Saturday, January 20, 2018

We finally may get some answers!

So I haven't really spoken about this here, but I think it's time I open up about this, this issue gives me so much anxiety and I am very fearful, so hear it goes!

My youngest, my boy, my Dylan is finally scheduled to meet with a neurologist in April, we finally will get some answers to a lot of questions that we have, I hope!!!! Fingers crossed!!!!

After have two girls we were ecstatic to have a boy. You know mom's and their boys. The girls were and are all about their dad and I can't be happier, I am a total daddy's girl myself. So I was so happy to have my boy. His pregnancy was very difficult for me and after he was born, there were so many changes in my life that happened so quickly and as I detailed in this blog before my postpartum with him was something that I am starting to actually deal with almost four years later. I guess all these issues have made my bond with him a little tighter. Of course I love all my children, Layla is my independent, strong minded girl, ready to take on anything and everything, Ava is my dreamer, her love of life and her imagination always reminds me not to take everything so seriously. The there is Dylan he is a creature all his own, he loves to follow his sister, but he is his own child, OK playing on his own but happy to have others around him, he won't be told to do things on anyone's time. He likes to figure things out on his own and he will not be rushed, he will get there on his own time.

I know every child is different and we shouldn't compare, but when it came to seeing the advancements that the girls had, and the age that they achieved them and seeing that Dylan was not accomplishing them it got me a little worried. Especially with his speech. I wrote about this I think here before, but Dylan speech was delayed when he was younger. I would call him my caveman because he would grunt to get attention from us and didn't really speak. I found this difficult to deal with and I wanted to "fix" him. With the help of his pediatrician we found a speech therapist, who has become a friend, and she was a godsend, let me tell you. She helped Dylan find his voice and lord he has not stopped talking. I am so grateful for Jenny, she was so patient with Dylan and she was one of the first people to tell me that she saw red flags for Autism in him.

I read a lot, and I follow a lot of blogs from moms with Autistic children and I saw those flags too. But I had to admit that will all of the acceptance and all the praise I give for those moms who many have become my friends, like Amy who is over at the Awesome mom, I had a moment of panic a moment of "nope not my kid" So I went to Amy for help, for guidance, for a kick in the ass when I cried "why my kid" when my husband tried to turn a blind eye and tell me that nothing was different about Dylan, she helped me navigate through all these feelings and struggles. At the time of his speech therapy he was 2 going on 3 years old, the program he was in was ending and in order to get him additional resources we had to go to the department of education in our county and get him evaluated, if they deemed he needed more help they would start him in a school. My child was not even potty trained and I was facing the possibility of putting my child every day on a school bus and sending him off to get taken care of by other people. My husband and I got ready for this meeting we drove almost an hour to this place, that day was a tad cold for Florida, so we bundled our kid up and got in the car, traffic was a crazy, and Dylan not really good in cars long distances throw up all over himself, his car seat was a mess his jacket was full of throw up we had to pull over. I called the place told them we would be late and we tried all we could to clean Dylan up as best we could. What a first impression, we made has we took Dylan in to this classroom wrapped in my husband hoddie because his jacket was full of throw up. The evaluation proceeded and Dylan did great. He answered all their questions, he sat down and stood still when he needed and they were amazed by his vocabulary and his speech. We left there with a clearance that he was free to be finished with the program he was in and that he didn't need any extra help. The recommended we put him in daycare to help with his social skills, cause at that point he was only with his grandmother during the day while we worked and the girls went to school. I was a bit disappointed, as a mom you know your kid, so they told me if in a year we felt he still needed more help we call to get another evaluation.

We took their advice, we got Dylan fully potty trained and we enrolled him a daycare near our home that Ava went to when we first moved and like its run by a church, they understand financial struggles and work with your budget, so we started him there part time. My god he hated it every day it was a struggle to get him to go and I would leave him there every day in the verge of tears, he would cry while he was getting ready and when we would leave him there, I could hear his cries in the hall way. I would call from work to check on him, they would tell me once I left he quieted down, that I needed to stop calling that he was fine. We had another angel sent to us in the form of his teacher, Ms. Helen, she was like a Dylan whisperer, she understood him she took her time with him and she didn't mind taking the time with him, and like she likes to call it giving him his space.

I still was a little unsettled, though Dylan's speech is now where it is supposed to be, there are parts of his behavior that I just found out of place I guess. He complains about noise, everyone is noisy to him especially in his class, he plays well with his sisters, but until recently when we went to parks he didn't interact with others. He plays with others now but I notice when he is done he is done. He doesn't mind playing alone. He loves routine, he needs it, you break his routine and he freaks out. He does "flapping" a lot especially when he is angry or over stimulated, he walks on his tip toes most of the time unless we correct him. It's been a over a year since that evaluation and I still notice somethings in him that I worry when he goes to a "normal" school environment like Kindergarten he will be deemed as a problem when he is not, I have come to realize that Dylan just sees the world a bit different then we do. He needs things orderly and his way not because he is being difficult just because this is all he can handle. So I did what any mother would do and I asked for help until someone heard me, I went back to his pediatrician and I was able to get someone to observe him and she agreed that he did show some signs but we needed to get him to a neurologist so that they can evaluate him. After a lengthy process of calling doctors that accept our insurance and wait list, yes wait list. I finally got the call yesterday that Dylan will be seen by Florida Hospital Children's Neurologist in April!!!!!

I know April is still a long time from now, but when you sitting at home looking at your kid wondering why, wondering what you can do to help your child, its a relief. A relief to finally get some answers, finally get someone to tell me how I can help better understand my child, and how I can better help the world understand my child. All I want, what every mother wants for their children, is a fair shot in life!!!!  I feel this appointment will led me in the right direction, his pediatrician feels he is on the spectrum she used words, like highly functional and others, that at the time though gave me hope ,because someone was justifying my thoughts also gave me worries. I feel like this appointment will shed some light on things I guess because he is my child and sometimes I am at my wits end and can't wrap my head around how to help him, how when I tell him to try to calm himself and he looks at me with tears in his eyes and says " I can't calm down mommy" I wanna know how to help him.

I see all these amazing families  out there fighting the good fight, I am in awe of them, many I have featured on this very blog. So I know whatever they tell me in April, is not the end of the world, and it may not even be a surprise, but I feel well help me better navigate this world for my child and help me better understand him, when it's 6:30 in the morning, I just finished getting his sister ready for schools, and he doesn't want to put on his sweat pants because he deems them uncomfortable when they fit him just fine, or when he freaks out when his cars aren't all lined up or why he will only eat little Caesars pizza all the time, and it has to be fresh, and it can't be too hot or too cold, or all the other wonderful beautiful things that make him Dylan but sometimes work my last nerve.

I want the world to understand him, like we do, I want everyone to see how special he is, how funny he is and I want him to thrive. I guess that is what all parents want. I want that for all my kids, I guess with Dylan we just have to work a little harder, but as his mother, I won't stop fighting for him, trying to get answers to make his life easier.

I want to thank all the moms that I follow, through blogs, through facebook, Instagram, your strength, your honesty, your courage is what has helped me make decisions for him that I hope will help us on this journey. I thank you for being so honest. I thank you for being warrior moms!!!!

It truly does take a village, and after April I may call on that village more!!!

One Foot in front of the other

So I bought myself a little Christmas gift. I am going to tell you its the best 6 dollars I have ever spent. Who knew that a little journal from Ross would bring me so much clarity, so much peace. Here is the thing after my blog post where I let everyone in on my not so little dirty secret. I still find days where I am struggling. Struggling with my emotions, struggling with my thoughts, just plain old struggling. Normally I get down during the holidays, and I got really down this year. My sister was supposed to come over with my baby nephew but due some to circumstances and opportunities that are great for her family and I am totally for that, she was unable to make the trip. That was a total bummer but hey it happens. I rolled with it. Christmas was such a big thing when I was a child that being away from my family during this time always gets me feeling a certain way. Being so far away from my family always makes me feel like I am missing something. But when you have children that are just patiently waiting for Santa to leave their amazing presents under the tree you just have to roll with it. That's exactly what I did. Until I got to Ross department store. So don't tell my kids but this year Santa asked us to help him out picking up some last minute presents for my kids. (LOL) So we headed out to Ross to help Santa out and pick out a Sketch book that Layla had asked for, I found a lovely sketch book for my girl and then I found the journal pictured above. At that moment something clicked with me and I knew I had to have it. At that moment I did something I really don't do, I hardly ever do, which is part of the problem, I bought something for myself. I know that concept is something that for many means nothing. But in the past few years, I have  put my family in front of caring for myself and caring for them has become my single most important task that the idea of getting something for myself has become foreign to me. So I grabbed the journal not really giving it a second thought and off we went to continue of Christmas shopping. 

I put the journal out my mind, I had it in the bags of Christmas presents and though I had bought it for myself the journal stood in our closet for about two weeks, Christmas came and went and though I showed off my journal to my kids as my Christmas present I put it on top of my table next to my laptop and didn't think about it. It wasn't till New Year after we had returned back from my in-laws house I think it was like almost two in the morning a brand new year had begun, we got the kids to bed, my husband went to bed and I sat in my living room, to enjoy a rare quiet moment. I grabbed my journal and I began to write. As I began to write I began to cry. Not tears of sadness, but tears of triumph, I felt free. I wondered why do I deny myself something that gives me so much. Why!!!!

Not sure I can answer that question, and I am not saying my journal is the answer to all my problems, the mind is so tricky and I never know what my emotions will trigger me to go into places I don't want to, but I am learning to recognize that I can make myself feel better, I can help myself remove my negative thoughts. I write! I write! I write!

I carry my journal in my purse and whenever the feeling takes me I write a few words, be it about my kids, my husband, me, my life, my job whatever. I use to journal all the time when I was younger, than for reasons I can't remember I just stopped. These past few weeks, I have grown to love my moments when I can sit and write my thoughts on paper, where I doodle a drawing or I cut out pictures of things that inspire me. This has lead me to also start writing my stories more. I have had certain characters talking to me in my head. This time around I am not setting up any expectations, I am letting it come more freely. Even sitting here and writing this blog post. I am just letting it happen. For so long I have felt guilty if I took too much time to sit and read, write, or just be. Oh the dishes need to be cleaned, oh I have to do laundry, oh I have so many other things to do. Well even if I take 30 minutes to write this blog, guess what I still have things to do and its ok. I am ok with it. Things don't feel so overwhelming any more. Well they do, sometimes I still feel overwhelmed, but I can't let that feeling take me over. 

I had a great conversation the other day with my friend Sandra, we spoke about books, we spoke about her photography and crocheting and I spoke about my writing. I gave her my work to read, and she liked it, but more than that she held me accountable. Now don't get me wrong many have tried before and I guess I was just not at that place. Not sure what it was about Sandra words that were different for me this time. But her holding me accountable was something I needed, so we working together.  I am putting one foot in forward of the other and taking it one step at a time. Yes there will be days where I fall back. This week was a testament to that, but there are days like today, mornings like today, where I can just sit in front of my computer and ramble on and on about my journal. 

I can honestly say that today I am happy. Do I still feel my anxiety, my fears, my dark thoughts, I think deep down, they will always be part of me, but today the happy is winning. Today I acknowledge, that I have a deeper understanding and acceptance for myself. 

So yeah... there it goes I bought myself a journal and I write, I doodle, I cut out pictures of tattooed men and woman that I love... LOL I don't do new year resolutions, or the whole New Year, New Me thing, but I am keeping myself open to the possibility that there are things I want to achieve and that I can achieve them. Like always say I am not expert, I don't have all the answers, I can only share what works for me, so if you are struggling with your emotions, with the way you handle things, I have learned through many trials and errors, that what seems to work for me is reading and writing. So if you want to give it a try buy a journal, a note book, a pad of paper, and just write, write what makes you sad, what makes you mad, what make you happy, write about your day, write about your struggles, and then just put it away. It's an amazing release. I close my journal and I put it away and it's like I am letting go  of all those feelings. I use to feel the same way about this blog. I sat wrote a blog post release it to the world and I felt better. Though these days some of my thoughts and writing I want to keep private, I am learning to love the freedom this blog gave me and starting to fall in love with it again. 

I am putting one foot in front of the other and just trying to learn to navigate through the crazy mind that is Zulay! Hope you take this journey with me. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

My love of reading!

My birthday was recently and my lovely coworker/friends decorated my cube with my favorite things that best described me. They made me a collage of my family from pictures on my social media, and they fitted my cube with tons of book worms beards and six packs ( disclaimer I am not a drinker the six packs are the HR appropriate way of saying I like some rock hard abs!!! LOL)

Anyone that knows me knows that these things are what truly make me happy. (OK so maybe admiring men's bodies for their beards and muscles makes me a little pervvy but I am married not blind people) I love the little family that my husband and I have created, so much so that there are more stories about them on my social media then me. It's the reason why I started this blog. Because though I so desperately wanted to be a mother when I found myself in this role I found myself kind of drowning in all these knew feelings and situations and trying to find a balance was just too much sometimes. This is a reoccurring theme in this blog well because this is real life and it isn't always perfect. The reason why I bring this up now again is that once I had my children, my life didn't really become mine anymore it was about them. I had to find ways to get a little pieces of me back, I began this blog because writing has always been my outlet and I rediscovered my love for reading. I have always loved to read, though as I grew up life got in the way and I always found excuses to sit still and just be. Once I had my children and I found difficulty getting out of my head, I discovered that my old love of reading was fastly becoming a new love and it was helping me center myself, and clear my mind. Many ask me how I can find the time to read with three children, well its simple, I find the time, it helps that I have a long commute on a bus everyday and I tune people out by reading, but just like everything else people love to do, you just simply find the time to do it, I just simply find the time.

Its crazy because when I went through my most recent depression, which I am still dealing with, I couldn't find time to wash my hair but my kindle was always by my side. Reading was my escape from my own thoughts. Escaping to other worlds, other lives got me through a lot. It got me out of my own head. When my mind would go to a dark place I would reread one of my favorite books and it really snapped me out of my mood. I have always said rereading a book, a favorite, is like having a conversation with an old friend and sometimes you can find a new perspective on a situation. Reading has really been my salvation (not to be dramatic)but picking up a new book and escaping from reality for an hour or so while I read, really helped me clear my head of all the nonsense that was clouding it and forced me to sit still with myself. I recommend anyone who is going through something to grab a cup of coffee or tea your favorite blanket find a spot on your sofa and just read a book, I will guarantee even if it's a heart breaking story you will feel so much better. At least for me there is nothing better to get me out of my funk.

Now I use to be a traditionalist, and I still do love real actual physical books, I love the smell of them I love libraries, I love book stores, I can knock out hours looking through the shelves, but I have become an ebook addict and my kindle is with me everywhere I go. To me its the more affordable way to feed my book addition and through ebooks I have discovered so many indie authors that can't be found in the local book stores. Below I will recommend some books that I have read recently that I just truly loved and maybe just maybe I will make this a feature here on the blog.

So here are the books I read recently that I love:

El Santo by M. Robinson
The link above will get you to amazon where you can order this book it is 3.99 but if you have kindle unlimited it is free. I love Monica Robinson, we call her the queen of Angst and she upholds that title. Her books are filled with angst and she has the greatest ability to make you fall in love with the bad guy. Believe me they all have redeemable qualities so you won't feel so bad when you fall in love with these unlikely heroes. Most of her books are interconnected with the characters but you don't have to read them in any particular order but it does help. Also she has one of the best reading groups on Facebook called VIP. These ladies are amazing there is no drama in this group, they do Xmas gift exchange, the help families at Christmas and back to school time, they have annual retreats with Monica Robinson and everyone has a great time!!!

Behind the Bars by Brittany C. Cherry
OMG!!!! you guys this book is my recent 5 star read!!!!! It is amazing now on Amazon for 2.99 but also on kindle unlimited. This story of overcoming your own demons, and facing your truth is so utterly amazing that I sat down and started again as soon as I finished it. This author is becoming a favorite of mines, if you get a chance also check out her Elements series every book is fire!!!!

The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon

This book cost 5.95 on Amazon for Kindle but it is also on Kindle unlimited. My good friend recommended this book a while ago, but I just recently read it. I am a big fan of Amy Harmon. She has the ability to create these whole new worlds and fantasy that is incredible. Though the Law of Moses is set in this world, the element of something from outside our existence sets this book apart from many that I have read, this is not your typical boy meets girl romance book, you have to treed lightly with this book, and it will rip your heart out, but I guarantee you are gonna love every single word you read, and in the end, you will appreciate everything you went through...

These are just the most recent books that have captured my attention and not let it go... each of them are completely different but they are each great books. These authors are amazing and I recommend any of their books. So go forth and read, read these, read whatever you like, and I hope that reading does to you what it does for me. Reading, comforted me, helped me, and centered me especially at times when my mind just would not let me rid myself of thoughts and emotions that I could not grasp, reading has truly been a life line for me.