Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today has been a good day....baby steps

My husband and I quietly picked up our children from their after-school program yesterday - fingers crossed that it had been a good day. They both survived the day - minor infractions for misbehavior, but they both survived - so far so good. As we drove home a little 8 year old hand was on my shoulder with a very quiet voice saying "I'm sorry for my behavior this morning mommy, I hope you didn't cry all day".....well, I hadn't cried all day, but I was definitely crying then.

Homework was done without incident, dinner was typical - family banter, discussions of how everyone felt their day went, and afterwards my husband and my oldest son played Connect Four and my youngest and I played Super Mario on his DS (my secret addiction). The evening was quiet and the issue came at bedtime, like it always does.....one child can't sleep for one reason or another and they end up in our bed.

This morning our oldest son did everything without incident, the youngest was a bit of a pill - not wanting to wake up - no biggie, and the only time I raised my voice was when the boys argued for the millionth time about who was getting out of the car first. As I type this I just came up with my solution.....one can sit in the passenger seat and they can both get out first. Now, however, the argument will be who is going to sit in the passenger seat! Oy vey!

So far today has been a good day and we take our baby steps into the rest of the day with hopes and prayers of continued peace for our family. I feel completely wiped out by the stresses, but I hold hope that the future will bring us answers, tools for success in raising our children to the best of our abilities, and ideas on how to handle mornings like yesterday morning. I am actively searching for a support group of some sort for my husband and I....the few that I have found in this area don't quite meet our needs. However, there are some options for us.

Living with children who have ADHD, ODD, anxiety issues, or any other out of the ordinary behaviors is difficult and you really do have to take it day by day with little to no expectations of what you are going to get from them every day. The element of surprise is something that could trigger anger in a parent - if something sets your child off that you weren't expecting you have to just go with it and not try and force it. I'm a little bit of a Type A.....so I am trying to re-train myself not to be so controlling. Our children are learning, we are learning......it's not easy, but we will get there. We will get there right?

The same boiling water that hardens the egg will soften the carrot. So it is with children. Everything depends on the individual’s particular reaction to stressful circumstances. ~ Hide or Seek

Monday, January 25, 2010

What is to become of me?

When I started my blog I never really pinpointed what exactly my purpose was for blogging - frugal living, advice on life, a look at my journey in everyday ordinary life......when people find out I blog they want to know what it's about - well, it's a little bit of everything. I think at the time, whatever my focus is is what I blog about. Well, right now my focus is my family and the challenges that we are facing raising a child with ADHD, anxiety issues, and ODD. In addition to that, there is the thought that our youngest child has ADHD as well, not so much anger driven, but hyperactivity driven. So many challenges as parents right now and I think that I'm going to document our journey here because that is my focus right now.

What I know so far.......I'm tired, I'm tired of looking at my son and not knowing what kind of reaction I will get from him if I ask him to do something. I'm tired of walking on eggshells for fear that one word, one movement, one statement will send him into a rage that will impact our morning, afternoon, and/or evening. And most of all I'm tired of being tested as a mother and I often wonder where the love comes from within me because there are days when I'm getting nothing but hate in return.

We have more psychological evaluations coming up that will give us more of a sense on how to counsel our oldest child, how to parent him, and how his education should be structured. I'm excited, but apprehensive about this - I always fear they are going to come out and say something like "Well, the reason he has these issues are completely and totally your fault". However, the knowing is what's important and what I look forward to the most - I look forward to knowing how we move forward, not so much the "why" of it all.

The challenges of our youngest child are more just being ornery in class, not listening, running around like he's powered by a motor, and I feel like having dealt with the many idiosyncrasies of our oldest have prepared us for these "minor" issues and we can deal with them. However, it doesn't make it any easier to hear a teacher say that she feels there is something wrong with him. That's my baby and I think he's perfect no matter what, I think both of my children are....but it's the judgement of others that I fear the most in this entire situation.

Today I'm refocusing on my life and what each day brings. This morning was difficult and emotional and challenged every being in my body - it challenged our marriage, my relationship between my oldest son and I, and at one point I was crying so hard that I threw up. Not a good way to start my day......but I got through it and I'll get through the evening with my children once I get there. And I'm searching for support groups in our area for parents dealing with similar issues to figure out how my husband and I can get through this.

Day by day as a family we will face these issues and meet them as they come. I know there are good days and bad days with variables of how good and/or how bad.....so in knowing that I feel prepared. I just hope and pray that my children both know that my husband and I love them dearly and will do anything for them - that's how it's always been and how it will always be.

"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body." Elizabeth Stone

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Never give up. Never ever give up.

Sometimes in life you have a goal that nags you - it's one of those goals that you set but it's easy to set aside when life comes your way.......pay off all your debt, finish school, lose 10 pounds, run a marathon. Run a marathon? WHAT? Who wants to do that and WHY?

Well, I have always wanted to complete a marathon, not because I'm a super runner and could totally blow everyone out of the water, it's something that I personally would like to accomplish. I just have always said I would like to run one. I watched the documentary "The Spirit of the Marathon" and one of my favorite quotes was "There are people that are competing and there are people that are completing" - and I am in it to complete it and my only competition is myself.

Running has always been a good release for stress.....and if you have read my posts lately, you know that our little family is incredibly stressed at times - so I should be a really GOOD runner! ha! Last year I started training for it and got half-way through and my Lupus flared up and knocked me down for months. I had declared I was running for someone else and felt disappointed when I couldn't complete it.....this year I'm running for myself. I'm running to prove to myself that I have the ability to face a challenge head on and the discipline to prepare for it.

I have in the past run a half-marathon - I did not train for it properly and I was terribly, terribly overweight. I finished it and that's about all I can say - it wasn't pretty and I know that given the opportunity to do it again, I would have prepared my body better for that race. So right now I am registered for the marathon and am going through the training to complete it - given that my Lupus stays quiet I will be able to put a check mark next to "run a marathon" on my "To Do Eventually List". Now....gotta go, gotta get those miles in!

Monday, January 11, 2010

On the road again

I'm trying to play catch up again....I was gone for a few days celebrating my sister's birthday in Arizona and the kids had snow days and I haven't been feeling well.....so I'm playing catch up with life AGAIN! And we are leaving late Wednesday night to drive to Alabama to visit my parents who are "snow birding" for the first time this year. On the road again.....and this my friends will be the second longest road trip for my little family and I'm a little stressed because the first one was not so fun!

I'm going to take you back to the summer of 2005.....life was very stressful back then with two little ones (2 and 4 years old to be exact), I was running a home daycare business, Randy was terribly busy at his job as a sheet metal worker, and on the side he competed in archery - 3-D Bow Shooting. He qualified for nationals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and decided that the entire family should go out on this trip - we would drive and it would be fun!

Our road trip was a 19 hour nightmare due to construction, we left bright and early in the morning - even though I suggested leaving at night so the kiddos would sleep, it rained almost the entire time we were out there - so I was stuck in the hotel room with toddlers, I was in a strange city and would take the children on walks when I could - but was scared I would end up in a bad neighborhood, we barely saw Randy because it's not like you can go into a building and watch their shoots - they are actually walking through the woods, and I believe our marriage was a little shaky upon returning from that trip. We survived and the children have no recollection of their mother having melt downs, trying desperately to entertain them over the long weekend, and I actually think they don't remember the trip at all. My husband remembers competing, because that's what he did majority of the time and has very little memory of the "other" stuff. I however, remember it all.......like it was yesterday! ha!

Now, I believe that we are given challenges and that we take from them things that we're supposed to learn. I was supposed to learn patience and compassion and it taught me that as a mother I was capable of driving my children around in a strange city and finding ways to entertain them and making it seem like an adventure! The highlight was going to Hershey, Pennsylvania and I believe the chocolate is in fact what saved me. ha! Again, we all survived and there are little to no scars in the memories of my husband and children in regards to that trip - and I grew up a little bit as a mother, a wife, and a woman.

So, in looking ahead at our up and coming road trip - we are going to drive mostly through the night, the boys both have handheld games, we have a DVD player, a GPS, and the boys who are now almost 5 years older will be able to handle the stresses that come with travelling a little better than they did when they were so young. I am looking forward to my children seeing the ocean, spending time with my parents, sweet tea, fresh seafood, and having a chance to learn from the challenges that might be hidden in our little road trip.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Patience Is A Virtue

My patience was tested on January 2nd while trying to travel to Phoenix with my niece and nephew for my sister's surprise 40th birthday party. We were scheduled to leave Bloomington on Air Tran at 5:46 a.m. through Atlanta and arrive in Phoenix at 12:35 p.m. Unfortunately that did not happen and we ended up in Phoenix at 11:30 a.m. on January 3rd. Long story short, I was tested and I believe I handled it all very well and can say that I have been to Phoenix long enough to know that I'm going back there SOON!

In all of the travel madness, I finally got a chance to read almost all of "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert - I am in the homestretch of the book, but have SO many pages marked with quotes for my life that just fit me so well. This was the perfect read for the new year and I am going to leave you with this little snapshot of what I believe to be my mantra for this year. This goes along well with my "I am only going to put my time and energy into the things that matter" goal for this year.

Happy New Year all!

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."