Tonight as I sit writing this my little mr is up in the loft above my head scripting away, he is usual sound to sleep by 7:05 on the dot but the last few nights hes been awake. As a mom of a kiddo with autism I have to work hard to remind myself that he did not choose this life either. In some ways we are blessed but in others we are significantly challenged. I try hard to focus on our successes but things can unravel quickly especially if we haven’t slept. Today failure loomed over me like a dark cloud. My patience worn thin I found myself hiding in the bathroom as I felt as though I would loose my mind. Though Noah still struggles with personal space he wont come into the bathroom with me as he fears it might stink. Noahs new obsession is Sonic the Hedge hog…I heard this name so many times in the last few weeks I cringed as I typed it. He thinks about Sonic so much that he its effecting the quality of his life . He scripts the lines from Sonic video’s nonstop and tries to intergrade the topic in to every conversation, he is up all hours of the night stuck on Sonic. The tapping my face, him clutching my face with his hands desperate for me to listen to him tell me “just one more thing about Sonic” just about sent me over the edge today, after weeks of this I just didn’t feel I could take anymore. One time I even snapped at him “NOAH JUST STOP ALREADY BUDDY” . Tears rolled down his face, he was heart broken… Tonight as he fights sleep he begs me to let him come sleep with me….I know he’s stressed, being obsessed is stressful for him… but I jut need a little bit of time to recover. At times its a careful balance of taking care of his needs while finding a little time for mine as well…Today I failed as so often parents of kiddos on the spectrum feel they do. I could only give enough to get through the day… but we survived. Tomorrow maybe we will do better, or maybe we wont.. but we will do it. ❤
Its easy to understand what connects people, similar interests, goals ,work , faith just to name a few but what bonds two or more people in such a way that they are willing to hunker down and do the messy, the tears, the temper tantrums, the stuff that the outside world doesn’t know about and most of us would never talk freely about. You do and say things you never thought you would or could never do both good and bad. Its a confusing world we live in. A world were everything is excepted but no ones suppose to see it, were its okay to have mental illness until there are symptoms . A world where we hold in high esteem those who powered through and survived barriers ranging from extreme poverty to Autism awareness, we proudly post it on our Facebook walls and then think somehow that is the existent of our…
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Mowing the lawn, getting our work done, doing dishes deciding what’s for dinner… what will we watch a movie on Netflix tonight ? Hiking this weekend ? Googleing kitchen cabinet ideas, gardening …the things of life. The busy things we do living in our own little orbs, we usually share these tiny worlds with a select few. There are only a handful of people in each of our lives that “really” know us. If we stay in our little orbs we can keep up the charade for how our lives appear…others walking by take a glimpse, peering into our pretty that we adorn our little orbs with but if they were to actually climb in with us what would they find ?
Few of us have the desire to share their tiny worlds with others, I’m mean what would they think of us if they found out ? We are convinced that our little worlds are so much different then others. We dress up or dress down, we smile when we are sad, we hide our excitement, our prosperity or our failures. There is always something to hide. But what if we didn’t what would we find ? I’m here to do my best to invite you into my orb. Why ? Because somewhere deep in me I think that all this work, failures and joy that we experience in this beautiful imperfect tiny house may somehow give someone else the inspiration to allow their life to touch another’s , that they too will be able to make their orb just a little bit bigger… that our lives good and bad, struggles and triumphs may make a difference not just for ourselves but may educate and inspire.
In our tiny world today we did the mundane. Mowed the lawn, worked, did dishes. made meals ect. But unlike most we also had support staff in our home working with Noah through ABA (applied behavior analysis). They were in our orb, front row to our mess. They are here several days a week for several hours a day. Most of me is thankful for the support but that’s not to say its comfortable all the time for us or for them. Sometimes I just watch them work with my lil mr , watch him learn and grow, other times I’m afraid that these other human beings might just loose it with Noah as they are human and it is a hard job. Then are those times when we loose a staff and I see my little guys heart break..sometimes I miss them to. This little orb gets bigger and smaller as the day passes. Today was a watching day, I watched as one staff worked with another staff to train them in Noahs treatment plan. Hes not comfortable with new staff so he spun and banged gliding across our tiny house floor on his toes, one hand in his mouth the other clutching his squishy. He will be 7 soon and here we are… yes hes come a long way, I am so proud of him. Most times I honestly believe he will grow up, go to collage, get married and have a family of his own someday…but today in gut I didn’t see it. He looked so little, his chubby little cheeks covered in his dinner mixed with tears… today he was a toddler stopping his feet in nothing but his backward underwear. This was my orb today.I wish I had the words to express how my heart felt…I just don’t . It may be different tomorrow.. I may feel different tomorrow, at least I hope so any way. I’m going to sign off from here and make a concerted effort to find the things I am thankful for, talk to God and get some sleep. I might even google some DIY videos for some projects I would like to start on our tinyhouse to share with you all. Stay beautiful in your orb tonight and even if its messy share it…ours is to 🙂 Good Night All.
When life kicks you down GET A ROPE AND CLIMB BACK UP !! I mean really, what else do you have to do ?? HEY EVERYONE !! Good to be back ! Haven’t been around in a few months, It appears I may have fallen and gotten my head stuck up my @#%$. Yes, yes, yes I have been on a big fat ole pity party. I’ve been MAD MAD and I will say it again MAD ! I could rattle on and on about all the horrible things that have happened the last few months but what purpose would that serve ?? I’m sure I will have a more sentimental day at some point and tell you all about it but this is NOT the day. Today is a day of getting back up. If you really really need to know feel free to invite me for coffee and be ready for some hugging and tears , until then you will just have to stick around until I muster up the strength to tell it all on here. Now back to getting UP. First of all I’m not here entirely of my own volition, someone threw me a life line. They reminded me that regardless of my present circumstances God has a bigger plan, he’s working things out even when we don’t see it. So while I was feeling alone, isolated and not good enough he was still at work inspiring people to pray for us and to reach out to us. I’m sure more than I even know. No I’m not 100% right now and I’m still not feeling the joy that I long for, but I am on my way. After all feelings come and go right ? We can’t be blown around by the fickledness (I know not a word) of feelings, feel them yes but be dictated by them and well, you might be in for some trouble. Just since writing this I have had some feelings I didn’t act on as Josiah (if you haven’t met Josiah be sure to check out his interviewed ,he’s a cool dude) has been in my face howling at the top off his lungs, when I say in my face I mean literally inches from my nose. He is tenacious at minimum. Then Noahs up in the loft perseverating on Sonic the hedge hog, its been the nonstop topic for the last week and a half, if you have a asd kiddo you know that I am ready to pull my stinking hair out BUT I did not act on that feeling either !!
So the reason I’m writing this is I’M NOT GIVING UP ! Not throwing in the towel, not walking away. Why ? Because I know there are other people out there going through as much or more than I. I know there are other families out there that have kiddos on the spectrum or with special needs. There are single parents who don’t know where the bill money is coming from. We have to stick together right !? I wanted to come on here tonight because I know that someone somewhere needs to know that even though its hard your still trying and I’m proud of you ! We wont give up together ! There is a tiny house movement that I want to help fuel. Teaching people the facts about those of us who live in or have experienced poverty is vital and I want to be apart of that. I want to build a tiny house community a place where those who live there can experience home ownership. I want to make a map for others to follow as I do it myself but I can’t do it alone,,,maybe that is what God was trying to teach me the last several months… maybe sometime my independence is my weakness. We need each other as a community and a race, for richer or for poorer, we need each other.
Thank you for stopping by all, its good to be back. I look forward to hearing from you all 🙂
Its official, been here in our tiny house for 6 full months. Would I change my mind if I knew then what I know now ? Absolutely not. There is definitely some things I did not know or would had done differently. We live in Maine so that means we get to enjoy all four seasons, including winter. We were prepared for winter for the most part but there is a few things I will be doing different next winter. I have skirting around the house but next year I will change the skirting from plywood to insulation board. Though we haven’t had a lot of problems with freezing pipes as I do have heating tapes on the water pipes, I did have a drain pipe freeze and back up. Some of that might had been from not having the front of the house fully enclosed on the bottom and I keep the water dripping when the temperature drops below 20 degrees so there was ice build up in the pipe. As far as staying warm and any other cold weather concerns we are in pretty good shape.
When we were preparing to move into the tiny house I planned on the space I would have for our cloths and toys. I bought four big pretty cloth baskets, two for Noah, two for me. One would hold our pants, the other our shirts. I also bought four smaller cloth baskets, two a piece. One for socks and the other for underwear. What ever I could not fit in those baskets was sold at a yard sale before we moved. I did make an allowance for seasonal cloths and items that would be stored in plastic totes with the snap closers under the house. As for Noah’s toys, that was a hard one for me, I really had to buckle down and stand my ground with my decision and keep focused on the benefits and freedom living in a tiny house would afford us. I went through all his toys until I was able to fit the remaining toys in a large trunk , the rest went on the yard sale. This really was the hardest part for me. Moving into a tiny house takes commitment.
My tiny house has two lofts, one in the front of the house and the other in the back. There was a 30 gallon hot water heater in the front loft, in order to be able to use that space for Noah to sleep in I had to make a tough decision about the water heater. I had to decide if I would go with an on demand water heater or a 10 gallon water heater that would fit under the sink. In the end I chose the 10 gallon. With the 10 gallon we are able have just enough hot water for dishes, but there is definitely no enjoying long hot showers, ten minutes is about the max. I may revisit the on demand hot water heater in the future but really we are not complaining.
I think one of the biggest things I would change if I could had is I would have done all the interior work before I moved in. Everytime I do work on the inside of the house the whole house and everything in it gets covered in saw dust. There are a lot of projects that will need to wait for spring to be completed just because of that reason. Then of course life happens happens and I injured my shoulder so other projects will have to wait until I recover.
In the ended I don’t regret for one second making the decision to go tiny. As a matter of fact all the “stuff” I struggled so hard to get rid of we don’t even miss. Our tiny house has simplified our lives and changed what we value. We snuggle more and clean less, we play more and my relationship with my little guy is stronger than ever. Yes people do come to visit and are surprised how comfortable they are when they are here… many people have walked in my little piece of heaven a skeptic and walked out a believer. If you are reading this because you are considering a tiny home please feel free to comment or ask any questions in the comments below. Thank you for stopping by !!
Hello everyone ! This is my 5th month of the Tiny House On the Spectrum blog. I really honestly have no idea what I am doing BUT I am doing it ! I would love some reviews and honest critiques of my blog. Also feel free to leave a link to your blog (if you have one) I would love to see what you are all doing ❤
Up until this point The Tiny House The Spectrum Blog has been almost like a social page for me, like Facebook or Twitter. I’m realizing that we have drawn some attention so I’m feeling like I need to tighten up my rambling a bit.
I want to really break this down, I am writing this blog for 3 major reasons.
1. Autism awareness (Not sugar coated)
2. Poverty education (Not sugar coated
3. Tiny House living (Also not sugar coated)
For us these things go seamlessly hand and hand together. When Noah was 3 his father left us, he was our source of income and I was Noah’s only care taker, he was still in the process of being diagnosed so we had no support services. We went from poor to extreme poverty over night. Noah and I ended up in a shelter, as matter of fact it was a shelter I had volunteered and staffed for several years before Noah was born. Being on the other side and being a consumer in the same shelter was very difficult, but within that I was gifted in really understanding the truth about poverty. Accessing resources was HARD, I found that many had so many rules and regulations and took so long to qualify for that it made my situation feel even more hopeless. On top of that after working as a respected professional for a good part of my adult life suddenly I was perceived as less intelligent, I felt I had been stripped of my integrity and the only thing that had changed about me as a person is now I was impoverished.
After leaving the shelter I was able to get a subsidized apartment a diagnosis and support services for Noah, it seemed that things were looking up. My next step was to get back to work, but here was the problem…going back to work would cause us to loose our subsidy and possible the healthcare that paid for Noah’s services. We would be right back to where we started. I knew I had to figure it out because there was no way on earth I was going to stay on welfare my whole life even if I would be justified in doing so, I did not want those limits on our lives. I was terrified but I did it anyway. That is where the Tiny house came in. I started researching how to build a tiny house, I thought “if I could just do it myself I could build Noah and I house we could afford even if we didn’t have the subsidy AND Noah would always have a place to live even after I’m gone”. My Pinterest was stacked full off tiny house plans, I was obsessed ! I got a job and started squirreling away every dime I could, the following month I lost my subsidy and now had to pay the full price for the apartment we lived in at almost 1,000 dollars a month, it seemed I had gambled and lost after childcare and car repairs, we almost lost the apartment. I began to search for a small one bedroom apartment for Noah and I. In the search for the apartment I saw my Tiny house. I told the owner our story(Jay) and he agreed to finance it for us( God must have whispered in his ear). It made so much more sense to have a house I could pay off and own in 2 short years than to dump money into an apartment that would never be ours or to take out a mortgage on a home that would never be paid off at my age,leaving Noah with nothing. So here we are in our tiny house ! My dream is to help other people in challenging situations achieve the freedom of home ownership as well. I continue to research and take steps into the future in making a tiny house community possible.
Living in a tiny home with a kiddo with autism is not only doable for me but more comfortable for him. He prefers to be tucked in as opposed to flaying around into the universe of a bigger space, he feels safe here. Financial and emotionally this was really the best choice I could have made.
Advocating for my son, for autism, for those living in poverty, for the tiny house movement not only make sense to me but is socially, economically a responsible thing to do. We have smaller footprint for so many reasons even outside the obvious. Advocating for these things is really advocating for ourselves and others in the same boat. So there it is “The Tiny House On The Spectrum Story ” Thank you all for visiting us ! Rebecca and Noah.