Growing Pains: Our Very Own Sitcom

Dec 2, 2014 by

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My obsession with 80’s comedies lives on. I admit to watching a lot of television growing up and as an adult I appreciate the value of ‘wrapping up’ life’s problems in thirty minutes with commercials. Growing Pains was a fan favorite and I freely admit to wishing our parenting problems could be so easily resolved with canned laughter.

As our daughter grows up and reaches new developmental milestones, we often take a step or two back. In the past month, we have made some major decisions about her behavioral health and there are noticeable changes in how she relates to the world. She has been able to have whole conversations with back and forth exchanges of information, opinion, and humor. Our longest conversation lasted over a half an hour, long enough to forget the novelty of communicating with our youngest child.

How I Learned to “Be Present”

Nov 26, 2014 by

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Appreciate the little things. Time flies.  Know what’s really important. Keep things in perspective. Be present. I read blog post after blog post on these topics and every time I smile and nod in agreement. “Yes! Such an important message!” Then I turn my head away from my kids and go back to scrolling on my phone. “Aww! That puppy is so cute!” “Kim Kardashian did what?!” And so it goes. The other day I caught myself in a situation where my three year old and I were sitting next to each other on the couch both looking down at our phones. Three year old watching monster truck videos on YouTube, me browsing Facebook. And it hit me: this is not how I want to spend my time with my kids. It’s time to stop nodding in agreement to all those blog posts, and actually be present.

Hugs for the Dads

Nov 17, 2014 by

I am so proud of you mamas. I think we’re doing a pretty great of job lifting each other up around here and hopefully in real life too. Sometimes I think I do a better job supporting stranger mamas in their parenting than I do my own spouse. So, today I wanted to take today to throw out a big thank you to the dads out there, especially the one that parents with me. When was the last time you really, really appreciated your husband? Do you treat him as an equal partner? Do you consider how this roller coaster we call parenting (and marriage) makes him feel? Or are you keeping score and not letting him forget that you’re the default parent? I am not judging you. I’m as guilty as the next mama, or maybe even more. Fact of the matter: marriage is hard work. And I would be so bold as to say that marriage with kids is possibly even harder work. When we hear about people splitting up, I think our first response is – that won’t happen to us. But it can. Just like any other life event, it can happen to you too. Stress on a person (job, kids, financial) can often equal stress on a marriage. So here’s a little reminder to throw some love your baby’s daddy’s way. Treat him as you’d like to be treated. You are the model for your kids – treat each other with kindness and love and model the relationship you hope your children will one day have. Our hugs for each other could just as easily be hugs and positive messages for our spouses as well. Why not spread the love.

Awkward Family Photos

Nov 11, 2014 by

My Fam (minus Mom the photographer) nailing the Awkward Family Photo.

My Fam (minus Mom the photographer) nailing the Awkward Family Photo.

Ever since my second son was born at the beginning of this year, I’ve been dying to get professional family photos taken. You know the ones I’m talking about: Mom, Dad, and kids all in classically generic poses, beaming at the camera, dressed embarrassingly alike. Yeah, I wanted that, in all of its cheesy glory. So for months, I planned. I picked out coordinating (but not identical) preppy little outfits for the boys (aren’t little sweater vests the cutest?). I found the perfect photographer, perfect location, and chose the perfect autumn day. I even bought the picture frames I was going to put the pictures in. These were going to be the best family photos ever! The morning of our photo shoot I talked to my three year old about what we were going to do, we practiced our smiles, and he was very excited about the whole idea.

“Are you a parent or a professional?”

Nov 4, 2014 by

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“Are you a parent or a professional?” I was asked several times at the ASRC Autism Services and Resource Connecticut Resource Fair this weekend. Good question. It’s like being asked if I’m black, gay, or a woman? How do I separate my identity?

If I was speaking with a parent, I noticed a change in expression and body language. “Yes, my six-year old daughter was diagnosed at two-and-a half.” In the few interactions I had, this opened the door to sharing information and a rather honest conversation. As I moved throughout the crowd, I felt connected to others, a feeling I seldom have as a parent.

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