Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

A Rainbow of Acceptance: A Newby Mom’s Guide to Autism Acceptance Month

PicsArt_1459380615307This April is my first Autism Acceptance Month with a diagnosed ASD kiddo. Through several awesome Facebook support groups I have learned so much about the rich and beautiful spectrum of autism. I’ve grown as a mom and gained insight into my own childhood.

Something that stood out to me though was the somewhat confusing number of campaigns and colors for Autism Awareness/Acceptance. So this is the basic guide I’ve made through my research. I’m having trouble linking to various things, so please look these up and do research for yourself. Knowledge is power.

The Puzzle Piece- This is one of the first symbols for Autism. It dates back to 1963 and was chosen because of the “puzzling” nature of autism. It originally had an image of a crying child in it to show the sorrow autism caused. It has been updated to colorful primary hues. Some support this symbol as a way of showing that autistic people deserve to “fit” in society and that we are all part of the greater picture. Others avoid it because of the past connotations that autistic people are like a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit or that they are somehow missing pieces needed to be a whole person.

Light it up Blue- This campaign is sponsored by Autism Speaks and is often represented by a blue puzzle piece. This one tends to lean more towards awareness than true acceptance. They are criticized by many autistic people because of their views on the causes of autism and that it should be cured.

Red Instead/Walk in Red- In response to the backlash against Autism Speaks and Light It Up Blue, this movement was founded. It encourages people to seek autism acceptance and education and to chose red instead of blue.

Tone It Down Taupe- This is similar to Red Instead. It was founded by autistic women in hopes of giving an alternative to Autism Speaks and the blue puzzle piece. They encourage people to tone it down and focus on education and acceptance.

Autism Doesn’t Make Me Blue (Gold)- This is another alternative campaign. Au is the periodic symbol for gold. So this plays on the “Au” in Autism.

Rainbow Infinity Symbol/Color the World- The rainbow symbolizes the vast spectrum of autism. And the infinity sign symbolizes the greater Neurodiversity Movement. (This is my personal favorite because I adore the concept of neurodiversity.)

I hope this helps you navigate this month and what it means. No matter how you choose to color your world, please use this month to educate yourself and others on the beauty of the spectrum. Please research any charity or organization you want to support. Ask yourself if they are really bettering the world for autistic peoples? Are they seeking awareness of an “illness” or acceptance of those with a neurodivergent brain?

Again, I am new on my knowledge journey and this is just a basic overview of my research. If you have anything to add or useful links, please feel free to comment with them!

With Love,

Cori “Mama” Miller

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Types of nap waking…

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Nap-time is a glorious hour in any parent’s day. A much earned break from constant noise and demands. And they are so cute while they’re sleeping.

Unfortunately, not all naps are created equally. How your child acts when they wake up can greatly vary from nap to nap. So, here is my handy guide to the types of nap waking you may experience…

1. The Cuddler
This is when your waking child becomes a snuggle bunny as they wake. Hugs and kisses abound. It is like a unicorn frolicked through to fart happiness on their dreams. This is probably the best waking mood.

2. The Grump
If your child wakes in a foul mood and closely resembles you when you haven’t had your morning coffee, you have a grump. Everything you say will be met with grunts and nothing will please them.

3. The Crier
This is like a grump doing a Niagara Falls impression. Every you do will lead to tears. A sibling looks at them? Tears. You give them the juice they asked for? Tears. The sky is blue? Tears. Everything will be tragic.

4. The Cyclone
Do they wake and immediately tear into a frenzy of motion that could rival Speedy Gonzales on uppers? Is there copious amounts of spinning, twirling, jumping, climbing, and/or running? Fits of laughter over jokes that only they get?

5. The Jekyll/Hyde or Bipolar Baby
This one hits all the above waking types within the span of five minutes. Crying and clinging. Kisses and hugs. Yelling and tantrums. Spinning and giggling. And repeat.

6. The Up All Night
Sometimes parenting comes with horrible, hard choices. No, I’m not talking about vaccinations, car seats, or schooling. The ultimate conundrum happens when they fight napping too long. Perhaps you had an event or were out. Maybe they are just wired. Either way it is past the time frame they can nap without being up too late after. Do you suffer through several more hours of craziness and tantrums until it is late enough for an early bedtime, or let them nap and risk being up all night? Don’t be fooled, it is a no-win situation.

7. The Power Napper
Another classic no-win situation. It can happen anywhere; in the car, out and about, or even at home. Your child napped, but only for about five minutes. This does not bode well for you. This gives them a temporary energy boost, but not enough rest to be mood stabilizing in the long run. Avoiding this is the reason parents will sometimes read a book in the car to keep from waking the child by moving them into the house. It is why you will bribe your four year old with candy not to touch or even look at your two year old while they sleep. It is why you will contemplate peeing on yourself rather than risking moving them off your lap to go to the restroom.

I’m not saying I have any sound advice on any of these, but it is fun to give them a name. Super helpful, right? 😛

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Domestically Impared

I absolutely adore being a stay at home mom. It is by far the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I’m good with wiping noses and bottoms. Tantrums suck, but they happen.

Am I a good mom? Eh, overall I do ok.

A good wife? I try.

But a domestic goddess I am not.

My perfect housekeeping gene is broken. I’m domestically impaired. I keep a decently clean house, but I will never have my home on the cover of Good Housekeeping.

It is okay. I have other talents. I’ve made peace with the toys on the floor. (One day my children will call when their foot is impaled by a Lego one of their kids left out… And I’ll smile.) I’m not going to fret over my bookshelf being jumbled. (It will just get jumbled again.)

If you are a domestic goddess, I applaud you. I’m glad you are using your talent. Keep on scrubbing and changing decorations to fit the seasons and creating elaborate lunch box dioramas for your kids’ lunches. (That is what you do, right?)

This post is for the rest of us. For those who don’t care about “Tablescapes” or “Perfect Parsnip Soup”.

I submit for approval from my domestically challenged sisters my idea for a new magazine: Mediocre Housekeeping.
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Article ideas:

How to Avoid Your Home Looking Like an Episode of Hoarders

Best Deodorants: When you haven’t had a shower in three days and may be harboring cereal fugitives in your hair

Strategies for Peeing Alone: A guide to getting 5 minutes a day to urinate in peace

How to Have Adequate “Adult Time” When the Baby Will Wake Any Minute: It won’t knock his socks off, but it’ll do.

I am covered in sleeping kids and I have to pee. What now?

Surviving the Tantrum: When your child collapses in the bread aisle.

How many days can I wear these yoga pants before I need to wash them?

Where are Max and Ruby’s parents? An investigation.

A Guide to Period Panties

Breastfeeding Etiquette: Just deal with it or look away.

Getting three kids and a dog into the car

Where do all the socks go?

Yep… I’d read that magazine.

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The ‘Good’ Baby

It happens so often. In grocery stores and malls and parks everywhere. People asking the question that brings prickly stress and annoyance to my soul.

“Is he/she a good baby?”

What does that even mean?!

Please stop asking new moms this question. Just don’t.

Every baby is a good baby.

A baby who sleeps through the night from 4 weeks does not possess more ‘goodness’ than a baby with colic who barely sleeps for the first year.

They are babies. Innocent. Perfect. Beautiful.

There is no such thing as a bad baby.

Some babies are, however, easier than others. It doesn’t make them good.

Some are clingy or have high needs. Being difficult doesn’t make them bad.

Please, I beg you, don’t ask it. It is inappropriate and can make new moms feel awkward. A mom with a high needs baby already has seeds of insecurity about their abilities. Questions like this only help that insecurity grow.

Don’t ask if they’re sleeping through the night yet. Or if they are on an eating schedule.

Ask them how they’re doing.

Ask them if you can do anything to help them out.

Ask if you can pray for them or with them about anything.

Or just tell them what a great job they’re doing.

New moms are incredibly strong and incredibly fragile. They are precious like their sweet babes. Let’s build them up. Growing healthy moms benefits us all. Their weary, beautiful hands are shaping the next generation.

With love,
Mama Miller

P.S.  Baby F is doing well. He eats when he eats. He sleeps when he sleeps. He smiles and he cries. He gives great snuggles. He, like all babies, is a good baby.

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Cheers

Don’t worry friends- my absence this week is due to juggling three children, not anxiety.

We’ve had a very busy couple of weeks.

I have my moments where I feel like I am tied to my chair nursing, serving as a pillow, and kissing booboos.

Some days I am Super Mom. I handle three kids with ease.

Some days, like today, are hard.

Some days you get to nurse the baby while the toddler throws the mother of all tantrums on your lap and the four year old whines about juice.

But you drink some coffee, put on your big girl panties, and press on.

Let’s toast to our big girl panties.

Here is to pressing on.

Here is to sore boobs and marathon nursing sessions.

Here is to kissing booboos and administering imaginary bandaids.

Here is to making it through the tantrums.

Here is to snuggles and bedtime stories.

Here is to tomorrow being a new day with a fresh beginning.

Here is to their childhood being a compilation of moments that can’t be ruined by an occasional rough day (or week).

I hope you will raise your glasses, coffee mugs, sippy cups, or back-washed beverages in celebration of the beautiful monotonous journey that is parenthood.

Laugh at yourself. Take lots of pictures. Cry when you need to.

We can do this.

Tonight I am going to breathe in new baby, drink some hot tea, and remember why all the hard moments are worth it.

Hint: It’s these sweet little souls.

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You know you’re 9 months pregnant when…

I apologize for my absence. Our house has been invaded by ants and we’re currently staying at my parents. I’m slowly getting over being ill, but I’m still exhausted. I hope to get back into my reading and commenting soon. Just popping in for a quick post…

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Brother love!

I’m officially a few days shy of 9 months pregnant. As I said before, we are staying at my parents until after the exterminator comes tomorrow. Husband went to the house to move our clothes out of the closet before they come tomorrow. Yes, we have ants all up in our closet. Ugh.

He picked up some more clothes for all of us. I ran up to his work to get them out of his truck. When I got back to my parents, what would fall out of the bag? Why, my bra of course.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant if you’ve ever kicked a bra up the sidewalk because bending over is not an option. (Yes, that happened.)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you bribe your son to pick something up for you with a cookie.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when people ask if you’re due any day now, but you’re still a month out.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant if you’ve ever had an emotional crisis over running out of lunch meat.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you adopt a Hobbit eating plan. (Why yes, second breakfast sounds perfectly viable.)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when water gives you heartburn.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you are willing to let your kids sleep wherever they fall because carrying them to bed isn’t going to happen.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you can’t even fit in half of your maternity pants anymore.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you crave Reeses cups and cry because your husband gets the minis instead of the regular cups. (There is a different chocolate to peanut butter ratio, I swear!)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when the only way sex sounds remotely appealing is the hope of jump starting labor.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you go to the bathroom, wash you’re hands, and the sound of the running water makes you need to pee again.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when switching positions while sleeping involves a bathroom trip and rearranging about 10 pillows.

Yep, I’m feeling it!

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Mom Tourette’s

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Mom Times 4’s post on motherhood and phone calls. It inspired today’s post…

Nicole over at Shephardology is one of my dear friends. We met in college and actually grew up in the same area, but at different schools. I have my two kids, K and E, and she has her son, J.

This is what a typical phone conversation between the two of us would look like:

Me: So, the doctor said STOP CHASING SISTER that baby F is looking DO NOT LICK YOUR BROTHER good.

Nicole: That is good. J, LEAVE THE CAT ALONE. Do you want to meet for a play date one day?

Me: That would be great. NO, I WILL NOT OPEN A CHEESE STICK. GO PUT IT BACK. How about Tuesday?

Nicole: Great. GO ASK DADDY. Let’s meet at the GET OFF MY FOOT mall.

Only a mom can appreciate the weird broken language of another mom. I have come to call this phenomenon Mom Tourette’s. I’m sure it drives non parents crazy. I don’t even realize I’m doing it anymore.

On a totally unrelated topic, I wanted to show you something awesomely nerdy…

I mentioned my friend’s at Houchin’s House of Wizarding Wares on my last Friday Favorites post. Well, a month or so back I won a gift certificate giveaway from them. I asked if they would be willing to make a custom wand as a gift for my husband’s birthday. I was actually able to keep it a secret from him. (Those that know me can stop gasping now.)

This is the awesomeness that we received yesterday:

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Yes, that is a handmade Dr. Who wand. How fun is that?! Now we have the coolest conversation starter ever on our shelf. It is nerdy and beautifully made.

**For those that have given me awards this week, I am planning to play catch-up later today. 🙂

****Also, not making lite of a serious condition. It is just what I imagine outsiders would think hearing me on the phone. 🙂

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Texas: Please take your meds

Dearest Texas,

I love you. I really do. Please know that. I love your spring flowers. I love the big blue skies. You have the best food and the best people. Dr. Pepper and Texas sweet tea are nectar from heaven. You contain some of the most beautiful places on earth.

You are great. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

That being said, we have a few things to discuss, dearest state of mine…

Please get some medication for your bipolar disorder. Your weather related mood swings are hurting those that love you. Your children are getting sick because we go from shorts and air conditioning to sweaters and heaters about five times in the course of a week.

This is not ok. The only predictable season is summer, when we know to expect hot or hotter. During Fall, Winter, and Spring we are at the mercy of your ever-changing whims.

Please get help. I love you, but I can’t afford any more doctor’s visits for ear infections and sinus infections.

With all the love for my Lone Star State,
Cori

Please excuse my tired ramblings… E has another double ear infection and I have a cough that is not helping my pregnancy nausea. We really have gone between running the air and heat several times in the past few weeks.

20130215-224336.jpgE and K in the lovely bluebonnets.

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Valentine Play

The kids are finally asleep, Andy is still at work, and I’m force-feeding myself a few pretzels in hopes of lessening the nausea.

Because Andy had to work tonight, we did our date night yesterday. My in-laws graciously agreed to babysit and we got to enjoy amazing Thai food, a bubble tea slush, and adult conversation.

I wanted to make today special for the kids. When they were napping I whipped up some homemade Playdoh. (This is my favorite recipe.) I made blue for K and pink for E. I added a splash of vanilla to make it smell yummy. I set up their little table with small cups of glass stones and beads.

Here is E playing and squishing beads into her dough:

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Her “art”:

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K finally woke up and joined us:

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This entertained them for almost an hour and a half! They loved it. They squished in beads and dug them out. They filled E’s little tea cups with “dough tea” and K made “smoovies”. We rolled balls, made roads, and even mixed a little pink and blue together to make purple.

I also filled our cute little heart ice trays (Target $1) with water and added one drop of neon food coloring to each heart. I used blue, pink, and purple.

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For bath time I dumped all of our frozen hearts into a bin…

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I set the bin in the bath with them. They had fun dunking them in the water and watching them disappear and color the bath. We eventually had a purple bath. The ice hearts only lasted a few minutes but they really enjoyed it.

No pictures of my ice hearts in action. My kids splash and move too much for bath pictures.

We worked on E recognizing the color purple and the shape of a heart. K and I talked more about color mixing and the states of matter with our ice play.

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Throwback Pic: Joy

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I got sentimental today and started looking through last year’s pictures of the kids. (Probably not the brightest move for a hormonal pregnant woman that cries at everything.)

I came across this one and I absolutely love it. It was taken just shy of a year ago on a trip to visit our friends in Texas Hill Country. K was about 2 1/2.

For those that don’t know, Spring in Texas is amazing. For a few weeks everything comes alive with wildflowers. Parents frantically dress their little ones up in Easter clothes and seek out fields of Bluebonnets for family photo ops.

Our friends live in one of the prettiest areas in our great state. While visiting we decided that we also had to take advantage of the gorgeous backdrop. This is one of the pictures.

I love his look of joy and contentment. He is a little boy visiting one of his best friends who also gets to roll around on the ground. Pure childlike joy.

I have to slow down and get me some of that…

Also, he has gotten so stinking big in the course of a year! *tear*

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