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Posted in family, parenting

Bed Time reality

Bedtime is always portrayed in movies, shows, and books as this wonderful bonding moment between child and parent. Rocking your sleepy baby, reading a cute bedtime story, putting your kid to bed at 8pm and not seeing them again until 7am. Gag Me. That is not reality.

What I thought bedtime would look like:

Bedtime Reality:

After 5 years of trying to sleep train Eli I have finally gotten there! I will say after all those nights of checking on him in the night and finding him on the floor or under his bed are finally gone and he is the best sleeper. Give him 15 minutes on kids youtube and he turns his bedtime music on and sleeps 10hrs. What a blessing it is.

Camille on the other hand, sucks. She has never been a good sleeper; except maybe those blissful first couple weeks of infancy where ALL babies do is eat poop and sleep. From months 1-4 she had very bad reflux and we averaged about 3hrs of sleep a night. I had to walk around the house holding her for hours until the reflux burn went away. When it did, she would only sleep on my chest so I would have to sleep sitting up in the middle of my bed surrounded by pillows to keep us propped up. After that she was doing good for a while until we hit the “Up all night, sleep all day” phase. THAT WAS FUN. She would stay up every night until about 4am. Boy we watched a LOT of Netflix. We’d get up to bring Eli to school at 8 then she’d sleep until it was time to pick him up. Fun times.

Am I the only one that is impatiently waiting for the teenage years when all my kids will want do is sleep in???

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Changes

Per usual, our life is a constant realm of change. It has been a while since I have worked my blog. There was just a lot going on between Eli starting kindergarten, having a new baby in the house, my husband working 12+ hours a day and the laundry and cleaning that never seem to end. I think I really just wanted a break to enjoy my downtime.

We have once again moved across the country. This time we moved in anticipation of my husband getting orders in Michigan. Which, if any military people are reading this, is kind of a jinx. We had got word that the odds were good of getting assigned to Michigan but because the kids and I came out here early to save up some money beforehand, I’m sure we ruined it. At least us being here allows me to be here for a birth (not mine) and two weddings!!

Now that I am back here and life has slowed down a little (and the fact that the baby in the house is becoming more self sufficient), I decided it was time to fire up the old blog; but give it a face lift. Before, my blog was focused mostly on my son’s autism, but the more we are learning and growing the more I want to focus on our life in general rather than our difficulties. When I look at our family, I don’t see us as a family that revolves around a diagnosis. I see us as a regular, relatable family. So this new upgraded blog is just going to be about my crazy life with my crazy kids.

My goal with blogging isn’t to really to inspire people (I don’t see myself as inspirational), but more so just to relate to people. I love to find humor in chaos. So cheers to 2019 and all our messed up crazy lives!!

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

His Friendships Make Me Nervous

Eli has come so far in his social skills. His vocabulary is amazing and he is so smart. He’s more comfortable interacting with others at school and in our neighborhood. Although he’s had such amazing growth I am still very nervous about him making friends. Mainly because kids can be assholes.

Eli is still so very sensitive. The littlest things make him upset. Currently, our biggest issues with him is his crying. At school when he’s told to change tasks he often times gets upset and cries. If the toy he wanted to play with isn’t there, he cries. If I’m not standing on the sidewalk when he gets through the gate, he cries.

At home, if he’s not granted the snack he wants, he cries. If he’s told he has to turn off his iPad and go to bed, he cries. When we can’t go out and do the things he wants to do, he cries.

Most significantly, he cries a lot during interactions with his friends. Whenever there is the smallest disturbance with his friends, he usually ends up crying and running inside. No kidding, as I type this the boys were outside playing tag and Eli just came in crying because he was it (which he’s usually it) and he couldn’t tag the other boys and was getting frustrated so he started crying. Lately when he’s upset he tells his friend he doesn’t love him anymore, and they look at him a little funny. I’ve explained that love is for family and like is for friends. I get very nervous for him because he’s 5 now and kids that age start to judge.

One thing I would LOVE to fix Is the interactions with friends that make him upset. Sometimes Eli is justified for being upset with his friends. Often times when they play tag he is always it, he will finally tag someone and they immediately tag him back. The other kids are a little older and a lot more fast than him, it’s almost an impossible game. Sometimes, though, Eli’s fits are unjustified. One time some of the kids were getting ready to play four square. Eli didn’t want to play and continued playing with his cars. His friend told him to move over so he didn’t get hit- Eli took that as go away we don’t want you here.

So how exactly do you get your child to stop crying for non-crying situations? You can’t just tell someone to stop crying. He feels these emotions and runs with them. I love the fact that he’s so passionate; he generally enjoys life. The problem is that even though his highs are high, his lows get extremely low. The only good thing about his behavior is the blow outs never last long. When he’s upset about a situation he is usually over it within a couple minutes. For the time being, his friends seem to forget about it almost instantly, too. As soon as he’s calmed down and wants to go back outside, they welcome him.

Another issue my husband and I are noticing is that Eli isn’t standing up for himself. He is new to socialization so he just kind of rolls with whatever the other kids too. When his friend comes over here he runs the show. They do whatever he wants to do. Which is usually play with Elis Ipad or Wii. Which are both one player so Eli either watches or plays something else. All we can do for that is regulate or tell them to do something together.

Really I think my nerves are normal and to be expected. Any parent probably feels like this sometimes (right?). All I can do is guide him, give him advice, and let him learn on his own. Friendships can be hard, especially new ones. But there’s not a doubt in my mind that Eli will find some great friends that are a perfect match for him and he will be just fine.

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

More Time to Fill

Ya’ll would not believe….

Monday morning I was all excited because Eli was going back to school. I got him dressed in a snazzy outfit, packed his lunch, got his backpack ready. We got in the car and headed to school. As I grew closer to the parking lot, I notice there’s not a lot of cars around as there usually is. Pull up to the gate and it’s closed and locked; not a car in the parking lot.

….SPRING BREAK IS TWO WEEKS LONG!!!!!!

Who the hell has two week long spring breaks? This is asinine. What am I supposed to do for another entire week? Well, it’s Friday so let me tell you what we did… NOTHING….AGAIN. Well, ok, we did a little bit.

Last Friday my husband was off work so we took both kids to the park where Eli and his dad took a row boat out onto the water. Eli loved it, except when they got attacked by a rogue goose. After that, Eli and I went to our housing’s Easter event. Painted mini canvases and ate a little food.

Then there was Easter. I was in bed with Camille watching cartoons waiting for Eli to get up. I finally get up to go check on him. I find him downstairs, already found and opened all the eggs and got his basket….

Eli is also a couple weeks into soccer season. We have a one hour practice twice a week and a game on Saturdays. That’s probably the most exciting thing going on in our lives.

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The rest of our days were spent watching tv, making car tracks, and having Eli outside as much as possible. He’s really gotten close to a couple kids in the neighborhood so I ship him out as much as possible. Although that usually ends with both boys in my house playing video games.

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Sure, there are tons of things we could go out and do; but packing a diaper bag for a 30 minute trip to the park is exhausting. A 15 minute trip to the grocery store the other day  was enough for me after Camille hit her head on the car-themed shopping cart as soon as we got in the door. She fussed and cried the entire time we were there.

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I’ve come to terms that nothing exciting will happen this spring break. Trying to do big outings is just too much work, especially when, during the week, its two against one. I think during spring break, I’d rather just break.

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Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

How to survive Spring Break

 

Spring break season is upon us. On the last day of school when Eli’s teacher said “See you in a week Eli!” I went into a mini panic mode. The realization hit me that I was going to be stuck in the house all day with two kids for 9 days straight. I immediately went into planning all the fun things we’d do to pass the time: go to the zoo, automotive museum, picnic at the park, splash pad. It’s now Thursday of spring break and guess how many of those we have done? ONE! The picnic at the park is the only thing we’ve accomplished so far; and I’m really not sure if eating Panda Express at a playground is necessarily considered a picnic.

Obviously I am in no position to give advice about what to do for spring break. But….who cares? I’m going to make a list of good ways to pass the time during your Childs spring break that I actually did do.

  1. Continue with education- Just because they’re on a break from real school doesn’t mean their learning should take a break too! As a parent YOU are your child’s biggest teacher!

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2. Find them new friends- what better way to pass the days than to make new friends, right? They will spend the day getting to know each other and having fun!

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3. Household chores- Oh, you’re bored? Well I’m doing 5 loads of laundry, vacuuming 4 rooms, doing the dishes, and cleaning the bathrooms. TAKE YOUR PICK!

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4. Wear them out- personally this is the most important one. If you want your little shits to pass out at the end of the day then you need to get them outside and active. Nothing knocks a kid out better than long exposure to fresh air. 60% of the time, it works every time!

 

5. When they’ve done chores, played with friends, and ran around aimlessly for hours outside, it’s time for some more inside diversions. Popcorn movie party is the go to in our house. Here’s your apple juice, bowl of popcorn, and the remote; I’m going to go hide in my room until you come find me asking for a second bowl of popcorn.

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6. When you’ve done all these and your kids finally pass out. It’s time to reward yourself. Whatever your vice is, indulge; you’ve earned it. For me, the answer is obviously wine.

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Hopefully after doing all these steps your child should look like this and spring break should pass quickly. Before you know it your monster will be back in school.

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

New Business Adventure

Eli and I are are taking on a new business adventure. Well, really just me, but he’s my partner in crime.

Eli was never interested in books. The first clue for his doctor to give the Autism diagnosis was that he never wanted to play with me or anyone else. He preferred to be by himself. Because of this he would never sit down and read a book with me. I tried all the fun engaging books to no avail. Through therapy he became more interested in interacting with others. After many attempts he started becoming interested in bedtime stories. We made it a routine every night before bed. Part of the appeal was probably delaying bedtime; but after a while it’s something he looked forward to. He would pick out his favorites and remembered most of the words.

I was invited to an Usborne party over the summer and was drawn to the wipe clean books. We were trying to get ready for school and this would be perfect practice. He loved them, of course. Since then I’ve ordered a couple more times before deciding to become an independent consultant myself.

One thing I love about Usborne is the amount of early childhood learning books they have. They have books for speech development, fine and gross motor skills, sensory books, and even books for social anxiety. Everything I’ve learned from Eli’s therapy I can use to help other families find the tools they need to make their littles successful.

My Facebook page

My UBAM page

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

“That man was mean to me”

A few weeks ago I took both kids to one of Eli’s favorite parks. As I went to a bench with Camille, Eli took off under a play set. There’s a table underneath the play set and he likes s-l300to pile up fallen gum tree balls (right). As soon as he walked to the table a boy around the same age dressed in a police uniform told Eli to leave. Eli got upset and came over to me. I told him this is a playground and he can go where ever he wants. He walked back over and the boy, again, told him he had to leave and that he was the police. Another boy holding a nerf gun grabbed Eli by the arm and walked him out from under the play area and walked him towards the sidewalk. Eli started crying and I yelled at the boys to let him go.

IMG_4540Now the boys weren’t just being cruel, to everyone else they were just playing pretend. He was the police and under the play area was where they were patrolling. Keeping out bad guys. However, to Eli, they were being serious. After the boys let him go Eli came over, still crying, and said that the policeman wouldn’t let him play over there and told me how the other boy grabbed him. I explained to Eli that it wasn’t a real policeman and it was only a kid pretending. I told him that the kids were just playing pretend, a game. The look on his face told me he had no idea they were just playing. I said if they try and do that again to just tell them that you are not playing the game and you just want to play by yourself. Eli stood up and started walking away; I asked where he was going and he said “I’m going to tell them that I’m not playing with them.” The boys at this point were long gone. I told him to not worry about it unless they tried to bother him again.

Eli is one of the most imaginative boys I’ve ever met. His whole life is one big imagination land. But for as creative as he is, he didn’t recognize when other kids were doing the same thing. If he’s in on the planning of the game, he is fully on board; but walking into this situation, not knowing what the other kids we’re doing, he was completely lost. He has always been a little slow on picking up on social cues. He doesn’t always recognize when someone is upset or not interested. He often times doesn’t take situations serious and thinks it’s a game (especially when he’s getting in trouble.)

One of my first blogs was about a time we were at a park (actually the same park as this story) and Eli thought he was playing a game with these other boys but they were in fact just running away from him. He didn’t recognize that they didn’t want to play with him until he turned around and they were all gone. That situation broke my heart and it still hurts my heart watching him struggle with other kids.

I do have my reservations about Eli starting general education kindergarten and not being accepted and liked by his class mates. I think he just needs more exposure to other kids to strengthen his social skills. As a military family, we move around a lot. He doesn’t always have other kids to play with, or when he does, we end up moving away from them. He’s in preschool right now with other kids just like him. When that is over I think he might do a few weeks of summer school so he is more than comfortable when he starts kindergarten this fall. Not all of his social interactions are this way. Yesterday we were at a different playground and he played with a pair of siblings just fine. They were all having a blast until the two kids had to go home. When I asked Eli where his friends went, he said they left. Then he started crying and yelling “I DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS!!!” lol. He’s a great kid and a lot of fun to be around. I have no doubts that he will be able to make good friends. Maybe we just need a little practice reading people.  😉