Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kindness is the Best!

Nearly six years ago, I wrote:

I'm still coming to terms with all of it.
All of it being autism. And if I'm being honest, I'm afraid. I'm scared of the forever of this disorder. 
I get anxious when I let myself worry about Aksel's future. When I ask will he questions. Like:
Will he assimilate?
Will he have friends?
Will he attend normal kindergarten classes?

Now fast forward to present day, and here's my "memory" from a year ago - Aksel in kindergarten with a friend!

Moral of this post, goals are great, hard work is hard, but kindness is the best!

This photo, to me, is everything that anyone's journey should be about... understanding, acceptance, and love!

I wouldn't change a thing...

Support, Love, and Baby Cuddles

Let me preface this post by saying, I couldn't do it without my husband. Any of it! He's patient, hands-on, and always willing to accept a challenge. That said...

When my second son, Alistair, was born (in July of 2013), like any mother transitioning from one child to two, I felt anxiety - to make certain my boys both got the love they needed, to establish a healthy new routine, and in our particular circumstance, to minimize the effects of and safeguard Aksel from the many changes taking place.

Change for most children causes stress, but for a child on the autism spectrum, it can be devastating. And at three-and-a-half years old, on the brink of a language breakthrough (Aksel was just starting to talk), I was so worried he'd regress. I was scared he'd retreat back into his own, quiet little world.

Oh, and did I mention that I probably over-coddled Aksel? In natural response, of course, to both my grief and guilt (because I was still in the phase of thinking I had caused Aksel's autism, or that there was something I could have done differently to prevent his diagnosis). So, to say that Aksel was, at the time of Alistair's birth, a momma's boy, would have been a true understatement!

There's no questioning the fact though, a newborn needs their mother to survive. And I needed to get to know him, too.

So, for two lovely weeks (albeit torn), we were in isolation, Alistair and I, gently getting to know one another. All the while, my husband, Mark, fielded the outbursts of change, making certain to both delicately reassure and comfort, Aksel. But as fate would have it, due to a protein allergy, I was unable to successfully nurse Alistair. And I guess you could say, as bad as it might sound, that it lessened the pressure I felt to be a perfect mother - to two very different boys. I could now divide my time.

Point of it all, during this tricky time of transition (in other words, hormonal imbalance, failed-attempts, and lessons learned), my husband was ever-constant in his support, love, and baby cuddles. And for all my worry about regression, it was minimal, at best. I can never thank him enough!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Decorations, Bright Lights, Balloons.

Oftentimes, I feel very alone. Autism has changed me. Or really, to be fair, motherhood has changed me.

I think I used to be more social. And fun was something I easily had. Not so much anymore.

Now, I look forward to celebrations like Halloween or Christmas or birthday parties. Situations where there's an aesthetic. Decorations, bright colors, balloons... those things bring me immediate joy.

But it doesn't last. Trees come down, birthdays pass, balloons pop...

In some ways the rigors of autism, by that I mean the daily intensive ABA/therapy sessions in my home, the behaviors that make social outings difficult (ie sensory issues), my fear that lives constantly at the surface of every situation (because of said sensory issues and behaviors I can't control), the anxiety that exists each waking minute... these factors have (I think) permanently affected me.

For instance, Aksel kicks and screams a lot. And usually, his brother is the target of his aggression. So aside from physically having to safeguard Alistair at all times, I worry constantly about his emotional wellbeing and development. Not to mention, I feel a lot of guilt for Alistair. I worry that I'm not giving him enough. At the end of each long day, I feel so depleted, tired, and confused.

I mean, it's great having a dedicated team of therapists (almost ten to be exact) who love Aksel, and our family too, but it's truly overwhelming as a mother (as a TYPE A mother) when each one gives homework. Things for us to continually work on.

The (never-ending) list depresses me...

But these feelings aside, at the start of a new year, I'd really like to work on addressing these issues and feelings.

Because I need a little fun in my life.

Thank you for reading, and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Even When I've Only Got Brown

(I originally wrote this post a year or so ago, but never published it. The struggle is still relevant though.)

Do you ever feel like you're losing yourself?  That your spirit, or say joie de vivre is starting to slip away?  Like maybe you're... seeping, blending, blurring into the foreground of your life's messy painting?

Phew... glad I got that out!

If you answered yes to this question, then let me tell you, you are not alone.  I've been there, too.

Unable to smile, laugh, socialize.  In my case, think about anything but autism.  And how, better yet, I can't control it.

No. Matter. What. I. Do.

I suppose you could say we all lose ourselves a little when motherhood and wifedom come to pass.  We sacrifice, because it comes natural.  Because there's no other choice we'd rather make.  But where does the line of sacrifice become unhealthy? 

Because that's where it lives sometimes for me... 

In a dark place of imbalance.

But you know what?  I want more light.  And brightness.  Even when I've only got brown.  So, I'm pushing myself to see things different.  To be, as corny as it might read, the best person I can. 

The best mother to the quietest boy.

And I just want you all to know that your sweet notes and kind words, if I haven't already said it, or responded personally, mean so much to me.  They really do!  For so long now, I've been holed up.  Alone in my head, grieving for my child.  For again, what I can't control.  But such is life... and I want joy!  So, thank you!

A Reintroduction

Hello, friends!

It's been years since I posted anything. I guess you could say I've been deep in the throws of motherhood. In fact, since my last post, I've actually had another sweet little boy. His name is Alistair. He's 18-months-old, and delightful!

And Aksel, my deep special boy, is now five. (Wow, right?) And guess what, folks, he's talking! In fact, after three years of intense therapy, he's thriving. But it hasn't been without heartache and tears. And lots of sweat, too. Autism is no joke.

Anyhow, I'm back. I need to write. For the moment, however, it's just a "hello." A simple post to reintroduce myself. My forthcoming intentions aren't yet clear, I just need an honest place to get it all out.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you've all had a happy holiday season!


Friday, August 17, 2012

For Better, For Worse, Forever.

I've wanted to write for such a long, long time... but I haven't known what to say, or where to start?  There's so much in my life, and self, that's changed in the last year.  For better, for worse, forever.

For instance, I started to write last week.  Here's what I got:

It's said, on average, that the typical male thinks about sex every seven seconds.  Well, like the masses, the male mass that is, I think in seven second increments, too.  Only thing, I'm a woman.  And, I think about autism.  (Which speaking frank, is not a turn-on.)
For instance, every seven seconds or so I wonder if my child will speak? If he'll develop functioning language, and say simple things like:


To bring you up to speed, dear reader, it's been about a year since my child's autism diagnosis.  And I must say, that at any given point, on any given day, his disability is never far from the surface of my thoughts.  And it's heartbreaking, autism.
For one, my child doesn't look impaired.  You wouldn't know at first, second, or even third glance, that behind his bright eyes, there's a little boy desperate to communicate.  Unable to communicate.
But I try to stay positive, to be proactive.  Full stop.

Now that's pretty heavy, right?

And that's what's constant churning in my head. Baby talk. And babble. Or frankly, the sad, silent lack thereof.

But my child waved on Tuesday. And there's much to be said about the person I'm becoming. A woman who by all accounts has never, until just recently, enjoyed appreciated revered the simple things.

I mean not really, that is. Not truly.

Because I now proudly revere the things I thought I'd always overlook.

Like my child waving, for instance. Talk about joy!

Bright eyes himself.  Aksel, 2 1/2 years.

Tonight was a start, in sharing again. Thank you for reading.

Monday, March 26, 2012

She Whispered, "Write."

I suppose you could say I follow my instincts.  My mother always told me to listen to my inner voice, to trust my intuition.  And I have wholeheartedly since childhood.  Or since I was perceptive enough to understand my inner self.  That I actually had one, that is.

She also told me to "never leave a drink unattended, experiment with ouija boards, or dabble in dungeons and dragons," my mother.

Pretty random, right?

But the point of all this talk leads simply to the fact that my inner voice was telling me I needed to make time for myself, to stop over-analyzing our situation, primarily Aksel's autism, and to take active control of my wellbeing.

Because at Christmas, I was a mess... a sobbing, contemplative mess.

So, I did take control.  Or have, rather.  And resulting, it's been two plus months since I've written one creative word.

Don't misunderstand though, it's not for want, or love of writing, that I stopped, it's just because my person, my inner voice said, "rest."

But today, she whispered, "write."  Out of nowhere.

So, I am.

And I respect her, my inner voice.  Because she's comprised of all the women before me.  (More on this later.)

All said, and two months later, I'm happy again!  Not to mention, 10 pounds lighter.  And my mind, most important, is alive.

Oh, and Aksel's beginning to talk, saying simple words like "apple" and "hat."  Ten weeks ago, I was afraid he never would!

By the way, we love his team of therapists!  They're incredible!

And my marriage, despite the challenges in past months, is stronger than ever... most of the time.

We actually believe that autism is a blessing... now.

I'm just happy to be writing again!

PS - I really appreciate the notes and emails I've received over the last few weeks.  And despite my silence, they've helped so much!  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Living Life in 3D

I admit, I've been...[in a rut]...lately.

Really since Aksel's diagnosis, this past summer.

But it's time now for me to move forward and accept the challenge that is autism, to take active control of my health, both my physical and mental wellbeing, because life isn't easy under the best of circumstances.  And I want, in particular, to feel clear-minded, not weighted down with negativity or sadness.  I need to be confident ~ that much stronger for my child and his developmental differences. 

So, I choose to no longer feel:

Depressed.  Defeated.  Despondent.

I guess you could say I've been living life in 3D.  Which, as it turns out, is not all it's cracked up to be.  So, don't believe the hype!

(Or pay $16 for a ticket!)

But really, I'm making positive changes.

For my child.

Because I love him more than anything!  And, I want always to be his strongest advocate. 

Who knows, moving forward, he may need someone to speak for him, if he can not?

About 25% of people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) could be considered nonverbal... 

And I want, unquestionably, to be that person, to be prepared to accept and face the challenges, however they unfold?

For my husband.

Because he's my partner, I love him, and we're going through this journey together.  It's not any easier pretending I'm alright. 

I want to be strong for him, too.  Truly strong.

And lastly, I'm making changes for myself...

Because, it's not selfish to want to be happy in my own skin, to no longer feel anxious or overwhelmed.

But with all this talk of change and resolution, I don't personally want, at this point in the process, to take a pill to solve my problems. And that's not saying I'm against medicinally treating my symptoms of depression or anxiety.  In fact, I took Lexapro for nearly a year after giving birth to Aksel.  But in some strange way, this circumstance, autism, translates differently in my mind to that of postpartum depression.  For instance, it's never going away.  My child will always be autistic, and I'll always be, as his parent, striving to cope with the effects.  So, I can't, or don't want, rather, to seek out a temporary fix for a lifelong challenge.  Instead, I want to delve deep and truly find my inner strength.



So I'm choosing, at this stage in the game, exercise as an outlet to alleviate my stress, to help me better understand my emotions.

That, coupled with a healthy dose of writing, and a more concerted effort at communication (with my husband) should help to brighten my outlook.  (It has in past weeks.)  If though, I observe no real change of mood in say three months time, I will contact my doctor for alternative options.

I realize it's okay to feel weak.  I just don't want it, the negativity, to be all-consuming anymore.

I want to embrace the positive.  For example, Aksel now hugs!

PS - Many thanks for all of your reassuring, sweet comments. They've really helped in past weeks!  Much love to you and yours ~ XO!

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The {Momentary} Victor

Over the last few weeks, blogging's been low on my list of priorities. 

And I could blame my absence on the holidays, for having grandparents in town, or ya da ya da ya...

But, it just wouldn't be the truth.  

And there's really no point in pretending.  At least not here.

I mean, this is my space for truth and expression, for honesty no matter the pain... or humiliation.

So on that note, where do I begin (embarrassing myself)?  

For starters, I'm struggling to find my inner strength.  

I really am. 

It's like autism has me by the collar tight, and I'm fighting to breathe new life, new thoughts and/or ideas.  I just feel so one note...

But nothing means more though.  There's nothing weighing on my mind more great than autism.  (Will there ever be?)  And, I feel alone:  detached from myself, my family and friends, my husband...

Plus, I'm anxious.  Not to mention, hypersensitive.  Oh, and fun, what's that?

I only know the time we'll wrestle is indefinite.  Autism'll always have me pinned, because my weakness is my child.  And I hear you all loud and clear, shouting from the stands, "Be strong, Gillian.  Don't be afraid.  This doesn't define Aksel.  You're doing the right thing."

Yet, I can't look you in the eye for fear of breaking down.  For being weak, not in control.  Can you make my child speak?  Please.

It's just that at this stage in the game, autism is the victor.

So that's why I haven't been writing...

PS - I promise tomorrow's Wordless post will be upbeat and positive.

PPS - Despite my worry, which as you know I can't seem to control, Aksel's making lots of progress.

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$50 Sephora e-Gift Card Results

The winner of Baby Talk without the Babble's latest giveaway is daveshir2005.  Congratulations, and enjoy your prize!

Entrants click here to verify the results of a Sephora Gift Card.

[PLEASE NOTE]  All entries were listed numerically based on the total number of submissions.  To be specific, the numeric winner of the contest was (comment) #731.

PS - All drawings conducted at

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

WW: Mulch Ado About Nothing

Like any two-year-old boy, my kid loves to be outside, in the dirt.  Or better yet, tasting mulch and hugging trees.

And all I can say, is I'm one lucky momma!  Happy Birthday, Aksel!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WW: A 'Big Top' Birthday, Pt 1

We celebrated our little boy's second birthday this past weekend...

As a side note, it was a circus!  No really, it was!  Here for your viewing delight, are a few shots from Aksel's 'big top' birthday bash:

Aksel's Personalized Clown Cupcake Toppers 

The Birthday Boy!  (And, Party Ringmaster!)

More photos (and details) to follow shortly.  Happy Wednesday!

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Jellycat {Cordy Roy} Giveaway Results

The winner of Baby Talk without the Babble's latest giveaway is Precilla.  Congratulations, and enjoy your prize!

Entrants click here to verify the results of a Jellycat Giveaway.

Now, don't miss winning my other great giveaways.

[PLEASE NOTE]  All entries were listed numerically based on the total number of submissions.  To be specific, the numeric winner of the contest was (comment) #128.

PS - All drawings conducted at

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Setting the Table

After months of preparation, the circus is finally coming to town!

Really though, we're celebrating Aksel's 2nd birthday tomorrow.  And, I couldn't be more excited.  I love throwing parties!

But there's still lots to do before the guests arrive.  Wish me luck!

By the way, December feels stressful.  Anyone else in agreement?

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