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Make it Count

The school year had begun. So much change has happened in the short eight weeks of summer break.

When school ended in June I had a 9 year old and a 3 year old. School started last week and I now have a 10 year old 5th grader and a 4 year old preschooler. And with both kids so much change had happened. It’s like they are growing up right in front of me. I still see a newborn and 6 year old. I feel like I woke up one day and they grew up. While I want to keep them young and innocent I know it’s not a reality. It’s time to let go just a little.

Owen and I had a conversation yesterday about me letting go. Not in those exact words but he asked why he can’t do everything his friends can. For example why can’t he watch The Simpsons or Family Guy? Why can’t he play certain video games like Grand Theft Auto? Why doesn’t he play hockey, baseball, soccer, football, lacrosse and basketball?

What I got out of these questions was not “poor me I am deprived”, which is what I heard at first. It was “mom, I’m old enough now for you to loosen up and let me do things kids my age do”.

I don’t believe in spoiling my children with “things”. We are not trying to keep up with the Jones’. We are who we are and do thugs the way we want to. However I do understand peer pressure and I won’t force Owen to do things or not do things he isn’t ready for.

He is telling me he wants to play basketball and be on a travel team. He is telling me he is embarrassed that he doesn’t watch the shows his friends watch. I hear him. So now what? What do I do? Bend because everyone else is watching these shows? I do believe in compromise. If Owen can show me responsibility and self control I am more than happy to let him watch things like The Simpsons or Family guy. They are funny shows. Maybe a tad inappropriate but truth be told, he hears much worse in school. I know this. So I fold on the show thing. I will give in as long as he shows me maturity.

For the first time in his life he is asking to do something specific. I am all for the travel basketball team as long as his school work doesn’t fall behind. I am happy to help him build up his confidence by doing things he enjoys.

I will not bend on Grand Theft Auto. That game will not come into my house. EVER! He knows this and has accepted it. That game is awful!

At this time in Owens life it is so important to lay the foundation for the rest of his life. I want to teach him to work for what you want. Things don’t just come to you because it’s what you want. Here is where we make it count. I hear you Owen and will help you if you help yourself.

Parenting is THE most important job I will ever have. I am trying to raise decent human beings. At this time in their life they have so many outside influences and it is so hard to teach them the right thing. It is so important to Brian and I that no matter what they hear from outsiders they still come to us for guidance. I know realistically they won’t rely on us for everything but they need to know we are here and can trust us.

As we enter into 5th grade and pre K, I prepare myself for what is to come. So much change is happening in both of them. Luckily I have a little bit of and idea of what we are in for as my niece and nephew are only two and three years ahead of us. Thanks Angie for the prep. ūüėČ I am forever grateful!

I have my game face on. With all the wonderful moments and situations that come with having a pre teen boy, I will be ready! Screaming on the inside, calm and collected on the outside. We got this!!!

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Note: I started writing this post on Monday. I was interrupted and forgot to come back to it. It is usually how I do most things.

Happy Mothers Day to all my favorite mommies! Especially my mom and my mother-in-law. Two very special ladies that I am so grateful to have in my life. I didnt get to spend the day with them but they were with my all day in my heart.

I am so lucky to have my mom. The relationship I have with her and my sister is so special and I treasure it more than they know. My mom is my best friend. She is THE nicest person I know. I am sure every person that knows her would agree. She always makes people feel welcome and comfortable. I learned how to be the person I am today from her. Not from her telling me how to be, but showing me how to be. She doesnt realize but I remember way back when I was a teen and her telling me how to treat people and at the time it went in one ear and out the other. Words are useless if there are no actions to back them up. She lead by example. Her actions taught me to be kind and compassionate. There has not been a single moment in my entire 32 years that she has not been there for me. I know its what moms are supposed to do but she does it so well. As I get older I need less and less but just knowing she is there is always comforting. I know I can make a phone call and she would be here in a second. Well actually two hours but she would come!

My other mother. Mom Deb! She is pretty incredible as well. I came into this family 14 years ago and have felt like I fit ever since. I consider myself very lucky to have the relationship with her that I do. I can pretty much say anything to her and there is never a judgement, always compassion, and she forever tells me and my sisters-in-law how great of a job we are doing. We are so lucky to have her. Their is not a holiday or event that goes by that I don’t receive a card in the mail. My mother-in-law is very thoughtful. I’m lucky to have her in my life.

As a mom I look back at my relationships with my parents and realize just how hard it must have been. My sister and I turned out just fine. My husband and his brothers turned out just fine. I am sure my boys will turn out just fine. We are all just fine. It makes me think I can worry less because my kids will be great. However that is not a reality.

When my kids say something that I have never heard before I cringe because I know there is this whole other world out there that teaches them things I wish they would never know. I can’t keep them with me forever. I can’t keep them locked in a bubble. Well I don’t think I can legally. If I could I would.

I am on this incredible journey of raising two little gentlemen. These curve balls keep coming at me 90 miles an hour. Im catching them one at a time. I will get through this game one inning at a time.

Wow, baseball metaphors. I need to get more estrogen in my life.

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I would like to wish my wonderful husband a happy 35th birthday.

I am just sorry it was not as happy as I had hoped. Birthdays are very special to me. Its your one day a year to have everyone focus on you.

Well unfortunately for Brian that didn’t happen.

Waking up I did a little morning mantra in my head. “Today will be a good day, I will be happy, the kids will be happy”. I give myself the pep talk each morning. It really does help me start each day new and fresh and let go of the previous days frustrations.

So enough of the pep talk talk. Ha

Literally at 7 am Owen was having a melt down because he could not down load a new app on his tablet. I spent a good 30 min trying to defuse the situation because its Brian’s birthday and it wont be ruined by a fit.

I was semi successful. So the morning wasn’t perfect. I figured I had the rest of the day to turn it around.

And our day was average. Shane and I ran errands, Brian worked from home, typical day.

Then the afternoon came. I started to make Brian’s cake. I should know better than to commit to anything that will take more than 20 min. I had to stop a million times to tend to Shane and stop him from getting into everything under the sun.

I finally got the cakes into the oven. Realizing I had just enough time bake it and then get Owen.

Then I thought, wait a minute! Brian is home!!! I don’t have to rush. He can just grab Owen. I am not used that.

Even better my friend needed help with her little one who had an upset tummy so while she picked up her kids I stayed home with Shane, finished my cake and hung out with my friends kids. (Lisa, I was so happy to take them! So do not worry for a second.)

So while I am stopping Shaney from having a melt down because he wanted something that Jules had I am vaguely hearing what sounds like running water. Nope, not running water. Its Amelia. Poor babe got sick. She was so amazing to get off the couch and rug and just stand on the wood floor.

I froze. Little Jules, one year old, Shaney, two years old, both a few steps away from getting into it. I had socks on. What do I do first, get shoes, keep kids away, cover it up??? Then there was poor Amelia standing there covered in puke, shivering.

Well I grabbed a towel close by and covered it. Tried to explain to the one and two year old why they need to stay away. The one year old got it, the two year old, not so much.

So this whole thing really is no big deal. Sick children don’t bother me. Not in the least. Its is just the start of my comical evening. Comical now, not earlier.

Owen was on his way home and all Shane wanted to do was cuddle. I am thinking man, I just need to clean this up so I can get Owen settled to do homework, set Shaney up to give me 10 minutes to clean everything. I still have dinner and cake frosting on my mind and there is a bottle of wine calling my name but its only 3:30 so that is inappropriate.
Owen gets home and realizes he has to do homework and melts down again. I am very confused because he comes home everyday and does homework. Today was no different. He insisted there was no school tomorrow due to an impending Blizzard. And he is right but at that time he had no idea and got homework. So being the mean mom I am, I made him get it done. It took way longer than the 20 min its supposed to take.

Here I am still trying to clean up, tending to Shaney and trying to avoid a massive battle with Owen. Then later didn’t happen. It was a battle. I actually had to leave the house because I was going to have a meltdown myself. When I came back he was still at it. Shane still wanted to cuddle and couldn’t understand what was going on around him. I sent Owen to his room and tended to Shane for a few minutes. Got him resettled and went to clean the tub. That is where I rinsed everything from earlier. As I am spraying the tub Shane falls off the couch. I stop again to tend to him. Get him resettled again. Owen is still flipping out in his room because he can’t go outside and that wine is still calling my name!!!

I went back to the bathroom to finish the tub and hear screaming again. Shane spilled a bag of Cheez it and got salt in his eye. Yup that’s right. Salt in his freaking eye. Brian grabbed him and washed it out because i just wanted to get the tub done.

Yes. The story gets better.

I finally got to the point where the tub was clean, I was ready to frost the cake and start dinner. Shane was still into everything. To the point where he was on his tippy toes trying to touch a very heavy mirror on the wall. I had a spatula full of frosting and dropped it to run over to stop him. Got it everywhere. All over my newly mopped floor. Yup, wine still calling my name.

I finally got Owen to finish homework and calm down. He is usually an emotional time bomb for a little while after the melt downs. So I tried to avoid confrontation but not walk on egg shells. I just want this night to turn around.

At this point I would have been so smart to order dinner and sit down with my family. Nope, not me. I HAD to make this birthday night a success.

Finally the cake is frosted, wine is poured, kids are calm, Brian is fine to so I start dinner. It went rather smoothly. We actually had a great dinner. No fights to eat, no major messes and I actually sat down so I would say its a success.

Cake time!!! We attempted to sing. As we did Shaney just sang poop to the tune of Happy Birthday. We tried again. Shane hummed and Owen sang about a zoo and monkey. FAIL!

Bath time. I have been putting Shane on the potty every night before he takes a bath because the toilet freaks him out. I just want him to get used to it. He said he had to poop. Nothing happened on the toilet. Well not then anyway. Let me bring you back to earlier when I tried a bunch of times to clean the tub and couldn’t get to it because someone needed something. Well it finally got done. Definitely didn’t stay clean long as with anything in this house. That’s right, you guessed it, he pooped in the clean tub. I mean at this point all I could do was laugh. How can this really be happening. I had to take him out and drain it so I can clean it. That didn’t go over well with him. He was not happy. How can I explain this to him so he gets it. I just let him cry and got the job done. I did not have the words. I just wanted the night to be done. Its not fun anymore!

Finally the end is in sight. Kids are settled, Brian is relaxing and I am actually putting my feet up. Not for too long because I have two loads of laundry to fold next to me on the couch. I am not capable of sitting right next to a load of unfolded laundry and leaving it. I mean if it was in a basket unfolded behind me where i can’t see it that would be OK.

So yeah, that was my night.

I told the kids we need to give dad a birthday redo.

Brian and I are both feeling like crap. Our sinuses are a mess. Maybe next week we will redo it.

At least my storm obsessed husband is getting a redo of the day he was born. Maybe that is why he is so obsessed with storms. He was born in the blizzard of 78. 35 years ago he came into this world and has been storm obsessed ever since. He can use his new birthday boots to go out in the snow.

This night was madness but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There were many points in this night I was not calm at all but looking back it wasn’t all that bad. Then again both kids are asleep, I have my steaming hot cup of tea and my feet up.

My bed is calling NY name like the wine was earlier.

Tomorrow is Blizzard day. Bring it on Memo.

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Ever have a day when you wake up, see the sun shining but wish it were raining so you would have an excuse to stay in bed, in your jammies with the blinds drawn. That is the type of day I am having.

I spent the weekend in a benadryl induced haze. On Thursday I took some migraine medicine that had some aspirin in it. I am pretty allergic to aspirin. Well my body made sure to tell me I took the wrong thing.

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I am finally on the road to recovery. Five days of benadryl, three days of steroids and I am slowly getting back to normal. What a horrible weekend it was.

I normally don’t post anything negative but that is not reality now is it. People have good days and bad days. Today is a beautiful, sunny day but I feel like it should be a rainy, dark day.

My kids act up on days like this, the husband picks and picks and all I want to do it hide and be left alone. I know that many of you have had these days.

Do I love my kids, OF COURSE! Do I love my husband, OF COURSE! I think I am over due for some ME time.

And me time I shall have…

I will be hightailing out of here Friday night for some girl time with my friends. My good friend recently had a beautiful baby girl. She is staying in CT for a while from NJ. Her husband is in the Air force and is on a mission so she stays with her family here. I will be heading to her moms with some wine and a night of nothing (or something). Who knows! All I know is it is much needed me time that I don’t often get.

Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting to be something other than a mother and wife. Those are my two most important roles in life. I am proud to be both of those things. But often time I just want to be me.

Now thats not to say when I am out with friends I ever stop talking about my family. That is probably why I don’t see or talk to friends without kids or husbands often. They are probably like, wow, this chic never stops talking about those little monsters and that sexy man of hers.

The way I look at it is every day is a new day. I get to start fresh tomorrow. Wether its rainy or sunny I will try to make the whole day a sunny day. I will enjoy the time I have with my children and the night I get to spend with my husband. I will let myself have this gray day because sometimes you just need them.

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Owen will always say he looks just like his dad and is just like his dad. The thing is, he is a mini me through and through. He looks like me, thinks like me, eats like me. We are wired the same.

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Does he look like a Boissonneault, yes. But at the end of the day he looks like me and that makes me happy!!!

I took this with my camera on a little tripod my mom gave me. I need to set it up more to get shots with me in them!!! Another thing to work on this year!

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I had a great weekend.

I had the opportunity to go to my cousins house and see their beautiful new baby and his big sister. I photographed the family for a few hours.

Sneak peek…

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There is more where this came from. Stay tuned.

The rest of the weekend was spent basically on the couch. I had a borderline migraine all day today. I tried to power through a few tasks taking medicine every few hours. NO FUN I tell you!

Happy beginning of the week (technically).

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An Hour

Ah, the joys of homework.

I make it a point to be available to Owen when he is doing homework. We both sit down, me on the computer, reading a book, playing with Shaney, etc., him doing homework. He asks questions, I answer. Thats how it goes. He is a smart boy and somedays he flies through his homework. 20 minutes and its done. He reads every word perfectly, answers every math problem with ease.

Then there are days like today. Poor guy started homework at 3:15pm. He had two word sheets (synonyms) to do and a math sheet. He kind of powered through the word sheets. He knows the work but just didn’t have it in him today to get through it effortlessly.

Here it is, 5:02pm and we have been working on the same math sheet for an hour. There are seven rows of seven, 49 math problems. Its thousands addition. He knows this stuff. An hour and we have two rows done, tons of tears, a headache (both he and I), sore hands, broken pencils, broken erasers and plenty of acting out. You name it, any excuse to not do the work. He knows he has to do it but simply can’t!

I want to tell him he doesn’t have to finish, he can do it later but its the same everyday, homework after school until its done. We don’t stop until its done. Its the same thing everyday. Today he has spent the entire time trying to get me to change my mind.

Children with ADHD need consistency. They need to trust you and know that when you say something you mean it. Its hard to be consistent all the time. When I say something I nine times out of ten I wish I could change my mind.

My heart is breaking tonight watching him struggle. I want to do it for him. I want to tell him he doesn’t need to finish. In the end, he needs to do it. When he finishes he will be so happy with himself. It will be a big relief for he and I.

Then we have to corrections to deal with. I dread checking it to make sure its right.

Wish me luck!

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Parenting and ADHD

LONG POST WARNING!!!

I have had so much on my mind. I start to write a post and then delete it and walk away. I dont know where to begin or what to say. So I guess I will just blurt it out!!!

Brian and I are the parents of a child with ADHD.

He was diagnosed with ADHD back in January. Truth be told, we have always known or at least I have. So I was not shocked when we got the diagnosis. And what a common diagnosis it is.

Does anything change…no. We have always been Owens parents and always will be. We have never known anything different.

As he gets older the struggles change and honestly get harder. As a parent we never want to see our kids struggle. We never want them to have a hard time at anything. And a child with ADHD does struggle. They have a hard time sitting still, paying attention, and unfortunately are constantly being reprimanded for their hyper and sometimes irrational behavior.

What does that do to a young child? It makes them feel like they cant do anything right, it makes them feel like they are not good enough and it takes away their confidence bit by bit.

In society today kids/people are expected to act a certain way or as I like to call it “fitting in the box”. When they¬†don’t¬†fit in the box they are told they are wrong. When in fact they are perfect just the way they are.

Owen fits in his own little box and its a perfect box.

There are plenty of daily struggles. It is not easy parenting a child with ADHD. Our biggest struggle and concern is how to help Owen be successful in school. How do we help him to focus and retain information.

For Owen its not that easy. He is such a smart boy. When he is sitting in a classroom full of other kids and has a task to finish its nearly impossible. Instead of seeing what is in front of him he sees and hears everything around him. Its like static in his brain. I am sure if a pin dropped two classrooms away he would hear it.

Our struggle as parents was how do we help him. We spent the year making changes in his diet, working with his teacher to come up with techniques that would help him. Nothing worked. He fell behind in reading and was getting frustrated. Homework was just as hard. We came home, sat down and spent forever doing it. He just¬†couldn’t¬†focus. I sat here with him just as frustrated.

After another trip to the doctor in the summer we spoke with him and agreed that the best thing for Owen would be to try medication for school. I cringed in January when that came up. I refused it and said we would try other things. When nothing worked we started to rethink our decision.

The hardest thing about deciding to medicate your seven year old is the guilt that comes with that. It is such a taboo subject. There are so many people out there that flat out refuse and guess what, I used to be one of them. I always said no to medication and that there had to be another way. Well I was not in the situation I am in now and really had no clue what I was talking about.

If you look at the previous paragraph you will see that every other word is “I”. Its all about how I feel and what I think. Truth be told, this is not about me, its not happening to me, its not me that has the problem. It is about Owen and helping him.

Together, Brian and I decided to take ourselves out of it and make it about him. Its not about us and what we feel, its about Owen and what he needs. We decided to try the meds out to see if they work. There is a misconception with ADHD medication. Many people think that it is something you take and it stays in your system which is what we thought. That is not true. You either take it or you¬†don’t¬†and when its wears off its out of your system.

My train of thought was if your child had a heart condition you would give them medication. If they had allergies you would give them shots. Well what if they have ADHD? Its not as though he is sick but in a way he is. His brain¬†doesn’t¬†work like it should. Why is it so taboo to give medicine to a child that needs it?

I have spent  many nights loosing sleep and many days crying over our decision to medicate him. We went back and fourth for months. Brian was for it, I was against it. I was for it and he was against it. I worried what giving such a young child chemicals for his brain would do. I worried about everything under the sun. I had anxiety, I had doubts but what it came down to is that he needs it. Its not about me its about him.

I am so lucky that I had friends to talk to about my concerns. Many of them being parents of Owens friends. Some with children who have ADD or ADHD. They helped me through my doubts. My family did nothing but support my decision and were standing by to help in any way they could. Support is key when dealing with something unknown and scary.

We gave him his medication for a week during the summer just to make sure he would not have any adverse reactions. I wanted to monitor him to see how he would feel. All went well. He felt fine. We made a choice to only medicate him for school. No summer, weekends or holidays. No days off from school.

We have been Owens parents for seven years with out medication and do not need it to parent him. I guess that is why it is so taboo. Some parents give it to their children to make parenting easier. We are doing this strictly for school and school only.

The result, when school started he did amazing. He noticed a difference immediately. Homework, gets done quickly and easily. Granted it is only 1st grade review but still. Its better than it used to be. He told me that he¬†doesn’t¬†have a hard time following directions and getting his work done.

I talked to his teacher and told him our situation and how new this is to us. He will work with us to make sure we are all on the same page. In speaking with his teacher from last year she said she sees such a huge difference in him just in the lunch room.

Kids with ADHD have a very hard time when there is a lot going on around them. When there is a lot of action and excitement they get so over stimulated and cant handle it. The lunch room was a perfect example of that. Its loud, chaotic, and pure over stimulation. He always had a hard time remaining calm enough to sit and eat. He wont usually eat when there is a lot going on around him. At birthday parties, family parties, functions…he¬†doesn’t¬†eat. He cant focus long enough to sit and eat a meal. Even at dinner time he gets up three or four times.

I¬†don’t¬†want him to think that he needs his medication to do good in school so on the weekends we read, draw and do other things with out the meds just to prove to him that he can be successful with out it.

The hyperactivity is still there and will always be there. That is Owen. I¬†wouldn’t¬†change it for the world. The meds¬†don’t¬†take that away. It¬†strictly¬†removes that static so he can focus on what is in front of him. His little brain is less chaotic.

How do we deal with the hyperactivity? The same way you would with any hyper boy. We keep him active. He plays outside and RUNS all the time.

All of this has been on my mind for so long. I wanted to share but¬†didn’t¬†want my boy labeled as the boy with ADHD. We kept it sort of quiet for a while. Only telling family and friends.

The I realized, this is nothing to hide. There is nothing wrong with sharing this with others and our decision in how to treat him. I stand behind our choice and our boy. We support him and encourage him to be who he is and never change. I will love him no matter what he does in life and will only coach him along to make sure he gets through it all unharmed.

In a previous post I spoke about parenting and how hard it can be at times. How you have to roll with the punches and are constantly changing your views as you go. I never want to judge others for the way they parent and hope in return no one would judge me. I know there are those out there that do look down on others for certain things they do but I know in my heart that we are doing the best thing as parents for our children. We love them and support them. We teach them and help them grow. That is the best we can do. We are here for them no matter what.

I am not going to say that parenting a child with ADHD is not very hard at times. It is extremely difficult and requires a lot of patience. In all honesty, my patience wears thin often and I have to remind myself to calm down and take a step back. Every day is a new day. And as I tell Owen when he asks if he had a bad day, no day is a bad day there are only bad moments. If you have a bad moment breathe, and move on to the next. For so long we got caught up on good days bad days.

Not anymore. We have good days everyday…well, that is a lie. Not everyday is a good day but I wake up every morning and try to have a good day. That¬†doesn’t¬†always happen but I will continue to try to make it happen.

Shanebday33

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Fall is in the air…yeah right. Its hot, and muggy. I feel like I live in FL. Its almost October. I want cold mornings, sunny cool afternoons, and cold evenings. I want to put away all of the summer clothes . I want to burn my Pumpkin Spice candle, bake pumpkin breads, make french onion soup in the crock pot and take walks in the neighborhood so I can hear the leaves crunch under my feet. Go away¬†Indian¬†summer!

I have been so busy the past few weeks. School has started, bake sales are being organized and homework is getting done. Thank god I dont work. Well I do work I just dont get paid for it.

I started watching my friends daughter a few weeks ago. Her name is Kennedy, she is a beautiful two year old girl (pictures coming). Shane loves having her here. They are buddies. We go to the library once a week. It has been really great having her here.

Well off to play with my kids, Shaney just woke up. He is not feeling well so I need to go wipe boogies.

Have a great day!!!

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