Therapy day & miracles

It's Tuesday & unlike the months outside of Summer, during these few non-school months the lions-share of the kiddos professional treated therapies are scheduled for Tuesday. SJ has Occupational Therapy & Speech (2 hours) & Bella, Roo & S-bear have Speech, Occupational & Social Play Therapy (3 hrs./child). This day is jam packed, but it's easier to have one NUTZ day then to be constantly pegged with therapy scheduled throughout the week. It also gives us flexibilty in the remainder of our home therapy & activities.

There were some awesome happenings from the kids today. When S-bear got mad that he had to WORK in Speech, he said, "My fruit snacks!" Our therapist held her ground to make him complete the task, to which he answered, "Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, VOLCANO!" He actually made an analogy of his feelings of frustration to an abstract process of a volcano errupting. That is so HUGE in milestones for kids on the spectrum of Autism, as typically abstract principles are difficult for them to comprehend & generalize.  Later, while finishing up the day at Play therapy for the 3, SJ & I played in the wait area & I did all the medical history paperword (well, started it-- I won't go there now). It was 2 hours of therapy, so a LOOOOONNNNGGGG time in a 2 year old's world. The therapists all came out with kids to wrap-up the sessions. After 5 minutes, SJ ran over to the chair with my keys, phone & wallet-- grabbed them up in her pudgy little babyish hands & said "I say bye-bye". It was awesome seeing her put together a sequence & vocalize her thoughts & opinion, cuing us into her boredom. I've learned to never take such a small thing for granted. Anyhow, for our 2nd round of dual therapies & new therapist the kids did great.

On our way home, the sun was shining after a long couple days of rain & it's rays were filtering through a thick a grove of hardwood trees on the horizon, as I was mentally recapping the day. It was a beautiful scene. Though exhausted from all the activity & coordination of mulitiple therapies for: a 2 yr old, two 4 yr olds & a 6 yr old, I had a wave of peace come over me. This does not happen a lot & seemed profound in contrast to the business of the day. I kept thinking of how thankful I am, that so many things have come together for us despite the myriad of complications Autism brings to 1) life in general 2) family life 3) each child & 4) the providers/caregivers of these unique individuals. This peace was a welcomed hug from above; God is Good.

Just a few months ago, I'd written in ink my prayers, asking the Lord for His community to provide for our children & then shared it with the world. Talk about putting it all out there-- there's another leap of faith, but God put it on my heart to share in this journey-- everything so that others may find healing, knowledge, community & maybe even inspiration through these beautiful children He's leant me. He has provided & the miracles keep trickling in. I couldn't help but be taken back by all that had transpired over the past couple months, starting with 1) huge healing for each of the children & restoration of old skills & gain of some new-- AGAIN that's never taken for granted in this arena. Dr. G. has been one of our Earth angels & our faith in his approaches have brought undisputable progress. 2) We were re-established with old friends in a beautiful family who is helping us care for the kids through  2 young ladies who are sisters. E & S-- we all LOVE YOU! You make a difference in our kids lives through your fun spirit & unconditional love. 3) A wonderful therapist who's known us for 3 years offered to start an ABA program for us, brought us volunteers for the summer & a wonderful spirit of giving to help SJ. 4) New Equine therapy & New OT/Social therapy, plus the comfort of an OT & ST that have stood by us now for 4 years. All these miracles by God's hand. I'm awestruck & humbled once again.

As I couldn't sleep last night I couldn't stop thinking about these things & despite my daily feelings of happy chaos-- how glorious God's light is on our family. Then it hit me. I need to expect His miracles & open my heart to seeing them, even if only in small fractions. Everyday we are surrounded by our Maker's orchestration of miracles, separated by people in only degrees. My faith must be tested for me internalize His promises. In faith I need to expect trials, but also blessings. And, always know that both will come in forms foreign to me and on a different time schedule, but He will not leave me. These miracles transpire from our human viewpoint in quantities that are ranging from big to small-- that is only our human perception, because to Him all miracles are equal & gifts He gives to his children, against our human assumption-- unconditionally. Watching each of my children from birth until this point at the lowest of times & incredibly high points make me understand His love & desire for our love & knowledge/trust in Him.

No matter what your faith, family, spiritual background or beliefs you must own your heart & mind's power to realize good in this world. Expect to ask for help occassionally in doing this, or you will grow frustrated from lack of control over things not meant to be controlled by YOU. If you project good, good will find you; if you perseverate on the negative, you'll stick to negative. Expect challenges, then expect triumph...

I'm going to find some miracles today, will you?


Everyone has the rainy day blahs

Just took the kids on an outting & it was interesting. All kiddos were so crabby... boy do we need the sun to come out. Sheesh!

Pics show lack of humor & cabin fever.

She looks innocent, but just try to take her Elmo-- she'll shred an eardrum in a nanosecond.

Bella cannot believe how crabby everyone is either.
Check out her foot-gear.

Sbear: I want TOIYZ Mom
Me: You have enough toys.

Sbear: NO Mom!

Sbear: Absolutely not!


One cheesey hambone

Look who's got her sunshine back-- SJ!

Unconditional love

While searching for an special lady's birthday card yesterday I read a lot of them. Though I found a spunky/fun one to match the gal I was looking for, another one I read I bought for a different reason. It read as follows....

"She's the one you've known forever. The one you go to for honest advice and genuine support. The one who accepts your quirky little habits and understands you in a way few others can. She's the one you can call at any hour-- to laugh or cry or complain... The one whose voice has been there all along sharing secrets and dreams and singing your song when you needed to hear it most. She's the one who can read your mind, hear your heart, and love you just the way you are. She's your lifelong friend... but so much more. She's your sister." ♥

As soon as I read it, I thought of my twins (and another special friend's twin girls). Despite my twin's extra challenges & S-bear's difficulty with verbal communication-- he's never had trouble being understood by his twin sister, Roo. Even as we saw them in utero, they seemed to know each other was there & snuggled in the same positioning.... if one was vertical, so was the other. When they were newborns, S-bear would begin crying if Roo stopped-- like they were a tag team. But, if they were next to each other while touching me-- it was bliss, like the quiet comfort they knew in the sheltered womb. As we separated them later on before their first birthdays, when one would wake the other would. Often one baby would be upset if the other was sick, even though he/she was not. They had an unspoken language that so many refer to as twin talk. I have a couple different friends with multiples & similar stories. With my own twins & the friend I'm thinking of our twins both have an Autism spectrum disorder, so their atypical language development made this unique feature of *twin talk* that much more evident.

If you have a sister or brother, like the one described in the excerpt above, I hope you appreciate them. God has given you a gift of Himself in another, an extension of His peace. This magic will live in many hearts you meet along your journey, but in the hearts living within your HOME it is magnificent in all that you share in those foundational years. As I think back, I found this UNDERSTANDING in my Mom & still long to be near her even though I am grown. Yes, Mom's know about unconditional love, but not all Mom's relate  to their children as an extension of their own being. I believe my Mom modeled for me the critical skills I'd need to be as a parent to these 4 unique beauties God has on loan to me. Amazing!


Summer has begun -- few updates

Bella has been finished with school since last week & the twins are finishing up today. I cannot believe how fast time flies. Bella is already missing school & asking for her bus & school. Despite a fractured foot, multiple x-rays, doctor appts & 3 orthodic device fittings, she's been a trooper. Brace # 3 is a knee high boot which she was fitted with yesterday. She wouldn't even stand up after it went on & just cried as I had to carry her to the car. I said a prayer in the car that this would be the last ortho visit & we would be on our way to healing for her foot. We made a pit stop to the health food store on the way home. She pointed to the store & said, "go?". I unloaded her & she whimpered as she drug her foot the first couple steps. Once inside she gave that boot a test run-- literally! Good thing she's Irish-- she's too stubborn to let anything slow her down. By the time we were home, she had figured out every move in her new boot.

Our past DT/MT met with us last week & has volunteered to get a program started for our youngest child incorporating ABA, floortime & sonrise models. This is an answered prayer, because we simply have been unsuccessful in finding someone to craft a program unique to our family's lifestyle, needs & SJ's needs. We've been on 3 waitlists for ABA, but there is such a high demand for therapists & these services we've been waiting since her 2nd birthday. Now we're prayerful that insurance will honor their obligations to cover this critical therapy, so we can continue building up SJ's skills to prepare her for school this fall. On a sidenote, I cannot believe my BABY of my babies will get on a bus this fall. She is just so tiny-- at 2 years 9 mos she is just 27lbs & 31" tall (that's below 3% height & 15% weight). She is smaller than Bella at that age & Bella has Down Syndrome.

We go in for our detox screening tomorrow... all 5 of us. I figure if the kids must endure this, I will with them. I want to try to understand what their bodies feel when they are going through this process. It has been hard on my body, so I know it taxes them - yet the results have been nothing short of amazing over 5 months. All of them have progressed so much-- Sbear is at a level we've never seen before & it melts my heart. Bella is right in line with Sbear. SJ is making eye contact again & said Mommy again today. Roo is nearly recovered to where she was before regressing last summer, only with renal complications; I don't know that she would be detected as Autistic by the average person. God is GOOD! I have to keep reminding myself of that, not because I'm unappreciative, I'm just worn out! Here's to a better detox round than the last one & lots of patience for our 4 hour appt. tomorrow-- have MERCY!