It’s working!!!!

So, I am proud to say that “IT”S WORKING!!!”

It’s been a long 4-5 months but the changes that have been put into place are working!  School, private speech, private OT, social skills class and home are all on the same page.  Every adult that assists Max has commented in the last 6 days how much growth they are seeing in him.

Last week after meeting an adult with ASD, I went home crying.  Not a sad cry but a relief cry.  Like all that fighting and working is going to make a great adult someday.   I was also able to flash forward and ask this woman questions that I wish my son could answer.  She said to me, “Max reminds me of myself as a child”

I have learned so much in 7 days that this morning I realized that I have to go back and refocus.  I have so much to implement to see more continued growth.

And after all the mean, hurtful things strangers have ever said to me…

tonight; when leaving the grocery store the most kind, compassionate and real praise of my parenting skills.  LOVE.

No, crazy lady screaming to take a parenting class or side eye or adults rolling eyes and plugging their ears. NOPE!  A real, kind ,loving stranger that was happy to see that not all is bad with the world.

I am doing a good job; even on the bad days.  No apologies needed.  Just be me.


Sometimes you’ve just gotta…


Sometimes you’ve just gotta be…





that mom

that bitch


like I just don’t care what other people think.


I just want to write a blog about my crazy busy life, discuss what I have interests in and help people.   So, I promised myself that for 2016 I would put myself first.  I would put my oxygen mask on first then secure the person next to me.   Not always an easy idea to remember as a mom, but a good reminder of how important it really is to take great care of yourself.  To value yourself and the role you play in your family as a wife, a mother and a friend.

This past week as been a rough one and i’m not going to apologize for any of the ways I have acted.  It’s okay to not be sorry. It’s okay to be angry and it’s cool to just be you.









holy fever, Batman!


So, Max (my almost 3-year-old son) had a massive fever from noon on Sunday until 4:20 PM Monday.  No other symptoms!

Sick child=no sleep for you!

I stayed home with him Monday because he was so lethargic and sleepy.  I decided in the morning (8:30) to make him a doctor’s appointment.  You know that this is a necessity even though you know it’s a virus.  You have that one time you don’t take your kid to the office till day three and he has a horrible double ear infection and the doctor is like “no wonder he doesn’t want to eat, his throat is very red”.  So, now you pay your copay/deductible/ co-insurance or all of the above to see the doctor for 4 minutes to find out; you were right! It’s a virus.

He had a fever of 99.8 in the parking lot and when I took him in and they took his temperature it was normal.  So, I checked again with mine. (you know I carry my own thermometer!)  It was normal.  What the hell?! I should have made the appointment for 9 am so he could miraculous cure himself hours sooner.

Kids bounce back from sickness and fever so quickly; it’s amazing!

WHOA!  controversial!!!

It looks like it may be an active flu season, so, I may be blogging about lots of fevers this winter.  You can leave your :”I told you so!” comments at that time.

I haven’t had any of those I got the flu shot and got the flu moments, or the i didn’t get the flu shot and got the flu moments either.  I do remember last year, getting the flu shot while pregnant and my son and husband both got this 36 hour stomach bug.  However, I heard that stomach bugs are not the flu.  WHAT?!  I’m so confused.  I see everywhere giving the flu shot, even target was giving them. So, for now we remain un-vaccinated for the flu season 2014.  Maybe after this trial season I will change my mind about the flu shot.  Or maybe next week!

with love and kindness,

the mom

mommy stress keeping you up?


Do you ever have those feelings where you are actually looking forward to going to work in the morning.  And if only it was time to be up and get ready for the day. That’s how I feel today at 2am.  I cannot sleep, I am having real mommy stress.  I had no idea that this could actually happen.  I legitimately cannot sleep because of the changes that we as a family discussed yesterday.

I woke up with horrible dreams about how this new environment proposed for my son was not doing all the great and amazing things it says it going to do.  If you have been following my other posts about getting my son services to help his speech then you are with me now as we continue in this process.

Yesterday, was his IEP meeting to determine services for his delay.  It is recommended that we move him from the beloved private school into the special blended public program.  So, here is where my mommy stress begins.  My child is not typical and I have a long and rather demanding list of safeguards that need to be met in order for me as a mother to NOT worry every DAY/HOUR about his safety and well-being.

Here’s where my brain is going

  • Where’s the door?
  • How do you get to the playground? …..the cafeteria…..bathroom….
  • Who is holding my son’s hand when he transitions from the room?
  • What do you do when/if he runs from the room?…cafeteria…etc?….
  • Are there always two teachers in the room?
  • What do you do when my son has a meltdown/tantrum?
  • What do you do when he needs a diaper change? …do you assist with potty practice?…where does he get cleaned?…..How do you send soiled clothing home?…
  • What do you do when my son doesn’t want to participate in the social interaction?…or activity?…or therapy?…or eating?…
  • Do you hug the students?
  • How much outside time/play time to run and jump does he get daily? when is it? for how long?
  • How much one on one time does he get with an adult?
  • Do you make him participate in arts/crafts?…circle time?….How do you make him able to participate?
  • How loud is the room? Does the room seem calm? Does the teacher talk loud or soft?  Is there singing and music during the day? during other activities?

Then, if we can get through this list, we can discuss center time, circle time, and curriculum.  My brain will not rest because I am almost in tears thinking about all the safeguards I feel are necessary and appropriate for my son to even function in the environment, not learn.

So, the primary and only purpose to move him from his private school to the public program is to provide him with more learning opportunity and to address specific learning goals for Max.  I used to always think that it was the structure and learning activities that were important; now, its environmental and emotional.

I want my child in a safe and loving environment first; then we will address learning.  I know that I have to fight for my son, I know that I will be writing a LOT of blogs at 2am if I don’t know deep in my core, heart, and head that Max is 100% safe and cared for every hour of everyday that I am not with him.

Everyone wants to help Max but only mommy stresses about the level of care he receives.   I am going to make a promise that I will have an open mind. Also, I promise to listen to my gut (my mommy gut) and fight for my child.

Send me your positive thoughts and sleep thoughts also.

with love and kindness,

the mom

Happy Birthday baby Social

My anniversary of giving birth to my baby girl!  The first year is done and gone!  WHOA! I can’t believe it; Where is my baby?!

_MG_9839a FINALCool things about her birth story:

1. My due date was the same day at her granddad’s birthday 10/16.

2. I was induced.

3. I was already having contractions when I got there.

4. I decided to be induced on 10/15 because the doctor that delivered my son was at the hospital.

5. The doctor that I worked to schedule almost didn’t make it there in time, I would have had the midwife on call deliver her.

6. I think I only had to push 2-3 times, unlike my first child which was 2 hours.

7. I finally had a 7 pound baby! (first was 9 lbs and I thought; i.e. wished he was 7 lbs)

8.  My hospital stay was like a vacation! Those nurses were awesome!!!

9. I lied to my husband when he would call and ask if I got out of bed and walked around…I would say yes; I had to walk to the bathroom!

10.  How deep a connection we have as mother and daughter.


Things about Social:

  • Favorite game: peek-a-boo
  • Favorite toy at home: mickey mouse book or small orange ball
  • Favorite toy at grandmas: an apple bag where she can carry her books and toys
  • Language: repeats and mimics sounds, says done, dog, duck, like to point and practice the flash cards just like Max
  • Walking! YES!
  • Love: gives big wrap her arms around you hugs, loves to be held and carried
  • Funniest thing she does: makes sounds like a monster
  • Favorite foods: blueberries, green grapes, rice, strawberries, and goldfish

Happy Birthday Social Rae! We love you and are so blessed to have you in our family.  We cannot wait to discover what you will teach us.

with love and kindness,

the mom

when mommy needs a time out….

Every so often, mommy needs a time out.  I have to leave the house without children and do something for myself.  This normally happens after several long days or prolonged screaming fits.

Mommy time outs are really for everyone’s safety!


So, Sunday after two days of no afternoon naps and at least 3 hours of an upset and screaming (almost) one year old; I handed her kindly to my husband and told him to take the chicken out of the oven when the time went off and I would be out for a walk.

I knew she would go to sleep for him, especially if I left and wasn’t in site or ear shot.  So, I grabbed my keys and little bag.  I went and filled up the car and then drove to the park and walked a lap.  I got to chill and be outside, alone.  It let me vent to myself and clear my fatigue and frustration.

I knew I needed to get out because I had two nights coming up where I would be solo with the kids.  It can make for a long night if you already frustrated.  So, I got it out and went back home and picked up where I left off….cooking and cleaning the kitchen,

When these things happen as well as other things with my kids I question HOW in the world stay at home moms do it?!  God gave me patience but not that much patience.  I love my kids but I’m not ready for full-time all day mommy daycare!

Why mommy needs a time out…..

1. it’s for everyone’s safety

2. if momma is happy, everyone is happy

3. it’s okay to need to take a break

4. give yourself a mental break, chill, and think of all the awesome stuff in your life

5. come back with love, hugs, kisses, and some appreciation for the support you just got so you could walk and have kid free time

with love and kindness,

the mom

Doing what’s best for your child….the teacher or the mom?

Update to a post first written 2 years ago!

So, I gave some damn good advice there!  And I even followed my own advice!  In two years, we have completed the diagnosis process as well as the early intervention process to enter into an IEP and public schools.  Now, we are fine tuning therapy and deciding to use the McKay or Gardiner Scholarship to do ABA full-time.  We have found money, grants and Medicaid!    We have done whatever it takes to get the access to resources for our son with autism.


I had a nice conversation today with a co-worker and friend about how to acquire services and money to give our children the best opportunity at success in school.

We are both employees in public school settings but don’t believe that putting our boys in public school is the best choice for them.  So, what’s a mom to do? What’s the teacher to do?  You battle this regularly as a teacher and a mom.  Is that the mom in me or the teacher? Do I tell my students one thing but my children something different?  How can I pay for my child’s education and college with the amount of money that I earn as a teacher?

I have been working and working on getting my son services for a language delay.  My son talks but he really doesn’t communicate his needs or emotions.  He has really done a great job at learning how not to use verbal communication.  He’s such a cutie he just gets what he wants and I’m so guilty of just understanding his needs.  We are pretty connected and when I don’t understand him he has a big tantrum.


So, now as I move through the evaluation process, we as a family have to make choices.  Do we take him out of the preschool we love? Do we have one on one services a couple of times a week? We are deciding to keep him at his school and do additional services to see how his speech and language improves. Then, we will go from there.

I can’t help but think about long-term.  How can I keep him at this private school? It has been such a huge difference that why would I want to leave.  So, now you have to play the game.  What do I have to do to get this label or that label so that I can have the language and speech services and qualify for scholarship money?

I decided that as a teacher I can not and will not beat myself up about being in the system but not putting my child in that system.  You have to make an individual plan for each of your children and if keeping my son at his private preschool is what is best for him then, whatever services or paperwork is necessary will have to be done.  Or if I need a new job or another job, what’s best for my child is what he will have.

My advice to all parents is do what’s best for your child, do whatever it takes.

The other issue is educate yourself!  This is huge.  You have to educate yourself on how things work and how to get your child the environment, services and support that he or she needs.


Things I have learned taking my own advice:

  1. ask a LOT of questions
  2. make a long term plan for your child
  3. identify what skills your child needs for the long term plan
  4. celebrate the “quirks”
  5. teach how to take the “quirks” or negative behaviors into an advantage for your child
  6. find access to a good therapist
  7. laugh and give high fives with your child everyday
  8. be an organized paperwork queen
  9. and a phone call champ
  10. most importantly; NEVER, EVER give up on your child


kids birthday parties


This is Maximus at his very own private photo shoot that he’s dad spent hours to make and set up and get a nice cake for!  He did great and the big party came and he fell asleep and never smashed his own 1st birthday cake.  Well, now for Social (second child syndrome) I am struggling to get and do all these things that we did so eagerly for Max (first-born syndrome).

We scheduled a time to take some nice pictures of her and it stormed and stormed on our night.  Now, her party is 2 weeks away and we may only get those pictures from her actually party.  I really hope she can stay awake and have a great time smashing her cake.

I don’t know how other moms feel but I feel like there is all this pressure to give your kid this huge party EVERY year!  It’s like at least $300 to throw a minimalist party.  If you want a bounce house or a gym then you are looking at $500.  I think that I must, NO, I know that I’m cheap.  I want to wait to spend that money on a great party on a cool age that my child and friends and family will remember.  Not, at the age of 1 and 3!

So, we are having a party in the park!  There will be food and cake.  I will have table covers and some balloons.  There will be some attempt to give her a theme but my theme is “don’t go over board”.  I think we will have a girl version of “Under the Sea”.   We will bring some balls and games and of course there is the playground. It’s only 2 hours!  I want to see my family and friends smiling and laughing and of course wishing our baby girl, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

If you expect to have a goody bag to take home; you better grab a soda and sandwich for later!  Enjoy the food and don’t worry I won’t complain when I come to your party and there’s no goody bag.  In fact, I will thank you later.

with love and kindness,

the mom

I’m not really a religious person but …..

I have grown up Baptist my entire life and 100% believe in God.  However, I have this new spirituality that is nearly beyond explanation.

Have you ever asked for something from your heart? Have you ever seen or experienced something that you just can’t explain how that seemed so easy or right or just at the right time?

Is it karma, is it the universe, is it God? What is this unimaginably force that can affect lives both positively and negativity.  I get that bad things happen to good people; but how much good things happen to good people?

I believe now more than ever when you live life with love and kindness with a warm heart to help others that there is a universe of energy, light, and life that is returned to you.

First, I have a man in my life that I asked God for! I was hurt in a previous relationship and during my healing, I would ask over and over for a man with certain traits and characteristics.  It sounded like this:

“Dear God, please deliver me a man who will always walk beside me and be my best friend.  A man who is kind, funny and wants me to be a strong loving person.  A man who is not afraid to let me walk in front and will hold my hand if I fall behind.  Give me a man who values family and wants to create a family together; that plays together, eats together, cries together, and laughs together.  Dear God, please send me a man who will always walk with me in life.”

I have come very close to losing this man who I asked for and was delivered because I didn’t work or act to maintain what his needs were.  Now, I ask for help to learn how to meet those needs and communicate with him because I do believe that he was delivered to me.

Second, my son!  I didn’t understand that’s he’s a miracle.  He had a true knot in his umbilical cord and survived through the delivery with no additional care needed.

Maximus 2 year school pic spring

In the beginning of this year my son’s daycare started neglecting his basic care, there was a shift in attitude from the staff and owner.  I searched and searched for a new place but was not able to find an opening until  June.  Then, I got a call from a preschool that I had called about even thought the start time was not going to work for me to drop him off.  I sent my husband to do the walk through, he liked it.  I picked up paperwork and paid $85 to hold a space for August.  I never meet the director, teacher, or any staff other than the secretary.  One month into the new preschool and I promise that this is a gift.

I believe that my son is at this school to receive love and kindness. He is also at this school to learn and grow.  We are finally getting the help we need for him to develop his language. The universe is delivering what I was searching for in a school for my son.  An environment that mirrors home and loves him for him.

When I left the school with him this week, the teacher said” Bye, Max! I love you!”

I didn’t understand how those 3 little words could change my life and my child’s life.  I LOVE YOU from my son’s teacher!

I believe that the universe or God has placed our family at this school, given Max the best teachers, and helped secure the additional help we need to assist with Max’s language issues.

What has happened in my life has so much to do with my actions and hard work to change the current situations but there is an aspect that is beyond explanation.  I’m not really a religious person but there has to be a positive universal force that is providing the easy changes and light into our family’s life.

So, today: September 25th, 2014 I declare that I will have a marriage with Pierce Brunson that is strong where we walk together in life both achieving our goals and meeting each others needs.  Where we as a family will raise children that are kind, loving, and hard-working.  We will walk together, eat together, cry together, laugh together and grow together to positively impact the universe we live in.

Maybe I’m not religious but….

the universe allow good things to happen to good people who live their life

with love and kindness.


the mom

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