Saturday, June 21, 2014

Our Pet Lady Bug named Andrew

 People will talk of signs and symbols that bring them peace and reassurance, I have my own as well.  At this point in my life I have many, many "God winks" but the oldest and original was a Lady Bug.  For those who know me for a long time you know about it already.  Lady bug screen names, Lady bug tattoos, lady bug mixing bowls, lady bug themed daughters room....yea I could go on.

I remember once, after 10 or so years, pondered the thought that I was making all this up and it was just a coincidence.  That night I went and did a Thirty-One Party for a hostess I didn't know.  After about 5 minutes in her house she told me she was a Medium.  As a Christian this is a no no but I'm in her house so I just continue on with my business until, a la Teresa Caputo she started saying things that almost made me vomit and a the end of it all I was shaking so hard I had to sit down.  She told me the lady bugs were God telling me to chill out.  I left feeling...interesting.  The next morning I told myself it was all crap, as accurate as she was, it had to be crap ...then I walked out my front door and a bug hit me in the face, like a slap and landed on the house.  Fine, Fine, I'll accept it.   So yea, I see them less now that I get other God winks but if I'm being particularly stubborn and not looking toward God or having faith, they will come in my car and such (yes that happened once too).

Anyway back story over......A few months ago I saw this tiny, size of a nickel, Murano glass Lady Bug at a boutique in Rockville Centre .  I decided to purchase it even though I thought $8 for a tiny glass bug was a little ridiculous.  I figured I would keep in in my wallet as a good luck type thing.....that is until  my daughter saw it. 

I'm not sure if everyone knows what its like to argue with a 3.5 year old girl.   In the end I lost and my daughter started carrying around a little glass lady bug she so sweetly names Andrew.  At this stage of the game all three kids are fighting over it and its gotten to the point where I have to ration time with Andrew.......a little glass lady bug.  Through out the day you will hear me yell "where is Andrew, who has him?"  " How did Andrew get being the couch?" "Get Andrew out of your mouth!"  They have a million toys yet this is what has been entertaining them for weeks. 

I've been surprised it hasn't been lost yet.......Well, maybe it has been lost.  This morning I found him under clean laundry and just before while I was asking God if I should get my hopes up about my "dreams" coming true....... I picked up a block and found Andrew under it.  Maybe that was a yes, maybe it was a relax but it snapped me out of my funk.

I paused in my writing to yell at my kids for jumping off a dresser onto the couch......yes you read that right, they invent the most dangerous games.  In the midst of my ranting, I catch my daughter, holding a tiny glass lady bug named Andrew that I swore I put out of reach.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why I abandoned 'The Neurotypical Mom'

Some of you know our story from my days as The Neurotypical Mom.  In March of 2011 my son was placed on the Spectrum and I had no where to turn.  I don't mean to say I didn't have tons of resources or people to support me.  It was more that I didn't know anyone who had a kid like mine.  Being a spectrum, all kids on it are different and I needed to place larger then my town to find people who had a kid like better then the INTERNET!

At that point in my life I ate, breathed and slept Autism.  Here is was on my front door, I let it in and was trying to help it get comfortable.  As you may have read in my last post, no one was going to give me an answer on where my son may or may not end up or where he would fall on the spectrum.  It was highly suggested I purchase an Ipad and think about a program like Proloquo to assist him in communicating.  While I knew he would be ok, I never made any concrete plans for the future because who knew.

It was through the Neurotypical Mom that I could finally write what I was feeling and be able to connect with people across the country and the world who felt the same way.  I have formed so many friendships with these people and it was what I needed and what I still LOVE. I am forever grateful for that.

 In the last year I have been quiet on The Neurotypical Mom because I felt like it as no longer "me" or "us".  Frankie has come so far and Autism has become something I think about maybe 3rd or 4th on my list of stresses and even there I'm not very much stressed about it.  I have two other typical children and the three of them are amazing together.  I started my own business painting and refurbishing furniture and became a stand up comic.......ok the last part isn't true.....Im more of Facebook comic.  Its also a secret of mine that apparently I might have a touch of ADHD according to a therapist and psychiatrist I saw about 10 years ago, but I told them to shove it because I like being the way I am.  My secret for a long time is I might not be Neurotypical at all with that ADHD likelihood

So I resign as The Neurotypical Mom and am Now Just Danielle over at 'Happily Painted After'.  Sure I will talk about Autism a bunch but, I will also talk about painting, cooking, PTA, essential oils, fancy crystal collections, making fairy gardens, potty training, biting toddlers and MORE.

The Neurotypical Mom was my cocoon time, and now this Chick is a Butterfly


P.S.  Come visit me and Like me on FB at " Happily Painted After "

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Little Boy That Could

That Picture......These pictures have only started coming home in Frankie's back pack in the last few months.  I'm not sure if he just didn't have the time or maybe his creativity hadn't peaked yet, but all these lovely drawings are new to me.  Some I hang up and some I stow away in a special cubby he has that house crafts since he started school at 3. 

This picture was different.  I found it, like others before, and placed it on the kitchen table and smiled.  Through out the course of the night he was obsessively asking for new crayons and after about an hour asked me for a stapler.  I questioned what he was doing, then he told me he needed to show two children, in the mainstream class , that he too could draw and color in the lines.  If you have yet to read my about section, my son was diagnosed with Autism at 30 months.  Since then he has been in some sort of intense therapy and at age three began full time 8am-3pm schooling 5 days a week. OT, PT, Speech, etc. etc.    He now is in a special Ed class and is mainstreamed certain parts of the day.

  So here he sat, holding this picture,  telling me about how he was told he was not a very good drawer and never stayed in the lines.  He started getting upset because no one could tell that the orange figure on the right was a tick tock crock and how he should have used green but he was too terrible at coloring.  That thing in the middle.....its the Jolly Roger, Captain hooks boat, but no one could tell because he was a bad drawer and he should be better. 

I'll be honest, at first I was angry.  I was angry that anyone would tell him he wasn't good.  It took close to two years to get him to hold a pencil right and now hes stressed out about his drawing abilities.  Of course I took a step back and realized that no Five or Six year old is going to understand the mountain that Frankie has climbed.  The mere fact that he had enough imagination to think up this scene from Jake and the Never land Pirates and then tried to produce it on paper while sitting quietly in a mainstream classroom was a friggen one could know that.

My son began to cry the more I insisted that his drawing was amazing, he cried because he said he would never be good.....and then I cried.  I sat on the floor of his room and cried and cried that he was upset and then I cried  because I was glad he had enough emotion and realization of the world around him now that he could cry.  I sat him down on his desk chair and said..... "let me tell you a story about a little boy I knew...."

I told him a story......It went like this...... "Once upon a time there was a tiny little boy.  He didn't talk at all!  He liked to spin wheels and never answered to his name.  His mommy and daddy thought his ears were broke and he cried all the time.  The boy liked to jump all day and when he got angry he would hit his head, bite and hit others.  He didn't know how to play with his toys, friends or anything!............  He is now looking at me like I'm insane...........  Then one day the mommy called the doctors who told her that the little boy had Autism.  They told her that they didn't know what could happen.  The mommy and daddy even got the boy an Ipad because they didn't know if he would ever talk.  The little boy had teachers come to his house everyday for HOURS to teach him to play and listen and learn to talk....the little boy was so upset, he didn't think he couldn't do it sometimes and he would even try and throw tables........ Insert Wide eyed shocked look from my son now............... But the boy kept trying and trying and he surprised everyone, no one thought he could do the things he would do, some people didn't believe in him but his family and teachers sure did.  He tried so hard to learn new things and he did great at all of them.  Now he is doing awesome and still learning to do new things everyday!"........  Then I ask him.... "Do you know that boy?"  of course he says no.  So it came as quite a shock when I explained to him that, I had just told him the story of him.  I said "There were days I didn't think I would hear your voice ever and people told me they weren't sure if you would say more then one word at a time but you worked so hard and now your a great talker.  If you could learn to talk and write and play nice with your friends, I promise you, you will learn to draw".  

Frankie said ok.  I told him we would start working on learning to draw things tomorrow.  I asked him what he wanted to learn first and his reply was "I think maybe a star"

He is my star and tomorrow I will show him how to draw one <3

Monday, June 9, 2014

Soggy Nightmare

I once stated out loud....."I feel like i live in a  liquid nightmare!"  Somedays its like a flood or others days, like today, are just soggy.

In a house with three children, who all posses butter fingers....nothing is safe.  My couch was a beautiful green at one time..... now its carrying shades of green with rings all over from spills.  My carpet was beige, its now.....a darker TAN.

We live in a basement apartment, it was built for us to my specifications, it was glorious.  Two weeks into being here it rained....A LOT.  I went into my unborn daughters room and felt wet feet.... Please God, tell me I'm pregnant and crazy and imagining more step....**Squish**.  Friggen great, I knew we should have gotten tile instead of carpets.  Here I am 4 months pregnant pulling up a new rug, setting up heaters and dehumidifiers grrr...Darn Water table.  Rain continues and in my living room I see my nice new carpet looks like it has a spot.  Of course to my dismay, its water coming UP....yes UP into the basement.  Again, pull up carpet set up heaters and the water trend began in March of 2010.

The pump for the water broke 3 times....3 kitchen floods.  The Washer broke twice.....2 more kitchen floods.  The sink broke just another kitchen flood.  My children have a knack for making leak proof things leak and opening containers grown men can't open.  My youngest likes to take his diaper off and has peed multiple times on the floor and as of Today my daughter, who is pee potty trained has peed on my carpet 3....yes 3 times for no real reason other then to convince me that I'm cursed.

Liquid nightmare....and like I said to myself in 2010....we should have gotten tile.

Monday, June 2, 2014

In The Park....From The Start

In March of 2010 I moved to Massapequa Park NY with my husband and my 20 month old son.  I didn't know much about the area other then the rent price was right. We took our first walk in town when the weather got nice, taking in the area, visiting stores etc.  We past by a store, Yours To Treasure, that had a cute little sign in the said "Massapequa Park.  Home is where your story begins."  I got to chatting with the store owner who asked.....Are you in Massapequa or "In the Park"?  I laughed and said I guess "In The Park"  I didn't realize there was a huge difference.  She said to some people there is, she mentioned she had no idea there was a difference either till she too move "In The Park".  It was funny, I was happy, I started frequenting her store often.....and then later realized she lived 2 houses down for me.

In the Summer of 2013 I was at my wits end.  In the three years that passed I had 2 more children, my husband had lost his job a couple times, my son was diagnosed with Autism, we had debt up to our eye balls....I could go on.  I had always been crafty, I can crochet, for a while i made baby headbands and diaper cakes I became a senior consultant with Thirty-One, but it was never enough and we were stuck.  I couldn't afford to go back to work full time and my husbands schedule was never permanent so I couldn't even figure out a part time job.

One night I was laying on the couch telling my husband how I see furniture in great condition on the curb all the time and how we should pick it up and sell it at a garage sale as is for $10...whatever it was because $10 was better then nothing.  As much as I believed the idea was golden I was still unsure.  If you know me, you know that I have a deep rooted belief in God and signs from him.  For 2 years I had been in search of window panes from an old house to make into mirrors or wall decorations.  I had thought they would be great to sell if I started this business, but again, I was flip flopping and doubting myself.  On my way to a friends house I took a wrong turn.....I was on this dark road semi freaking out asking God to help me out here when out of the corner of my eye in the garbage were THREE Windows, in perfect condition.  I snatched them up and took it as my sign to start this business up....I later had an amazing woman from church offer me 14 MORE windows she had in her garage!  God is good!   It was then the wheels started spinning......Just like Stress and Pressure turn Coal into a Diamond.....Stress and Pressure turn an Idea into "In The Park"
My First Before and After

 I decided my best bet was to Paint furniture I found or that was donated to me because then I could charge a bit more then $10.  I took the name from that encounter I had with my neighbor and built a Facebook Page.  I started painting little things here and there.....and then the requests came in.

As much as people liked the stuff I was taking into inventory, most people had furniture of their own that they wanted custom painted.  I never really thought I would do custom work and the idea was intimidating but I went for it.   So in the fall, having the worlds largest anxiety attack I began painting a Curio Cabinet and told the client I would be SURE i could match it to her Buffet table made by Hooker.....on the inside I was not so sure but, I took the leap of faith. 

I got the color and glaze to match feeling ever.  The rest is History.  I took a leap of faith in all of this and people had faith in me.  

This blog was mainly to tell the story of where I came from, but its also to say THANK YOU!  Thank you to those who had faith in me.  Thank you to my original clients who hired a girl with a tiny portfolio, Thank you to my friends for bringing me old furniture, photographing furniture and sharing me.  Thank you to my mother and stepfather who let me keep furniture in their living room for months at a time.  Thank you to my kids for helping mommy prime. Thank you to my In-Laws who watch my children on weekends so I can go paint in peoples homes.  Thank you to my husband who let me start all this with funding from his paycheck, for letting me keep furniture in our kitchen, for watching the kids on his ONE day off  during the week so I cant paint, and for only being a little upset when there is paint on the kitchen tiles and brushes piled up in the bathroom sink.  Lastly Thank You God.