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Showing posts from 2016

ADHD Runs in the Family

It has been a tough year for my son. He's in 2nd grade this year, and he is having a rough time. I mean, a really hard time, to the point where his ability to learn is suffering.


We worked with the school addressing his sensory issues during his kindergarten year, and we made it through that year. Then his first grade year went really well! He did great all year long, and his teacher seemed to know just how to handle any issues that came up. And some issues did come up, but the teacher worked with him to resolve them quite successfully.


But this year, a lot of things seem to be coming to a head. His lack of focus, inability to control his impulses and inattentiveness have exacerbated his sensory issues, leading to some serious behavior problems. His teacher is great, really wanting him to succeed and working with him and us to try to get him there. Unfortunately, the things that have worked in the past do not seem to be working now.


In the first week of school, I got two phone ca…

Why I Cry Every Morning

The other day, my husband was giving the kids a pep talk about mornings. You see, he is awake, ready and out the door before the rest of us wake up. I handle the mornings with the kids (and I still hate my mornings). They are never easy mornings. Londo does everything he can to help without being there, including trying to get the kids to listen to me when I tell them to get ready. During this particular pep talk, he said something that included "so mommy doesn't..." And I piped in "...cry every morning!"


The kids looked a little startled at that, and Londo quickly said, "Mommy is just joking." But later in the day, I let Londo, then the Pumpkin and then the Pookie know that I WAS NOT JOKING! Their behavior has made me get angry and yell and/or (usually and) get upset and cry every. single. school. morning. for the last 3 or 4 weeks. Not. Joking.


Over the years, I've tried so many different ways of dealing with the mornings. I used to try to be f…

Mommy: The Dream Crusher

This summer, the kids watched the Olympics with me, something I've been waiting for them to be old enough to enjoy! Well actually, they were at my inlaws without me during the week that had the gymnastics competitions, so I recorded hours and hours and HOURS of Olympics and saved the gymnastics to watch with the kids.


You see, growing up my sports were gymnastics and swimming. I LOVE the summer Olympics, especially the gymnastics and swimming. And I want to share my love of those things (especially especially gymnastics) with the kids. Londo has a vague interest in those sports, in the way that he is vaguely interested in all sports but NOT in the way that he loves football and keeps up with basketball and has this fascination with curling in the Winter Olympics (huh?). But I need to get the kids into gymnastics so I can share the LOVE I have for it with others and watch it and be amazed together!


So when the kids were back home, we'd watch my recorded Olympic gymnastics rig…

Back to Schools

Here we are again at the start of another school year. Yesterday was the first day of school, and the Pumpkin is starting 4th grade and the Pookie is starting 2nd grade. They are both still in elementary school, but they are going to different schools this year. That is because the Pumpkin got into the gifted and talented program in our area, and therefore she is bused to a nearby school that has the GT program.


Look, I'm a mom and this is my blog... so I am going to brag just for a minute!


My daughter got into the gifted and talented program! I KNEW she was a super genius! She's always amazed us at the things she does and says and how much she learns and remembers! Super Genius!!!


Now, back to the post...


The Pumpkin is very excited to start this brand new school and be in this GT program, which is a two-year program covering 4th and 5th grade. To help make the transition easier and more comfortable, we went to an open house for the program last Spring, another one last week…

Laughing With My Girl

The other week we were on vacation at the beach. We have a timeshare place we stay for one week every summer, although we've had to stay at different units over the last couple of years due to the timing of the vacation and the fact that we now have two dogs and need to bring them with us. So, it was a place that was new to us, but still nice. This one had two bedrooms on the middle floor, one with a queen bed for Londo and me, and the other had two twin beds for the kids. There was a downstairs bedroom where my parents stayed (we own the timeshare with them).


One late afternoon, we had come back from a day out doing something (beach or boardwalk or shopping) and were relaxing a bit. For some reason, I got the song "Too Bad You're Crazy" stuck in my head--heck, the reason was probably that someone said "you're crazy" and that is enough to get a song with those word in my head. I started signing it (changing the words "crazy as hell" to "…

Summer Camps

For the last three years, I've signed the kids up for a variety of camps to cover the work days over the summer. We've tried different types of day camps, including art, drama, sports and STEM. I thought we'd try out all different kinds so we could see what the kids like--turns out my kids like ALL types of camps!


The first year, we did a drama camp, a couple of art camps and a general sports/play camp. The Pumpkin tried a soccer camp one week, but it did not really engage her (either because of her age or interest--maybe both). The Pumpkin really enjoyed the drama camp and the art camp, which was no surprise given how much she's always loved drama and arts and crafts. The Pookie struggled a bit with the drama camp, even though his age-group was half art and half drama, and he had a hard time with the all-day art camp (the other art camp was just a half day). I think his issues were due to a combination of his young age (5 years old at the time) and the sensory issues…

Go Outside and Play!

Since having kids, I've heard a lot of people joke about how their parents used to send them outside to play, maybe telling them not to come home until dark. The world seems to have changed, we all lament. Kids have play dates, instead of just going down the street to play with other neighborhood kids. Kids stay inside and play video games or watch TV instead of biking and running around the block. Back in our day, our parents told us to go outside and find something to do!


I don't disagree with any of that, but I remember it a little differently. I remember begging my parents to let me go out and play. We had a swing set and a jungle gym in our back yard. My best friend lived behind me, a quick jump over a low fence with a big rock right at the spot we'd climb over. We had tall trees for climbing and little traffic on the streets around my block. The park with a creek and the pool were right down the street, and more friends were a couple streets over. I always wanted to …

Being a Bus Stop Parent

I love the bus stop.

I remember before my kids were in the public elementary school, I would drive through the neighborhood in the mornings and see all the kids and parents gathered at corner, waiting for the bus. I would think to myself that it was so nice to see all those neighborhood kids together and the parents talking to each other. That must be how you really get to know the other parents in the neighborhood, I realized.

And I was right!

When we first moved into the neighborhood, I was pregnant with the Pumpkin. Once moved in, we had the first baby... then the second... and our world condensed. Our focus at first was simply on surviving those baby and toddler years! Once the youngest was a toddler, we slowly started looking around. We would go outside to play with chalk or bubbles, and we'd wave and chat with neighbors. The kids would draw and blow bubbles with the kids who lived in the houses right around us. But it was irregular and short.

Once the kids started elementary…

And a Diagnosis for the Boy

Before the Pumpkin got her diagnosis of ADHD, we had a slightly different evaluation done for the Pookie. The Pookie was evaluated to see if he has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). He does indeed have sensory issues, but it is not quite at the disorder level.

There were signs of sensory issues since he was a baby, and especially as a toddler.

He always needed strong input to his sense of touch. As a toddler, he didn't just run up and hug me, but instead would throw his whole body into me, full force. Every time. He can't just brush up against something, but bangs into things and people. There is no counting how many times I've had to remind him to "be gentle with Mommy" not because he is trying to hurt me (or anyone), but simply because soft touches don't really compute to him.

He always held his hands over his ears and freak out when there were loud noises, especially sudden ones. This could be difficult to deal with, like in public bathrooms with automate…

Still Fidgeting, But Now With Diagnosis

It came as no surprise to me or Londo when we got the diagnosis that the Pumpkin has ADHD. There have been YEARS of high activity, constant motion and fidgeting, impulsiveness, inability to focus, inability to organize, forgetfulness of tasks and trouble keeping her attention on tasks. I had suspected it for a long, long time. I'm not saying all fidgety babies will have ADHD, but my daughter was fidgety and had other signs and does indeed have ADHD.

Not only at home have we seen these issues, but also in daycare and every year of school. In the daycares, the teachers would pulling me aside many times saying how the Pumpkin wouldn't sit down and participate in circle time. I remember thinking that not all kids can sit that long. But then I'd stay and observe, and she'd be the only one not sitting, moving around, finding other things to get into to the entire time the other kids sat in circle time. And then there were her issues with nap time. Nap time? What is that? Oh …

I Blink, and Years Have Gone By

So. Here I am again. It's been about two years since I last posted anything, and I am still muddling through this parenthood thing.

I miss writing. I miss recording my kids' lives. I miss writing out the issues we're going through so that I can better make sense of things. I miss thinking about the stuff that happens in terms of stories. So, I'm going to try to start back up.

The Pumpkin is at the end of 3rd grade, the Pookie is finishing up 1st grade. They are amazing, smart, healthy and (I can honestly say) happy children. We have our issues... who doesn't? But I would like to work through these issues and even share these issues with others as we figure stuff out.

Even though I often miss blogging, the thing that gave me a kick in the pants to start again is getting the weekly update from my daughter's class--in reading, they are learning about how autobiographies, journals and blogs communicate information. I read that and thought about how much I wish I wa…