T’was the Night Before Kindergarten…

And all through the house, Rae was running rampant and yelling “Mommy” 5,000 times at the top of her lungs. The excitement of Meet and Greet hits her right after we leave the school. My plans for an early bedtime might now be wishful thinking. I love that she’s excited about school. I love that she is (now) ready to start a new year. I just hope her teachers are ready…that little stick of dynamite is coming full force!

Let’s list some positives about tomorrow: she has friends in her class, she likes the centers, she gets to pass her pre-k teachers every morning, and Mommy gets to pick her up when the day is done. 😊 (That last positive was for me.)

Now some possible negatives: the newness could wear off quick, her meds could make her extra clingy, early wake up is never fun, and no nap time…she specifically asked me if she’d get one. She doesn’t nap at home, but school is a different story. Maybe that means early bedtime every night. YAY! I’m just kidding. I treasure our few hours together before bed. But every now and then…well, all parents enjoy it sometimes. Don’t deny it!

I hope every child and parent has a smooth first day. School is a blessing to our children. Just think of how many countries push for kids to work instead of getting an education. I won’t even go into the kids that are made to fight in wars. Give your kids an extra squeeze and kiss. They’ll need it to get through the day, and then they’ll come home talking non-stop about all the fun they had. I know some started sooner, but the same goes for all of y’all too. 

Happy 2017-18 School Year!!!

A Fresh Start: Back to School!!

Some parents hear the words “back to school” and start stressing out. The never-ending supply list, the meet and greets, the schedules, drop off and pick up lines…I could go on for hours. Back to school doesn’t have to be the end of fun. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare and whirlwind of emotions. 

My one and only baby is starting Kindergarten this year. Yes, she did pre-k last year, but that won’t make the start of this year any easier. I will cry, she will cling, we will both wait with bated breath on dismissal. This year, however, will be a little different for us. Not only will Rae be starting Kindergarten, but I will be too!

I have worked in a private pre-k class for years. I felt that it was time for a change and made that leap of faith. That leap landed me in a Kindergarten classroom at a private school as an aid. Am I excited? Yes. Am I nervous? Oh yeah. But this change is good. A fresh start for both of us is long over due.

What will make this coming year easier for us? Scheduling time blocks and day planners everywhere. (Pretty sure I’m up to 3 day planners now…). Highlighters and sticky notes are also playing a pretty big role. Oh, and the dry erase board on my fridge. And how could I forget planning breakfasts, snacks, and suppers for a week at a time? I’ll admit, I’m the mom that grocery shops weekly because that’s about all I can get in the buggy before my kid goes wild. 

Wednesday night is meet and greet. And most likely a Crockpot meal. Thursday is the big day! I am planning a high protein breakfast, a fruit and a cheese stick for snack, and a hearty meal for supper. I’m anticipating meltdowns from Rae being overly tired, a conversation starting with “I had fun today but not really”, and bedtime snuggles. 😊 

Rae will have her say in the meal and snack planning. She is starting to show interest in cooking, so hopefully that means she will eat more if she helps. We will see how this goes. Different schools with slightly different schedules is going to take some getting use to, but we got this! (Hopefully…)

How do you view Back to School? Does it make you stress out, or do you look forward to it?

Sleepless Nights

No parent likes to hear their child scream in terror at any point. Much less in the middle of the night. Night terrors have been part of our lives since Rae was about two years old. Do they happen every night? No, mainly on the nights that she can’t seem to slow down and rest. Last night was one of those nights.

It started out as whimpers and whines. Then it turned into tears. I figured it was just a bad dream, so I picked her up. Bad idea…this caused full blown panic and screams of terror. At this point I know it’s not just a bad dream. I can’t do anything but wait it out. If I try to wake her, it gets worse and turn violent towards me. She doesn’t know what she’s doing, she has no recollection of these nights once she does fully wake up.

Lucy, her kitten, walks over to her with caution. I’m not sure what Rae saw, but it wasn’t a cat. She tried to literally climb up the wall. I manage to get her back to the bed and try to hold her until she wakes. I feel completely helpless at this point. For about 15 minutes I hold her while she fights. Her screams ease into tears, and then into what I like to call “the snubs”. I coach her into taking slow, deep breaths. I wipe her face with a warm washcloth. I make her sit with me until she is fully calm. At this point she looks at me and asks why her eyes are full of tears. I explain that it was just a very bad dream, and go through our entire bedtime routine again.

By this time, it’s almost midnight. She fights her sleep but eventually gives in and sleeps peacefully for the remainder of the night.

Do I think this is a side effect of her meds? No, she has many peaceful nights while taking it. Do I think it’s a result of her not being able to slow her mind down and relax? Yes. Her vivid imagination mixed with a racing mind is not a good combination. How do I handle these sleepless nights? I wait out the night terrors, comfort her after, and strategically cover my dark circles with a good concealer the next day. I am not helpless as a parent when these happen. I know that. It’s just not a good feeling when you have to watch your child struggle and can’t do anything to help her.

Have any of you had to deal with these? How did you handle/cope with them?

Am I An Enabler?

As a parent of a kid with ADHD, I have recently subscribed to Additude Magazine. The issues are full of helpful information, some I can use now and some that will come in handy in the future. An article in the Fall issue made me question some things. Do I enable my child or do I push her to take responsibility?

The title of the article is “Step In or Step Back?”. It goes through some feelings and thoughts that all parents have, but also adds some judgement that is passed by others that don’t have a complex child. My favorite quote from the article is: “…you are aware of the watchful (and judging) eyes of spouses, family, and friends that suggest you should be handling things differently.” It then goes on to say, “It doesn’t matter what Aunt Ida thinks, or the neighbor down the street, or, possibly, even your spouse. What matters is what you think.” You know your child. You know their temperament, their struggles, their strengths, and, yes, even when to give in. Don’t question how you parent your child, ADHD or not. Do what you feel is best and help them succeed.

Off that soap box…the article went on to give a chart about Learning the Phases. These phases are about handing over responsibility and how to do so based on where your child is at any given point. I’ve come to realize that different days mean different phases for Rae, as well as whatever it is I’m trying to get her to do. 

I have included a link so you can check out the article and the chart. I don’t want to leave anything that might be beneficial to you out. It’s an article that is packed full of good information. Rae is going into K5 this year and it can all be utilized to fit her needs.

https://www.additudemag.com/stop-enabling-behavior-supporting-adhd-children/

God Bless the Crockpot…

Here it is, August. School starts soon, time spent outdoors becomes more bearable, and Rae just started cheerleading practice. The smell of football and quick fix suppers are in the air! The only downside to all of this is that I feel like my time to do anything has been cut in half. This afternoon while watching Rae and the extra “littles”, I decided that we weren’t going to be rushed to eat and get ready for bed after practice tonight. Hence the word “crockpot” in my title. 🙂

It’s a pretty simple meal. And I feel sure many people have cooked it before, but I just had to share. (My tummy is growling just smelling it cook!)

Ingredients: Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Potatoes (cubed), salt, pepper, Adobo seasoning, butter, and chicken broth.

  • 1. Put butter and chicken broth in the crockpot. (I used half a stick of butter chopped and eyeballed the broth.)
  • 2. Layer the chicken on top of the butter. Season with salt, pepper, and Adobo seasoning.
  • 3. Layer the cubed potatoes on top of the chicken. Season with salt and pepper if desired. I also put a few more pieces of butter on top because, you know, Paula Deen would approve. 😉
  • 4. I cooked it on HIGH from about 2:30-4:00 and then turned it down to LOW to cook until we leave at 5:45. Then WARM while we are gone if the potatoes are done.

I’ll steam some broccoli to give us some greens and slice a tomato. And there ya go! Done and ready to eat.

Side note: Rae had a joke of the day…”Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other SLIDE!” (She’s so proud.) haha!

Cartoons, Storms, and Sleep

I made it back from camping today and rushed to pick Rae up as quick as I could. I walked into my parents’ house expecting to get tackled but that didn’t happen…I crept down the hallway to the movie room and peeked in at her watching Shrek. She was singing along with one of the songs until she spotted me. Insert happy squeals here! 🙂 She ran over to me with a big hug and a beaming smile. She pulled me down for a quick kiss, and then sweetly asked, “Where’d you put my prizes?” I didn’t expect any less. You see, I had to figure out a way for her to be okay with me leaving for so many days. It’s not like I promised anything she wasn’t going to get anyway…just saying.

We sat on the bed and I handed her the first bag. She’s been on a superhero kick here lately, so I couldn’t pass up a Supergirl doll that was HALF OFF! (Mommy win!!) This is the part where she tells me that I made her wish come true. I also became “the best mommy ever”. 😁 I handed her a second, smaller bag after the doll. She wasn’t as thrilled with the size of this one, but was just as happy once she dumped its contents. After we finished tubing yesterday in Cherokee, I went to the store next door for a more meaningful prize. She specifically requested another bracelet that helps with bad dreams since her last one popped (Ghost Beads), so she got one of those in her new favorite color. She also got a hand painted shaker made from leather. She associates the mountains with bears, so that’s the painted picture on hers.

After the prizes and excitement of me returning, we left my parents’ to head home…for the dreaded unpacking. She relaxed on the couch watching cartoons until I finished cooking and starting laundry. We sat at the dining room/kitchen table together and talked about all the fun we had while we were apart. After supper, we cuddled on the couch with Lucy the Cat to watch cartoons together. The weather eventually blew up a storm, so Lucy left us to go hide under my bed. It’s still pretty nasty outside, and the satellite signal is gone, but I just can’t make myself go lay Rae in her bed. I missed her sleepy face so much.

Listening to the rain with a “complete signal loss” screen on the tv and a sleeping kid is the perfect way to end our Sunday. These are the moments I will take advantage of for as long as I can. ❤️

Beautiful Reminders

This is the one long weekend of the summer where I get my “vacation”. I get to travel to the mountains with my church’s youth group for whitewater rafting, tubeing, hiking, and fellowship. The view is simply majestic. Pictures nor words do it any justice. 

Today was our roadtrip to the campsite followed by rafting. With 16 people, that’s an interesting journey in itself. The water was perfect, the rapids were fun, and nobody fell out. 🙂 I can definitely feel my past knee injuries beginning to ache but it was well worth it! The pictures taken from the river bank prove that we all enjoyed it. (I’ll have to share those later…)

Once we got back to the campsite and showered, I called Rae. This conversation was full of questions. “Did you fall out? Was the water cold? What are you doing tomorrow? Did you get my prize yet???” During the conversation, I looked down where I was standing and spotted some clover. Just out of habit, I bent down to look through it. The first one I touched was a four-leaf clover. (I have never found one before!) I shared my excitement with Rae, she squealed with happiness. Of course, I had to send her a picture. We finished up with I love yous and goodbyes.

The first day of this trip has been full of beautiful reminders of things we often take for granted: a child’s simple happiness, amazing scenery, good times with good people, and hidden treasures in the grass. I greatly appreciate being able to join this group for their annual trip. It means so much to me.

And now I have to plan one for Rae to experience the mountains in the near future. 😀