Welcome to my work in progress. A little rough around the edges, but hopefully will educate as well as provide some relief for those also going through the craziness of daily life with Autism. Hope you enjoy it :o)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Day 3 of the Beens Birthday Tour 17

Beens is one of my nicknames, for those of you not in the loop. My Connecticut BFF, Allison, calls me that. More on her in a couple of posts.

I found out on Thursday that we were going to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday. To say I was excited was an understatement!! I've always wanted to go!

(My pics do not do it justice, btw.)

Each team had lockers with various used items in them. I took pics of my faves.





Babe Ruth! The Great Bambino! 


THIS was cool. Field of Dreams. That tv in the corner was playing highlights of the 87 and 91 World Series. TWINS! I could have watched those all day. 


I've always liked Nolan Ryan.

The plaques. 

Killer. ❤️



Carew.

Kirby. Forever in my heart. 💗


2016 World Series Champs!!!



Jackie Robinson


All in all, a great day. ❤️⚾️ I have the best dad. 








Tuesday, April 25, 2017

15 things about my anxiety I want you to know.


Anxiety. The bane of my existence. Unfortunately, it's also a word that gets thrown around too casually sometimes. "Yeah, I get anxiety around people I don't know well too." I don't doubt that the unknown can cause anxiety in people, but for someone like me, it's a gut wrenching, heart pounding, nauseous feeling that doesn't go away no matter what I do. 

It's always there. Like the piece of paper on the floor that won't get vacuumed up no matter how many times you run over it. Eventually you just get fed up and throw it away, but my piece of anxiety is glued to the floor, and I can't pick it up. 

I can't control it. 

There are many articles floating around online that describe it, so I thought I'd write my own, to give a firsthand idea of how it is inside my brain. 

1. I worry about the future. 

For the past five years, my life has been a game of, "What is going to happen next?" I have yet to find somewhere to live where I'm not afraid of being told to leave just months after I move in. (And I am definitely not calling anyone out about this. The OFP that's hanging over my head makes it difficult to rent a place. I know it's hard to open up your home and let someone invade it for even a short time. To those that have, thank you) I worry about my kids. I worry about my job. Will I be able to see my kids tomorrow? Or this weekend? What if the boys decide they no longer want to see me? 

I know, I can't control any of that. But my brain doesn't understand that. It's more than just "being positive, it'll all work out." which I HATE hearing, because it hasn't yet. 

2. While not being able to let go of the past. 

Any relationship that fails, be it boyfriend or friend, it's my fault. At least, that's what my brain tells me. I replay every mistake over and over trying to figure out what I could have done better. 

3. I overthink everything. 

Every comment. Every conversation. Reading between the lines. When someone says, "I'm sorry, I can't go out tonight." or, "It's not a good time to have people over." I hear, "I don't want to see you. You bother me." Stupid, right? I know better, yet I can't help it. 

4. I'm too hard on myself. 

When I make a mistake, the world ends. And I feel like everyone is bashing me for it like I'm bashing myself. 

5. I'm a perfectionist. 

I set high standards of myself in certain things, and when it doesn't happen immediately, I give up. Wanting and needing to appear perfect because I never feel good enough for myself no matter what people tell me. 

6. I lack confidence. 

My appearance. I question everything in relationships. "If I do this, how will it turn out? Will they leave me because of it?" Why do you think I'm so obnoxious and loud? I overcompensate. Also, it's a Nelson thing. :-) 

I know I have a great smile, and killer legs, and an amazing personality. My brain tells me a lot of time that I don't measure up, so I self deprecate. 

7. I procrastinate better than you ever will.

The fear of failure makes me not start things in the first place. Even if I've succeeded before, the thought of maybe not succeeding again trumps that. 

8. I can't sleep at night. Or during the day. Or ever. 

I take Trazodone and melatonin at night. Even with that, it sometimes takes me hours to fall asleep. I run on sleep deprivation and caffeine. And lots of sarcasm. This is where the overthinking comes into play. It's great. 

9. I check my phone constantly. 

That text I sent that you haven't replied to even though it's only been 30 minutes and I know you're working? I will reread twenty times wondering if I worded it right, or if it will offend you. When hours go by, I assume that you're mad at me because you interpreted it incorrectly and now I should send another one expanding myself. The silent treatment is hell on me too. It causes physical pain in addition to the mental pain, so please, if I ask you for something and you want to say no, just say it. It's better than being ignored. 

It's also a sign of emotional abuse. If you feel that you can't cope with something, and you need to withdraw, explain that. I'll still text you over and over because I feel you're mad at me, but I'll still have an idea of where you're coming from. 

10. I make up scenarios in my head.

Sometimes I'll daydream about what could happen during the day, so I can create a solution, should the situation ever arise so I can be prepared. More than likely, a shooter isn't going to go attack my kids' school while they're there, but in this day and age, you never know. But in the event it does, I know what I'm going to do. 

11. Social anxiety. 

Here's the most confusing part about social anxiety; I can walk into church, a place I have been going to for 40 years, and feel like everyone is staring at me and judging me. About how I'm acting, what I'm wearing, how my kids are behaving, etc. It's irrational, but very real. 

The anxiety attacks appear out of nowhere. 

Same with going to the store, or the mall, or wherever. A couple of years ago, I went to a Twins game with a friend of mine. We were walking to the stadium, and I started having an anxiety attack. It got so bad that I had to hold his hand and tell him to force me to keep walking, because I almost turned around and left. It gets that bad. 

And phone calls?? Forget it. It took me weeks to make a dr appt because I couldn't. No particular reason. I couldn't pick up the phone and do it. 

12. Depression. 

Having one or the other is hard, but having both is pure hell. Physically and mentally. I've seen it described as this: 

"It's feeling hopelessly low that you're still single, but canceling every first date because the thought of going through with it gives you heart palpitations." 

"It's needing to do everything, but wanting to do nothing at all." 

"It's wanting to stay in bed all day because you don't want to deal with people, but then feeling down because you're alone." 

I've lost jobs in the past because of it. I'm making baby steps though, and hopefully that's a thing of the past. 

13. I want and need to control everything, because I can't control my anxiety. 

That makes me hard to deal with, and I'm sorry. I don't try to do it. Sometimes just one thing sets me into a tailspin, and it's hard to stop. 

14. There is no off switch. 

Just because I'm on anxiety medication doesn't mean it's gone. It just means that some days I'm a little less paranoid than other days. 

15. I need constant reassurance. 

Are you mad at me? If you get mad at me, are you going to break up with me? Are you going to ignore me for days? Are you going to sleep with someone else? (I dated a guy that did just that. Not fun.) It's the irrational thoughts. Constant reassuring can be wearing, but it is very important to me. 

~~~~

Selfies have often been described as a way of being narcissistic and wanting compliments or likes. Most of the time, for someone with anxiety, maybe that day we're feeling good about the fact that we managed to get out of bed and get dressed. AND made it to work. Or church. Or wherever. And we celebrate that, but we can't say it. 

It's okay to ask me how I'm doing, and then when I say, "I'm fine." tell me, "Okay, now tell me how you're REALLY doing." More than likely I'll tell you that I can't talk about it at that point, but I'll text you later. (Because phone calls. See #11) It shows that you care. But I don't have the plague. It isn't contagious. It just sucks, and I wish it sucked less. 

But also, I have a big heart. I've made mistakes and bad choices in the past (who hasn't??) but I don't offer to do things that I truly don't want to do. So if offer to babysit your kid(s) even when I have mine along in tow, it's because I want to. If I offer to take you out to dinner, or cook for you, it's because I want to. I mean, you'll either get frozen pizza or Kraft macaroni and cheese, but hey. It'll be made with love! 

Don't let those 15 reasons scare you away, however. Most of the time I'm happy with what's going on. I'm fun to be around. I love watching sports, and reality shows, and Disney movies. I'll cheer you up when you're sad, and cry with you if you need someone. I'm a super fun person to hang out with. It's pretty easy to make me happy; put on Big Hero 6, hand me chocolate and a blanket, and we're good to go! But seriously. Baymax. 

Please share this. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this, and I'm here if anyone ever needs to talk. 

But please, text only. 😂😘 




Sunday, April 2, 2017

Why baseball means so much to me.

Update: Edited on April 25 to add pics of the opener. 

I know I post a lot of baseball related pics. I don't know a lot of stats. I love watching the game. Walking into the stadium and hearing batting practice and people cheering. 

The smells. Hot dogs. Popcorn. Cotton candy. 

I grew up going to the Metrodome. Kent Hrbek will forever be my favorite Twins player. Not because he went to Kennedy as well (albeit earlier than I did) but because he's an awesome player and guy.

I grew up in a baseball loving family. I don't remember how old I was when my dad coached the women's softball team at our church, but I do remember going to watch them play, and loving it. 

I played my first year of softball when I was in 3rd grade. We lost every game. I told my dad that I was never going to play again! He said, "Yes, you are. Look at this way, you can't get any worse." I'm glad he made me stick with it, because I played until I graduated (with one year of fast pitch thrown in at Kennedy). I played on various co-rec teams for a long time, and I love every second of it. 

We went to different baseball stadiums on every vacation starting when I was 9. I think it was a random, "Hey, the Angels are in town, let's go to the game!" 

(That was the trip where the tarantula was in the bathroom at our campground. Not a pleasant memory of mine)

My dad and I went to a few places by ourselves too, when I was around 11-12. Chicago, Kansas City, and Milwaukee. 

When I was 14, we went to Detroit with my Uncle Tom, Aunt Cora, and cousin Tedd. Doubleheader! We didn't tell Tom until after the first game though, because he wouldn't have gone otherwise! Haha! 

In 1993 (I was 17 and it was my last family vacation) we went to Denver. It was the Inaugural year for the Rockies, and we needed to see some mountains. We stayed in a at a KOA Kampground in a cabin (kabin?) but I slept in the truck, where there WEREN'T mice and spiders. My family could have those, thankyouverymuch. That's when I decided that the Rockies were going to be my second favorite team. 

In 2008, we road tripped to Denver for the weekend to see the Twins (and Justin Morneau!) play the Rockies. And see their new(ish) stadium. We left on a Froday afternoon, watched the Saints play in Sioux Falls Friday evening, saw the Twins game Saturday night, and made it home Sunday night. Hard core fans drive that much in one weekend. 

In 2012, we went to Arizona for Spring Training, and to visit the army base where I was born. That was a blast! Woke up in Sierra Vista to 36 degree weather, while it was 50 in Minneapolis. 🙄 That was the first (and hopefully only!) time a kid behind me puked during the game. We went to a Golden Corral on the way home for breakfast, and Dad said, "If all you have for breakfast is cotton candy and chocolate fountain, you're riding in the trunk!" That's not the ONLY thing I ate, so we were safe ;) 

We toured Chase Field, so I decided that because of my Arizona background, I need to love them too. 

In 2014, we went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for minor league ball. On the way we stopped at FIELD OF DREAMS. I basically ran around saying things like, "Kevin Costner stood here! James Earl Jones sat here!" And stood in varying stages of disappear in the corn taking selfies. Because duh. 

We went to the home opener in 2010, the Twins' first year at Target Field, and we're going this year, on his birthday. Tomorrow. BASEBALL. 

I've been to 20 (I think) MLB Stadiums in the US and Canada. He always told me when I was younger that guys would be impressed by that. I'd roll my eyes and give a, "Whatever". Now I roll my eyes because he was right. 

I'm sure I learned to keep score at a young age. We're going to work on that with Nick tomorrow. 😉
So, I may not have memorized tons of stats, or know who the home run leader is, (wait, yes I do, it's Barry Bonds. Holla!) but I LOVE to go to games. I don't care if my team loses. I'm not a fair weather fan. I have a TC tattoo on my foot, for crying out loud! #dedication

My favorite movie is Field of Dreams. Obviously. 

Love you, Dad!

Home opener in 2010



2012 Spring training in Arizona


July 2016


2017 opener. Me and dad, and me and Nick. 



Easter! 4.16.2017










 

  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

I blinked.

Parenting. One day they're chunky little 5 month olds, and the next, they're seniors in high school turning 18 and getting ready to graduate. It's true when they say "Don't blink". Time has FLOWN. As of today, my oldest is 18. He's an adult. He is smart, handsome, and a great brother. He is super quiet and reserved but is hilarious in his own way. 

July 1999. Five months old. 



September 18, 2011. He was 12. 



June 2007. He was 8. Scooter was 7 months old. 


October 2011. He was 12. Lexi was 2 months. 


August 2007. He was 8, she was 7. 





Sunday, January 15, 2017

Love yourself first.

Let me tell you a little bit about what it's like in an abusive relationship. Some of you may know, some of you can't imagine. 

It starts out innocently enough. You don't see that he's manipulative. He's 'sad' and 'wants to hang out you and your friends'. So you let him. Night after night. And you think, "Wow, he loves hanging out with me and getting to know my friends." The truth is though, he just wants to make sure you're not out doing something you shouldn't be. Manipulation. 

Or it's just straight up verbal abuse. All throughout my marriage, nothing I did was ever good enough. Especially when I worked at the health club in the child care center. I worked 4-5 days a week, 4 hr shifts. When I wanted to go out with friends (which was RARE), I wasn't justified a night out because "hardly worked during the week". Never mind that I also had 3 young children to take care of 24/7, because he worked full time, and when he was home, he was parked in front of the tv all day. 

After years of being told that you're worthless, crazy, selfish, a bitch, and many other things, you start to believe it. No matter what anyone else says to you. No matter how clean the house was, it wasn't clean enough. I remember one time he knocked over a glass of milk in the fridge, but it was my fault, because I "shouldn't have put it in there in the first place". Ummm.....okay. 

So you know, looking in the mirror I'd start telling myself that I *wasn't worth anything. I couldn't do better. And I *was fat and ugly. I certainly couldn't have been a good mom, because it was MY fault the kids acted up. 

I finally got the courage to move out, but we went back. And left again. And went back. Until finally he kicked me out for good. Shortly after that, I started dating someone. (We'll call him Richard) 

Richard was kind, attentive, caring, and all that. Richard was also into cheating, lying about it, and then blaming me when I found out. But because I'm loyal to a fault, and give people a million more chances than they deserve, I forgave and continued to go on. For almost 4 years. Until he cheated on me with a married woman. Then I was finally like, "WHAT am I doing??" I woke up and realized that I was wasting time on someone that didn't respect me. When someone respects you, they don't do what he did over and over. Even a Christian that goes to church isn't always what they seem to be. 

Don't get me wrong, there are good men out there. I tell you all of this because it's what happens when you don't love yourself first. I didn't. I took what I could get. 

Then January 2016 happened. 

I went out with a guy I had been talking to for about 6 months. Not about much though. Mainly kids, exes, and sports. I remember telling him on our first date that if he wouldn't ever watch Disney movies with me, he could leave. He said, "I love Disney movies." 

The first couple of times that we hung out, we watched Inside Out, and then Big Hero 6. 

He called me beautiful. And smart. And a good mom. And I was looking for his hidden motive. Waiting for him to explode and tell me that I was worthless. Waiting. 

But he continued to call me beautiful. And tell me that he was head over heels for me. 

(I was still waiting, btw) 

Love yourself first. 

Isn't it awful what even one bad relationship will do to a person? I wasted days, and even weeks waiting for him to start in on how awful I was.

We've been broken up for a couple of months now, but during the 9 1/2 months we were together, I slowly started learning how to love myself. It's an ongoing process by far. I'm not convinced that ANYONE 100% loves themselves. 

But now I can look in the mirror, and like what I see. I see a woman who has gone through hell and back with an exhusband who wants to destroy her life, but isn't letting him. 

I see a woman who has the physical scars from being pregnant with three super amazing kids that I couldn't be more proud of. 

I see a girl who gets excited to watch Big Hero 6, and rewatches the same Fuller House episode over and over. (Hello, New Kids!) 

I see a warrior. I fight a battle with depression and anxiety every day, and right now, I'm winning. 

Sometimes I can be selfish. Sometimes I take too much without giving enough back. But I'm learning. 

And honestly, if it weren't for these 7 faces, I'd have given up long ago. 

But right now, I'm loving myself first.  











Monday, January 9, 2017

Cousin love

Sometimes the littles ask me why, at 13years old, Jacob still watches Blue's Clues and Teletubbies. It's hard to explain Autism to anyone, much less a 5 year old, but I just tell her that his brain works differently than hers, and the things that make sense to her don't necessarily make sense to him. The love between them though, can't be measured. 

We were there over the weekend to play, and to babysit. They spent some time coloring.


Then I walked into the living room to see them goofing around on the couch. "Lexi Lou! Come on!"
So adorable. 








They goofed around and snuggled for a good half hour. Which surprised me because he normally doesn't like people in his bubble for very long. He wanted Savannah to join them (Bah-vee! Come join us!) but there wasn't much room. ;) 

How about you? Were you close with your cousins while growing up? 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Parenting.

I'm a weird mom. 

I guess you could say that I don't really fit into a certain 'group' when it comes to mom life.

I'm the 40 yr old mom who rocks out to One Direction in the car even when her kids AREN'T around. 

I'm the mom wearing a Twins shirt and Wonder Woman Converse who plays on the playground equipment instead of sitting on the bench in matchy matchy clothes and chatting with the other moms. 

I'm the mom who picks up two straws at McDonald's and puts them in her mouth and says, "Look, I'm a walrus!" while the teens roll their eyes and go back to their Instagramming. 

My kids don't eat organic. I don't homeschool. By no means am I cutting down anyone else here. I breastfed, I used cloth diapers, and I coslept. But homeschooling? So not for me. I know some that do. And they're amazing for it. 

I vaccinate. 

We wear sunscreen. 

We watch Jaws. Sometimes I swear. In front of them. 

I dance in public to embarrass them. 

I wear my hair in braids. 

When we pick movies, I try to talk them into watching Big Hero 6 instead of something like Die Hard. 

I play video games. 

I watch baseball, and yell at the tv. 

I wear jeans, tshirts, and Converse more than anything else. I don't (well, rarely) dress up. 

I don't wear makeup. 

My kids never went to preschool. 

I never organized play dates for them. I'd have mom friends over, and while the kids played outside (or inside, "hey, anyone know where the kids went?) we'd play Just Dance or watch Smallville. And snacks? Chips and pop! 

They don't do classes at the Community Center, and never have. 

They'd walk in crying and bleeding from outside, and I'd ask them, "Were you messing around and doing something you shouldn't have been doing? Yes? Well, now you know better." A kiss and a hug and a band aid later and they're back outside. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids to death. I'd do anything for them. I just don't care what others think about my parenting. "You went to Burger King again?" Yes. Yes, we did. And unless we fed YOUR kids, don't get on me about mine. 

I've been seeing more and more parents slamming each other for choices they make regarding their kids. If I have your kid over to my house and I'm dropping the F bomb a million times and force feeding him Mt Dew, then you can get mad at me. 

However, I also take them to church. I teach them manners. Jacob doesn't always get a free pass with the Autism, but sometimes he does. 

My 17 yr old loves playing Legos and playing "fight" (lightsabers and various Avengers weapons) with his 9 yr old cousin. 

They'll curl up with books before bed and snuggle with me while we all read. 

I'm working on raising them to be good humans, with morals, manners, etc. Sometimes they'll fail. (Heck, we ALL fail from time to time.) 

I think the most important thing that parents need to remember is that if we're trying our best, that should be good enough for everyone else.