Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Will Do Anything for the Ones I Love

There is another viral illness circulating in our family. It is hitting the teens the worst. Again.

I don't think there's been a week that has passed since our kids started school that one or the other kid has been home at least one day since they started school in January.

I took my daughter to the urgent care clinic Sunday to make sure her sore throat wasn't strep. It wasn't. This wasn't the place I would prefer to spend a few hours on a beautiful Sunday, but I also didn't want Ms. D to lose any more school days.

Both kids ended up missing some school this week anyway.

Lately I have been planning my next season of life. What do I want to do with my time, once we get settled? The kids are in school. How do I meet people? I have so many interests. What do I want to do when I grow up?

Those questions have been put on hold for awhile. It would be pretty hard to keep a job or go to school myself if I have to keep missing in order to care for the kids. Flexibility is extremely important when you have children with special needs. Whenever I mention going to work the kids panic. Maybe I need to think of some things I can do at home, and figure out some other way to socialize. It's hard to be an extrovert and the mother of a child with special needs. How do other extrovert moms do it, especially when they move to a new area? I was feeling a little sorry for myself about having to stay home and care for the kids.

While Ms. D and I were at the clinic, Samurai, the puppy, shredded a toy and ate the pieces. He ended up vomiting that night. In the morning, Ms. D told me about it after she cleaned up the mess. I told her that she is learning what it's like to be a good mom.

What she said next was precious and a good reminder for me:

"I will do anything for the ones I love to keep them safe and healthy."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Difficult Times

Difficult behaviors, RAD, FASD, PTSD, anxiety, sensory overload, and all those other annoying things don't disappear with a change of place. Though removing the kids from their old stomping grounds has been beneficial in reducing triggers and temptations, their underlying difficulties are still there.

We have had a rough few days with Mr. I. There's been a slow buildup of stress from school. The expectations of the school are high, and though the teachers give Mr. I extra help, he is still struggling. The honeymoon period is waning at the same time. 

Monday was a beautiful day. Mr. I took advantage of the day to go skateboarding, so we ended up here:

Unfortunately, a Neo-Nazi guy with tats and a big knife at his side sat across from us in the emergency waiting room and glared at us. Mr. I was brave, and didn't run out of the building. But between the fear of being attacked and the pain of a sprained elbow, triggers were activated.

The following days have been hard. We've had regressions. We've had duct tape flushed down the toilet. We've had swearing in school and at home. I'm emotionally spent.

But! But!
Mr. I was able to gather himself together last night for a few hours and help with dinner. There is progress when the negative behaviors aren't constant.  There is progress when Mr. I is able to apologize after he calms down. Yes, he regressed this morning. But there is hope. 

Even if he still struggles with his emotions, Mr. I is a lot better off here with us. Like he said, his REAL parents wouldn't make him go to school or church. It's so hard to be a mean parent who forces their kids eat their vegetables and go places that will help them grow. It's a challenge to keep calm when your child does his best to wear you down. 

But when I feel overwhelmed, all I have to do is walk down the street and see this:

Then I remember that I am blessed. I can make it. There is hope.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guide Dog Puppy Meeting and Weekend Getaway

The teens had spring break last week. They had visions of spending the week in San Jose with their friends. I would have liked to visit family and friends. One friend isn't doing well in her cancer fight, and I would have loved to visit her one last time. That didn't happen. I was sick the first few days, and then we had guide dog puppy meetings Wednesday and Saturday.

Our guide dog group after a nice walk in Poulsbo

There just wasn't time to drive down, and since we are trying to get on our feet financially, plane rides were out of the budget.

So the kids had a nice, boring week, which isn't a bad thing for them. They don't do well with a lot of excitement, and I think the stress of school and moving lowered their resistance to illnesses. A relaxed week helped them to recharge.

Saturday we went to the guide dog outing in Poulsbo. It is such a cute town! I'll have to go there again. We got a dozen donuts at an awesome bakery after our meeting, and drove down to the grandparents' farm. We got to visit, Mr. I got to drive the tractor, and Ms. D and the dogs had a great time playing...

...And resting.

I would have loved to be able to visit friends and family in California, but this spring break was good.