Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Our Eli

Not really sure how to write or what to even say, but I just wanted to write a bit about Eli. Since he was about 16 months old we noticed that he has some "red flags" for autism. He would sway his body in a very fast rhythmic motion, sometime hit is head on things when he was upset,  he didn't have any words, would squeal like a siren constantly to communicate, and got very picky. I would get very worried about it and start to wonder and would tell people that I thought we should look into getting him tested and time and time again I would be told that he was ok, and that it is best to wait to have children tested around 3 or 4 so I would get to a place where I was placated again and then I would get worried. It has been a constant roller coaster for me.

Sometimes my heart would get so hurt by well intentioned people who would make comments about some of his behaviors, and that they wished he would stop doing certain things, or that maybe if we just tried this, or disciplined him differently things would be better. I am not extremely prone to crying, but I would get angry, it was like being slapped in the face for just trying to do my best. He was once even man handled by a complete stranger in another ward because he was blocking the drinking fountain and hitting the button over and over again. I was furious

A few summers ago, I had a heart to heart with my friend Lyndsay who out of all people I felt could tell me if we should have him tested or not, because he sweet son has autism. She just listened and shared her experience with me. She didn't judge or made suggestions and just listened and cared about what I was going through.
I just wanted someone like his pediatrician or his neurologist to say "yes, what you are seeing is completely valid and your not crazy, let's get the ball rolling. Gratefully this happened last fall when we were visiting Primary Childrens and his neuro noticed what I had been telling her about and she got us a referral, to a clinic that would just be a co pay as opposed to the massive amounts we were told we would have to pay if we had him tested privately.

Eli was tested about 3 weeks ago, and he does indeed have Autism. Until 6 months ago he would have been diagnosed with PDD or Pervasis Developmental Delay, but now all of the categories just fall under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  He is a sensory seeker, his eye contact is good and he wants to socialize and make connections with people he just doesn't know how.

Even though I knew it was coming, I still mourned for my boy. Even though he is exactly the same boy as he was before he was diagnosed I went through a period of grieving because I know that life is going to be harder and different for him than it will be for my other children. I have gotten very sad at times thinking how hard it must be for him to be in a body that can't do all the things that he wants it to, and that there must be A LOT of frustration.

Eli is an marvelous boy. This is his special test on earth. There are so many wonderful things about him. I WOULD NOT CHANGE HIM. Life is going to be different for us and that is ok.(Sometimes that thought is hard and daunting)

He has brought more love, compassion and charity to our home that we would not have or experience without him. He is smart, and loving and generally happy. He loves car rides, walks, rocks, water, swinging, hiking( he was given the nickname Tote Goat last summer by my dad when we were camping because he could go and go and go on long hikes and would only now and again say "hold you" and need to be picked up for a minute or two and then would go back to his hike.) being chased, coloring, and spinning, grazing all day long, and his bednet.

Gratefully there are many resources to help him succeed and function better, and it is for sure going to be a process in figuring out what we can and should do for him. Some things are very expensive and are out of our reach but there are many wonderful resources to aid him along.

Somedays can be very exhausting and I am so grateful to have Jed by my side. He is very good at listening, and then listening and then listening some more. I try to remind myself when I am just at a loss of what to do, that I just need to love him the way that the Savior would love him, because that is exactly what he needs. Ruby and Emma are such good helpers with him and allow him to be with them and their friends, and just roll with the punches.

I love my boy. He is amazing and wonderful and special. I am thankful that we have him as part of our family.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

100 day and feelin' churchy

Emma recently celebrated 100 day at school, she has been greatly looking forward to it and they spent the time in class doing everything to do with 100's. This is a little glimpse at her new hair cut.

Jaxon has come to church the last 2 weeks and it has been fun getting him in his little outfit that my friend Aimee made for Eli a few years ago. I love the tie so much. :) We have only made it through sacrament meeting though, because Eli has had a hard time going to class without his teachers being there. They are quite amazing with him. We used to sit in the chapel but have resorted to the metal chairs in the very back of the gym our ward is quite large and that has allowed Eli to be able to move around and not disturb others.

We have greatly enjoyed watching the Olympics. On Saturday night we were tuned in and they were showing snowboaders participating in the new event. (can't remember what it is called) but as we were watching USA's contender Sage did amazingly well and Emma was bouncing on the couch in excitement for him and being somewhat silly about it. I asked her if she had a crush on Sage and she said yes and got giggly. As other snowboarders would take there turn Emma would say over and over "Fall down! Fall down" And then she commented that if she had her hair curled she and Sage Kotsenberg would look like twins. She is so funny and we have had much fun bringing it up and teasing her. She is such a cutie.

In the last 2 days Jaxon has become more smiley. He is such a gem. He is getting so strong and is starting to lift his head up a bit during tummy time. I think it is funny that Jaxon used to like to be held during the night and now I am the one who falls asleep during feedings and we stay in the rocking chair because I have conked out. Ah well neither of us seems to mind.

The girls have started earning allowance, by doing 6 chores a week. They earn 1 dollar a week and get paid every 5 weeks. It has been a good experience for them as they are learning about paying tithing, saving their money for things they want and learning that earning is hardwork. It has opened a lot of great opportunities for discussions about responsibility, being frugal, and how the Lord opens the windows of Heaven when we pay our tithing. They were so excited to turn in their envelopes this week.

As for me I have enjoyed reading books in the evening now that Jax goes to bed at 8, I have started P90X and am looking forward to the outcome and getting this body stronger and back into shape. I have also decided to grow my bangs out because they make me look old. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ruby's baptism and Jaxon's blessings

Saturday was one of the sweetest days on record. I think it can only compare in sweetness to the birth of a child. Friday we kept busy preparing the house and the girls were allowed to play until 3 so we could do our work afterwards but Ruby and her friend Z cleaned the whole basement without out even being asked. Even the girls dresser got a complete work over. It was a most pleasant surprise.

I have decided that trying to keep a house "perfect" for guests and having little people is a cruel irony. :) I saved all the big last minute things for after they were in bed, like vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms and giving the kitchen a proper wipe down. Jed came home and cleaned the bathrooms for me.

Ruby requested that we have breakfast quiche and wanted Suzanne's. I had never made it and was nervous about it being just right. So Jed made call to his sisters to see if they knew exact cooking time and if they had any tips. No one else had ever made it before. So we just ran with it and it worked out great

Saturday morning arrived and we started the mad dash as the baptism was at 9:20. We all got ready to go and then at the church it was even more of a mad dash because Jed had to get changed and I had to go get things set up in the bathroom for when Ruby was ready to be changed. Which made it so I didn't get to take all the pictures I wanted to, my mom and Ruby's primary teacher got some though so I will have to have them send them to me.

The service was beautiful. We sang "When Jesus Christ was Baptized" and my mom said the opening prayer and my dad gave the talk on Baptism. When they came to our home to help set up chairs in the morning I told my dad he needed to keep his talk to 10 minutes and he responded "I have 3 prepared, which one do you want?"

My dad felt impressed last minute that he should share something different than he prepared. He called my mom up and they sang a song called "A long time ago." You can find the lyrics here:
This song brings me to tears. My dads talk was wonderful I don't remember what was said I just remember what I felt.

The tears continued to flow as I watch my beautiful Ruby make her first covenants with her Heavenly Father. It was so special. She has been so excited for the last few years and has talked about it off and on about how excited she was. It was lovely to see her desire to follow Jesus Christ all come to fruition.

My sweet cousin Phil took Eli out in the hall to walk around during the rest of the service because he was bored. The rest of the service was lovely, and there the other child being baptized had asked his cousin to sing "The family is of God" and yet again the tears flowed. He sang it so perfectly and the spirit was so strong.

We came back to our home for Jaxon's blessing, I asked to say the opening prayer and then our 2nd councilor in our bishopric asked if I would bear my testimony after he  was blessed. The blessing was so sweet, I quite enjoyed having it done in our home and was grateful that Brent and Suzanne were able to be with us from Holland via Skype.

I was grateful for the opportunity to bear my testimony and it was so fun to have Jaxon be blessed in the outfit that Jed and Eli were blessed in. It is so handsome and has such special meaning to me. 

I feel like I didn't get much of a chance to visit with anyone, I felt like I was just running around willy nilly. That is the one thing I don't like about hosting. :)

Jed cleaned the kitchen after the company left and took a little nap and then we spent the part of the afternoon at  Coldstone to celebrate, and when I asked Eli what we wanted he walked right over to the line up of mix in's and told me he wanted gummy bears. He loved his "frosty" and had the cutest chocolate ring around his mouth and would stand up occasionally and rock his hips in time to the music that was playing.

Ruby got to go with Jed to the stake basketball games and taught her how to run the clock and use the scoreboard. She loved having such a big responsibility and just getting to go along with daddy.

It was indeed a sweet and sacred day for all of us.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I caught one of Jax's quality smiles about a week ago. He is a joy, we spent last night in the rocking chair, and I am exhausted this morning. When I get up at night with him, I tell myself that I will take a nap, but it never happens. Here comes the smile, I love this boy.

I forgot to write earlier that when my aunt came she was playing a guessing game with Emma about the kids middle names (which Emma loved) and as she was trying to guess Jaxon's after so many guesses Emma said "Nope, his name is Jaxon Clark Romig, you know, like Clark Kent. Superman."

The girls went in for hair cuts last week, and Ruby got a trim and Emma was going to get a trim but decided last minute to get an a-line. Jed and I have spent the last couple days straightening it up. Next time we go to Cookie Cutters.

Eli's new phrase is "Lay on the baby" which when I heard him say it while I was down the hall the first time I came running. However all that was happening was that he was laying BY the baby. He is so funny.


We had my mom and my sister over last week and I took my nutrimill and bosch (I am in love) on their maiden voyage. The bread is divine, apparently though, my bread pans are too big and so they don't rise as nicely. So I will be making smaller loaves until I  am willing to cough up the cash for the correct size(It's not going to happen.) Eli and the cousins had fun drawing on his aquadoodle.

Ruby went shopping with her previous primary teacher for a few things for her baptism and they came back with a groovy pair of socks for Eli. Whenever we ask him to go get some socks he always comes back with the girls old Hello Kitty, or mis matched colorful pairs. He loves them so we let him wear them. Anyway these socks are his new faves and he calls them his "fun socks"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

4 weeks

4 weeks of having Jax here has gone so much faster than 4 weeks of pregnancy. We have had a plethora of emotions around here this week. We had to move Eli's bed time back an hour because he wasn't tired enough to go to sleep at 7. I am mourning the loss of that hour with just the girls, change can be hard sometimes. My girls have been on the more emotional end of things as well, and when my I am at my wits end (yes it happens) lock myself in my room with the baby and eat a treat and take a few good breaths.

Eli has spent more time in his room this week because when the girls are upset, he can't fight the urge to get in their faces and make things worse. However a trip to his room is the worst punishment, and you can hear that he doesn't like it because he hits his door super hard and cries, and then when he comes out he is more loving and willing to cooperate. Parenting is hard sometimes, and I would be an extreme liar if I didn't say that I love when my kids go to bed, it is my recharge time. I am spent by the end of the day.

Ruby an another classmate broke the good  behavior record in their class and could choose between a variety of prizes, my girl chose her reward to be eating lunch with the Principal. :)

Emma loves to get her time in with Jax in the morning right after Ruby leaves for school and before she has to leave, she sits in the rocking chair with him for at least 30 minutes every morning. She is usually our doddler when it comes to getting ready for school, this has provided great motivation for her to get up and get going so she can hold Jax.

Jax is growing and his eyes have lost that slate blue look, they have taken on a beautiful blue color and he is filling out and growing like a weed. He is such a hungry little guy and can go from content to a horrific purplish red color in a matter of 30 seconds when he wants to eat and we don't accommodate as quickly as he would like, he calms down just as quickly though.

He has given us his first few intentional smiles and when we talk to him it is like you can just see the excitement of it run through his little body. I love seeing his facial expressions and the girls like to pull the same faces and show them to me. :)

We had a fun visitor last week from Alaska. My aunt was here visiting her daughter who just had her baby the week after Jax and she called and came to see us. She played games with my girls and we had a fun time visiting.

Ruby had her dress fitting on Friday. It is beautiful, I knew she loved it by the way she was spinning in it before it was time to get it pinned so the zipper could be put in. When she had her baptism interview the Bishop asked her 2 questions "Do you want to be baptized?" and "Why are we baptized?" Ruby told him " Because it is the first step to making it back to Heavenly Father." The Bishop told Jed he had never heard an 8 year old give him and answer like that. She has progressed very quickly with her Article of Faith memorization and we are currently working on #9, which she has down pat except for the few extra words she adds in at the end.

Emma asked me the other day "Does daddy have school tonight?" I told her yes, and her face dropped quickly. I told her that Daddy would be done with his Bachelors in December and then he would be home with us every evening. Her face lit up as she said "That means we can have family time any time we want to." I know they miss him so much when he isn't here, but this year is going to just fly by.

This is how Jax feels about turning 4 weeks. I am feeling it too friends, I am feeling it too.

Monday, January 20, 2014


-While Emma was cleaning the living room she was singing Trouble by Taylor Swift, and Eli would mimmick her and say "Trouble, Trouble" in a high pitched voice. Emma also spent the weekend in a swirl of emotions, because she felt like she was being teased by all of us but really we just would laugh because she was being so cute. She would either be crying, shouting about the fact that we were hurting her feelings or pleading her case Sunday morning that she was sensitive.

- I exercised  6 days last week and, and I lost a little over a lb. which is good, because there has been times where I have lost weight quickly and had to be really strict but it never stays off, this way I have been able to calculate my evening treat into my calorie allotment and it feels much more doable and more like a long run plan. my girls even worked out with me this morning and kept saying "Bob is funny" and "When do we get our water break?"

-Ruby had her baptism interview this weekend and is all ready to go. She keeps saying "X amount of days until I am baptized!" And how she wishes far away family could be here. She made all of the assignments of who was doing what and selected her brunch menu. Her sweet primary teacher is making her baptism dress. This woman is quite amazing, she is the most spry and active woman that I have ever met and she is 75. She has so much love for Ruby and has been so good in helping Ruby grow in the gospel in the past year. Ruby had her measurement taken last week and it was a very exciting thing for her.

-We are working on the Articles of Faith so that Ruby can pass all of them off and recieve her ice cream trip with her teacher. She knows #1-5 and we set a goal to learn one a week so that she can have them memorized.

- Sunday night we got everyone into bed and were sitting on the couch together. We heard Eli scraping things on his walls, which isn't uncommon, but Jed felt like we should go check on him. He opened his door and there was absolute silence for about a minute then he calls down the hall "Ash, can you put Jax down for a minute and come here?" I come down the hall and Jed has Eli by the wrists, and his hands are covered in poop, and Eli "painted" it all over his wall. I got Eli showered he was very upset by that. Jed started cleaning Eli's room and then I made Eli lay on our bed until we were done cleaning and then bleaching his wall. When we got Eli into bed, I commended Jed for how calm he was was and how well he handled it. He told me that they took and anger test at work a few weeks ago and he scored very low. He said "Ten years ago things on that test would have made me really mad, but I think having Eli for our son has really taught me that things are things and that people are more important than stuff." I like him. Glad that experience is over and hope there isn't a repeat, I am also really grateful Jed was here to help, I may have gone postal.

-Jaxon is starting to fill out and is starting to lose that newborn look. He is such a sweet boy, his hasn't lost his hair, which all of my other babies had by this point. So no George Castanza quite yet. :) He is so strong, he rolled from his tummy to his back today, maybe it was a fluke but it was fun to see, he likes to lift his back end off the floor like a half superman and is starting to pick his head up for a few seconds.
-I forgot to post these cute photos from Christmas

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Twins 6 years apart

It baffles me how much Emma and Jaxon look alike, people that didn't even know Emma as a baby think they look alike. For your viewing pleasure, photo evidence. :)