Showing posts from May, 2017

Welcome N&O Readers.

For all those who have come across my blog through a link in an op-ed I wrote in support of the NC Governor's School, "WELCOME!"

The NC Governor's School is one of the most life-changing chapters of my life. Aside from meeting my husband there it really helped prepare me for raising a neuro-atypical child. Our daughter is Autistic. As she has grown I have switched from saying "she has Autism" to "she is Autistic" because I want her to celebrate who she is. I want her to own it. A friend of mine, and adoring uncle of my daughter, joked, "it makes perfect sense. This is who she is. You wouldn't say someone has homosexuality." He's right. And I really feel Governor's School laid the foundation for me to easily adapt to the idea of 'neurodiversity' in education. I got to see first hand the magic that can happen when you are in a position to take your lesson plan "outside of the box." The NC Governor's School …

Owning Our Lazy Moments

I am not quite sure if I will ever allow myself to be lazy without immediately punishing myself for it. I will continue to work on this but I honestly have no clue if I will get there. For example, this morning I got my daughter ready for school, drove her to school like I was a stuntman in a Bourne Film (I'm always running late), went to a doctor's appointment, went shopping and came home and did nothing for about an hour. I sat on the couch and watched two Workaholics (I love a dose of stupid) and drank two cups of coffee. Where's the crime? As soon as I got off the couch I thought of all the things I could have been doing during that time.In my mind, if I had my 'act together' I would be the most productive person ever. I know I'm not alone in thinking this way. I think this is the side of perfectionism people don't really consider. Perfectionists don't think they are perfect. Most perfectionists think perfection is attainable but we are too lame and…

The Case for Self-Care

When in an emergency situation "put your mask on first". We have all heard this when preparing for take off. The very basic concept is if you are struggling to breath and frantically trying to place the oxygen mask on your loved one, you will pass out before you can help them. This is the perfect analogy for life. It certainly is a perfect mindset for parenthood. I need to put my mask on first everyday. This isn't selfish. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Such a silly cliche' but it's true. For the first few years of my daughter's life I fumbled with her oxygen mask and beat myself up every time I failed to put it on. Around the time I was putting together that my daughter was "different" I was completely losing it. I was anxious all the time. It took nothing for me to snap. My marriage was strained because we were both anxious and fumbling with other people's masks. At the urging of family I began going to therapy when my daughter was 14 mont…

Inspiration Behind The Atypical Bird Academy

I was filling out my paperwork for homeschooling Sofie and a question I was not prepared for appeared on the screen. "What is the name of your school?" It took little to no thought. I typed "The Atypical Bird Academy." I'm not sure how it will fair for Sofie applying to college, but I honestly don't care. If Sofie is independent enough to actually go to college, my husband and I will be overjoyed and not really worry about her getting into Harvard. And quite frankly I don't want her going anywhere that doesn't appreciate a fun  home school title.

So why "The Atypical Bird Academy"? Well, learning about birds has helped me understand my daughter. Here are these creatures that have evolved our millions of years into the beautiful oddballs of the animal kingdom. They are underestimated. They are written off as stoic and not emotional. Birds are seen as unpredictable and sometimes aggressive. And yet with all the misinformation and failure to…

Retrospective: You think you remember how hard it was but wow..

Monday, December 10, 2012 Towers of Babble: Trying to make sense of feeling crazy
I can never sleep the night before Sofie's therapy. I am hoping that gets better over time. Tomorrow is Sofie's second speech therapy session. I have to remind myself that she is still a toddler and that I can't get down when she doesn't stay focused for very long. In sports there is a common explanation for when someone loses or fails to meet expectations:"they wanted it too much." Is that a real 'thing'? I don't know for sure, of course, but it feels true these days. I can't help but wrap myself up in every therapy session. I sometimes wonder if Sofie picks up on my desperation and decides to check out, so to speak. Is that even possible? Don't get me wrong, therapy is going pretty good. I just wish Sofie was more 'into' the therapy. She isn't incredibly interested yet. I am probably expecting way too much from her, which isn't fair.
But the …

Retrospective: The Wish For a Time Machine

I am loving reading these entries again. This is why you blog! Sunday, December 23, 2012 A Happy Holiday and Wishes for the New Year
I am having a wonderful long weekend with family and it is making me wish for an unreasonable gift from Santa: time travel. I want to go back to the day of the diagnosis and tell myself that Christmas would still be Christmas and my little girl was found on that day- not lost. I would say the new normal is so much brighter than the forced normal I was pushing for all those months. I would try to reassure that scared mom that whether this diagnosis is correct or incorrect has no bearing on the journey forward. I would tell her that the medical professionals offer few answers so embrace your mommy instincts. I would share that there are more tears ahead and more days of questioning. But I would be sure to add that with the diet switch little Bubu would become even sweeter and funnier. I could tell myself on that day a long list of wonderful th…

Retrospective: Little Victories Feel HUGE

Monday, November 5, 2012 Sunday was a good day As I mentioned in the previous post, we had a wonderful weekend. We are working as a team. We are calling it "Team Bubulubu." Ozzy and I agreed that we are so lucky. After doing some research, we realized that our Bubu is truly exceptional. She may have autism but she doesn't look the part. I think that is why it is so hard to diagnose. I imagine a lot of toddlers aren't diagnosed because they don't fit the stereotype. I am VERY happy to say that our Bubu doesn't fit the stereotype. She is a great weight, great height, loves to eat, poops normally, sleeps well, loves hugs, loves kisses, loves going many positive AMAZING things to be grateful for. I am not dellusional though. I can see that my little girl doesn't "get" language and because of that doesn't "get" how she is supposed to interact with her world. I think her personality has saved her sanity (and ours).

Oversharing Entry: F%$@ Focusing, I Opt for Chaos

I am the ultimate project starter. I'm an optimist at heart with an incredibly anxious gut. What does that mean? Well, it means I daydream about the amazing success of the project idea and when it doesn't appear to be taking form I blame myself and feel I will never get over that hill. It's really not as doom and gloom as it sounds. I honestly think a lot of people are like this. I thrive on noise. I hate silence. If I am home alone I need music, the tv, or my sweet little african grey to kill the quiet. Even now I am listening to Maria Bamford while I try to write. Why do I do it? No clue. My therapist and I agree I like distractions. Distractions are usually not on my Netflix queue they take the form of my loved ones and existential crises. I am still working through why I like the distractions so much. I currently feel it is the simple fact that if I have a project to work on (i.e. a friend that is struggling, my daughter's education) I can drown out the voices that…