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!

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!

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