Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My First Blog post!

I've had friends enter this world of blogging and I've wondered if I really wanted to add one more thing to my plate. Adding something to my plate is a great choice of words for our house. It seems I am always doing something with a plate, or a pan, or a bowl, when I'm not doing something with a child and a pencil and a book!

I'm a wife of 17 years to my husband, Phil. We've had quite an adventurous marriage, including a year in Africa. But, our biggest adventure began on July 25, 1996. That was the day our special red headed bundle of joy was born. Bethany was so beautiful and such a sweet baby. Then we took her home from the hospital & discovered she'd been putting on a show at the hospital. Little did we know those first few months of chronic screaming and feeding were a sign of things to come. Enough about how I behaved those first few months.....LOL! We would discover a few years later that Bethany has a form of autism known as Asperger Syndrome. This is a very high functioning form of autism. One expert says the difference in AS & HFA is the spelling.

A bit over 2 years later our 2nd dumpling was born on November 27, 1998. Natalie surprised us by arriving 3 weeks early. If you haven't heard the story about THAT, remind me to tell you sometime. It was the only time Phil got stopped for speeding & had an alibi! Now, if we thought Bethany was a handful, Natalie was a handful, a fistful, and a mouthful! She did so many things "by the book" that surely THIS child was "normal". Turns out the saying is true: Normal is only a setting on your dryer. She wasn't LIKE Bethany, she was much more social. Unfortunately, she seemed to think being social meant biting the person who took the toy she wanted, and other lovely behaviors. I just wanted to make it through a church service without MY child's number being flashed up on the alert board for all the people to see. By the time she was about 5, I had accepted that she, too, wasn't quite what the books said she should be. Mind you, I have a degree in kids. I've been around kids since I was 15 when my nephew was born, and before that I WAS a kid. So, I've seen all kinds of kids. Just none like MY kids! Natalie soon added "alphabet soup" to her name, Natalie Garrison, ADHD/OCD/ODD/SD......translation: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/Obsessive compulsive disorder/oppositional defiant disorder/sleep dysfunction (ya think when a child doesn't sleep through the night for the first 5 years of her life there MIGHT be an issue?).

Okay, remember how I said I had a degree in kids? I was an elementary school teacher before having kids. Then I taught at a learning center & worked with kids of all ages. Plus, I had a niece & nephew I'd been watching grow. As a young teacher with no kids, I was sure that ADHD was simply the result of poor parenting. Nothing a little good discipline wouldn't fix. Then I had kids. Trust me, we used not a little, but a LOT of discipline on these girls. It didn't fix them. In the mean time, Phil wasn't sleeping due to undiagnosed sleep apnea & I was getting sick all the time. We found a doctor who helped us figure out what was going on with these girls & how to help them. Plus, I've done so much reading about Asperger Syndrome & ADHD & OCD that I feel like a walking DSMIV. If you don't know what that is, tell God thank you!

Both girls are doing great now, but life is still an adventure. I've since been diagnosed (in addition to severe allergies---the allergist always says, "You have SEVERE allergies" um, yeah, I know, that's why I'm here) with Celiac Disease & Fibromyalgia, plus a string of other little things. The Fibro is the latests dx, but I still have bloodwork to do just to be sure I don't have something else. Some of my bloodtests came back with elevated levels. I asked the dr. what that could mean, "It could be lab error, it could be an infection, could be cancer....." yeah, just drop that in there!

So, as of today, I am on a gluten free diet taking meds for the fibro & allergies. I'm a tired homeschooling mom. Most of all, I'm a daughter of the Most High King. Jesus loves me, THIS I know! As weary as I grow some days with my girls, He never grows tired or weary of me. How AWESOME is HE! I use that word in it's true meaning. Not like an awesome football play, or awesome song, but truly, He bring AWE to me. I cannot fathom the love He has poured out on me, and I am so thankful.

Now, if I can remember what my user name is and where this blog is, I might be back for more another day!

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