Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Cold and Lovely Moon - Free Short Story

I put a short story I wrote quite a while ago on my Author blog. If you're interested, go here:


Leave me a comment so I know I'm not just throwing these stories out into the ether to fend for themselves...poor little short stories.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum

If you've known me for any length of time, you know that my kids are my world. They’re everything to me. When I was asked as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “A mom.”  Like most things in the world, those idealized plans we have as children aren't as simple or as care-free as we think.
It started with the miscarriages, I miscarried over and over. At some points, I was on birth control just because we couldn't handle the stress of it as a couple.

 So, when I finally got pregnant and stayed pregnant, it seemed like the tough times were over…and then I threw up every day of the pregnancy and started having contractions at 28 weeks. With bedrest, I made it to 37 weeks and then…then it would be easy and like what you read in the books.

B was born with an air pocket in her lung and a collapsed lung. They were able to resolve it in the NICU in a few days, and we took her home.

 But, then, it was going to be easy, right? I’d be able to find my answers in all those books I had. I’d be that mom I wanted to be when I was a kid. 

B had so many weird little allergic type reactions and she was sick–all the time–she was sick over two dozen times in the first two years of her life. But then she started talking when I was pregnant with T, and it felt like I was finally fitting on the pages of my parenting books…and then she stopped talking and the words just disappeared. They slipped away and other milestones followed.

 I was given a baby scrapbook at one of my baby showers, and I didn't know what to do with it. One of her sicknesses reverted her back to crawling again. Her first words were gone. She seemed not to care who I was or if I was in the room. She never pointed–she would just shove our hands at what she wanted. There was never any eye contact. She wouldn't react when we called her name. One of the scariest things was that her response to pain was nonexistent at times.

 We were living outside the parenting books…reading them just made me cry.

 A month after T was born, I convinced my husband we should see the doctor about her hearing–but it was more than that–I knew it was more than that. On March 8th of 2003, the doctor told us he thought she had regressive Autism. It changed everything. It hurt, and it helped. Nothing was the same, but everything made sense. It felt like the start of a different life…and it was.

 Later, my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s and both kids got secondary diagnoses of Sensory Integration Dysfunction.

 Thanks to therapists, doctors, diets, teachers, interventions, family–and a whole lot of work from us and from the kids, my kids are both extremely high-functioning and mainstreamed in school. Most people will never know they were once diagnosed with things that ripped our hearts out.

 B loves math and likes to Skype with friends about Minecraft. She’s sweet, beautiful, and laughs at corny jokes. She has a friend who refers to B as “her best friend.”

 T has been reading at a 12th grade reading level since 3rd grade–likes to know everything about everything, and he, too, is obsessed with Minecraft. He’s charming and treats our furniture like a jungle gym. He is the most literal child you’ll ever meet and half of his sentences are the word “Dude.”

 Ultimately, our story is a story of hope. After the crying and the loss and the confusion, we got up and got to work. My parenting experience has never been in the standard books. We celebrated when B relearned words and could put her feet in sand. We celebrated when T stopped wearing earphones and gloves.

 I’m not at all the mom I thought I’d be as a kid. I’m the mom who learned home therapy and married the dad who built a therapy room for his kids.  I’m the mom who cooked gluten-free and dairy-free for four years. My husband is the dad who once stayed in a job he didn't always like because the medical benefits for therapy were good. I’m the mom who jumped at the chance to write something for a book about being a mom to kids on the spectrum. I’m the mom who bawled while reading through journals and through every revision.

 When I heard that my story “When Ladybugs Roar” had been chosen as a finalist–I felt everything I’d always wanted to feel as both a writer and a mom.  I've never been so proud of being a writer and a mom. So, I'm that mom…and my story is found in the section of the book under the category of “Hope and Expectations."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Downstairs From Hell--Free Short Story

So, once upon a time, I wrote a romantic tax season short story. You know...as you do. I put it on my website's blog just now: 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Creeping Death

This is cut and pasted from my website's blog--if you haven't seen that, you can go check it out and think, "Wow, Wendy! Look at that! You have a website!" I know, right? Weird. 

I've been gone from online lately because I caught the flu...only just calling it the flu doesn't really cut it. It was definitely the creeping death...and both my kids and I caught it. The timing sucks because I missed Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, but there was just no way. I think I slept through that day actually--I was that sick. My kids both had fevers so high (over 105) that we were worried about seizures and used frozen rice bags to ice-pack their heads. 

It's been a very slow recovery for me because I took care of the kids when the husband was gone and I have wimpy lungs. I'm still coughing my brains out and it's been over two weeks. Ugh.
I will be posting more this week and hopefully getting back into the swing of things. I hope. I actually finished a revision during the last two weeks of hell, and I received good news about a few other projects. (Of course, in the world of publishing, this means I'll be able to share it with you around the time they're actually published.) 

In my next post, I'll talk more about my contribution to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum which came out on April 2nd. There are buy links on my book page on my website.  
Thanks for reading! *blows kisses sprayed with Lysol*