Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Mother of Resolutions

It's almost a new year. This last year flew by, I started the year feeling behind and I never really caught my breath. 2011 will be remembered as one of my busiest years yet. But I learned a lot, struggled some, and grew in ways I wasn't expecting. One of my biggest changes was becoming a runner. It reminded me of how confident I am, and showed me that I really do have endless potential. So I am making a few resolutions this year, and I believe completely that I will be the change I want to see.

1. More Badass Mother Runner- I've got my eye on two races, the first in March. A 15K. Wow. Scary and exhilarating wrapped into one long test of endurance. But I know I can do it, I've been training. I have no doubt I will feel amazing when I cross that finish line.

2. Less Mother Bummer Clothes- I want to wear less yoga's and more cute outfits. I want the outside to reflect what's been going on inside. A lot happened on the inside, and I feel wonderful. It's time to buy clothes that fit, flatter, and let my style shine. And yes, it's essentially a resolution to go shopping more, but who isn't on board with that? Well, maybe Super Boots.

3. More Mother Lover- I will love myself and give myself what I need to be happy. I will love my kids and I will love my husband with commitments of time and kindness. I will show them the strength of my heart through extra doses of patience which I will gain by taking care of myself. I will say yes to the things I can, as often as I can. I will read that extra story at night, let the messes sit a bit longer, I will make special dinners for Super Boots just because. I will invest in our family every chance I get, one little dash of love at a time.

4. Mother Ink- It's been in the works for a while, a new tattoo coming to me soon! It's meaningful and I can't wait.

We are all works in progress, and every resolution drives me closer to the person I want to be. Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Deep End

We took the plunge this week. After seeing yet another doctor, this one somewhat of a specialist, and getting another recommendation for medication we tried it. It was a holiday weekend so we would have four days at home to observe him, and watch closely for side effects or reactions. Thursday morning he took a pill (wow) and within 45 minutes I could see a change. I asked him about 30 times how he was feeling. But he was fine. He was more than fine. He was BACK.

It worked wonders, he wasn't so fidgety. He could play a game without having to literally sit on his legs to keep them from bouncing. He engaged me in a nice long conversations throughout the day. He smiled, and snuggled, and told me jokes. One of the most amazing things we saw was a confidence in his ability to communicate. He was clear and using longer sentences. Regularly. His language seemed to soar overnight. I always knew he had it inside and I knew he was struggling in therapy, but it never dawned on me that his ADHD would be affecting his speech. I. Was. So. Proud.

And then I fell apart. Because he is happier, and has moments of peace. And he is so well behaved. After two and a half years of struggle, fighting, and fear... I have some hope. The fact that he seems to be responding so well, well it just knocked me sideways. All the stress was released and I bawled like a baby. So this weekend I've been taking care of me by drinking my favorite wine and eating Thai food. I've had a couple of long runs and slept in. I'm enjoying my son's homecoming, we've been playing sonic and chutes and ladders and reading books and riding bikes. As Super Boots put it "It's been two and a half years, we deserve a weekend." Super Boots really is super. Mini Boots is surprising all of us. And its been a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lost at Sea

About six months ago we took Mini Boots to see a pediatric neurologist. There was the language disorder, but he wasn't socializing at school. He couldn't sit still during circle time. He wasn't sharing. And even though he knew all of his academics, he wouldn't pay attention during structured time. The teachers started throwing around words like Autism, and spectrum disorders.

I guess it wouldn't surprise anyone to know that during that time I started really running. Not just to get some exercise, but running until my legs were shaking, and one more mile was never enough. I felt if I ran far enough, fast enough I could escape my fears. And I was very afraid. More fearful than I have ever been. But at the appointment they didn't say Autism. They didn't say spectrum disorder. What they did say was every early indicator of ADHD.

And now six months later he is struggling even more than he has. His hyperactivity is debilitating. Our last professional described it as "one of the most extreme cases we have seen in a child his age." He is always moving. It is visibly painful for him to sit still even for half a minute. His therapies are becoming less and less effective, as he can not focus long enough to gain the benefits. His delays are becoming more substantial. At school he is so impulsive that his teachers are overwhelmed. But then again, we are too.

Super Boots and I have tried any and every home program to help, from diet to behavior modification programs, to increasing his physical activity. But he is still this way. It is not getting better, it just seems to get worse. It's starting to have an impact on our other children. Not unexpectedly the stress of keeping him constantly supervised and redirected and disciplined and caught being good, and everything else we do for him and the other two is taking a toll on us. But more than that, we MISS him. He is lost in a violent sea of constant motion and we can't seem to reach him. The pain of him slipping away is destroying me moment by moment, one day at a time.

So we are looking into medication. Something we never thought we would do. Something we hoped to avoid has become unavoidable. Yes he is young. But without? He will struggle everyday. After therapies don't work well enough, diets don't help enough, and professionals all agree its time to do this, we are listening. I'm listening because things have been so tough for him every single day, and I want him to feel happy, proud and peaceful. I'm hoping he gets to be himself again. Because who he is, well it's pretty amazing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wat's New Buckaroo?

Hellllooo Hellloooo Hellooo! Is there anybody out there? I have been busy, again. And even though I know three kids is just busy all the time I can't seem to prioritize properly these days. I'm always running late, behind on my laundry and well, everything else in my life. So don't take it personally blog readers. However I am back, and hoping to get back to semi regular posts. But you probably want to know what we have been doing, right?

Little Britches started Kindergarten. She loves it, she is excelling and beyond happy to get up and go to school everyday and eat hot lunch. Mystery meat anyone? She is reading and writing and has a new little boy best friend who she "loooovvess." Super Boots is really happy about that one.

Mini Boots is in preschool again, and its been a rough start for him.... lets just say school is tough for kids like him. But we have some new diagnosis and feel like we have gotten to the root of his struggles. It will get better for him. And in the meantime, he is obsessed with Lego's and video games. He can operate the xbox better than I. It's pretty cool.

Mighty Mouse is just a joy right now. He's at that young toddler stage where he runs like a drunken sailor and every word that comes out of his chubby cheeked face is all sing song and darling. He is all boy. His favorite pastimes include pushing his cars into every piece of kinda nice furniture I have, taking everything out of drawers and off shelves, and pulling things out of the garbage.

As for me? I've been training for a 10k, cooking in a crock pot while my amazing Super Boots remodels our kitchen, and have turned into a professional chauffeur. Oh yeah and I'm a Room Mom. Bet you didn't see that one coming....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aaaannnd We're Done

Yup. We're done. Having babies that is. We haven't made it *cough cough* permanent, but it's in the works. This decision to have no more babies was pretty rough. It's an easy decision for some, but for us, I think it was one of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make. I will miss the "baby years" I know I will look back on them with the fondest of memories. I'll miss feeling a baby inside of me moving and shaking. I'll miss that feeling of quiet, peaceful bliss while holding my new baby in my arms. I'll never again feed them from my own body, and I'll never get that first smile again. After we had Mighty Mouse, Super Boots looked at me and said, "God this is amazing, lets do this again." What can I say, we love babies and so there is a bit of sadness that goes with this choice. I do feel a loss, so why the change of heart? Well, despite their reputation, babies are not nearly as work intensive as children. And since babies turn into children, despite our best efforts, we are at capacity. Here's how I know I have a full plate....

1. I'm a mommy moron. After my third, my brains fell out. I had it all down with two. I could keep a clean house, I could remember my appointments without a calendar. But now? I send the kids to school without a juice in their lunch at least twice a year. When people ask me "How old is your baby?" and I say things like "He's 14, no 15, no 14 months. Wait, what month is this?"

2. I'm tired. I've gotten about 10 nights of good sleep in nearly 6 years. I am lucky to sleep until 7:30 on a saturday people. If I take a nap I will wake to find children screaming because they thought it would be fun to jump on the bed. Of the top bunk. And when I try to go to sleep early, just as I drift off I remember that I forgot to wash the soccer jersey because my brains fell out. But if I stop having kids? In about 7 years they might sleep in once in a while... I've been told this happens, and I choose to believe it.

3. Let's just say hypothetically I had numero quatro. You know what would happen? It would be another boy. And then I would have three, THREE boys. Which basically means I can kiss this nice furniture (ok craigslist furniture, but I really love it) good bye. I would call the ER nurses by their first name because I'd spend three weeks of my life every year there. My hair will turn grey from saying things like "Don't make your brothers smell that" and "I don't care if he thinks it's funny, you can't wash your brother's hair in the toilet!"

We are happy with three. I feel like my family is complete. I'm sure I'll be stalking new mommies for a chance to hold their newborns, but I know in my heart it's time for us to move from having babies and get on with the business of raising children.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Run Mama Run

There have been a few times in my life when I have felt really accomplished. When I got my first store at twenty-two (yes I was in retail for a long while, and I loved it). When I put together a double stroller and neither child fell out of it on our road test. Unfortunately, Mommyhood doesn't lend itself towards feelings of accomplishment. You're not doing it, the kids are. There are many times my kids do something great and I beam with pride, but that's just not the same as if I concurred something myself. To be frank, I didn't realize I was missing that feeling until it smacked me in the face and changed how I feel about myself forever.

After Mighty Mouse was born, I started running to loose weight. I was facing a large weight loss goal and now with three kids, I had even less time to work out. Another motivator was some extended family members experiencing their own health issues. I knew it was now or never. I have dabbled in running before, but could never commit. I'd push too hard and fail, always returning to fast walking. But I wanted to get serious. After some research I found a 30 minute training program that fit perfectly into my busy mommy life. I used the c25k (couch to five kilometer) program on my iphone. The short intervals weren't intimidating to my out of shape Mommy Body and I thought "No Problem." But at the beginning I struggled to run for 90 seconds. Despite it being hard I somehow I managed to run the 90 seconds nine times in a row. I continued to push myself through the various milestones, 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes. And now? I can run for 30 minutes. I do it three times a week, most weeks, and am starting another training program called the One Hour Runner soon. I'm not at my goal, but I have lost weight. Believe me saying goodbye to pair of too-big-for-me-now jeans is awesome, but it isn't the weight loss that has changed me.

The unintended consequences of my running goals unfolded as feelings of accomplishment, strength. I discovered I actually LIKE to run. I catch myself smiling as I pound the pavement. It makes me happy. It's one of the only times I am completely alone. After each run my wobbly legs, sweat soaked shirt and heavy breathing are tangible reminders that I just RAN. I laced up my shoes and tackled something five years ago I never believed I would be capable of, never have done willingly, let alone looked forward too. Running has become less about weight, or even health and more about self confidence. What's most surprising is that on this journey to loose weight, I have become an athlete in my own mind. And I am never going back.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

SPD and Me, err Mini Boots

Mini Boots finally received another diagnosis. Sensory Processing Disorder, also known as Sensory Integration Disorder. We all experience most of life though our senses, taste, touch, smell, and so on. While Mini Boots' brain takes in the same sensory information we all get, he has abnormal responses to normal stimuli. Which essentially means he feels out of sync. All the time.

He craves certain things, and avoids others. He still cries when he hears thunder. Mini Boots will hide in his room while I run the vacuume even though I give him lots of notice. And in class every tiny little noise as small as a child moving a chair in another classroom, or his teacher dropping a pencil will distract him. He loves to move, he is constantly jumping, running, and feels the most comfortable and balanced on the playground, riding bikes or in our pool. But on the other hand? He wants to jump in class, he wants to run around the house, and will plow you down if you are in his way. There is a saying "He just doesn't know his own strength" and in his case, this is absolutely true. Because his mind doesn't experience touch the same way ours does, his physical play is often rough.

You know that feeling when you dream that you're falling? And you wake up startled that you didn't hit the ground? Imagine if you felt like that several times a day. If that feeling of uncertainty about where your body is in space, wondering if you were going to smack into the ground or simply wake up was "normal" for you? For him that feeling is experienced so often it is a slice of normal in his world. Mini Boots lives his life feeling like he is literally riding a roller coaster everyday, all day. And to be honest, I am not sure how he handles it as well as he does. Now that we know we are getting him some help, Occupational Therapy to be specific. We are discovering how to communicate with him about how his body feels, and searching for the best ways to help him level off. And when he climbs all over me or tackles his siblings, I don't get irritated anymore. I just pick him up, squeeze him really tight feeling so proud of his progress on this journey... and then blow up the bouncy house so he can jump till he feels like himself again.

Friday, May 27, 2011

School's Out for Summer

School is officially out for summer, and I am scared. I am totally outnumbered. I will be relentlessly begging any and all relatives to come down for a visit and help me, or at least drink wine with me. But before we dive into our chlorine smelling endless days of "but MOOOOMMMM" I'd like to thank the teachers who took them off my hands a few days each week. And apparently they wanted to remind me how tough their job is over the final days of school. Here's how they did it:

1. The final artwork sent home was covered in glitter. The kids opened their bags to show me their last "Special" project, and about a pound of glitter covered my floor. And no matter how many times I sweep and mop, I'll be finding it until fall. So thanks for all the crafts. Really. Love it.

2. The final assembly/program/recital. Now I do love watching my littles show off their new skills, but for reals, if you tell me the program starts at one and it doesn't actually begin until 1:35, I have already lost my mind keeping the other kids quiet and happy. I mean I just can not pack enough snacks for this. And even though the whole reason I showed up is to get a couple of cute pictures for the grandparents, big hair sat in front of me again and all I got was a blurry shot of her bad dye job.

3. The endless requests for contributions towards the staff thank you luncheon, gifts for the teachers, gifts for the room moms and everyone else who works at the school down to the janitor who doesn't even know who my kids are. You're welcome. I hope you enjoy that spa day because I am now broke from the five hundred dollars it all totaled and no you won't see us at day camp because we can't afford it. Or anything else for that matter.

So Thanks teachers. Your job is HARD. And I know you need a break, please relax and recharge because after three months with me? My kids won't be able to get back in class fast enough.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I know, I haven't been around for a while. I hear it from everyone I know in my "real" life. "Why haven't you blogged?" "Oh that story would be a great blog!" "People miss reading about you and the kids!" I guess they expected me to feel good because I was missed, but all I really felt was pressure. Pressure to share my thoughts, which were private. Pressure to explain myself, which is the exact opposite of why I do this. I blog to get an outlet. I blog to laugh at the crazy. I blog because it feels good. And since it wasn't feeling good I wasn't doing it. The thing is, life hasn't been all that funny, in fact I would say life recently has felt overwhelmingly stressful. I wasn't ready to share the details and couldn't write without getting sucked into my own cycle of unfunny, stressful, crazy. So, I don't know where that leaves me, I am unclenching little by little. Maybe I'll be ready to share again soon. In the meantime... try to understand. I have three kids, two dogs, and one husband who all need a lot from me right now. Oh and I also have another IEP zit.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mini Boots and What NOT to Say

Mini Boots has hit a snag with his Speech and Language therapy. When he came up for a progress report, we realized he is technically performing at the average level (can I get a woo woo?) The range is large and he is on the very lowest end, but it's still average. What I didn't know is unfortunately once you hit that range, our insurance will no longer cover his services. So our insurance isn't paying and our IEP sill isn't complete, which means we aren't getting services there either. The out of pocket cost to provide Language therapy is astronomical, but the alternative is letting him fall behind. As I parent I am not sure how to reconcile letting that happen, or how to accept going broke paying for it ourselves.

So I have been talking to people. Turns out I have some amazing friends who work in healthcare that spent a LOT of time trying to find a loop hole. (Thank you!) I read each medical jargon laden page of our plan and am officially an expert in "maintenance services." I posted it on my facebook because you never know who knows someone who can help. I begged my therapist to provide me with a home plan. And since she totally rocks she even gave me some extra time in our session to help me navigate it. So even though we are being proactive, I am discouraged, and pissed and about to bust out a stiletto. But as I have been talking to everyone about this, scrambling for help, what has been the second most irritating about this is the moronic things people say...

Here it is. My list of things never to say to a Mother of a Special Needs Kid:

1. "He doesnt look any different."
No. He doesn't. Surprisingly neither do you but there are obviously problems going on there.

2. "Do you work with him at home?"
No. We don't. We do however, let him watch the boob tube ten hours a day. And give him an endless supply of junk. Oh and we never talk or read or play with him. Ever. I'm sure it'll just go away eventually.

3. "My kid has the opposite problem. He's so smart."
Really? Well too bad he didn't get it from you or you'd realize having a Language/Learning disorder doesn't actually mean he's stupid. Too many big words?

4. "Well my kids was like that and it went away sooo..."
Look, either you're in denail or you're dumb. Now I'm leaning towards the latter because at some point you can't dig fast enough to keep your head in the sand. So your kid is either still struggling with his disorder or with the fact his Mom is an idiot. Poor kid.

Mini Boot's might not be able to articulate it but I can: My kid is smart and deserves all the world has to offer. No one will stop me form getting it for him. Not even the morons.