Autism Awareness month…

April is Autism awareness month, and for us it’s really just another month. Except for Karter it means his diagnosis is a bit more talked about on a regular basis.

April 3rd at Karter’s school was Autism day, the students were asked to wear blue to support Autism awareness. Karter wore his Captain America Autism shirt.

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At home we openly discuss Karter’s diagnosis and how it affects our lives. Never in a negative aspect, just that it does mean things are done a little differently. Karter mentions them on occasion. “Mom my friends would be in bed right now, but I just can’t sleep cuz I have ADHD and can’t stop jumping” is something along the lines Karter would say at 1030 at night. Granted this isn’t every night, we have a pretty good routine now that’s taken us 2 years to get in place but he’s asleep by 930 at the latest now. Which for most kids his age is late from my understanding.

My whole family is on board with Karter’s diagnosis, which does help a lot. I can’t imagine having someone or people who are just utterly against everything I say and do as a parent because they are close minded. I tread lightly when disciplining Karter. Which can be hard for some people to watch, but good thing they aren’t Karter’s parents.

Karter’s emotions are extremely heightened, therefore any emotions he feels can sometimes be exaggerated or under exaggerated for that matter. I can often tell when Karter is feeling a specific way because he just has this look, and he’s very quiet. I don’t ask him whats wrong or to talk. I just sit with him and not mention it. This is what works for him, and when he’s ready he talks.

He’s gotten so much better at expressing himself too, he will often say now “mom I dont want to talk about this” which is fine, sometimes its not fine. But I accept it, most of the time my heart just wants to help him feel whatever he is feeling but thats not what he needs in that moment so I have to put my own feelings aside and be what Karter needs me to be. That’s probably one of the hardest things, is putting aside my own feelings and thoughts and letting Karter just feel and be. I don’t get to sing happy birthday to him, or ask him how school was, or even just hug him without asking. But that’s how he is, and I accept that. And do things on his page.

But, back to the school thing. This week my kid was a freakin’ rock star. His teachers came up to me this week and let me know that Karter told his class what his autism is to him and how it affects his life. Karter told them he doesn’t always like hugs from strangers, and he doesn’t always like sharing his thoughts, feelings and even toys. This may seem so small and not important. But this is huge, Karter doesn’t always share his thoughts at school, but he did and about something so important to him. His teachers were so impressed with how much he knew, and how well he could articulate what autism means to him and his life. It isn’t something one can easily describe.

He then told me he even did the calendar at school that day which is something I’ve asked him to work on. It’s just standing up in front of the class and filling out the date and weather, but for the longest time he wouldn’t do it because it singles him out.

Needless to say, I am so utterly proud of my child this week. I m always proud of my baby, but this week he was so brave I couldn’t be prouder.

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Identity…

You know, something I have struggled with since I became a mom is my identity.

It’s not because I don’t take pride in being a mom, I really do. My kid is my freakin’ world.

But so often I have become Karter’s mom. Which is perfectly fine. But I think I’ve started thinking this is all I am. Or while in a relationship, I become consumed and I’m just a girlfriend and a mom. But really I am so much more than that.

I’ve lost sight of all the things that made me, me. I’ve isolated myself.

And it’s completely my own doing.

I used to love so many things, they brought me joy. But now, I barely have time to do things I ever enjoyed.

I used to be so proud of myself, and who I was. I would hold my head high.

And now, now I don’t know.

But one thing I do know, is I can fall in love with myself all over again. I believe in myself, and I am a strong woman. This much I know.

So cheers, to self love.

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Don’t say the A word…

Karter, my family and I have been dealing with some stuff for quite some time. Since he was born but most recently since October.

It’s something I have debated on commenting on out loud because there is such a stigma and I never wanted that for Karter.

But then I thought, that if I have a platform (ie my blog) to raise awareness for such an important cause I should.

Karter has autism.

I don’t say that often, it’s still like word vomit saying it out loud. But I think that’s why I need to make a blog post about it, because it really shouldn’t be word vomit to say it.

Karter is aware of it, he thinks it’s cool. If you ask him what it is he just says it makes him hyper and mad when he doesn’t know why. But he will happily tell you he’s getting better, he’s starting to talk to more people and come out of his shell.

Formally he is low on the spectrum, he would have been classified as Aspergers but they know longer use that classification. He is high functioning, he’s verbal. He’s pretty darn awesome.

Very little has actually changed for us, because everything in terms of therapy has such a super long wait list. It’s so unfortunate for these little kids who need the help but have to wait.

The only thing that’s changed really is trying to get a schedule in place. Autistic children thrive off schedules and I’m failing Karter in this aspect. Which is my ultimate fear. I just need to get organized and get him on a schedule.

So why post this,

Because I had a woman at Karters school say to me, “don’t worry dear, he doesn’t look autistic. He doesn’t look like one of those kids.”

The fact that she made a comment didn’t hurt. People will say things like telling me to control my child, or parent him already. That’s all well and good. I was so hurt that she had group together children who have a mental illness or developmental delay and tried to say they look a specific way.

This is why I write this. To educate people.

My sweet Karter looks just like all the other 50 kids in the school yard. He just may be a little quieter, a little shy and socially awkward. But he’s smart, and just want to play with his friends.

He will tell you himself he’s happy and likes his autism, he believes it is a cool trait which makes him, well him.

April is Autism awareness month.

Can you do one thing for Karter? Just raise awareness for acceptance and understanding because it is a complex mental illness and developmental disorder. And just because you know one child with autism doesn’t mean you understand them all. Let’s stop making it a taboo thing to talk about!

Here is a link for an awesome source if you want further information…

http://www.autismspeaks.ca/

 

An Interview with my five year old…

After seeing all these toddler response posts on Facebook lately I decided to interview Karter post his exact responses then let him interview me and post my responses.

Here’s how it went down…

Well the first time he just kept repeating I don’t want to answer. But I think it had a lot to do with the fact that Kung Fu Panda 2 had just started.

Well played Karter, well played.

The second time I attempted it went like this…

What is your name? Karter

How old are you? 5

Whens your birthday? Five, I mean twenty seventh. It’s March 7

What would you like to be when you grow up? A zoo keeper, Or a boy who makes comic books.

Are you going to get married? Shakes head yes.. no I am not.

How many kids will you have? Seven!

What would their names be? Jenny and Charlie. They are actually from Dory. And then the next will be Speedy, Fast, Seventh, Eighth, Pooey

Who are your friends? Korbin, eliajah, Ryle A, Chinuka, Jack, DeRay, Wayland, Ethan, Devon, Charlie, Graham.

What do you like to do together? Play plant vs zombies one and two.

What is your favourite food? Banana

What do you like best about school? Nothing. Ok, I like home time

Whats your favourite part of the day? Pretends to fall asleep…

What do you love about mom? That she cuddles with me

What do you love about dad? Toys.

What do you love about yourself? That I have so much friends.

What scares you? Ghostest and monsters. Who would be scared of bats, ok I’m scared of them. Unless its batman I’m happy. I’m ascared of the Hulk, if you get him mad, he gets good guys. Are you writing that too? Don’t write that.

What makes you happy? Going to Niagara Falls with Mommy, Maddy, Bromey and Dan.

Favourite place to go? Great Bromey’s or Glen’s house now.

Whos the smartest in your family? Uhh, me!

Who’s the cutest in your family? Me!

Who is the funniest in your family? Me! Hey why is the computer ascared of the human? Because the computer isn’t a human. Breaks out in laughter.Why is a mom ascared of the baby? Because the baby is a vampire.

What is Autism? It makes you hyper, I’m getting a little better at it. I’m talking to more people.

What would your superpower be? My name will be “everyone” and I’d be fast, and strength, and good at fighting, good at ninja moves, and invisible and fly.

Then Karter interviewed me with help from his Aunty…

Mom, what do you call a mom that’s pregnant? I know not me! He responds, Nope, its you.

Mom, did you like Niagara Falls? Yes, I loved it.

Where you scared of the man standing up and sitting down? He was taller than aleisha? Yea I was alittle afraid hes big. (He’s referring to the World’s Tallest Man in Niagara Falls)

Why did the 10 run upstairs? I don’t know. Because he was afraid of the man who stands up.

What did you think when you found out you were pregnant with Karter? I was anxious and scared. –you thought I was a girl mom. (I did think I was pregnant with a girl)

Whats your favorite food? Pizza and burgers

What did you wanna name Karter? Kaidyn, or Mason, Levi, Matteo – um I like the name speedy for me.

Um mom what do you wanna be when you grow up? When I finally grow up I wanna be a nurse and teach some nursing classes.

What is the craziest thing you ate when I was in your belly? Mars bars dipped in gravy, and instant mash potatoes and smarties.

What do you love about your mom? I’m guessing, lets see… she’s family oriented and selfless.

Mom, what did you love about my dad? Let me guess, that he used to live with you. Your dad was very funny and very nice.

What do you like about batman? I love that you love batman and want to be a superhero because you’re my superhero.

This took me all night to finally get it complete, Karter is stubborn to say the least. And he started telling jokes half way through. But we did it and he had fun!

On the Eve of Your 5th Birthday…

As I sit here and write this, I am in disbelief you are going to be five when you wake up in the morning. I can vividly remember being in labour with you thinking you were never coming out.

You know baby, we’ve been through a lot in these last five year and yet you don’t even realize because you were this sweet innocent child. I wish I could keep it that way but you are growing up so quickly it’s hard to keep you in our bubble. Your desire and need to explore far exudes our little bubble. But I know, you know I will always be there in our little bubble when you need to get away from reality for a moment.

You love to tell me you’re no long my little baby anymore. But in my eyes you’ll always be my 8lb 5oz little boy who came screaming into the world at 420 am on March 7th. I think that’s how every mother see’s it, sweet boy. As we watch our babies grow up we are struggling with a slew of emotions. I am so proud of the boy you are becoming, but I’m also saddened because your are growing so quickly, I try to bask in these moments where you are still little.

This moment right here is the moment I didn’t know I was waiting for my whole life.

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The moment you made me a mother. For as long as I live this is will be the defining moment in my life when everything changed. I may have only been 20 years old and a little naive going into this parent thing babe but in that split second you took your first breath I was a changed person. From that moment on I would always come second, usually I’m the last person I think about but you my love are always the first.

The amount of love I felt in that moment is indescribable, you literally are an extension of my being. I grew you inside me, and are my heart walking around out in this world. How do you put that feeling into words? I simply can’t. I love you more than words, and I know you love me to the farthest Tim Horton’s as you like to say.

Our first couple weeks at home were rocky, I spent the better part of the first month of your life in the hospital. I remember crying myself to sleep in the hospital wondering if we would ever get to bond and have the relationship I so badly wanted for us. You would come and spend a few hours with me each day, I would lay with you on my chest falling more and more in love with you each and every moment. But then you’d have to go home with your grandmother while I got better. It felt like having my heart ripped from my chest every time, but I was getting better for both of us so we could be together.

I got better, we got stronger. It’s been quite the journey in the last five years my love, half the time I have no idea what I am doing you wont know that till you read this when you’re much older but baby, mommy was learning just as much as you were.

You test my patience every single day. And I yours. You say often “jeeze mom don’t you have patience” truth is kiddo, I don’t its something I’m working on. But for every time you challenge me, and test my patience I love you 10x more.

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I didn’t even think it was possible to love you more, but each day I do. I find myself staring at you while you sleep. Those big beautiful lashes of yours. Or I find myself looking through all our old photos thinking about all the moments we’ve had.

I cannot wait to see you grow up into the strong, brilliant, kind person you are already shaping to be, but in the mean time I’ll bask in these moments where you still ask me to cuddle you to sleep and pronounce Karate chop, like karate cock because its hilarious.

I love you, mom xox

Iamyourmother

 

 

 

Shit my kid says part 5

My favorite blog post is always these ones, I may be biased but Karter is the funniest child haha

  1. “Mom don’t you have patience”- this is one of those things you say and then it comes back to bite you in the butt. I say this to Karter often as when he asks for something it is then and there. So now when he isn’t listening, I nag he asks me if I have patience.
  2. “Omg I’m gonna die”- This he may or may not get from me either. The dramatics. He asks for chocolate milk and I say ok one minute. “Mom if I don’t get chocolate milk right now I’m gonna die!!”
  3. Watching Harry Potter with Karter I get very excited. I said oh Karter you’ll like this one, there’s a wolf. “mom don’t spoil the movie” Wow ok you teenager you.
  4. POOP. Everything, everywhere is poop. Poop is so funny.
  5. Karter know’s big words. He’s listens to adults all the time the other day while watching snoopy he says “hahah he’s so stubborn” he comes out with the craziest words sometimes for a four year old.
  6. “Raise your hand if..” he comes up with the silliest ones, raise your hand if you just pooped, raise your hand if your four, raise your hand if you got money from your cousin, he will play this game all darn day!
  7. I’m not really sure why, but I’d like to think its because were wizards. But Karter refers to people as humans. “Mom today at school all the humans… Ok mom which human are you?” He uses humans instead of people, clearly because were wizards LOL
  8. “Mom I want pepperoni pizza but with out the pepperoni” So you want cheese… “No pepperoni without the pepperoni”, sometimes he forgets the word is pepperoni and calls it macaroni
  9. In December, if anyone didn’t do as Karter wanted “that’s it you’re on the naughty list” he would say.
  10. Since starting school, his favorite part of school is Oh Canada. Yea the song. He sings it all day long.
  11. Karter is picking up lots of things at school, like the middle finger. We affectionately call the “bad finger” he will walk around with it out but not raised all damn day. Thanks other kids at school LOL
  12. “I’m a genius, mom I’m a genius” – perhaps I boast his ego a little too much but he impresses me everyday. So he will walk around saying I’m a genius haha

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I’m gonna be selfish..

So it has been a whopping four months since I have posted. These four months have been some of the hardest I’ve been put through, both mentally and physically with school and motherhood amid everything else. But I am on the other side of it now, and I’m looking forward to an awesome 2017.

So I have decided in 2017, that I will focus on me.

Yep, I have a child but I’m gonna focus on myself.

Of course Karter comes first, but the end of 2016 was so hard, I need to put myself first too in order to be the mom he deserves.

I’m sure people can agree with me, that being a parent is so fucking hard. Yea I had to swear, that’s how serious I am.

Some of the moments are so euphoric, and I don’t think another moment could make me happier, but then something else happens and so on. I am afraid I won’t remember them and I need to photograph them, but I really need to put my phone down and live in the moment instead of trying to photograph it.

Being a mom was definitely my destiny, however I’m still human and need to work on myself.

I get so wrapped up in my anxieties, I need to find a way to cope and live.

I have decided to set goals for myself that are different than my typical goals.

Here are a few…

  • Love myself for who I am
  • start meditating (I did it a few times, and LOVED it)
  • be comfortable with my body again
  • start knitting (I’m 25, going on 70)
  • create more memories with Karter that aren’t all photographed
  • make time for myself despite the challenges of life

This isn’t necessarily a Karter post or a parenting post, but it is a post to tell parents to take time for themselves.

This semester I had a placement where my preceptor told me how important it is to make time for yourself because the burnout is real. Her method is simple, after a hard day when “her well is dry” as she put it, she goes to Tim Horton’s orders a donut and a coffee and goes walking along the beach. It centers her.

Burnout is real, take care of yourself people.

Another way, I like to relax. Cuddling.

 

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