Hello Strangers

Hello again. I know it has been a long time. The last seven months have been busy, emotional, wonderful and stressful. Ok so basically they have been normal. 🙂

We have settled into lives in the new house. The kids love the space and being so close to school and friends and the park. It has opened up more opportunities for our family and that has been nice. I have been so busy that half of what we own is still packed in the garage though.

Sky and I being goofy.

Sky and I being goofy.

I am going to be perfectly honest. I haven’t updated the blog in months mostly because of the wonderful commenter who tried to shame me. She failed in making me feel ashamed of asking for help. She did, however, make me want to pull back from opening myself to it happening again. That attitude was letting that persons poison win and I no longer want to do that. I need this blog. I need to be able to share my feelings, fears and pride with the world. Even if noone reads it. I need a place to put it. There is so much more to our lives that I can’t express at home.

So, moving right along. This is where we are.

River is in his senior year of high school. This has so many mixed emotions involved in it. He is struggling with realizing the school year is coming to an end. He loves his school and hates change, so I know how hard the end of the year will be. Also involved in this is preparing for public engagements.

River at the Vancouver Menorah lighting for Chanukah. The last time he had a highly successful public outing.

River at the Vancouver Menorah lighting for Chanukah. The last time he had a highly successful public outing.

Today he had a practice presentation for his senior project. He has to talk about volunteer work he did this year and its impact on his life. He came directly home from school very upset after his presentation. Instead of staying for the day of open studies, he made the choice to walk home and let himself decompress. Seeing him so overwhelmed is very hard. Public speaking is never going to be easy for him. Upside, he got through it. He said he broke down in tears a few times and got flustered, but he made it through. So this week I will be drilling him on it all week to get him really ready for the official presentation next week.

River has been going to youth group at the church on Wednesdays too. Which he chose to do on his own. He enjoys it, but admitted to me this week he doesn’t really talk to anyone there. I hate that he still has no friends no matter what I do. He just doesn’t know how to approach people or how to interact with people who approach him. He tries though and I couldn’t be more proud.

Mr. Man turned 18 last summer, so he got to vote.

Mr. Man turned 18 last summer, so he got to vote.

Sky is flourishing. He loves going to school and being with his friends. He has taken up writing fanfic and creating his own Minecraft skins and artwork. Sky joined 4H and is raising guinea pigs. He loves animals and enjoys getting to be around other kids. He is thinking about joining scouts with his best bud too.

Little dude got a new hair cut.

Little dude got a new hair cut.

Little dude still has alot of anxiety though. His health is still a problem that we are working on. That will probably always be the case though. The kid is tough though and I know my little fighter will come through it all.

As for me, I am still continuing my schooling. Getting good grades and trying not to get burned out. I am providing childcare full time for my friends two kids and that is alot of work.  I also am involved with my book club Fangirls Read It First. I review books, edit other members reviews and help run the public Facebook page. It is fun and a good outlet for me that has nothing to do with my kids. We all need something like that.

keep-trying-dont-give-up

So I aim to have this back up and regular. our little family will continue its growth. We won’t lose sight of our goals even when autism, money issues and life in general kick us down. We are fighters and we keep going.

Advertisements

Having a night.

Feeling pretty defeated right now. The house hunt is not going well and time is ticking away. We had a place where the guy made me feel like I was going to get it but then tells me there is an applicant ahead of me and he approved them. I feel toyed with. And considering how I got into the house hunting situation that isn’t a great feeling.

2014-06-28 17.13.01

Our littlest Thalia will be going to her new home this week 😦 🙂

Our situation just sucks. It is near impossible to find someone who accepts cosigners. Apartments really don’t like it. I just don’t make enough money to do it alone though. I am starting to get really scared and desperate. We will probably end up living in the camper. That isn’t a horrible thing, except the age of the camper means parks wont accept it for monthly stays. So again we have to find somewhere to park it.

10440903_10203703142877705_812000501499180791_n

Eph getting tired with his pup Lovely waiting on a house viewing that didn’t work out.

I am struggling to stay positive. The kids are having a hard time too. Ephraim has been crying off and on for the last hour and I can’t even figure out why. Today was pretty easy for him, he just hung out with Grandma, but now he is an emotional wreck headed for meltdown city.

Which is only going to get worse over the next few days. We are starting to thin the herd here. Yesterday I put word out to rehome our tortoise shell kitty and a friends grandma is going to be giving her a new home. Tonight, I have to put it out there to rehome Ephraim’s kitty stormy. He is not thrilled by this as you can guess. Every conversation we have had about that has gone very badly.  My parents are taking on the chickens, so that is at least one worry that I don’t have to deal with now. Eph was not a fan of getting rid of them wither. I hate having to break my kids hearts over and over again.

381613_2506963112031_810308560_n

these two have been near inseparable since we got her.

This whole thing just sucks. In less then a month, we will most likely be homeless. That is how it is looking right now. I am bouncing back and forth between anger and despair. This is not how children should be raised.

537432_4855780751004_1928495710_n (1)

Eph is pretty angry at me about having to let her go 😦

We had River’s social security review today. The transition over to his own file now that he is 18. I was pretty nervous about that, but it went well. Now we just have to wait and see if they are going to decide that because he is 18 his disability has suddenly disappeared, because yeah, that is how autism works didn’t you know.

We are still trying to figure out Ephraim’s disability and we just started the process of getting me approved to provide childcare for a friend. If that all goes smooth, I will actually have some money coming in and wont be so stuck. but of course I can’t make any of that happen before the deadline for moving is here. So it doesn’t really help right now.

sad_birthday_m-200x200

oh yay

I am tired of crying. I am just so tired. My birthday is in less the 2 weeks. So hey universe, could you please cut me a break.

Always Love,

Domoni

http://www.gofundme.com/Dreaming-of-home

How a cat changed my sons world.

Animals have shown they are good for people’s health. They can increase exercise, lower blood pressure and just make us happy. They also seem to have a very positive effect on children with autism. There have been studies that show a pet can help an autistic child learn to bond with more than just the animal. we have experienced a similar effect.

We have always had pets. I really can’t remember a time when we didn’t have animals. Most of my life we had them. All sorts from cats to horses. I have always loved animals and daydreamed about one day having a farm full of them. Not that I wanted to be a farmer back then because I hated living rural. I always wanted my farm in the middle of a large city. Silly yes, but  kids think of silly things.

images

So my boys have always had pets. They haven’t had the same upbringing as me so their pets have ranged from goldfish to cats and we have usually had a dog. No matter what we do or where we are an animal is usually in the mix.

Image253

So by the time River turned 5 we had random cats around and had found this lovely chow/malamute mix Sydney (best dog ever who we said goodbye to last year 😥 ) and River was always cool with them. He had his own cat but never really paid it much attention. River was more into building things and watching Sonic the Hedgehog or Pokemon related things.

When River was 5, we had a fire in our apartment. Luckily we were out at a friends that night and our dog was with us. See our stove at the time had push button controls on the front edge of it. A cat jumped up on the stove and turned an eye on. The eye got hot and caught the wall on fire and the kitchen was a goner.

A neighbor noticed the smoke coming through a wall vent and called 911. The fire was contained to the kitchen but soot and smoke covered everything in the house and sadly our 3 kitties at that time didn’t survive the smoke. We lost some of our stuff but we were ok, so that is what mattered.

River was mostly unfazed by the whole thing except for his worry about the cats. I was so heartbroken and stressed about what had happened I decided to lie to him. I told him that the cats had gotten out and were scared so they ran off. I told him someone had probably taken them home to be with new families. And he was fine with that until a redcross worker we were talking to said they had seen a story about it in the paper. I wasn’t aware it had been in the paper. He said “so you were the fire in the kitchen that killed 3 cats, right?” At which point River lost it and learned mommy had lied. That was not a great moment but we got through it.

3 years later, River is 8 and I am very pregnant with his little brother. My best friend at the time had a very pregnant cat. River would tell us every day that when she had her kittens he wanted the all black one. This cat was a whitish/gray almost Siamese looking cat. I told him sure if it had an all b lack kitten he could have it. So the day before I have Ephraim, the cat has kittens and sure enough one is completely black, not a touch of white on her.

Kairi

Enter Kairi, the sleekest smartest black cat ever. We did not get along most of the time. She could care less about people. She wanted to lounge when and where she chose, and you better get out of the way. She was the Queen. River adored her and oddly, she adored River. She would stay with him pretty much all day. She slept at the foot of his bed. She lounged on the couch with him as he played video games. And it was his job to take care of her completely.

????????????????????????????????

River never wavered in his care. He cleaned her box. He kept her food and water full. He loved on her all the time. He would be doing school work on the computer and he left hand would be petting the cat sitting on the floor next to his chair. They were an amazing pair.

And she changed him. 8 was the roughest year for River. He was violent and out of control. He could not tolerate the world. Everything had to be routine and safe. We didn’t leave the house much and when we did it had to be scheduled and it had to be a familiar safe place. Honestly, I was scared about bringing a baby into the chaos that was our life.

Rio and sky on the way home0001

When Ephraim and I came home from the hospital, it was a new experience and River tolerated it. He actually took to Ephraim straight off. He doted on him and would help me take care of him. Bringing me diapers and blankets and watching everything I did. Ephraim was sick from birth and River tried to be very helpful. I know sometimes it was hard on him especially when Eph had to have surgery and I was away for a week at the hospital with him.

Doting

We brought Kairi and her brother Riku home when they were ready and that helped River get through things. He suddenly had his own baby to care for. He would sit and play with the kitten on the floor next to me as I nursed and rocked his baby brother. He was so proud of every little thing his kitty did and she connected with him. She calmed his storm.

bros

Something happened in that year. He was learning to care for his beloved Kairi and helping with his baby brother, and watching how sick Eph was and how much things were changing. He learned to let it go and roll with the punches. He learned that sometimes things have to change and all we can do is let them. He learned to find the storm inside his head and quiet it. The love his cat gave him would make things better. When he would start to fall apart, handing him his best girl put the pieces back together. He truly connected with her in a way he had never connected with anything.

the meltdowns have left Rivers life. He still gets stuck sometimes and needs to step out, but there is no more loss of control. He has battled the storm and come out the other side. There is still a large struggle everyday, but he is winning. We lost Kairi a few months ago. She snuck out the door and we fear a predator got her. River tells himself someone took her into their home and I hope that is true. She is 9 1/2 years old now and has a few good years in her so I hope that it is true. River holds out hope she will come home again and I let him keep his hope. Hope is never a bad thing.

That cat and I never were good friends but I love her more than most any animal I have ever had. She gave me back my son. She was our angel. So I believe that animals can change lives.  Ephraim has a kitty now that brings many  benefits to his life as well. It hasn’t had the same impact, but it has had a large one. We are thankful for all of our animals and how they have changed our lives.

537432_4855780751004_1928495710_n

Now we are sort of starting that farm life. We lie pretty rural. The boys each have a black lab pup, they will be a year old in a month. We have two cats again and 20 chickens. We have plans to add more animals in over time and my kids love it and it has given us a lot of opportunity to grow.

2014-04-09 13.46.42

So give you pet some extra love, and if you don;t have one, consider adopting a new friend. Everything can make an impact from a tiny chicken to a full grown horse. Ferrets and kitties and mice and dogs, all give love and need love in return.

Always love,

Domi

 

follow us and see what we are doing at

https://www.facebook.com/Riosdreams