The Happy List

by dee on October 20, 2010

There’s been a bit too much negativity and whining around here lately, so today I’m only thinking happy thoughts…well, trying anyway.  In order to give more space to the happy and less to the depressive woe-is-me, I’ve come up with this list of 10 things that make me truly happy.  But, the best part is, I want you to tell me in the comments what makes you happy!  List 1 or 10 things that make you truly happy so I can share in your joy!  Here’s mine:

  1. Taking photos of my children, coming home to scan through them on the computer, and finding that one absolutely perfect image.
  2. Listening to my daughter talk, using words much bigger than her 2 1/2 years should allow.
  3. Finishing a knit, crochet, or sewing project and finding it came out better than I thought it would.
  4. Cooking an amazingly delicious meal for ALL of my family (even though I really hate cooking).
  5. Snuggling in my chair with my son while we watch a movie or look at pictures on my computer.
  6. Sleeping in on Saturday mornings, on the rare occasions that it happens.
  7. Hugs and kisses as I tuck my kids in at night and tell them I love them.
  8. Spending rare kid-free time with my husband.
  9. A perfectly sunny, yet not too hot, afternoon at the park watching my kids have fun together (and snapping photos, of course).
  10. The first drink out of an ice cold Diet Coke.

Ok, now it’s your turn.  What makes you happy?

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Just Keep Swimming

by dee on October 18, 2010

I’m not sure why I always seem to think that things will calm down in the Fall, because the opposite seems to happen instead. Between school activities, soccer practice and games, church activities, the usual errand running, and visiting with family we just keep going and going and going. Weekends are packed so full that we have very little down time. By Sunday night I end up cranky and exhausted. Add that to the fact that my allergies are insane right now and I’m stressed and not sleeping well at night. So yeah, I’m really pleasant to be around. Just ask my husband and kids.

I’m still wading through this book and trying to figure out what an SPD diagnosis might mean for Zach.  I’ve made an appointment to get started with the evaluation process, but the first available appointment isn’t until December 9th, so we still have a wait on that.  Parent/teacher conferences are this week at school, and I plan to discuss this more with his teacher during that time.  The director of his before/after school program is making some accommodations for him as well and I’m really hoping that this will make the school day easier for him.  Right now the unknown is the hard part.  His behaviors have gotten worse instead of better lately, but I question everything.  Is that behavior because of a sensory thing or just a 5-year-old boy reacting to emotions he doesn’t know how to handle?  It all leaves me frustrated because I don’t know how to handle his behavior.  I certainly don’t want to punish him for something that he really has no control over; yet, if it is something he can control, I don’t want to just let it go.  I wish I just had someone to tell me – when he does this, you do this.  Guess that’s not going to happen though.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.  My body is feeling the stress for sure.  I’ve been eating like crap, let my running schedule slip into once a week, if that.  I know that it is the exact opposite of what I need right now, but I think if I could sit around eating chocolate and sipping Diet Coke all day long I would.  I just kind of need a break from everything, but that break is nowhere in sight right now.

At least while we’re going, going,  going on the weekends we are having fun.  I really need to learn to slow down and think more when I’m taking photos because a lot of these didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to, but at least there were a few keepers from the weekend.

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I Need A Weekend To Recover From My Weekend

by dee on October 11, 2010

Well, that last post was a bit of a downer, eh?  I really didn’t intend for it to be all “woe is me” but I guess that is what ended up coming out.  Life can’t always be happy, I suppose. Things really aren’t that bad.  I’m happy that we’re finally figuring some things out with Zach, just frustrated that it is going to take some time to really get the help that we want/need for him to be a little more successful.  In the meantime, we’re trying to cram in as much fun as we can.

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Zach’s school had a school carnival Friday night, which promised plenty of bouncing and climbing on inflatables. While the kids were extremely excited, I was not. Then Hubby called to say he was going to the doctor to have his shoulder checked again (relating to his accident last week) and would be home late. So, it was just me and the kids. I really have no idea why I was dreading it so much, because we ended up having a really good time. Really, how can you not have a good time when your kids are laughing, hugging, and just having a really great time together? It was also nice to see so many of the other kids there that were genuinely excited to see Zach. He claims to not have any good friends at school, but these kids proved him wrong.

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Saturday morning Zach had a soccer game. He just wasn’t in the mood to play. Then, just after we got there, something upset him and he refused to play – at all. His coach finally convinced him to go in as goalie for about the last five minutes of the game, but he spent most of that time playing in the net and not paying any attention to the game. The whole thing was pretty frustrating to all of us. I just hope he’ll get back in there and play for the rest of the season.

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That evening, we attended a dinner/bonfire for the children’s group at our church. We had a fun evening socializing with some of the families from church, and the kids had a great time playing games and then roasting marshmallows in the fire. Zach was a little too excited about the fire for my taste, but I’m glad he had fun. Evie even surprised me by being way more social than she normally is. I expected her to stick by my side all night, but she went off and played with the other kids, and even snuggled up to a couple of the adults there.

Sunday morning we got up and went to church, then grabbed a quick lunch and headed to the zoo. Hubby decided to stay home and rest instead of going to the zoo with us since his shoulder was still hurting, so Grandma decided to come along with us instead.

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The highlight of the day for Zach was getting to meet Iron Man and have his picture taken with him. He barely squeaked out a “hi” when he got up there, but it was pretty cool that he got to meet his favorite super hero.

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Evie’s favorite part of the zoo was the hippos. She loved watching them peek up from under the water they were swimming in.

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Eventually, we made our way to the Discovery Barn, where the kids discovered the Squirrel Monkeys. These little monkeys were hilarious! They kept jumping at the glass right in front of Zach’s face and would chase the kids back and forth as they ran along the glass. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my children both squealing in delight the way they did with these monkeys. It was so fun to watch them.

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We didn’t make it all the way through the zoo before closing time, but I think the kids had had enough anyway. We were all absolutely exhausted when we got back home. We had such a good time though that it was definitely worth the exhaustion. Now I just have to spend the rest of the week catching up on the laundry and housework that got ignored over the weekend!

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P.S. Don’t tell Evie that it’s after Labor Day. She LOVES this outfit!

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Heavy

by dee on October 6, 2010

Sometimes, that beautifully planned out life that you dreamed about and worked so hard to create just isn’t what you thought it would be or what you planned for it to be.

Sometimes, even when there is so much good in your life, it is hard to not let the bad stuff leak in and take over.

Sometimes, your fears become your reality.

Sometimes, the weight of it all is just too much.

It is just so heavy – that weight pushing down on you.

That’s where I am right now.  The weight of this life, so heavy that I no longer know what to do with it.  There’s no shrugging it off.  There’s no running away.  There’s no sleeping through it until it eventually goes away.  It is just there, waiting to be picked apart, piece by piece.

My mind is scattered, always going in a million different directions.  There is no focus.  Everything I do seems to take an enormous amount of effort.  I forget things constantly, important things.  I lose things that were in my hands only moments before.

I try to pretend like things are okay, when really I feel like I’m drowning.  I can’t drown though, I have to keep going.  There is no stopping when you are the one who takes care of everybody else.

It is good to be needed, until you are needed so much that there is no more of you to give.

Life is hard right now.  The last couple of months have been hard.  The last week, even harder.

Last week I was involved in a fender bender on my way home from work.  I got rear-ended in stop and go traffic on the highway.  It was really pretty mild, just some scrapes on the bumper from what I can tell.  I still need to get the car in for some estimates and make sure there isn’t any more damage than what I can see.  It shook me up, but I was lucky it wasn’t worse.  All I could think was, “Thank God my kids weren’t in the car.”

On Monday, Hubby got rear-ended in a much worse way.  He was on his way to work when the driver in the car behind him fell asleep at the wheel.  He slammed into Hubby’s car going 65+ miles per hour.  Hubby was very lucky and ended up with a sprained shoulder (from the seat belt) and a partially sprained neck.  He’s hurting, but he’s alive.  I couldn’t even function on Monday until I knew he was at the hospital getting checked out.  I guess I just needed to know that he was okay, even though he complained about my constant texts and phone calls checking on him.

School is still difficult for Zach.  Although the bullying situation seems to have gotten better, there are still other issues.  He told me this week that he “hates” school and doesn’t want to go anymore.  Yesterday I couldn’t get him to go into his before school program (which is necessary because I have to be at work before school starts).  He cried and clung onto me long enough that I ended up just staying and walking him to his class.  I know he doesn’t hate school.  He comes home excited every day telling me all about the things they learned that day.  He just doesn’t like the before/after school program.  It is too much for him.

Last week I somehow came across a link to a blog about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), this post in particular.  As I started reading, I got this huge sinking feeling in my stomach.  While I’ve detected some signs and suspected some sensory issues with Zach for a while now, I suddenly knew, without a doubt, that THIS is what we’re dealing with.  I immediately downloaded a book about SPD, which I’ve been reading every chance I get, and the more I read, the more I know this is it.  So many of the unexplained behaviors that we’ve seen from Zach over the last year or two finally have an explanation.  And, while having answers should lessen the weight I carry, instead it has made it heavier.

I know now that there need to be evaluations, I just don’t know exactly where to start.  I do believe that he has a mild form of SPD, and that, with help, we can make things better for him.  I know it is going to take a LOT of work to get him where he needs to be.  I am so very thankful that he has a teacher that is more than willing to do what it takes to make him successful in his class at school.  She has already taken steps with him that have made things better, like making sure that he always gets to sit at the end of the table at lunch instead of being smashed in the middle of the group.

My biggest struggle with this right now, is that I want to know everything there is to know about SPD and I want to know it NOW.  I want all of the answers so that I can help him and make life less difficult.  I know there are simple things we can implement at home, I just don’t know what they are or how to do them yet.  All the while, his behaviors have been escalating and I don’t know how to handle them.

It also doesn’t help that Zach has a two-year-old little sister who loves nothing more than to egg him on when he does have problems at home.  She is most definitely in the “terrible two’s” stage and entirely too smart for her own good.  She knows how to set him off.  She is also quickly learning how to get the attention turned to her when mom and dad are focused on Zach.  I can’t say that I blame her, but it leads to some very unpleasant times at home and an enormous amount of guilt on my part.  I wonder if she isn’t getting the attention she needs because, out of necessity, our attention always seems to be on Zach.

Last night Zach had to go sleep in the guest bedroom.  He was throwing a huge fit because he didn’t like the cd that Evie picked out to listen to at bed time.  Removing him from the situation seemed to be the best thing to do at the time.  They have shared a bedroom for 2 1/2 years now, but I can see that that needs to change, sooner rather than later.  I question whether it was simply a fit and he was trying to get his way or if the music simply was too much for him all of a sudden, music that he has listened to over and over again.  I question everything these days.  Is he just being a kid throwing a tantrum, or is there more to it?

While we have one little piece of the answer now, all it has done is bring more questions.  While I know I shouldn’t, I feel guilty for not picking up on all of this sooner.  I’ve seen some of the signs since he was tiny, yet blew it off as just being one of his little “quirks” because I didn’t know what else it might be.  It blows my mind to go through the list of signs or symptoms of SPD and realize most of the behaviors that we’ve been trying to correct all these years were completely out of his control.  I wish I could take back all the times I have yelled and screamed at him out of frustration.

I keep reminding myself how lucky I truly am.  I have so much richness in my life.  I have two amazing, smart, and kind kids.  I have a husband who would do anything for me and the kids.  I have so much, yet this weight, this heaviness sitting right there on my chest, it isn’t going to go away.  It’s here to stay. I guess I just have to figure out how to carry it.

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Happy Birthday To The Hubby

by dee on September 24, 2010

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34 years ago God put this man on Earth.  Lucky for me, He saw fit to push him into my path and create this beautiful family that I love so much.

Happy Birthday, Hubby!  I hope you have a fabulous day and can’t wait to celebrate with you this weekend.

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