Welcome to My Corner of the World

I hope you find humor, inspiration and something worthwhile on this blog. I plan to be as candid as possible. Life is hard. I know, I've overcome a lot (and still have a way to go).
It doesn't help others if the rough things are glossed over.

I will no doubt fill this blog with stories of my achievements as a mom as well as my personal struggles.

I have an incredible husband whom I call "my sanity." I have two great kids with strong personalities. I struggle with anxiety and depression and I have had a colorful childhood.

I also have an addiction to Gilmore Girls, A&W Cream Soda, and Starbucks peppermint mocha.
I have recently added biking to my list of hobbies and also love to read, knit, and play tennis.

Welcome to my little corner of the world!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

She's "All About that Snack. 'Bout that Snack. No hunger."

  Yesterday was a beautiful day where we live!  We were able to take a picnic to the park, ride bikes, walk some trails, and throw some rocks into the creek.  At the end of January!
  On the way home from the aforementioned outing, and after listening to A yell and sob about snack, the following *conversation* ensued:
  Me:  Ok, you can have some of this peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich.
  A: No! I don't want that.
  Me: it has protein and it's a little sweet, it's the perfect snack.
  A: No!  I don't want that!
  Me:  It's all I have.  It's either that or nothing, kiddo. *talking to the Bug and his friend in the back*: You boys want some of this pb and j?
  Them:  yeah!

  I divided one fold-over sandwich in half and passed it back to the boys.  When they were finished, I faced the following dilemma:  I had one fold-over left.  Do I offer the boys seconds or do I save it just in case A decides she wants some?
  I waited a few minutes and then offered the boys seconds.
  Sure enough, A decided she wanted some.
  I divided the fold over into thirds and passed it back, explaining that this was all I had.

  A:  What?  But I want seconds!  That's not fair that the boys got seconds and I don't!

  *Insert a 5 minute fit about how unfair it was that the boys got seconds and she didn't [on a snack she didn't want in the first place]*

  Whew.  SMH.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Routine or Bust!

  In my blog post yesterday, I mentioned that A had been clinging to our routine lately.
  Today I wanted to share a shining example of how drastic things got.
  With all the holidays we've had lots of time at home together.  The Hubby, A, Bug, and me.  We had a few lazy mornings (your typical stay-in-your-pajamas-all-day-and-eat-breakfast-at-11 kind of day).
  By the second day (not in a row--we aren't heathens ;) ) I found myself thinking "this is nice!  We don't have nearly enough of these days in our lives."
  My peaceful, lazy morning quickly came to a screeching halt.
  You see, the kids watch a show when they first get up.  They also have snack on the couch.  That particular morning the kids had eaten saltines.  I needed to go into town, and as I was getting ready to leave, A asked for seconds of snack.  I knew she had eaten plenty--but had never had "official seconds."
  She was adamant that she was starving, so I asked how many crackers she had.
  Twelve.  She'd had 12.  Now that might not seem like much, but I always give the kids 5 to start with and 5 for seconds (annnnnd there's a reason for that, too....but that's another story).  She had already had more than that and wanted seconds?!
  I noted that it was 11 a.m., so I said "If you're that hungry, go ahead and eat lunch."
  Looking back I see what a ridiculous offer that was to make.  Hindsight and all...
  "I can't have lunch! I haven't had breakfast yet!"  was A's not-so-calm response.
  Breakfast?  It's 11 o'clock and you've been eating saltines All morning...?
  I tried to reason with her, but soon discovered that it was useless.  Logic and reason are among the first things to go when she starts her downward spiral.
  I finally told her she was welcome to have breakfast.  When I left, both of my adorable children were eating breakfast basically at noon.
  I got home about two hours later, during rest time, and A came running up to me, crying.
  "Daddy won't let me eat lunch!" she sobbed.
  He was dumbfounded.
  "I thought they were eating lunch when you left" was his (logical) response.

  Nope.  It certainly wasn't as *simple* as that--so she sat down to lunch at 2 in the afternoon.

  Take away from this:  we don't skip meals in this house.  Ever.  Even if we wake up at noon, there's a certain order to things: breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner.

  Whew.  Lesson learned.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Birthdays. Who Knew?

  A just had a birthday, but the preparation for it began months ago.
  I don't mean the prep on my end. Sure, I am making a Ton of things for the party, but I began my projects about a month before the party--so I'm in pretty good shape.
  It was the preparation on A's part that wasn't coming together well.
  A few weeks ago that I noticed an increase in meltdowns.  Thankfully I was able to see that they weren't as bad as they used to be, but they still left me scratching my head.  She was clinging to our routine, and the smallest change was Not acceptable.
The problem was that I couldn't see what had changed.
  I finally did some analyzing and realized that these meltdowns were similar to her "transition meltdowns" (going from one activity to another was a big deal) that we struggled with desperately  when she was younger.    
  After thinking about it, I had a major Light Bulb moment!  She was afraid to turn 8.  She was scared of her birthday.  It made total sense to me!  Anxiety stems from a fear of the unknown.  She's never been 8.  She is the first one of her group of friends to turn 8.  From anxiety's point of view, there are tons of unknown variables involved with age and unknown = scary.
  I resorted to what I do best, and began research.  Guess what?  There aren't any fantastic books (parenting or juvenile fiction) to help prepare a kid to be 8--or any age.  Several parents on an SPD Facebook page said they have the same problem, but no one had answers.
  I e-mailed A's therapist, and started brain storming.  All of a sudden, I realized the answer was incredibly simple.  I decided to just ask her.  I chose a time when she and I were sitting at the kitchen table together and the house was quiet.  She was working on an art project, and I was working on some birthday party stuffs.  I just said "So, A, how do you feel about turning 8?"
  She stiffened a bit and said "When's my next Paula [her counselor] appointment?"
  It obviously bothered her, so I dropped it--as far as talking about it goes, anyway.  Instead, I made an appointment for her with Paula that week (instead of waiting another week for her next appointment), and then I made a point to comment on all the "Big Kid" things she was doing.  She has made her own drawings and snowflakes as decorations for her party, she made an incredible tent in her room, she asked me to teach her how to sew and I did (and she totally rocked it!).
  I made a point to say, "Wow, you're so ready to be 8," or "Building a tent like that is definitely something an 8 year old would do." I could see her self confidence increase, and then I heard it.  I asked if I could take a picture of her and the amazing tent to post on Facebook, and she said, "Sure.  And I'll look proud of myself because I am proud of myself."
  Let me tell you, that was one Proud Momma moment for me!  Internally I was cheering and turning cartwheels.  But on the outside I just smiled, took the picture, and posted it.
  She's an amazing kid and she's going to rock this whole being 8 business!