Category Archives: Life with Children

To Cry or To Dance?

My little boy started school last week and he was so excited. We both managed to get through the first morning without crying as I walked him to his class. But that was the calmest time of the entire week.100_1949

When we picked him up that afternoon, he was angry and crying. Even now a week later, I’m not sure why he was angry or crying. This became the theme for the entire week. He was either upset, crying or both and it expanded to both morning and afternoon. He wasn’t eating his lunches that I made him (all things I knew that he would eat). He told me that he had moved down on his behavior chart each day.

It was so hard seeing him upset about school. He loved being with his new friends but when they all got stickers for being good and he didn’t. Well, let me put it this way, to my son, not getting a sticker is like being the only one in your company to not get the cost of living raise but instead getting a pink slip. It’s the ultimate rejection.

I didn’t want to be impetuous and ruin a possibly good relationship with my son’s teacher or the school. So the next morning, I walked him to class and spoke with his teacher to find out why he was getting in trouble and what needed work. Not surprisingly most of the issues (listening skills, personal space, sitting still and not being a clown) he had caused were things we have had problems with at home also.

So today started week two of Kindergarten. I have high hopes for the week. When I picked him up this afternoon, according to him he stayed on the good side of the chart but he did kick another kids backpack. When I asked why he kicked it, he told me “I just wanted to dance!” Not ok to kick but so much better than coming home in tears.

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Shop Til Ya Drop!

I’ve been on kind of a slump lately about providing new activities for the kids. So, since my great-niece was going to be spending a couple of nights with us, I decided to put together a make-believe “store”.
I found a wonderful printable of play paper money from misstiina.com. 
Then Mickey and I went about gathering other objects such as wallets, old ID’s, expired Credit cards, shopping bags, grocery lists and a netbook to pose as the cash register. Then we gathered items for them to “buy”, different grocery items, some toys, empty baby food containers, etc.  It turned out really well albeit a bit unorganized, but since neither of the kids had played shopping before no one was really the wiser.
I am in the process of adding more stuff to the mix. I have kept food boxes (which I taped shut), some cleaning bottles (after thoroughly cleaning them), a bag for chips and hamburger buns (both of which I filled with wadded paper to make it seem the bags were full). I’m still looking for purses, dramatic dress-up clothes, plastic coins and something to use as a cart (hopefully something that won’t take up much room).
They had fun and hopefully, as they get use to it, it will be even more fun for them. Then, as princess grows, they can show her how to play.
Here are some pictures from our playtime.
PicMonkey Collage

His Inner World or Simple Defiance?

100_1570So as some of you may know, we have had trouble with Jacob and his attitude/anger/disobedience/whatever it may be. I have beat myself up thinking that it was something that we as parents have or have not done. I have thought that he was acting out more because of Michaela taking so much attention away from him. Or that it was just the so-called “ferocious Fours” and before the “terrifying Threes”. I even thought that maybe, despite what we were trying to do to raise a child that appreciated what he was given instead of expecting everything, he was spoiled and petulant.

Its been an everyday battle with him. I say battle, but of course I don’t mean that literally. I mean more that it is an emotional struggle each day. I have been so frustrated that I have cried. I am at my wit’s end on how to handle my smart handsome boy. Here’s why:

A typical day consists of him waking up at least once or twice a night, eventually demanding to come sleep in our bed. When he wakes up for the day, most of the time he is already angry. He gets angry if he doesn’t get to watch TV or if he does and there is nothing he likes to watch. He talks constantly, and I mean constantly. He even talks in his sleep. Also he talks to strangers while we are out and about. He can’t stand the quiet. He can’t handle loud noises. He won’t eat most of the times except certain things. Even then, if it isn’t put a certain way or cut a certain way he flips out. He honestly doesn’t hear things his daddy tells him. I usually have to tell him that his daddy is speaking to him and he seems surprised by it. He is constantly moving. He cannot sit still. He may not always get up when he should be still but if not, his hands are moving and getting into things. He likes to hit, mostly me but he has also hit daddy and his cousin who is 4yo also. And on a couple of occasions, he has told me he didn’t want me as his mommy, to get out of his room, to leave, and other various angry comments.

As I’m sure any other mom would agree, hearing your child tell you that they don’t want you as their mommy anymore is heartbreaking. But he does tend to apologize quickly. And he can be very loving and cuddly. He has been very patient with his baby sister. He is smart and has almost a eidetic memory when it comes to music, directions and books. He loves learning and playing equally. And just so no one is confused I love my baby boy and I am so proud of him. I know he is feeling things differently than you and me. I also know that some of his actions are normal age appropriate behavior. But I know my son and I can see the frustration, the confusion and the anger (at himself) in his eyes.

I have begun a quest to find out what I can do to help my son. I have researched anything and everything I can about behavioral, disciplinary and emotional issues that tend to affect young boys Jacobs age. Not that I plan to consider any of it as a substitute for a doctors examination. But what I did find was very interesting.  I have looked at Autism, Sensory spectrum disorder, Highly sensitive, depression, dehydration, jealousy, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Sleep disorders and even food allergies. It has been both overwhelming and interesting. I have used WebMD.com, healthcentral.com, about.com as well as looking into others stories of their children.

As I stated before, I am not taking the information I find on the web as a diagnosis. We have decided to set up an appointment with Jacob’s pediatrician. I’m not sure what that will achieve, whether a diagnosis or a referral to another doctor. I have my thoughts that it is ADHD. I have found that most of the issues we have observed with Jacob can be explained by ADHD. I am anxious to get into the doctor so that I can begin finding some things to help Jacob cope better.

I plan to continue blogging about our journey toward finding answers and remedies for Jacob.  My hope is that we can find solutions to make things better for him and more tolerating of his inner world.

Works in progress

I don’t know if anyone has read about the killing spree that took place at UCSB or the manifesto left behind by the disturbed young man responsible, but it has made me think about my babies and how they perceive themselves and others.

The killer seemingly blamed everyone but himself. He blamed his mother for not marrying into a wealthy family after his parents divorce. He blamed the girls attending college with him because they wouldn’t date him. He blamed couples on campus for having what he envied-a relationship. He video taped himself saying that he would “make them pay”. He later used his car, a knife and three guns to terrorize a campus, consequently killing six souls, injuring more and taking his own life.

Horrible though this is, the thoughts that it leaves behind with me are about my own children. I think about how their father and I are raising them.

My son: Are we raising him to respect women? Will he continue to see them as princesses or as objects? Will he appreciate all that we did for him even though we aren’t rich and he doesn’t get everything he wants? Will he be confident enough in himself to deal with rejection? Will he find acceptable outlets for his anger, that don’t include violence to women or anyone for that matter? Will he accept responsibility for his actions?

My daughter: Will she be confident enough to stand up for herself? Will she know that she is beautiful whether she fits into others view of what beauty is? Will she stand firm under pressure? Will she know that she is more than her bra size? Will she appreciate all that we did for her even though we aren’t rich and she doesn’t get everything she wants? Will she ask for help when she needs it? Will she accept responsibility for her actions?

I love my children very much. I hope they live prosperous lives and know at all times that they are always the center of my universe. But I know that they are not perfect, because well, lets face it, who is. Just like myself and everyone else, they will always be a work in progress. But while daddy and I are guardians of their lives, I hope and pray that we provide them with the tools they need to answer “yes” to all of the above.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the families that lost children in this horrific incident.

#yesallwomen and #notallmen

Tie-dye t-shirts for the kiddos

Had a blast doing this activity. The tie dye kit was purchased at Wal-mart along with a pack of plain white t-shirts. After getting everything ready, I gloved up my son and my great niece. They each tinted their own shirts and I only helped alittle with the actual tie dying. I think they came out great.
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