2018 Family Moto

35 They were desirous to be baptized as a witness and a testimony that they were willing to serve God with all their hearts; Mosiah 21:35

"Make sure they remember joy yesterday, experience joy today, and anticipate joy tomorrow."

Motherhood Mission Statement

To provide a loving environment that is centered around God and His commandments while effectively teaching my children to love, honor, and respect all Men no matter the race, creed, or background.

Click on Nolen's name to hear our amazing journey through autism.

Monday, December 30, 2013

And a Happy New Year

If you have been keeping up on my blog this year, you know this has been a very difficult year for me, personally.  Other things have happened this year that have not been named as they are still too personal to proclaim on an Internet blog; however, know that the trials I talk about today, are not standing alone.
This last February, my sweet little Nolen was diagnosed with Autism.  This diagnosis felt like a huge hole opened up in my life and started sucking everything in collapsing one on top of the other.  You might say, at least your son doesn't have cancer.  Yes.  At least that.  Or, at least your son didn't die. Yes.  At least that.  Thank you for trying to help.  I do appreciate the small sentiments; however, what my son has is NOT curable.  Autism is so much a part of who he is that there is no way to cure it.  Instead of going to get expensive, insurance covered chemo, my son receives two hour daily behavioral therapy treatments.  Want to know how that makes me feel as a mother?  Like crap. (I would use the other word, but my Mom reads this blog.)  I am supposed to be the one who teaches him daily things like, wash your hands after you pee, What is your name? How old are you?  What color is this?  I do not get that privilege.  It has been denied.  Children with Autism do not learn the same way other children learn.
For example:  I taught Edward how to talk just by talking to him.  Simple.  Nolen did not learn to talk that way.  Stephen and I sat with him night after night showing him flash cards of nouns that we would continually say what they were.  Over and over and over again.  I pointed to a chair and said, "Chair", Edward repeated it back to me ONE time.  To this day, I am not even sure if Nolen knows what all the objects are in our home. 
So, Yes, at least he doesn't have cancer.  If he did, I would know what the battle would be. There is a set course for that trial.  No, it isn't easy.  But in my defense, neither is Autism.
We started Nolen on different types of essential vitamins and nutrients.  We took him off all gluten and casein.  In late February, Nolen began to talk, again.  I believe his first words were, "Ready, set, go!"  Music to a mother's ears. 
After doing a lot of research, I settled on ABA, Applied Behavioral Analysis, therapy for Nolen.  He began in June.  It has been 6 months.  My little boy is doing amazing!  This therapy has brought back his communication skills and his coping skills.  We have learned how to understand Nolen and his needs.
This trial is never ending.  I will carry it on my shoulders for my life.   Nolen will always have autism.  I can now accept that. 
In June,  Nolen was repeating what I said, "Good night.  I love you."  I'll take it! 
In July, I learned that my body does not kill off cancer cells.  I had some removed and will know if it is gone or growing by the end of January. 
In September, I asked Nolen if he wanted a strawberry.  He said, "Yes!" for the first time in his life.  In October, I woke up to Nolen yelling, "Mommy!" instead of crying. 
In October, Nolen officially started sleeping through the night.  He was 2 1/2. 
In early November, I received some life altering news from Stephen.  Still too personal to share; however, instead of just worrying a little bit about Stephen, now I worry a lot.  Also, in November, my older sister changed my perspective on life, dramatically. 
After all the trials we have faced, our lives are still incredibly blessed.  We eat, we sleep, we laugh, we love, we cry, we travel, and we are alive.  I would prefer to have more money and less trials but such is life. 
In this year I have grown closer to God and farther from the church.  Is that even possible?  I have asked deeper questions and the response is, "I don't know".  I thought some one somewhere would have all the answers.  They don't.  I don't.
This year we went to Disney Land, a great Arizona family vacation, and spent a lot of time with family.  We are truly blessed.  We are loved.  I am loved.  I do not want to repeat this year, nor any year for that matter; however, I am grateful for the life I have been given.  I am grateful for my voice on paper and in life.
To end my year with happiness, I say to you, Love and be loved. 
Happy New Year.


megs said...

Thank you for sharing, I love reading your voice. I hope that 2014 is a great year for you and your family. I cannot offer any platitudes of comfort, but I'm just so happy you're so surrounded by love as you get through these trials. *HUGS*

Paul and Aliisa said...

Great read! The Skousen writing gene dwells within you. I don't know all the trials that you are facing now. You are not alone. You are brave enough to write about it...that is the difference. I still have many "I don't know" answers...they are a load of crap, I know. You are strong. I am strong. Sometimes I question if I REALLY knew what I was signing up for. You are doing really fantastic with your boys. Love them like you do :) I wish I could see you more often--I love your substance. Hugs from me!

Heidi said...

I love that you are a "real" person, allowing others to learn from your experiences. That is so powerful, Jules!!!! I don't know about your other struggles, but you know you can count on me to listen and be a good friend, who won't judge, because you can see that my life is buried in imperfections, as well. If you ever need anything, I am here! Love you!!!