Hi, I’m Kelly. I have labeled myself as a Mommy, et cetera. Because, let’s face it, it would take too long to say, Mommy, Nurse, Caregiver, Cook, Baker, Fixer, Doer, Secretary, Chauffeur. Before I was a Mommy, et cetera, I was a completely different gal.
I grew up until my teen years in Suburban, Central, New Jersey. Yup, a Jersey Girl at heart. I went to both public and private schools before my family picked up everything and moved to the frozen tundra also known as, Upstate, New York. I was sixteen years old and my parents built a lovely house, which still waited on electricity when we moved in. Thankfully, it was summer. I think this was the first time I ever had to “rough” it. I grew up with my Daddy saying, “baby girls don’t wash dishes”. I like to say that I was spoiled but not a spoiled brat ;-). In Jersey we were moderately well off, I didn’t have too much but I didn’t want for anything either. So, roughing it in the North Country was challenging. I remember filling up a 5 gallon solar shower bag and setting it in the hot morning sun then hanging it in our actual shower and using it like a real shower. As a teenager, I had been accustomed to showering and washing my hair every day, sometimes twice, so I couldn’t let a little thing like no electricity keep me from that! Thank goodness for the solar shower. (Recounting this makes me realize just how much motherhood has changed me; these days I often can’t remember my last shower, ha)!
Our new country life took some getting used to, eventually we got electricity and had real showers, thank goodness! Of course, I hated bugs, flies, snakes, frogs, etc. I especially hated getting my long hair caught in the stupid fly strips. What? You don’t know about those? I never did either until we moved to fly country! You hang these sticky strips around to catch the flies because it is a full-time job to swat them with a fly swatter, you’d never get anything else done. Often, in my teenage rush, I would forget the fly strip was near and then, GROSS, get my LONG hair caught up in it and often need assistance to get out. Then I needed another hair wash of course, there were flies stuck all over that strip in addition to my hair!! ICK.
By the time I graduated high school, this Jersey Girl could drive in a white out snow storm without white knuckles, split wood, mud sheet rock, lay tiles, caulk anything, keep the wood stove fueled and burning, ride a four-wheeler, navigate the woods with a compass, and survive a 12 day power outage with just my Mom after an ice storm. I made some drastic changes in just a few years of life in the north country. I can recall the first “big” snow we had after I moved there. We had six inches of snow on the ground and it was still falling. In New Jersey they would have cancelled school as soon as the weather report came out! But, as I sat in my jammies waiting to hear the school closings on the radio or news stations, the bus came trolling down our snow covered dirt road! WHAT? I rustled myself together and flew out of the house to catch the bus. One more reminder that life was different there!
Unlike many teens, I did not sulk or mope about with the vast change in life, I embraced it. I made friends in school, became captain of the cheerleading team and graduated with honors. I went off to college and though I missed my parents more than I could ever describe, I have been out of the house ever since. I have embraced every change in my life and every challenging circumstance, most times I did so without thinking much about it. I faced life in this way because I had a strong personality and a positive spirit; those combined with love and support of my amazing parents are what built the strong foundation that has kept me standing in my most recent challenge, motherhood. Not just any motherhood, special needs motherhood.
Our beautiful daughter is two years old and brings me joy in the purest and most beautiful form. She was born with a rare genetic issue and as a result she has had considerable medical and developmental challenges. I am blessed to be her mother, I could never have asked for a better match. My life was going as planned before we decided to start a family. I was very pleased with our home, our relationship, our careers and our finances. So, naturally, starting a family seemed like the next thing on my list to enhance our already beautiful life. We had no complications with the pregnancy or the birth. The scary stuff began about two minutes after Delainie was born. After about four and a half months in three different hospitals, it was clear, without question, that I would leave my career and remain home to care for our little girl. I would use every resource possible along with love and patience to help her discover and reach her fullest potential. Of course this plan does not include me alone, it is only successful with the support of my amazing husband and the love and understanding of family.
This is a snippet of me, the past and present, there is so much more of course! This blog is intended to grow and share my journey as a special needs mom and my pursuit of finding the balance between motherhood and being an individual with personal goals and dreams. I will share cooking skills, recipes, favorite wines, travels, life moments, things I’ve learned like sign language and medical politics, who knows what else!
Thanks for visiting.