Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jock Straps and Tackle Boxes

I have to laugh being the only girl in a male-dominated household - there are many first for me on a daily basis and there are a lot of things that just make me scratch my head. 

Here is an actual conversation between my husband and I yesterday -

DH:  Oops, I forgot to stop by the store and pick up a jock strap for Logan.
Me:  Do you want me to do that on my way home from work?
DH:  Can you please?
(long pause)
Me:  What do I look for?  I've never had to buy one of these before!

First time buying one of those, certainly not the last!  And the even more funny story comes from our 9 year old son trying one on the first time!  Let me just say we were all giggling and it was a hilarious family moment! 

On the same day as this whole jock strap experience, me, the mother to boys that I don't completely understand why they do the things they do, or smell the way they smell (ha!) was cleaning the bathroom when I found a small tackle box in the magazine rack next to the toilet.  Really?  A tackle box?  I guess that's just good time management on my sons part, but just another thing that baffles my female mind. 

Boys are so fun and I enjoy being the princess of the house.......sometimes! 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life Lesson #5 - Money does not grow on trees

I have heard myself say this numerous times throughout the summer - my kids are bombarded with television ads for new toys, their friends get something new and they just have to have it or they will die, or they look through the Sunday ads and the bright colored Toys R Us ad screams "YOU NEED ALL OF THESE TOYS".  Aaaaahhhh!!!!! 

My children see me clipping coupons, watching our pennies, and being as frugal as possible because we do have some debt, we are paying for full-time childcare through the summer and we are living in this poor economy right now doing the very best we can.  So when they ask for "stuff" it just drives me nutty......I have tried and tried and tried to teach them about giving and appreciating what they have and waiting until holidays and birthdays for gifts, etc. - but the lesson just isn't sticking. 

We talk about chores and allowance so that they can earn their own money, but that really hasn't taken very well - it probably has something to do with parental consistency - of which, Randy and I falter on a little!  My type A personality probably has a little to do with that.....the mind set of "Oh, just let me do that" gets in the way sometimes!  I need to have a talk with myself about that!  ha! 

I have been very proud of Logan for putting much of his birthday money, well, in fact all of his birthday money into savings.  He says he is saving up for an X-Box......mmmmmkkkkkkaaaaayyyyyy......the Nintendo DS, Playstation 2, and Wii apparently aren't enough to satisfy him.  I remember my parents buying an Atari set for me from a garage sale when Atari was soooooo over and then I remember having Nintendo 64 video game system when I was in the 5th grade and I think I had all of 4 games TOTAL.  There is seriously something wrong with this picture......but what can I do about it??? 

I feel a little overloaded with technology sometimes.....something I've discussed before.  I mean you can call anyone at any time, text them, download music anywhere, reach your Facebook friends whenever/wherever, GPS a location with the touch of a button, Skype someone who lives in Guam, Twitter where you are eating lunch, and there is soooooo much more - the iPads, iPhones, etc., etc., etc.  On Sunday I told the children to turn the television off, turn off all video games, and we sat at our kitchen table snapping green beans.  I loved it, it made me remember doing that very same thing with my grandmother at her kitchen table.....the kids hated it and Noah acted as if I had sentenced him to jail. 

As much as I want to simplify, I just don't see it happening.......how to I turn my technology reliant family into a self-reliant, technology occasionally family?  And I have to chuckle that I'm blogging this.....from my computer, with my cell-phone sitting next to me notifying me that I've just received a text......ha! ha! 

Friday, July 16, 2010

New beginnings

I should really blog more because I feel like I have a lot of things going on that others can relate to and if I can help one parent feel as though they are not alone in the struggles of having a child with anxiety, ADHD, ODD, etc., then I think it's worth it to take a few minutes to just type out my story.

My last post was in March and a lot has gone on since then - both of the boys ended their school years successfully, the boys played on the same baseball team for the first time ever (and probably the last), we have gone on a family vacation, there have been lots of celebrations, and tons of summer fun! There have also been moments of sheer frustration, tears, temper tantrums, calls to apologize to people that Logan wasn't kind to, and times when I have talk myself off of the "parenting ledge". Logan's diagnoses and treatments have certainly helped ease the frustrations of parenting a child with Logan's "quirks", however it doesn't mean that there aren't those moments that I haven't prepared myself for when Logan has a meltdown.

We are getting ready to go into a new school year and I feel like we are armed this year with everything we need to have a successful year. We met with Logan's teacher at the end of the school year and talked to her a bit so that she and Logan are both prepared for what is in store. I think back to last summer and it was about this time when some unusual behaviors began to surface in Logan and knowing what I know now, I know it was from anxiety. This year we are armed with a few counseling appointments before school begins and I know that will help him walk into school on that first day with less anxiety than he would normally have.

The baseball season was a rough one - whew! Having both boys on the same team worked out great schedule-wise, however the boys struggle to really get along because of Logan's anxious/worry-wart/slightly Type-A nature and Noah's free-spirit/go with the flow/laid back nature. And we had a real contrast in ball-players this year - a few with lots of experience and a lot with little experience. The boys had fun.....but there were moments when Logan who is ultra-competitive lost it and I found myself using all of the things I learned in counseling to calm him down.

What I find a lot of the time is that when he is getting upset he can calm himself down, however, when a coach or a parent or even a teammate says something harsh - he loses it. I see it happening and it's like the moment before I can stop it from happening a word/a phrase/a negative comment is made and "BAM" - he's spiraling downward. The thing I noticed this year is that when those break-downs happened I was more prepared and so calm about it, where as in the past I was embarrassed, frustrated, angry, etc. Counseling has really been good for all of us.....it helps Logan calm himself down and it helps us to be the best parents we can be for Logan and Noah.

There is a stigma of parenting a child with a personality like Logan's - I'm learning to have tougher skin, but when he has a melt-down and says something to a coach or a teammate that isn't kind and others look at you like it's your fault, that is tough to take. But I'm finding out that no parent/child/marriage/friendship/etc., is perfect and you should never judge others when you yourself are not perfect.  This year has definitely been one where I've learned so much about relationships and about why other people do things they do.  And I've learned a lot about living your life out loud and not living your life for others.

I find that Logan and I have a wonderfully functional relationship amongst all of the dysfunction. I understand him more now than ever, and I look back at the years of frustration, tears, pain and wish I had known how to calm both he and I down in those moments of sheer anxiety. But I know now and we're moving forward. Please note that not every day is perfection - one minute he's telling me that I'm such a wonderful mommy and the next minute he "hates" me.....we're a work in progress!! ha!

This new school year brings new beginnings for our children and I'm looking forward to them.  Logan is going to play football and was told that he will wear his dad's number (#33) this season and he is really proud of that.  My brother will be one of his coaches and I know that he's going to look out for Logan's best interests and all of the coaches in the football program are really positive and the kids learn a lot about life/teamwork/being the best you as well as football.  I can't wait to see what this year brings for our little family.