Thursday, December 31, 2015

Saying Goodbye to 2015....Welcome 2016

This blog isn't necessarily about Marissa but more about the impact that she continues to have on my life.  One word sums up 2015....Change.

Changing isn't easy.  This year I made a decision to step out of my comfort zone and switch careers after 16 years.  While it was one of the best decisions I have ever made it also came with some hard times that made me regret my decision a time or two.  But, fortunately God showed me that I am right where I need to be.  This change has been one of the best things that I could have done for my daughter and my life is certainly centered around her and her needs.

2015 also brought challenges with Marissa.  Raising her is nothing but a roller coaster ride.  While she has been able to gain so many new skills, maturing some,  the fight with her has become harder.  We have reached a pivotal time where her "difference" are becoming more apparent and my ability to handle them seems to be diminishing.  I have learned that it is okay to ask for help and I'm thankful that God has placed people in my life that are my cheerleaders.

My word for 2016 is Innovation.  This year my goal is to continue to try new things and to embrace those challenges that for whatever reason come my way.  Last year, I started a Grateful Journal but only made it to January 16th.  This year, I am going to try this again and continue to look for the silver linings even in my most trying times.

The biggest goal that I have set for myself is getting my health back in order.  I have realized that over the past fews week that taking care of me is just as important as everything else in my life.  The time I am able to carve out for me, just happens to be early in the morning.  Too early sometimes.

To end this year, I want to say Thank You to each of you that take the time to read my blog and have supported and encouraged me this year.  I don't know what 2016 will bring.  I do know that life is short and we have to make the most of what we have been given.  I pray that God will help you discover what your purpose is and help you fulfill all of your life's dreams.  You are not in my life by chance, you were placed in my life for a reason.  So to you, I wish you a very Happy 2016!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Wow! So hard to believe that it has been one year since my last blog post.  Time sure does go by fast.  But, when your juggling so much it is hard to have the quiet time to write.  In this year, we have seen many ups and many downs.  My girl always seems to be taking two steps forward and five steps backwards.  We just never can get a grasp on what makes her tick.  

Fifth grade is starting out like last year.  Teachers full of encouragement and optimism.  It is definitely appreciated.  When I look back, fifth grade was one of my hardest grades.  So hard, I had to repeat it.  I remember my teachers names and what classes they taught.  I'm friends with many of my fifth grade classmates today on Facebook and I remember the ups and the downs.  I remember that kids were mean and finding my way was hard.  Harder even the 2nd time around.  I was a strong kid and was able to survive it.  I think to myself that if I was like Marissa, I would have buckled in a heart beat.  

Unlike, Marissa, I understand that kids are probably making fun of her.  This is the first year, where she doesn't really talk about having "friends".  Thankfully, due to her special needs, she seems to be oblivious to it.  She's been hitting and throwing…..the school nightmare continues.  

But, in this blog, I am going to write about me.  My struggle as a parent with a special needs child in regular education.  The decisions that I have to make regarding my daughter's future.  The battle that wages in my heart and mind.  (Unfortunately, two of Marissa's classmates mother's had the "opportunity" to hear my vents over the weekend.  Sorry.)  

Marissa is smart.  Marissa when pushed can learn the material but she needs receptiveness.  She has five teachers.  Three regular ed and two special ed, plus her one on one aide.  ("Normal" kids only have three teachers.)  She goes to special ed for some reading and math.  Her mornings on jammed back full of transitions.  At some point, she will hit her boiling point, and its all over from there.  

Over the summer, I was able to get Marissa's brain trained to go to the bathroom.  She has a nifty little watch that vibrates when she has to go.  But, she had an accident.  In class.  With other kids.  So then I was faced with pull-up or no pull-up.  Decided to go with pull-up to avoid any extra teasing and now she is refusing to go to the bathroom.  It becomes a control issue and a meltdown shortly comes and then the whole afternoon is slightly to completely lost.  Pull-up, no Pull-up?  What do I do?  

Each little decision I make comes with thought.  Can she handle that outfit today?  Oh, yeah, no bows.  Team shirt on Fridays.  Which thermos does she want?  Christmas music in September, sure! Uh, oh, I tied her shoe too loose or I tied it too tight.  Is today the day, I told her she could wear a dress.  

I know that some people may wonder why I don't put her in a self-contained class.  The reason, once Marissa comes out of regular ed, she goes on a Lifeskills track with limited academics.  Which means no chance of a High School Diploma just a Certificate of Completion.  So I push.  I want her to succeed.  My mind goes to all the what ifs.  Can you imagine making such an important decision for your child at the ripe old age of 10?  Is a complicated situation.  One that I don't know what to do.  I get myself into this box and say "I'm going to do this" and then "this" happens and I'm like, "no, I meant that".  But, as long as I have HOPE, HOPE that one day, my girl will get passed this and one day, I will get to see my girl that I only get glimpses of from time to time.  HOPE.