Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It is time.

Time is one of the hardest things for me.  Mostly, it's the lack of it!  I never seem to have enough remaining hours to finish everything on my list.  I believe this is a struggle with most moms and wives.

One of my biggest complaints in life (meaning, I bitch about  discuss it constantly) is that some people never have to grow up.  You know the type... they have no dreams.  No ambitions.  No responsibilities.  I have a really difficult time understanding that sort of folk.  It boggles my mind!  Even more boggling is that I have DOZENS of these people in my life.

Annnnyway.  So, since I seem to have all this free time (not) on my plate, I've decided to go back to school!  I really regret ever having dropped out so many years ago.  What a dumb thing to do.  But, as it was, Sarge was enlisting in the Air Force and I couldn't imagine not having him in my life.  So, I traded my books for an iron and life went on.

Now for the problem:  I can't decide what I want to be!  I've had all these years to decide and I simply cannot.  Do I want to be a teacher and have summers off?  That would be nice but we all know I don't really like other people's kids.  Do I want to be a business tycoon?  Hell yes, but I'm scared.  Do I want to be a nurse?  Yes, but I have the world's most sensitive gag reflex.  Seriously, Guiness Book of World Records worthy gagging.  I have to declare a major (yes, I realize it can be changed) in a few days.  Any help would be appreciated!

I've prayed and prayed.  I've looked for signs.  I've done research.  I've made lists.  I've asked Sarge what he thinks.  (For the record, he doesn't care as I long as I actually DO something.  Anything.  And if it came with a paycheck, that would be cool, too!)  Time is dwindling and I need to spring to action.  I'm terrified of becoming one of  those people.  Yikes.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Where ya going, Summertime?

I'm reluctant to actually admit that I want my Three Pretties to go back to school.  Frankly, it's just too much pressure trying to keep them busy.  Now, of course, I love having them home!  I love being able to hear all their little secrets and stories.  I love having helpers with housework.  But, good gosh!  It's a ton of work trying to find activities that all three will love.

I'm quite looking forward to this school year.  I'll have a fourth grader, a third grader and a first grader!  And if all works out, I'll be a sophomore in college! We'll be sure and take "First Day of School" pictures of everyone.  Sarge already agreed to take my picture!  I'm hoping that my pretty princess forgot she said that I need a Tinkerbell backpack.  Nothing screams "MOM" quite like toting around children's accessories when there are no children in tow.  Of course, I could wear Jessica Simpson's  mom jeans.

Moving right along...

Update:  So many of you have sent me encouraging emails, Facebook messages and comments regarding my brief autism discussion.  Thank you so much.  Often, even the closest relative or friend has no idea the turmoil and struggle that we face.  I find this to be true across the autism board and not just inside my four walls.  There were days that I was surely not going to finish.  That I was going to throw in the towel and leave.  There are, sadly, days where I'm pretty sure I didn't even speak to Pretty Number One or Two because I was so caught up with Pretty Number Three.  It's not this pretty little world of Jeopardy and Ranching.  It's not like 'Rain Man' or 'Temple Grandin'.  There are days where we are deep in the trenches of autism.  Bleh.  My least favorite days.  However, this has been the greatest joy of my life.  I'm not even kidding.  I've watched Pretty Number Three transform right before my eyes.  She is amazing. We've come so far in six months.  I'm pretty stoked to see what six more months will do!

 And you, my faithful eleven followers, are amazing too.  Thank you for reading my nonsense and allowing me to vent and share my life with Three Divas and a Dude.  I love it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It is not hot, it's humid!

I admit it. We are complete beach addicts. Seriously... addicted. We can't help ourselves. A free afternoon must be spent with toes in the water, ass in the sand. The He and I have been teaching the Three Shes to boogie board. It's amazing that the most uncoordinated She of the three happens to be the best boogie boarder!

True Story: I hate the beach. A lot. In fact, when I was a teenager, I ruined more than one (seven, at least) family vacation by pouting on the back of my mom's car and refusing to touch even one toe to the sand. South Carolina sand is MUCH different than Texas sand. It just brushes off. I heart that.

Anyway, I reckon that explains my absence. Because, you know, I'm such a regular and dedicated blogger and all.

Happy 100% Humidity, yall!

P.S: You noticed I learned how to post pictures? Yay me!

P.S. # 2: I'm totally abandoning my previous series of posts. Just know that we are all 100% better and improving every single day. Our family, Me, The He and Three Shes are all doing marvelously and thriving in SC. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

She has autism....

After what seems like years fighting against my child (literally), fighting with schools , fighting with doctors... fighting FOR my child... it came down to three words. She. Has. Autism. What did you just say??

I felt like I'd been punched in my gut. My family was at home waiting on me. My mother. My grandmother. My husband. I sat there bawling and listening to the doctor give me the required information. I got in my car and bawled some more. How was this even possible?? My beautiful little angel... my best friend. It felt like a life sentence. I didn't know where to turn. I didn't know what to do. I "got tied up" and drove an extra hour crying and crying. What did this mean for us? What in the hell does it even mean?? I'd be lying if I said I didn't know before I was "told", but it was never real before that moment.

I pulled myself together and finally went home. I super played down what I was told. "Oh, it's not a big deal. We'll just do some therapies and she'll be fine". If I said that often enough, maybe I would believe it?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It started with Care Bears

She dug in the toy box daily. By dug, of course, I mean emptied. Empty. Refill. Empty. Refill. Hundreds of times a day. One morning, she found a long forgotten Burger King toy. A small, maybe four inches tall, green Care Bear with a hook attached for clipping to your backpack. Oh how she loved that Care Bear. She carried it everywhere! To the potty. To the dinner table. WalMart. The park. If she went, so did the bear. Somewhere along the way, the bear became affectionately known as Squishy Bear. Everyone thought it was cute. "Oh look! She has a friend!". They would tell her how adorable she was. She would smile and then run off to twirl Squishy Bear around her finger for hours.

Still living relatively close to "home", we traveled often to visit with our extended family. Obviously, Squishy Bear went along for the ride. Lo and behold, one Sunday afternoon Squishy Bear was left behind. Panic ensued. We couldn't turn around. We knew we would be returning soon so we reasoned with her. "Mommy will find Squishy Bear next weekend. Nana will keep him safe and sound,". No luck. "Mommy will take you to Toys R Us and buy you a REAL Care Bear,". No luck. "If you just stop SCREAMING, I'll take you to McDonald's and we can see what toys they have!". No luck.

Frantically, I scoured EBay. Turns out, the collectors of these items are damned proud of their Happy Meal Toys. Money was tight. My husband was a young airman. We had three children. Two cars. Child support had just been raised (again). It wouldn't have mattered if I had to beg for food, I had to pay to the $34 dollars for four more Squishy Bears. It wasn't an option. If the cable went out, OH WELL! It was worth ending the week of screaming. I paid for overnight shipping. We were at a critical point. Near catastrophic tempers were flaring. And they weren't just hers.

The Squishy Bears arrived. FINALLY. The clouds opened up and angels sang. Flowers bloomed. Suddenly all was right in the world. Having learned quickly from mistakes, I gave her one. A pink one. She didn't seem to mind the color change. The other three were hidden away in my panty drawer for safe keeping.

If only then I'd know what was to come later.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Don't rock the boat.

My earliest memories are filled with all the great things that life has to offer: family, food and fishing. Fishing? Yes. Don't look so surprised that I'm a country girl! Some of the best lessons I've ever learned came with a crappie jig. I'm sure at the time my parents didn't even realize they were lessons in life and living. They were just on the look-out for the best crappie in Lake Brownwood. The more hooks they had in the water, the better their odds were! But, believe me when I tell you that lessons were plenty on those trips.

Oh, they weren't all profound lessons. For example, I learned that vending machines don't take pennies. I sat in my dad's sweltering red and white Ford and counted out one hundred pennies. Fifty for me, fifty for my little brother. It must have taken us hours to insert all those pennies into the coke machine. We wanted a grape soda. I'm sure we went back to our parents with tear filled eyes and told our disappointment-filled tale. I can imagine we were so happy when we received four shiny quarters. Our soon-to-be- purple lips were probably in a permanent smile as we went back to that machine!

Some lessons have grown on me. Patience, dedication, and trust. You have to wait for fish. Sitting quietly (and not falling off the dock) are hard tasks for young children. I often find myself, even today, struggling to wait for things. (Note: I blame this on technology. At my age, I'm used to things being instant. Thank you, Internet, drive-thrus and ATMs.) This doesn't mean the lesson didn't 'take'. It just means I'm human.

I also learned to stay committed. You have to leave the line in the water. If you keep reeling and reeling and reeling, how will the fish have a chance to jump on my hook?? Again, still struggling. I know that the best things come with hard work and a healthy dose of patience. While my reward is no longer The World's Best Fried Crappie and fries, I still enjoy things that I've had to work and wait the hardest for.

Oh and then there was trust. Trust. Life's most important (and probably hardest) lesson to learn. I can recall a less than stellar fishing outing. No one had caught anything for hours. Finally, with tempers running thin, we all reeled 'em in one last time. I was horrified the next day when we are all told to 'Get in the truck!'. What?? We were going back? How could this be?? Surely, we'd fished all the fish that were to be fished in that lake! Ugh. So, begrudgingly, I climbed myself in the truck full of resentment and attitude. Guess what? My folks were right. We caught record numbers that day. How does this translate to my adult life? I have to be willing to trust someone else in all the decisions that are to be made. Usually this falls on my husband. Not everything that we do is my first choice. Yet, when I have him and my Brood of Pretties with me, nothing seems quite so bad. I trust in him and his knowledge of what is right for our family. Certainly, South Carolina wouldn't have been my choice, but here we are! And do you know what? Quite to my surprise, there is life beyond Texas and it isn't so bad! (Make no mistake, however, Texas will always be home. But I'm thankful to be a part of this amazing culture for a short while.)

Now that I'm a mom, I'm constantly looking for ways to teach my own Brood of Pretties these lessons. I'm sure I could sit them all down, tallest to smallest, on the couch and just TELL them. It wouldn't be nearly as effective or fun. I guess the old saying is true: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Soon, we will begin exploring all the creeks and tanks here in the Low Country. I'm not sure which prissy little beauty is going to touch a night crawler first. Surely one of them will trust me. . . even the most slimy and scary things can yield beauty and deliciousness.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, February 5, 2010

One Follower.

Well, there ya have it. One follower. That must mean I have an audience! "No pressure. Just write. Be yourself, Julie. Have fun with it. This is what you do." My inner dialogue is racing, as is my pulse. I've planned for weeks all of these charming posts I would write. However, sitting here, staring at the blinking cursor, nothing seems appropriate for a first ever blog post.

I promised The Founder of my blog (my aunt) that I would definitely write something before I went to bed. Does this count? I hope it does. Tomorrow is a new day. With a clear head and an open heart, I promise to write something worthy of all the time she spent setting this thing up.

While I have you, though, if you know how to make the fancy headers and insert pictures on the side bar with cute little captions, hook a sista up!

Until tomorrow...