Sunday, December 09, 2018

“I See You”

A friend sent this to me and it touches me my heart. There are so many things that I feel that sometimes I don’t know I do, until I read a blog of a special needs parent. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve felt isolated for some reason or another, and as it is hard, I was okay with that. I can’t take the joys away from parents whose kids are meeting milestones or performing in school plays just because my child cannot. To be able to go to the park and sit on a bench and chat with other moms while our kids played? It simply doesn’t happen. I cannot take my eyes off Ethan for a second, as he may run. With his titanium ribs, I’m also very cautious so he doesn’t hurt himself. I only wish more people would understand and be sensitive to our situation, as the person was who wrote this:

“Dear Special Needs Mom,

I want you to know that I see you.

I see you running your child to therapy when your friends are running their kids to Little League.

I see you slipping out the of conversation when your friends are all chiming in about milestones and test grades.

I see you juggling appointments and meetings, always making sure you do the best for your child.

I see you sitting at your computer for hours researching what your child needs.

I see you cringe when people whine about the petty things that pale in comparison to your day.

I see you spread thin, but still going the extra mile for your family, and managing to do it with a smile.

I see you digging for depths of strength you never dreamed you had.

I see you showing appreciation to the teachers, therapists and medical professionals who serve your child with you.

I see you reluctantly rising early in the morning to do it all again after another chaotic night.

I see you when you’re hanging on to the end of your rope for dear life.

I know you feel invisible, like nobody notices any of it. But I want you to know that I notice you. I see you in the trenches, relentlessly pushing onward. I see you keep choosing to do everything in your power to give your child the best possible care at home, in school, at therapy, and the doctor. What you’re doing matters. It’s worth it. On those days when you wonder if you can do it another minute, I want you to know that I see you. I want you to know that you’re beautiful. I want you to know that it’s worth it. I want you to know that you aren’t alone. I want you to know that love is what matters most, and you have that nailed.

And on those days when you have breakthroughs, those times when the hard work, pays off and success is yours to cherish, I see you then too, and I am proud of you.

Whichever day today is, you’re worthy, you’re good, and I see you.”

Taken from:


Saturday, December 08, 2018

Current Happenings

Northern VA has been COLD! 22 degrees this morning, we’ve loved having our fireplace going. 

Ethan has been doing well in school, which is a relief. The beginning of the year was rough. It was the same class he has been in, but his classmates were new. Ethan’s day pretty much depends on the day of others. If others are crying and upset, he will be too. He still has a hard time when other kiddos cry, but by the end of last year, he was doing better. The new kids must have triggered this reaction again. He was so anxious and always on high alert, even when he wasn’t crying, which was causing him problems with concentrating. Our aba provider went to observe one day and recommended that I pull him out of school because the anxieties she observed were pretty bad. This was hard. I honestly never thought he’d even be able to go to school because of his fears with kids, but the school was so great helping us work up his time there. He will go to kindergarten next year and I was so worried that we’d have to start all over again if we pulled him out. Instead, I wanted the school to help. They are legally obligated to meet the needs of your child and if they cannot, then they can pay for a private school or other place that could meet his needs. Some time passed and the other kids in his class started doing better, so he did as well. Now if someone gets upset, it’s not as startling to him and most times he won’t cry. They did get a new student in last week who is now adjusting, so Ethan’s been nervous and upset again at times, but I think he’s  getting there. We also put in his iep that of a child is crying and upsetting Ethan for more than 5 minutes, they need to remove Ethan from the environment. There is a girl in his class that has meltdowns that last a while. It terrified him and you can bet he brought this behavior home and tried it on us. We ignored the behavior and luckily it was short lived. He’s such a visual learner so it only makes sense he would try. His first round of school pictures was heartbreaking. He was crying and red and blotchy. We just got his retakes and they were much better! 

Ethan goes to school Mon-Thurs, times vary. Mon and Wednesday he goes 9-1230, then we have ABA therapy 1245-245. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s he goes 9-2, on Tuesday’s we head to OT/speech after from 230-330. Then on Fridays we have OT/speech 0830-0930, then aba therapy 0945-1145. Sometimes we pick up extra sessions on Thursday afternoons, but most times, we keep that open. He was going to OT/speech on Friday mornings before we had school, we just wanted to keep our therapists that we have on that day, so I never rearranged that time and we just keep him out of school of fridays. 

Here are some recent pics of him in OT/Speech. 

His therapists here are all wonderful. 

We will be heading to Florida soon for our yearly visit. That’s always a great break for us. We love the warm weather and Ethan loves the water. He tends to come back refreshed and makes a lot of gains in therapy, so we love that! 

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! 

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Paris, Venice & Rome!

I can’t believe I never blogged about Paris! So, this will mainly be a photo blog.

A few months before we were to leave Italy, my friend Heather and her husband, Todd, came to visit for their Anniversary. Before they came, we had probably been to Venice 25 times, Rome 6 times but hadn’t yet been to Paris. This was one thing we waited on them for since we knew that was one place they wanted to visit.

It was February and freezing, but man we had a good time! It’s truly like a fairytale. I’ve loved looking back over our travels and with our move back to the states, this post just never happened.

A tiny elevator that we barelt fit in at our hotel.

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Lunch at Le Zinc

Trying Escargot…..When in France, right?

Arc De Triomphe

First night in Paris

The Louvre

Notre Dame

Second night in Paris, it was snowing.

Palace of Versailles

In the last photo above, Heather and I mimicking the asian tourists….they love their peace signs.

Finally a sunny day!!!

And our last night in Paris…. we loved watching the Eiffel tower light up!

We had a wonderful time, even though it was cold, it was empty! We essentially had Paris to ourselves :)

We also went to Venice. Here are some pics from the day trip. Out of the 25+ times we’ve been to Venice, this was BY FAR the most beautiful we ever saw it. So amazing.

We can’t forget about Rome!

We visted a few other places while they visited, but I will leave it at that. We have a wonderful time with them, our house was literally packed up days after they left and we left Italy on April 4th, 2013….worst b-day present ever. I was excited to be getting back in the same country as our family and to start a family. We had a lot to look forward to, that’s for sure.