Thursday, May 26, 2011

I feel like someone snuck in my head and stole this from me

I found this posted on Storing up Treasures and I felt like she stepped in my head took my thoughts and changed just a few minor details. It is weird to feel so alone in this and then stumble on something that makes you see there are others walking a similar road.

My child is RAD.

Reactive Attachment Disordered that is.

And to you he is the most adorable, affectionate, loving child you have ever met. He melts you with every smile. He warms your heart with his engaging disposition.

In your Sunday school class he is the most well behaved student you have.

In your classroom he always listens and obeys.

When you come to our home to visit, he will grab your hand and show you around. He will hug you and make you feel like you are the most welcome guest we have ever had. He may even convince you that you have some sort of special bond with him.

It is hard for me to tell you that you are not special at all. In fact he does this with everyone. He does this with the creepy guy at the mall. He does this with the checkout lady at the food store.

In fact he does this with just about everyone he meets.

Except for me.

When I tell you what our life is like you look at me like I am crazy. You wonder how on earth such a sweet child could do or be all of the things I have said. You start questioning our parenting. You begin wondering if it is really us that has the issues.

You just see this cute little child.

You aren't here when he tantrums and screams. You aren't here when he refuses to eat. You aren't here when he eats until he is ill. You aren't here for the constant chatter. You aren't here when he stays awake all hours of the night. You aren't here when he triangulates us. Or when he does every possible annoying thing he can think of to each of his siblings. You aren't here when he won't share his toys or when he goes crazy because one of his little siblings took something away.

You don't see how he can't make eye contact. Or how he fidgets when I come close to him. Or how he gags himself in time out.

You just don't see it.

Yes, he is an adorable child.

But, he also has RAD.

We don't love him any less. We just have to parent him very different.

Thanks Courtney for saying most of what I couldn't. For what no one believes when I do feel brave enough to share. For making me feel not so alone for just a moment.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Frustration over, Liam pulled out his presentation

Liam finally pulled it together and pulled off a great presentation. Thanks to Poppy for taking him to the Lew Wallace museum yesterday he had lots of information and he learned a lot about his Famous Hoosier. Here is the presentation we wound up with and it only took 3 takes and then he decided to go with the first one after all.

I think he did a great job since he just finished the book on Friday and his teacher asked him to turn it in Monday so they had time to get through all the presentations in the class before the end of the year.


I am tired of being frustrated. Tired of trying to get them to understand basic things. It's been 2 weeks of a new behavior approach with Alexis and towards the end of week one I thought we had progress. But alas we back slid and every day we are still doing the same things, getting the same outcome, and are shocked and amazed by it. Please tell me that eventually it won't be worth the fight and she will just do as she is told. I am frustrated by her defiance and disrespect

Liam has had to do a written assignment and related project every month this school year. Every month we have had to argue with him to get started. Every month he has rolled around on the floor whining and grunting and kicking the furniture. Every month he refuses to do the assignment for hours on end. Every month after hours of refusal he finally gives up and gets it done in about 30 minutes. This month he just needs to write down notes so he can easily read them and make a video presentation of what he knows. Fairly simple as it doesn't involve a whole written report. His grandfather even took him to a museum for the guy he has to do a presentation on. I thought for sure that would help him to get ready for the project yet. Here we are 2 hours past can you please go write down your notes and not one pencil has been picked up. I am frustrated by his stubborness

Landon wets the bed every night, he has not ever not wet the bed in 3 years he has been potty trained. He doesn't get up in the morning and go to the bathroom. He says he doesn't feel like it so he just pees on himself. Every day I am greeted with the smell of pee. Everyday for 3 years. I am frustrated at his laziness.

Calgon take me away.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

AMI where we love to forgot the world

Anna Maria Island specifically the city of Anna Maria on the island. My grandparents lived here and I loved visiting them, it was like going to another world. There isn't a lot to do there but that is part of why we love it so. One of my favorite trips was just Jason and I for 5 days. It was wonderful and we did pretty much nothing the whole time. My grandparents lived closest to the Tampa bay side of the island. We loved getting up early and going out on the Anna Maria City pier and look for dolphins and watch the fisherman. There are always pelicans on the pier hoping for a kind fisherman to share his catch. At night it is just as interesting. One night we watched a fisherman try to bring in a nurse shark. He wrestled and wrestled that nurse shark walked him down the pier and just before he got him to shore the line broke and the shark got away. He didn't want to hurt the shark just wanted a picture with him. From the pier we also saw a manatee swim under the pier. It was amazing.
The gulf side of the island has big white beaches. On my trip with Jason we would go out on the gulf side beaches and just be. There is nothing like just being. I would lay and read and he would wander the beach looking for creatures and shells. Another treasure of the gulf side is the Sand Bar restaurant. The food is good, but we loved sitting outside and watching the sunset with our feet in the sand and for me at least sipping a chocolate martini.

Another awesome feature of the island is you don't need a car in order to get around. They have a free trolley the runs to take you to all the neat sites and beaches. Another mandatory stop when we go to Anna Maria is the City Jail. We have been going to the jail every trip since we were kids and is a required stop on each visit. After you grab your snapshot in front of the jail you can check out the Historical Society and learn a little about the history of the island and even see a military uniform donated by my grandfather.
If you want to leave the island which on our trip we left just to visit this place. This is my happy place. I love to go here. It is Mote Marine laboratory and aquarium. You can see a giant squid. When I say giant we are talking 27 foot giant. It is no longer alive but still cool to see. They also have sharks, dolphins and manatees. The have a contact cove where you can touch starfish, sea urchins, horseshoe crabs and other sea creatures. But my all time favorite place. My happy place, the place that I can spend hours and in fact I did just that on our trip is the Sting Ray Touch Pool. I find the sting rays to be the most fascinating creatures and to be able to touch them was just amazing. They have their stingers removed so they can't harm you and I have never seen them even attempt to try and harm anyone. They just swim by and if they want you to touch them they swim up so you can reach them and if they don't they stay just far enough away that you can't reach them. It truly was my happy place. I can't wait to go back and visit my little sea friends.
There is more to do around the island and just off the island but these are our favorite things to do on the island. We haven't made it back in 4 1/2 years and man I can't wait to go back down there. If you need to just get away from it all visit Anna Maria I promise you won't regret it and you will leave dreaming of when you can come back.

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day isn’t for the mothers who are proud parents of perfect children. They don’t need a day to celebrate their perfection. They get that every day when their loved ones and strangers tell them their children are perfect. They get that when their children bring home perfect papers from school with perfect pictures of perfect families all holding hands in front of perfect houses with perfect lawns and flowers and happy dogs and cats lounging nearby.

Mother’s Day is really for those of us who are in the trenches. It is our “Memorial Day”. It is a day for us to mourn the loss of our perfect families and to celebrate our little victories. It is a day for us to take a moment and be thankful that we were able to keep our children alive for another year. It is a day for us to pat ourselves on the back – because we aren’t going to find anyone else who gives us pats on the back while telling us they are proud of us.
So let us take this day – this Mother’s Day, and give ourselves a little celebration. We have kept these children alive for another year. We do (sometimes) get papers home from school – so what if the pictures are messy and upside down? Our children do smile at us sometimes – so what if it is while they are trying to bite or kick or scratch or strangle us? Our children still have beds to sleep on and pillows for their head – so what if it is just a mattress on the floor because they broke the good bed?

I raise my (virtual) glass to all of you wonderful Moms. You wake up every day knowing the battleground you are entering, but you don’t shrink from the war. You enter with all the weapons at hand, knowing the only shield you have is the love in your hearts. You walk through the day – and, indeed, all the days, with your head up and a glint in your eye that says to the world: “This is my child. For better or for worse, I will love this child until the day I die. I may not like this child right now. I may not want to look at this child right now, but I do love him/her, and if you mess with my child – you mess with me.”

I support all you wonderful Moms who are walking through storms darker and more frightening than any storm known to the perfect moms with their perfect children. You walk through chaos and tornado and fire and wind and rain and rage and mania with an aplomb that is not even found in our Special Forces. You face heartbreak and loss with strength and calm. You have PTSD that is untreated and undiagnosed, and yet you still enter the daily battle. You smile when others would cry. You carry on when others would give up.

Maybe you do retreat to your room sometimes, and maybe you do want to give up, and maybe you do cry and rage at the heavens. Maybe you do yell and tear your hair out. But you are allowed.

So give yourself this day to mourn the children you dreamed about and to laugh at the heavens because you are winning. Every day you are winning. Every day you come closer to the picture of perfection. Every day you are able to laugh in the face of total annihilation. Good for you! Give yourself this day to know that each of us thinks of you as a hero. Each of us gives you pats on the back and says “You are wonderful. You are doing a good job. You are appreciated and you are not judged. You are special. You are loved. You have sister-warriors and brother-warriors who are in the trenches you are in. You are worth having a day named after your amazing feats. You are loved. You are loved”

Note: I can't take credit for the awesome work above. I got it from an online support group and it resonated with me and I had to share it. It was written by a special momma if 3 named Kerry