A Mind Changer

Monday, May 29, 2017

When Gunner was diagnosed with CAS (childhood speech apraxia.) I always feared that I would never be able to understand what it was that he was saying. I thought that I might never get to have those one on one conversations with him. Or if I did it would be a lot of me pretending to understand just what it was that he was saying.  You know when you just acknowledge them by saying “Oh yes” or “and then what happened?” That you do with babies as they blabber to you.

But watching him discover his voice has been quite amazing. Slowly we’ve been able to grasp most of what he has been saying without having to have him repeat it over and over or play charades until we discover what it was that he was talking about.

Going through this journey with him as made me change my own view of how I see the world. Just simple words like duck or frog, thank you (he says it mayboo. It’s one of my favorites.) and the words I love you as being difficult for him to say but he never gives up. Even when we ask him to repeat himself over and over. He always tries hard to get his point of view across.

Lately, whenever he thinks something is cool or when he likes something he will say. Ooooo I love.... But the way he says it, with such conviction, just melts your heart.

I will be on day 3 of wearing my PJs with my hair undid and smelling a little rank but he’ll come up to me and say “oooo mom, I love your shirt.” then touch it and smile with his side smile and walk away. He’ll have a handful of toys and tell each toy that he loves it.  He will squeeze Annie’s feet and say “oooo I love your feet, Annie.”

When we are all talking in a group as family and we mention something we did over the weekend he will without a doubt tell us just how much he loves it. Even if we know the truth of how much he did not enjoy it.

I started to stop and see the world just like he does, and instead of saying that something was cool or that I enjoyed such and such or even when I didn't like something I replaced it with Oooo I love…. And it has been a mind changer.

Paperclip Earrings

Thursday, May 18, 2017


I was a very dramatic or should I say a “creative child” growing up. My mom always tells the story of how I would rip my pants off when I was a toddler and color all over my diaper no matter how many times she redressed me or hid the markers, I always seem to find them. She said that I just always knew that my toddler life would be much better if I had a colorful diaper on.

As I was growing up, I always seem to make sure that I was different from everyone else. If they wore a ponytail at school I would wear 3 or 4 in my hair to make sure I’d stand out. If they wore earrings, I wore paperclips in my ears instead. If they dyed their hair blonde I dyed my bright red. If they cut their hair short, I cut mine into a mohawk. When my friend got contacts I made sure that when I finally got contacts that they would be bright purple just to make sure it I would stand out.

One time, I went to the hardware store and picked up the biggest gallon of the brightest red paint available. And without asking I painted my bedroom walls with it. Then I threw a red room party and it was the greatest moment of my teenage years.

But one of the biggest incidents I had as a teenager and that I thought for sure I would be in the biggest trouble for was when I took my mom's van out on a night drive with my friends. We had the bright idea to fill buckets up with water balloons then we proceeded to go out onto the “vard” and throw them at incoming cars. This lead to other cars chasing us, swearing at us and then, of course, the cops being called on us.

The cops lectured us about why it is important to not throw things at other moving vehicles all the while I was rolling my purple eyes with my bright red hair thinking… please, these guys don’t know how to have fun. The mom in me now would have flipped the F out.

They, of course, called our parents, making my friends parents come get them and then followed me home so they didn't have to tow my mom's van back to our house. I, of course, thought that I would be in the deepest shit ever when I got home. But instead, my mom and dad thank the officers, closed the door and proceeded to walk back to their room and go to sleep.

I, of course, was in a sheer panic. Am I grounded? Will I ever see my friends again? I went to bed that morning not knowing if I’d wake up or if they would kill me in my sleep.

I woke up the next day like nothing ever happened. It was one of those moments that made me realize just how important my relationship with my parents was and I did more to not disappoint them.

As being a mom now, I look back at all these and more stupid things I did and I thank my mom for putting up with me. She never once yelled that I painted my room instead she made pizza for the red room party and delivered it to us. She complemented me on my paper clip earrings and encouraged me to get the purple contacts as they would stand out more.

She had my dad buy more hair ties so that I could have as many ponytails in my hair that I wanted and she never told me that I was weird or that I shouldn't dress a certain way. She allowed me to go through each phase I had and she laughs with me now about at how silly each of those things was. I am a better mom now because she and my dad took the time to pick their battles and that they did everything to encourage me to continue to be artistic and creative and so damn dramatic.

Now, can I say that I would not hesitate to kill Wyatt if he ever had the cops bring him home? Probably not, but if he paints his room red and has the best red room party I sure as hell will buy him the biggest pizza and hand deliver that sucker because I know just how fun red room parties are.

Give me some purpose

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It was dark and cold in my house as I watched the ball start to drop as the year 2017 rolled in. I held Annie close to me to keep my warmth as she was rocked softly to sleep in my arms. The husband was videotaping the older kids throwing streamers down the stairs counting down from 10.

10, 9, 8…

I looked away from them as I held onto to Annie, tight as the new year came rushing in and I quietly whispered to the universe “give me some purpose, I just need some purpose this year.”  

7, 6, 5…

I could see myself so clearly that night. I was so entangled in the life my kids and husband that I didn't know where I started and they ended. I didn't want to be just their mom or just a his wife anymore. I was made to be so much more.

4, 3, 2…

Just as the ball dropped I pleaded my case again “Please.” I said. “Please, give me purpose.”

I closed my eyes tightly when I sent those words into the universe. Afraid that if I opened them too soon that my word, my meaning would slip passed its destination and I would be left in the same spot unable to move forward and I couldn't chance it.

This year needed to be different. It had to be. My life was meant more than me sitting on the couch watching tv or doing the billionth load of laundry.

It was time for me to find my purpose.

The night passed and we slept. Me, drifting off without another thought about my plea. The next day came, and then the next. The mundane life I lived was still there. I worked, did dishes, bathe the kids, fought and made up with the husband, slept, ate, watched TV and then started it all over again.

Then something happened, after a few weeks my desire to do nothing, changed into a desire to do something. I turned off the TV, started to sew, really sew unafraid. I started reading again and listen to podcasts of inspiring woman. I started to love my curves, embracing my sexuality which led to more sex with the husband.

I became happy, thoughtful and loving. We started to enjoy adventures together. We bought a tandem bike and then we rode it.

I started a handmade doll shop, then a community meet up where we give back to those less fortunate. I met new friends. It was going great, I felt amazing.

But then somehow the guilt crept in. I wasn't allowed to be selfish, I couldn’t be a good wife or mother if I was taking my free time and using it on myself. It was just not possible. So, I stopped sewing, meeting up with new friends and starting to resent my kids.I again started to notice how fat I was again which led me to stop having sex with my husband. We put the tandem bike in the garage.

Then my puppy died unexpectedly and I watched him fight to the bitter end as they put him to sleep and I felt guilty again. I wasn’t there enough for him. I didn’t take him on enough walks. If only I didn’t buy that stupid sharp plastic hummingbird for my garden he wouldn’t have ate it and then died.   

My purpose was dying slowly and I was letting it. I was okay with going back to what it was. Because it was so god damn comfortable but the universe wouldn't let me.

It kept giving me more “free time” My doll shop kept thriving even though I didn't post anything on there for awhile, I got another day off from work and my mother in law took the kids anyway. I started to sew again. My husband some how managed to get more days off work too and we started dating again. My kids stopped watching TV and started to read and play outside more.

I went to a random bookclub I found online in a facebook community and immediately connected with the woman there. I am now hosting a potluck and literally invited strangers from the internet to my house and I am completely comfortable with it.

My purpose is still breathing and its amazing.