Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Carry Me Today

I must be a terrible mom, at least that is how I feel right now. Now my 8 year old is acting out. She is in third grade and this is when it got really bad with Kenzie. Maybe it is not mental illness and it is just my parenting. My husband says I tolerate it too much and that is why they treat me so poorly. The only thing Tori doesn't do is cuss at me. She also does not have rages, but boy, does she have a temper and an attitude. I am still doing the screen tickets but they are not working anymore. Tori doesn't care because she has earned so many now and she has not been watching T.V. in the afternoons. This weekend the girls were gone because of Kenzie's b-day at at the hotel so they did not use up their screen tickets. Kenzie has so much homework and dance that she does not have time for T.V. or playing on the computer during the week days and I think she sneaks on the computer at night after we go to bed. So she seems to care less too. Time to come up with something else. Why does it always work that way? Things work for awhile and then you have to change things so you will get effectiveness again. I really do try hard. I am trying to stick with this approach but I am tired of being verbally abused by both girls now. Kenzie has not cussed in the mornings until this morning, but she whines, cries, and talks very loudly. Tori is sassy and hurtful. I think she has learned behaviors from Kenzie. I stayed calm and ignored and reset constantly, but I wanted to slap them both across the face. Then when they left I lost it-tears and anger all at once. They will not be getting any screen tickets this afternoon and Tori will not be playing with any friends either. Kenzie will have to give up her phone until homework and chores are done. But guess what this won't work either. They will just go back to being ugly in the morning again. I so want to give up. I look at my sweet baby's face who looks at me with adoration and all smiles and I am thankful but I know it will not last. She too will grow up and treat me poorly just like her sisters. They both were like that as babies and even Tori just last year. It seems when those hormones hit around 8 or 9 things just change and go downhill. I know I am being negative but I am mad, hurt, frustrated, tired, and have just plain had it. It is so hard being a mom. Today I want to give up. I want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. But I won't, I can't, I have this baby that needs me. I am God's child and He wants me to keep going, giving thanks for everything and being joyful. Okay, Lord, I need you totally. I can't do it without Him. Give me the strength, please. I am thankful that I have Him as my savior and Lord. I don't feel like it but I know(head knowledge) that He is right there with me maybe He'll have to carry me today instead of just walking beside me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Turning 14

McKenzie turned 14 this past weekend and I am so glad we got past 13. It was a rough year. But I have great hopes for 14. She is still the most stable I have seen her in a long time. I think most of the issues we have now are her just being a teenager. She had a great b-day party with just a few friends which of course is all she has anyway. We took them to a hotel to spend the night and the hotel had a cool water park so they had loads of fun. She finally got her first cell phone and is beyond thrilled. I am hoping she can handle it. She made the performance team at her dance studio and will be dancing about 9 hours a week. School is hard for her and they are not doing the 504 plan very well. I am trying to be on top of that. My hope is that she will be able to handle all of this and not fall off the deep end again. She is due for an amantadine holiday for 48 hours again. I am dreading that. We shall see how she does with it. But overall turning 14 was a good thing. Thank goodness for something good!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Blessings

Okay yesterday I played the pity party. It was good to get it out all those feelings, but now I need to focus on what is good in my life.
My blessings...
1. my three beautiful children, all girls!
2. my husband of 18 1/2 years,
3. our health- for the most part good-nobody is dying,
4. Kenzie is the most stable she has been in a long while.
5. I have a beautiful home.
6. I have a beautiful backyard with a pool.
7. I am God's child and He loves me.
8. Both of my parents are still living and love me.
9. I have a good relationship with my mother-n-law and she loves me.
10. I have lots of people praying for my family.
11. I go to a great church.
12. I am able to stay at home with my kids and be a mom.
13. I have a husband who has been so smart with our money that we are not in any kind of major debt.
14. I have lots of family who loves me-two brothers, four sister-n-laws, and two brother-n-laws plus a bunch of nieces and nephews.
15. I am exercising on a regular basis. I found zumba and love it.
16. I can teach and have done it for a long time-capable of using that gift-hopefully.
17. I am creative.
18. I do have lots of love to give.
Okay I am sure that there is more but that is all that I can think of right now. I am going to try and focus on these things instead of the other. I know that is what God wants me to do even though at times it is very hard. By the way, Kenzie was amazing to me yesterday. She really tried hard to help me and I know it is because she has been there and understands how it feels. I am glad we have each other even though I hate the thought that it might be because of me that she has these issues too. But I am heading back to the negative thoughts so I need to refocus and reread my list, keep going, head up, and strong in Christ.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Depression is being in a black hole and no matter how hard you try you can't get out. Depression for me not Kenzie right now. This post is about me. It may sound dark and depressing and even a pity party, but I thought if I wrote my thoughts down it might help. This is a big risk-writing it down for all to see but I am going to take it. Please do not worry as I know what is going on and even though I feel yucky I will do nothing that is dangerous because I do love Jesus and I know better. I may feel like it right now but I will never act on it. That may be even the reason why I am writing it down so I know the truth and not just go on what I am feeling. I feel worthless like I can never do anything right. I am not a good housekeeper-my house is always messy, my kids fight and no matter how hard I try to stop it they just keep on doing it. Even my creative attempts do not seem to work which of course makes me feel like a terrible mom. I hardly ever get to really spend time with my husband between work and the kids there just never seems to be time. How I miss the days when we could just hang on and go to a movie at the last minute or even call a babysitter. But with McKenzie that is impossible. My husband and I need to get away and we can't because we have no family here to take care of our kids. Grandparents, for different reasons and very understandable ones, cannot help at least not for the length of time that we need. Money... is tight as it is for everybody these days... but I seem to mess things up constantly-my husband is very frugal and one of the things that helps me and our marriage is me making extra money with my little side job but that isn't looking good due to the economy. I want to work but I have a precious baby that needs me at home and I was there for our other kids so I want to do the same for her. I don't want to miss out on the little stuff. It makes me sad to even think about it. Who even knows I probably couldn't even find a teaching job at this point in the game. I have tried to expand my business to other preschools but because of the economy nobody wants me. Doing creative things helps me but again I use my extra money for that and without that it is hard to be creative. I eat not because I am hungry but because it fills that void. I use sweets like alcohol to some extent. So no matter how much I exercise I do not loose weight which of course makes me feel worse. I feel ugly and yucky. I have not spent very much time with the Lord and that makes feel yuck too. I feel like a failure as God's child. I know He loves me but I just can't feel it right now. Bible study starts this week and I pray I have enough energy to get up, get dressed and get there. However, the baby seems to be coming down with a cold and possible ear infection so with my luck I probably won't even be able to go. The screen tickets worked for awhile but now Kenzie is using them for a fight when she uses them. She wants me to stop the timer when commercials are on-everything becomes a fight with her. It is so exhausting. Tori does great with the tickets but her attitude lately has not been good. My sweet little girl seems so down and not herself which also makes me sad. I wish I could fix it all but I can't. I want to do something exciting-something where I am giving or helping or something to pull me out of this pit. But I have no idea what. It seems like I have very few friends-the friends I do have have scattered and have busy lives and I do not see them very often much less talk to them. I need a group of friends that I can spend time with and just get away. I use to have that and now it isn't there anymore. Not sure why-I think it is just life. Two out of the three kids are crying so now it is time to go and stop playing the pity party, push down those dark lonely feelings and deal with my kids...at least they need me. Why can't Jesus come NOW?!?!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Good and Not So Good News

The screen tickets are helping tremendously. Kenzie's cussing has almost ceased! Yea! She has not cussed once this week in the morning and I do not think in the afternoon either. At least none that we have heard. She was a little unpleasant yesterday and today in the morning. But she is doing so much better. Tori is doing great in the mornings but after school she is melting down-three fits in the last three days. I think she is tired and frustrated-frustrated from school because it is such a jump from second grade to third and her teacher is very strict. I have to wonder if she is not worried all day that she is going to do something wrong and get in trouble and that is the reason for the outbursts at home. It is so unlike her. The good news is that she comes out of them fairly quickly once she is disciplined. They do not spiral out of control like Kenzie's do. Hopefully, we can get to the bottom of this new behavior and nip it in the bud quickly. Kenzie, on the other hand, is very frustrated with her new school. She for the first time has a lot of homework. At her old school they did not give a lot of homework and if they did give homework they usually had time to do it in class. She also is frustrated because the teachers are not doing her 504 plan yet. The school just got it two days ago and I have called and they say they are working on it but in the mean time my daughter is drowning in frustration. She has not given up yet and I pray she does not. For the most part she has been a real trooper, but I am worried that they are going to loose her and she will give up. Hopefully, they will get the 504 in place sooner than later. On a good note she has made a friend and keeps talking about her. They sit together in all of her classes except one where she has assigned seating. They also have been going to lunch together too. I am excited for her. I hope the girl comes from a decent family that has the same type of values and morals that we do. Time will tell. I am trying to get Kenzie to invite her to her b-day party but Kenz says she is not ready to do that. Her party is only a week in half away. Maybe I can get her to have her over this Friday for swimming and lunch-they have half days on Fridays. She also had an older girl come up to her and touch her hair and say WOW! It kinda startled her but she was very flattered and I know it made her feel good. For those of you who do not know her hair is long very blonde-yellow almost- and slightly waving and thick. Absolutely, beautiful-wish I had her hair many days! She definitely got it from her dad's side. Anyway, good news and not so great news-isn't that life? We have to take the good, the bad, and the ugly and rely on our precious Lord to get us through it all.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Screen Tickets Worked So Far

With Amantadine added to Kenzie's medication mix she has become the most stable I have seen her in a long while. However, we still have some behaviors that we need to work on. Tori, her younger sister, has some as well too. The Nurtured Heart Approach talks about a credit system and I have wanted to do it for awhile but it seemed too complicated and overwhelming. I knew that if that was the case I would not keep up with it or keep it going correctly. So I have been trying to think of something else to take its place that was similar but more manageable. After talking to my husband this weekend I realized that he was right(yes, I did just put that in writing-I could be in trouble for that one) about the kids watching too much T.V. and on the computer way too much. Then this summer my sister-n-law created a system where her kids got screen tickets so she could manage their time on computers, T.V. gameboys, etc. With all of that I came up with my own system that combines all of it into one! Each day they earn screen tickets-15 minutes per ticket in order to watch T.V. or be on the computer. In the morning they can earn up to three-one for no whining/cussing, one for no fighting with their sister, and one for being perfectly pleasant and doing everything on time. Obviously this is our problem time of the day. Well, this morning it worked. Kenzie said she almost cussed but stopped herself. Both of them were pleasant and we did make it on time. Kenzie however, only got two tickets because she was late getting to the car and we had to wait for her. But the morning was so much better! This afternoon they can earn two more tickets-one for doing their chore with a good attitude and the other one for doing their homework also with a good attitude. They also do not get their tickets from the morning until these two things are completed. They can use their tickets today so long as it is before bedtime or they can save them. They can also earn extra tickets for extra chores if they ask me and if we see them doing something remarkably good then we can give them an extra ticket. I think I am going to put in another one for no fighting in the afternoon too-that one they will get at nighttime right before bed. We also have a problem getting Kenzie to go to bed at a decent time so maybe I should use them for that too. Also, once a ticket is given it can't be taken away, it can only be used. I am excited! I think this could really work. It may need some tweaking. Later on I may add other kinds of tickets-like going to the movies, friends spending the night etc. But right now I need to stay simple so I will stay with it. Wish me good luck!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Day of High School

McKenzie started her first day of high school this morning and boy, was she a mess! She had one of her worst anxiety attacks that I have seen in awhile. She was in tears in the car even in front of the little boy we carpool with. Her breathing was fast and I swear she would have thrown up if not for the zofran she had taken. We got that from the ER visit the other night when she was so sick. But who can blame her-she is at a brand new school, does not know anyone, and it is high school! It scares me-but I did not let her know that. I am praying she makes a new friend and that everything goes smoothly today. She is at a very small charter school that is located inside a church and the church offers chapel once a week-so it is like a christian school without having to pay for it! From what I understand there are only 25 kids per grade in the high school-junior high and elementary are also there on the campus but they are small too. I think it is just right for her. If you are reading this, please say a prayer for her today. She could really use being lifted up.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sicker than a Dog

Okay I spoke too soon. Kenzie did get sick with the stomach flu and boy, was she sicker than a dog! She could not stop throwing up and because of her congenital adrenal hyperplasia I had to take her to the ER. I do not think I have shared on this blog about her genetic disorder-CAH. So, for those of you who do not know Kenzie also has a physical medical condition. Apparently, she was born with it but we did not discover it until she was about six. She has a very mild condition of this genetic disorder. Her adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol so her body compensates by producing too much testosterone. At six years old she looked like she was going into puberty. But with a low dosage of steroids her body is tricked into thinking that she is producing enough cortisol and functions normal. The trick is to keep the right amount of steroids in her body. She takes them everyday. However, when she has a serious injury or sickness her adrenaline does not kick in like the average person so her dosage of steroids has to be tripled. Because she could not keep even ice chips down there was no way to triple the dosage orally. When I called her endocrinologist he said to take her to the nearest ER- that it was not something to mess around with-it could be life threatening. So I did and we were there from 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Needless to say, I am exhausted and I now too will have anxiety about her getting sick in the future. I do not blame her for not wanting to get sick. She is much better and sound asleep right now. I, on the other hand, have my 15 month old to keep an eye on and cannot sleep. Maybe when she goes down I can. Kenzie also did not get to take her seroquel or amantadine last night. I hope we do not see any repercussions from that.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Anxiety Overload

On the other hand, Kenzie's anxiety is in overload! Having the stomach flu in the house is causing her amazing amounts of anxiety. So much that it is driving me crazy. The other night she broke down in tears-she is so afraid she is going to get it! She asks me all kinds of crazy questions like "If I touch this fresh bagel and Tori(who is sick) had one the other day from the same bag-not the same bagel-but the same bag-will I get it?" "If I sit on the couch where Dad and Tori sat will I get it?" etc. She doesn't even want to take a shower in the same bathroom where people got sick in the toilets-even after I have cleaned them! She has reserved one toilet for herself, cleaned it herself, and has ordered everybody not to use it. We keep telling her that if she is going to get it she will. She has done everything that she can to prevent it. I almost want her to just get it and then it will be all over, the worrying! Terrible mom, aren't I-to want my child to get sick! I really don't but I do wish the anxiety would cease. Also, her first day of high school is Thursday, the 5th! But have not seen anxiety for that yet-I am sure it is coming.

Rising to the Occasion

McKenzie is very good at this..."Rising to the occasion", usually. And in this case this past week she did just that. The stomach flu hit our house, and I got very sick. So sick... because of my acid reflux. The pain would not stop and it was intense. My husband had to take me to the hospital. So we left Kenzie here with the baby and took our middle child. That way she would only have to concentrate on the baby. We have not left her with the baby in a long time. But she is the most stable she has been in a long time and actually very helpful. She and Tori, our middle child, do not do well alone together and that I wish was different but hopefully, with time, that will get better too. It made me nervous leaving her here alone with Addy but I really had no choice and I have to start trusting her again. She has proven very trustworthy with the baby. I am so glad we did leave her. She really stepped up and did a great job. Poor Addy, she has three moms and one dad! Right now she loves it but not sure how she is going to feel when she gets older. McKenzie on the other hand loves playing mom and someday hopefully, she will get the chance to be a great mom. But in the way, way, WAY future! Let us pray!