Thursday, June 28, 2012

Family Fun Day - May

In my ongoing effort to catch up our Family Fun Days this week...I bring you May!!

We drove up to Logan Utah to visit the cheese factory...and get the world's most amazing ice-cream. I had raspberry cheesecake (because I chickened out and didn't get black licorice) and it was sooo good! We also bought squeaky cheese (of course!), rootbeer milk, orange milk (which we all decided was yucky!) and vanilla milk. We had planned on bringing lunch over to a local park that has a walk through zoo, but due to the torrential downpouring rain, we just let the kids run wild at the local Mickey D's. :)

The ice-cream was a big hit!

Once we made it back to the Salt Lake Valley we met up with Josh's family for his cousin's birthday dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.

We also went to Barnes and Noble and everyone picked out a new book to read for the summer. Bailey's best friend tagged along for Family Fun Day and they decided to pick out the same book and begin their own book club. :) It was cute to see their decision process about what kind of book they would pick and surprisingly I only had to steer them in the right direction a couple times (because I wanted them to read a chapter book...not the Guiness Book of World Records...)

On a side note: have you ever noticed in a bookstore that the people in each sections actually look like the sections they are in? "Geeky", twenty-something year old men in the computer section. Grandmotherly looking women in the cookbook section. Shifty-eyed men in the adult section...

;)

Funny stuff!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Family Fun Day - April

What? It's June? Yeah...yeah...I know. Time gets away from me, okay? ;)

In April we took the kids to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and then out to dinner at Tepanyaki. If you've never been there, it is a hibachi style restaurant where the chef cooks dinner right at the table in front of you, on a large griddle. The kids have been begging me to go forever and I finally relented.

They had a lot of fun catching flying shrimp in their mouths, watching the chef toss knives around and seeing big fireballs shoot up from the grill. They attempted to master chopsticks and a few even dared try a piece of a California Roll.

I love sitting around talking with these munchkins.

Watching them try out the chopsticks was priceless!
After that big bite of California Roll went in Avery's mouth...it came right back out. I guess she's not a sushi fan!
Bailey, however, loved it!

FIRE! Peanut's eyes got SO big at the sight of the onion volcano!

What is dinner without dessert?
We stopped off for dipped ice-cream cones and giggles.

Ask for a silly face...and you shall receive.
I love our Family Fun Days and the kids always look forward to them. Letting them pick what we do makes them look forward to them even more and I always smile to hear them talk about these days for weeks or even months afterwards. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Did

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life...but I have learned from most of them.

I have a few regrets in my life...but the experiences made me who I am.

I am not where I want to be in my life yet...but I am getting closer every day.

I have made a lot of good choices in my life...but the best thing I ever did was marry this man:


...and create these five beautiful, kind, smart and amazing kids, with him:


Joshy,
I love you. You are the most amazing father and our children are so lucky to have you in their lives. They would not be the wonderful kids that they are, without having the wonderful father that they do. You always make time for them, even when you are extremely busy and stressed. You are always there to tuck them in and cuddle their hurts. You have far more patience than I do and for that, I am so thankful!
I hope you have a great Father's Day! We all love you, very, very, very much!!
Love, Me

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Madame President

Bay: "Mom? Why can't girls be President?"
Me: "Girls can be President."
Bay: "Well why hasn't a girl tried then?"
Me: "Probably because America is still very much in the mindset that men should hold the powerful positions in society. They are scared to try. Just like I'm sure Obama was scared to try, because he was the first African American President."
Bay: "I'm going to be the first girl President!"
Me: "That's a great idea! What will your platform be?"
Bay: *thinks a minute*..."That girls can do anything that boys can do!"

LOVE that girl! :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Finish Line

"If we expect our children to always grow smoothly and steadily and happily,
then we're going to worry a lot more than if we are comfortable with the fact
that human growth is full of slides backward as well as leaps forward, and is
sure to include times of withdrawal, opposition, and anger, just as it encompasses
tears as well as laughter."


After meeting with her therapist today, I feel like I'm doing something right, as I plod along this journey. Her therapist was happy to hear that we are doing a daily allowance, rather than paying once a week, because the instant gratification is so much more rewarding for her. Additionally, she agreed with our limiting television from 9 am - 7 pm, but wondered if part of Avery's sleep issues were simply her wanting to watch TV in the middle of the night. So, we will be setting the TV parental system to lock at night, so that won't even be an option.

We know that being out of school is a huge change for her and we all agreed that part of these new behavioral issues are due to the change. She suggested that we do a "sticker chart" or something similar to reward for good behavior, just like they do at school and see if that works for her. I am willing to try anything at this point!

While the violence is not okay and will not be tolerated, we know that it is due to an inability to control her impulses, rather than her plotting to do something that will hurt someone else. This is a "good" thing. She is not trying to hurt other people, rather she just lacks the ability to control herself during her times of anger. I hope to address this a little more during her one-on-one therapy session on Thursday.

So, at the conclusion of today's meeting it has been decided to up her dosage on the Trazadone again. We begin this journey at 25 mg, upped to 50 mg and will now try 75 mg to see how it does. I know this medication can work...we have seen it. Finding the right dosage for a growing girl however, does appear that it will take some time.

I know she is going to have these setbacks. I know that a pill will not make Avery an "easy" child, by any means. I know that I will continue to worry about her future and how she interacts with those around her. I also just have to remember that every slide back is a key to finding what will work for her best. We have to run these hurdles in order to grow stronger and find our finish line. Wherever that finish line may be.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Insanity


Two weeks done...seven more to go!

If you haven't heard of the Insanity workout, imagine the P90X workout...on speed. (If you have not heard of P90X please crawl out of the cave you have been living in and find wifi, STAT!)

This workout is no joke. It is hard. It pushes you. It gets your heart rate up. It makes you want to puke. It makes you it hurt. It is...well...insane. It's also fun and I'm really beginning to enjoy it.

I'm also enjoying the eight pounds I've lost in the last 13 days, as well! ;)

With all the stress I've been dealing with in my personal life, I have needed this 45 minutes a day to just me. No responsibilities. No cares. No worries. Just sweat pouring off me and no time to think. I can do it at home, so no need to leave and go to the gym or head out for a run. Josh is training for a marathon and when he is gone for 2-2.5 hrs at a time, it's hard for me to work time in, as well. This work out solved that problem.

If you've been considering doing this workout in the past...stop thinking. Get it and go!! You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Holding On Through The Weekend

I called her psychiatrist today.

She's on vacation until Monday but agreed to see us Monday during her lunch break to discuss Avery's meds. Additionally, I spoke with Avery's other therapist and she calmed me down a bit by letting me vent my frustration and worries. I told her about the escalation of violent behavior and what has happened this week. I never thought I'd hear someone tell me, "You're in the medical field (well, I'm not yet, but thanks for having confidence in my current knowledge base) so you know...if it gets to the point that you can't control the violence, you need to take her straight to the ER." "Yes, I know."

We both agreed that we aren't to that point yet and that she has enough supervision that we can immediately get her (and her siblings as the case may be) out of the situation and isolate her.

*sigh*

I don't know why her meds aren't working. I don't know why, like a light switch, all of a sudden it's like she isn't even taking them. I don't understand it. We are so structured about when she gets them and we never miss a dose. Yet...here we are.

Today is hour to hour. She has bounced from extremely agitated this morning to very morose this afternoon to happily building a fort in the yard at this moment. I can't keep up, when everything changes as fast as I can blink.

I'm trying my best to hold it together. At least through the weekend.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rollercoaster Ridin'

Sometimes I feel like my life is a little bi-polar. My posts are up and down. My facebook statuses are up and down. My outlook for the future is up and down.

Well...in the grand scheme of things...they are.

I'm sure people read what I have to write and think, "Woman! Get it together! Pick! Are you happy with your life or not?" *sigh*

I am. I am. Overall, my life is pretty damn amazing...and I know it. I am surrounded by people who love me. I have people in my life that support me. I was accepted to my school of choice and two years from now I will be a registered nurse. I have a job that while it is over taking much of my life right now, allows me the flexibility most people only dream of.

But, I can't fake that life is perfect all the time. I can't be strong 100% of the time. I can't smile through the tears all the time. Some days, like yesterday, are just so overwhelming, that it bubbles over. I have to get it out. Vent. Scream. Cry. Be frustrated.

So, when I seem to be living life on a roller coaster...it's because I am. Living with someone who's moods vary from day to day, or moment to moment is extremely hard. I don't let it affect me on some days, but when it shows itself in the form of physical violence, I feel like a failure as a parent...and I crash. I can't be strong anymore. I can't deal anymore. I let the hopelessness creep in and I worry.

So bear with me. I'm riding this ride, that I can't get off. I just have to keep praying that I am strong enough to stomach the journey.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Can You Imagine?

Can you imagine parenting a child who that when she is happy, she is so happy that she is out of control? Everything is funny, she cannot be serious and she bounces from one thing to another, unaware that she is tormenting everyone in her path.

Can you imagine parenting a child who that when she is sad, she cries, uncontrollably? Her feelings become hurt very easily and her hormones go haywire, much like a 30 year old PMSing woman, trapped in a seven year old's body.

Can you imagine parenting a child who that when she is angry she is so pissed at the world that nothing will calm her down? She cannot stop herself from lashing out verbally or physically, damaging relationships in her life.

Can you imagine parenting a child who seems to crawl on hands and knees up a steep hill toward progress, only to slip down that exact slope in a matter of a day? An hour? A moment? Where all hope of a bright future becomes dim and lost?

Can you imagine parenting a child who you just have no idea how to parent? Every single day is a new obstacle course that your previous training is completely useless against. Nothing you learned from past experiences will help you and you are running the course blind.

Can you imagine parenting a child who makes every single day a complete challenge, to the point that you collapse into bed every night, exhausted from trying to control the uncontrollable? You feel defeated and like a failure, because you, as the parent, are supposed to know what to do. But, you don't.

Can you imagine parenting a child who lashes out with such rage at everyone around her, that you wonder in your heart of hearts if she even loves you? Loves her family? Loves herself?

I pray that you CAN'T imagine.

Because I don't have to.  I parent that child every single day.

And it is a type of hell that I don't wish on anyone.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy 9th Birthday Roo!

They say (whoever "they" are) that you aren't really a parent until you have two children. If you only have one child there is no sibling rivalry to deal with. When a mess is made you always know who did it. You never have to separate your time between more than one child. Basically...you have it easy.

If that's the case...this is the kiddo that made me a parent. :)

School comes so easy to her. Too easy.
She was a big reason for our decision to move the kids to the charter school this year and it was a great move for her. She is finally being challenged (something she has had to learn to deal with) and I love seeing her excel even when working on material that is several grades ahead of her.


My cute purple flapper for Halloween.


She actually keeps begging me to quit piano...but I won't let her. ;)


She got glasses this year, only adding to her cuteness!

She loves being outside and being active!

She is a Daddy's Girl, for sure! (Well, and a Mommy's Girl.)
She loves spending time with us!

Such a beautiful girl!
Dear Ryleigh-Roo,

I love you so much! You never cease to amaze me with how thoughtful and kind you are. You are wise beyond your years and you remind me so much of your Grandma. I hope that you always find school so enjoyable and always work so hard to succeed. You are so much like me and you worry too much about everything...and I love you for it. You are going to make the most amazing mother one day. Or doctor. Or activist. Or writer. Or anything. I know you are going to change the world, my beautiful girl...you have already changed mine. Happy happy birthday!

Love, Mom