What are your goals?

It’s back to school week for teachers this week, and while I am SO happy to go back, it’s also been really exhausting.  Trying to balance a work/home life is challenging.  My husband is gone for work, so naturally that leaves me with the kids.  I remember feeling like yesterday I was trying to work two jobs: being a teacher and being a mom.  And it is two full time jobs.

This was my three littles this week destroying my living room.  I’ll be honest in saying that I just let it happen because at least they were happy and not attacking each other.  They did eventually try and clean it up.  My house is a complete disaster, but it’s ok because I am not expecting Martha Stewart over.  So if your living room looks like this, you arn’t alone. 

Ems also decided that it was a good idea to put “makeup” (chapstick) all over her face.  Lincoln also “tattooed” himself with a green marker.  I’m still trying to get that stuff off of him.

So needless to say, its been an eventful week.  So I am back to trying to figure out what it’s going to take this school year to balance it all.  I’ve got two kids in school this year (Ems is in 4K and Sam is in 4th grade), so that means two teachers and classes to keep up with.  I am a total helicopter parent… but in a pretty good way.  I always like to be involved in my kid’s lives and what they do in their own school.  And just for the record, my kids and I do NOT go to the same school.  I like it that way too.  It gives them a break from me and me a break from them.

So with that all said, like usual I am going to set a couple goals for myself for the upcoming year, and if you are a teacher I encourage you to do the same.  Goals are important.  We should all try and strive for improvement… even if it’s just one little thing.

  1. Focus on building better relationships with my students, rather than just trying to teach, teach, teach, teach.
  2. Have great relationships with my classroom parents. Call them more for positive things.  I’m already on my way there, I spent an hour yesterday calling all 24 of them to introduce myself and answer any questions they had.
  3. Ask for help, especially from my classroom parents who want to volunteer.
  4. Allow for self care.  This is one I REALLY struggle with. I spend so much of my time focusing on others, that I forget about me.  But tonight I took some time for myself and it was GLORIOUS.  Shout out to my husband for taking all of the kids out of the house so I could get a break.

And lastly, my favorite thing to remember: worry about nothing, pray about everything.

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Are boys easier than girls?

Someone once told me raising boys was easier than raising girls.

Ummmm….. let me prove you wrong.

This is my boys earlier this week after they fought over pretzel sticks. The mess only got worse from here. This is a picture of them attempting to clean their mess (they never actually finished). I gave up and vacuumed it all up. If you look closely at my carpet right now you can still see remnants of pretzels that are forever caked into my carpet.

I’m not really sure which is harder: boys or girls. Each age and stage has its challenges. Tweens are out of this world sassy, newborns don’t sleep, toddlers destroy and four year olds know IT ALL.

Maybe there is no stage that’s easier or easiest. Every age and stage has its challenges and difficulties.

Monday I spent the day at the hospital concerned that my child with ADHD was going to hurt themselves physically. They had banged their head into the wall, bit themselves and threatened to kill themselves. We sat in a plain hospital room with a man watching them to make sure they were not going to hurt themselves. That stage is hard. Today I am sitting in the waiting room of the children’s hospital while Ems gets her tonsils and adenoids out. I had to hand her to a nurse while she screamed for me and then the doors shut and they were gone. This stage is hard. I have a well check up for Lincoln’s three year old check. I think he needs speech. He doesn’t say enough words for a three year old. This is a hard stage. My house needs some repairs so that takes money… a lot of it.

What will come next? Who knows. I always come back to the “worry about nothing, pray about everything”. So no matter what I face with myself or my kids or anything, it’s fine. It doesn’t always feel fine in the moment, but if I can look back on situations they always turn out ok. Honestly I’ve been thinking and dwelling on a lot of the negative stuff lately. I was talking to my mother in law after the hospital visit Monday. She told me that she replaces a negative thought with a positive thought.

I need to also makes that my goal for awhile until it becomes habit…

There is NO guilt in wearing yoga pants in public.

Life’s been really busy lately.  This summer has flown by and while I made a mental goal of blogging daily, reality had different plans.

Ems had cheer camp one week, I was helping with Vacation Bible School another, doctors appointments, registering my two girls for school (OMG!!), Ems has surgery next Friday… you guys get the point.  Just when I feel like I can relax, something interrupts it.  That’s ok though.  I think my kids have had a good summer so far and that’s what is really important.

So I think it was my last post I was debating on trying out a second medication with my kid.  After thinking and talking about it, we decided not to go with it.  I don’t want to over medicate my kid, and if we don’t need it 100%, I would rather not give it to her.  However, since they have gotten bigger, the Intuniv dose needed to be upped to 3mg.  They have been off it since the first couple weeks of summer, and they needed to go back on it to adjust before school.

Some people take their kids off medicine on the weekend, and the summer because they arn’t in the classroom so they don’t need it.  Some people choose to keep their kids on it all of the time.  I was one of those people who kept them on it all of the time, until the summer when we decided to take them off it for a short while.  We were told by their counselor it was ok to take them off of it.

When I took my child off of it, I saw a side of my child I hadn’t seen since they began the medicine.  It was like a totally different kid.  They were energetic, funny and had personality.  There were times when being with them was a lot of fun.  However, the medicine is needed for a lot of reasons.  With the medicine, my kid’s tics and focus are under control.  They arn’t biting a whole through their cheek and flicking the middle finger up.  Believe me, I thought a lot about not giving it back to them, but I believe it really is the best.  Until today.  They had their first dose last night and the medicine made them so tired they have been basically sleeping all day.  I took them to Walmart, and they didn’t even remember what we bought there they were so tired.  They are sleeping right now.  They couldn’t even enjoy the last night of VBS with bouncy houses because of the fatigue.

OMG the guilt.  I felt terrible.  I was the one who gave them the medicine, the one who decided to tell the doctor a higher dose was needed.  THE MOM GUILT.  Sometimes it just consumes my mind.  I felt even worse when they cuddled up to me and said, “I want my mommy.”  And my heart sank.  I hate seeing them like this on the medicine.  Tired and fatigued.  Not wanting to eat.  Not wanting to play.  I know the benefits of medication outweigh the negatives, but still… there is always going to be a part of me that wishes this all away.

Luckily, this only will last a couple of days and their body will have adjusted to the medicine.  And hopefully the medicine will help them excel in school and outside of it.  Maybe this time with the higher does, there will be less meltdowns.  I can only pray.  I mean really, I know I need to pray harder because I believe in the power of God’s healing and he can take ADHD away.  I believe that 100%.

I know my intention when I started this blog was to be funny and tell all of these funny stories about my kids.  I don’t know… somewhere in the time I started this blog, it’s become my venting place about ADHD and the challenges I face raising a child with it.  Maybe soon I will get back to that, because my kids have also painted my sofa teal and purple this week, sharpied my kitchen chair and so on.  I mean it’s been crazy.

Where’s Lincoln been this week?  I bought him FOUR Paw Patrol toys so he would not want to watch so much TV and actually play.  Bribery works wonders, guys.  Yes, I am that desperate… but I don’t buy my kids toys ever.  It was going great until he thought they were all his and tried to fight Nolan over them.  There was about to be bloodshed OVER A TOY.

Someone also gave Nolan Mountain Dew tonight.  Then Nolan set out to drink any random Mountain Dews he could find.  It’s bad to admit this, but he loves coffee.  When I’m not looking, he drinks mine.  Of course, I don’t let my kids have hardly any caffeine for obvious reasons.   Caffeine in kids=always a bad idea.  Unless they arn’t yours and you can give them back to their parents.

I know I will miss the craziness one day.  I know I will.  Right now it seems like a lot.  My house is a disaster and I have no idea what day it is.  At least I showered today though.  I’ve got that going for me.  I have been breaking my cardinal rule: no yoga pants in public.  Actually, lets be real.  I’ve been breaking that rule for the last four years.  It’s just that point in the summer where to me yoga pants are OK.  Wear them.  Be comfy.  You only live once.  Do you.  That means comfy stretch pants for me… until I go back to work.  Then it’s dressing nice again.  (No I don’t yoga.  The most I do is chase my toddlers around, and believe me that’s all the physical activity I need).

Though all of the craziness, when I pray, I tell God how tired I am.  Somehow he always gives me the strength to push through my days and to take care of my kids.  If you feel like me, or have kids in general, I want to encourage you to pray.

Worry about nothing, pray about everything.

 

Is ADHD even a real thing?

Why is my kitchen floor sticky?  Why did my toddlers think it was OK to dump a half of a container of Kool-Aid on my floor?  Then try and clean it up?

Sometimes I really am scared to see what my kids have gotten into.  I really am.

It’s a good thing that before this happened I cleaned my kitchen and my kids took a bath.  Kool-Aid is a nasty thing to cleanup.  My floors will be forever sticky.  They tracked it everywhere.  I’m still working on cleaning it up.

So I’ve taken my child to the therapist last week, doctor Monday and pediatrician yesterday.  Needless to say, I feel like we’ve been to a million appointments this summer.

I started to discuss my child’s meltdowns to the mental health doctor.  He said, “There isn’t anything we can do about it.  She has ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder).  We don’t want to over medicate her.”

I discussed her meltdowns with her pediatrician.  “Let’s try a stimulant.  I am surprised the other doctor didn’t put her on a stimulant to go with her Intuniv.  Do you want to try it?  I don’t want to pressure you into it, but the thing is she needs it.”

My head is spinning.  What to do?  My child has been on Intuniv for the last 6 months at least.  I was not one to try medication at first, but it really has been beneficial.  Now I am thinking about adding a second medicine.  However, like the first doctor said, I don’t want to over medicate her.

Or… are these meltdowns just all manipulation and she doesn’t need anything at all, because she really only has her bad ones when I am around.  Is it me (I think that’s a whole other blog post)?

I’ll be honest.  A couple years ago, I didn’t believe in ADHD as being a real thing.  Even my first couple years teaching I didn’t believe it in.  I honestly thought it was just a label to call a really hyper kid.  I thought all kids were hyper.  Boy, was I wrong.  I didn’t realize how wrong I was until I had a child with it, and a student with it.  It’s so much more than just hyper activity.  It’s twitching, tics, meltdowns, lack of focus… so many things. First I thought it was Autism.  My child missed having that by a slight margin.  But ADHD and ODD?  I didn’t ever expect that.  It’s so much more than just my child is bad and doesn’t listen.

The thing I am learning about ADHD is there is no one medicine to fix it all.  Each kid is different, and there are so many treatments for it.  There are medicines and therapy.  It really is hard to know exactly what to do.  And as a parent, all I want to do is anything to help my child.  I want to exhaust all possibilities until I can 100% help my child.

I’m not one to publicly share my struggles usually.  However, I do find comfort in reading other moms struggles so I want to do that for a mom in need of comfort.  That’s why I need to share this struggle of my child and me.

Am I going to try that second medicine?  I don’t know.  There are a lot of reasons to, and there are a lot of reasons not to.  I do know that I won’t jump to giving my kid anything without talking to them and thinking it through.  I want to make sure they are 100% ok with a second medicine.

Am I going to take her to a neurologist to see if it’s something more than ADHD?  Probably in the near future.  Again, who knows.

Should I take her out of therapy and stop medication and see how that goes?  Maybe.

See, like I said there are so many things I could do.

The one thing that I should do?

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Pray.

See, I know that with every crazy thing I have going on in my life (and you guys know I have TONS) I don’t have to worry.   This one was a tough one for me to learn, and still is because I struggle with anxiety.  I have the need to control EVERYTHING.  I am trying to learn to let go and let God.

ADHD is out of my control.  My kid’s behavior is out of my control.  My schedules and appointments are out of my control.  All of that’s OK.  God’s got all of this.  And I know if I can constantly remind myself of that, it’s all going to be ok.  For me and my child.  I was selfish to think that I am fighting the hardest battle with raising my kids, struggling with finances, dealing with difficult family relationships and so on that I forgot to step back and realize that I am not alone in the crosses that I am called to carry.  We all have them.  Mine is not harder than anyone else and we all have somethings we struggle with.

Let go and let God.

 

How many days until school?

I’m sitting here trying to figure out if my child deserves to go to swim practice today or do I just want to drive the two hours home because I am so fed up with the meltdowns.

It’s really hard to know what to do most of the time. Last summer the meltdowns came daily. This summer is mostly the same when my husband is gone. My husband is gone 5 days a week this summer, so I’m parenting solo during the week. If I can be honest, it’s hard and I don’t like it at all. How many days until school starts again?

They say that the kids act worse for their moms more than anyone else. I don’t need research on this, I can confirm this to be true 100000%. I spend the most time with them, cook most their meals, do their laundry, and it’s still DADDY! Why do kids act worse for moms? I will admit I have a problem with being consistent when it comes to discipline. Maybe I coddle my kids too much (according to my husband probably). I’m probably too much of a helicopter parent and too much into what is going on in my kids lives. But is that a bad thing to an extent? Maybe. Who knows.

So now I’m sitting at swim practice, I guess I thought the right thing to do was take my kid… a football whizzes by my head and is hurled into the pool.

Lincoln.

I’m screaming “I am SO SORRY!” To the lifeguards below. They tell me it’s fine…

I’m asked (again) if my boys are twins.

I’m told my girls are cute. (I’m laughing on the inside).

While I am in the midst of all of this, it’s easy to get down. I know people in tough situations always have two choices: rise up and deal or let it crush you. The most successful people rise up, I know. It should be the same with me this time.

As I am leaving the pool, a sign on the door says “41 more days of summer.” But…. how many days until school?

Its bittersweet I guess. I really do love spending time with my kids. Honestly. I know they will only be young for a short while. I know one day I’ll miss this. I know my parents miss us being little. I can see it in my moms eyes (and she raised 6 AND lived to tell about it). I might even miss the hair pulling and name calling. Maybe I’m wrong to wish it was easier.

But am I wrong to want to have a couple minutes for a shower daily?

What’s 16 years away?

The other day my house was clean. It wasn’t Martha Stewart or Johanna Gaines perfect, but it was liveable. A couple days later, it looks like a tornado ripped through. How does it go from clean to total disaster so fast? It’s like I blink and everything is destroyed. This morning I found Ems drawing on my kitchen table with a marker. WHY?? It’s not like she doesn’t have a million coloring books for her to draw on.

My kids are giving us a hard time about taking a shower. They stink. They don’t understand that. Then they are fighting about who’s going first. Why does it matter when they all will eventually get one?

Ems learned how to make phone calls on the Alexa. So naturally we need to take that out of her bedroom. She’s been calling people at random on it without us knowing.

I am so ready to go back to work. I need interaction with adults. I admire stay at home moms, I really do. I couldn’t do this all year. I did do it before I started teaching, but I couldn’t imagine doing it again. Summer reminds me of how much I love getting out of the house and working.

Today we learned that we need a new sink. Yesterday the handle came off and water shot up to the ceiling and we needed to shut off the supply. It’s great timing too because our dryer just went out, so we needed to buy a new one. Its times like these I realize how for granted I took my basic household stuff. Just a couple months ago we needed to pay to fix our AC too. Fire ants got into it and destroyed it. If you’ve ever spent a summer in South Carolina, you know it is vital to have AC.

Who knows where that tree that grows money is located? Life is so expensive. Just the basic stuff can add up so fast. Not to mention just feeding our kids is crazy.

I’m sitting here reading an article about how moms with 4 or more children are less stressed than moms with 3 and less…..

HAHAHAHHAA.

As Nolan hands me a page from a book that he PUT INTO HIS MOUTH.

Nope. Sorry. I don’t believe it. Therea. No. Way. Life with one kid…maybe two was great. 4 or more? Sometimes I feel like I have lost my mind. It’s coming back though, I’m just waiting until Nolan hits the college years. It’s only 16 years away.

Do you also have random doll legs in your car?

So we took my child with ADHD/tics to the Developmental Pediatrician today.

I knew we weren’t going to walk out with an “official diagnosis” or a solid plan on how to help them.

Sometimes I think if they had an official diagnosis it would help me ease my mind. I would finally have answers.

Sometimes I think I need to just leave my kid alone and let them go and be a kid without doctors, medicine, appointments and therapists.

I did walkout with wondering what was the best plan for my kid. I love them and all I want is the best for them. Sometimes it can be hard to think about the best possible things for them when there are so many options. I guess that’s when I need to pray the most.

I don’t know which route is better. I know it’s not about me and what I think, and when they try and open the car door when I’m driving down the road due to a meltdown, it becomes more than just a minor problem.So, along with that child, Ems needs her adenoids out next month.

Everywhere I turn, there is something going on around me. It’s like I can’t catch a break. I know you parents know the feeling. Life’s insane right now… and I’m supposed to be on “summer break”. I keep telling myself I really need a break..I really need a break.. Maybe one day.

While you guys are vacationing… here are some shots from my “summer vacation”…A random doll leg found in my “just cleaned two week ago car that’s a mess again…”Ems got into my just bought redness concealer. Needless to say, her face was all green.Did a bomb go off in my playroom?

No, this is just the hard work of my kids.

We can always add a little humor and fun in life when it gets hard. If your playroom looks like mine, you are not alone. And no, I have no intentions of cleaning it anytime soon.