TIME OUT

So things have been rather quiet around here, which is very odd. It’s amazing when you take one child out of the mix (he’s got the stomach bug) and it changes the whole dynamics of things. There’s no one tormenting the 4 yr old, making her scream that horrific, blood-curdling scream. (I hate that scream) All he has to do is chase her and she screams like she’s a star in a horror movie. I’m getting anxiety just thinking about it. So what did we do on this quieter than usual day? I took a break from work and planned a birthday party with our 4 yr old. The question we had was, “Who’s birthday do we celebrate?” The only logical answer was Simba, of course. Yes, you know Simba, Mufasa’s son, the new king of the pride. Why Simba, you ask. Well, at the moment it is her favorite stuffed animal and come to find out, they talk to one another all of the time. 😉

So we pulled up the stool, she picked a recipe, and she baked the best (from scratch) birthday cake ever. Of course, it had to have pink frosting and a pink candle. After dinner we sang Happy Birthday to Simba and ate dessert. What I learned from this was, we don’t have to have a reason to celebrate. We should celebrate because we can. I had a sweet time (no pun intended) teaching Jordyn to make a cake from scratch and she had a ball making a mess, and then we enjoyed the time as a family; singing to Simba and stuffing our faces. We took pictures and videos to capture the moment. LOL

Lately, I haven’t been enjoying those “moments”. You know, the ones you swear you won’t forget, but do. I promised myself I would life my life with no regrets, (which I will touch on at a later date) but I found myself filling my time with “stuff” that I thought was more important. Well, I didn’t think it was “more” important, I just felt felt like I HAD to take care of other responsibilities, first. Slowly, I am giving myself “permission” to enjoy those moments. Work was there after we baked the cake. The world did not come to an end because I left the clothes in the dryer a little longer. (They were towels, so it was all good.) We have to grab those moments and record them; on paper, in a journal, in pictures/videos, blogs, in our memories somewhere so we don’t forget them. There is a blogger who I enjoy reading because his posts make me think. In one of his recent posts he says, “I record the moments because they do matter. They are proof we existed.” http://aopinionatedman.com/2015/04/08/i-wonder/

Every moment matters, good and bad. It’s life; don’t blink or you might miss it. Give yourself a time out and do something just for fun. The world will still be there when you get back.

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How Kids Do Easter Dinner

My recent posts have been on the serious side, so I thought I would take a moment and try and bring a small smile to your face.

We don’t usually do a big Easter dinner. Most of our family live in different states and my Mother-in-Law moved in with us a year ago so we have always kept it simple and went with the flow. It seemed a little important to my Mother-in-Law that we have something this year. She said it didn’t matter but she asked like 3 times if we wanted ham. All 3 times I assured her that the boys would love to have ham. (The girls in our family are vegetarians) So on the 4th time, I told her to go buy the ham, that it would be absolutely wonderful to have it, and that it was a grand idea. I had to play it up, or else she would most likely ask again, and probably make a few more snide remarks about what I would make for the girls to eat. It has taken me a year to get to the point where I can (for the most part) ignore the unintentional jabs at my eating habits.

So she makes this ham and asks if she can add it to the scalloped potatoes I made. “Sure, go ahead!” I told her. At this point, I didn’t care if she added Captain Crunch to the potatoes, I just wanted her to have what she wanted because the rest of us did not care, one lick, what we were having. As long as we ate, we would be happy. She seemed to be the only one that had a strong opinion, although she insisted it did not matter to her. LOL

A little back story: My Mother-in-Law stays, for the most part, in her room. She feels she’s intruding or something. I don’t know. After about 6 months I stopped begging her to join us. It’s an open invitation, and I don’t baby anyone. We are “come as you are” kind of people. What you see is what you get. 

So, she’s in her room and I tell her everything is ready, if she is hungry we can all eat now. She says she’s hungry and I go to load up the kid’s plates. I get everyone set and the hubby is sitting and waiting to say a prayer. (It’s been about 5 minutes since I told her it’s time to eat) I ask him to wait for his mom because she is NOW taking out the trash. LOL I could only laugh! She chose “now” to do this task. Okay, whatever…she finally makes it to the table and we say a prayer. She then leaves AGAIN! Wasn’t this what she wanted? I laughed to myself and ate my delicious oat-crusted tofu and salad. (It was awesome, by the way) She returns and joins us for dinner. At one point our son wants seconds and I explain how to shave a piece of ham. This is driving my MIL crazy because he is butchering the ham. My logic is, he needs to learn, who cares, but she’s in a small panic. My son returns with his ham and she tries to be quiet about the dang ham, but makes a comment how our son needs to marry a professional ham slicer. This sends him into a hysterical laughing spell, but not before he takes a giant gulp of chocolate milk. YEP! You guessed it, a chocolate milk shower all over the table and into the living area. He made it on the couch, all over the 4 yr old, who for some reason was laying upside down on the couch inside of sitting at the table, and he hit our oldest’s computer which was a good 7 feet from the table. So that initiated a bickering war between the 2 teens.

We all laughed and I forgot all about the tension I was feeling. My son had saved me from an anxiety attack that was sure to rear its ugly head. It was a perfect Easter dinner and I wouldn’t have changed a thing, except I should have had him help me clean up all the milk, but I just smiled to myself as I wiped it all up, and said a silent prayer; thanking God for my awesome family.

When Your Child Has A Disorder Part 1

I wasn’t sure I wanted to get into this so soon in my blog, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe I can help someone else by sharing my experience. I think I will do this in a series of shorter posts for many reasons, one being I only have short bouts of time to write.

Where to start? Looking back I can’t tell you when I first recognized that there was a problem. Hindsight is truly 20/20. If I knew then what I know now….So many cliches are frighteningly true. Our daughter has always been shy, but she always had a small core of good friends. We have moved several times over the past 11 years because we are volunteer ministers. Our children have adapted and thrived in every place we have lived. The last 5 years, we have been in the same location, so this is something fairly new to us. For the most part, we have lived in smaller towns that have 1 main road. We now live in one of the country’s largest metropolitan areas. This was a culture shock, to say the least. Of course the schools are very different here. The number of children in her 5th grade class was far greater than the number of children in the entire school she had previously gone to. We knew there would be an adjustment period. However, she did great! Both our older kids thrived in school; academically and socially. So what was the problem you ask?

Gradually, our daughter spent more and more time alone in her room. I wasn’t concerned at this point because I was exactly like this when I was her age. (LIGHT BULB; a big, bright one. My first clue.) She would go to school her happy self and come home miserable. It was like her joy was being sucked right out of her. Now this was about a year after we had moved here. Everyday after school, it was like she was in a deep depression, but throughout the night and into the morning she was more herself. Hmmmm….depressive behavior? It must be a hormone/pre-teen thing. (Don’t judge me.) By the 7th grade she was missing weeks of school for weird illnesses. She was always sick with a headache, nausea, strep throat, something. We had her tonsils taken out and that helped some, but she would still get these awful headaches. The school would call and mail letters saying she needed to get back into school or they would fail her. Mind you, she was a straight A student without even going to class. That holiday break was it. Neither one of our children returned to public school. I am not saying that is the answer for everyone. That was the answer for our family. As a result, she had less and less headaches and enjoyed being home. We ended up having another student join us for awhile, and they are still close friends. Everything seemed great! This was 2 years ago.

Several months ago, I learned something about our daughter that I never knew. One day after therapy she confided in me with something she had been wanting to talk to me about for 2 years. Something that broke my heart and made me want to wrap her in my arms and squeeze her with all my might. However, I was driving and could not do that. So we cried together. My sweet, wonderful, amazing daughter had been fighting demons without my help, without me even knowing. During the time when we first began to homeschool, you know, the time everything seemed to be great? She was cutting herself.

I felt helpless! All I could think to say was how sorry I was that she had to go through that alone. She admitted she had only done it for a short time and stopped because she knew in her heart that it was not what God wanted for her life. I couldn’t believe she hid it so well. She was with me all the time. She was home all day and we spent so much time together. She explained how she told me she burned herself reaching over the toaster and needed a bandage. I felt so stupid for missing it. I felt lost. How could I miss that? How could it be happening right under my nose? Was I blind? Did I not pay enough attention? I could not blame myself. It wasn’t my fault, but I felt like I had failed her.

I have jumped a head a little bit, but I wanted to get the point across that disorders can go unnoticed. It doesn’t make us a bad parent, spouse, friend, or whatever. I’m thankful that it was short lived and she overcame it, but looking back it was only the very beginning of something more. It was her responding to both, cyber-bullying as well as bullying at school. I am not going to get on a soap box and preach about putting a stop to bullying. We know it exists and we all know it’s a problem. This is my story of how we, as a family, helped my daughter through it and get to a better place.

So that happened about 2 years ago and I had no idea how serious this all was. When I went to school, we didn’t have the same issues. We had our cliques, but it was definitely nothing like a scene from Mean Girls. I truly had no idea how mean these kids truly were. But we’ll talk about that later. About a year ago, our daughter wanted to try a vegetarian lifestyle. I am vegetarian, so I did not think anything of it. I figured she was influenced by my eating habits. No big deal. I also had her and her brother do a research paper on teen nutrition and exercise. I thought it was important, and they needed to work on their research skills. Well, learning a lot about the importance of nutrition and becoming a vegetarian, our daughter made some extreme changes in her diet and little by little started changing her body.