here's what we do, we contact CBS and complain. True, they have no control over him. However, they have control over their show.

Next, I suggest we contact United Autism Foundation (the Autism Foundation he is a PR rep for) and we complain to them. Again, they have no control over his actions. However, they control his pay checks or the lack thereof. Autism fundraising is struggling to begin with, we don't need it connected with a schmuck like Adam.

Day 3 - Insanity Reins Supreme

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Techincally this is Day 6 of Gavin being home but I'm only counting weather days. With every day, I get a little bit closer to that pretty padded room I've always wanted. ;) lol

Yesterday was actually pretty quiet and laid-back. (see here, here and here to bare witness to our silliness - lol) Today is already off to a smashing success. *insert sarcasm here*

Last night was pretty calm until around 1:00am. That's when Elliott got fussy and Rob and I woke up to find Elliott half in bed and half on the floor, trying to sleep. lol Poor little guy was pretty confused. So Rob brough him to bed. That marks the end of my night. Elliott took over my Snoogle pillow and my half of the bed. So I attempted to sleep with my head and neck in odd positions all night long. I have a night of little to no sleep, a crick in my neck and a throbbing migraine to show for it all. Fun. Fun. Fun.

What little sleep I did get was peppered with crazy dreams. I dreamt that I took Elliott back to the NICU to visit. Only the hospital had been moved to a shopping mall. There was something in there about getting into another hit-skip accident (they hit me and skipped - not the other way around) and the damage to my front end some how punctured my gas tank. Which then festered for hours before exploding. (Maybe that's when my head split open with the migraine. lol) Then I woke up and toss and turned for a while before I fell back to sleep and finished the dream. (I can't seem to do this when I want to finish the dream. Only when the dream stinks!) When I fell back to sleep I jumped into the dream at a point where some random guy was stealing my charred vehicle remains. This enraged me! How dare he take the charred, useless carcass that was my car! Again the pregnancy dreams strike and confuse me. lol

Enough about my crappy night, let's talk about Jericho. I am addicted. I admit it. Apparently Grandma Gene has been singing it's praises for months, oh how I wish I had listened. The Sci-Fi channel aired the first 4 episodes over the weekend and my darling husband had the presence of mind to record it. (Thank you Honey!) I'm missing 18 episodes though before I can watch the new one from last night. *sigh* C'est la vie. If you've never watched it, YOU SHOULD. Apparently after Season 1, CBS tried to cancel it. Only to get a response similar to the outcry over My So Called Life, and we all know what happened there. Hopefully, Jericho won't fall by the wayside after Season 2. I must admit though. I don't want to see Jake with Emily. I want to see him with Heather. Emily is just too...high maintenance for my tastes.

Get Down with Your Bad Self!!!!

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Gavin the fabulous dancing machine! He kept forgetting that my camera couldn't see everything so that's why he comes and goes off screen. lol

UNO!

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Elliott Richard playing UNO with Daddy.
The picture Elliott Richard took of Daddy (with a little help).

16 Week Belly Pics

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Tiny from the side. Thank you to my darling husband, for pointing out how my belly is round, then flattens in front and then drops off. lol
Tiny's tear drop shaped home. If you look closely, you can see that my belly button is already starting to disappear.
And finally the side shot with my shirt. This picture almost makes my belly look small! lol

Playing Uno w/Daddy

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And of course, just because he's so darn cute! He made Daddy play nearly a dozen "games" of Uno before he agreed to come snuggle with me and watch "Dora the Explorer". Sorry, the sound isn't very loud but I'm using my digital camera after all. :)

Elliott Richard's Mad Skills

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Elliott Richard showing off his new verbage (what a great word!) with some gentle prodding from your's truly. lol The words were fish (shish), Uno (un-no), cat (cat). I tried to get him to say "love you", which is too cute for words, but instead I got "ah-bre" (which is spanish for open - according to Babel Fish that should be abierto but according to Dora the Explorer it's more like Elliott says it) because he decided he wanted to take his own pictures! lol

Let it snow...Let it snow...Let it snow...

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So far we have 2-3 inches of the 6-10 inches they are predicting. The snow wasn't supposed to fall until today but it got a jump start. Next comes the wet snow and ice. Followed by the rain. This has the potential to get real ugly folks. On the bright side, I have a HUGE jar of pickles. So I'm set. ;) lol

It's also Day 2 of no school. Gavin isn't nearly as crushed today as he was yesterday, which is both good and bad. It's good because he's in a better mood today. It's bad because it means he is settling into the swing of no school and will be thrown off when school resumes. I can only pray that he isn't thrown off too much and he is able to quickly recover.

Rob was kind enough to allow me to sleep in this morning. It's such a rare treat for me to sleep in and let me tell you, it.was.heavenly! Although I had some crazy, weird dreams. Some twisted version of Harry Potter with me as Duddy Dursley and my little brother, Zach, as Harry. If that makes no sense it's because the dreams made no sense. lol

In terms of life, Elliott is constantly learning new words. He just amazes me day after day. There are moments when it really hits me how completely different Gavin and Elliott are. The other night Rob made Sheppard's Pie for dinner. (In our house, Sheppard's Pie is a layer of ground turkey, layer of corn, layer of cheese and topped with a layer of mashed potatoes.) With all of my experience with Gavin, I absolutely didn't expect Elliott to even touch it. He ate more than half of mine and then a whole another helping himself! Last night, he ate fish! At first he snubbed his nose at it. Then he ate two whole pieces!

Gavin is busy creating "inventions". He never seems to finish them because as soon as he's started one, he moves on to the next. Yesterday afternoon Gavin had Occupational and Speech Therapies with Holly and Melanie. Rob and I were stuck in traffic so we were about 5 minutes late picking him. (He doesn't like us to go back with him so we use the time to run errands and whatnot.) Once we got there, I found him hanging out behind the front desk with Melanie and some of the other therapists. He was super proud of himself because he had tried both Red and Yellow Peppers. Simply amazing. There are days when he makes so much progress, even if it seems small to everyone else. It just makes my heart a little lighter, even if it only lasts a minute.

*twiddles thumbs*

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I don't have anything to say...I think part of it is the blog going public. It feels different now. lol

It's freezing here in Ohio. Gavin didn't have school today, which he was not pleased about. We have to go out to go to the grocery store, take Gavin to speech and occupational therapy and have my Quad Screen blood work drawn. Rob read on the Weather Channel that we may get up to 6-10 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow!!! So I need my salad and pickles before that hits. I'm out and if I get snowed in without it, I'll be one seriously unhappy pregnant woman! lol

I had another crazy, creepy pregnancy dream last night. I hate the creepy ones. The strange ones, I can handle. Dreaming I left the baby in carrier on top of the car or in the house, I can handle. But creepy dreams, no thank you.

Elliott Richard "The Early Years"

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{Bump} Things that make you go "hhhhmmmm....."

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So I've been cruising my blogs lately. And I'm completely obsessed with a new one, Confessions of a CF Husband. It's written by the husband/father. His wife, Tricia, has CF and is currently in a semi-drugged comma and intubated. Their daughter, Gwyneth, was born on January 8th at 24 weeks gestation. I think I followed a link from Tiffany's blog. Anyway, I'm obsessed and completely in love with this tiny micro-preemie whom I've never met. The truly funny thing (at least to me) is that Nathan posted a video of his walk between Gwyneth and Tricia and in the very beginning he does this thing where he licked his fingers and smoothed his eyebrows...Rob does that whenever he wants to cheer me up and everything else has failed. I guess I always knew that other men did that. I've just never actually *seen* it. lol Anyway, if you guys get a chance check out his blog. It's amazing. Gwyneth is a miracle in every sense of the word. Tricia is fighter and I admire them all so much.

Tricia also has a blog but since she's been sitting the sidelines she hasn't been able to update it. But you can check it out nonetheless. :)

(***I wrote this about a week or so ago but it was saved and never posted. So I am posting it today.)

Ladies and gents...

5:58:00 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
I am proud to announce that we are now LIVE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. I have no idea if this affects anything or not. But here we are for all the world to see...boy that's kind of scary to think about. lol

Missing: One Tooth

4:47:00 PM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
Missing
Name: Baby Tooth
Size: Small
Weight: Hardly Anything
Description: Bloody Baby Tooth
Date Lost: Sunday 02/10/2008
Background: After weeks and weeks of being loose but standing his ground, Baby Tooth finally gave up the battle for the only home he's ever known to Permanent Tooth. Sources close to Baby Tooth state that Permanent Tooth was threatening to file legal an eviction order with the local courts if the premises were not vacated soon. Baby Tooth finally agreed to leave but insisted it be a bitter, bloody battle to the end. Baby Tooth was last heard screaming, "I won't go out without a fight." And fight he did. Baby Tooth will be sorely missed for a while but we all look forward to getting to know Permanent Tooth. Services in memory of Baby Tooth will be held tonight just after bed time. The Tooth Fairy will be officiating as is customary in circumstances such as these.

My morning

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I decided for reasons unknown to myself to make a graphic for the top of my blog. (see above) It took me literally all morning and many, many, many drafts before I finally got it right...for the most part. I don't think it's a half bad little graphic, especially since it's my first one ever. :) Was it a smart use of my entire morning, well, maybe not. But I like it. I think it adds a bit of personality to my blog. I really like Nathan's but I'm not that good. lol

Amendment to Honesty post

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I just want to be clear about something, our families are not evil or mean or heartless. There are some people in our lives who are very involved in any way they can be. There are other people who are involved in the only ways they can be. Some of you have helped us financially before. Some of you have bailed us out when we needed a last minute sitter for this, that or the other reason. Some of you have simply been there to help at school or to call me and say "hi". Thank you.

We love each and every one of our family members. There are things that anger me. There are things that hurt me. This doesn't change our love for them. But those feelings do exist and in the words of my favorite TV shrink, "You cannot change, what you don't acknowledge."

Honesty...the flood gates have been opened (the longest post you'll probably ever read! lol)

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Rob and I were talking last night about a lot of things. While I was putting Elliott Richard to bed he read my blog. (He has access but doesn't read very often, which isn't a big deal since he lives it and all. lol) He said that while I'm honest I put a positive spin on things. I guess that's true. I am honest but there are things that I hold back on because for a while now Rob has been uncomfortable with the whole blogging thing. My blog is set to invite only so even if Nick or Pam managed to find my Blogger profile and try to access my blog they would see a message that says my blog is by invite only. No access. No risk. Unless one of you give them the url and your login info but since I know 99% of you personally and the rest of you either dislike them as much as I do or have no interest in them, I feel pretty safe. ;)

So I've decided that it's time for honesty. It's time for me to be a little blunt and completely open about our lives right now. Keep in mind a few things here: While I tend to be pretty honest and upfront about most things, there are some topics that are harder for me to discuss than others. Also this on again off again weather is killing me and my cold/sinus infection seem to be returning and the sinus stuff I take seems to make me a little loopy for some reason. So what I don't cover today I'll try and hit later. (Side note: I am horrible at spelling! Seriously. I apologize for any misspellings but my spell check doesn't work right now. So just ignore my typos.) Anyway, without further ado...

I have been "torturing" you guys with the fact that Rob and I know the sex of Tiny and you don't. Honestly, some of you do. Some of you don't. (Gavin doesn't even know but then if we told him we might as well tell everyone. lol) I haven't posted Tiny's sex on here because some family has access to the blog, although I seriously doubt that they exercise it. In theory I could post Tiny's sex here if I wanted to and our families probably still wouldn't know. That makes me sad. It makes me sad that my best friends (one of whom lives in NYC and the other knows who she is - hope you're feeling better, hon), my mother, my various internet moms (from all three pregnancies) and Gram (my newly internet adopted grandmother) are the only ones who really check this blog(at least that I know of because they let me know they've been here). (Tiffany, Nathan, and my Aunt Susie have access and are excused from this generalization because they have their hands seriously full at the moment.) Rob thinks I should post Tiny's sex and see who actually reads the blog to keep up with life in the our household. I don't agree. I'll know when the time is right for everyone to know and I'll tell you then. So asking (nicely or otherwise) and bribing (although fun and appreciated sometimes) won't work, so for your own sanity it's best that you not try. End of story. ;)

What's next...ah yes, money. We have none. (Can't get much more blunt than that.) Rob has "lost his job" in a manner of speaking. Rob is self-employed as a construction/contractor for a pretty big home builder here in town and the surrounding states. There is an allotment here in town that Rob has worked in since they opened it. He has been in every house in the neighborhood until now. Glen, the builder he was working for, quit. Glen's replacement (who's name escapes me at the moment) seems to dislike Rob. (We think it's because the last time Rob worked for him he was also working with a rather shady individual. Now please understand, Rob is not shady. In fact, he's one of the most honest and upfront people I know. But for a while his reputation was tarnished because he was associated with Bob before he knew the "Real Bob". Incidently, the "Real Bob" recently stole $6 off a dying 67 yr old man whom he, as a paramedic, was supposed to be saving, just to give you some perspective.) Anyway, this builder seems to be replacing Rob with someone different. This has killed our income. Right now we are living off of our income tax return but that will only last until the end of March, if we are lucky and don't buy things like diapers and gas. *sigh* Rob is actively looking for work with other allotments within the company, however, this also is the slow time of year. Homeowners are buying lots and picking homes but ground breaking probably won't happen for a few months yet and Rob isn't involved until closer to the end of the process.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Rob is self-employed for a few reasons. Could he go out and get any job to bring in something for the next few weeks, yes he could. However, that is not what is best for him or for our family. Rob has a herniated disc and degenerative disc disease in his back. He was told years ago that he needs surgery and shouldn't be doing construction. He has not had the surgery because it would require him to be completely out of commission for up to 6 months. He used to be a paramedic, a job that he loved, (He was saving a hemoraging pregnant woman when he destroyed his back.) but had to quit because he had to be away from home for 24-72 hours at a time and Gavin had become too much for me to handle on my own. To work a "normal job" Rob would have to have the freedom to sit down or stand as his back allows and needs. No employer is going to tolerate that and the pain of all the standing would kill him. When he got home, he would be useless to me and the boys. Rob does what he does to allow for fexibility in scheduling because of Gavin and his special needs. The work he does is not good for his back, by any means, but it allows for us to make enough money to survive on without requiring Rob to be away from home for 40+ hours every week. On a good day (for Gavin) I struggle to meet all his needs, however, now that I'm pregnant and already on light restrictions I am not allowed to have confrontations like the ones that are typical with Gavin. And I'm not allowed to care for Elliott Richard on my own now right either so I need Rob at home as much as time and income allow. This may sound irresponsible on our part but I assure you that this is the only and best way for us. I have made appointments to all of the agencies that may be able to help us at this point. I have calls into other contacts who may know of other assistance. We are doing all that we can at this point to plan for our uncertain future. (If you know of any help that I may not, please email me. When I say our financial situation is dire, I'm not being dramatic.)

Hhhhmmmm, where do I go from here? Ah, yes, the boys. We've been lucky with Elliott Richard. While he's technically considered a preemie, he was born at 36 weeks. That puts him a HUGE advantage over most preemies because we were able to keep him inside for 9 weeks despite the preterm labor that threatened us everyday. So even though he spent the first 10 days of his life in the NICU, he's fine now. Developmentally, he's right on target.

Gavin isn't quite so easy. Gavin was a typical baby until about 2 1/2 or 3 years old. Then it was as if he woke up one day and someone had flipped a switch. Gavin was gone. Prior to the switch being flipped, he was a typical little boy. Although now that I have Elliott Richard as a "point of reference" (as Gavin's doctors put it) I now realize that there were many things I should have noticed but didn't. The fact that we lived down south for 9 months with a family doctor rather than Gavin's regular pediatrician didn't help matters any. And yes, I blame myself for that. From start to finish, I firmly believe that our time in down south while I was married to Nick was the beginning of the end for my precious Gavin.

There are many different theories as to how Autism/Asperger's comes to be. Some believe it is vaccines. I don't agree. Autism as a whole is seeing a 300% increase globally. That means third world countries, under-developed countries - essentially, countries without access to vaccines. In order for it to be vaccines, all the children in that 300% need to have exposure to the same vaccines. Others believe it is genetic, tied to such factors as extensive drug use by the parents (I used socially until I found out I was pregnant with Gavin. In my opinion, Nick is an addict.) and the advanced age of the father. I tend to agree with this a little more. Personally, I believe that Autism is much like cancer. You may be born with a genetic predisposition to cancer but not develop cancer in your lifetime. However, you pass that genetic predisposition on to your children and they may develop cancer if the conditions are right and the gene is triggered. I think either Nick or myself or both of us carried this genetic predisposition and passed it on to Gavin. Then something happened, over time, to trigger it. I believe that had it not been triggered, Gavin would have been quirky but not necessarily Autistic. But once it was triggered, Gavin was locked away inside his own mind. Too far away for us to reach.

When Gavin was young, before the switch was flipped, he was quirky. The girls at his daycare used to worry because he would not play with the other children. He would play beside them but never with them. He also refused, to the point of violent meltdowns, to participate in group activities. I admit, I was young (20/21) and didn't know what this meant. I thought he was simply angry at me for leaving him in daycare. When Gavin was a baby (9-18 months) he was very attached to me. Everywhere I went, he went. Elliott Richard is the same, only he's different. Gavin was attached to me but it was more as if I were a safe place, not a safe person. If that makes any sense. His attachment didn't seem to be emotional. As Gavin has grown, his attachments have become less emotional over time and more forced. He gives hugs because he has learned that they are expected in certain situations. Gavin will memorize a social situation and what he did that was acceptable in that moment. He will then react the exact same way every time recognizes a similar social situation. Gavin has no filter. If he sees someone smoking, he doesn't think about whether he knows them or if he should say what he's thinking, he tells them that smoking is bad and they are going to die. Then he will walk away. He has called neighbors "scary vultures" and "black monsters" to their faces. He doesn't know it's wrong. He simply thinks it and says it.

We try and teach Gavin what is right and wrong. We try and teach him that just because he feels the need to hug Elliott Richard does not mean he can drag him kicking and screaming away from his toys to accomplish it. We try and teach him that it's okay to not want to be touched but it is not okay to push, kick and hit Elliott Richard when he's trying to get Gavin's attention. The blunt truth of Gavin is that he has kicked Elliott Richard in the chest because Elliott Richard touched Gavin's foot. Gavin has kicked one of our cats down the stairs. He has tried to throw a dog down the stairs. When I was pregnant with Elliott, Gavin attacked me. He has tried to slam my fingers in his bedroom door while I was trying to get in and stop him from hurting himself. (Our house is 100+ years old and the doors are all about 2 inches solid wood.) He has clawed at my face, my eyes, my arms. He has spit in my face and punched me in the side of the head.

Gavin has no gray area. Everything in his world is black and white. He over-generalizes everything. If Person A buys Gavin at toy "just because" at Wal*Mart. Then from that moment on every time he is at Wal*Mart Gavin's believes that he will get a toy. It doesn't matter who is with him. His whole life is like that. Good and evil, with no in-between.

In our home, routine is life. Our lives are not such that our routine is on a set time schedule. However, the same things happen in the same order everday. Regardless of the time we get up or doctors appointments etc. In our world, it is always A, B, C, D etc. Never A, Z, J, V etc.

I am not telling you these things about Gavin because I want you to think him a monster. He is NOT a monster. However, he is not typical either. Simply because your pregnancy, labor & delivery were textbook followed by text book typical children, does not mean that our lives work that way. Gavin attends a special school for Asperger's and ADHD children. They have been a God send! Make no mistake the staff are ANGELS and I will take on (verbally of course) anyone who dares to tell me differently. Without them, Gavin would not be able to attend school. Public schools (as I've stated in previous posts) are not a fit for Gavin in any stretch of the imagination. I honestly do not know where we would be without them. They are all miracle workers and the best part of my job as a mother and President of the PTA is that I get to watch them work miracles everyday.

Warning: This is where my honesty is about to get bitter and angry. You have been warned.

Some things make me angry, understandablly. There are people out there who believe that they know better simply based on age. WRONG. Some believe they know better because they have typical children who all turned out wonderfully. WRONG. Some people believe that I am too strict, too structured, too this that and the other thing. WRONG.

Just because you are older than me, does not mean you have more experience than me. I have seen things in my 27 1/2 years that most of you have only read about. My childhood was not text book, unless you happen to be reading a text book about an ADHD child. My young adult years were filled with anger, violence, abuse, drugs, alcohol, cops, court dates, legal battles...you name it and it was probably in there at some point. I did not get to go away to college. I did not get to date my soul mate for years before getting engaged, getting married and having children - in that order. The last 15 years of my life have been spent fighting for survival - my own, my children's, my husband's, my marriage.

Much of the things I have endured over the past 15 years are nightmares of my own creatation; I recognize that. I take ownership and responsibility for my actions. I will not take ownership or responsibility for anyone else's. I chose to marry Nick. He chose to abuse me in any way he could think of. I did not deserve it. I did not tolerate it. And while others are certainly within their rights to ask my advice and not take it, do not ask my advice and tell me that my opinion/p.o.v. (point of view) is wrong because it does not fit into your Bubble Gum Universe. I wish I lived in your Universe but I don't. I live in the Real World. Which is MESSY and UGLY and filled with PAIN and ANGER and nasty ugly things. While you may wish to live with your head in the sand and ignore the world outside your door, please remember that I live there and when you ignore the pain and suffering in the world...You are ignoring me!

I wish I had grown up with a deep faith in God. I wish I had a life in which that faith has never been tested and I've never been angry with God. But you know what, I haven't and that's okay. That makes me HUMAN. Some people prefer to live life worrying about what others will think. While I often take into considersation what others think, it does not run my life. I know my God. We are tight. He loves me and I love him. I don't have to go to church every Sunday to show my love for him nor for him to show his love for me. I was not married in a church. It was a civil ceremony with my parents and brother and Rob's parents and siblings. That does not doom our marriage.

I have lived my entire life clouded by judgement and none of that judgement has come from where it should - GOD. I will not live in judgement any longer. My life is not easy, even on a perfectly amazing day. My life is struggle and pain. My health sucks. Rob's back is blown. Gavin is Autistic. And by the grace of God, Elliott is "perfect" (in relation to the everyone else's issues). Gavin and I have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from the abuse I endured and he witnessed down south. My life is not perfect. I'm tired of pretending that it is because it makes other uncomfortable. I appreciate every prayer that is offered up to God on our behalf but you know what, there are times when it would be nice if more than prayers were offered. If you really want to know what we need...Call and ask to take Gavin for the day or overnight. Call just to see how things are going. If something is going wrong in the pregnancy, ask us about it. If we don't want to talk about it, we'll let you know. If you care, sometimes it's just nice to be told or shown.

I'm tired of fake people. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am tired of fake people. (FYI...Fake people are normal people who act in a manner that is fake, shallow, self-serving etc)If you assume that we'll tell you if things are really bad, then don't be surprised when we don't tell you anything. Don't be surprised when you aren't included in the good because you don't care to be there in the bad. My life right now reminds me of that children's story about the little red hen. She gathers all the ingredients to make bread and asks for help along the way. Everyone is too busy to help with the work. Then when the bread is baked, everyone is willing to help her eat it. And that little red hen says NO, you didn't want to help me work so you won't enjoy the fruits of my labor. That's how I feel. If you can't be bothered to care about us when things suck. You won't get to enjoy the fruits of our labor. And you know what, life sucks. The sooner you learn it, the better off you'll be.

I'm NOT telling you these things because:
We are looking for hand-outs or hand-ups or whatever you'd like to call them.
We are looking for pity.
I am unhappy with my life.
I am trying to hurt anyone.

I AM telling you these things because:
I want to be completely honest (within reason, somethings y'all just don't need to know lol).
If you pray, you'll now know what to pray for.
If you want to help, you now know what we need.
If you ask me (or us) to go somewhere, do something etc you'll now know why we can't.
Everyone needs to know what our lives are like.
I'm tired of not sharing how I feel because it might upset people. (This is my blog. If you don't like it or can't handle it, don't read it. Most of you don't anyway.)
It's unhealthy for me to hold all this crap in.

Ah...true love...

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***My Baby Boys***

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You are *here* too!