Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are You Listening Wholeheartedly?

Sarah and I were just doing some crafts together. I was inspired to make hearts. Even though Valentines was over a week ago, my little tot doesn't care! We were having so much fun together. It was a free for all - stickers, glue, colored paper, scissors. We even got out big sisters markers... shhh... don't tell...

Anyway, as I was cutting out hearts to make a heart mobile to hang from our dining room light in big ol SAHM style and flair, I realized something amazing. I just had to blog about this because I am curious if the world had realized this yet and I needed to report it ASAP. Did you know that the heart symbol doesn't look like a heart at all?

Give it a try, fold a piece of paper in half - pink if ya have it - and start cutting a heart out. You'll notice that you cut an ear. Open it and you'll have two ears. Quite telling if you think of it. The heart symbol, symbolizing love, is actually two ears together as one.

If you look at it that way, search your own heart, are you listening to what those you love are saying?

Today's mantra:

Hearty listeners love with their whole heart.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Entering a New Chapter of Motherhood

Yesterday, as the school psychologist left my home after reviewing Sarah's assessment with me, I realized that I was entering into a new chapter of motherhood.

My youngest daughter, Sarah will be turning three in March and will be phasing out of the 0 - 3 program that is government funded and has been providing therapy in our home two times a week. When a child turns three, there is a transition process that takes place so that another government funded agency can give proper services and therapy for the child to prepare him or her for school. And, after several hours of testing spread out into several sessions throughout the past couple of weeks, the 'professionals' have reported that my daughter will not be eligible for any services.

With one side of my heart I am relieved! I am thankful to know that we no longer need to have our weekly schedule spent doing therapy. I am also grateful that my daughter tested 'Superior' in language and cognitive skills. I mean, I should be proud, right? However, my concerns are honed in that along with those high results, she tested borderline and very low in social and emotional development. She also struggles with sensory issues as reported by the Occupational Therapist. This report only reiterates my original concerns for my child as I have lived this chapter of parenting several years ago with my oldest daughter, now age seven. My seven year old has Aspergers Syndrome, although, we didn't know that at the time. In fact, we just are learning about it as I key this post in.

Asperger Syndrome is such a tricky disorder that has taxed me as a mother. It has changed my life in ways that I could have never imagined. It has given me a mix of challenges and blessings. And, as I am still learning parent strategies to get through each day and learning to restructure my dreams for my oldest child's future, I now am seeing that both my daughters may be walking in the similar paths.

Life is all about choices. We chose what we will believe, how we will live and who we will be. Although I am tempted to chose to be a victim, befuddled, judged and in daily grief, I chose another window to look out from. I admit that there are days when I do glance from the darkened viewpoint and I am overrun with tears and isolation. I do let myself have healthy pity parties from time to time, I mean after all, it's only fair! I am hoping that the pity parties will occur less and less as I grow into my new role as a mother to children on the autism spectrum.

And, as I watch the psychologist leave my home on a Tuesday morning in February, I am thankful that I am able to process and condense my thoughts long enough to realize what are my challenges. And, I come up with a new mantra as I enter into a new chapter of motherhood:

I will accept the quirks of my children and the ignorance of others and find healthy coping strategies while maintaining an eternal vision.

More about this mantra in future posts...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Three's About Me

Three's About Me!

Three Names I Have Been Called...
1. Dre
2. Andee
3. Android

Three Jobs I Have Had In My Life...
1. Global Marketing Director of software company
2. Panama Jack Suntan Lotion Salesperson
3. McDonalds Fry Girl and Drive Through Cashier

Three Places I Have Lived..
1. Orlando
2. Chicago
3. Indianapolis

Three Hobbies...
1. Gardening
2. Fitness - running, spinning, wiiFit
3. Gaming - Nintendo DS, wii and online games

Three things most people do not know about me...
1. I studied conflict resolution with the Dali Lama in Switzerland
2. I am a secret blogger
3. I have ADHD and take medication to manage it

Three TV Shows That I Watch...
1. 24
2. Friday Night Lights
3. Heroes

Three places I Have Been...
1. Crazy
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Sedona, Arizona

Three places I want to go...
1. Africa
2. Australia
3. Japan

That's three about me, now three's about you too?

Elizabeth at Three Channels

Jenny at The Other Shoe

Dana at Home Steading Housewife

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sugar: Diamonds of Deliciousness or Rat Poison?

Sugar. What's with all the hype?

Sure, it's white and can glisten like diamonds. But, I am not able to eat sugar.

I am allergic to sugar.

You are? You ask, eyes wide as saucers as if you have never met a freak like me allergic to the crystals and diamonds of sweet bliss...

Yeah. I shrug. It makes me fat.
It also makes me moody, get hungry, leaves me wanting more, makes my teeth fury, skin bumpy and mind fuzzy.

In my mind, I call it rat poison. It helps redirect me.

I also find myself wanting to call Miracle Whip something entirely different too, like, Flavored Fat in a Jar or Honky Fat Spread. Really, there is nothing very miraculous about Miracle Whip except it is a miracle that with little to no nutritional value, we still tend to eat it despite it's large amounts of cholesterol and fat grams - and lack of flavor.

Another strange fat substance in a jar is peanut butter. Now don't think I am going to dis peanut butter ok... I wouldn't do that. Peter Pan, Skippy and Jif, well, they never disappoint me. And, you could say I love them. But, why are they all named after men? And, why are they all named after not-so-manly men? Why not Brutus? I mean, I know peanut butter is a little nutty, but it is still packed with protein and although it has hints of sweet and creamy, soft deliciousness and yumminess, it is also hearty and robust. It adds a macho punch and crunch to whatever you put it on.

Weird. I just realized, that my favorite sandwich is a peanut butter, tomato and mayo sandwich. Ever tried it?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Girl Likes to Potty All The Time

Potty all the time Potty all the time...

The thing is, she won't potty in her potty - not in the Pooh potty, the squishy pink potty or any of the normal white potties in da house!

"How long have you been working on potty training?" you ask...

It has been 8 days, and with 3 pees and only 1 poop in the pink potty, 0 poos or pees in the other 4 potties, I have decided that is not enough to counter balance the 2 stressed-out divas (she and me!), the 10 pee spots in the carpet, hardwood and mattresses, the 3 hard turd balls found on the floor (with 1 rolling out from under her tu-tu during that 1 time we had company - so embarrassing!) and the 4 stained training pants that have been rewashed over 20 times this week.

Within this stretch of 8 days, she has also had a couple of nose bleeds and a flu bug which I am not sure if it is all related due to the stress on her system. (?)

Regardless, therefore and what not, I am now declaring that we will not press towards the goal of sans diapers before her 3rd birthday that I had once hoped for. Instead, we're going to chill out, poop in our pants if we wanna. So, a change of song is needed with this household, from "My Girl Likes To Potty All the Time" to "It's My POTTY and I'll Poop Where I Wanna, Pee Where I Wanna..."

And, just to clarify... I am fully potty trained. Well, I do tinkle just a tad when I actually LOL or when jumping on the trampoline!

Monday, February 2, 2009

ADHD Support

WANTED: Mothering Advice for Raising My Child with ADHD

I have a lot of mixed emotions lately about my parenting skills. I have a daughter, age 7. She has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS which is on the autism spectrum. I have done a lot of research, read a lot of books and been involved with a lot of support groups on this matter. During her last assessment, the doctor advised me to not focus on the PDD-NOS as much anymore because she wasn't exhibiting the problems that tend to follow that disorder as much as she was with the ADHD and Mood Disorders. She suggested that I get more informed on those subjects. That appointment was about 8 months ago and I haven't really done much since then as I am still trying to sort it all out!

Lately, I have been feeling very confused about being a mom. I don't feel like I got the memo that was passed out, or maybe my What to Expect books didn't come with the right chapters. I see other moms who seem so natural at raising their children. I am very hard on myself because I am educated, empathetic and feel like I have tried and given so much to my family. Yet, as much as I give, nothing seems to satisfy my family's needs.

It was during this past weekend, our pediatrician advised that we increase my daughter's medication dosage. So, we did. I am also on the same medication and need an increased dosage. We both started the medication, Vyvanse last fall. We were prescribed the lowest dosage for our weight. When we first started on it, we noticed results. But, after about three months, I realize that we need more. I hope this isn't an ongoing tolerance issue to a prescription drug, but that isn't the point of my post here, so allow me to get back on topic... Also, I have learned recently that I have also struggled with ADHD my entire life, yet it wasn't until recently in discovering my daughter's deficits that I also had ADHD. Another post for another day!

Last night, after realizing how exhausted I was from the multiple prompts that were needed to get my daughter to do a simple task like brush her teeth or get out of the tub, I realized that I needed some help. at her. Now, if you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been working oI am thinking of looking into a parent support group for ADHD or something like that.

I have talked with my daughter and have told her that we need to work together to come up with ways for her to listen and obey me so that I don't have to yell. If you have been reading my blog, you will know that I have been Scream-Free for a few months now. I am proud of myself in this accomplishment. However, I feel like my daughter will only hear me if I scream at her. And, I do NOT want to do that. I want guide her. I want her to flourish.

Can I still guide her without having to yell? Will she be able to flourish and not feel like she is broken or disabled, unable to help herself without the use of medication or being yelled at?

I really am reaching out here. I strive to be a good mommy to her, and to my youngest, who by the way in the midst of being potty trained. Wow! Talk about will power for a mom. I am rewarding her with 3 M&Ms every 30 minutes she keeps her training pants dry... Today is day 7! I will be so proud of her once we accomplish the potty scene. Moreover, I will be proud of myself. I need something to make me feel accomplished these days. I miss my professional rewards big time. Wow, I really digress. Now, I must go, it appears there has been pee spotted, but, it is NOT in the potty, only on the carpet. Must go...