A Good Day

happy baby

During the day yesterday I was looking up books on feelings and getting kids not to hit. I was dreading what the evening would bring with my toddler after multiple tantrums the night before that led into night terrors. Then… Buddy had a good day!

I came home and he wanted me to chase after him and we went round and round before I had a tickle fest at his expense. Buddy and Daddy read a bunch of books, then he did a great job at eating dinner. After, he played with his toys and took a nice bath.

To celebrate a peaceful evening we made Orange Julius. I measured the ingredients and he dumped them into the blender. He really enjoyed the treat and we praised him for being a very good boy.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. I’m looking forward to having more of these good days and less of the bad ones.

Happy Easter & Spring Break!

Photo credit: thejbird / Foter.com / CC BY

 

Lap Band From Hell

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I haven’t eaten anything in about two weeks. Well, I haven’t eaten anything except for yogurt and soup. I made tacos for dinner, my fav, and I couldn’t even have half of one and it came back up. I’ve been so stressed lately with the foster baby, stopping fertility treatments, my job, that something is going on with my lapband.

I don’t mean to be graphic, but some nights I have been getting such bad acid reflux that fluid has been coming out of my nose! I cough and choke, keeping me and my husband up half the night. So I’m not sleeping on top of everything.

I have lost about 7 lbs. in the meantime, but it’s not how I want to do it. I have been miserable. I have used up all my sick and personal time with my last foster baby, so I can’t really miss work. Also, my regular doc is out of town, so I got an appointment with the PA on Monday. He was absolutely no help. He just gave me a pill for acid reflux. I already have Previcid which doesn’t help. Friday I have an appointment with the surgeon who did my surgery. Hopefully he can help me get some relief. I haven’t had a fill in almost a year, so I know that’s not why.

My husband’s gastric bypass surgery is on Monday. I wish I had that done instead. I hope he has better luck than I have. The surgeon doesn’t even do lapbands anymore. If I knew then, what I know now… ugh!

Photo credit: medical-trip.com

I Am Not The Fun Parent

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I don’t know if it’s like this in every household, but in ours, there is the “I’m so fun and everything is a game parent,” and the “everything has a time and a place parent.” Guess which one I am? I am not the “fun” parent.

Buddy talks in mostly 2 word phrases. Well, he picked up a nice four word phrase this weekend…“I don’t want to!” We need to go brush your hair and teeth. “I don’t want to, Buddy said.” This may have been in response to my saying, “you don’t tell Mommy and Daddy no.” So, my darling child brings on the phrase, “I don’t want to.”

We count a lot at our house. For instance, “I’m going to count to five and if you don’t start brushing your teeth, I will do it for you.” Yes I did have to brush his teeth for him and he threw a royal fit, but the next day I showed him an Elmo music video about brushing his teeth and it’s been good ever since. Or, it’s dinner time, not play time, if you’re not in your chair by five, you’re going in your crib. Sometimes counting works, sometimes it doesn’t.

My mom said, “Really? Really, you’re going to count for a two year old?” But she also went awwwwww, when I told him not to hit me and he put his head down.

Hubby tries to sing songs and make things games and be the fun guy. I think everything has a time and a place. The great thing though, is that somehow it all works. We balance each other out and put things in perspective for each other. I don’t need to be so serious all the time and hubby realizes he does need to make sure he follows through. So, all in all, we make a good team! It will be a challenge while he is out for a month for his surgery. He has a 15 lb. weight restriction!

Photo credit: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/parenting-blog-roundup-080508-58479

This Is Only A Test

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If it were up to me, and it’s clearly not, there would be no tests in school. There are many ways to assess our children, but “the powers that be” decided that we should sit children down with their bright yellow, no. 2 pencils, a scantron and a multiple choice booklet and let that be the determination as to whether they are learning something or not. To the average person, that sounds like what has taken place in schools for years. Well, that doesn’t mean it’s right. Try doing that as a Special Education student and it brings along a heck of a lot more anxiety and stress on these young people.

Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students are given state tests and high schoolers are given Regents exams. So, to prepare our students for these tests, we give them, yes, that’s right, practice tests! So, along with their regular quizzes, tests and quarterly benchmark exams, they have three practice tests before the real thing. Now, most of my special ed students get double time on tests. So, if the average student gets half the day to do a test, it takes my students all day to do it. That means, that they are not only exhausted from testing all day, but they’re missing their classes during their three days of testing, putting them further and further behind.

Then there are the benchmark tests. Every quarter, students are assessed on what they’ve learned so far for the year. Well, my students need twice as long to take the tests and the tests are typically 2 days long. That means, that in their 5 core subjects, they have 5 tests that will take them 4 days each.

Now lets talk about the high school kids. There used to be RCT exams (Regents Competency Tests) that students could take, so that if they didn’t pass the regents exam, they could still get a local diploma if they pass the RCT. Well, they are phasing out the local diploma, so that is no longer an option. The only option is to pass the test. If they don’t pass the test, they don’t graduate. What about my students, that, no matter how hard they try, will never be able to pass a regents exam? They have some safety nets in place where, as long as they pass certain tests, they can still graduate. Well, that’s still not cool.

I just fear that one of these days I’m going to have to have a conversation with a parent about why their child isn’t going to graduate from high school because they can’t pass a test! Did they pass all of their classes? Yes! Did they try their best? Yes! Does it matter? Apparently not to the state.

Good luck to my middle schoolers who are in their second week of their third practice state tests before the real thing in three weeks.

Here is an article from our local paper. http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/could_you_pass_the_new_fifth-g_1.html#incart_river

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Photo credit: edbasic.com

Temper, temper!

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The potty training is going really well and Buddy stays dry all day except for naps, bedtime and pooping. He likes the stickers he gets as a reward and puts them all over his chart. Not quite in the manner I planned, but it’s working none the less. His aim isn’t always the greatest, but he tries. However, the temper tantrums are a completely different story!

He will have a meltdown with kicking, hitting and screaming that is ear piercingly horrible. These fits can come on because he doesn’t want me there, he doesn’t want my husband there or because the sky is blue. I guess this is part of being two and being unsure of how to express himself. Not easy to deal with nonetheless.

Buddy screamed at the top of his lungs because he wanted my fork and not the fork I gave him. Then he continued to throw subsequent forks on the floor, including mine. The other night he screamed for the monkey movie (Curious George), when it was time for bed. The amount of TV he watches has been an issue. That must be what he did with the majority of his time in other places. He threw himself on the floor and kicked and hit me because I came home a little late from work after stopping at the store for Pull-Ups and he wanted nothing to do with me.

So, to help keep the peace in our house, he’s starting to learn that we will not tolerate these behaviors. I’ll put him in his crib and let him cry for a few minutes if he’s already in mid-fit. This seems to work and he is more cooperative when I come back. I also try to give him some choices when I can and let him help out when I can. He can watch TV from the time he comes home from daycare until dinner is ready, then the TV is turned off (1/2 hour to an hour). Then, I give him a choice of a big fork or little fork, a blue plate or a red plate. Then he puts them on the table. When it’s time for bed, I ask him what he wants to do first, read books or blow dry his hair and brush his teeth. Surprisingly, he wants to do the later first. I guess he associates stories more with bedtime. I also let him pick out 2 books. If I come home from the store, I have him help me put the stuff away and talk to him about his day. Then he is more receptive of my being late.

He can be a very independent and bossy two year old, but when he smiles and laughs, he melts your heart. Together, we’re slowly but surely figuring things out.

Photo credit: Mish Bradley / Foter.com / CC BY

If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…

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..you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” There are many versions of this phrase, mantra or prayer that I was reminded of today by a friend. Another is, “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” I am not a real religious person, but sometimes it’s good to have reminders in life.

As you may have read in previous posts, I’m really struggling with the administration at my job. It has become so miserable for me and I’m stressed so much that I have been waking up every 5 minutes at night coughing and choking because of severe acid reflux. I can only have a couple of bites of food at each meal. I’m thinking I might have an ulcer. I even had to work this Saturday and I have to work next Saturday whether I wanted to or not. It doesn’t matter that my husband also works some weekends and I have a toddler at home. My boss even went so far as to yell at one of my special needs students saying that she didn’t try hard enough on her SAT test and he could just send her back to her old school where she was bullied. If it wasn’t that my husband is going in for gastric bypass surgery in a few weeks, I would ask to go out on medical leave since it’s effecting both my physical and mental health.

So, I did something about it! I have been putting in resumes and applying for jobs where I can, but it’s not easy finding teaching positions more than half way through a school year. Then, a few weeks ago I went on an interview. I think it went really well and he even called one of my references. It will be a very long commute and I’ll be working with emotionally disturbed kids, which will be challenging. However, there are better benefits and more pay and it will be with an organization I really want to be a part of. So, I hope it all works out.

Sometimes you need to put things in perspective and realize that no amount of speaking up or giving your opinion is going to change things and that can be frustrating. However, you need to know when it’s time to pack your bags and move on. Unfortunately life comes with many bills and priorities, so you have to put that into consideration too. Otherwise I would have been out the door months ago! I’m done with getting the same old crap that I’ve always gotten, so hopefully I’ll get the job and have the power to change that.

Photo credit: Jin Jinto / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

There’s a Potty In The House Tonight!

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Buddy has shown interest in using the potty. Sometimes when I put him on the toilet he goes and sometimes he doesn’t. Well, at daycare yesterday, he squat down in the corner to go. There was also the night where he had floaters in the bath tub. Fun times!

So, last night we brought him to Target and let him pick out a big boy potty chair. He chose one with Elmo in goggles, like he’s swimming in the “tank” and it has a “flusher.” I think his favorite part about going potty is flushing. He picked out Cars pull-ups and Mickey underwear. My husband found an Elmo potty DVD for us for him to watch. We got a poster board to make a potty chart and some pirate stickers. One hundred dollars later, he was all set!

What about me? What if I’m not ready for potty training? I’ve been his mom for all of 2 weeks now, so I’m feeling a little unprepared. I know it would be better than diapers, and cheaper, so that’s really appealing. I’ve just never done this before. Well, I guess considering he’s at daycare for 9-10 hours a day, I am only around for a small period of his training. Boy, that sentence just made me feel like crap. Another reason to quit my job!

So, I’m off to read up on training, so we can potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the tiiiimmme! Yes, I need sleep!

Photo credit: thejbird / Foter.com / CC BY

He’s The Cheese To My Macaroni

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I always thought that was the cutest line from the movie “Juno.” I even included it in my wedding vows three years ago when we got married. March 20 will be our anniversary and I’d like it to be nice. Well, we’ll at least have to do something nice on the weekend.

According to tradition, leather is the appropriate gift. I know he’d like a leather jacket, but with getting gastric bypass surgery next month, that would be an impossible gift size wise. Then I saw some cute his & her leather bracelets that you can personalize on Etsy. He’s not a big bracelet person though. Maybe a leather bound book by one of his favorite authors if I can find one for a reasonable price.

Another thing that I’d like to do is bake him a “True Love Cake.” I baked him this black forest-like cake (chocolate cake, almond frosting and cherry pie filling) for the first time when we were dating, and he went nuts for it. I haven’t made him one in a while, since I’m not really a baker, but that will be a nice treat. Then maybe my mom will watch Buddy, so we can go to his favorite restaurant and see a movie or something.

I’ve said it before, but I know he doesn’t hear it enough, my husband is wonderful! He is a great dad to Buddy and helps out immensely. He’s supportive through my ongoing struggles with my job and infertility. He’s my best friend and my love and I hope to have many more wonderful years with this great man!

Photo credit: Candida.Performa / Foter.com / CC BYIsn’t that the sweetest pic above? Love that lasts the test of time!

 

When Things Go Bump in the Night

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Buddy has sleep/night terrors. The poor thing doesn’t wake up, but screams out “No!” or cries. He is very restless and tosses and turns like crazy. Needless to say, my husband and I don’t sleep much either.

I read about the night terrors and I guess there is no way of comforting them, but how can I not at least go in and check on him? I’ll rub his back or his belly, stroke his hair and he blissfully drifts back off, but this will happen upwards of 5-6 times a night. Thankfully “experts” say that he shouldn’t remember the episodes, which is good, because being that he is only two, he wouldn’t really be able to express what happened in them anyway.

We do our best to keep a routine for him. He has two night lights, a sound machine and a turtle that projects stars on the ceiling. He comes home from daycare and plays with toys and watches the Disney Channel. We eat dinner. Then he plays some more. After, I give him a bath with lavender scented bubbles. Next, I lotion him all up and put on his pj’s. We read a book or two. Then we say the names of the things on his walls (Pooh, Tigger, Eeoyre, Piglet, Flowers, Bees, etc.). Then I say, “you had a good day today.” You did this and that, etc., recapping his day for him. I give him and his doggy, owl and star turtle a hug and kiss and put him down. If he fusses, I tell him that Mommy, Daddy, the kitties and doggy are here to keep him safe and we’ll be just downstairs.

I always ask him in the morning if he had a good night’s sleep and he’ll say yes, but he’s very crabby and clingy. So he either is not getting a good night’s sleep, or he’s like me and is NOT a morning person. Sometimes he won’t want anything to do with my husband, until he does something to make him laugh. That’s tough because I depend on him to help get Buddy ready in the morning so that I can walk the dog.

Anyway, I hope that Buddy will get a better night’s sleep soon. I think we have a good routine for him and it will just take a little time. He’s only been with us a short while and has had to make a lot of adjustments in his short life. He’s a good boy and I just want him to be happy.

Photo credit: thejbird / Foter.com / CC BY

Time Flies When You Have a Two Year Old

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We need to move to Europe where they have shorter work days or the Caribbean, where if it doesn’t get done today, it can always get done tomorrow, because the weekends are non-existent!

Friday my parents took the baby (I’ll call him Buddy from now on) and me out to dinner for some awesome fish tacos, one of my favs! Saturday, we just relaxed and napped when Buddy napped, so nice! Having a two year old is exhausting. On Sunday we had to make up for being lazy on Saturday. So, as soon as Buddy got up at 7:30 am, I cleaned up a storm and did laundry. We were out the door by 10:30am to go grocery shopping. We went for tacos at Moe’s for lunch (do you sense a trend here?). Buddy took a nap. Then he watched the movie Bolt twice as he played with toys. We had dinner and then it was time for bed.

Ummmm…. Where did the weekend go? What did we do? A whole lot of nothing! When we were at Moe’s Buddy saw a baby and said, ” Who’s that? My baby, my baby!” I forgot that he had a 6 month old baby at his last foster home. I’m sure he missed him or her. It also made me think of our last foster baby, who I miss very much and I wonder how he is doing. He will be 9 months old tomorrow.

So then I got thinking that maybe I do want to pursue IVF after all. There is nothing like a baby.

Photo credit: jenny downing / Foter.com / CC BY