I’m Judy and my husband Eric and I are the parents of two daughters – Chloe (7) and Ellie (4). Having children certainly changes your perspective, makes you grow, and also helps you to realize what is truly important in your life. Our daughter Ellie is on the Autism Spectrum, and her special challenges have taught us even more and have shaped our lives in a different, more fulfilling way than we expected.

Parenting Fails and Post-Blog Plans

December 30, 2016

I'm really bad at good-byes. Being someone who gets teary-eyed standing in the aisle of Hallmark while picking out cards probably proves I'm a sap. A friend taught me that their way of handling something difficult is to focus on what's going to happen after. If you're nervous about a presentation, you think about the lunch date you're having with a friend following the presentation, for example. And so, with my final Real Moms post, I'm focusing on what's after this as a parent.

When Autism is Part of Your World

December 28, 2016

As the Real Moms of Eastern Iowa blog comes to a close, it seems to fall into a season of farewells for us. It's apt that our years of therapy at Unity Point's Witwer Children's Therapy are also winding down.

Appreciating "Normal" Days

December 27, 2016

Last week I heard some morning grumbling. My nine-year-old didn't want to go to school and was out of sorts. I don't even recall what the grumpiness was about. I try to be sympathetic to legitimate complaints and bad days. We all have mornings where we'd rather stay in bed.

Talking About "Bad" Touches

December 19, 2016

There are some parts of parenting that are hard to think about. It's a hard thing if your child says they're being teased at school or they don't have friends. But there are other aspects that are more than just hard - they're scary. And in that fearfulness we do nothing. One of those scary things is talking to your kids about being touched inappropriately.

The Joy of Giving a Magical Gift

December 7, 2016

The Christmas season evokes a love-hate response from me. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this though; it's wonderful to decorate, to focus on giving and making special memories. Of course it's also easy to become stressed and irritated by the countless additions on the to-do list.

Learning to Pray

November 21, 2016

Making time for prayers with the girls each night has never been something I'm good about. I love images of children kneeling at the side of their beds in prayer, but it's not something I manage to fit into our routine. Reading, whether I read to them or they to me, has always been more natural to me.