Autism Awareness Day – It’s Every Day Here

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modelToday is “Autism Awareness Day.”

For some reason as I heard the words in my head this morning I immediately became amused.  I understand that it’s about spreading awareness of autism, but I could only laugh and think But I’m aware of it EVERY day.

This is our face of autism.  Those gorgeous ice blue eyes.  The smile that has found its way to her face somehow. The personality that is growing every day.

Most would call us blessed, and we agree.  Molly’s form of autism is mild enough that she will likely lead a “normal” life. A job, a family, all that a parent imagines for their child. That doesn’t mean she won’t struggle. That every day one quirk or another won’t rear its head to impede what would normally be an easy step into a careful shuffle of feet.

The little reminders that pop up.

The way she organizes her M&M’s by colors in a snakelike form before eating.
The way she delicately nibbles, trying not to let the grease or crumbs of food touch her lips or outside of her mouth.
The way we cannot break our established program or routine without a meltdown.
The way her hugs are strong but brief, no lingering touches or snuggles.
The way you see her mind processing and learning everything she cannot express verbally.

Leaps and bounds of progress have shaped our lives these past few years, a sparkling personality is emerging from behind the walls. A girl that wants to be a model. A girl that’s amazing at math and science.

With those she trusts she is bubbling and bright, even bossy…but the meltdowns still linger.

We are blessed.

All parents are blessed.

I hope today your awareness expands, but shouldn’t it every day?


by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.


Disney, Universal, & Make-A-Wish Magic (Part 1)

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I can’t predict how many posts this is going to take over the next few months, so I’m not even going to try. Instead, I’m just going to let our story unfold. Some posts will be on one moment in time, a brief ten or twenty moments in time that impacted us too deeply to be buried with the other notes of our story.

The story of how we ended up where we did was both long and then very short. Short of it is after not being approved two years ago we were contacted by Make-A-Wish in April, saying that Kennedy and Denver could both qualify now and to call them. After that it was a heartbeat later that the Wish volunteers were sitting in our living room getting the kids wishes.

03Kennedy wished for Disney/Universal.

I don’t think any of us was prepared for the amazing that followed.

The first step toward our trip involved a party. We got to invite some friends and met at a local restaurant.

All three of the kids were treated to Disney delights. No child was left out in the preparations, and they all got gifts.

01The biggest one of all was, of course, for Kennedy. That big giant package was an elaborate Princess Anna costume for Kennedy (pictures to come in another post).

We were able to sit and relax with friends, while the kids played with the bevy of toys they were given. The volunteers went over many things that my head couldn’t wrap around, and as I’ve said several times, we had no idea what we were in store for.

The party went on for several hours, and then we all went home. Kennedy was an ecstatic mess, and even though we still had a couple of weeks before we left, the impatience for the trip was mounting.

02Of course, the kids were bouncing off the walls, and so was I, but I was also packing and planning and stressing (Oh but I didn’t need to…). Oh, and planning and packing and stressing a little more. Talking to other people I knew that had done Disney through Make-A-Wish who had glowing reports just like I do now after the fact.

And so…we prepared to go. Left the dog with my parents, my hard drive w/ a neighbor for protection, got the fridge emptied and the laundry done.

We were ready to take off!

(Part 2 soon!)

 

 


by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.


What I’m Reading – February Edition

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Last year I struggled to make my goal on Goodreads. I had set it at 35 early on in the year and really had trouble for a good part of the year, but then for a couple of months really hauled tail until I boosted it to 50 and hit the goal right at the end of the year.

This year I’m trying to do better and I’ve gotten off to a good start. I’m going to keep my widget in the sidebar, and we’ll see if I up my goal at some point like I did last year.  I thought I’d share a little of what I’m reading now.

book10dLadle Rat Rotten Hut. This is part of a box set, it’s one of the Grimm Diaries Prequels (Number 4). They’re all short little reads, and I’ve enjoyed the way different take on traditional fairy tales in this series.  I read 1-3 really fast, but this one got brushed aside as other books came into play. I look forward to diving in, though. This one is clearly a spin on Little Red Riding Hood…while the first three were Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty/Peter Pan (what a mix!!). I’ll admit it…I’m already hooked. Excuse me while I go ignore my other obligations and read this now.

hp03fHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Definitely not my first time at this rodeo. It’s actually my third time through reading the series now.  But, I think it’s my favorite time.  This time I’m reading them with my youngest. It’s slow going, we’re only doing a chapter or two at a time, but I love sharing these books with her. We went to Universal this summer and her love of Harry Potter from the movies blossomed along with her brand new hand-picked by Ollivander wand. She’s gaining a deeper appreciation now that we’re reading it and she’s seeing more depth to the story than she did before.

book63Ashes. I’ve seen This one here and there.  I saw some pretty good reviews for it. I’m not usually a “sheep” when it comes to books (I actually usually don’t like super popular books…it took me a 2nd time through HP to truly appreciate them)…but I’m happy to say that so far I’m enjoying this one. My only complaint at the moment is the chapter size.  It’s…weird. I guess it’s to portray some sort of speed/urgency to the text, but some of the chapters hardly even seem like a complete scene. Still, the premise is fascinating & I’m really enjoying where it’s going so far. 1/3 through and ready for more.

book06Wickedly Dangerous. This is a sort of interrupted read for me. I’m picking it up now and then in between the others. I actually really like the story, but as a paperback it keeps getting filed back into my bookcase and lost among the other hundreds of pages there.

I’m really enjoying it a lot, though. There’s a great humor in the story and I love the uniqueness of a Baba Yaga story. I’ve never seen another one.

book21The Undead: Playing for Keeps. Reading this one for review (Yes, I received a free copy from the wonderful publisher, Curiosity Quills).  Not super far in, but it’s a fast read and I’m liking the characters. I’m really curious where it’s going to go, and hope it doesn’t take the obvious route that I could see happening.

A Grim Reaper…and a Grimm family (which own a funeral home??)….is it cliche?  You’d think, but it’s not playing off that way as of yet.

book102This is Where I Leave You. I held off on this one for a long time. A LONG time. All of my friends read it, I kept seeing reviews. As I said above, this makes me usually avoid books because I don’t always really like them (I could give you five examples, but I’d be flogged and hanged for admitting I didn’t like them).  Hubby and I watched the movie, though, and enjoyed it. So, I thought I’d give it a try finally. I haven’t started yet, but it’s next on my list.

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These six books barely scratch the surface of the hundreds I have waiting on my TBR pile…but shockingly I’m still looking for more to add.  What book suggestions do you have for me?  I’m not big on non-fic or memoirs, but if they are AMAZING I might try (I do have Wild sitting on my shelf, after all).

 


by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.