Posted in autism

Count momula

How many nights have I locked my doors, all three, making sure we are safe inside. One click, two click, thee. Picking up two plates and two cups, dumping milk and chicken nuggets…two more nuggets and some fries wasted. All I see is money down the drain. Three rows of 48 crayons are on my floor, nightly I transfer them back to their boxes like he likes. At least a dozen sheets of paper are scattered around with pigs, wolves and jars of tomato sauce precisely drawn. I find it hard to throw them away but I know there will be hundreds more to follow. The lights and fans go off, 9 switches. There was a rave in my house today, Brody’s fingerprints are all over the wall where he flips them on and off all day long. I go to his room and turn off the fish light he loves so much, put the book in his hand back for the 15th time. Finally the bedtime routine has caught on.

Two and half hours. That’s how long I’ve had of me time since he’s been asleep. You’d think me time would be relaxing but how can I relax when all I do is count in my head. I have two cartons of milk left, 3 days until my cell phone is due, four days until the weekend and countless nights of worry and stress. I do count my blessings, it isn’t all bad things. I have one mom, one Dad, two sisters and an uncle. I have a few people who have entered into my life and become family. I have a car, a condo and food to eat. I have more friends now then I ever have before. I have an incredible and special son who looks half like me. Life is hard and amazing at the same time.

I’m 1,2600 miles away from things that I love and where my heart broke. 1,359 miles away is my family I love and miss. 1,426 miles from the house that is my home, from the town that shaped me and started building me to be who I am now. It’s been 8 months since I moved and 13 months since I chose my own ending rather then going down the same wrong way Road. It’s been 7 years since I’ve been just me but it feels like forever. There’s no number for the meals I’ve made myself, the trips to the grocery store, diapers I’ve changed, loads of laundry done, times I’ve drank some wine just to help my heart go numb a little. How many times have I stared at this fan going around, struggling to close my eyes just to wake up and do this over again and resume the counting.

Silence is deafening was a saying that never rang true to me until I was alone. Tonight it’s so quiet it’s almost like there’s a ringing in my ears. I always think how many friends and family feel or have felt how I feel, how many people are laying in bed right now doing their own counting. When the counting gets too loud I try focus on keeping my eyes forward. To put one foot in front of the other and keep going, to not let it bog me down.

Yes I’m counting my balance in my bank account but I’m trying to remember that someday I’ll look back and not have to count. I’ll be able to remember how it was, how I made it work with some help and sacrifices. I’ll be understanding that others are fighting that battle and be compassionate and helpful when I can. I’m counting how many job postings and applications I’ve read over and the hours spent trying to find a job that fits. Someday I’ll have a career that makes me happy and helps support Brody and I. I’ll feel proud of where I’ve gotten and the steps I’ve taken to get there. I’m counting the hours spent inside, watching paw patrol, drawing bricks and a wolf, Blowing bubbles and cleaning up after a potty training boy. I’ll also count while I cherish the kisses, the words my nonverbal child spoke, the milestones hit and the bedtime stories and tuck-ins I give Brody, just like I remember from being a kid.

The loudest counting in my head is my age. I’m 29. 12 years ago I graduated high school, 8 years ago was college, almost five ago I added mom to my list. I still have so many years to add onto my age, so many not counted yet. I have no idea what those years hold but hopefully I can add on more children, a husband, more friends and family and many amazing adventures with Brody. This is what I dream about when I close my eyes, it’s what fuels me to open my eyes for the 10,340th time.

Posted in autism

I’m trying but I’m tired…

I’m laying next to you in my big bed. You have a cold and you’re sniffling, you’re watching paw patrol for the millionth time on your kindle and dozing off. We just wrestled while I had to hold you down to give you medicine, you cried and spit it all up and I feel like a mean mom. I hate seeing you upset but while you’re the non verbal one, I wish you could read my mind like I can read yours.

I wish you knew the daily thoughts I have about your future, that everything I say and do is for you. I always wonder if I’ll be a soccer mom one day, if you’ll be singing in a Christmas concert at school like my friends kids are. I think further down the road, if you’ll go on to go to college or have a career, if you’ll live on your own, if you’ll meet someone special someday and create a family. I wonder how being a single mom will influence you and how you grow up, I worry it will hurt you somehow. I try so hard to be both roles for you but I’m only one person. My minds tired, Brody.

I wish sometimes you can could see how much of my mind you consume but glad you don’t see the other part of my mind. This year has brought some internal battles for me, I’ve had to be out of my comfort zone a lot. I’ve had to fake being strong for you and force a smile, I’ve hidden when I cried. I’m trying to heal my heart while being there for you, trying to see not just your future but mine. No one teaches you how to parent when you’re feeling broken, I just wake up and try each morning and chip away at it. You’re not a burden but my biggest blessing, Brody. You’re my consistent when most other things aren’t.

My body’s tired Brody. I pick up millions of crayons a day, Reese’s wrappers are shredded all over the house. My hands are sore from filling out your paperwork, my eyes are strained from emailing and constant researching on my tiny phone. I swear my left eye is going to twitch until the day I die, the bags under my eyes are getting darker every day. My body runs on coffee and creamer, I get sleep thanks to melatonin now. You’re 42 lbs and can’t walk far, I’m always carrying you on my hip, having to use both arms to support you. My body aches and cracks like I’ve never heard before and I feel older then I am. Potty training is the bane of my existence, the laundry I’ve been doing is solely supporting the power company. I drive you to doctors appointments, soon school and therapy, swim lessons, the store for bubbles and crayons. My body doesn’t stop but when it does, it still feels like it’s moving. If it’s not moving a million miles a minute, my mind is. All of this but I still bring you to see Santa and goats at the farm. We go to the beach and watch sunsets, I take photos of you even though I’ll never forget those memories. We swing at the playground while kids say you’re too big for the “baby swings”, they don’t know you can’t support yourself on the big swings. You spin in circles in front of the playground while the other kids play around you. They try to ask your name and get upset and ask me why you don’t talk. I tell them you don’t know how yet, “We are learning” I tell them. This makes my heart hurt too.

My heart hurts because others don’t understand you, and it hurts more because I don’t either. I see you slip into Autism land, which may seem awful to some but you’d know what I meant if you saw what I did. A little boy in a pile of blankets and pillows he has stripped off the beds, all on top of him with his head poking out. His eyes are open but no ones home, it’s like Brody’s left and watching him is difficult because his disability kind of reaches out and slaps me. I’m then faced with the fact I don’t know so much about my son, even doctors and therapists don’t. Guilt doesn’t creep in often but when it does it’s consuming. I always wonder if I did something wrong, if it’s my fault you have autism. It’s times like that I can actually feel my heart hurting, the worst pain of all.

I am tired Brody, and I’m sure deep down you know. You are so smart it stops me in my tracks sometimes, you know and understand way more then any of us realize. If you see that I hope you know that it won’t always be like this. Some of the things will get harder, some will get easier, some are just a phase we will work through together. Christmas and holidays seem to be extra hard on me, I try hard not to compare our situation to others. You aren’t writing a list to Santa, you don’t know what Christmas is, I don’t have extra money to buy you gifts this year. But you know what? This year you sat on Santa’s lap and you said his name while looking him in the eyes. You know how to unwrap gifts this year from amazing friends and family who love and care about you, who are your biggest fans and our amazing support system. You’ll go to sleep in your own awesome new bed, in your brand new room in our own condo. You’ll wake up to our cute tree that you helped me decorate and see the cookies Santa ate that you helped me decorate. All of these things I couldn’t say last year but I can today. And that, that’s enough to get me through because although a day in our life is more work then some, it’s worth it in the end. So here’s to a year of progress and another day of trying our hardest to be better. Every days goal is moving forward from where we were yesterday, no matter how small the step. Moms tired Brody, but I look forward to every day with you.

Posted in Uncategorized

Gut punch and a broken heart.

I’m watching Good Morning America as I type this, not even sure if I can eat breakfast because I’m so sick to my stomach. I’m watching a sheriff giving a press conference, barely holding it together and trying to hold back tears. I know I’ve already cried multiple times watching videos this morning as I’m sure you all have too. Brody had just crawled into my bed and was cuddled up with me and watching cartoons when I found out the news. I just looked at him and thought of all the people who wouldn’t be able to have this again and the parents who raised these people, doing the same as I was, only to have their child ripped from them so senselessly.

I just went through an evacuation for the hurricane and remember my 22 hours of traveling to Georgia alone. Brody was in the car and behaved the whole time, he only cried once the whole trip. It was almost like he just knew I needed him to behave, that he was making an effort in such a stressful situation to make it a little easier on me. When you have that long on the road it makes you do some soul searching and really evaluate your life and where you’re going. My life, path and goals were all in my mind and I was pretty honest with myself and acknowledged both good and bad. It was a very humbling experience that was needed, it was just what I needed in a way.

During my Internal conversation on highway 75 what I kept going back to was that baby in the backseat. I was raised saying I love you every time you hang up the phone. I’ve learned through my 29 years that the little moments are just as important as the big ones. Just last night when Brody was fresh out of the bath, all wrapped up in a big towel I was overcome with feelings of gratefulness. I took a photo because I thought to myself how happy I felt at that moment and how I wanted to remember that smiling face.

I feel that through my time as a mother, people tell me a lot how they love watching Brody and I and the relationship we share. I think that honestly a big part of our bond is the time we take and the small moments we share. I live in the moment, even if it’s him drawing while I drink my morning coffee. I put so much value in every minute spent with him and try to teach him as much as possible. While autism makes my parenting a little different, acceptance and love will always be at the center of what I want to teach him. I know it’s a hopeless feeling not being able to help the victims in Vegas and the other heartbreaking events going on lately but you can do something to help. You can raise great children, you can love unconditionally, you can take that risk of doing what you have always wanted to do and do it in the victims honor. You can wake up every morning when your feet hit the ground with the mindset that you want to make the world a better place, no matter the scale you do it on. Live with a purpose, love people unconditionally and tell people how much they matter. It’s times like this that we all need to rally together and make a conscious effort to do better, to be more.

Life will always happen and unfortunately horrific events are inevitable. I want to live my life to the fullest, love hard and leave a legacy that carries on through my child. I’m going to keep hugging, kissing and loving unconditionally until I find a way to help more then just spreading love. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these victims, you have a whole country holding you in their hearts. Don’t let hate and violence win guys, lets pick each-other up and keep and keep moving forward together.

Posted in Uncategorized

Always remember…

I don’t like not knowing what’s ahead, how things are going to go and having questions that can’t be answered. Sometimes in life I just get a sense of urgency for  change or just like wanting something new to get some energy and liveliness back. Life is exhausting in many aspects and can be very difficult. Tack onto that the the exhaustion that comes from tirelessly wondering what the future holds for your child, how he will end up, how he is doing right now since he doesn’t talk and countless other things. It consumes me sometimes, typically at night like it is right now. It comes over me in waves, sometimes I choose to ignore it because truly drains me. I could stay up forever with millions of things running through my mind. 

Parenting seems like a partly cloudy day, sun breaks through and everything’s good but sometimes those clouds just stick around long enough to put a damper on the day. I know all parents can share this feeling with me and I get comfort knowing that that sun will shine through soon. My mom always centers me and reminds me to tell myself things throughout the day to get me through and in the right mindset. It works, I have to stop and have little pep talks to myself as crazy as it sounds. If no ones ever taught you this lesson, take her advice and try it out next time. Im writing this blog post as a way to remind myself of this and to work through days like today. I’m thankful for the air in my lungs and my incredible son. I’m fortunate that I get to open my eyes in the morning and take on a new day and see Brody growing and progressing, no matter how tiny the steps. I know I don’t have all the answers I want and that’s ok because I never will. 

Tough times, not a tough life. If you’re like me and laying in bed, reading this and having your own internal battle just remember this. You’re not alone. Now I’m going to kiss my sweet baby on the forehead and try to give my mind and body some well deserved rest. I hope you all can do the same. 

Posted in Believing in Brody

Change is the name of the game. 

Being 27 years old you’d think I would be ok and somewhat comfortable with change. Change is one of the hardest things for me, still isn’t easier although I have accepted it’s inevidable. Autism forces you to deal with change every day and I see it is a forced life lesson but it’s something I’ve been needing to learn. I like a plan, what I’m in for and how things will go but autism swatted that away before I could blink. I have learned to roll with things now, to go with the flow and not panic. I’ve learned to adapt on a regular basis, hence the blog name, Adapting to Autism. 

Today Brody and I took a trip to Syracuse to the zoo there, about an hour away. Usually trips like this I don’t do alone because it can be overwhelming and I get flustered easily. Today, I didn’t really have an option so I sucked it up and just went with positivity and excitement to set the tone of the trip. I’m thankful that he slept the whole way down and I got to roll down the window and enjoy the nice weather with some music on. As soon as I parked that calm all came to a hault like the car… Someone didn’t nap long enough. I packed up the stroller and started in, turned to the first exhibit of monkeys and I was already sweating. A lot of the exhibits are inside, narrow halls and lots of glass and cave looking enclosures. Brody instantly had his hands over his ears when I walked under the “rock” entry way and started mani king, sliding up and out of his stroller and almost toppled the thing over. I could see and hear the sheer panic in his face, he was flailing and turning his head side to side running away from me. 


I panicked and ran outside with him, I saw a water fountain and was so relieved because water is his favorite. Not today. He did the same thing and was screaming and crying with wide, scared eyes. I’m already an overthinker and this specific scenario always sends me into overdrive. I was trying to think of anyway to relieve it, candy, a game on my phone, milk, his blues clues doll, singing, just anything at this point. All of that failed, I ended up jogging away to a quitter place that was going down a path and he took his hands down, although still annoyed but not having a melt down. There was a group of three adults and a kid in front of us, taking up the whole walkway so I couldn’t pass. I noticed the lady who appeared to be the grandmother in the group keep looking back and giving Brody “the look”, I’m sure you can imagine the one I mean. I’ve learned that I can’t say things to everyone who gives a dirty look to Brody, there’s not enough time in the day and I don’t want to ruin our time. That’s why I write this blog. Although that lady won’t see this post about what’s behind some of Brodys times of distress, maybe someone will experience the same thing and carry about without giving dirty looks. My mom told me to let negativity roll of my back like a duck so that’s what I did… Onward I went. 


We looked at elephants, my favorite. I made him pose with them in the stroller even though he didn’t care a thing about them. As we took off to the next exhibit, to my horror was a mister ahead. This mister sprays the WHOLE ENTIRE WALKWAY! While this is a great idea, for a kid with sensory issues it our worst nightmare. I had to run through and even at that he was back to wailing and panicking, gasping for air like he drowning even though to most it was just mist. Spraying is Brodys worst feeling by far, you should have seen how he felt. I was relieved once we were through and I saw the penguin exhibit ahead, he loves the otters so this was a guaranteed. I head  over and there’s a rock overhang to shade the guests and Brody slips back into sheer panic and I feel like calling it quits at this point. To summarize the rest of the time there, reread this post three times and that’s how it went. I briskly exited the zoo feeling defeated and bummed out, I really thought he would like it. I quickly circled around and felt better because I had tried to make him happy and there was no way to know it would be that awful for him and the day wasn’t over. Time to adapt. 


One thing my kid always loves is bouncing so off to the trampoline park we went. I knew I had saved the trip and it wasn’t a waste as soon as he stepped on the court. I swear he was floating from trampoline to trampoline, squealing with joy having the kids section to himself. After an hour of fun it was back home for us with some M&M’s as a cherry on top for my sweet boy. We got home and outside he went, playing in the sandbox, coloring with markers and swinging in the hammock like we do every night. Even as I wrote this my little buddy sat in the gazebo across from me, drawing spiders and snowmen, happy as can be. I’m proud of myself for adapting, keeping my composure and making lemonade out of what seemed to be a tough start to my day with him. He’s happily washing up in the tub now and singing blue clues to himself so I think he would agree if he could talk. 


So many little lessons in today post, for parents and those on the outside. I’m thankful for the day I had with him and the ongoing lessons having him in my life teaches me every day. Today threw me a few situations I had to Apply these new lessons towards and I am still here to tell the tale. We will both be sleeping well tonight!