Yay! It's finally time for the Ultimate Blog Party!
Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere- come on in and make yourself at home.... ya, just step over those toys there and try and ignore the dishes on the counter... my house was clean 5 minutes ago. Really. Don't believe me? Just go to the post I wrote last week for picture proof!
If you haven't met me before- hi! My name is Tara and I am addicted to blogging. I started this blog when I was on bed-rest with my third child in October of 2006. It was my husband's idea and I am sure glad I listened.
*If you are just here for the swag than feel free to jump to the end of this post because the swag is pretty darn cool.*
April is Autism Awareness month so I just want to take a minute and tell you about our Autism experience. My oldest son Aiden (who is almost 8 years old!) has high-functioning Autism. He also has ADHD and a whole host of sensory issues and just to make his life extra fun he has serious Asthma.
He is also funny and full of life. He is super smart and can build the most amazing Lego creations I have ever seen. I basically knew nothing about parenting when Aiden arrived... and from the minute he came out he has done nothing but teach me how to be a better mom and person in general, how to love more, how to let go of my unrealistic expectations and how to accept people for who they really are.
* here, have a drink, I'm a talker and you might be here awhile... but don't worry there are prizes at the end and really I am fabulously interesting... and if you get bored you can always count the bits of playdough stuck in my carpet*
Aiden struggles a lot with socialization- even though he is actually a very social kid (10% of Autistic kids are social) he just isn't very good at it sometimes. He basically wants to be the ruler of the known universe and simply can't understand why the rest of us don't fall into line and follow his every command. It breaks my heart knowing how hard he has to work just to function in our society. People judge him (and us as his parents) pretty harshly sometimes but if you just look past his Autistic behaviours you will see the truly amazing kid inside. I really love that kid!
I also have two other amazing kids... both of which are "neuro-typical". They both have some minor sensory issues like hating seams in clothing and socks but nothing too major. And of course they both have Asthma as well. We spend far too much time at the ER.
*are you getting bored yet? No? Good. Here- have a cupcake!*
Owen is 6 and so full of life it just bursts out of him sometimes in fits of air guitar and joyous yelling! He loves to laugh and he makes me beautiful pictures on a really regular basis. He is so creative and has an amazing imagination. And he is loud. Very Very LOUD.
I'm sure every middle child will say they have it rough but Owen has had it especially rough. He is only 17 months younger than Aiden and has had to bear the brunt of Aiden's social-difficulties. It is tough to be the sibling of a special needs kid- don't underestimate just how much harder it is for them than your average sibling. It can be hard to understand why your sibling gets all that extra attention and why they act the way they do and why they are really mean to you sometimes. Owen adores his older brother but it takes a lot of work to be friends with him sometimes. Owen will be starting in a support group for siblings of special needs kids soon and I think it will be very healing for him.
*you didn't expect to come to a mommy blog and not hear all about my kids did you? Good. Because they are pretty much my world and I seem to be incapable of having a conversation without talking about them. Have another drink. *
And then there is my baby... Olivia... who really isn't a baby anymore. She is three and a precocious princess if there ever was one. She is rapidly growing in independence and can be rather demanding at times. But oh that smile of hers and the sweet "I wuv yoo mommy" just melts my heart. She is growing up far too fast and I find myself wanting to hold on to her a little tighter to slow it down! I am finding it hard to let go of my last baby but she starts junior kindergarten in the fall so I better get used to the idea soon.
*ok, ok, I'm almost done! Would you like a cookie or some cake perhaps?*
My husband Doug pastor's a small church in our small town in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. He's an all around great guy who keeps me sane by cooking and helping me with the house and kids. His office is in our basement so he can't escape either ( *insert evil cackle here*). He is also an amazing photographer and fellow blogger. You can find him on his photo blog and his regular blog and twitter too.
As for me? I have been told many times that I am NOT the "typical" pastor's wife (which I choose to take as a compliment). I have a ridiculous thyroid disorder that drives me crazy, Asthma that annoys me and I have struggled with depression for years. I am a real treat let me tell you ;) . I believe in medication. Meds and blogging and a great support system in-real-life are what is keeping me sane!