Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Camp

How many have sent their kiddos to camps?
This is my first ever! We sent Dalton off to camp this morning. He will take a bus daily to the camp.
He was pretty excited to start off. His words were, " At least Drake isn't coming. He's weird." Nice buddy. Calling your brother weird isn't nice. I think he's just excited that something is finally just for him.
It's not often I get that big of a smile. Or a happy one like this. I'm praying he comes off the bus that happy.
Dalton has what is called Vasal-vagal Syncope. He dehydrates so fast. I mean he can dehydrate in his sleep!! He's passed out on me twice. Usually he complains of a headache, then shortly after vomits. That is how we know he's dehydrated for sure. I have learned of signs and symptoms for him. So outside play has been a scarey thing for him. But we for now seem to have it under control and have avoided many ER trips this year.
Seriously, the ER staff at one point knew us by last name it got so bad.
This camp he's going to is for Social/Emotional skills. We are hoping that this helps him learn how to interact with other kids better and learn how to handle his emotions and express them better.
He's a sweetie but sometimes just doesn't know how to react to things.
Tonight also starts the first day of Vacation Bible School! His favorite week at Church! Both kids actually love it! Its a week that they learn so much while having so much fun!
Here's to a busy but fun week!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Snow Days

Here in lovely Pennsylvania we are dealing with the windchill being below zero and snow! The snow isn't too bad. We've had a pretty easy winter until now.
I have rheumatoid arthritis in my feet and my right foot is a clubfoot. The weather hasn't been my friend. It's been up and down. Warm then cold then back again.  So it's been painful getting to this weather.
Call me crazy for preferring with the dull ache over the swelling. It's been crazy! Nothing has helped the swelling. I'm not going to lie. It's swollen while I'm sitting here, but I can still slip my shoes on so I'm ok with it. It's the summer humidity or rain humidity that I dislike.
With snow and these windchill comes many difficulties in this house.
Not just my physical health has been effected but Dalton's mental health. We've had 2 hour delays this week. Which throws him off entirely. His routine is changed at school. I know when I drove School Bus I always felt like I was running late all day on 2 hour delays.
He was crazy angry yesterday. So today Mom called from work and suggested I just kept the boys home. The roads were bad snow squalls were coming left and right. So I kept them home. Now 20 mins after their pick up time for the bus, the sun is shining!  Oh well! It's supposed to keep snowing off and on all day. Maybe they will have a fun snow day and I won't want to pull my hair out!
Part of yesterday's issue was Mommy had an epic meltdown. The biggest I've had since losing my brother. It was a meltdown mixed with a lovely anxiety attack. I cried so hard no one could understand me. I screamed at God! I mean I SCREAMED! Nothing I said was nice. Luckily the kids weren't home. But the mood it left me in was not me. Dalton is so in tune with my moods I'm sure he felt it. No I know he felt it. He came home and wanted to be left alone. He didn't want anyone in the room with him. He did everything he could to keep his brother out of the living room. So I know he felt it but didn't understand it.
I felt bad for him. I did. To feel that pain i was feeling and not understand it couldn't be easy. 
So today we are going to clean and just hang out. Cleaning always makes him feel better. Especially when it's done. He feels accomplished. Life feels better to him. Order feels better. So cleaning it shall be!
What do you do on snow days?
Is your little one in tune with your emotions?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Meltdowns and emotions

Dalton has multiple meltdowns. I feel bad for the little guy. He gets so angry. He's been bitting his brother alot. He used to hit. Now he bites. When he's angry he unleashes.
They've turned really verbally mean. Well physically too. He stomps and kicks things trying to break them.
The whole time I'm wishing I could just find out what's wrong. What's bothering him deep down.
It's not just that his brother wouldn't let him watch a video. It's been multiple things.  Then he finally let's go and WAM he's down right mean. Calls us jerks, mean and that we aren't his parents. Then starts kicking stuff. It usually happens because he's being sent to his room for his behavior. It's the one and only place he will calm down. When we finally get him there that is.
What kind of techniques do you use? He won't let us near him usually. So I can't get close enough to rub his back which if you catch it quick enough and are near you can stop the meltdown sometimes. Pressure on the hands and arms makes him mad. Brushing he hates. I'm just not sure.
I'm sure in his head he is so angry. We ask and he says,"I don't know". He very well may not.
My poor sweet boy

Monday, January 5, 2015

Maybe I could do this again

This last year has been a whirl wind of emotions.
A year ago tomorrow we lost my brother, my best friend in a tragic accident. He died in Maryland driving his 18 wheeler. It has by far been the hardest thing I've ever dealt with. It was the first death my children have had to deal with. Easy isn't a word that could describe life after a death of a sibling.
Over the summer we dealt with our oldest having vaso-vagal syncope. Basically he can dehydrate fast and pass out. His symptoms vary and we are still learning a year after diagnosis. This was our first summer with the diagnoses.
We also finally got an Autism diagnosis. PSP not otherwise specified is what's in the papers. He's high functioning but has a lot of sensory issues. We are working on helping him with those.
We also GOT MARRIED!!!  Yep after almost 10 years and 2 kids we finally got married. It was a wonderful ceremony. Our Pastor kept it short, on point and special. He's watched us grow as a family. We also had numerous special needs children in the church so short was perfect. Plus standing for any longer than 25 minutes may have been tough.
We only dealt with a few tears. Oh who am I kidding. I cried through the entire thing! He mentioned my brother and how the loss of him effected everyone.
I had planned with my brother awhile back for him to walk me down the aisle. Well Drake did. And it was so special. Dalton walked sis down and I met up with them at the front of the church.
We had a fabulous little picnic reception outside at the church. There was a slip n slide set up for the kids and everyone ate and chatted away. It was perfect!
Then came the worry of school starting. Dalton's new teachers and new building and no one knew of his new diagnosis.
We met up with his classroom teacher who is utterly amazing and Dalton adores him.
When I finally met up with his learning support teacher I knew we were in for a fabulous year. She's a caring and loving teacher. If he needs a hug he can just ask her and she will hug him. He's found his Mother figure in school.
Drake started kindergarten and wow! It's been an amazing year for him as well. He has the same teacher Dalton did. She's just amazing! She's on point and catches things most teachers wouldn't.
In October we finally got to go on our "Honeymoon". We went to Pigeon Forge, TN to a couples retreat. It was awesome. We learned how to love each other more through Christ. We did tourist things and just had a blast! We even rode horses! I haven't ridden since I was a teen!
Some time while we were there I broke the 5th metatarsal in my clubfoot. Yep. I did. Haha! No idea on when or how.
Christmas was low key and awesome. The kids got the things the asked for and we had an amazing break. There were many emotional moments though. The first year after a death you deal with all the firsts. I handled them really well. Helped Mom through them.
Now we are dealing with the year anniversary. It seems to be effecting me mentally more than I want it to.
You see my brother died 6 days before Dalton's 8th Birthday. Great thing to have hanging over your birthday huh? We work hard on not letting it last year. This year I'm trying too. It isn't easy but I'm trying! With not being able to sleep it isn't easy to not be moody.
Anyway, there's been a lot of up and downs this year. The ups have been amazing!
I think this blog may have a turn and be more about life with children with special needs.
A child diagnosed with Autism, bi-polar,  adhd and anxiety makes for some rough days. But it also makes for amazing times.
Currently we are dealing with insurances. They refuse to cover his need for a weighted blanket. His dr deems it medically necassary. The insurance says there's no proof they help.
Lord help me find a way to make this work. We are a limited income family and we need things to help him make life a bit easier on him!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Life is to short

I know I haven't been around much at all. Life has gotten in the way. More than I would of liked it to.

The last time I posted anything was Thanksgiving. Boy had I known what was going to come, the holiday may have happened a lot differently in my house.

I was so excited going through the holidays, spending time with family and just enjoying life, despite how terribly cold it had been. I was excited to celebrate the New Year and couldn't wait to see what life had in store for my family and I.

That excitement ended quickly with a phone call on January 6, 2014. One I never in a million years thought that I would get. It was my brothers girlfriend calling to tell me my brother had been in an accident. 
Small back story on my brother, he was an over the road truck driver. We were very close. I considered him my best friend. I called him over everything, good and bad. We joked around, played pranks on one another and to be honest, he was a father figure to me. My Dad hadn't been around in many years and my brother was a great father figure to have in my life.

After the phone call I received, we thought maybe we could travel to Maryland where he was so that we could meet him at the hospital once they got him there. I called my Mom to use her car since it was better in the snow and cold than mine was. It was like 4 degrees here with a windchill below zero. Bitter is the best way I can describe it. Mom came over to wait to hear from my brothers friends on exactly where in Maryland he was and what hospital he would be taken to. As I was searching for directions we heard screaming from next door and we knew exactly what we were going to be told. My heart sank and I went running full force to my brothers girlfriend. I will never be able to not hear the conversations of that night. I relive them often and hear them often. I'd be lying if I said they didn't bring tears to my eyes every time I go through this. 

I never imagined having to tell my Mother that her son was dead. I never in my life thought that I would lose a sibling in my 30's. Like I said, I can still hear the tears, the screaming and feel the heart wrenching pain of losing my brother. 

Following having to tell my Mother, I had to inform family members. That call at 1:00 am is not something you ever think would have to be done. I did it all without thought. I made them, cried with whoever was on the other line, then moved onto the next call. One would think I was cold hearted. It may seem that way, feels that way as I type it all out. Honestly, I was just trying to get through it all so I could have my moment alone soon. I was sitting at my kitchen table, worried about my Mom and Sister. A Mother should never have to endure the pain of losing a child. I can't even imagine how terrible that feeling is. I hope and I pray that I never have to feel it. Then fearing for my sister, as she was sitting in Michigan in a truck. Waiting for the weather to clear some so she could get back to work. See, driving runs in the family. My sister was an over the road truck driver as well. I worried, heck I still worry, about how we will all make it without that wonderful man in our lives. Then add to the worry that I had two young children yet to tell. How does one simply tell a 7, going on 8 in 6 days, and a 5 year old that they just lost their Uncle overnight? The worry in my heart didn't stop there. My brother had a 23 year old and a 6 year old. How were they going to handle this loss? How would they manage without a Father. I mean, I know I handled well without mine around, but I had mine growing up. His 6 year old wouldn't. That seemed so terribly wrong to me. Seemed unfair to be honest.

After a few hours, the police showed up to give us information to call the Maryland State Police Department. I have to say, they were the nicest men I've ever dealt with. The first trooper I talked to prayed with me for a moment before he gave me details of what had happened. I don't think that man knows what an impact that made on me that night. I still have the paper I wrote every bit of information he gave me. Its in no important order, in fact, I wrote in circles but, I knew what it was all about. 

The next week is a bit of a blur after losing my brother. I made a lot of phone calls and answered a lot of phone calls. I cried a lot too. I think my kids assumed I was lying to them, or they were completely in shock because they seemed to blow me off as tears streamed down my face. Luckily, I didn't have to tell them this then send them off to school. They were off because of how cold it was. 

I immediately called our Pastor and asked if he and his wife could just come sit with us. The shock hadn't fully hit. We sat and had lunch before we had to leave for an appointment. They were wonderful help and right there when I needed them. I couldn't as for better friends. 

We struggled with how to handle the week. Waiting for my sister to make it back home, struggled with how we were going to be able to say, "See ya later!" (I refuse to say Goodbye, I will see them someday.) I struggled with how my kids were going to handle everything. I worried about all the friends and family that were dealing with this loss of a great man. There wasn't anyone that he was in contact with that he didn't make a wonderful impact on. He was a very loved man. 

As we went on through the week, luckily some wonderful friends started worrying that my poor oldest would be saying goodbye to his uncle at the Celebration of his Uncles life, on his 8th birthday. I had over looked it. I felt like the world's worst mother. I had overlooked the date and didn't realize we would be doing this on his birthday. I knew it was coming don't get me wrong. We had worked at trying to keep their lives as normal as we could. 

So a cake was ordered, and birthday gifts were bought. We weren't going to let that kid live with the fact that his Uncle died so close to his birthday that he felt forgotten. There were around 100 people there to Celebrate my brothers life. All 100 people sang Happy Birthday to my son. He now tells us, "That was the best birthday EVER! So many people sang to me Mom!" So, he won't let his Uncles death overshadow his birthday. 

To say that the past 7 months were hard is an understatement. Life has been anything but simple. One simply never prepares for the loss of a sibling. You just never think about it. You mentally prepare for the loss of your parents, even though it doesn't make it easier, you still try. I never thought I would lose my brother. It has been the hardest moment in my life to deal with. I've lost family members, but never one that I was so close to. My kids never experienced death before this. Their first dealing with it wasn't the easiest that's for sure. It effected my oldest in school. He emotionally was a wreck the entire rest of the school year. Broke down in tears many times simply because he missed Uncle Ray. He told me many times that he knows he will see him in heaven, but that wasn't enough. He wanted to hug him. Trying to be there for your child in pain, when you feel the same pain is by far one of the most difficult things. I cried many nights with him. It was the best thing I could think to do for him. Let him know that it's ok to hurt. It's ok to let that emotion come out. 

As the year went on, we tried learning to live without him around. It hasn't been easy at all. We've made it so far though. 

I've dove into my oldest son's appointments and pushed harder to make sure he received the help he needed. He was finally diagnosed as Autistic. Which I have suspected for many years. Now to just keep the ball rolling without hitting anymore walls would be nice. 

We did have a few wonderful things happen as well this year. I can't deny, it hasn't been horrid all year. 
My other half was saved! He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal Savior. I was saved in September of 2013. I was so excited for him! Its the most amazing feeling when it happens to you!

We then finally got married on July 12. After almost 10 years of being together, and two kids later! It was the most wonderful day! We celebrated with close friends and family with us. It was a beautiful ceremony and a low key, simple reception outside. I couldn't of asked for a more perfect day! I know he was there with me, I could feel him all day. He would of been so excited all day long!

Now if I could make it through my youngest first day of Kindergarten, all would be well in the world! I can't believe my baby will be starting Kindergarten! 

So, I apologize for not being around, but life has gotten in the way! Some ways good, others, not so well. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Deals and shopping

This post may not be the opinion of everyone BUT it is the opinion of this blogger!

There is no need to get that great of a deal and make people miss out on a holiday with their family. I'm sure if it was you that had to miss that holiday, you would be upset!
It's already bad enough that people have been killed or hurt terribly by the selfishness during Black Friday Sales.
I admit, I have in the past joined in on the hype of Black Friday, but I have found its really not worth it. Really, it isn't. I'd rather stay home.
I'm sure a lot of the employee's of these stores would as well.
I firmly believe of these Holiday's, stores should be closed so that everyone can spend the holiday with their family.

This blogger WILL NOT be shopping on Thanksgiving, or Black Friday. OR any other holiday that is ment to be spent with my family. THEY are too important to me to miss out for a shopping trip!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ahh the joys of summertime

Summer is in full blast at this house! Kids everywhere, friends visiting, Vacation Bible School, and everything else that is involved in summertime. Except a vacation! This is the part where I boo-hoo that we are so broke that we can't afford a vacation, but I will spare you that none-sense.
I haven't been cooking or baking much. I had carpal tunnel surgery on April 29th. It was a quick decision. I knew mid-April it was severe the Dr. suggested that I had it done as soon as I could. So, two weeks after the appointment I went in to surgery. I have to say its been a longer road back to normalcy than I had thought. Slowly but surely I am getting back into everything. Though its nothing extravagant. 
As well as dealing with summer happening, I chopped 14, yes 14 inches off of my hair. I was tired of having to brush it a million times a day to avoid it ending up matted. So off it went! I hadn't had my hair cut since March 2011, after my reconstruction surgery of my foot. So it took awhile to get it as long as it had gotten.

So here it is before, curly

Here is its straight before

And the after look

We also welcomed a new addition in February
Meet Roxie, our shepard mix dog

So obviously we've been pretty busy. I'm hoping to get back into blogging here soon. I really enjoy it!
Enjoy the pictures!!