Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My kids.

I know most of my blogs are about me & what I am doing to get in shape, and the occasional blog packed with healthy tips, but today it's time for something different. You have probably noticed by now that I am big into preaching about motivation& how important it is to stay motivated. There is nothing more motivating for me than my children.

Let's start with Jackie.
She's not *mine* in the truest sense of the word, but she certainly feels like my own child. I've been with Andrew, her father, since she was only 22 months old. I taught her how to walk, talk, and read. She kind of knew how to walk when I met her, but only with support. After 2 months with me she was walking on her own with ease & even going up & down the stairs by herself!
She taught me the importance of patience and also how amazing & rewarding persistence can be. She was diagnosed with autism back in 2009. Jackie isn't a "typical" kid, she's got a lot stacked against her. She had developmental delays since birth, and it's been very hard for her to lead a, um, "normal" life. She has trouble paying attention & staying focused, and quite a bit of sensory issues as well.
She's a burn victim. You'd never guess by looking at her that over 60% of her body was once scalded by hot water (including half of her face). Poor baby spent 2 weeks at Shriners hospital in Boston recovering. Had to have a few skin grafts, too. She healed up great! You really can't even tell except for on her left hand and foot where the skin grafts are.
I hate using words like normal and typical, but as anyone who knows someone with autism knows, kids who've been diagnosed are anything but. Not in a bad way, necessarily, but life with Jackie is definitely different!

She has an amazing sense of humor, she loves to dance, is obsessed with leaves & sticks, and is a big fan of cats. She's got the most beautiful blue eyes in the world & they are framed quite nicely by hair the color of chocolate. She loves fairies, especially Tinkerbell. Her favorite toy is her V-Reader. She is learning how to read this year & doing a nice job with it. She tends to forget if we don't practice every night so we have to stay right on top of it & repeat, repeat, repeat.
Jackie lives with us full time. Her mom lives out of state. She's been such an inspiration to me and to many people who have met her. Already, she is blowing right passed the expectations of doctors, not just for how she healed up after her accident, but with everything she has been able to achieve since receiving her diagnosis in October of 2009. She is a special little girl & possesses two rare gifts for a child her age: extreme patience with others & never wanting to give up.

Now, Xander.
Xander is my pride and joy. I hope I don't sound like a jerk for saying that, but I mean no offense to Jackie by saying that. Some people have made me feel guilty for having such a strong bond with Xander & for having a strained bond with Jackie. Any step mother in my situation would probably feel the same way as I do though, and it's only natural. I LOVE both of these kids with all my heart, I just feel closer to Xander. Him being a part of me for 42 weeks might have something to do with it.
I have learned so much since becoming a mommy on November 6th, 2007. My life wasn't really heading anywhere before I found out I was pregnant. I was a train wreck. My depression & anxiety issues were on the verge of consuming me, and I wasn't too interested in making anything of my life. All I wanted to do was party. I drank almost every night. I'm not proud of it, but it's true.
Xander gave me focus, purpose. My life is still a mess, not going to lie. The good news is that I rarely drink anymore, maybe a dozen times since he was born - and that doesn't mean I've gotten drunk that much, I am counting each night I've drank here. Now, I am all about fixing my life & making things better instead of destroying everything. I recently sought out counseling & I am being treated for panic disorder. I am hoping to get that straightened out in the next few months so that maybe I can go to school next spring & help these kids live the lives they deserve - full of opportunities and happiness.
Xander makes me so happy, and gives me so much love it's unreal. He is my best friend.

These kids are my world. I am going to keep trying to be the mom they need. They are my main motivation in every aspect of my life. I will reach my goals & I will be the healthiest, best mommy I can be for them.


  1. What a charmed life! What a wonderful and natural mother. I've been sponsoring people for over 20 years with panic disorder and anxiety disorders, used to run a self help group, published in the field, lectures, workshops. I've been 100% recovered for 21 years-not even a glimmer of issues since. It's all about the rational emotive therapy and feeding yourself realistic thoughts to have realistic emotions. Changed my life completly. You are an amazing woman to go through that and have children to raise. It's quite a challenge. My son was 2 when I got panic attacks. Sometimes, knowing you have to do it for them makes it better, but it's sure quite a stress. I admire you.

  2. My counselor gave me some info on REBT & it's actually helped quite a bit. My issues were so bad even just a few months ago that I couldn't go anywhere alone at all. It was a rare occasion where I had to be alone because of the fact that I have 2 kids, but when it happened, I was a wreck.

    I've had problems with panic disorder since I was about 15. It got so bad that I dropped out of high school. I didn't even leave my house much for 3 years unless it was for concerts (I know, what a weird thing to want to leave the house for when the thing that scared me the most was people! I reeeeally loved my punk rock!) or family functions. My friends pretty much all disappeared because they got tired of constantly being shot down. It was rough. I snapped out of it a bit when I was 19. I finally got a job, a real boyfriend, and I was fine for years... until my son was born. My boyfriend decided that they day I got home from the hospital after having a c section, that Jackie would be with me full time too. She had been going to a babysitters house... Well, it was too much for me to handle. A newborn and a not quite 3 year old girl with autism. Not fun. Anyway, my stress level has been through the roof & so has my panic ever since then... 3.5 years later, I'm finally taking steps to reverse the damage :)

    Thank you very much for your kind words. Some people would disagree with you on the "natural mother" part, but screw them. I am a damn good mother, I've just made mistakes like everyone else.

  3. I should clarify, I was taunted for dressing differently & being "weird" in high school. It was bad. I would get followed him, stuff would be thrown at me, etc. I had panic attacks at school just thinking about it. I would have panic attacks walking home from school too. So, after that, my main fear - my trigger for panic attacks - was people & what they might do to me.

    I still hate having people walking right behind me. I have this horrible habit of constantly checking behind me to make sure no one is following me. it sucks.


I always reply to my comments so make sure you check back for my response!