My Bryce

Right now, I’m sitting on the couch questioning if I even have the words to write this post. Not a great starting place, but here goes nothin’!

I’m going to jump right in here……..

Somewhere inside me, I have known Bryce was special for a long time. He is the sweetest kid I’ve ever met, he has always been uncomfortable in crowds (seriously, even as an infant – family gatherings were NOT his forte), he is insanely literal, he is extremely emotional and grows attached to the funniest things, he melts down if anything happens out of ‘order’ (his order), etc. We started him in speech therapy last spring and were recommended to have him evaluated for occupational therapy also. He started that over summer.

Occupational therapy has been a huge eye opener for me. Major. For the first time in Bryce’s life I had someone who saw Bryce’s quirks and was agreeing that this isn’t ‘normal’ or ‘just Bryce being a boy’. She started suggesting things to me that I didn’t want to believe, but when I would do the research couldn’t honestly say that it didn’t sound like my Bryce. Finally I let some family in on the possibility and it was equally shocking to them. We, collectively, decided that it was best for Bryce to be thorough and started the process for a developmental evaluation. (I won’t even bore you with the pain in the ass that was, but dang I’m glad its behind me).

After a six month wait, hours and hours of preparation, countless evaluations, and more tears and lost sleep than I’d like to admit, our appointment is now behind us. My Bryce has ‘Mild/High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder’. Yes. You ARE reading that right. My Bryce. Mine.

While it wasn’t a shock, or even almost a surprise, it felt like a punch in the gut to hear. However, we are now focusing on getting him the support he needs to work through some of his quirks so he can enjoy school like a ‘normal’ kiddo.

Some of the things we have been dealing with are: obsessive behaviors and patterns, overwhelmed with too much verbal direction, very emotional, intolerance to foods and a very limited list of preferred food and actual intake, weight checks, compulsive behaviors, rigidity, difficulty with transitions, difficulty socializing with strangers/kids his age, decreased functional play (he is a toy organizer), walking on his toes (this is becoming more frequent), obsessing over how a task is performed, semi-frequent meltdowns, very literal, constipation, etc. Also, he was referred to the feeding team at the local Children’s Hospital. This eating thing…. or lack of eating thing… isn’t a ‘mom-made’ issue. It is a mental, emotional, physical, real, problem that he CANNOT change. We need more help. And we will get it.

So… Autism. Thank goodness this little word doesn’t change any thing at all about my sweet boy. He is still just as awesome as he was, in fact, I think he is even more awesome now. And there isn’t anything we won’t be able to handle, because we are taking this path with open eyes, open hearts, open arms, and the desire to know better and do better.

That is the point. Know better, do better.


on my journey to LESS

At the end of last year, I felt a major burden. The junk that continued building up all over our house was wearing on me. It was eating up my time and causing me stress and discontent. Before the New Year I had cleaned out my clothes and started a select few kitchen cabinets. I really had no plan of what would be next.

I joined a decluttering challenge with a ton of other moms on Facebook and I loved it. I was getting rid of SO much and it was so freeing. At the end of January I started to panic. The challenge was over. I needed more.

This weekend I decided to go back into the kids toys and get rid of more. My husband thinks I’m crazy, I’m sure, but I cannot stand the constant mess and lack of play! I send them to play and they dump out toys all over the floor and come back out in less than 5 minutes. I was careful not to get rid of anything they really love, and they still have plenty to play with, but there is definitely less available.

Since late December, I have packed up over 6 bags of toys (I think 8 is accurate). I’m talking nice toys, this doesn’t include the broken junk that got tossed. At first it felt so heavy. The guilt was intense. But, much to my surprise, they have not asked for a single thing that has been donated. Not once. I have even included them in the decision making, asking them to choose toys that we can give to other kids who don’t have as many toys. (The baby, if I can even call him that anymore, has not been included since he has NO idea what is happening anyways)

I plan to work through the house, letting go of everything we don’t need, want, or use. Its amazing how much stuff that has built up, taking up space and creating more work – and for what? The need for stuff is insane. I want to walk into my house and feel calm – not stressed. I want to feel comfortable if someone stops by unannounced and not stress about the mess that I can’t hide. Yes our house is lived in, but the piles… oh, the piles….. they have GOT to go.

Let me just say, one major impact has been the addition of a robot vacuum to the house. It is a magical little unicorn, I swear. It forces us to keep the floors clear, which is a huge help with my anxiety. Just a couple minutes of pick up in the morning and then the vacuum runs, and its helping me keep the house clean without much effort! I went from spending easily 1-1.5 hours a week vacuuming to less than 5 minutes. It is WONDERFUL! …….. Now if it could vacuum the couch too…. that would be PERFECTION.

Anyways, Im not sure where I’ll purge next, but im excited to keep it going! I notice a major difference already, and can practically TASTE more freedom on the horizon 🙂

this is MY motherhood

Life is funny. As a child, I can remember wanting to be an adult SO bad…. and then I became an adult, and I wanted to go back to childhood. Adulting isn’t all its cracked up to be. For me, being a mom has been the same.

Being a mom is awesome, my kids are amazing little humans. On the flip side, being a mom is the hardest ‘job’ I have ever had and there are days I seriously question my own sanity, or lack thereof.

You know what doesn’t help? Opinions. Unsolicited. Unwanted. Rude. Judgmental. Utterly ridiculous. Opinions.

Gather ’round fellow momma’s! We are taking back our motherhood!


Currently, in my momma journey, I am in the trenches. My boys are young, they never stop moving, they are wild, they are loud, they are stronger than they look, and man are they stubborn. From the moment they wake in the morning until they succumb to sleep at night, they are moving full speed ahead. And my littlest has no fear… ever… of anything. Ive decided to name all of my gray hair after him. My daughter is a teenager… and holy moly does she have my attitude. I have to remind myself (constantly) to breathe before reacting to her, because she is young and is learning her place in the world… she needs the grace to spread her wings and learn to fly. This is not easy.

Everyday I cringe when they ask me to play, or read to them, or read a story they wrote and I say “I need to finish cleaning, can I do it later…” Seriously, what is more important that spending time with them? Certainly not dusting, dishes, laundry, etc. I hate that I say things like “Go play so mommy can mop”… This is not the memories I want them to have of their childhood. And its not what I want to remember of my motherhood.

In my journey to take back my own motherhood, I am making some positive changes for myself and my family. I am decluttering, organizing, simplifying our home, and our life. I am setting healthy boundaries in necessary routines for the kids (read: we are semi-sleep training), allowing myself and my husband some time together, and time for ourselves in the evenings. I am letting go of things we don’t use, things we don’t like, and setting aside the guilt of how much something cost, when it was obtained, or whom it is from. My goal is to change the environment of our home, lessen the heavy load of constant cleaning and organization of junk we don’t even want/like/need, and allow us to enjoy more. More family time. More experiences. More flexibility. Whatever ‘more’ is.

Every year I feel like the time flew by and I took it for granted. I want that to end. I want to be present. I want to lessen the burden of the stupid guilt that comes alongside being a mom. I am putting it out there for the world to see, I will make these changes for my family. I will create a simpler life that allows us to enjoy more. We will take 2018 by the horns and live our lives to the fullest.

Watch me. This is my motherhood. Im doing this for me. And, of course, my littles.

P.S. Im also going to make this blog a priority again, so get ready for more posts!

take your judgment elsewhere

Alright, its time to take off the P.C. ‘please everyone’ hat. So. Over. That.

I try to be a people pleaser. Of course, I have my opinions, that I am usually pretty bold with, but you’ll only hear them if you are in my inner circle, of which there are only a few people. This might surprise you… and then, maybe it won’t… but it NEEDS to be said.

This life I am living… guess what, its MY life. I make the choices. I pay the consequences. I reap the rewards. Whatever the case may be.


These kids? They’re mine (yes, and Jeremiah’s). They literally were cut from my body, were fed by my body for months (and months and months…. ), they’re cared for by us, fed by us, we are their parents. It seems clear, but apparently it isn’t.

You see, when Brooke was a baby, I was young and really didn’t know what I was doing… I was making it up as I went along (first kid problems). I took a lot of advice, some that I still use, some that I don’t. And guess what? She is an awesome kid. Despite whatever mistakes I have made, and will keep making, she is fucking awesome. Hard working, loving, kind, smart, driven, the best big sister. She is strong, and bold, and hilarious. She is perfectly imperfect.

When we decided to expand our family, I knew I wanted to do things differently. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but I just knew that something needed to be changed. Sure, many things were different, like the obvious, a girl versus a boy. Night and day difference there folks.

We skipped the crib with Bryce, he slept with me from day 1. I rocked him to sleep for every single nap or bedtime until… well, until I didn’t need to anymore. All of a sudden, he was ok to lay by himself and go to sleep… for months after I kissed him and said goodnight he would ask me if I would watch him on the monitor. “Yes baby, I’ll watch you” and then he would roll over and go to sleep.

With Everett, kind of out of desperation, we just followed the same path. And its working. It works for US. Sure, sometimes getting kicked in the head and the back at the same time, from two different kids, sucks, but usually, the snuggles cannot be beat. And this time, it goes so fast, we won’t get it back. So yes, we will cuddle them to their hearts content. Am I worried about spoiling them? Nope. Because when we are ready for something to change, we will approach it gently and slowly, and without tears.

Bryce moved to his big boy bed this week. Sure, he is in our bedroom, but he is in his own bed. And he has slept great every night so far. Im sure there will be rough nights, but at this point, we are SO proud of him, and he is proud of himself. It is the sweetest thing to wake up to his smiling face in the morning saying “mommy, I sleeped in my big bed all myself!” I mean, could he be any cuter?!

It might not seem conventional to you, but for us this is what works. We feed our kids whatever they will eat, thankfully Brooke and Everett are usually happy to eat whatever I made, but Bryce, he can often be found eating a granola bar, ice cream, fruit snacks or mac-n-cheese for dinner… it just isn’t worth fighting with him. The more I fight, the less he will eat, and damnit, we just need him to sleep so we can sleep! I have adapted a phrase that I use constantly with him, it goes like this “You don’t have to eat it.” It has stopped many battles. Fighting over food isn’t healthy. It creates issues that can last a lifetime. I don’t like it. Thankfully dinner is usually the biggest battle meal… breakfast and lunch I can serve healthier options and he will *usually* eat them.

I’ll stop beating around the bush. We feel your judgment. We know you don’t agree with some of our choices. But guess what, we don’t care. Not because we are terrible people. Not because we don’t love you. Not because we think you’re wrong. Not because we don’t respect you. But because we are just trying to keep the peace in our family. We have learned that every child has their own quirks and we are trying to learn how best to manage them, while also functioning somewhat normally.

How long will Everett nurse? I mean, I don’t know… he probably will wean himself before college, but if not, I guess he better choose somewhere his dad and I are willing to live. When will Bryce be potty trained? Hopefully soon, I’d love to stop changing pull-ups, but when he is ready, it’ll click, until then… I change pull ups. Why is Brooke home-schooled? Because we are happy with her school, and we were sick of her being bullied and having nothing done about it. Why do I Posh? Because I need something that is fun, gives me adult interaction outside of my husband, and, here is the most important part, because I LOVE IT.

You don’t like my choices? Well, damn, I’m sorry. When my choices affect YOUR life, we can chat about it then. Otherwise, i’ll manage my family, and you can manage yours. Life is hard enough without all the negativity and judgment, lets just give love and agree to disagree and move the heck on.

My crash course learning experience 

12 years ago I had no idea what the future would look like. I was single, living with my parents, hoping for the best. I had every intention to demand being put in the hospital to have my baby when I walked into my dr appointment that day, but when she suggested it without my demand, I had a sudden change of heart. I wasn’t ready! What was I supposed to do with a baby??? And labor!!!!! Oh my! 

I got a crash course in learning about my stubborn daughter before she even made her grand entrance. She was “sunny side up” and despite being in labor for 50.5 hours, she wasn’t moving and my body wasn’t cooperating. It was officially time for a c-section! 

This was my first lesson in parenting – not everything will go as planned or expected. In fact, very little goes as planned! 

So, I decided to document some of the things I have learned as a parent the last 12 years. It won’t be an extensive list, because that wouldn’t be possible, but bare with me…. 

~ It isn’t about you anymore, ever. It is all about the baby/toddler/kid/teen… you come AFTER them, period

~ Never think you’ve got it all under control, because kids can smell confidence and will knock you down to size immediately. 

~ Don’t judge a book by its cover, there is so much more to the story than you’ll ever know. 

~ Do not give parenting advice unless it is asked for. Every child is different and every parents is different. What works for one isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and, let’s be honest, we are all doing the best we can and we don’t want unsolicited advice. 

~ Every time you said “that will never happen to me” before you had kids, guess what, it’s coming back with a vengeance!! Kids make you eat your words for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. 

~ It takes a village, and that is ok! 

~ Counting will become a whole new language… to 3, to 5, and to 10 when you’re about to snap! 

~ No baby will be as cute as yours, that is God’s gift to tired, frustrated parents because when you’re ready to lose it, they’ll reel you back in with their charm. 

~ Forget about the battle, focus on winning the war. 

~ Parenting isn’t meant to be easy, it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but that’s good! We are raising little people who will become reaponsible, respectful, honorable adults IF we do it right. Put the time in, give it your all. And be kind to yourself, one misstep won’t ruin you, or your child, forever. 

So, I’ll end this by saying, Happy Birthday to my first baby, Brooke. She is stubborn, loving, determined, kind, honest, hard working, funny, sarcastic, and full of her moms attitude. She is my mini, the good and the bad. She (and her brothers) have taught me more about life, love, and and laughter than anyone else ever could. They are my flesh, little pieces of my heart that are living, breathing, and walking around this Earth on the outside of my body. 

They are my purpose. And they are accompanying me on this crash course in parenting learning experience. 

getting real

I have been writing this post in my head for days. The point of this blog was to give myself a creative outlet… and my goal was to keep it honest. The truth isn’t always easy. Or glamorous. Or funny. Sometimes the truth is… crappy. And embarrassing.

I have been struggling. Life has just felt… difficult. I have struggled with feeling very overwhelmed. I have an amazing support system, and even still I felt… alone. Its so difficult to explain that because I am never alone… like, ever.

Life felt like an uphill climb. I was going through the motions, but I was barely getting by. The kids could feel my struggle. Anxiety about dealing with a public tantrum, a screaming baby in the car, potty training, a fight over who gets to get in the car first, etc – it kept us at home. Outings were prioritized, some pushed til the weekend, and many were cancelled. The soundtrack in my head kept playing “this should be easy, you are a failure, your kids deserve better, pathetic…” I have always been my own harshest critic.

I started mentioning my feelings to my husband. I’m not sure he really thought much of it at first. He looked confused when I asked him if he thought I might have postpartum depression and then laughed it off and assured me that it was just a difficult week. I nodded and tried to talk myself into his ‘observation’. The problem was… it wasn’t just that week. 

I have shared before about the little struggles we went through with Everett. Whether that had anything to do with it or it would have been the case regardless, I am not sure, but finally one night as we laid in bed I told my husband exactly how I felt and that it had been going on longer than he realized. I cried while I talked, terrified that he would judge me harshly, embarrassed to be struggling at all, and feeling guilty for not being the mom my kids deserve. When he spoke I felt relieved because he was reassuring, calm, loving, strong, and ready to find a solution. We agreed that I would call my Dr in the morning and we would go from there. 

Postpartum depression. I had never come close to experiencing it before. In fact, with both Brooke and Bryce I had the opposite, I was elated… It certainly isn’t what I expected it to be. It isn’t “one size fits all”. 

I have been feeling better lately, still overwhelmed, but I think that is just life with three kids…. Plus homeschooling, nursing school for my Masters, having a preteen, toddler and infant (seriously poor planning there), etc. I am trying to control my thoughts so that the message I am telling myself isn’t tearing me down. I have been making a point to get out and do something fun with the kids every week (theme park, zoo, etc). And I found something that allows me to focus on something fun and positive and also provides me a group of strong, supportive women (Posh). 

When I think back to how I was feeling a month ago, I am sad that I allowed it to go on so long. Why did I hide it? Why couldn’t I just be honest and tell my family what I was going through? Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for either of those questions. 

What I do know is that regardless of how I was feeling, I always loved my kids with everything that I am. 

I am a work in progress, finding my way through this maze called life with the best family I could ever ask for. Without them, I am nothing. 

goodbye summer

How is it possible that an entire summer went by and it seems like I hardly accomplished anything? We even had a summer list to cross things off of – to be able to see what we accomplished – and we still have A TON of things left undone. FAIL!!

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be the homeschooling mom of a sixth grader. SIXTH!!! Holy cow. Time goes way too fast. I am nervous about how I will make it all work… But I think that is anticipation nervousness, and I think it is normal…….. Or, at least, that is what I keep telling myself. I mean, of course there will be time for Brooke’s school work, my school work, both boys, playdates, appointments, yada yada yada….. living life….. right? Time to figure it out!

Looking back on the last few months, it seems that our summer was a bit of a blur. Sure, there are moments that seem highlighted… But overall, they flew by, seemingly while I was feeding Everett. In the spirit of having hope… and being somewhat determined… I am going to keep our ‘summer list’ ongoing into the fall in hopes that we will continue crossing off fun activities (and chores) that we haven’t yet accomplished. I mean, to be fair, some of the items are a work in progress (*potty training is going on 2 months of work and s.l.o.w. progress*) so i’ll take a little credit there… #desperate.

Taking a deeper look at summer…. Bryce has become a total parrot and his vocabulary has grown immensely (which is both good and bad), he has learned to count to 14 (so random), has learned to be comfortable in the pool (with his puddle jumper on), he has really become attached to and affectionate with his baby brother and cousin (although he HATES baby drool, haha), he has learned to go to sleep by himself…………. Everett is now sitting up on his own, sitting himself up from a laying position, has two teeth, has overcome a bladder infection, has learned to enjoy avocado (a pretty new accomplishment), has started getting really good at pulling himself up on furniture, is trying to crawl………. And Brooke has competed in a couple swim meets, improving her time in each event (a great accomplishment), has completed several puzzles, has learned a whole new level of patience….. her accomplishments seem so much smaller – but seriously, she is growing and changing and getting so independent and responsible… some of the changes just can’t be appreciated unless you see them.

So, tonight, we go to bed for the last time as the parents of an infant, toddler, and 5th grader… Let’s see what the next year has in store…… Eeeek!