Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life makeover... I know, it sounds like a bad magazine article!!!!

A while back, I blogged about the fact that I put off things I don't like... things that are uncomfortable, scary, anything related to pain of any kind, things that will quite frankly take too much time in this "busy" life of mine!!!

Gary and I were sitting in Seamus' dr's office a few weeks back and Gary needed to check his appt time with his own dr-my dr too. They are in the same building, which as an aside, so is our dentist so it makes it really easy!!! Anyway, he went out in the hall and I reminded him that he needed to turn left for the stairs and he looked at me a little "confused-like" and said "Our doctor moved his office over two years ago...seriously Suzin has it really been that long".... and yes, indeed it has.

So, in a moment of bravery, I walked across the hall and booked an appointment. The receptionist greeted me saying "oh hey stranger" and after looking in my chart informed me that my last appt was December 6, 2006-I was pregnant with Mahone and apparently had a cold or something!!! Well, that was a little sobering.

Since 2006 I have perhaps attended 20 doctors appts for my kids. I have called and booked and reminded Gary of probably 5 appointments. Yet somehow I couldn't make the time or get the energy for me to go...

My appt was yesterday and I did not want to go. I had wrapping to do and Santa pictures and baking with Seamus and a basement to reorganize to make room for gifts, and...... I was going to call and reschedule and I completely rationalized that it is Christmas break and I really need to be with the family, not an hour in the drs office and really, it is not much of a break if I have appts and .....

But I am pretty sure Gary would have freaked out if I did that and really, for that reason only, I went. My doctor is a very old (in his late 70s for sure) man from South Africa, who still makes housecalls and is as thorough as you can possibly be.I was in with him for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Apparently when you have not been there in a while, there is lots of checking and talking that needs to be done.

Apparently, I am good-no bumps or marks where they shouldn't be, apparently really good circulation-who knew!! I did however gain about 25 pounds since I last saw him, my blood pressure is elevated and my hormones and moods therefore, are totally unregulated-looking at some meds for that right now until the natural impact of weight loss and decrease stress will hopefully even some of that out!!!

Throughout the appt, he kept reminding me that as a mom and wife, it is actually more impt that I take the time to see him, to keep my health in check, to get out walking and ease off the pasta, to take time to breath and slow down enough for my blood pressure to rest!!!

So that was his prescription for me. It is easier to fill a prescription for some magic pill than to basically change your life patterns, but that's what's needed so here I go!!!

With everything that has been going on this fall-Gary's job loss, Seamus' really struggling, needing different meds and big issues at school and big issues on the ice leading to us not allowing him to play for a time, with Mahone going through a crazy screaming phase that with my depleted energy I don't think I am managing well, with so so so many crisis with my kids and families at work, with financial reserves running low...well, a life makeover (sounds a little corny I know, but that is the only way I know how to describe it) is in order!!

That is scary to me and exciting a little... and somehow when the doctor is "prescribing" it, it justifies the time spent on myself to me.. You see I am one of those moms that feel guilty away from the children, feel guilty when they are left with grandparents or even Gary, for me to do something FOR ME! Seems selfish and just not what a "good mom" does, but you see, my dr told me I had to, so that is permission for me.

It was a wake-up call, it was scary to see the scale and the blood pressure (which my mom, in her moment of comfort, reminded me that high blood pressure is a silent killer!!! Thanks mom), but you know what, I am SO glad I walked in that office!!!! It really was just what I needed!!!!!!

me

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This is breakfast...

So it is a hockey morning here, which means Seamus and Gary left the house at 5:15. Mahone always wakes early that day as well-hearing the noises in the morning in a tiny house will do that!!

On these mornings... who am I kidding... on every morning, my boys eat their breakfast in the living room in front of the TV. Yeah, I know that we should eat together at the table, I know it encourages bad habits and mindless eating... I also know that I need to shower, make lunches, and get out of the house in record time in the morning, so we do what works!!!! We do make good breakfasts for the most part-eggs a least a couple of times a week, oatmeal, pancakes, sometimes toast or cereal. I have this thing about them having something hot in the morning!!!

But when it is just Mahone and I, I bring on "the tray"-a small wicker tray with wooden holders that I bought at a yard sale for .50 cents We use this tray almost everyday-for snacks after school, before bed, small lunches.. and on Tuesday morning, Mahone's breakfast.


This is the smile he gives for every picture... and yes, he is sitting on our coffee table!!!


What I would love to have is some suggestions for some healthier whole food versions of my breakfast staples....cheerios (these are banana nut) and bran crackers ( I kid you not, my children love Presidents Choice Bran mini crackers). The cheese, apples, oranges and milk I feel pretty good about, but if you read the ingredients in the cereal and the bran crackers.....well, that I am not so sure. Maybe it is fine and sometimes even good things have weird sounding ingredients.. right????

I have found that lately-within the last month-I have been buying food I don't usually buy-can anyone say canned Vienna Sausages (and I use the word sausage loosely!!), and have felt that even though our budget is tighter... so much tighter, I need to stay true to what I feed my family, and myself for that matter. Living outside of my values, even in this small area, is not feeling good!!!!

So, I am looking for budget friendly tips for convenience food-you know, crackers, granola bars, cereal!!

Here's to breakfast!!

me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Beautiful

I work with children who have been severely physically, sexually, emotionally abused... Children who have been neglected, exposed to domestic violence, forgotten.....

This is my life's work. There are days I can't catch my breath because their horror is too much to bear. There are days when I laugh and go to Dairy Queen-because they have never even been to Dairy Queen. There are days when I am angry and fighting with a parent, a teacher, a judge...

I have been doing this work for a long time-10+ years and people who are new ask me all the time how I learn to seperate myself and my life from my work-how do I put all the sadness in a box. I tell them I don't. I don't ever want to do that... While it hurts, I want to feel it every time. It should always bother me when a child talks about beatings and middle of the night intrusions and watching mommy inject herself with needles... THAT SHOULD ALWAYS HURT AND I DON'T WANT THAT EVER IN A BOX.  It should absolutely effect my sleep, my relationships, my parenting. If I start to lose that... if I become desensitized, then I will leave.

What gives me hope is that I know is God is bigger than their abuse. He is bigger than their history, their trauma, their confusion.... I tell them God created them for a purpose and that while there is nothing in me that believes God caused their abuse, He can certainly use their horror for good... He specializes in turning hell into heaven...



                      

Please know that if you have had any of these experiences.... if you have not known safety, have not felt loved..... to God, you are Beautiful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Would the real me stand up?

Could there be two people existing in the same body... I don't mean in a "mentally unwell manner", just in the everyday-who am I way.

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday and we were talking about how people can be one way at work, yet someone almost completely different outside of work...

of course we were talking about someone in particular and it was easy to find example after example of how this person is "so different" at home and all the ways in which their personality just isn't the same at work.. and "isn't that a shame, " and "so terrible to have to try so hard to be something your are not, " and "how sad to be so different-where is the personal integrity."

When all of a sudden, I realized hey, is that me sometimes. Am I someone different in all the different settings of my life. Am I one person at work, one person at home, one person at church, one person out with one group of friends, someone else with another, one person online, one person "real world?"

I would like to think the core of me is there; that I do have some set version of me, my values, my personality, but for certain, I can change myself according to my surroundings. I guess that's why I am desperately seeking....

My friend said she was surprised the name of my blog-desperately seeking.... she said I am someone who knows myself... yeah... not so much!

I know my values, I know my beliefs, but how to live them out, how to really be me in my skin-I haven't figured that out at all.

There's nothing like a shake-up in your life to really get your mind working/questioning/reanalyzing.. I think sometimes that's the point.
Me

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

getaway

So with everything going on, with all the craziness, we knew we just had to go!!

You see I already had taken two days off work and had already booked the babysitter-AKA Grandma-as Gary had a conference in Deerhurst Resort he was to attend for work. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I was looking forward to going with him. I have only left the children once for 2 nights-and that was more than a year ago-so quite frankly, mama was due for a break. and Gary would be working all day, but we would have time together at night and in the day, I am pretty sure I could find something to occupy me-can anyone say SPA!

So with the news that came last Tuesday, is it wrong to say that I almost immediately went to "but my getaway, my Muskokas"... yes, sometimes I am THAT selfish!!!

So on Thursday, I came home from work and said-that't it, we are going. The house was kind of tense... we were talking and talking and talking about his job, what happened, speculating as to why (we still have no idea), worrying and fretting, laughing, crying.... to be honest, we were not really focused on the children. So every time they needed us, it was like nails on a chaulkboard... is that wrong for a good mom to say... we were just so consumed with us, with our needs, with his needs, we couldn't really be there for them. So in some respects, I knew this would be better and maybe just what was needed... now, more than ever.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast for two nights-no tv, no phone, no internet-just us, wine, and a ton of books!! Somehow over the two days, some things became clear, some plans made, some decisions firmed up, souls mended, some anger and bitterness prayed through...

so, while things are not all better-he still is not working, they didn't change their mind and ask him to come back to work, and no one is beating our door down with job offers, it FEELS better for him....

Losing his job was perhaps one of the better things for me-it clarified some things, it forced me to take a look at our lifestyle, pride that was growing in me, messed up priorities and a lifestyle of busy that I could not maintain. But for him... well, that's different. It has shaken him somewhere deep, and sometimes just talking it through and spending time being built back up by your helpmate.... well, that's what's needed.

never underestimate the power of a get-away... and while it may not have made the most financial sense, it may not have really been the best timing... it was most definitely the best thing!!!!!!

Me

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I AM A PROPHET FROM THE LORD..

Okay... well, maybe not exactly. I am no Joshua (how I love that Veggie Tales Movie), but wow, does the Lord ever have a way of revealing and preparing..

You see life as we have known it for 5 years has come to a screeching halt. I may not have been able to predict exactly what has occurred, but I can tell you, my soul was prepared. 

I knew something was coming. I wrote about it on this blog in July and October. This sense from God that something had to give-something was going to be taken away. To be honest, I had such a revelation about it,  I was worried-Dare I say I was scared that what He was going to require would be too much for me to bare.

I spoke about it with friends-this gnawing sense that our life was in for a shake-up. I wrote about it in my journal. Gary and I spoke about it so so so many times. 

So on Tuesday when my husband greeted me after work with "I lost my job", with tears in his eyes and worry written all over his face......can I say that I was slightly relieved. OH THAT'S IT!!!!!

It isn't the children, it isn't our extended family, it isn't me.....

I am NOT minimizing this in any way. My husband had a GREAT job and like many men, it became his whole identity. It was who he was! and he is a really really hard worker and waking up and having no where to go-well, that is unsettling to say the least. Financially, it is a HUGE kick in the belly and I have been walking around with a budget and a calculator for three days.

So I am not saying in any way that it doesn't hurt. That the sting isn't real. Gary is angry, disappointed, worried, relieved, sad, optimistic all wrapped up in one... and as a wife, sometimes I really don't know what to say to him, how to support him... and I don't like that feeling, because while I am not wife of the year, one thing I do well is support-be in his corner, and to be honest, I don't know what he needs. 

But how gracious is God. How marvelous is He... that he would have been preparing my soul for exactly this. that he would be creating a discontent in me with regards to Gary's job (oh the hours, the late nights, the weekends, the business trips......), a discontent with the pace of it all, trying to juggle his high profile, intense career, with mine-perhaps not as high profile, but certainly intense-and oh yeah....parenting two children, and having friends, and living!!!

We both woke up a couple of days ago, looked at each other and KNEW... without a shadow of doubt-we would be okay; things will work out; this will be for the best,even if it doesn't feel like it now. God is doing a work in our family, in me, in my husband, in our lifestyle, and who knows, there may be more "weeding" required, but somehow we will work through it...

The fog has lifted for me- and while I am scared as all get out, and have more questions than answers, and who in the world knows how in the bills get paid..... I feel better than I have in months!!!!

Me


Saturday, October 30, 2010

time - out

Sorry for the absence.

Life is going too fast and the 2 x 4 has arrived-those who read earlier entries know what I mean.

This is beyond having a bad day; beyond the everyday busy.

Life is hurting a little; creating in me something I don't like-a constant "edge", a constant discontent.

So I have taken a break from lots of things-no computer, no phone, no email, nothing outside of the bare necessities. Even that really isn't enough, so I am pretty sure something else is going to have to give-hence, the hurt.

I know in the end it all works out-in the end it doesn't just work out-it is better. I have been through enough of these trials of faith to know that-it is just hard to live through it.

me

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Really......6am....

So I knew life was going to change when the letter arrived. I may not have a lot of experience with this sort of thing, but I knew my life was going to be consumed in an incredible way......

The letter: we received it last May and it informed us that Seamus had made the AA Rep Hockey team in our town. This is the best he can play for his age, and oh boy was he over the moon!! He had worked hard, tried out, and did his very best. Is it wrong that a very small part of me was kind of hoping the answer was no..yeah, I know it was wrong.

You see Rep hockey requires tons of money....and I mean tons.... and lots of travel. I kind of had my head around all of that and for a girl who rarely stayed in hotels growing up, I LOVE THEM, and this could be fun right???

But practices 6:00am every Tuesday morning-practices in which you need to be there 1/2 hour before and we live about 10 minutes away....well, you get the picture. Seamus rolled out of bed today at 5:10.....

The only bright spot of this..... Gary brings him!!!!!!!!!

Me

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I hate my life.....

Do you know how many times I have thought, mumbled, sometimes shouted those words in the last few weeks. 


To say I have been in a funk would be putting it mildly. I mean I know I am moody. I get that... I always have been a little high and low, but this- well.....it is nothing but low!!!!


Work has been unbearable in so many ways, and while I thought I saw a light at the end of this tunnel, it left. 


Mahone, who was my laid back, easy going baby, has become a three year old crazy boy. Hitting, screaming, saying no, complete defiance, easily frustrated, bossy-I could go on and on, but I think I should stop there. He has started a daycare/pre-school and while he loves it and is doing great, he continues to cry all the way in the car driving there and cries until we drop him off and leave-what a fun way to start the day-insert sarcasm.


Since we have come back from vacation, Gary has been away twice... have I said before I don't do well when Gary is away. Our parenting routines are meant for two people. I cannot even imagine how single moms do this!!!


Seamus' school is always stressful for me. I am so so invested in it being the best it can be for him and there have been so many changes at the school, and I don't deal well with change.


Money is tighter than it should be-where is it all!!! Oh yeah, Seamus now plays Rep hockey, which means thousands of dollars and life lived at the rink-and lots of travel-like every weekend travel!!!!!

and I am tired.....oh I am so tired..... I have visions of life on my own-no children, no husband, no responsibilities!!! To join a convent-can  you do that when you are not Catholic??? To live with an Amish family and learn to quilt, to be in the bathroom by myself!!!! Now wouldn't that be luxury.....

So, needless to say-things here have been somewhat gray.....

and wouldn't you know it-that is when God shows up..Doesn't He always....


He has surrounded me with the deepest sorrow lately. Reading this has been heartbreaking. Ann's pictures of the poorest of the poor, the meeting of the child she sponsors through Compassion, the stories she shares of heartbreak and fear!!!! Stories on the radio of a baby born with a heart defect and needing surgery and nearly dying at 3 days old-how does one ever cope. A mother of three young children, healthy, doing everything right, discovers she has breast cancer-stage 3, a teacher loses her job at the only school she has ever worked....

and I hate my life.... Really..how could I even think it, say it, feel it!!!!!! I have so so so much

healthy, happy and yeah, a little crazy, boys;
a husband who is truly a saint, who makes me tea, and cleans and tells me to lie down
a house-and a pretty nice one at that-decorated with all the luxury and coziness
money for fun things, for Starbucks, for nights out with friends, for hockey!!
a career that I love; that I get to be a factor in changing a child's life
family, and mother-in-laws to pick up my children, and start my laundry, and listen to me vent and curse
friends to go out with and dance and be silly and act like we are in university again

My life is pretty great-I think I better go and tell my husband and kids that!!!!!!!!

Me

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to School Blues....

Oh he was so so excited. He could barely sleep last night. The book-bag was packed, the pencils sharpened, new erasers and highlighters and a pencil case, new indoor shoes that are just perfect.... all in the bag, organized and ready. Special breakfast this morning-pancakes, his favorite. Gary was up early, had everything ready and cooked for him so when he woke up, he could smell it and eat right away. Smiles as large as anything.......

Until we get there......

You see I knew he wasn't getting the fun teacher, the one that everyone wants, the one that is SOOO laid back and builds tree forts and plays Mantracker and always smiles and never yells!!! I have had many many conversations-perhaps too many-with the teachers deciding what would be best for Seamus this year. He has had the BEST teachers...in fact, back in my " I would never put my children in public school days" I didn't think teachers like this existed, but oh they do and they were wonderful... still are wonderful. He had very strong, very firm, yet very kind and wise female teachers, but this year he wanted something different, and to be honest I wanted something different for him too....and well, the fun Mr. Mac would have been just great...

But not to be and I knew it. So, I spent the last couple of weeks preparing him. Highlighting how much the other teacher-the once again, firm, strong and kind female-really was great, and really really wanted him in her class, and how he is just oh so smart and works so hard that being with the grade 4s, in a 3/4 split class would mean he could learn so many cool things, and that I was "pretty sure" his very best friend was going to be in that split class. He never really processed it out loud with me, but the last couple of days I heard him talk even more about how great it would be to be with that best friend, and how in "her class, we will get to build these really cool castles and learn more about knights and midevil times"-he really was working hard to convince himself this was going to be alright...

But this morning, when all of his other friends were running around screaming with delight that they were in Mr. Mac's and when his very very best friend wasn't there because they decided to spend an extra couple days in Germany-where they are from-and he is standing in line watching so outgoing and laughing Mr. Mac high five everyone and his teacher comes out, so prim and proper and reminds them to "stay in line" and there is no one-no real close friend there with him.......

Well, let's just say that Mama came over and he came home with me-just until recess. Just so we could process that best friend will be back very soon and she really is a nice teacher and he does have friends there, just maybe not the ones he was thinking, and he will learn about castles and knights and wow, he is so stinking smart.......and after some tears-from both of us to be honest, he was ready to go back and he did, quite well I might add and went bravely into that classroom and blew a kiss good-bye saying "I'm fine now mom." and I left.....

left to go to the office to ask about these class lists and really....no other close friend... and really couldn't he have the fun one for once and we talk and we talk and when I am done talking and hashing it all out, I feel better. I know he needs to be there, I know he simply CANNOT handle SOOOO laid back and that he is too bright and when bored, wow, he acts up and he starts to look like a really "bad kid" and that I assure you he is not.....

So today I am thankful.... thankful that Seamus has come so far that with some time and processing and talking it through, he was able to get it together and be so brave to go back to that not-so-fun class. I am thankful that his teachers really are looking out for him-even if it doesn't feel like it-and they are SOO SOOO invested in him having a good year and that I could talk to them and lay out my concerns and to be honest, they would have switched him, they really would have, and isn't that great, and for the extra support staff they have to talk with him about hockey and to ask about the summer and make him feel okay when he is missing that best friend......

I cannot ever believe there was a time that I spoke so terribly about "the public school system". Seamus, with his whole host of things/issues/struggles/quirks-he is thriving and learning like crazy and they are great, really really great. and he has met the most interesting kids-kids from totally different cultures, and value systems, and family make-ups and I LOVE IT. He isn't just learning about those things, he is living it and wow, those are so amazing life lessons to learn when you are 7-about faith and being true to Jesus when your really great friend is Muslim, about saying no to violent video games when you play at a friends house who is allowed to play anything, about saying sorry and realizing that our friends, even at 7 can mean everything and we can really hurt them.......

Rocky start, but I have a feeling this is going to be a good one.....

me

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Superhero

I am in the shower and I hear it.... the same thing I hear just about everytime I take a shower. Running, hard thumps, screaming, and general noise....up to no good noise!!!

I am just about to yell out, to remind them of the rules of the house, to tell them STOP in perhaps not the most friendly manner, when wait.... what is that I here:

"I am the superhero now, where is that villian? Run oh run as fast as you can," with more screaming and running. But that voice is not the children, it's my husband Gary.

I guess he decided to join in the fun and who I am to stop that!!!

To be honest, with the shift in perspective-smiling as I stand there soaking wet and picturing them running all through the house, laughing at daddy who is now wearing a really really small red cape-the noise didn't seem so bad and I found myself wondering what do I always feel the need to STOP IT.... to make their play clean and tidy, quiet and controlled.

Life is messy and loud and chaos and craziness. Wow, that is hard for me to accept. I have the vision in my mind about what my life should look like and sometimes two really active, loud, dare I say aggressive sports loving, wrestling fanatics, boys don't always fit into my perfect vision. Silly really...

I am so busy cleaning up from my life, that I am actually not living it!!!

For that moment, Dad was Superhero because he allowed himself the pure pleasure of joining, accepting them both for exactly who they are and flying through the house in a red cape...

Now that's living....

Me

PS: sorry for the quietness on this space. Thanks for the emails wondering-at least I know you are out there!!! Work has really really been beyond busy, in fact, emotionally very difficult with tough decisions being made for children and really tough days. At the end, I barely have enough to give to those who are the most important. Things are looking up though and settling, so life should resume a little more like normal.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The worst about the going is the leaving....

We have returned from our vacation in Nova Scotia.  We arrived home at around 8:00 on Saturday night and I cannot even tell you how wonderful it was to get out of the car after two days and 18 hours of driving. The children were unbelievable for the journey, including our not-quite-there toilet training 3 year old. I will say however that I am unsure how I would do that drive without portable DVD players... there are only so many kids songs to sing and road games to play....

We had the best time as per usual. We stay with cousins on a dairy farm-they have 4 children, about forty seven toy tractors and patience and love unlike any family I know. I sincerely mean that-they are hands down the most wonderful family I have ever been around. I am not saying they are perfect-I am not saying we would live the exact same way-but my oh my, it is just so warming to be with them. Gracious, welcoming, nurturing and the best food you can eat!!!!! Taken care of for a week-who wouldn't love it.

Of course something so good is so bad to leave. It aches, it stings, it smurts (as we say in Newfoundland..)While I love my life, I love my home (okay, that is a stretch, but you get the point), it is hard to drive out of that driveway and away from that life and those people. Seamus did really well. He said good-bye, which was more than he could do last year as he was crying in the back seat. He really talked about getting home and playing with his friends here. He really was fine....until we pulled in the driveway and he jumped out of the car and just stood there. I went to him, kneeling before him and he began to sob. I don't mean cry a little tear, have a little moment.... I mean SOB. I held him, rubbed his back, carried him in the house.."now that I see my house, I really know we are home mom and I don't want to be here, I want to be there." He begged and begged for us to get back in the car and drive as quickly as we could back to the farm, his cousins, his family, the life he wants to live.  I just held him and told him I know he misses it, I miss it, we will be back again, how wonderful we have somewhere to visit with people who love us, and on and on.... He continued to sob, shaking, losing control. Cold cloths, reminders to breath..

Wow, the depth of the sweet is matched with the depth of the bitter....and oh how sweet it is...


                                                        The view from the front yard.




                The beloved table, where we were served the best home cooking and where we spent literally hours of our time. 





The ocean-Seamus' first request is to go back to the ocean-the walked the shores for almost 2 hours, discovered a waterfall and secret caves. We then ate fish, caught right at this spot, and after supper, returned to the shore. The tide was in and there shore was gone. Of course, that just meant we stood in it and felt the cold ocean water and felt the power of the waves. A highlight of the trip as it was last year. There really is something about the ocean that takes your breath away.





Almost daily trips to the cottage. It is only 5 minutes away, up the hill. This literally is the way we drove there. I know, I know.... I am sure a few laws are being broken here, but we survived....



The cottage-where we sat, relaxed, swam, cooled off, played ball, ate.....



The Fisheries Museum...Oh what fun that was in an historic community-Lunenburg, home of the Bluenose. The whole town has been designated a Unesco World Heritage Site, so it has to remain true to its history. I loved the colors of the homes-purple, yellow, blue... Breathtaking. We had a horse drawn buggy tour of the town, we explored all the sea creatures and boats, and the boys ended their day with a boat tour, where they went fishing, saw "the tail of a whale mom I am sure" and saw the most beautiful seal-5 feet from the boat, showing off for them. Magnificient!!! It really was a great day, even with Mahone breaking down towards the end... really, what could you expect!!!!



                      We spent an afternoon at Halifax Harbour. I love that city!!! We had an amazing time with exploring everything. The Navy boat was it and Mahone LOVED the lighthouse. It was so busy, but so great. Right on the warf, there are bouncy castles and kids activities, so Mahone and Seamus were having a ball. I kept asking-"they can't fall out of this right?" If they fell, it would have been in the Atlantic ocean... You could spend weeks in Halifax and not see everything. Simply the best city!!!!


Nightly hockey games, in which Kyla (who is 10) set up elaborate tickets, admission and assigned seating in the basement. this was serious stuff. I must have hours of video of this. Hard to keep Mahone out of the way of the puck..Mahone and the dog actually... but he became the video guy, so he was happy. These games started around 10:00pm so that should give you a sense of our non-existant bedtime routine. We basically all collapsed in the same bed the same time every night-sometimes close to 11:30. We slept in... well, the children did. Gary and I got up and had our tea before our days really started. Every morning, again around the big table for a big breakfast. I really enjoy the way these farmers eat!!!!!!


Mahone's eating companion, Chad. For almost every meal, Mahone sat with Chad to eat and most often, ate right off his plate. Chad, who is leaving this fall for Agriculture College to follow the path of his father, and grandfather, and great grandfather... well, you get it. He was Mahone's most faithful friend, taking him for rides of the tractors and Skidsteers, showing him all the cows and around all the barns. Tickling and teasing, and laughing and hanging upside down and pretending to be "baby Darth Vadar " (Don't ask me, I have no idea how you play baby Darth Vadar but apparently Mahone does!!!) I have never seen a more patient, sensible, kind and warm teenage boy!!! What a blessing he was to us. 


And we are home..... the suitcases are unpacked, the gifts and souvenirs delivered to friends, the coolers emptied. Yesterday, we were bone tired!!! The boys, including Gary, were slightly silly they were so tired!!! Mahone napped, Seamus spent the afternoon with his neighbor friends, I bought bags and bags full of groceries, and Gary watched Harry Potter. 


Seamus asks this morning "do you think we can ever move there mom, I mean ever?" We talk about all we would miss here and our really great life and all of our blessings and how much fun visiting is and how living somewhere is different and on and on.... He just looks at me and says he gets it, but again "ever mom?" 

Me.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Homeward Bound.....well, sort of.....



We are leaving today for Nova Scotia. It is kind of a last minute decision. This year, I didn't take a lot of holidays for the summer and Seamus was in Lacrosse Provincials in Whitby during some of my vacation time, so we don't have that much time or quite frankly, that much money....but the lure of the East Coast and the begging from the children to see their cousins and the farm was too much and we have given in. We are so so excited.

I am from Newfoundland and love to visit there. I haven't been in some time now, but that takes more time and more money, so it will have to wait a little while. That's the next trip for sure. Newfoundland is home to me and I cannot describe the feeling of comfort and all being familiar I have when I am there.

BUT....Nova Scotia is home for us in so many ways. I met Gary there, we went to University there (ACADIA), Gary has family with a huge dairy farm and people so good they are unreal!!! When we are there, we are completely at peace. It just feels right and good and wonderful. The children adore it and spend hours playing with their cousins, riding tractors and looking at the cows, swimming in the lake and playing XBOX (perhaps something Seamus is looking forward the most!!!) If we could live anywhere, it would be there!!!!

So this space will be very quiet for a week...

Me

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One of THOSE days....already

Have you ever had one of THOSE days....and it is only 7:45am?


Welcome to my morning!!!

It started fine, and to be honest I am not even sure where it took it's turn. Seamus lost a tooth yesterday so he woke up excited as anything that there was money in his tooth pouch. He seemed okay, content, settled, fine. Gary was helping make breakfast, I was making lunches (Seamus is at hockey camp so back making lunches this week), and it all was going along nicely.....

I looked at the clock, realized Gary and Seamus only had 15 minutes to be ready. They were in the room "chewing the fat" (talking nothing) and I said, perhaps not in the best tone to Gary, enough of that. We need to get everything ready. Okay, I admit, I was rushing, but I know how it will be when it is 7:30 and they are not ready. I also know how long it takes Seamus to do his morning routines, so I need to set the pace.. Well, that had to be it-that had to be THE MOMENT when it all went to pot!!!!!

Shortly after, Seamus is screaming (and when he screams/blow, he really does!!! I cannot even describe how dysregulated he becomes), becoming very defiant and argumentative. NOTHING was right. He didn't want that bread, didn't want it toasted, didn't want butter, didn't want to wear that shirt.... I think you get the picture. Of course, he is screaming all of this to us and well..let's just say after some time of patiently ignoring him and taking deep breaths, I start to scream back. Enter Gary to the rescue, however by this time Seamus has pushed ALL of his buttons and Gary is not exactly in the peaceful frame of mind. Mahone is outside playing. But of course, in the midst of it all, he comes back inside. Seamus continues to blow and we realize we have lost him.

We have "lost" him many times before. More often when he was not medicated, but lately a little more often again. Bipolar Disorder in children looks different than in adults. It is not the highs and lows per se, it is an extreme general irritability. When I say extreme, I mean EXTREME, DESTRUCTIVE, INTENSE, LOUD!!! I know this and I know really he is not in control, but in the moment, it is so hard to keep control myself. It is so hard to be yelled at, disrespected, called names.... even a mother can have her feelings hurt!!!!

He settles and begins to cry. That is the way it goes for him. A full cycle in 20 minutes. He has had his high, here is his low. He leaves for camp and my heart is as heavy as lead. I don't want that to be the way he goes out into the world!!!

Mahone of course is now screaming because I have told him he needs to come in to get ready for the day. He starts to hit my leg and I kid you not, throw his shoes at me. I have deja vu as I remember Seamus throwing his shoes at me when he was younger. I am triggered and frightened. I don't want the same for him. I am desperate for Mahone to just be "normal"-whatever that means!!!! I am calm by now, which is better. I gently escort him to his room in silence, where he is to stay until his shoe throwing moments are passed. He is there for only a couple of minutes and I realize-Seamus would have been there for an hour-I am filled with hope again-just normal 3 year old stuff!!!

So now, in writing this, I have taken the 10 minutes to breath and focus on something other than wondering why God would let me, with all of my faults and shortcomings, parent such a high needs boy? and wondering what is wrong with me that I just can't keep my cool in all of this? and wondering how to go about my time letting this go?

and really getting God's grace, just a little, because despite the name calling and the defiance, all of my thoughts of Seamus now are good and wonderful and sweet and vulnerable.

My goodness.. it is only of THOSE mornings, but here's to it being a better day!!

Me

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The 2x4.....



I am feeling God nudge.....I am somewhat scared of what He is asking me....My not listening isn't my not hearing, it is my disobedience.

A rainbow, a sign of hope and faithfulness and trust-first shown to Noah after the flood....after he listened to God's nudge, and was faithful. That faithfulness was not without consequence. He was isolated from his peers,  he was teased and critized. I am sure there was some conflicts in his relationships with his family-I can imagine his wife thinking he may have gone just a little crazy. and yet, HE OBEYED.

Decisions are being made in this home, plans are being written down, commitments are being finalized. Not sure if I am ready to build the arc quiet yet, but I have the building plan and materials.

I believe God nudges, because he is oh so gracious and patient with us. He whispers gently, he leads softly....until you ignore Him, you reject Him, you disobey Him....and then He doesn't nudge, He pushes. He uses a 2x4 and He gets you to get it...to get Him.

The last time I needed the 2x4, Seamus was 15 months old, in a hospital bed, hooked up to goodness knows what, and I was sitting in a rocking chair, worried, terrified actually, and the specialist told my husband that if we were 5 minutes later, he would've died, and I continued to rock and rock and weep at my choices, weep at the times I felt God nudge and didn't listen, and I held my baby, careful of the tubes, and I offered him up as my sacrifice, my Isaac, and was thankful that God provided a ram-so thankful.

I live in the awareness of those moments, so when the nudging comes, I halt....

I'm not saying God caused my child to be sick to teach me a lesson. I am not saying that God makes horrible things happen to get back at us for being willful and rebellious. I do however people that the One who controls everything, the entire creation, has the right to use anything, to allow anything, to show us HIM.

The last time it was my beloved child, my richest blessing, my most cherished. What will God use this time if I continue in disobedience? What will it take to get my attention? What will be required for sacrifice?

I am feeling God nudge.........

Me

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another World......

So a couple of nights ago, my in-laws were driving the children to the arena for Seamus' lacrosse. They had a extra minute or two, so they decided to drive through the cemetery-Seamus' most favorite thing to do. I kid you not! He LOVES cemeteries; points them out on all of our drives; likes looking at the headstones, reading information about people-I mean it is his best field trip!!!! Weird maybe, but there are more unusual things right????

Anyway...... So Mahone is in the back seat looking around. He has not been to cemeteries like Seamus and my in-laws were clear that they told him NOTHING about the place-just driving through an odd looking field. Mahone then calls out from the back seat in such a surprised, I-just-remembered-something, expression "Hey, I used to work here."

Continuing down the lane, he states in hushed tones "I met God in this forest."

At that exact point, they were driving be my mother-in-law's grandparent's headstones....

The next night, he is sitting playing MoonSand with his gramma and out of nowhere-"I liked taking care of you when you were a baby." In two days, it is the anniversary of my mother-in-law mother's death. She says every year around this time, she gets little messages-two years ago, it was the sudden smell of her mother's perfume, the year prior to that, Seamus looked right at her "there's a grandpa behind you gramma, he's smiling at you "

A little chill up the back of the neck, a goosebump feeling...

I have a million stories to share about Seamus' experiences of seeing things, feeling a presence, having regular "visitors"-"say goodnight to Rose mom, she is at the end of my bed", the statements that seem to be from a different time.....

Some people say it is creepy. While I get that it is somewhat startling, I choose not to look at it as scary. We don't believe in past lives, we don't believe in reincarnation-those concepts are not biblical. However, I do believe in Angels and Spirits and that God makes himself known sometimes so closely with little children-and while when Seamus is telling us at 3-"I don't like when the it is the children ones that visit me, I like the older ones better", and Mahone at the same age says "I met God in this forest"-I get it can seem a little out there!!


Seamus is almost 8 now and the stories and "visions" have stopped-or at least he has stopped telling us about it. He does however continue to have the fascination with Angels, Spirits and yes, cemeteries. Mahone is just starting to talk about these types of things.

I long for them always to feel such a sense of God, such a connection to 'what is not of this life.' As close to God as they can-that's my goal for my children, and if along the way, they creep a few people out, I'm fine with that.

Me.






My kids have ways of doing that

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oh what a night....

Just came home from seeing ELTON JOHN in concert, and while he did not play my favorite song by him-Sacrifice, it was unbelievably wonderful.

He can make that piano sing... 3 hours of nothing but playing and singing. He didn't talk, there was no intermission.

Our seats were about 20 feet from him....and yes, I forgot my camera and my feather boa.

Me

"I'm three mama, I'm three...This party, this balloon-it is all for me"

Mahone is 3. I truly can hardly believe it. While there are moments, in fact entire days in which I wish my time away-there are other moments I wish time would stand still.

I can remember every detail of my first days with Mahone. I had tried for over 2 years to conceive Mahone and while I was content and grateful for Seamus, I just felt our family was not complete...and then came Mahone. A true blessing, a true joy. I cannot imagine my life, our family without him. 

Mahone began as a very laid back child-I think the second child tend to be that way. He was so content. Of course, he had it pretty good. He was in my arms all the time-babywearing was very important to me for really the first full year. He was constantly in his sling, either sleeping or simply observing the routines of our days. He spent hours at Seamus' school-luckily, it was a small private Waldorf school, so they had a beautiful and very soothing parent room and a wonderful yard her could explore later as he was a little older. 

As soon as he was scooting around, Mahone really showed his curious nature. He was always trying to figure something out, reach for the brightest colored book, touch absolutely everything... All this to say, he was a climber, into everything and required full supervision at all times, because quite frankly, you never knew what he was into!!! That "curious" nature is still there!

Mahone is so active, so busy, can talk like an old man, is independent (and by that I mean in the morning he often pulls over a chair, opens the bread box, takes out his bread, puts it in the toaster and waits for it, then removes it to a plate and calls out for help just with spreading the butter-I kid you not!!!)He is becoming a little less laid back-okay A LOT less laid back and beginning to express himself through screaming and just saying NO very loudly when he is not happy-that's normal right???

He loves construction; he loves farms and anything John Deere; he loves sweets and unlike Seamus would eat and eat cookies and cakes; he loves swimming and splashing; he loves being around people; he loves swinging (which he has been able to do without even a starting push for about 4 months) and boy oh boy, does he love his mama. I am not sure what I did differently for Mahone, but while Seamus "preferred" me, Mahone DEMANDS me. While at times it can just all be too much I have to admit there is nothing better than hearing my littlest "let's cuddle mama, I need to be with you mama." It really does make me stop and just enjoy the moment and soak up all Mahone is!!!!

We just had a family (with friends along as well who are family) birthday-I hope he never looks at pictures of the elaborate parties we had for Seamus-on the day of his actual birthday. There was a construction cake, balloons tied to bottles of bubbles, a new sprinkler and lots and lots of food. A perfect time. 


         Here's gramma-the ever present "helper" cutting the hamburger buns, helping set up all the food-Seamus who was "so hungry      mom",  reaching for a little something. 







           Have you seen anything cuter, especially for a boy who LOVES turtles. Our friend Jenn made this for him and oh, it was so yummy!!!






              As per usual, too many presents and he needed convincing to stay and open them all. Every year I say-less is more, less is more and every year everything looks just "so cute, oh Gary, he would love it."









              How could there be anything different for our guy than construction vehicles. He slept with the machines last night-"mama, I just need to sleep with my birthday trucks."






       Enjoying every bite of that cake-and very heppy to be surrounded by all his family and friends.....


Me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My "doing life together" friend...

I cannot tell you how fun it is to really think about the friendships, the women, who make up my community. It is certainly interesting trying to fit people in categories-to boil them down a little to make a simple blog entry.

This friend I have known about for a almost 12 years. I have seen her, had little chit chat conversations, talked about weather and children and houses.

About 3 and half years ago, when I was pregnant with Mahone, I really started talking to her. I was home and she was home and as the weather became nicer, well, the chit chat became more frequent, the conversations a little more personal and the tea began to flow.

Well, considering she lives about 3 doors down from me, you can imagine how it really didn't take much for a casual-"I know you" to become a real friendship.

She has two girls, older than my boys. They have very much developed a sibling relationship in which they are the older sisters. That comes with all the love and all the fights typical of any sibling connection. They cuddle Mahone, fight over who can hold his hand and the oldest has even "babysat" ( I say that loosely given that we were literally down the road, but hey when you are 12 and someone pays you $10.00, it is babysitting!). The children love each other and I love that they do.

We really do life together. 


I see her almost everyday. We have tea together almost every day. We talk about what we are having for supper, I let her know my daily weekend plans, we look at the flyers together every week and decide where we will shop and what errands we need to do. I am there for the birthday parties, as her assistant-she is there for mine. We watch movies on Saturday night at my house. The husbands visit at her's. I look through a billion paint chips to help choose the perfect bathroom color. She helps me re-arrange my living room weekly. She has seen me in my pajamas, with all my hair sticking up and no bra!!! I have sat on her bed on Sunday morning as she wakes to watch Cornation Street. Yeah.... life together!!!


The friendship really is based in the everyday. We have opposing views on tons of "deeper" issues-a woman's right to choose-I am pro-choice, whether a mom should/can work outside the home (obviously since I am doing it, I support that choice), the purchase of more expensive, but ethically made products/food (she LOVES Wal-Mart) and the list goes on.... 


She is an unbelievable helper, she is an unbelievable mother and someone who loves on my children, she is consistent and always there, she is so fun and loves to dance and sing. 

She is a neighbor, she is a friend, she is family.

Me.



Friday, June 25, 2010

Friendship

So when I was reading my blog entry about my "Diana", I thought I could write a entry like that for other friends as well. And when I shared with my "Diana" what I had written, she was so touched that I would write about her that I thought..I don't think we communicate the "heart" stuff real well... or at least I don't communicate the heart stuff real well.

So I will write a series (a short one considering just how many really close friends can one have) on what some of my friendships have meant to me. In thinking about this series, it has been really interesting to really see the uniqueness of each friendship and their role in my life, and how so often it reflects the stage of life.

So today, I am talking about a friend I met about 5 years ago. We attended the same church and for the first little while, I never really connected with her. We attended the same bible study and eventually they held it at their home and somehow, over time, we started connecting. Our church had a winter thing at a farm and I invited her to go with her children. She came and I think we spent every Saturday together...and lots of other days as well... for 2 years. The friendship began based on having someone for our children to play with, and became of course something deeper...

She was then, and still is, the person I could tell my deepest darkest secret to. She is completely trustworthy; I won't feel any judgement, any condemnation; She isn't going to hold it over me, remind me often, "rub it in".

Somehow our friendship became that really....I think (I hope) I was that person for her as well. We shared lots of fun times, lots of "darker" times, lots of family birthday parties, births, drama!!!!

We were/are very different in personalities, opinions, lifestyles, but somehow it worked. She inspired me in so many areas and continues to do so.

So she moved....not far, but you know how it is with kids, and working full time and life.... that "not far" mids' well be 2000 miles away. And while I rarely see her, rarely talk to her, am truly not involved with her life at all.... well, there are times I long for her. Sound a little weird-maybe so, but that is the only word I have for it. There are times I just need to tell someone that one not great thought that keeps running through my head, that one fear I have for my child, that one marriage issue that just lurks.....

My life is full; her life is really full. I think I cannot be the friend I need to be, the friend she needs me to be with the distance and our lifestyle (being working all week and spending weekends at an arena somewhere!), so I exit, I keep in touch through the computer, through this blog thing. And while I get it in my brain-I get all the logical factors-the heart I think just misses her.

Me.

PS: check her out in blog land. She really is doing some neat living....

 www.proudtobecountry.blogspot.com

Rain rain go away....or just maybe stay around awhile.

When it looks like this on the outside:






It looks like this on this inside:


                                      






Jenga, marbles, puzzles, and a helper washing dishes.... You see I am the rare person who actually likes it when it is rainy, dreary, gloomy. Don't get me wrong, I would not want that every day for sure. I just may go a little crazy literally if that was the case. But to me, a perfect weekend is rain one day, sun the next. 

I feel pressure when it is sunny. Pressure that I should be out there in it-with the kids, on my own. We just should get right out and get doing something. The children refuse to stay inside if there is even a peek of sunshine, the neighborhood comes alive here with everyone out playing and working..and well, that is all good. BUT.... sometimes I just want to be hunkered in with a good movie, a game, just us 4 together, without feeling the guilt that we really should be out there, without hearing the children whine and whine (is it only mine that whine!!!) because they want to ride bikes, go to the park, help with the ball that is stuck somewhere...and without having to chase Mahone around!!!

So rain, visit here often.......

Me



Monday, June 14, 2010

She really is my Diana......

If I am even close to being Anne....

So I have this friend... well, even friend sounds too casual, too insignificant. She is someone I have only known for maybe 2 years, but really-a lifetime. We joke that we share the same brain and are in fact only 1 person. It is a joke, but so real at the same time. I have seriously never had a friend like her...and I don't mean that in a negative way against any of my current friendships or even friendships past-they are all dear to me for lots of reasons, but somehow she is different.

You see I don't always like who I am (and trust me, there are lots of reasons for that-and a post for another day), but I like who I am with her. I never feel judged, never feel "not enough", never feel like I should be better, be something, someone different. She is totally accepting, and believe me, she has seen some not so pretty parts of my personality-the mean side, the petty side, the jealous side, the perfectionist, the controlling nature-yeah, she has seen it all!!! and somehow I am okay with that, and thankfully so is she.

She perhaps is the most thoughtful person I have ever been around...and not just towards me, towards everyone. She has the ability to remember the smallest detail of something you said, bring it up again to you in conversation, remember to ask about it, tell you she is thinking of you, empathize, buy something for you because you mentioned one time in passing it was your favorite childhood candy-she really is that person. A little too good to be true right??? I kid you not.

So really I should not have been surprised. I should have expected what I found on my desk today when I came into work. She has that habit-finding the neatest things in who knows where that I would never think of getting myself, but they are perfect-exactly something I didn't even know I wanted or loved!!! But today, well, it takes the cake, and not just because it was amazing, so unbelievably generous, so so something I desperately wanted, but because she knew my longing and upset wasn't even really about the THING, it was deeper......



Yes, you are looking at the blush tint-you know the one. I don't think I need to re-tell that incident-thank goodness because I am truly just getting over it... You see it really wasn't about the blush or the money wasted, or the mess in my room or on my bag. It was my bitterness really that I felt I had NOTHING of my own-NOTHING SACRED. My room is occupied most nights by my children, my house is a nice mixture of toys and children's books, scattered with actual furniture, my free time is spent entirely with them, I share my tea in the morning, my juice at supper..... well, I think you get the picture... and while I may not have said all of that to her, I think she got it. I think she knows me well enough to know my true sadness-well anger really-was deeper and I think she wanted to make it better.......and oh, she did....

So you see, she is my Diana-kindred spirit (even if she really doesn't even like Anne of Green Gables!!!)

Me

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stay out....


This is what you install on your bedroom door when you come in from outside and your almost 3 year old looks a certain shade of red and you wonder and wonder-what is that?? and sadly the realization hits and you are almost afraid to look....the white duvet and all.....you see I had in my LUG bag (yes, that would be about an $100.00 purse!!!), another small zippered bag, and inside that small bag, was this new blush/skin tint (NOTE: TINT) that I just purchased three days ago. I realize Mahone's face is the exact color of that tint-funny so is the bag, so are the books in the bag, so is my floor... you get the picture!

 The back story is important here for you to really grasp this: you see in November in Toronto I saw this fancy blush that was aghast $30.00 and I COULD NOT bring myself to pay that for me... I mean, seriously vanity right. So, I asked Gary for it for Christmas-somehow as a gift, it seemed more appropriate. Well Christmas came and money was tight as per usual, and I said-don't get that for me.. Months passed and I would go and look at it-for torture really when finally 3 days ago I decided-enough is enough. I am worth it- I would spend it on the house, I would spend it on the children, I would spend it on Gary!!! So, I purchased and used lovingly for 3 DAYS!!!!!!!!

ENTER THE ABOVE LOCK!!!!

Sometimes it is simply no fun being mom.... I like him today, but I can tell you yesterday, not so much!!!!!

me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Fair....


Day after day this week we have been driving by the set up for the Fair-the Ferris Wheel, the Strawberries that spin and spin, the really poor quality stuffed animals being hung up for display, the lights, the music.... Each time we pass, Mahone and Seamus, in unison "I can't wait, I can't wait."

I promise Friday night, opening day. So, Friday comes and Gary is not feeling well, which leaves just me with two little ones at the Fair-this may not seem to be such a big deal, other than I am crazy paranoid at those types of things with "creepy people" and my children. I know that sounds terrible and perhaps irrational, but if you knew some of what I know-well let's just call it a workplace hazard!!!! I also have a 2.5 year old that is fairly certain he is 10 and is way too mobile and fast and basically into everything!!!!! I also do not go on any rides-back to irrational fears again. I don't like the feeling, don't like the movement-I am not an adrenaline junkie by any stretch of the imagination....So combined this makes the Fair really not fun at all..

Luckily, grandma and grandpa again to the rescue and the Fair turned out to be lots of fun after all....with only one mild injury and one temper tantrum-all in all, a success!!!!








  
                      





   






                                                              

      

Me. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What is "special needs" anyway....

So the doctor's say-"you're little guy has special needs.."; the teacher says "be assured, we can accommodate your son's special needs";  I say to friends "hope everything goes okay with the playdate-not sure if you know but our guy has some special needs."

We have parented both our children using a waldorf approach. A part of that philosophy believes that children are not born necessarily with their temperaments. They sort of "come into their personality" between the ages of 6-9-only after they lose their first baby teeth-it is a whole other post to explain the teeth thing, just know that losing those teeth is SO important in Waldorf philosophy. Anyway, I say all of that to highlight that while we may believe that, while we parent our children sharing many of Waldorf principles and ideals-well, we KNEW Seamus' temperament real early....not only before he lost his baby teeth-to be honest, before he even had those teeth.

Since Seamus was a baby, we as his parents thought something just wasn't the same as other children. But we were new parents, our first child and quite frankly, what did we know!! Also, having the job I have working with children every day who are truly suffering with emotional difficulties, well, you start to sort of make everything a big deal. Fast forward a few years and we finally had to admit we were at a lost. Hard to admit really when for a living you help kids and now I couldn't help my own!!!!

You see I was on my soapbox preaching that he was just a regular boy and our society didn't handle regular boys well and there was nothing wrong with him, but there was something wrong with everyone else-as an aside, I still truly believe our society does not handle boys well, but again, another post. But really my soapbox was actually hurting him. He was out of control, he was not managing school-an alternate Waldorf school that really provided lots of movement and hands on, lots of the boy stuff he needed. He also was not managing home-or more accurately we were not managing him at home, especially with the tantrums. When I say tantrums, I do not mean a 20 minute fit, I mean a 2-3 hour explosion that would always end in something broken, a room trashed and both of us sobbing...

So I got down from my preaching post and sought help. Not necessarily the conventional help at first, choosing to focus on helping him process his emotions, rather than just dealing with the behavior. After some time, Seamus was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. This was a whole new world for us, including a change in diet, at home "exercises" and therapy with an Occupational Therapist. We immediately changed our perception of him and our approach to him. We finally understood him (As an aside, if you are interested in learning more, read the Out of Sync Child-excellent resource). Later he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (like every boy could be I'm sure-see that soapbox preaching coming out!!!). Most recently our doctor, who I really really didn't like, yet who has turned out to be quite wonderful, has implied that we may actually be looking at a mood disorder that could possibly develop as he comes older, something like Bipolar Disorder. Who knows!!!!

I wrote this post because a couple of people who know me outside of this space have been asking some questions about our journey with Seamus-hope this is helpful. I also realize that people are reading this that I may not even know who maybe on similar paths-please be encouraged!!

Seamus certainly meets the definition for "special needs", but to us, he is simply SPECIAL. He is everything I wanted in a child-spirited, independent, free thinking, creative, dramatic, opinionated, kind, compassionate, a real "go big or go home" personality, competitive-yet feels bad for the other team...Well, we really like him in this house and to be honest, I couldn't have always said that!!!

So again it is nighttime and we know how much Seamus comes alive at night. Buzzing around me playing with his skateboarders (Techdeck I think is the official name). He is showing me what "grinding" is-if you are interested it is when you run the skateboard along a metal railing. He has just finished eating his second supper  (his medication really impacts his appetite and he basically does not eat from breakfast until about 6:00 at which point, he then doesn't stop until he is in dreamland!). He has begun to make his own ramp now with some clay and some cardboard he has found around the house. It wasn't working out quite like he thought, but no throwing the materials in frustration tonight (although that could still happen)-for now, he is sticking with it, trying a new paste to hold it all together.

I'm off to convince him that perhaps the skateboard race could wait until tomorrow as the bed is calling for us......What did I tell you-special right!!!

Me