Hello Neighbors and Lori,
Thank you so much for having me over to visit. I love your Meeting Monday idea and hope to meet more fun people during the year. I’m Robyn, the Coolestmommy, from Coolestmommy’s Coolest Thoughts. You can find me on the web at www.coolestmommy.com.
I have been married for 21 years to my wonderful husband, Sean. He compliments me and completes me in ways I never thought possible when I first got married. We’ve now been married for just over 50% of our lives so we’ve entered the place where we are now married longer than we were single. I’ve been contemplating that idea since my folks just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in December.
We have three children. Andrew is 15, Nathan is 10.5 and Rebekah is 6. I always thought we would have our children close together and have little stair-steps. Sean reminds me that we do have stair-step children, with a really wide tread. They are all 4.5 years apart in age and 4 years apart in school. It keeps life interesting as each time I had one in kindergarten; the next one was just about to walk. Seems like I carried a diaper bag for centuries (ok, maybe just years), but I ended up loving the age difference. It wasn’t my plan, but it was the way God worked things out and each one of them got to have time home alone with me (and Daddy) and they each have some of the qualities of an oldest or only child—if you’ve ever looked into the Birth Order information.
Andrew loves math, science and music. He would like to be a meteorologist when he grows up. I started him in Kindermusik as a baby and from there we went straight into piano lessons when he went to kindergarten. Last year, he auditioned for (and was the only middle school student accepted as a musician) in a competitive Indoor Winter Drumline group. They combine movement and precision music together. It is part of the WGI circuit so it’s frontline (he played synthesizer) and drumline. They competed locally, went to districts and made it to Nationals. Sadly, they were half of a point short of making it into finals, but they did awesome. This year he’s once again participating in a local WGI group. He’s also heavily involved in marching band at school and taking a lot of math-based classes.
Nathan loves math and music as well. He plays piano and is learning percussion in band. He is my Twice Exceptional (2E) child. He is very smart and has a high IQ, but he also has a learning disability. In his case, it’s autism. He most closely resembles a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, but he doesn’t quite fit all the rules so he is officially labeled as Autistic. Nathan was developmentally delayed in many areas, yet remarkably advanced in many other areas. He was unique enough that my teacher training kicked in and I strongly suspected a problem. His initial diagnosis came when he was 4, but it was a bit vague. It was the end of kindergarten into first grade when we got the specifics and started getting him some help. Now he’s almost 11 and the difference is remarkable. The boy who wouldn’t make friends now has friends. He will now interact with others and will look people (usually) in the eye. He’s become a self-confidant young man and while we still see autism showing up in his speech, habits and sometimes in his actions; he is much more in control of himself and understands so much more of the world that he can begin to navigate it. (You can find more about this journey at my other blog www.coolestchildren.com.)
For any parents out there with special needs children, I want to encourage you. There is so much more I’d love to tell you about Nathan. He is active in school—just differently than his brother was. Nathan is in band and wants to follow in his brother’s drumline footsteps. He was a member of student council last year (elected by his peers!) and he is in the chess club. I have a dear friend whose high school son is deaf. She told me from the time Nathan was little to keep doing what we were doing and have faith. She tells me hindsight is a wonderful thing, because if we had had crystal ball glasses to show us this future, we couldn’t have imagined it. She’s right. His smile lights up a room and to hear him laugh and interact with others is a precious gift.
Finally, there’s our baby girl, Rebekah. She reminds me every day that she’s now a big girl—after all, she’s SIX. We knew she had to be our last one (I had always wanted four kids) because of health issues for me. But she’s as much fun as two and keeps us on our toes. She loves music and will start piano lessons next year. She is quite the cross between a girly-girl and a tomboy. She loves soccer and is becoming an excellent defender. So while she might kick your shins in a game, she’d really rather wear her princess dresses to play soccer than her uniform. Reading is her specialty in school. She’s good at math, but doesn’t love it like her brothers do. Art is her true love. She can disappear for hours at our dining room table (now called Rebekah’s art studio) drawing, coloring and creating. She also loves clothes so I suspect we may have a future fashion designer in our midst. After 9 years of nothing but boys and boy toys, I’m sometimes amazed to walk into a room and see an explosion of pink and frilly things.
I worked for the first years of our marriage, but once Andrew came along, I was blessed to become a stay-at-home mom. It was my dream to stay home with my kids, but I wasn’t sure it could/would become a reality. I have found ways to continue to expand my horizons through some groups I was involved in. I was in a MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) group for 14 consecutive years. It’s a Christian based group for moms with children any age up to first grade. Some groups graduate moms when kids go to kindergarten, but my group lets you stay through that year. This is my first non-MOPS year and it’s been a transition for me as I was so involved for all those years. I also have done Bible studies, been in playgroups and volunteer at several places.
In 2007, I decided to start my blog as a way to share pictures and stories with our parents and other family members scattered around the US. What started as a simple family blog morphed into a site where I was being asked to review items and host giveaways. I love anything free so my blog grew into what it is today. I still have stories and photos about the kids and their activities, but I focus a lot more into reviews and giveaways. Last year was a year of transitions for everyone in our family and my blog had to be put into the backseat. My family needed me more and so I cut back on blogging. I’m now working back into posting several times a week and I’m getting new reviews and giveaways lined up to share with everyone.
I look forward to meeting many of you through my blog and here on Meeting Monday. Lori has become one of my favorite bloggers through the years and I’m thrilled to be a part of her Meeting Mondays. Thank you, Lori, for sharing your blog with me. I look forward to this weekly gathering!
Thank you again!Robyn
Check out our family at: www.coolestmommy.comTell others about 2E (Twice Exceptional) Kids: www.coolestchildren.com