Friday, December 2, 2011

Writing

I miss writing.  I miss writing on my blog.  I need to come back.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Handsome Grandpa

My Very Handsome Grandpa
 By: Autumn Trouwborst
 Father’s Day ~ June 19, 2011

 My handsome grandpa is REALLY special. He is awesome and handsome. He also has blue eyes, gray hair, and is a little bit taller than me.

This is what he does that makes him special.   He comforts me when I’m sad, worried, or nervous.   My grandpa also takes me to places like to the store, out to eat, and a lot of other places too.   One time he took me to the outlets and we went to Claire’s.   Every summer he takes my family and me camping at Kingswood.

I love my grandpa so much because he’s caring, loving, smart, generous, and fun.  This is what I would like to say to him,

        “I love you sooooo much. I love you so much that I can’t  
          even think of a word that expresses my love to you.
          Thanks for always being there for me.”



Monday, June 13, 2011

Someone

Someone did not sleep at all last night . . .

Someone has me scared to death . . .

Someone is back on her old medication . . .

Someone is testing me as a momma . . .

Go check out "Someone's" blog . . .

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Car

Well it has happened.

My 17-year-old has her own car.

I didn't want her to have it.

I fought it.

But alas, I finally gave in.

Her very generous Uncle Steve, my brother-in-law bought it for her.

She is responsible for the insurance.

What did he find for her????

This!

2002 Chrysler Sebring Limited Convertible!!!

Needless to say she is the coolest kid on the block!

I am going threw some grieving . . . my baby does not need me anymore.  It's an odd feeling, I didn't think I would care but I do. 

This is just another chapter in parenting.  Wow, I can't believe I'm here already!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A blog for Autumn

I have decided to make a separate blog just for Autumn. 
 She deserves it and it will help me keep all my thoughts together.  God has sent me here to be Autumn's angel, protector, parent.  It's an extremely hard job however I am blessed to have the privileged of being her mom.  

Come over to A is for Autumn and check us out!  Don't forget to "follow us" and leave a comment! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Do you ever?

Do you ever wonder how I'm doing? .....
Do you ever think about what I'm doing? .....
Do you ever miss my friendship? .....
Do you ever miss making me laugh? .....
Do you ever miss finishing each other's sentences? .....
Do you ever miss saying "Good morning gorgeous"? .....
Do you ever wonder what happened to us? .....
Do you ever pick up your phone and want to text me? .....
Do you ever look at my picture on Facebook? .....
Do you ever wonder, what could have been? .....
Do you ever get caught thinking about me? .....
Do you ever miss being so connected to someone you could be hundreds of miles away but still feel so extremely close? .....
Do you ever regret not speaking to me? .....
Do you ever want to say sorry for breaking your heart? .....
Do you ever wonder if I think about you? .....
Do you ever wonder if I still love you? .....

I do
Every day
I do

Friday, May 27, 2011

Prom









Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NEVER!!!

Autumn, Rayne and I went to the Dentist yesterday.  The hygienist asked Autumn how many times a day does she brush her teeth . . . Autumn shouted . . .

"NEVER!"

I guess that explains the 6 cavities they found!  Good thing my best friend is our dentist!!!

Birth-Families

After working with Adoptive Families for the past 11 years the Adoption Agency I work for has asked me to consider becoming a Birth-family Caseworker!  Originally I never did work with birth mothers because when I started I was a single mom of a 1 and 6 year old so my flexibility just wasn't there.  Eleven years later I'm a single mom of an 11 and 17 year old and I do have the flexibility.

I am both nervous and excited about this!!!!  I'm going into talk to them about it this week!!!  WOO HOO to new adventures!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Drugs

I believe in medication. 

I also believe in the divine power of my God who can heal all things . . . if He wanted to.  I also believe sometimes we are not healed for a reason, that we must go through certain things for a BIGGER cause, one we might not even see before we die. 

I have never prayed for Autumn to be "cured" from her Autism, ADHD, or ODD.  Not because I don't think God could do it . . . okay maybe I do have some doubt . . . but mostly because I it never crossed my mind to pray for a cure.  When someone has a physical ailment the first thing I do is pray.  So why, when someone is suffering mentally do I shy away from prayer? 

I have never prayed for myself to be "cured" from my depression.  Have I rebuked Satan and asked him to get behind me when I'm at the depths of despair?  Absolutely!  Has it worked? Absolutely!  So why, when I'm suffering mentally do I shy away from prayer?

Am I too dependant on medication?  I don't think I am.  Medication for me is not my substitute for calling on Jesus.  It's not my substitute for relying on God.  I believe God gave me the medication as a way to survive.  I also believe that God gave Autumn her medications as a way to survive.

I changed Autumn's medication last week.  She went from Respridal to Geodon.  Both are atypical anti-psychotic medications that treat schizophrenia and bi-polar however the FDA has recently approved these medications for children with Autism.  With out them Autumn would be a wreck. 

The transition has been smooth.  She had one day that she did not have any medication in her system ... that was a bad day.  Her hyper-sensitivity to sound was at a level so high I thought she was going to craw out of her skin.  Every time someone chewed food she would freak out and cover her ears.  I then gave her the Geodon 20mg starting one time a day on Sunday.  Nights were rough but I couldn't give her a second dose until we knew she was doing ok on the Geodon.  Today she got the 3pm dose and it's been great.

The best part about the switch???  It had the affect I wanted, her appetite is back to normal and hopefully she will now lose some of the weight she gained on the Resperdal.

The worst part about the switch???  Geodon does not have a generic so instead of paying $15 like I did for the Risperdal I have to pay $100!!!  It's a sin.  Thank goodness my parents have offered to pay my co-pay for me.  They are such a blessing.

So for now Autumn and I are staying on our medications and we are better for it.  We are able to love each other and other people and I believe God intended it that way. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

My wonder drug?

I don't want to jinx myself but I have been in an extremely good mood lately!!!!!  YIPPEE!!!!  When I went for my annual GYN exam at my Midwife's office I discussed my method of birth control.  Over the past 2 years I have tried 3 types of birth control pills, each time I went on the pill I became severely depressed.  I'm not in a relationship now so I don't need birth control but I'm a planner and with my two past pregnancies being totally not planned I like to be proactive and take precaution.  I know this might be controversial, especially since I'm a single Christian woman but this is between me and God, not anyone else.

SOOOOO anyway my midwife and I decided that the Depo-Provera shot would be good for me.  I was on it years ago and did not have any ill side effects so we decided to give it a shot (no pun intended:)!!!  My midwife thinks that Estrogen is my enemy . . . all the pills I tried had Estrogen in them, even the lowest dose pill made me depressed.  The Depo shot does not have any Estrogen, just Progesterone, which has a calming effect in some women.  So 2 weeks ago I got my first shot. 

I've been waiting, and waiting for the down feeling I usually get.  Praise GOD I feel great!!!!  I'm so motivated, so energized, and no down feelings!!!!! 

Could the Depo Shot be my wonder drug??????

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7

For Mother's Day we took these photos for my MOM!!!!

The 3 daughters!  Jill (42), Hilary (41), and Me (37)!!!

The 7 Grandkids!

Rayne (17), Aedan (11), Autumn (11), Teddy (10), Riley (6), Jake (5), Lucy (4)

COUSINS!

We are blessed they are growing up together!

SEVEN!

Rayne Theodora #1- The 1st grandchild (born to ME), spoiled for 5 1/2 years before another came along!

Aedan Shea #2- The 1st grandson, finally a boy to Hilary!

Autumn Grace #3- Born 4 months after Aedan to ME!

Theodore John #4- Born on September 11, 2000 one year after Autumn to Hilary!

Riley Ella #5- Born 4 years after Teddy to Hilary!

Jake Theodore #6- Born 8 months after Riley to Jill!

Lucy Elizabeth #7- Last but not least born 15 months after Jake to Jill!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Weight . . . UGH!

My heart is breaking.  I'm also filled with guilt.  Autumn has gained so much weight over the past 2 years and I can't help but blame myself.  I have also gained so much weight in the last 2 years, weight that I shouldn't be gaining becausae I had a gastric bypass in 2008.  I can't blame anyone but myself for this.

So the story begins in June 2009 when I decided to put Autumn on Risperdone.  It's an anti-psychotic drug used to help kids with symptoms of Autism.  It did wonders for her instantly and I was so happy we tried it.  Here Autumn is in 2009 right when she started the drug.  She is so skinny here (largely due to Adderal, which she takes for her ADHD). 

Autumn June 2009- Just started Risperdone

So the weight started to creep on slowly.  I didn't notic it at first but if you look at pictures through the months and years you can see it coming on.

December 2009
 By August 2010, 1 year after she started the Risperdone she gained about 50 pounds.  Not healthy or good, still I didn't really pay it any mind.

August 2010
 Autumn is going through puberty too, which can't help.  She hates her body.  She hates that it's maturing.  She hates having breasts, underarm hair, pupic hair.  She hates growing up. 

Autumn December 2010
 This is a current photo of Autumn.  She is beautiful.  She is smart and funny and she still hates growing up!  She is approximately 80 pounds overweight.  She can not satisfy her hunger.  I finally am set on changing her medication.  We have tried changing it 2 times before but I couldn't handle her outbursts so I put her back on teh Risperdone.  This time I'm going to stick to my guns and play it out.  It will probably be torture but I want to help her out a little bit with her weight. 
 
Autumn May 2011
 Her psychiatrist gave me two drugs to research and decide on.  We have already tried Serequel, didn't like it.  Now it's between Abilify and Geodon.  I have researched and researched and I'm still not sure which one to pick.  Both are heavy duty anti-psychotics, both have the potential for weight gain.  I hate having to decide.  I just wish she was "normal".  I just wish I could control her on my own.  I'm so heavy hearted about this.  The more I read about hese medications the more depressed I get that my 11 year old is on them!!!!  Ugh!!!!  
Me and my girls, May 2011
I love my Autumn.  I just want her to be healthy.  Having 80 extra pounds is not healthy.  I have 80 extra pounds on me too.  We need to get healthy.  I need to do this for Autumn and for Rayne.  I need to get motivated!  I need to decide which drug I'm switching Autumn to.  I need a lot of things . . . UGH!

 




Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Time

It's now the day before Easter and there is so much going on in my head.   There are so many significant things that have happened or are happening around this time of year. 

  • My sister Hilary's birthday.  Happy Birthday to my big sis!  We spent the day in the ER yesterday, her back was out and she could not move because of the pain :(.  She kept wanting to send me home but I refused.  We spent 7 hours together and I wouldn't want to spend those 7 hours any other way.
Hilary, ME!, and Jill circa 1975

  • I was the Doula to an amazing 16 year old girl, Abby.  She is younger then my own 17 year old daughter and she had such strength and maturity.  I will remember this birth for the rest of my life, it was absolutely amazing.  Jonathan Michael, may God bless your life!!!
  • Abby, Jonathan, and me (their Doula!)
  • I helped a very special family spend Easter Sunday together.  I love you Cheryl, Jael, John, and James!!!!  If I wasn't there they could not be together, it was my privilege.
  • The Cross family, together, the way they should be!
  •  I was the Doula 11 years ago to my friend Cheryl.  It wasn't planned but an unexpected surprise for me.  My precious Jael was born and was a beautiful miracle. 
  • Me and Jael . . .I'm her second momma!
  • My friend Tami was killed in a car accident 15 years ago.  Amazing it has been that long.
  • Crystal, me, Rayne, and Tami circa 1994!
 
There is probably a lot more I could write about but today these are the few significant things that have happened. 

May God bless everyone this Easter season.  Christ sacrificed His life for us so we could spend eternity with Him.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A special Doula job . . .

Jonathan Michael
Early this morning I had the privilege to welcome into this world Jonathan Michael.  This was my most special Doula gig . . . details to follow . . .

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Praying for Jack


My sister's friend Adrienne and her husband John are going through a nightmare.  Their 2-year-old son Jack fell out of a 2 story window on March 30th.  He was rushed to the hospital and has had emergency brain surgery.  Please keep Jack and the family in your prayers.  God is an ALL POWERFUL, ALL KNOWING GOD and HE CAN HEAL JACK!!!! 

Please visit Jack's blog HERE to get updates and support this family!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Important Interruption About Autism

I interrupt the regularly scheduled post about my depression, self-pity, and selfish self-loathing to bring you a very important message about Autism. (I'm feeling a lot better today in case anyone is wondering.) 

April is Autism Awareness Month.



The face of Autism.
 Autumn is my 11 year old.  She has Autism.  I have awesome people in my life who love her for her, not her Autism.  Who "get" her, who understand Autism, and love her anyway.  I also have people in my life who do not "get" her, who do not understand Autism, and struggle to love her anyway.  This has been eating at me the last year but God is GOOD and He knows Autumn's future.


Autumn gets very excited every April.  She knows it's Autism Awareness month and LOVES to flaunt her stuff! 

It has been a struggle for her these past few months, especially in the self-regulation department.  Sensory issues continue to be a battle.  Just one example came up at dinner last night.  Two of the kids asked for Italian Ice for dessert. 

No big deal right?

WRONG! 

Autumn can not tolerate the sound of the spoon scraping the ice.  She handled it like a champ though.  She turned to me, with her sad little face, eyebrows furrowed, and sunk her head into my chest.  Holding her ears we both got through "dessert".  In the past this would have been a huge meltdown.  Autumn is learning that you can't expect people to change their lives or routines for you, she has to adapt and sometimes it takes everything she's got. 

I love my daughter . . . who just happens to have Autism and she LOVES me!!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Loved

What is God trying to teach me?
I think it's that His love should be all I need.
Single.
I'm single.
I'm okay with this.
Always have been.
But you know what I'm not okay with?
Meeting man after man who is not the one.

Why?

Why do I meet men who I connect with so deeply then BAM! NOPE YOU'RE NOT THE ONE!

I would rather not meet them, not know that I have a great connection. 

"Almost Amy, he's almost the one, but nahhhh wait a little longer."

I envy woman who have a good man. 

Listen, I know marriage is not a piece of cake.
I see first hand that it's crap a lot of the times.
That working as a team is hard work.
I think that's why I'm okay with being single.
I like being independent.
I like getting my own way, ALL of the time.

But yet . . . I want to be loved.
Cherished.
Appreciated.
Held.
Sought after.

I don't know.
I struggle with the notion of "I'M GREAT SINGLE" and "I WANT A MAN". 

It's stupid I know.  But true.

Cried myself to sleep last night.  Suppose I needed to cry. 

I don't know, I'm rambling.
Just had to get this off my chest.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's A Choice

I am low today.  And I'm sitting in it.
I'm choosing to stay depressed.
I don't know if that makes sense.
And I don't care.
Usually it's not a choice.
Usually I want to get it off my back.
Not today.
I want to sit in this.

I don't feel loved.
I don't feel pretty.
I feel fat.
I hate the way I look.
I hate my body.
I hate that none of my clothes fit.
I hate that I'm addicted to food.
I hate that I love someone who can't be loved.
I hate being a mom.
I hate that I make crap compared to what I'm worth.
Everyone annoys me.
I have no patience.
My back hurts.
I'm miserable.

Today it's a choice.
Leave me alone.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Supporting Your Child

Today I did something I should have done 11 years ago...I took Autumn's father to court for child support.  Now I know why I have procrastinated so long . . . I am emotionally drained and quite frankly a little depressed. 

Since Autumn's birth I have kept a detailed journal of all interactions between her father and I. 

She is 11. 

The journal is only 6 pages long. 

Enough said.

He has not been involved at all.  Here is a snapshot of his relationship with Autumn:

2000 (7 months old)- Kevin meets Autumn for the first time in court, established paternity and agrees to pay $25.00 a week in child support.  No contact after court date however does pay $100.00 toward her support.

2003 (3 1/2 years old)- Kevin calls and wants me to bring Autumn to see him.  I tell him he can see her but he needs to come to our house.  He gets mad, curses at me, and hangs up.

2004 (4 3/4 years old)- Kevin sees Autumn 2 times for 1 1/2 hours each visit.  I bring Autumn to see him both times.  He says he will visit her next weekend and never calls.

2005 (6 years old)- Kevin calls and leaves a birthday message for Autumn.

2006 (6 1/2 years old)- Autumn calls Kevin.  Kevin comes to the house and visits for 45 minutes.  Kevin calls Autumn multiple times but she does not want to talk to him.  He gets frustrated, however does not ask to come see her again.

2007 (8 years old)- Kevin calls me and wants to see Autumn.  I advise him to take me to court for visitation, he gets frustrated and does not call back.

2008 (8 3/4 years old)- Kevin calls and wants to see Autumn.  I advise him again to take me to court for visitation.  He again gets extremely frustrated and does not call back.

2009 (10 years old)- Autumn's 19-year-old brother (from Kevin) contacts us.  They begin to write letters back and forth.  Autumn is very happy.  Kevin calls and I let him see her.  I explain Autumn's diagnosis' of Autism, ADHD, and ODD and how he should interact with her however he completely overwhelms her during the visit. 
  •  The next day at school I get a phone call from her teacher.  Autumn is in the fetal position under her desk.  I pick her up at 9:30am and we go out to breakfast.  We start talking about her father.  I tell her he wants to take us to the movies on Sunday.  She says, "No, no more, I don't want to see him."
  • I tell Kevin Autumn does not want to see him.  He gets offended.  I tell him that I would work something out if he wants to see her.  He says he will not force any of his kids to see him.
2011 (11 1/2 years old)- I file for child support.

March 25, 2011- Child Support hearing with Kevin. 
  • Our appointed time is 11:00am, we were not seen by the Hearing Officer until 2:30pm.  Unknown to me the court had a record of our May 2000 agreement to $25.00 a week, which means Kevin owes us $13,000 in arrears child support. 
  • The Hearing Officer asked Kevin why he had not followed the court order for support.  He stated, "She doesn't let me see my daughter."
  • The H.O. states that seeing or not seeing his daughter has nothing to do with the court order, he is still responsible for supporting her.  She states that Kevin could have at any time file for visitation rights if he did not agree with the amount of time he spent with his child.
  • The H.O. calculates child support.  Kevin will have to pay $103 a week to support Autumn.
  • Kevin appeals.  He is unemployed and already pays $75 a week in arrears for his other children.  His other children are 24 and 20, he owed so much support that he is still paying his arrears.
  • Because he appeals we have a new court date in front of a judge on April 6th.
I think I'm emotional because seeing Kevin brings back all the hurt, anger, and pain I have felt for 11 years.  I carry around this burden for Autumn.  She will never have a normal relationship with her father.  He will never be the father she deserves. 

If you ask Autumn who her father is she will say God.  She has such clarity about it.  Since her last visit with Kevin in 2009 she has not once talked or asked about him.  I think she finally saw Kevin for who he really was.  Before 2009 she romanticized about him and who her father was.  When she was very small every time she had a melt down this is what I would hear . . . "I WANT MY DADDY!!!"  I finally had to tell her that she did not want her daddy, she wanted A daddy.  She finally gets that. 

I know God is in control I just hate not being in control simultaneously! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Little Drummer Girl

 
Tonight was the night of the All District Band Concert in Neptune, NJ.  This means all the Elementary school bands, the Middle School band and the High School band all played together.  Last year Autumn didn't want to participate, didn't want to be with the boy drummers, and wanted me to be on stage.  This year was completely different.  She had NO anxiety about the concert!!!!  She was with all boy drummers and she didn't need me on stage!!!!  She has come a long way!!



Autumn and her BASE DRUM!
 Autumn has ALWAYS been loud.  From the time she was 3 years old she has talked REALLY REALLY loud which is funny to me because she is SO sensitive to sound.  She can't stand loud noises, often covers her ears however is LOUD herself. 

When it came time for her to enter the 4th grade she would need to choose an instrument to play when she joined band.  Of course she chose the DRUMS!!!!  I knew this would be her choice instrument.  Autumn LOVES the drums, always has.  The reason we sit in the front row of church is so she can watch the drummer.  When ever we go to a concert and can choose our seat it is front and center in front of the drummer.  When she listens to music she picks up the beat of the drums. 
 


My nephew Aedan is in Middle School and plays the clarinet. 

Autumn and Aedan after the concert!