Category Archives: Child

I gave up Diet coke. Can I give up something else?

About three months now (woo hoo three!) I gave up Diet Coke. It wasn’t pretty, my friends. But I did it. Recently I read a great post by Jen Kehl and am going to try to give up one more thing.

I do not think I yell, a lot. But I do know sarcasm is my friend. In my house I am famous for the eye roll (now mimicked by Allie) and when I do lose my temper, well it is as pretty as me off the Diet Coke.

Jen had this great post about parenting Brady-style. Now I know what you are thinking. Every once in a while I wish Marsha got a slap upside the head. I would suggest you go read her version here, but then you might not come back. She has some great posts. So here is my synopsis of her post in a nutshell:

Treat your kids with empathy, cool-headedness, use disappointment to guilt them and most importantly don’t yell. Now I am a total fan of living in Kristi’s Our Land of Empathy and Wonder. But I am not always empathetic when dealing with my own children, husband and definitely not with the puppy-turned-toddler-dog.

I may use guilt, but only that they have upset me. Not that I am disappointed in their behavior. I am definitely not cool-headed, I blame this on my goal of having the perfect family and why the hell don’t they conform to my wishes. And yelling? I don’t typically yell unless I am pushed just over the edge of reason. Then the neighbors can hear me.

Again, none of this is the picture of perfect motherhood I was promised in Lamaze class. Although there was screaming there.

Back to Jen, what struck me about her post was that she noticed her son was reacting based on her action. If I roll my eyes at her father, won’t Allie do the same behavior? Hell, yes.

Now this might not be the brightest idea during summer vacation. But I am going to try Jen’s Brady-parenting style. I will (try to) eliminate yelling, be more empathetic when Allie has an issue and speak quietly.

I figure it is better to master it before homework starts up again. I’ll let you know if life becomes calmer or if Allie decides to move in with her crafty aunt.

Well we are half-way there

It’s official. We are half-way through the year. I cannot believe six months have gone by so quickly. I feel like just yesterday I was trapped in the house with two children and no wine.

Since it is July 1st I thought it would be a good idea to see how I’ve been keeping those darn resolutions. Short story, it starts great but doesn’t end well.

#1 begin running again. I am counting this as a win. Sure it took me until the 2nd week of June to start, but I’ve done a 5k and that freaking counts.

#2 Be a better friend to others than they are to me. Well, this one is a 60/40 split. I know I have taken way more than I have received. But I still have time to even the score.

#3 Give up Diet Coke. Again, it took 4 months for it to work. But I am officially 2 and a half months sober. Is it considered sober to be without diet coke? I know I am not as energetic.  Still counting it as a win.

#4 Hugging the girls versus screaming at them. Based on this past weekend I am definitely failing in the hug department. Although I do let Allie use my hot tub for a bath so that should add to the bell curve. Plus it is summer so I won’t be screaming over homework.

#5. Read more, watch TV less. Damn Kindle fire. I am definitely watching less TV but now spending more time playing Words with Friends. Julie can tell you this is true. Although since she is often winning in our battles she might be kind. Epic fail.

#6. Less time venting, more time rejoicing. Yeah, kind of failing at that one too. Tia will keep me honest with that one.

#7. Keeping a cleaner house. Let’s see between blogging, working, Words with Friends and dog hair….yeah I cannot even justify this one. Sorry. I just really don’t want to dust.

#8. Finding balance. I think of it as becoming more of a contortionist than a gymnast. No balance required but a chiropractor would be handy.

Along with a maid.

How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions? I cannot be the only one with a barely passing grade!

I’m thankful…

This week I am thankful for so much and am happy that The Considerer, Kristi and Joy have created this weekly remembrance.  A time to look back on the week that was and say, you know it didn’t really suck.

10. School is officially out. Now, I know I will be singing a different tune next week. But to have no homework battles? Allie is doing the happy dance.

9. A night out with colleagues. I never go to business dinners. I usually make excuses don’t have the time. But this week I went out to a nice restaurant with peers whom you would think outside of work we had nothing in common. Holy crap did we laugh. It was truly a beautiful night out, even if the Bruins lost.

8. I fit into my skinny shorts without having to suck in my gut, that much.

7. Remember that tent/tunnel system? Well guess who moved in…

Yup, Bailey discovered the tent

So I am thankful some one in the house is using it.

6. That while Allie did not get the BEST TEACHER EVER for fourth grade the one she ended up with she is not nervous about.

5. That Boo’s summer program starts in just nine days. Please understand, her teachers and aides so deserve a break. I do not know how they do their job day in and day out with a smile on their face. But I am beyond thankful that they will be back soon. Even better her aide Sydney should be returning.

4. At a recent party there was a bounce house. Boo not only went into it willingly she loved it. The older kids ran all around and she laughed, jumped and was involved. This is huge from just a couple of months ago when the bounce house terrified her.

3. Kristi for letting me know how pet rocks came to be. It had been really bothering me for a long time. In all seriousness, Kristi’s posts make my day. The fact that she took time out of her busy life to help me with a photo issue has not been forgotten.

2. I have two nieces due to be born within the next week. Kind of funny that they are being born so close together when they live a million miles apart. After a long time waiting to have children, my brother and step-brother’s wives are due on the same day. I just hope they don’t choose the same names.

1. That there are only 66 days left of hearing I’m bored summer vacation.

Happy Weekend everyone! I hope you take a moment to enjoy a glass of wine, a ray of sunshine and a quick thank you for making my days easier!

Ten Things of Thankful

I hit a turning point in my life when I…

Growing up sometimes sucks. You have to grow up at different points in your life. First you have to learn to tie your shoes and you learn you can no longer depend on your mom doing everything for you. As you get older you learn there are times to lean, times to cry and times to put your big girl panties on.

I hit a turning point in my life when I accepted Boo’s undiagnosis (yes, I just made up my own word). When Boo was first in the NICU we didn’t really think past let our baby live. It was on her second admission at just a month old that I began asking, “what was wrong with my child”.

I wanted to know the why so I could know the outcome. I needed answers so I would know how to “fix” Boo. I wanted a manual on how to make her “better”. I felt it was “unfair” that she had some unknown genetic abnormality. That she didn’t fit the mold of any diagnosis, disease or syndrome.

And four years later, I still feel guilty for my poor choice of words.

From her pediatrician to her neurologist to her genetics physician I would demand answers and be told: you may never have the answers. Just keep doing what you are doing, eventually the science will be there to help Boo. Notice they said help, not fix.

I don’t know when exactly, I put my big girl panties on and stopped focusing on “why” or “fixing”. It took too much time and too many admissions. Boo was put through so much testing. Necessary, but painful testing. Heartbreaking testing that gave us more questions than answers.

At some point I hit a turning point and I just accepted Boo’s undiagnosis. I stopped using Google as a diagnostic tool. I began accepting this life as a mom of a special child. I still carry on with doctors, therapy and special programs. I advocate for awareness. I have Boo “on display” so others will be invested in her life. Because someday the science will be there to tell us why Boo works harder than most children.

Yes, the why is still important but not the most important detail of my day.

And when I hit that turning point? That was the day I began living life to it’s fullest with Boo.

This is how I hit a turning point in my life to Finish that Sentence Friday. What was your turning point?

Finish the Sentence Friday

Boo and Yoga

We are incredibly lucky to have found Jessica, Boo’s Yogi. I have written before about Yoga for the Special Child. But for a quick update for those new to this blog, we started Yoga with Jessica about a nine months ago. It was truly an act of Fate that we met, her daughter is a ‘peer’ classmate in Boo’s integrated preschool.

Jessica is an absolute treasure. On top of running a husband and a house with five children, she is also a co-founder of Heartbeats for Down Syndrome. In her “spare” time she teaches yoga for children like Boo. She does both private (for children like Boo who would not be able to concentrate) and small-group glasses for young children.

I have seen Jessica teach a group class with a mix of typical and not-so-typical children. But, biased here, I like the solo lessons. Boo cannot follow directions. Most times Jessica has to move Boo into the position. What we have found is if Jessica’s older daughter does the lesson with Boo the results are beyond terrific.

I started Boo in Yoga for the Special Child to help with Boo’s frustration at being non-verbal. That didn’t happen. What did happen is a significant change in Boo’s bowel issues, a language explosion and a willingness to do the Yoga on her own.

Today in hydrotherapy, her PT was concerned about the toe-walking and a tendency for her right leg to turn inward. To demonstrate she asked Boo to stand on one leg. Boo didn’t understand. But when we said, Boo tree pose…viola! Boo stood on one leg in an almost perfect tree pose.

Hey huge milestone there!

It is difficult, between Jessica’s commitments and my own life we tend to interfere with Boo’s Yoga schedule. One of my goals (and Jessica’s) is to make her lessons more routine. I have noticed, when I put the extra time in (between homework, life and everything else) Yoga for the Special Child works.

Honestly, we should probably go 3-4 times a week. But between work, school, therapies and life it just isn’t possible.

But Yoga isn’t for just the “Special Child”. Allie loves Yoga. Because I am not a Yogi nor one who can mediate I am not the best mentor for the girls. But before bedtime when we put Boo through her poses, Allie joins in.

And we all relax, if just for a moment.

To learn more about Jessica’s story please visit Heartbeats For Down Syndrome or the National Down Syndrome Society.

This post was inspired by Rachel Tao of Poop who shared a story of childhood yoga and then recommended I post Boo’s experience. Rachel is one of the calmest bloggers I have “met”. She always sees the message in the little things. Something I need to learn how to do. Thanks, Rachel!

To find a Yoga program for the Special Child look here (I really recommend finding someone on this site and not just anyone.) for Yoga just for the child I found this site but cannot totally endorse it since I found Jessica simply by putting out a cry on Facebook.