Posted in mommyhood

We are moving on to Second grade!!!

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I was sitting at a coworkers desk when my phone vibrated. Looking down at the message, tears immediately slid from my eyes to my cheeks.  Images from this past year flashed through my mind. The first day of school, all of the struggles with homework, all of the frustration, realizing she needed an evaluation for ADHD, getting those results, and the decision to medicate. All of it down to her sheer determination to drown out all of the distraction in her mind, even before we had her ADHD diagnosis. It all flashed through my eyes and I cried.

The message was simple. Her teacher had texted me one line. She has passed the DRA 14!!! This is what we were waiting for! She needed to be able to focus enough on this one standardized reading level to pass the first grade! To make matters even more emotional, this was three weeks before the last day of school. Leave it to my child to pull it off at the last-minute! She’s passing, she was passing!!!! I had honestly resigned myself to the expectation that we would repeat the first grade despite how well she did in the other subjects in school. Her teacher was right, she knew how to read all along, she just needed help drowning out all the distractions!

It has been a whirlwind of a year, with a whirlwind of emotions to go with it. There has been frustration, tears, laughter, determination, anger at the school system for these standardized tests, hope, and fear. We have experienced them all. There has been weekly conversations with teachers, quarterly meetings with guidance counselors and visits to the pediatrician for month-long testing.

I am thankful for the path God has put us on. I am thankful for her teachers. She had two this year, and while the first one was not my favorite, she was the one mini me needed at the time. She not so subtly hinted that she felt mini me, had problems focusing possible had ADHD. In my mind, ADHD kids were always hyper, which she is not. Then, over the Christmas holidays, her first teacher retired and we got Ms. R.  Ms. R has been a blessing beyond blessings. She has worked with mini me one on one, dealt with my constant text messages and checking on her, and took the time to get creative with mini me, so that she could learn in the way that was best for her. She really went above and beyond for our little girl!

I am thankful for our pediatrician who also specializes in ADHD and put her through a month of testing before diagnosing her with ADHD. I have seen so many physicians just slap the ADHD label on kids with only a screening, and not performing certain tests. He really looked at the whole picture with my daughter, and i couldn’t more thankful for that! I am so thankful, for a pediatrician who asked the parents how we wanted to treat her symptoms. The decision to medicate was not an easy one, but it seems to be the right course for her.

I am thankful for my daughter, who despite all odds never gave up on herself and always tried. Even when everything in the world tried to distract her, she tried.  I have seen a change in her these last couple of months. She has been smiling more, and seems more confident. Before, I could see anxiety in her eyes when it became time to read. My baby girl, i am so unbelievable proud of you! You have had to work harder than a lot of kids this year and even if things didn’t work out the way we had wanted, i still would have been very proud of you!!!!

Now as the summer months begin and the last day of school has occurred, a whole new set of emotions occur! I have a fourth grader, a second grader, and a preschooler! All three in school. I just can’t even deal!

Posted in acceptance

I am Second

I was driving home from work today thinking about the past few weeks events. If you have read this post, then you know it has been a stressful and challenging week.  While sitting at a red light, I read the bumper sticker on the car in front of me. Three simple yet powerful  words that caught my eye. I am second.

It’s incredible how something so random and simple can sucker punch in the gut as if to rock you to your core. I am second. I have spent the past few weeks complaining about how hard my life is, how tired I am, and how alone I feel at times.  Now I realize how many times I say “I” in a week, day or hour even.

The truth is, I am not first. I am second. Without knowing where these words were coming from, I somehow knew. We are second to God.  I am second to God. So I should stop complaining about life right now and just spend more time talking to him.  So, now instead of listing my complaints about life, I am going to list my blessings from the week.

  1. Spending the day at the beach and seeing Mini – Me smile with that contagious sun shiny smile of hers
  2. Watching 9yo play soccer
  3. 4yo’s cute little bed head when he wakes up in the morning
  4. A job that allows me to be home normal work week hours
  5. our new church home
  6. The wonderful teachers God has put in our path
  7. Quiet time for reflection
  8. Coworkers who make me laugh despite the horrid week we have had
  9. Potential job opportunities ( I am praying hard to make the right decision on that one)
  10. Teaching our children to pray
  11. Fairy Garden’s ( we haven’t killed the flowers yet)

What are your blessings this week?

 

Posted in mommyhood

Today I cried

Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while,so that we can see life with a

No one likes to see their kid struggle. No one.. It has been an emotional couple of months with a rollercoaster of emotions to go right along with it. Ever since we received the diagnosis, we have faced a whirlwind of challenges. beginning making the decision to medicate, and now increasing that medication because the lowest dose  of her medication just isn’t working well enough.

This whole year I have tried to do it all. I have tried to be the dedicated employee, the reading tutor, mom, wife, while attempting to maintaining a clean household ( insert laugh here, failing at that one!), getting the other two kids to Soccer practice each week, arriving on time to each game ( all with having snacks, water and appropriate equipment) and finding time for me to possibly excercise read or just do something for me! It’s been hard y’all. Damn hard!

So today, as i was sitting yet again with the guidance counselor at school to discuss mini me’s performannce i cried. I cried because i don’t want her to have to repeat the first grade. I cried because i feel the weight of the world resting on my shoulders. I cried because i don’t feel like there is anyone i can talk to about all of this. I cried because part of me feels like a failure because i am not enough to help her overcome these challenges. Today, I just cried!

 

Posted in mommyhood

Community

I have been thinking about community a lot lately. Last weekend we attended a community event to raise  money for the children of a mother who was died violently in our area.  The event was kid friendly with carnival games, face painting and prizes for the little ones. There was even barrel racing and silent auctions. I was amazed at the sheer amount of people who not only volunteered their time, but donated the items for auction, food and prizes. You could feel God’s presence during this event as if he was wrapping his arms around these two children who will grow up without their mother.

Although, I did not know this woman personally, her story has sat with me for a while. This could happen to any of us, and the thought of leaving my children is just too much to bear .  It’s amazing what a group of people or community can do in the face of tragedy. WE can lift each other up, help one another, bring a sense of peace that was not there before. Which leads me to wonder, why can’t we do this every day?

My 7yo wrote the following paragraph on president’s day.

wp-1490191512111.jpgWouldn’t you vote for her? What a smart girl huh? My mommy pride was in beaming affect after reading this passage . Kids are much more intuitive than we ever give them credit for. You see, we drive by the same homeless man every day. I am pretty sure I have never mentioned him to the kids and just drive past as if he wasn’t standing there in need. I have wanted to stop, but have always been too busy, too everything i guess.  WE help in the mist of tragedy yet, aren’t those who do not have homes considered a tragedy?

This sweet daughter of mine, has me thinking of this man daily now and how we can help. Maybe its a simple meal for lunch, maybe its a kind conversation, maybe its just the acknowledgement that yes, he is sitting there on the same corner of the street every day for the past several years.  Today, I will pledge to help this man in some way. i want my children to know that they can make a difference in the community,no matter how small. Even the smallest gestures can lead to the biggest impacts in others lives. The community event that we attended started out as an idea for barrel racing to raise money and turned into quite the event. While this event will make an impact on those children financially, there can be no price placed on the impact it has had on me!

How can you make a differene today?

Posted in acceptance

Choosing to love

It was March 15, 2004 on a cloudy yet, sunshiny day when I became the Mrs to my Mr.  I was 22 years old then, and full of love, hope and images of a picture perfect happily ever after. It’s hard to believe it has been thirteen years since we have said ” I do.”

Fast forward to that thirteen years on March 15, 2017 . I received an edible arrangement at work from the hubby and can honestly say that I was completely surprised. How does he still manage to surprise me after all these years?  We had a survey happening at the hospital so my day was long and exhausting, so the nice fruit basket kept me going throughout.

When I came home from work, our anniversary was anything but picture perfect. The house was a complete mess, kids had to be fed; homework need to be done and baths were started. The fancy anniversary dinner consisted of pizza that was eaten roughly around 7pm that night. Then, the hubby fell asleep in Buddy’s room  while putting him to bed. It wasn’t romantic.. it wasn’t ideal. It was just a normal night like any other. It just simply was.

>>>>>>

Apparently when you have been married longer than ten years people start asking what your secret is. Isn’t that funny? Ten years hardly seems like it has been long enough to know the key to keeping a lasting marriage. Yet somehow, seems like a lifetime in this day and age.

Once  you add social media to the mix, anyone can seem like they have this picture perfect marriage and then boom suddenly they are getting divorces leaving others wondering what could have gone wrong. I am sure if you looked at my social media pages then you would think that our marriage is perfect too. We only show people what we want them to see, which is usually  the good stuff. The flowers, the nice gestures, you know.. all that stuff. It hardly seems right to say hey, my husband sucked today..

The truth is, these past thirteen years have not been perfect. We have had some amazing times as well as come incredibly rocky times. It has been hard and a lot of work to continue to stay married for this long! I can’t tell you the magic secret to staying married, because well, we are still a work in progress and I think if anyone tells you different, they are living in a fairytale.

The only thing I can say, is that I am still married because once all the newness and honeymoon phase has worn off , we have to make a choice. A choice to love one another no matter what. I am still married because I choose to love this man even when every when I don’t like him very much. I choose to love the man who put over 200 valentines cards in a bag with different messages he had hand written on the day he asked me to marry him. I choose to love the man who communicates with very little words. I choose to love the man who once drove over an hour away to pick up a tablet that he ordered for me to celebrate a promotion. I choose to love this man who once again drove an hour away to buy soccer cleats for our oldest daughter because she doesn’t like the color pink and the green ones, were only an hour drive away. I choose to love the man who is sleeping right now, while I am sipping a glass of wine and cleaning our house ( I am a little mad about this one, but I still choose to love him.. Wine helps!)

Love is  choice. It is not easy, it is not picture perfect. It simply is the act of showing kindness, gratitude, compassion, and affection for one another. Love is a choice. Who do you choose to love today?

 

 

Posted in acceptance, mommyhood

Facing ADHD

 

It took me a minute to realize that I was holding my breath every time the shadow of feet outlined the crack underneath the door. An hour of waiting and that was lot of breaths being held by this very worried mommy. My mini me sitting in the corner playing with a toy in the office, while my husband and I sat waiting for results to all the testing mini me had done. Does she, or does she not have ADHD? That being the question on our minds. Did parental intuition set in, desperate for any indication as to why on earth this child seems to be struggling, or were we being two completely overly worried parents?

Once the doctor came, in it  was both the quickest and longest conversation we have had with any doctor I have ever experienced in my life. He spent over an hour with us going over test results line by line. I love him for that. We may have had to wait for an hour to see him, but it was because he wanted to ensure that he had enough time to explain the results and what it means for our daughter. The entire office had left for the evening, but we were there with our doctor. The terms, ADHD predominately inattentive type came out of his mouth and I swear at that moment I finally let go of the breath I had been holding. WE went over treatment options, and terms like 504 and IEP to help her in school. Then I swear that sweet doctor looks at me with the most sincere eyes and asks me the million dollar question. ” How do you want to treat this?” I am pretty sure that tears began to fill my eyes, because aside from working as a nurse, no doctor has ever partnered with their patient like this, that I have ever seen. Not really knowing what to say, I finally said that I wanted the treatment option that would help her the best. She is struggling in school and needs help.

The next day I sat in the kitchen holding a medication in my hand with tears streaming down my face and my body shaking. A medication that could help this sweet baby of mine focus, but could have some serious side effects. WE expected this, we knew this was the most likely scenario and yet, my heart felt burdened.  With my daughter in the living room, I silently called out to God. I just couldn’t hold the burden of fear any longer and gave this situation to him. I gave her to him. Suddenly I felt lighter, wiped my tears and drew up that medication as I have done for so many patients at in the hospital. With the good Lord’s grace, she took that medication without fight and I went to work and waited. I am not really sure what i waited for, to hear something bad happened, i don’t know. But i waited for word that she was okay, and she was. Day one of her medication and she was okay.

The first day of her medication was last Friday, and although he said she only needed this on school days, I gave it to her all weekend long to monitor her for side effects. She is on the lowest possible dose, and thankfully she did great! Monday came around and her teacher texted me that she had scored the highest grade on her fluency to date.  I can  breathe again, for now it just may be okay. For now, we have hope that she could still pass the first grade. For now, she only needs the lowest dose possible of this medication. Although that could change in the future, I am so thankful for that. For now, we just wait and see what else God has planned for this beautiful child.

Posted in mommyhood

When you receive that letter

I’m sitting at the dining room table, opening backpacks and taking out important messages from binders, when I see the envelope which reads “to the parents of…” written on top. Unfortunately, we have seen this letter before and I know exactly what it is. It is a letter to discuss 7yo’s progress in school and the possibility of retention. We have been here before.

In Kindergarten, she wasn’t learning to read at the rate the school expects. When I say school, I mean the entire state system. I know the school has their hands tied to an extent with these stupid standardized tests and ridiculous high standards placed on these kids today. Anyway, I digress. While, we made through kindergarten, I am honesty unsure of how this year will go.

It’s a struggle. Every night, it’s a struggle to complete homework which honestly can take hours to get her to complete. I spent nearly thirty minutes trying to get her to write the word SEA the other night. By the time we finished the one assignment i was too tired to make her practice spelling words.

She can’t focus. During those thirty minutes of trying to get her to write the word SEA, she was pulling at her eraser, becoming distracted by paper on the floor, saying i have to show you something. It’s not that she is particularly hyperactive, but she can’t focus.

I will be honest, i am trying to give this one to GOD but it is hard. Dang, hard to trust that this is going to be okay. Yet, it just has to. We have an initial screening appointment with the pediatrician next week for ADD testing. Part of me is so ready to get this process over with as mother’s intuition tells me and has been telling me that this is what we are dealing with. Part of me doesn’t want her to have that label. I know there are plenty of kids who have this condition and do very well with medication and therapy but the thought overwhelms me a little. Part of me is worried something else is going on.

So as i sit here, signing this paper saying that i will most definitely appear at the meeting to discuss my childs progress, i am relieved, exhausted, angry and anxious all at the same time. i wanted this meeting months ago, before there was a possibility of retention. Before, her grades were so bad that NOW we have to do something to help her. I HAVE been doing stuff to help. We have tried getting creative with writing spelling words. I paid $400 dollars over the summer for a reading program to keep her afloat and will most like pay the same amount this Summer if it continues to be helpful. We are very hands on parents, so now i want to know what the school is going to do to help her.

I’m sitting here angry because I can see the anxiety in her with possible signs of depression because she is dang smart and knows that she is falling behind. She knows without anyone saying a word to her that she is struggling. She is internalizing these feelings and refuses to talk about it. She’s only seven and i can see she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. We encourage her for getting the answers right and never punish for making poor grades, but she knows. Like i said, she is smart. She just needs some help right now.

She has a new teacher as the teacher she started with this year retired over the Christmas break. She seems to be very patient, but i am afraid she is going to become frustrated with her quickly. Heck, i become frustrated with her. It takes her a long time to complete tasks. She received two marks last week for not using time wisely and staying on task. Can they take marks off , if the child truly can’t help it? 7yo actually got a B on her spelling test, which i was super proud of but made a D on her other test  for that week. The teacher wrote a not explaining that she gave her the test back three times, and she didn’t change her answers. She was trying to giver her a chance. The exclamation point at the end of her note tells me that she was a little frustrated with her.

As i sit here typing all of this tears are filling my eyes. Isn’t that what we do as mothers? Worry into oblivion? I am planning on looking up bible verses on worry to make a relaxation book for the oldest, Perhaps i should look them up for me too. Like i said, i am struggling to give this one to God. Right now, I’m just trying to breathe. Please, lord help me to let go of the things i cannot change.

Please help me to give this one to you, as I am struggling with feelings of anxiousness, worry and doubt.