Friday, September 13, 2019

And then he was 15

We had a great plan this morning.  Its Friday the 13th, ominous to start, but it is also his 15th birthday.  But my teen is oh so BUSY.  He is part of Color Guard, the only boy.  He has willingingly embraced learning dance, wearing make up and figuring out how to put on tights.  These lessons have already made him a more compassionate man to the female gender.

Today the best I could do to celebrate was Starbucks before school.  But then everything went wrong.  He overslept, he slept through his phone ringing with birthday wishes, he didn't hear his alarm.  My boy is tired. 

He apologized for not being able to go to Starbucks.  I told him it was fine.  I made him a lunch, something I haven't done in years.  He is so responsible that he just handles his life.  I drove him to school and told him that my only wish for his is to know that he is loved.  We could look at this morning, the first day of 15 as an omen that the rest of the year will be a Cluster.  But instead let's focus on the family that was there to help him.

He got to school and I was telling him to have a great day.  He said, "Mom can you just text me everything?  I'm sorry.  I'm just so late."  And I was proud.  He is so upset this morning and its such a disappointing way to start his 15th rotation around the sun.  But even in his angst he remembered to be kind and compassionate, something that some adults are incapable of.  He showed me just how big he is and how close to adulthood.  Happy 15th Birthday, my son.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Stop. Stop hurting our children

I quit.  I give up.  I forfeit.  I don’t think I signed up for this.  Or maybe I didn’t read the rules carefully enough before starting this game of life.  It sounded fun; fall in love, have a wedding (cake and dress!  Yes please!), get a house, make babies.  All the stories made is sound like a dream come true.

Maybe there was fine print…. Or extended play rules.  I most certainly did not sign up for children crying because of the pressure they are under to get good grades AND volunteer AND do sports AND show leadership all so they can get into a college they can’t afford.  Because they will have so much student debt that their fairytale will be delayed by raising housing prices and cost of living.

I didn’t agree to pester my child to wake up after sleeping for only 5 hours because she had school, then practice, then scouts so she is starting her 4 hours of homework at 9 pm.  I didn’t agree for my son to get to school in the dark and leave when it’s dark.  They came to me with excitement of new opportunities and friends and fun.  I signed the forms and the checks, because these opportunities have a financial cost as well.  And then our family life disappeared.  Fun disappeared.  Lazy days of watching television marathons disappeared. 

Instead I hear of children on anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication; babies, children as young as 12.  My life wasn’t hard and scary at 12.  What have we done to ruin the lives of our children.  I hear about young adults dying by suicide.  Parents tell me they now have all the knives locked up in the house, just in case.  And all of these parents are ALONE.  They are scared and ashamed.  They don’t share.  They don’t want to be judged that if only they had a stay-at-home parent or if their child had more exercise.  Stop.  I quit.  I will not shame parents who are trying their best.  And if you shame them privately behind their back.  I will say something.

And I am saying something now.  Out Loud.  Because until our kids are kids once again;  and given the forgiveness to learn and grow and make mistakes, we need to talk about it.  These are not isolated incidences.  I have friends from all over the country confiding in me about the mental health of their children.  Children who HATE school.  Who feel pressure and don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Who no longer understand their purpose.  Who plug into video games to give themselves a break. 

I don't know the answer.  But I know what is happening now isn't working.  Too many kids are unhappy, filled with stress and anxiety.  Too many parents are choosing between school and life.  Actual life.  Actual living, sleeping, breathing.  Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for children.

I quit.  I refuse to participate in a society that is hurting its children.   

Sunday, December 16, 2018

ADHD Choices

There is nothing easy about making the decision to medicate my ADHD children.  You have societal pressures, conern for your childs health, is this the right decision forever, is it time to switch medication.  Then you have to go to the monthly appointments or every 3 month appointments to check in.  Did I forget to mention that it takes me about 7 days to get a prescription filled?  Between calling the nurse, waiting for the doctor to write it out, then I have to drive to the doctors office to get the paper prescription, then drop off the paper prescription, then have the prescription filled and pick it up again.  Often times my ADHD children forget to tell me they are running low on medication.  Sometimes its a miracle that all of it is even working out.

This week was particiularly challenging. Our ADHD doctor does not accept insurance.  That means visits with him are $115 and visits with our pediatrician are free.  So once our children are "stable" we ask the ADHD doctor to write a report to our pediatrician so we can switch to 'free' doctor appointments.  After 18 months and 4 different prescriptions for Eleanor it was finally time to switch to the pediatrician.  We visited with our Doctor..... who did not have the report.  But Eleanor only had 5 pills left from her last prescription.  I call the ADHD doctor who says he will bring the report righ tnow.  I still have HOPE that we can get a scrip today.  But we keep talking and now the pediatrician is concerned about Eleanor's weight loss.  She has been losing weight for the last 2 years.  Well.... she only starting medicating a year ago, so I think maybe her weight is finally stabilizing.  The pediatrician doesn't agree with me and won't write the prescription.

So after waiting a month for the appointment, there was no report and it didn't matter anyway because the doctor "doesn't feel comfortable" writing her a prescription for something she has been taking for 9 months.   Sigh

Well, I still don't have a solution for when Eleanor runs out of meds and her days turn into crying meltdowns due to her emotional dysregulation.  I go talk to the receptionist for the ADHD doctor who assures me they will write a prescription and get her in for a check-up.  We talk about the difficult choices we make for our children.  Both William and Eleanor are so successful right now on their medication.  But it kills their appetite.  So I literally have to chose between my children being underweight and adjusted and functioning.  OR  Being a healthy weight and not able to remember anything, their emotions all over the place and their social skills suffering.

Those are the choices I make as a mom.  Constantly weighing the odds, looking into their future and then taking a giant leap off of a cliff hoping that I picked right.  Because they didn't come with instructions.  I don't have a degree in pharmaceuticals or developmental pediatrics. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

ADHD Adventures

Life is challenging as an ADHD mom with 3 kids with ADHD.  Most days are putting out fires and being

So today I am fixing an ADHD doctor mess. And I'm frazzled. And rushing to do everything. And I walk back to the waiting room and she's GONE. So I say out loud, "great! I lost her again!". And it was a full waiting room. And I know they heard me complaining. Every single adult points to the bathroom.... "She's in there!". Lol. I laughed and said, "thank goodness. I have already lost her once today!"

I was with my village.  Every single parent nodded their head and said, "we get ADHD.  We are your tribe."  I almost cried.

Because ADHD is hard.  Its really hard.  Its insomnia, diet, school work, social life, maturity... balancing all of those things so that your child doesn't take too much medicine that they stop sleeping and start losing weight.  Or deciding that losing 2 pounds is okay, but losing 3 pounds is not okay.  Or they should stop taking medicine until they grow an inch.  And then finding the right team of professional to support both you AND your child.

I felt at home in that doctors office... the one who doesn't take insurance, so now I have to weigh the pros and cons of spending a lot of money on health care.  The receptionist gave me that smile of understanding when I apologized for rushing in and bypassing the room full of patients.  And I was at home with people who HAVE to know what ADHD is.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Do you hear that sound? Ssshhh. Listen closely. Yup, that's the sound of my heartbreaking. I remember breaking up with a boyfriend in high school and I thought *that* was heartbreak. Nope. Heartbreak is letting your kids grow up even though you want to swaddle them in a blanket and rock them to sleep at night, even if they are 8 years old.

Lainy Ann got her very own cell phone today. This summer we had experienced with a pre-paid phone and that went pretty well. She only uses it when we drop her off at lessons. She can't call her friends on the phone and she can't give out the number. When the phone is not in use it belongs in the communal cell phone area. We discovered buying her a new phone and paying the monthly on it would actually be cheaper than re-loading her pre-paid phone every few months. So, she is the proud owner of the $10 phone that had a full keyboard. It technically can do internet too, but don't tell her that. Maybe, some day, when she has 2 numbers in her age we *might* allow her to email from her phone. Maybe. But right now she can call and text a handful of trusted adults. Those same people that I put on the emergency list at school. She of course is ecstatic. As soon as we got home from the store she went and changed clothes so she would have a pocket for her phone. She has been chattering on and on about how to be responsible with it and has already been texting mom and dad. If this will keep up communication and teach her proper phone etiquette for her teen years, then its all worth it.

Connor also decided to break my heart today. He asked to stay home along while I dropped Lainy Ann off at soccer practice. I wanted to say no, but then I remembered that Lainy Ann was 7 years when she started staying home by herself for short periods of time. Even Lainy Ann advocated for him and said that he should be able to do (I am in trouble when they are both teens). So we went through the rules, I quizzed him and since it was a quick drop off and Caskey was going to meet me at the field I let him stay home. he should be home alone for 30 minutes at the most.

I Did It!

I don't like making New Year's Resolutions, instead I prefer to call them goals. One of my goals this year was to learn a new craft and I wasn't sure what that was going to be. Each quilt I have made has gotten more and more complicated and I really enjoy challenging myself. But this time I decided to make a dress for Eleanor. I really love the classic styled dresses and there just aren't enough out there to choose from. I figured if I could learn to make a simple dress I could change the look of it with different fabrics and embellishments.

I chose a Simplicity Pattern and some pretty heart fabric, perfect for Valentines' Day. I vowed to read all the directions multiple times and follow them to a T. Something I don't always do with quilting, which is part of the appeal for me. If it said to press a seam, I pressed a seam. I also pinned fabric before sewing, something I don't normally do. Even with all the reading and following directions I had to rip out and redo seams multiple times. I had to take the directions to my mother and ask her to interpret them for me. It was a long and hard process from just cutting the fabric all the way to the end. I know the back still isn't done correctly, but since it hangs okay and she is usually laying on the back of the dress I called it good.

Honestly, I would have given up on the dress long ago, probably after the 4th time I tried sewing the peter pan collar. But I figured it was a good lesson for the kids on not giving up and sticking with a project even though its hard. On that note I think I will be making another dress of the same pattern. I am hoping this time it won't be so difficult and I can use that as an opportunity to teach the kids about practice making it perfect. I even have a color scheme and notions already picked out in my head. I am hoping this second go at it won't be so daunting.


The 1%

This is the 1%.  This is

At least 50% of the time the children are screaming, crying, fighting, bargaining, whining, ignoring, and destroying.

Another 30% of the time they are sleeping.

At least 19% of the time they are at school, presumably being wonderful and smart for someone else.  But I don't get to witness those wonderful moments.

But 1% of the time they are wonderful and sweet
- when the 3 year old does the sign of the cross mostly right at church without anyone's prompting.
- when the 7 year old says "Mom, I'm sorry you aren't feeling well."
- when the nearly 9 year old helps the baby walk down the stairs.
- when the 5 year old unveils his puppy-dog eyes and asks for a squishy hug.

I photograph and blog about the 1% because time will take the other 99% away and all I will be left with is that 1%.  That 1% is what ensures our species will live on.