Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Parent of the Week: Allie

I’m so pleased to introduce Allie to you this week. She’s mom to two amazing little ones that you will just love reading about. Oh, and she blogs over at Little Baby Fields- enjoy!

As always, if you'd like to be a Parent of the Week or would like to nominate someone, email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!


Tell me a little about you- Who are you? What do you do? Do you dance in the car?
My name is Allie and I've been a stay at home mom since the birth of our first child in 2007. I live in beautiful east Tennessee with my husband John, our three year old daughter Sarah Hazel, 21 month old son Cameron, two cats and a giant Golden Retriever that likes to sleep on the couch. My kids keep me on my toes but when I can get a break I love to sew or read a good book. I absolutely love babies so every Sunday morning I volunteer in our church nursery. You’d think having two small children of my own would steer me away from rocking newborns but I am at peace when I have a little one in my arms. And we all dance AND sing in the car and I make no apologies to those around us at stoplights. Sometimes you gotta let loose!

Tell me about your children.
I have been blessed with two amazing children that are less than 16 months apart in age. Sarah Hazel is our three year old 'spirited' yet gentle little lady. She loves all things girly and has been found trying out my makeup on more than one occasion. She loves to perform for crowds and often entertains anyone who will watch. Right now her favorite song to perform is ‘Jingle Bells’ but for some reason, she thinks she made it up. Recently I took her to a local high school choral performance and when they started singing Jingle Bells, she was excited but highly confused that someone else knew the song. She turned to me with a puzzled look and said "Mommy, they are singing MY song." I love watching her discover everything for the first time! There is nothing better than seeing that excitement in her eyes and watching that sweet smile spread across her face. Even though I want to savor every second with her, I am also excited to see what the future has in store for my bright little star.

Speaking of stars, the other one that brightens my whole world is my little Cameron (21 months old). Even before he was born, my mommy instinct told me something was not quite right with my little guy. At birth he appeared healthy but as time went on he was diagnosed with a GI motility disorder after some serious intestinal issues. Even with that diagnosis I could feel that there was more going on however, no one else could see it. Over the next few months, his development was slow. He was not hitting milestones like he should have and the few words he had begun to say had completely disappeared. He also stopped growing which is what finally got the attention of his doctors. After many evaluations he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder (MERLD), and several developmental delays. Currently he is in speech, eating/feeding, and occupational therapies and also attends a center for special needs children where he is able to socialize with children his age and receive help in the areas he needs assistance on. Cameron has a long tough road ahead of him but we are not giving up. I spend a great deal of time researching his diagnosis and am passionate about getting him every bit of help he needs.

What surprised you most about parenting?
I think initially what surprised me most was how unprepared I was to give up so much of myself. I knew parenting would be hard and that I would not have a lot of free time but I don't think I ever thought about how exhausting but at the same time, how rewarding it really is. I remember right after my daughter was born I would get frustrated because I wanted to check email, watch TV, or shower when I wanted. I quickly realized that you have to lose every ounce of selfishness in your body and that time was now my child's and not mine. Once I let go of all of the expectations I had and just enjoyed the moment for what it was, life became so much easier. I guess you could say that I adapted to my kids schedule instead of the other way around. After all, I did not stay at home for me. I was staying at home to give myself fully to my children.

How have you had to be Avant Garde as a parent?
The obvious answer is would be about how I have had to fight and constantly find to new ways to parent and help Cameron with his needs. But I also have to constantly be in tune to Sarah Hazel and her emotions and desires. She has not been officially diagnosed with SPD like her brother but she has many sensitivities that can make or break her day. Recognizing and proactively dealing with what triggers both of my kids’ changes in emotions is the key to getting though each day. I guess it's not really innovative, but I am a firm believer in acting on ‘mother's instinct’ regardless of what others my say or think.

Allie and Past Parents of the Week: Feel free to grab the Parent of the Week Badge:


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