Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Notable (to me at least)

The last weeks of school are killing me. I am done with homework, and drop offs and pickups and more drop offs and pick ups. I long for the freedom of summer and unstructured fun. The reality of this is going to be so much more difficult than the dream, but for now... I long for summer. I know, I'm crazy!

For today I just want to note some random observations I've made of late... just some boring stuff to most... but to me it is the joy that keeps me running. Fun boy stuff!

Zack ran in from the patio yesterday and said "HEY mom!! I saw the neighbor WOMing the lawn!" Not all that notable. He transposed the M and the W from Mowing. NOTABLE that when Eric was the same age (ish) he made the same mistake. Interesting to me, that when Eric was almost 5, Zack was actually about 18 months old. No one has said that any time recently. It was a blast from the past. *Just a note, Eric also used to say WOP the floor. I wonder why.

Ben ran down the road today again. Thankfully this time he was clothed. The Schwann's guy was here and he just took off. And I chased after him barefoot. I've been running (though not fast) for exercise, but barefoot I was no match for my speedy little guy. When he does that it's a mixture of total irritation and the total hilarity of me trying to catch him with no success. Finally I managed a serious enough voice that he stopped and came to me. Thankfully!

Today I was on Facebook and clicked a link to a Glee video of the cast doing "Can't Touch This" in the library. I don't watch Glee (although it looks awesome!) but it was a funny little video. At some point Eric came up behind me and said "Mommy, that doesn't look like appropriate library behavior." It was literally all I could do not to laugh. I didn't, because clearly my boy is quite serious. I agreed with him, what else could I do?

Mark continues to challenge and amaze me. The more I do, the more he wants and is dissatisfied. But when we aren't struggling, and he isn't grumbling, he can be the sweetest most thoughtful boy of all. Such opposing actions, and I just want to tell him (and do) that I love him no matter what, he doesn't have to be "cool" for me, and that even though he's the second born he's every bit as important as his older brother. That just because he's not the baby doesn't make him any less important to me. I can tell him, I just wish I could make him KNOW that.

This post is scattered, I know. I'll blame the coming full moon. Because I've learned to blame many things on that. I never really believed in the whole full moon causing strange behavior in humans thing before. I do now though. Mostly because every time my kids behavior gets really out of whack I discover that it will soon be the Full Moon. (What are they, werewolves?) I looked, and the full moon is Thursday. So if anyone you know is acting totally crazy, that is why. You're welcome.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Books That Help Kids

I haven't talked much about it here, for various reasons, but Eric's had a pretty rough school year. All of his grades are great on the academic front, but he continues to struggle with anything related to fine motor skills and paying attention/staying on task. It is rather frustrating because he is such a smart boy (so his teacher says too, not just my bias) yet so many seemingly simple tasks are a huge effort for him.

In years past when the fine motor issues arose, and the concentration too, I was told to give him time. Sometimes kids outgrow this stuff, and he's such a good boy! And so smart! So we waited.
This year, it came to a point where I could no longer sit and wait for the miraculous point at which he overcame everything and suddenly all was easy, because suddenly I wasn't so sure that moment was going to occur without some intervention.

We went to the pediatrician for a consult for ADD and he fits the profile to the letter. We did decide not to place him on meds for now as his behavior is good and he doesn't have any problems with hyperactivity. Also, his struggles in school, while frustrating, are relatively minor and not interfering with his reading, math or science, all of which he is excelling at. We did get him on a 504 plan, which will allow him extra time on assignments, as well as a little more help and redirection in the classroom.

The next step for me, was to identify if his writing deficiencies were an actual fine motor delay or if it was tied into the ADD or a case of I don't want to-itis and got Eric evaluated with an Occupational Therapist. This uncovered low muscle tone in his upper body, as well as hand weakness and some sensory issues (although minor in that regard.) So, OT is recommended, but we are on a waiting list (which is so frustrating, but hoping to start that this summer.)

Anyway, all that to say, while Eric was fairly happy go lucky at the beginning of this year, he has been extremely frustrated of late and beginning to show signs of anxiety (which he's always been a worrier, but both I and his teacher were noticing it more) and also a problem with his temper - mostly in relation to his brothers.

I can't really stress how sad, and anxious I have been about my boy! Mad at myself for not seeking intervention sooner, and wondering what more I could have done to help. Then I decided to stop looking into the past and work on it right now. I hated the thought of him having this anxiety, but wasn't quite sure what to do about it, and I found a book that got rave reviews on Amazon called "What to Do When You Worry Too Much" by Dawn Huebner, Ph.D. I've been reading it with all of the boys and I will say, while Eric still worries more than I'd like to see, he is also more relaxed and happy *most* of the time than I've seen him in quite awhile. The biggest thing I find is I know more how to respond to him. How to minimize the anxiety without making him feel like I'm not listening or not caring. It's actually helped me with some of the other kids too. The hugest thing is that he is talking to me about stuff that before I never had any idea he even noticed or had concerns about, so I can better help him through it.

The other book is "What to Do When Your Temper Flares," by the same author. The same result. This one is a little trickier because all of my kids tend to flip out when things don't go their way, but I am noticing positive results here as well. Again, largely because I am learning the things to say, to remind them to keep their cool. How much more peaceful is it around here? Okay, honestly, there is still tons of chaos and bickering, but definitely less screaming and melting down. So, I'd say it's a win.

I just wanted to post about these books and recommend them because they have helped our family. The next one I plan to get is "What to Do When I Grumble Too Much," because boy oh boy I have some grumbly guys!

Can I just tell you a secret? They've helped me too. I found myself stressing about a situation earlier today and took a deep breath and reminded myself that I should lock the worry away, and deal with it if it came up. Which isn't exactly the language the book uses (it tells kids to lock their worries in a "Worry Box" and not think about it until "Worry Time") but it was definitely helpful.

I ordered these books from Amazon if you feel like they would help your kids. If you are a local friend, I'd be happy to loan them to you to look at to see if you think they'd help.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two Houses

I got a little bit sentimental when I went to Oklahoma this last weekend. Besides the fact that my baby brother's wife had just given birth to their first child, it's always just a little emotional going home. Seeing all that's changed for the better and for the worse, and sometimes just for the sake of change I guess makes me think back with fondness on my growing up & early married years.

When we visited the first house Kevin and I owned after we were married, and then the house I grew up in, it evoked two very different emotional responses.

Call me sappy, I can't help it.

To read more, go to Deep South Moms where I tell A Tale of Two Houses.
*The state of house # 2 is so much worse than the picture shows. It's really very sad.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The First Eye Roll

Yesterday, as I was helping my oldest find pajamas, I mentioned how we needed to clean up there this weekend. He said something along the lines of "I don't like cleaning." I said "Yes, neither do I but I also don't like messes." And he rolled his eyes. It was a good one too. I'd never had a kid roll their eyes at me before and the attitude that sometimes accompanies such gestures wasn't present, so I laughed. Then he laughed. I asked "Did you just roll your eyes at me?" And he said "DID I? I didn't know I could!"

According to some facebook friends this event could have occurred much sooner if I had girls.

I still can't quit laughing about it, primarily the fact that this is a skill that he seems to have been practicing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The Oklahoma trip was a whirlwind. I left my house at 4:15 Friday morning and returned home at midnight(!) Sunday night. I'm still recovering from that one, but it was so worth it!

Into three days I fit in seeing my family, snuggling with the newest little baby, visiting with my cousin, seeing my Grandma for the first time in a few years, going out to the most awesome little (although it's not so little anymore) Mexican food restaurant ever. I also made a quick stop by Kevin's parents house, and visited the local farmers market to get the fabulous stuff that helps Ben's eczema. The highlight was without a doubt anything and everything related to my niece. She's a doll! Beautiful and sweet and I'm thrilled to hear she got to go home from the hospital yesterday.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do You Ever...?

I have tons to do this week to get my house clean and get ready to go meet my baby niece who may or may not be born today (now 2 weeks past due, but just maybe is finally ready!) But I sat down for just a minute to rest and I came to my blog and saw a cute picture of Zack on the "You May Also Like" posts, so I clicked it. I completely melted reading it, almost crying it was so cute. Not what I wrote, but the essence of my child that was captured within the words. So, I clicked a few more links about different kids with the same results.

So, I ask you, do you ever read YOUR older posts? Look back a year or more to reflect where you were? What were the issues of the day back then? How did it all turn out and what did you learn during that time? I'm feeling sentimental today, I guess, but if I had all day I could definitely keep clicking.

It reminds me that blogging is not a waste of time. It is my very own memory book. What I lack in scrap books I make up for in stories of what my kids do and say on a regular basis. Pretty much priceless if you ask me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bumps & Bruises

We must have been quite a sight as we all walked into Sams today. Zack with a bruise on his cheek, and Mark with a fat lip.

On Tuesday, Zack fell off his tricycle. Eric bumped into him and he toppled right over. Instant bruise, and a LARGE one too. The neighbor girl decided they would go beat up the road, and Zack loved it. Instant tear drying right there. He stomped around saying "That had to hurt!"

Today, the boys were zooming through the house in spite of my warnings to settle down (I may as well save my breath) and he tripped and knocked his face right into the little table our fish tank sits on. We had a scary moment where he had a bad headache, and I raced him to the walk in clinic, but he is fine, just like his brother. no serious injury. Just one heck of a fat lip. (Seriously! I'll take a picture if it's still swollen tomorrow! Crazy!)

So, we were quite the happy family shopping for our groceries this afternoon. In spite of the fact that two of them looked like they had gotten into a fist fight.

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