Thursday, January 31, 2013

The sounds of silence...

I haven't had much to say... for awhile there wasn't much going on.

To be honest, that was awesome. The kids were holding pretty steady. I, however, wasn't. I was very lost in a quiet depression I wasn't sure how to get out of. I watched as some relationships started drifting away because I wasn't able to put in the effort to hold them close. And then there were the couple of relationships that didn't drift anywhere because those people weren't about to let me drift away, whether they realized it or not. It was a pretty eye opening month in that respect.

My classes started back up and I read something in my Human Growth and Development class that shook me a little bit. It was a study about how a mother's mood affects small children. It scared me a little actually. The kids were doing so well and I was worried that if I stayed in my quiet and depressed mood I would inadvertently launch them into a depression and lets be honest, Beth doesn't need any help in that area. I started making small changes. More time on the floor playing with cars, more time playing video games with the kids (instead of watching them play), I've been teaching Joelene to crochet (Beth has no interest), and a renewed effort at guiding play between the boys. What I discovered is that we all were happier. There was more laughter, more fun, and less arguments. The kids were cooperating more. I was starting to enjoy life again.

We've had some major gains this month, aside from that. Xander is articulating so much better. He's questioning everything and showing a huge desire to learn. He's affectionate and silly. Instead of hurting our small animals he's loving on them. His sensory issues and temper issues are still significant and he is still not gaining in academic skills but verbally he making huge gains. He's also eating better foods with no fight. And he's growing like a weed. I can't believe my littlest one is going to be 3 soon!

Joelene is being not quite so devious. Since she's started crocheting she's redirected her focus into her craft. She's trying harder to be patient and working harder at her social skills. She's blossoming under the collaborative problem solving we are using, and she's made huge strides socially in school. She's turning into a little lady... almost like she's 7 going on 17. We still have a good amount of work to do on appropriate relationships, boundaries and attachments but I really have hope lately that she's going to have a great future. She's already thinking about college and a career.

Peter has had a few setbacks. He's having "angry days" at school. We aren't at all sure where the anger is coming from or why and his teacher is pretty concerned too. Right now we are all working as a team (home, school and therapist) to help him work through this. Anger isn't something Peter has had an issue with in over a year so its very worrisome that something is bothering him so badly. When he isn't angry, however, he's the sweetest little boy.

And Beth... my sweet Beth. She's made many gains at home when it comes to telling us how she feels. She's able to give herself a break when she needs one and the psychotic episodes have settled down quite a bit. The meltdowns and manic episodes have become far less and much more manageable and I am able to prompt her into breathing exercises. This is huge for her. During the school week, though, she's having extreme headaches (possible migraines), reflux, occasional vomiting, and serious sensory issues. We have pretty much pinned those down to stress reactions. We are still working with the school to come up with a way to make school a bearable place for her. One of the challenges there is that she holds it all inside and waits until she gets home to fall apart. Today was report card day. This child had a damn near perfect report card and literally melted down and decided she couldn't eat pizza at school for 1 week because she didn't get all A+'s. A's weren't good enough. They had to be A+'s.

And that's our update. Its mostly sunshine... and that makes me truly happy. Yes, at least two of them have severe mental illnesses. Life isn't miserable. We are constantly growing, learning, and expanding ourselves. We have our setbacks and our down times. We have our nights full of nightmares, our psychotic episodes, our violence, aggression, suicidal ideations, migraines, and refusal to eat. But we get through those times one breath at a time and those times make these quiet (mostly) pleasant times so much sweeter.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Its been longer than I would have liked since my last post. I've had a ton of ideas but forgot them by the time I made it back here. Then I'd sit here and draw a blank about what I wanted to write. A little bit like I'm doing now. I had great ideas as I was falling asleep last night and now I just don't have much of anything, but I promised myself I'd write today.

With me, that means I'm going to ramble. When I ramble the posts go all over the place but truthfully those are the ones I find most helpful and insightful to myself later on and as much as I love the people who read what I write in the end I actually do it for myself mostly. 

What's on my mind right now? I'm seriously considering the Galaxy III over the iPhone 5. I know, sounds expensive but with my upgrade plus the trade in value of my current phone either way it won't be expensive at all. And I can't upgrade until July, but I like to have a well thought out plan before the actual event takes place. The problem is this plan is giving me a headache because I can't decide. Which is exactly why I start now and don't wait until July. 

Oddly enough, its behaviors like that one that have caught my attention lately. I need 6 months to choose how to use my cell phone upgrade. I need a month's notice before school meetings. I need two semesters of my classes planned out at a time. This isn't for scheduling reasons, this is merely for emotional preparedness. I want to be social and be involved in social situations but social situations exhaust and frustrate me. I don't even try family functions anymore. One of the best things that has happened to me is "S" because she doesn't really give me an option about when I'm attending birthday parties. 

Why bother mentioning this? Because three of my children are the exact same way and two of them have some type of ASD. Now I'm not trying to say I have an ASD. At this point in my life it wouldn't matter if I did or didn't, but what I'm trying to say is, I understand better than I ever realized I did how these situations feel for them. Its been pretty enlightening.

Ummm what else?

Oh! I solved the baffling pasta issue with Peter. Peter would eat some kinds of pasta but not others even when prepared exactly the same, or some types he'd eat prepared one way he wouldn't touch prepared another. It turns out that it has to be totally smooth elbow pasta. If there are ridges or it is otherwise shaped he can't stand the feel of it on his tongue. I have no idea why but I find this fascinating. Home made macaroni and cheese simply isn't a tolerable option. It has to be boxed macaroni and cheese but the texture is so different that I don't know why I didn't see this earlier.

Lucretia McEvil thinks she has an evil soul. Or she did yesterday. Yesterday she was pretty much a jerk. To everyone who didn't give her exactly what she wanted when she wanted it. Then ALL the sudden.... she wasn't a jerk anymore. She has this awesome "flip of a switch" thing going on. So far today she's been great, though so I will definitely give her that!

Pooh Bear came home from school deathly ill on Friday. You know, I may be prone to some exaggeration.  Anyways, she was sick at school and I had to go get her. She complained a lot about her head hurting and there's been a massive stomach bug going around so I figured she had the bug. What we ended up dealing with seemed more like a migraine than a bug but we actually saw some real catatonic episodes and absolute disorganized thinking which was a bit scary, I won't lie. There has been no more catatonic episodes since Friday night so I believe the catatonia was brought on by the vomiting but its something we are absolutely keeping an eye on.

And that covers everyone for now! 

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