autism · Casey · memes

Butterflies and Autism

 A couple of weeks ago we went over to the Museum of Natural History. We forgot to warn Casey in advance that we would not be visiting the butterfly exhibit.  Big oops.

He freaked out. And not just a little. Lance and I took turns holding him on the floor of the Smithsonian as he screamed and kicked. He took his shoes and socks off and threw them at scared onlookers. That showed them. It’s amazing how little I care about what those people are thinking.  6 years ago as we were getting Casey diagnosed, that would have been horrific for me. I would have gone home and cried.

Not anymore. Maybe because it’s just something normal for us. Maybe it’s because I think I have some grasp on his autism and understand that HE doesn’t mean to do it, and he doesn’t want to feel that way.  But it is aggravating a little. To have to haul a screaming and kicking 8 year old boy out of a crowded museum isn’t fun. And, frankly, his obsessions wear me out. Want to know ANYTHING about the Titanic or the Monarch Butterfly?

But the thing I don’t get is what he ACTUALLY is feeling when that happens. He can’t articulate it. I can’t feel it for him. I can tell he’s pissed, that’s easy, but I wonder about his insides.  I don’t understand HOW he feels when he’s with the butterflies.  I always thought it was the obsession that drove him, not the feeling. Because I give The Autism too much credit. But I got a glimpse of how he must REALLY feel the other day and it turned my world over.

It’s hard to put into words. My dad wrote a poem once that said, “What good are words when feelings are stronger?”  I got to feel what he felt, if for just a second. I took him back to the museum last week and let him spend all the time he wanted with his beloved butterflies. 

(This next part I wasn’t going to share because it’s a little hokey and  SO not like me…but I guess it’s good because I needed an experience like this) 

While we were in there he wanted nothing more than for a butterfly to land on him. I wanted nothing more. I did something that I haven’t done for years and years. I asked my dad for some help. My dad died when I was young but I still feel him A LOT.  Especially lately. I miss him a lot. I know he’s around, but there are times I want more PROOF. So I asked him to do Casey a solid and help a butterfly to land on him. No sooner was I done thinking those things that this happened:

A butterfly not only landed on him, which I could have easily written off as coincidence because I’m an unfaithful and cynical whore, but landed SQUARE on his forehead.  And then it refused to move.  The feeling I had when that happened was overwhelming. My heart started to beat faster, I got goosebumps all over. My dad had really made it happen!

As soon as we got the butterfly off, Casey spotted his absolute favorite butterfly:  the Monarch.  He was excited. I lifted him up to get a closer look, and as I did, my hand went right over his heart…and it was beating SO FAST.  I looked at his arms, they had goosebumps.

That’s when I really got it. To see something so physiological happen in reaction to the butterflies, something he couldn’t control, really showed me how much he cares. It was the same overwhelming feeling I had gotten just a few minutes earlier when the butterfly landed on Casey’s forehead in response to my plea to my father.   I finally got it!

It’s not JUST an obsession. It’s not just a danger to him (he’ll chase butterflies into the road). It’s bigger than that.  For my son it’s proof that the autism is not winning the war for my son’s emotions. A few weeks ago he wasn’t angry because there was an upset in his supposed routine like I thought, again, giving The Autism too much credit, it was because he wanted so badly to be with the butterflies and FEEL those things.

So this weekend we’re planting a butterfly garden in the back. Hopefully if we build it, they will come. We’re also sending out for another set of butterfly eggs that we can go through the whole process of metamorphosis like the ones we had around Christmas. These ones won’t be released to their deaths in cold winter air though…

And because it’s Friday, I’m linking up with Sunday the Shiznit Stilwell over Adventures In Extreme Parenthood for Friday Special Needs Ryan Gosling Meme Day:

autism · Casey

The Thousand Word Picture

I can’t even begin to tell you the things that I worried about when Casey was diagnosed. I worried about all of the things he wouldn’t do. I mourned those things. And, like it is with a lot of the things we worry about, lots of those things have happened and will still happen.
Casey turned 8 on New Year’s Day. I didn’t know if he’d be able to handle Scouts. It is right after school- during his rage period- the time of the day that he blows off steam from working so hard to be good all day. And, quite honestly, I didn’t know if I wanted to handle Scouts with him. I figured it would just be another work in frustration that would leave us sitting in a car in the parking while I cried and he screamed (that was basketball and soccer and church and…). I was wrong. Casey is a great Cub Scout. He loves it.

As soon as he got his Pinewood Derby kit he knew exactly what he wanted to make- a Titanic Boat, of course. He designed it, helped cut it out, sand it, paint it, etc. It was awesome. And it was SLOW.
That was another thing that looked as though it was going downhill fast. Carter’s basketball game was the same time as the Pinewood Derby so Lance dropped us off and then came back and picked us up after the game (and while the Pinewood Derby was still going on). Carter was crying because they lost the game and he had hurt his ribs (but mostly because they had lost the game) and Casey was crying because he hadn’t won anything. I figured the night was a loss. We went back for the last part of the Pinewood Derby. Casey’s car ran three more times. Took fourth every time. Casey turned to us and said, “Well, this is all terribly disappointing.”

The noise of the microphone was hard on him, along with the rumble of the kids running around the gym. I took him out to the foyer to give him a break. I thought we’d end up sitting the rest of the night in the car. He stood for a second, took a deep, shaky, breath in and then walked back into the room.  It was award time. He didn’t think he’d win an award (but in Scouts, everyone gets an award).

They announced the big winners. The little winners. Then they started handing out the individual awards. Casey looked as though he was catching on. Everyone got a special award. So was no one really special? His name was called and he walked up and took his award. He didn’t turn around right away. I thought he was sad. My heart skipped a beat… and then this…

he turned around quickly and threw both of his hands in the air. And everyone cheered! He was so happy! And so was I.

This picture is worth much more than a thousand words. It shows how far Casey has come, despite the doubts of his mother. It shows the support of the people in his life. Look at his cute Scout Master (who actually was my brother in law, Logan’s MTC mission companion, small world, yes?)! He’s as excited as Casey!  And this happens all over. People rally around Casey.  They get excited for him. They want to understand him. They want to help him. But what’s more, they genuinely want to be his friend.

Casey has more confidence this year than he ever has had before. A huge portion of that has to do with being in a mainstreamed class this year. He has Mr. K, the teacher every student wants. The cool teacher. Mr. K has used his “coolness” to make Casey the cool kid (kind of like ANY teeny bopper movie where the cool kid makes the not so cool kid cool by hanging out with him).  Casey told Mr. K that he was going to be an angry bird for Halloween, so Mr. K dressed up as one, too. Casey is obsessed with the metamorphosis of caterpillars and silkworms, so Mr. K bought a set of silkworms to have in the classroom for all of the kids to watch.  He’s created an environment in his classroom where the typical students are super protective and loving to the special kids. He teaches Casey funny little sayings and cool handshakes. He has shown Casey’s peers how funny Casey is. How interesting he is. And how Casey just wants what the rest of us do, to be accepted for who he is. I will forever be grateful for that. 

So back to the Pinewood Derby. To some parents there, it was probably just another night. Not for us. For us it was again, another high point in a life that I was originally so worried about. I’m still worried about many, many things. But not as worried.

Abby · Carter · Casey · Down syndrome · Easter · holidays · I'm so funny? · Peyton

Easter in not about Zombies.

Aaaah, Holidays. A time to try to instill in my children that there is a true meaning to fat bearded centenarians and bunnies who somehow produce eggs. There’s a lot of explaining in my house.

This year we was no different. It started out with an Easter Egg Hunt at the Holly Ridge Center. The HRC is the Early Intervention program that Abby goes to (or will as she gets older, they mostly just come to our house now). Casey went through their program, so we know most of the people there. So we took all of the kids to this family day.
( Is that not the creepiest bunny you’ve ever seen in your life? They used it for a party for special needs kids! Someone should have thought that through. It looks like it’s going to take a chunk out of Abby’s head. )

We told them on the way there that there were going to be a lot of little kids with special needs and that the they needed to be big helpers. So while we were there Carter didn’t take a single egg for himself. He went around reaching eggs that were too high for little kids and just basically being the sweet kid that he is. Casey comes by and his easter basket is so freaking full that he can’t fit any more eggs in it. Tenatively, and scared of a meltdown, I asked Casey if he’d share his eggs with Carter, who didn’t have any. So Casey took his basket, lifted it up and happily gave Carter HALF of his eggs. My heart gushed happy faced pride. So then Carter took his basket and started laying out some of those eggs for the little kids to find again. Again, gushing. Without knowing what the other was doing, Casey came behind Carter and picked up all the eggs as he hid them.

Good times.

Easter breakfast, yes, on the floor.

So on Sunday morning we’re trying to explain to the kids about Jesus’ resurrection. We told them that after three days after he died, he came back to life. And yes, this turned into a conversation about how it really wasn’t the same thing as zombies, but the point was lost on them. They spent the next hour pretending Casey was a zombie and shooting him with their nerf guns that they got in their Easter baskets. Instead of baby pillow pets because they were sold out. So they got weapons. On Easter. Good mothering.

But backing up, if you look at the picture of the Easter bunny they had seen the day before, of COURSE they put together Easter and zombies.

Abby · autism · Casey · confessions · Down syndrome

stupid “perspective”

                                  This will quite possibly be the worst thing I’ve ever EVER written:
I’m mad that there had to be an earthquake when I was already having one of the worst days EVER.  
 So we’ve lived at the doctors these last two days. Yesterday I took Abby in because she wasn’t holding food down. She was right on the edge of being hospitalized again, but I spent the night feeding her very slowly with a syringe. She didn’t throw up anything so I thought we were in the clear. This morning she woke up with 103 degree fever again. So, when the doctor called to check up on last night I mentioned it. Aaaand right back in we go. They did more xrays and found that she has NEW pneumonia in her upper lung area. Before they told us that it was brochiolitus or pneumonia causing her distress- both of which they thought were viral. Today it was very clear that she has pneumonia and that it’s bacterial- most likely from aspirating her vomit. Her upper right lobe (if your a doctor and are reading this and it sounds far fetched, it’s not, I’m probably not describing it right) of her lung has collapsed.  She’s still oxygenating okay, so we were allowed to go home. But not until after they gave her two shots of nasty antibiotics. Poor little girl.
In between all of this fun I got a call from Casey’s teacher. He had spent the first hour at school in the “quiet” room. He freaked out over something, they couldn’t get him to calm down and everyone was at their wits end with him. So he got to come with me to Abby’s doctor. But when they had to do an xray, Heather J. was nice enough to come pick him up. Saved his life or mine. She’s good like that. The saving of the lives and whatnot.
 So, on our way out the nurse said JUST what I knew someone would say to me. “Well, it could be worse, you could be in Japan” My gun was cocked and ready. The bullet was in the chamber.
I said, “Are those my only choices? Pneumonia or Earthquake? Seems like there should be others….” 
Things are always worse for someone else. I’d like to find the one person in the world who can actually say, “no one has it worse than I do.” Today I thought it might be Tiffany. She’s waiting to find out if her daughter has cancer…in Hawaii. Tsunami warning. I just about flipped. 
But it goes back to this: God chastens those he loves. He must love a lot of people a LOT today. There are a lot of people on the other side of this world who are going through something no one should ever have to. It puts things in perspective for me. A little. I still like to complain about how tough today was. Or how tired I am. But I  know that I’m not alone. That prayers are answered. So even though Japan is totally raining on my bad day parade, I know it’s them that I should be praying for.
autism · Casey

Casey Plays Pretend

You’ve got to understand. Casey’s never really played pretend. He memorizes lines from shows, and then reenacts them, but never real spontaneous pretend play. He’s starting to now, and it’s SO awesome. 
 This morning Casey was packing up his backpack. He says it’s show and tell day, which they’ve never had before, so… anyways, he’s putting his Thomas the Tank Engine in his bag along with some chick train. As they’re going in there ‘they’re’ saying:
“Nooooooo….nooooooo….it’s too dark in here! HELLLLLLP! Wait…loook… there are books in here. I like books! Wait what’s that?! It’s a MONSTER!” {then blood curdling death screams}
Then I handed him his lunch.
“No. No. NO NO NO NO. Do NOT put me in there! CRAP!” 
 I love reaching milestones!                                                                                           
autism · Casey · family · nerds · Peyton

Random tidbets of Magnusson awesomeness.

Usually, ( I act like) I’m against any sort of transgression. It’s wrong. Don’t sin. Unless it totally works out in my favor. Or my brother in law’s favor. Have I told you that my BIL is on BYU’s basketball team ?

You can snicker at that because you know that’s pretty much how I introduce myself, “hi, I’m Lexi- yes, Lexi MAGNUSSON, you know like the Magnusson on BYU’s basketball team? You don’t? No, not Fredette. MAGNUSSON. The best looking one. And I’m not just saying that because he looks like his brother and his brother is HOT. Anyways, I sleep with his brother!”                                               Well, he is (on the team, jerks…he’s my BIL!) . And just today he got to play for like 67 minutes. And he played AWESOME!   It’s so nice to have a claim to fame. I’ve been holding on to that incident with Nicholas Cage for way too long.  Logan was on ESPN tonight, too. Which is way cool because ESPN is always on. It’s March. 
Lets see. What else. Well, if we’re not friends on Facebook you missed that Peyton decided to wear a top hat to Marky’s baptism tonight. Yes. A top hat. 
Casey’s had a rough week. He’s kind of like me though. Stress brings out the cleverness. Yesterday he came home and got right in the bathtub. We can usually gauge what kind of day Casey has by how quickly he gets in the tub. Yesterday he was almost naked by the time he got in the house. So I knew that in five minutes, my phone would ring and I’d have to apologize for something- and usually something I later find HILARIOUS. Like earlier this week. Casey got mad that it wasn’t Valentine’s day and freaked out and kicked a car. Did some damage to the car (but why was he even in a place where he could kick a car, am I right? I should have asked that but when I talked to her again yesterday, she said not to worry about it and I was SO not going to push it).  So yesterday Casey had spent some time in the “quiet room”. And by “quiet” they mean “padded”. Did you know schools have those? I didn’t. Not until I had to sign seven forms saying that it may have to be used for when Casey head butts a teacher.  Yesterday he was mad that he Bryson* (name changed to protect identity and because I can’t remember) because Bryson likes school. I asked him about it and Casey said, “it’s because Bryson’s soooo laaaammmmmeeeee.” Anyways, Bad day. So Lance and I are “talking” (not a euphemism, but to say that “we” were talking is usually invalid. Lance doesn’t say much)  and we hear Casey get out of the tub. He goes to get on some clothes (if we would help him he wouldn’t have to go commando in some of Peyton’s clothes…but we’re encouraging him to become more independent- which is different way of saying “we’re lazy”) and Peyton asks Casey to play dudes with him. Casey says no and Peyton asks why. Casey says, “Probably because you’re ugly.”  Peyton tells him he’s not and Casey says, “Well then it’s because you smell bad”. And heads off. Thank you Spongebob, for teaching Casey 95% of his dialect.
Yesterday I found myself yelling over and over again at Peyton, “Do NOT screw the duck!” Peyton had the power screwdriver and my duck figurine. Thought I’d clarify that. 
Do you play Words With Freinds? (I’d call it WWF, but then you’d automatically think I’m whitetrash. I’d like you to get to know me before you come to that conclusion) If you do, find me. I’m Lexipmagnus and I will beat you. Mostly because that’s what I do when I feed Abby. Feeding Abby takes about a half an hour a bottle, so I have nothing but time.
I can’t type and feed her a bottle though or I would have already told you about how much I love Bazzill Basics Paper (The post is coming…it really is) or about how much crap is in the back of my Sequoia to go the Goodwill. I’ll have to take a picture. Also, a forest grew in my bedroom an my name isn’t even Max!
autism · Casey · confessions · LDS


Tradition. Every year after all of Valentine’s is over I cry. Weird, right? It get’s weirder. It’s because I miss my dad. On Valentine’s Day. Doesn’t make much sense, but keep with me.

All growing up Dad would be the one who would buy us a card and a bag of candy for Valentine’s day. He’d also buy my mom something thoughtful, I’m sure (I’m not really sure, I only know of a few stellar years- he might have been a total touche (I meant the ‘t’ there) but because he’s dead, he obviously did no wrong in his entire life).  He’d leave it on the table, and, most of the time, head out for work.  Even when he went in for surgery for the cancer the first time around, he made sure that there was stuff ready for Valentine’s Day- not knowing whether he’d be there or not.

I miss him a lot right now. I want to know what he’d say to me about my kids. I wonder what kind of encouragement he’d give when things get really hard on me.  I need his encouragement. I know he knows Abby and I have a feeling that he had his hand in her coming to our family.  I just wish I could hear it from him.

I have a letter he wrote to me while I was at Girls Camp the year before he died. My favorite part says, “Have you made any friends? Did you go on a hike? Did you find the fairy caves? I cant wait for you to tell me all about it!” and at the end it says, “I think a lot about you, Lex, and I hope you’re doing fine. It’s just not the same around here without you.”  I wonder if he thought it was just a letter that I’d eventually lose. If he had any idea that it would start to turn yellow and tear at the creases. That I’d run my fingers over the letters he wrote because it’s where his hand had actually touched. Or that I’d find so much meaning in his words.

Valentine’s WAS great this year though. Casey asked me if I’d be his Valentine. He had spent a couple of hours that day (after tricking me into playing hooky from school) coloring pictures. Then he brought me these:

I love that boy more than words. He is my sweetest kid. Every day he hugs me and tells me he loves me “so much”. I might not have appreciated all of this so much if he wasn’t autistic. Because I worried so much that he’d never read or write- but my biggest fear- was that he wouldn’t love or feel loved. Which is what that blasted holiday is really all about, right? Love? Yes? And if so, I had the best Valentine’s day ever. I’ve never felt so loved in my entire life.
(I love my husband a lot, too.)
Casey · confessions · Down syndrome · LDS

Yesterday was hard.

Before now, I wondered if there would come a point where I would be sad that Abby has Down syndrome. I hadn’t yet. Really. There have been moments, but for the most part, it’s always just been okay. Slowly, I felt the reality of it start to drag on me. Then yesterday it hit. I was standing in my garage when I came upon a little music box that my mom had given me. It has two owls on it and it plays the sweetest tune. It made me think of all the things I’ve done with my mom. How I call her as much as I can, now that she’s on a mission. How I used to tell her EVERYTHING. I’d come home from school and she’d hear about every piece of my entire day. And every day she’d act like she REALLY cared, even if the stuff I said was completely boring.

Then I started to think about my only daughter. How different it’s going to be. It’s definitely going to be its own kind of wonderful, but last night I was sad about the the things that wouldn’t be the same. I stood in my garage and started to cry. Lance was out with Abby and when they got back I picked her up and held her for the longest time. It usually helps. I cried and cried while we listened to the sweet little music box playing. A few minutes into it Abby started to cry. She rarely cries…if ever. I really think that little girl is so close to the spirit that she could feel my sadness. She couldn’t see my face-so it wasn’t that she was mimicking me- I had it buried in her neck. It was simply sweet. Maybe it was Heavenly Father’s way of telling me that I still get to have a mother/daughter experience. I may not get to fight with her about curfew, worry about her with boyfriends or watch her really go on dates- but I get to have a daughter that will be happy, will grow, will learn, and will need me. It’s funny being sad about not having the things most mom’s just worry about. I am a little sad that we won’t fight the way my mom and I did. That I won’t have to forgive her for all the crap she’d put me through- like my mom did me. Weird, huh?

Still sad, I set out to beat stupid Erin’s bejeweled score. This only made me sadder. So I posted the things to my blog that I did yesterday and kind of just sat at my compy with my head down. Then Casey came strolling in. He reached beside me, wound up the music box and slowly slid it until it was right in front of me. He looked up at me, and without saying anything grabbed my head and gave me a big kiss, then ran off. When the music stopped, he “snuck” back in, wound it up, grabbed my head and kissed me again, said “I love you so much” and ran off.

Heavenly Father truly showed His hand in my life last night. I love the scripture in the New Testament that talks about the Savior wiping away our tears. I find it interesting that our tears are not dried up by Him, or our sadness taken away. But that he’s there to wipe our tears away. It shows me that it’s not wrong, that it doesn’t show a lack of faith or even gratitude, to be a little sad every once in a while that things aren’t the way I planned. It’s nice to know, and I firmly believe, that His plan for me is greater than anything I could have planned for myself.


The following is the newspaper article from the day after Casey was born. Most of it is made up, but not by me this time, but the reporter. Either way, it was damn cool having a New Year’s baby.


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Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT){PUBLICATION2}

January 2, 2004
Section: Daily

A new year, a new son
Moving day brought Casey four weeks early

JANAE FRANCISStandard-Examiner
OGDEN — Alexis Magnusson is one mom who’s not worried about how she’ll explain the value of work to her children.
The former North Ogden resident went into labor Wednesday, likely as the result of helping her husband, Lance Magnusson‘s, parents move quickly.The consequence was earning scads of gifts and gift certificates after she delivered the Top of Utah’s first baby of the year.The 6-pound, 6-ounce, 20 1/2-inch-long Casey Ronald Magnusson was born at 1:10 a.m. Thursday at McKay-Dee Hospital.Facing the moving-day deadline that led Alexis to break her water, his paternal grandparents, Lonnie and Lori Magnusson of Pleasant Grove, couldn’t go see him on his birthday.“I think she did more than she should have,” Lance said. “Heaven knows I can’t stop her.”“Look what it got us, honey,” Alexis said to her husband.The new mom was surprised to have the first local baby of the year. Doctors said Casey wasn’t due until Jan. 29.But his arrival is perfect timing for his dad. The family, which includes 13-month-old Carter Magnusson, make their home these days in Logan. Lance is on his last semester studying at Utah State University.Lance laughed about not having to miss any school for the birth of his new son as classes begin Monday.He wasn’t the only college student welcoming in a New Year’s Day baby.Ogden Regional Medical Center’s first baby of the year wasn’t born until 10:10 a.m. Thursday to Rochelle and Clark Davis of Ogden.Originally from Orem, Clark said he and his wife are living in Ogden as he finishes his English teaching degree at Weber State University.The couple’s first baby, Gabriel Robin Davis, weighed in at 6 pounds 15 ounces and was 20 inches long.Clark said he and his wife were surprised to have the hospital’s first baby of 2004 even though the boy was due Dec. 31.The couple didn’t arrive at the hospital for the delivery until 1:30 a.m. Thursday.“I thought for sure there were people here,” said the father. “We were the only people in labor in the whole place.“It was pretty exciting. All the nurses were rather thrilled.”Nurses at that hospital got to spend about $1,000 in donations for the newborn.This year’s gifts included a swing, a gilding rocker, numerous clothes and an infant monitor system.The year’s first baby at Davis Hospital and Medical Center was born at 5:45 a.m.Kemuel Wyn Cullimore surprised his parents, Shea and Val Kasey Cullimore of Layton, who said they weren’t expecting him for 18 more days.“I just told my husband I was going to the hospital to check,” said Shea. “I really thought I’d be sent back home.“They said ‘Oh, you are staying here. You are not going anywhere.’ “Kemuel is the fourth boy born to the family.“All we’re doing is the boy thing,” Shea said, explaining that her grandmother’s name, Wynona, had to be shortened for Kemuel’s middle name because of a lack of girls on which to bestow the honor.The newborn also is the third Cullimore child born in January.Brother Kyler turns 2 today. Landrey will turn 6 Thursday. Treston, who is 7, celebrates his birthday in July.Kemuel weighed in at 7 pounds even and was 20 inches long.He’ll receive a basket full of goodies from the hospital, including a framed molding of his hand.As of late Thursday afternoon, Brigham City Community Hospital reported that no mothers yet were there in labor.

Copyright 2004, 2005 Standard-Examiner

Abby · Casey · confessions · Down syndrome · Peyton

Random Life Snapshots

I wish I had an awesome camera and awesome camera skillz. But I don’t. Most of the pictures I have were taken by one of my bratty little kids who decided to steal the camera and document the squalor in which they live. So I thought I’d make you all feel better about your lives and post some pictures that they took. What’s amazing to me is how much they really do portray our real life. The pictures I take…not so much. I take pictures when the house and the children are clean. I take pictures when the kids are being cute or nice or not evil in some fashion.

This is Casey. His fingers are orange because he’s eating cheetos for dinner. Again.

And Peyton. This is a self portrait. He does many like this. He’s vain. He’s also eating the cheetos.
These two are best friends. I’m not sure who took this one. Peyton is in his super suit. Casey is dressed up in all green- like Luigi.
This is Peyton on the couch watching “Team Oomie Zoomie” for the second or fifteenth time that day.
And here’s one of me. I’m actually NOT at the computer in this one- you can tell by the forest in the background through the window. I’m washing dishes. You can’t tell it by the look of my house, but I clean A LOT. I hate it with all of my heart. I look tired. I’m always tired. But happy. I’m not always happy.

Then there’s this one. I took this one. This picture is so many things to me. It’s when reality really started sinking in. I bought Abby a Bumbo chair in hopes that it would help her sit. She’s really bored of laying. She wants to be able to sit up and play with things. So I stuck her in it thinking it would be some miracle tool- and realized she still didn’t have the neck muscles to even hold her head up. She’s five months old. It’s amazing how a picture that isn’t of me looking fat can send me into a funk at warp speed. Up until now she’s just been a baby. Doing the things that babies do. She’s done them all a little bit later- but she’s done them. Until now. I’ve started noticing how far behind she is. How hard we’re going to have to work- like we did Casey. The weight I’ve been feeling got a lot heavier- and it never goes away. I was never a huge worrier, which is weird, because I come from a long line of worriers and crazies. I worry a lot now.

Lance sat down and crunched the numbers in hope that we could get our mortgage rate changed. There’s an area in the application that talks about financial hardships. I was so surprised how much things are costing/going to cost us. When all is said and done, we’ll be spending about $1,100 every single month on health care costs. A MONTH! I thought when we saw that Regence was raising their “specialist”fee $10 it wasn’t that big of a deal. But now as we’re looking at getting Casey therapy once a week, and Abby twice, just that extra ten bucks adds up to $120 extra a month. Lance makes good money and we’ve never gone without, but this figure is another thing that’s just hard to wrap my mind around. What it comes down to is little less soda, a lot more spaghetti. We’ll be fine, we always are.

So that’s why there’s crazy amounts of tension in between my shoulders. Reality lives there. It wieghs one me. But I’m so freaking blessed. I have a husband that does a great job taking whatever burdens he can. I have a fantastic family. I wrote about Abby not holding her head up in the big Price Family Newsletter and I swear the very next day it was getting better than it had ever been. I know they pray for us, and I can see the difference it makes. Please keep praying for us. For Casey, for Abby. They have to struggle a lot more than most, so they need more prayers and extra love.

So now you’ve been given a real glance into my life. Not as ritzy as we appear, huh? ahahahaha.

Carter · Casey · Peyton

The Coast

I love love love the Washington Coast. All growing up my two favorite places were first, my Grandparents’ beach house in Orange County, and second, my grandmother’s little cabin in the woods. The Washington coast combines the two. The woods goes right up to the beach- which goes out forever.

We went there this last weekend and had a BLAST. I needed to get away. So did the kids.

autism · Casey


This blog has to print a redaction or whatever. You know, if more of you would just click “follow this blog” I’d think that there were , actually, more of you here, and I’d actually try to not just make up words or spel chek or something. But until you do. I won’t. Or something. I’m already bored with that train of thought.

Train. Of. Thought. I wonder where that’s from. I’ll be right back.

The term “train of thoughts” was introduced and elaborated as early as in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan, though with a somewhat different meaning (similar to the meaning used by the British associationists):

By Consequence, or train of thoughts, I understand that succession of one thought to another which is called, to distinguish it from discourse in words, mental discourse.
When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently.[2]

Okay. I’m back. I’m still no closer to caring about what the term “train of thought” really means. But anyways, back to the task at hand.

Last week I posted about how much autism sucks. It does suck. I don’t take that back. But I do feel it necessary to write a rebuttal to myself. Casey is the best. He’s up there in the five greatest things that have ever happened to me. He’s not evil. His little brother is, but that just makes him funny.

Casey is awesome. He’s awesome funny, too. He memorizes movies, too much spongebob, and television shows then uses the phrases he hears from them in daily life. He says something awesome along those lines every single day. I’m going to start blogging them. I think I’ll remember, but I don’t remember what I was doing ten minutes ago (now I do, looking up “train of thought” and then playing spades on facebook).

The other day Casey gets up and as he’s running up the stairs he’s yelling to his brothers, “I’m going to play Maricart. See you losers!”

It’s pretty obvious I haven’t done anything about my ADD

Okay. Back to Casey. Casey is my MOST affectionate child. Casey. Who has autism. He loves to come and sit on my lap and wrap his arms around my n eck. He’s not small either, which makes it even cuter. The other day we were at the park and I put my face through the railing on the bridge on the playstructure (three prepositional phrases in a row! Beat that!) and asked him what he was doing and he knelt down and kissed me on the forehead, said “so much” and ran off.

While he is the easiest to throw into a rage, he’s also the easiest to please. He thanks me for everything. Like helping him get on his super suit or letting him go fight crime.

He shares my disabling fear of spiders. Seriously, the other day I jumped off the top of my ladder while I was pressure washing my house because I was afraid there was a CHANCE a spider would land on me. No. Not just wait and see and then brush it off if it does. Plunge to an almost certain death in stead. I didn’t die. I just hurt my ankles. But Casey would have been proud.

Speaking of proud. I’m proud every single day to be Casey’s mom. I’m proud of how hard he works and how much he cares to be good even when things are so tough for him. He’s a good kid. One of the best, I’m sure.

Abby · Carter · Casey · family · Peyton


Baby Abby in what looks like a sweat band. She’s a little bald in the front, so we’re investing in Brett Michaels type bandannas- they’re just not here yet. She’s cute, huh?

Chandler MY LOVE. This is the sweet (no longer) little girl who used to live next to us. They came and visited us last night, which was totally delightful, but just angered me more at her parents terrible decision to move away. Terrible!

Maybe not completely soulless after all.

Just like her dad, she sleeps like she’s dead.

Casey crossing the monkey bars all by himself.

Carter and Mark at field day

He chooses his clothing.

So itty bitty.