D- is home alone most of the time while we adults are at work and her sisters are in daycare. The family across the street watches out for her, as does the neighbor lady a few doors down. Today, she made apple cinnamon muffins by herself. This is a major step for her. With her autism, learning is slow and difficult. Simple tasks become monstrous for her, especially if her anxiety is kicking in. So imagine my surprise and how proud this momma was to come home and find one of my favorite muffins waiting for me! True, she forgot the crumb topping before baking, but we are a creative family. Just add a smear of butter, then top. Yum!!!!

A- is just randomly amazing all of us. One minute the little ADHD terror is jumping and bouncing off my walls, and the next she is sitting calmly next to Q- telling her a story. Her reading is improving and we are not sure how.  Most of the summer has been impossible to convince her to sit and read with us. Now she is asking to read with us and is saying more words then ever before. A- can now relate simple details about long stories and add her own opinions to the plot line. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back for having a child that likes to read.

Q- is talking more than either of her sisters were at age 2. She is also proving to be more independent than the 6 year old. We do not point this out to the girls, however, the thought has crossed my mind. While we are all getting ready in the morning, Q- is the one who wants to dress herself and put her shoes on. In the end, she asks for help, but at least she is trying. And she never lets me forget to brush her teeth.

This summer has been a mile stone for our family. J- got hired on by a company he enjoys and has applied to them in the past. I was able to return to work at a company I love working for, And all three of the girls have hit new markers in their own lives. We are each growing as individuals and as a family unit. Things are still stressful. There was an event over the summer that almost destroyed us as a family. No, I am not ready to talk about that.

I am still shaken and feel worthless most of the time because of the events that took place. Yet, when I look at all that has happened and how life has played out, part of me is so thankful that we survived it all. Of course, my personality dictates that I ask this question: what major catastrophe is next?

Financially, we are not in a good place as of yet. Most of the issues have not been resolved, however, steps are being taken to fix that. Namely, I am in therapy to deal with my depression and family counseling is scheduled for an upcoming date. I actually sleep most nights, and I am eating at least twice a day. This is a huge step for me to become healthy. This summer has had setbacks and forward movement as well. Now on to the fall to see what happens next.