My Amelia Rose

My Amelia Rose

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My kid--the jack***

Well, it's happened.  That moment when you realize that you are THAT mom.  Your sweet baby, the one with the big personality and the sweet spirit, turns into the biggest donkey there is.  It's even better when your the host of a family event and she's the one bullying the kids in the restaurant play area.  Yep, go ahead and make that face, the one that every parent there did.

I'll admit it, I've coddled her, made excuses--she's a very high energy child (true), has ADHD (true), has some hormonal issues (true)'s not her fault (NOT true).  Sure, all of those things affect some of how she acts but at 5 she is making choices and she's smart-TOO SMART.  When I fuss at her she'll say "I'm trying Mom, I don't know how to be a star student" and I fall for the tears every time.  My husband is wrong, she couldn't fake me out like that--no 5 year old is that smart.  Well mine is. 

As a kid I remember my Mom blaming herself for our bad choices and I never got it.  Was it a guilt trip for us?  Surely she didn't think that, we make our own stupid choices.  And then MY night came when I cried myself to sleep...what had I done wrong with Amelia?  Am I too lenient?  Not showing her how to be kind?  Teaching her to stand up for herself too much?  Of course, it doesn't help when I make her apologize and the sweet girl just hugs her.  GREAT!  Couldn't she have just said "NO, your a jerk, I don't forgive you!".  But, no, she has to be a sweet kid.  Damn over-achieving parents.

So here we are, I'm not using the "wait til your Dad gets home" thing, he gets onto her and she looks at me desperately--I have to look away.  You see, I'm not a fan of spanking.  I don't have a problem with others doing it, I was spanked and I'm fine.  Many of my friends spank, that's okay.  Her Daddy spanks her...I don't like it but lately I don't fight it.  She just laughs if I try to spank her.  Yes, I'm the Mom that "re-directs", that annoying Mom that thinks all kids should get trophies.  Ugh--how did this happen?

So, next time you see me in public or even better--at one of my events around town and my child is being the jack***.  Be patient, I'm working on it.  I promise I'm not telling her to push your kid and certainly come tell me.  But feel my pain--please?  Don't judge too harshly--I'm a work in progress.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A message to all parents

*Graphic content, not for young readers*

Recently I posted what became a controversial post on my business Facebook page:

This became a huge thing with comments on both sides but surprisingly many comments disagreeing with me.  Those who know me personally know that I have a heart that wants to help people, when I see people hurting I try to go out of my way to do or say something nice to them.  But when I became a parent something happened, I became what seems to be labeled as a "bitch".  I will fiercely protect my child to the death and if I feel something is not right I will speak up--even if I am proven wrong.

I spoke up about this man because I am concerned.  Yes, I know the staff of the school will do everything they can to protect the kids but should they be put in this place when it can be prevented?

Our school is an open campus, as many Louisiana schools are, with adjacent buildings that are outside and the kids must go outside to enter other classes.  When I go to take my child lunch they send her OUTSIDE to the office ALONE because I can not go to her room.  Yet they allow this man to walk around the campus.

I was told that he's harmless, he brings school supplies, this and that, but isn't that how most abusers are?  They don't come in saying they are abusers.  Now I am not saying this man is dangerous, I am saying that we can't take that risk.  He has NO business on a school campus or playground during school hours.  If the neighborhood is okay with him that's fine, invite him to your home, but he doesn't belong at my kids school.

A few years ago I worked at a non-profit for homeless families and one of the families, a Mom with 2 boys, was featured in a news story.  The next day I received a phone call from a man who wanted to sponsor one of the boys.  It was very nice and we we're appreciative, then he started asking for the boy to come to his home, to go shopping with him, this and that.  He became angry when I refused. 

Our children are NOT for sale!  Because someone does something nice it does not give them free reign on our lives and especially not our children's lives.  We as parents are responsible, whether it's the popular decision or not, to protect our kids.

This morning I found out even more disturbing news which you will read about in the letter that I am posting below from a fellow parent at the school.  This is not an attack on this man, it is an attack on the choices made at the school by whomever may have made it, that this man is okay to come around out kids.  It is about putting our children at risk while doing what seems to be keeping parents at an arms length. 

Please read the letter below as it is from a Dad, which makes me know even more that I am right and not just being emotional. 

Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

I would like to respond to all the criticism that Macaroni Kid-Shreveport has received for being concerned about a man that roams the campus at ________ Elementary.  I personally have two children that attend school there and find it disgraceful that so many parents would stick up for a stranger over their children.  The safety of my little girls comes above and beyond my concern for any other person on this earth.  I don’t care one bit if an individual has a mental disorder when the protection of my children is the topic.  That gives them no pass to be on school campus when parents themselves aren’t even allowed without a legitimate reason and a visitor pass any more.  Safety was such a concern last year but it would seem that the only people who were limited in their interaction with the school are the parents.  We had parents that were being told they couldn’t even cross the street to get their children after school let out.  They would have to wait for their children to cross to them.  Now I learn that this rule is a pick-and-choose situation.  What a letdown.  I also found out last night he sits at the park where our children play during recess.  It clearly states at every entrance that the park is closed to the public during school hours.  I guess we should just turn a blind eye to this too?  Are parents so quick to dismiss that the world our children are growing up in is a scary place?  The predation of our children has reached heights that should scare EVERY single parent.  Just two years ago there was a man driving around the Broadmoor area trying to get children into his car.  I thank God that nobody in the neighborhood had to deal with that potential tragedy.  Let’s not even get into the fact that pedophiles consistently stalk Facebook and game Apps for kids.  How quickly our memories are washed away by political correctness and empathy for a person that should, AT THE VERY LEAST, come second to our children.  His intentions may be perfectly innocent but are you, as a parent, willing to take that chance?  Are your children worth sacrificing for the sake of political correctness?  Go volunteer at our local shelters.  Keep your kids safety detached from your philanthropic ideals.  Everybody wanted to state that this man is just a little off and he should be helped.  I completely agree.  However, this is completely separate from allowing him around our children without a legitimate reason.  Please keep the following in mind the next time you want to defend a person with potential mental disabilities against your kids.  A study conducted by a joint medical team in Europe found that all impulse control disordered sexual offenders and 93% of paraphiliacs have one or more lifetime mental or personality disorders.  This is not to say that every person with a mental disorder is a danger to children.  I would never agree with that.  It does point out that mental disorders are a precursor; that every sex offender has some sort of mental disorder.  To argue against this would be to say that a sexual predator is somehow normal.  Is the innocence and purity of your child worth risking for the sake of leniency?

Brandon Gerig

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -”

There is so much going on in our lives right now.  Amelia will be starting Kindergarten in August and just yesterday I gave my resignation to my day job.  In 3 weeks my life I'll be walking a tightrope.  
I've always been the dependable one, never took a leap without having a landing pad, but this time I don't know what will happen.  I know that I'll keep my Macaroni Kid Shreveport-Bossier website but beyond that who knows.    
I want to be there for Amelia when she starts school, things are different from when I was a kid.  Even though my mother stayed home it seems that today parents need to be more involved with their kids activities, bullying is at the worst that I've ever seen but it's proven that if a parent is around that it is less likely to happen.  So while women are being told to "lean in", I'm ready to lean out.  I want to be there when she gets home to do homework, I want to be a class Mom and PTA member, I want them to know that I'm going to fight for my child's education. 

Someone said that if I can afford it that it's great--the thing is that I really can't, that's what makes this even more of a leap for me.  I'm stepping into the unknown.  I'll still make some money off of Macaroni Kid advertising and hopefully be able to focus on it even more but it's going to be a tough (and very financially poor) road. I hope to get some contract work along the way and I know that I'll stay busy, I'm not a sit and home and eat bon-bons type of girl--regardless of what my weight tells you.  : )
This is a road that I must take, for myself and for my daughter.  We'll see where the road takes us.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Always my baby

A couple of weeks ago my baby turned 5 years old.  People keep saying that she's not a baby anymore but she will always be my baby. I used to think that was weird before I became a parent--like these parents really need to let go.  But now I get it.  Sure, I want her to grow and don't want to be over-involved but she is so special to me.

On Saturday I babysat a friends daughter and she was so quiet and sweet, my husband was amazed.  I think he may have even envied her mother considering Amelia is the total opposite.  Somehow I think there was a mix-up and Amelia and I belong in a loud Italian family, add our loud voices and love of pasta and there you go.

But I realized that while she can be exhausting I wouldn't change her for anything.  Her loud and boisterous personality just keeps me going, her imagination that comes up with the craziest things just shows her creativity.  With her BIG personality she will rule the world!

Sometimes when our kids make us crazy just remember that it's better than many alternatives that I've seen.  People know what Amelia will speak her mind, that she will be wild and crazy and that she will keep us on our toes.  But it's what makes her, we need more of that.  We need to stop trying to change people to fit our mold and start loving them for who they are.

Here's to my BABY girl!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The good, the bad and the...beautiful

Since Amelia hasn't been sleeping very well I decided to take her to the park on Saturday.  It was super hot but I know the sunshine helps and it really did as she not only took a nap but slept well that night.  But while we were there it was an interesting trip to see such a wide variety of people and what came with it.

First, a local church youth group brought bubbles over for the kids which I thought was a really neat idea.  They weren't pushing their beliefs on anyone but showing what I feel Christ is about, being kind and giving.  The kids loved it and Amelia was in heaven after playing in the spray ground and then chasing bubbles. 

Before long she made it to the swings and I sat and talked to two lovely ladies about their girls and sweet baby that they had with them.  After a few minutes one of the girls came and said they were leaving the spray ground because some other girls were making fun of one of the girls hair.  The girl being made fun of happened to be African-American so perhaps her hair is something they may not understand but that is certainly no excuse.  In an effort to keep her daughters from running away from the problem the mother (who was one of the ladies that I was speaking to) went over and so nicely told the girls to be nice or they could go back to their parents.  I was really touched by her reaction.  She didn't back down but she wasn't harsh, that is not something I'm sure I could have done.  When someone teases my daughter I go pretty much full force, but that's not a lesson to teach kids.  This mother knows what she is doing; of course, she does have 4 kids so maybe that's experience.

I spoke with the ladies a few minutes more and we talked about how parents need to teach their kids kindness and while "kids will be kids" it's the parents responsibility to teach them not to bully others. 

It was overall a good day, seeing the teasing made me sad but in the end good people won out and all of the kids had fun.  It reminded me to teach Amelia kindness and that different is not bad.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer time

Since pre-school is in summer session and a little less structured, Amelia started acting out.  That's one thing that I've noticed with the ADHD medicine, if there is no structure it causes her stress; this is why we don't give it to her on the weekends.  We decided, with the school, to take her off of the medication for now.  It's been going well but I could tell this weekend that the medicine seems to be completely out of her system.  She is a WILD CHILD!  Quite honestly it can be exhausting but I just remind myself it's about her--not me,  although as a Mom it can wear you down.  There is not much of a quiet time for us and I've started having to lay with her to get her to bed because that calms her down...oh how I miss mommy time.

Well, this to shall pass I suppose.  A mothers work is never done but a break occasionally would be nice.

Here's some more "Ameliaisms":

"Mommy, Daddy's not doing anything right", she later told me that "Daddy won't stop talking to me".]

Last night we were playing and she made me a fairy and her a princess.  I used my wand to turn her into a frog which she didn't agree with and told me "STOP THE ATTITUDE!".  When I wouldn't stop she told me to "act like a fairy" and then DE-throned me completely by removing my wings and taking my wand.  *sigh*

She wanted me to put on a dress (which I don't wear) and I told her I didn't have one.  "Yes you do, I buy'd you one!".  Well, um, yea that got returned...

I host many events around town with my Macaroni Kid business and the other day while I was talking to some readers Amelia decided to pull her shorts down in front of everyone.  She said sprite got in her pants.  My little mooner.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Letting them cry

When Amelia was a baby I heard a lot about CIO (cry it out).  Letting a baby cry it out so they learn to comfort themselves.  Honestly, then it wasn't too hard because I knew that I needed rest and was exhausted.  She learned to entertain herself and I got a little rest; in between the times sneaking in to make sure she was still breathing.

But as she gets older I actually find it harder to do, seeing her cry real tears and feel real fear and sadness hurts me tremendously.  I find myself becoming my parents saying "this hurts me more than it hurts you", something I never knew was true until now.

Amelia just started swim classes a couple of weeks ago, it was a decision I made adamantly after pool time on our girls weekend.  I couldn't worry that she would decide to show someone she could swim when in actuality she is afraid of the water.  The first class wasn't so bad but on the way to the second class she informed me that she wasn't going in the water.  I told her that she had to and to do what her teacher said but I knew at that point she would resist.  I generally like to stay out while she is learning new things so she doesn't look to me but saw on the TV screen that she was giving them trouble so I went in the pool area.  That was a mistake.  She kept looking to me and starting crying at one point, when she came to me and said "Mommy, I want to leave" in a chocked up voice with tears in her eyes it was the hardest thing to tell her that she had to go back.  My God, the pain I felt right then and still feel thinking about it is almost unbearable.

But I know she needs to learn this, I took swim lessons and I can be safe around water.  I feel guilt that maybe I should have started her at an earlier age but honestly I didn't have the money then and I started them a little later than her and did fine. 

While I pray that this upcoming lesson will go better I fear that it will be the same for a bit longer.  She has great teachers and everyone there works with all of the kids so that's not a problem.  I will have to stay out of the pool area so that she can't lean on me and the thought of her feeling abandoned...well, I can't think of that.  She's almost 5 so I know that there is much more of this to come and I have to start now.  For her.  For me.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Catching up...

It's been a little while since I've posted, I'm sorry but these two jobs and raising a "busy" almost 5 year old sometimes can wear you out.  I was talking to someone about being a 40 year old Mom to a young child and told them that I had lost my mind but I wouldn't change it for the world.

A few weeks ago my baby girl graduated from Pre-Kindergarten, it was joyful and sad at the same time.  They grow up entirely too fast!  We've registered for Kindergarten starting in August and I know she'll do great.  I tried to talk her into waiting a year and I was shot down with "Mom, let me go to big kid school".  Well, then, I guess I got that.

The ADHD medicine is still working although it's enhanced that funny little imagination of hers which can be hilarious.  The other day her teacher told me that when she wakes up from her nap that she makes funny noises, I explained that she's acting out "The Land Before Time" movies.  I see directing in her future!  It really is funny...except at 3am, then I want to go live in a hotel with no children or cats to get riled when they hear her up. 

And the flowers she got for graduation, well they are about to be disposed of--cats like flowers and it's a battle to keep them out.  Maybe I'll make her a little bouquet of fake flowers although I know she'll call me out on them being fake.

Unfortunately this week we've gone backwards on the sleeping with her fighting going to sleep and then waking up at her regular 230-330am time and play.  Today she's been up since 230 this morning, the funny thing is that she'll be an angel at school but tonight will not be fun for me. 

I've called the pediatrician and we're going to try sublingual melatonin and see how it goes.  The regular melatonin had stopped working so this is trial and error. 

I don't give her the medicine on the weekend and the couple of times I have did not turn out well, with that medicine she needs structure like at school so it turns chaotic.  I'm still debating about the summertime but will talk to the doctor next week once the sleep issues are back under control (I hope).

Here's my little graduate, isn't she the cutest ever?!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The show brought to you by...

I love my child, she's officially one of the funniest people that I know.

She loves to act out shows and will do the characters voices, not like putting on a show for us, but just playing by herself.  The other day in the car she was doing a Mickey Mouse show and when we arrived at daycare I told her it was time to get out of the car, she said "hold on a minute".  Then I heard her say "Disney Junior will be right back after these messages". 

Yep, she sent herself to commercial break.  Gotta love it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A decision no parent wants to make

I know that I'll receive many judgements on this, people who aren't walking in your shoes with YOUR child are great at judging others.  But as a Mom who loves her daughter more than anything in this world and has tried multiple things to help her, I've made a very tough decision.  Today Amelia started medicine.

I'm typing this on March 12th but it won't be published quite yet, I want to give it time to see how this medicine does with Amelia, I want people who are around her to not know she is on medicine and to see if they notice any changes.  If people know then you have the placebo effect and I want their reactions to be genuine. 

So far only a few people know besides her father and I: our pediatrician, the daycare director and her assistant and my best friend.  I am working closely with Amelia's doctor through this, the daycare directors will know if a teacher comes to them exactly what is going on but we want to see if the teachers notice anything, and my best friend because she's my best friend.  Heck, I knew she was pregnant with her second child before her husband did (sorry Todd). 

This was not an easy decision, even for the pediatrician, but we started it this early because of Amelia's lack of sleep.  No one can go without sleep and a 4 year old needs more than we do as adults.  Of course, you know how kids do better after you make the doctors appointment so she slept for several days in a row.  But last night it was like a sign because she didn't sleep hardly at all.

The hardest part of this is that I had to give her the medicine this morning and before it could take affect had to leave her at school.  I don't get to be there if she gets confused, scared or sick.  My heart is breaking.

But I know she is in good hands, I trust her teachers to take good care of her.  The daycare directors are great and aren't afraid to call me.

6 days later...

So, here it is March 18th, Amelia has been on the medicine for 6 days.  Holy enhanced O.C.D.!  Wow, apparently this is a side effect, while it doesn't cause O.C.D. it just brings it to light and she can think about things better now which makes her obsess more.

The first night she wanted me to sit with her to watch TV, I had to sit in a certain spot, her "friends" (stuffed animals) had to be just right and all blankets had to be in perfect squares.  It was overwhelming to say the least.

The second night I was able to get her to color while I cooked, and she colored and colored and colored.  I need more room in the house for all of those pictures.

Things are equaling out now although things take a bit longer, bedtime requires all "friends" to be lined up perfectly, covers on them perfectly in a square.  There are about 3 blankets on her bed because she needs that one to be perfect and the one she's covered with to be perfect.

This morning she told me that she couldn't touch anything because her hands were soft.  I don't know what that means but she mentioned licking them, she actually did this before the medicine, I caught her licking her hands like a cat licking its paws.  I blame the cats.  Not really sure about all of that.

On Saturday we were spending time with a friend, I knew that her son has ADHD but didn't realize that he had gotten on medicine.  I mentioned to her that Amelia had and it turns out that her and this friends son is on the same medicine.  It was interesting to see her reactions to the things that Amelia did, she said that she sees her son in Amelia.

I think that this medicine is making Amelia more aware, she told us that she likes to talk to herself; she even asked her Dad to leave the room one day so she could talk to herself.  Basically it's her way of working things out.

This may all seem like something that is scary to one who doesn't have a child with special needs but Amelia did this all long before medicine.  Now she can see what she needs, her focusing is better and the teacher mentioned the other day how calm Amelia was (remember the teacher doesn't know).

There have been times that I think the O.C.D. is going to make me crazy or I wish the meds wouldn't wear off so early but them I remember it's not about me.  This is about Amelia and making her life easier in the long run.

So I have a couple of more weeks to go before I know how I truly feel about the medicine but so far I am really happy that I haven't lost my Amelia and her BIG personality.

Update 3/20/13:
Yesterday Amelia had her LearningRx outgoing test, it's amazing how different it was from the one she took before she started.  The first test she didn't even finish, she would run out of the room, I had to sit in there for a bit, it was crazy!  Yesterday, she finished the entire 2 hour test!  She came out for about 5 minutes to play a game on the iPad, then one other time for water, besides that she was in there for 2 hours.  That was amazing!  They don't know that she is on medicine right now but were amazed.

This morning dropping her off at school I asked the teacher how she was doing and she told me that Amelia was "quiet and distant", but was listening.  Everyone is so used to Amelia being loud and all over the place that they are confused (again only the daycare directors know about the medicine), but I know that she can focus better now.

The thing is that with me she is still talking away, she's happy and fun.   I haven't lost Amelia, she's gained a chance to focus.  I remember once before a friend said that everyone has to conform, I hate conformity but I know that Amelia needs to focus so if somewhat conforming is what it takes for her to learn then so be it.  But look out world...she's coming and with all that she learns we'll never be the same!

Update 4/3/13:
So it's April 3rd and I'm ready to share this with my readers.  I've seen things even out and she is doing great!  We are tapering off on the weekends, she doesn't need it then.  I'll share more on what's going on as we continue this journey but my girl is doing great for now, we'll see what happens down the road.

Monday, April 1, 2013

We did it!

Last Wednesday Amelia officially graduated from LearningRx!  It has been an exhausting journey but after getting Amelia's test results I see it was all worth it. 

I am proud to say that since starting LearningRx her IQ has jumped 27 points!  You read that right--27!  I was told that the normal IQ jump is 9-10 points but Amelia is one of the highest ever seen!

All of the running around after work, taking Amelia to class,  doing homework, struggling, being embarrassed because she threw things at the trainer, it all came together and she was listening and learning.  For Amelia to be 4 1/2 and be in the high percentile of IQ for that age group is amazing. 

Before LearningRx  we had trouble getting Amelia to focus and be where she needed to be for learning but because of those crazy dance times and building "bull cages", she can listen better in school and process things much better.  We still have some work to do on long term memory but LearningRx sent me home with plenty of ideas to work on that.

I really can't thank LearningRx enough, I know that I couldn't have done this on my own, but they have now given both Amelia and I the skills to use in the future.  We will be seeing them again, I want Amelia to excel in all that she does. 

Thank you to Ms. Rachel and Ms. Aly for all that you have done for our family.  This picture says it all, Amelia is a superstar!  (and this was not posed, it's just that big personality!)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Conforming so soon?

At 4 years old I think a child shouldn't have a care in the world.  Life is good, they love princesses and soldiers, eating ice cream and playing in the dirt. But it doesn't seem so these days.  We talk about how teens are such bullies nowadays and so many bad things are happening with our kids but it's happening younger and younger.

This weekend, on our girls weekend, Amelia and I spent a lot of time in the hotel pool, she didn't want to leave there.  The thing is that she can't swim yet, we got in a few lessons last year and I plan to get her back in this year, but I had to carry her around the pool while we played.  It was all great and fun until another family came in, that's when she seemed to get self-conscious. She kept telling the little boy (I'd say he was 8-10 years old) that she could swim but her Mom wanted to carry her.  The boy didn't care either way and just smiled sweetly but why is my 4 year old caring what others think??!!

Just last week at school she told me that two little girls said her dress wasn't pretty, I said something loudly about they were wrong in front of others and a father of another child complimented Amelia's dress. 

Why are kids being so cruel so early?  And why do our kids care so early?  I'm sure my daughter has said some mean things although I tell her that is not acceptable and I don't know where these kids get it from, maybe it's parents, maybe it's kids being kids...but is that normal at 4 years old?? 

If it's this way at 4 what happens at 14?  I'm not sure what to do, I don't know how to deal with this because it has blindsided me.  I just want to put her in a bubble and keep her safe, I hate that my baby could be sad.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Off-topic but important for parents to read

Last week I began following the Steubenville rape case, I know I'm a little behind but I try to avoid some news because it scares me for Amelia.  But as I read various accounts I became more and more angry at what happened and how it was handled by the adults involved and the media.

First, what these boys did was reprehensible.  There is no excuse, there is not enough "I'm sorry" in the world to excuse what they did.  I could go on and on but I think that the act speaks for itself on how disgusting I find what they did and how disgusting I find them to be.

Next, the parents of Mays who act like they are so great.  They took in this boy "from a bad home" and say they tried to help him.  These people couldn't even raise the child they had responsibly so give up the God-complex and stop trying to act like your doing such good things with "the poor boy from the 'hood". 

And lastly (for now), why do I keep reading in the media that they raped "a drunken girl".  Who cares if she was drunk?!  We claim that society has changed from the days of "she asked for it", but we haven't.  One of my friends commented on my Facebook page with this:

That's the thing WE, as parents of girls, are being given that sole responsibility when so much of it is out of our control.  Too may parents of boys aren't teaching their sons "don't rape".  We have a society that's trying to teach girls "don't be raped" and not only is that obtuse, but also insulting.

I have personally seen boys at Amelia's daycare, 4 and 5 years old, act like little punks.  They are rude and will be cruel to the girls and most of these boys I find have their fathers in their lives, so that's not an excuse.  There are a couple of the boys who are just so sweet and those are the boys being raised by single Moms.  Sure that's not always the case but I find that some of these men are teaching the boys to be tough rather than to respect women.  I should not notice these things in 4 year old boys!  But it's happening because we, as parents, are failing our kids.

I do believe that we need to teach our girls to be safe, to behave appropriately and it seems more and more to fight for themselves but if someone makes a poor choice that is not an excuse for them to be raped.  We have to move past the "boys will be boys" way of thinking and raise our boys to do what is right, no matter how scary it may be.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Why I'm so proud of Amelia

Amelia will be graduating from LearningRx soon, as part of the graduation process I was given a piece of paper to write a letter to her, the top says "we are so proud of you".  Looking at this piece of paper reminds me how important to tell those we love, what about them is great.  So I'm sharing my letter here with you, a letter to my precious girl, one that I hope someday she will read and know just how proud I am of her.

Dear Amelia:

We started this journey several months ago, when I came to LearningRx I wasn't sure what to expect but I decided that I wanted to do better for you.  I wanted to give you a chance to grow, to know that you could do anything and never give up.  Something that I lost myself along the way.

During this time we've been through the rough and the good times.   The testing was crazy, you were not wanting to sit in that little room, but seeing you test showed me just how amazing you are.  Your math scores were crazy good, something you did not get from me!  

When we started coming to class we both were nervous, the idea of having to take more time to sit and listen to someone had to be exhausting for you, and you fought us sometimes but in the end I know you were listening to Ms. Rachel.   I would find you saying and sharing things that amazed me.

I've seen you grow from my little baby who seemed really smart to me to this amazing little girl who can do anything she sets her mind to!  

Even on the most tiring days you made the best of it, everyone commented on how you were always happy.  You made everyone that came across your path smile. 

You have a heart made of gold, your bubbly personality is contagious.  You can always make me feel better, no matter how rough the day is.  I have grown as a Mom and I know that I am growing daily, because of you. 

I am proud of how hard you've worked, through the exhaustion.  And I know with your persistence and kindness along with all you've learned from Ms. Rachel, you can be anything!  Even that "Princess Doctor" you keep talking about.

I love you baby!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Changes are tough

After meeting with the LearningRx director the other day we decided to end Amelia's classes there for now, she still has some booster classes that can be done but she seems to be burnt out.  Being 4 years old and having pre-school during the day, classes two days and week plus not sleeping many nights, it's a lot for their little brains to take.

I have no regrets, actually I can't wait to tell my story of LearningRx and how it's changed our lives (that will be coming soon) and she'll have her graduation coming in the next few weeks.  I'm proud of her and all she has learned, I'm proud to have found LearningRx and have them taught my baby girl so much.  I spent part of Wednesday crying because I'm sad that we won't have classes anymore; sure, I'm tired and so is she but Ms. Rachel (her teacher) and Ms. Ali (Director of Trainers) have become a big part of our lives.  They have encouraged Amelia to be her wonderful self and have helped me during the dark times of feeling all I'm doing is wrong.  I hope to stay in touch with them because they are the ladies that I want me daughter to know--strong, sweet & amazing women!

On another note, I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not because it's hard to keep up with anything these days, but Amelia has stopped the sleep medicine.  It did not have good effects on her mind, she became MEAN.  Amelia is a lot of things but mean is not one of them.  She has been yelling, hitting and throwing things at me.  She even told her teacher at pre-school NO twice on Monday, it shocked her because Amelia doesn't do that.  Remember that medicines affect everyone differently.  One kid can take it and it does amazing but another it can cause a major rash or other crazy things.  I have a feeling we are on an upward battle with medicine with Amelia, just like me.  Nyquil wakes me up and Dayquil makes me sleepy--should be fun!

There are more changes coming but I'm not ready to discuss them yet, it's things that I'm still coming to grasp with myself.  I'll share with you soon, right now I'm just trying to get her balanced back out and my sweet girl back.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Making decisions for others SUCKS!

Forgive my description but there's not many better ways to put it, though there are some worse.

A few years ago one of my cats had cancer in one of her eyes; I had the choice to leave it alone and hope for the best or have her eye removed and hope it hadn't spread so she could live a long and happy life.  I cried and cried, I love Curlie and having to make a decision for something that couldn't speak for itself was overwhelming. 

In the end I had the eye removed and all is well now with our little pirate but now I am having to make decisions for someone even more daughter.

Should I give her medicine?  How will it affect her long-term?  Am I taking the right road on this?  Should I go with what the doctor says or trust my Mom instinct?  What if she gets bullied at school?  Am I protecting her too much?  Not enough?

Then when you add in all of the advice I'm getting from others--don't get me wrong, many friends have been so wonderful in sharing this road with me but they can only go so far.  They may suggest a path to take but I have to go down the path that I choose by myself and it's a hard road.

And let's not forget the "Internet doctors".  the people who say do this and that and don't do this and that.  The latest is that Coke Zero causes cancer, great now I'm killing my child that way. 

It's a constant battle, one where I wonder daily if I'm being a good Mom, blaming myself for things.  Crying because I lost it and yelled at her, I know she can't always help it but I'm tired.  It's nice to hear from friends who have "been there, done that" that encourage me but sometimes it's hard to hear the good over all of the bad.

I don't do a lot of Internet research because of so much inaccuracy out there and really, things that are okay today they'll find killed people later.  Sure, I'll research on some reputable sites to learn some basic things but I listen to my pediatrician and have to follow my gut.

Making decisions for someone who can't make their own...not something anyone wants to do but as parents we must do it daily.  We can only hope that we are doing the best...and that that insurance will cover their counseling once they start finding out all of our mistakes.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A little sweet revenge

For those who may have missed it, a few weeks back one of Amelia's teachers read a book about bugs and animals and the part about ticks really stuck with Amelia.  Every since then I get constant questions about ticks, I've told her they only live in the dark woods but the questions never stop.

This morning on the way to school I was getting my daily quizzing:  what happens if they get in the light?  are ticks scared of adults? if they are under a tree it's dark...


So with all of my exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed with life I thought I'd have a little fun.  I told Amelia to find Ms. Jessica (that teacher who read her the book) when she got to school and she could ask her questions ALL DAY about ticks.  We got there and Ms. Jessica was right in the lobby, the questions started.  I then told them both that Amelia could follow her around all day asking questions.  The entire staff that was around erupted in laughter as it all started.

Yep, it should be a great day for Ms. Jessica and I hope she gets the "why", "you know" and everything that I've been getting for the past couple of weeks.

Revenge is sweet...and can make you giggle no matter how tired you are.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Soda Diaries

So my tests continues:

For those who missed it, the pediatrician prescribed Amelia some medicine to help her sleep.  I was told to give her 1/2 a pill an hour before bed.

Wednesday, 2/20, Day 1:

630pm I gave her 1/4 pill, I'm just not ready to give the full half, heck I don't even want to give her anything but not sleeping isn't good for any of us.

830pm She's still talking away, to her "friends", her "friends" are "talking back to her", about 'odometers', ticks and everything else in her little brain.  I know she needs to sleep so I tried something I had heard of, gave her a small cup of coke zero.  Caffeine can have an opposite effect on ADHD, Autistic and Aspergers kids.  5 minutes later--SHE'S OUT!  Slept all night like an angel.

Thursday, 2/21, Day 2:

7pm After talking to the pediatrician I gave her the 1/2 pill, the assure me it's a very mild medicine and technically she could take a full pill.  As part of my test I don't want to give the coke, let's see how the med works along.

945pm O-M-G, it won't stop.  She's laughing and talking non-stop.  I'm at my wits end so 1/2 a cup of coke zero here we come.  I finish watch House Hunters International and at 10pm she's out cold.

Could it be the coke zero?  Could it be the combination?  Who knows, Friday night we'll try the coke zero only.   When I got home from a girls night out I found out my husband didn't give her the coke but proceeded to inform me that we are putting her to bed too early, she'll fall asleep on her own about 10pm...yep, just what a 4 year old needs to be doing.  So Saturday night Mommy will do this experiment herself.

She did wake up at 230 because she wet her bed, can't blame her, I gave her coke at 945pm.  She stayed awake until 6 this morning but played a little quieter except the occasional really loud laughing...someone was funny in that room!

Friday, 2/22, Day 3:
Don't leave your husband to do a job.

Saturday, 2/23, Day 4:
Well it was a rough night, she was a complete diva.  I sent her to her room for punishment and was debating whether to give her the coke, it seemed like a reward.  But after she settled down I decided to try it.  It took 45 minutes to an hour but she went to sleep.  Really I don't know know if it was the coke or exhaustion from all of that rebelliousness.

Sunday & Monday, Days 5 & 6:
I thought maybe the medicine was taking longer to work for her so I gave it to her at 530 in the afternoon, 730, 830, 930, NOTHING!  So I gave the coke.  Sunday night it worked relatively quickly, Monday, she was dancing to "if your happy and you know it".  Finally about 930 she went to sleep. 

So in conclusion, research is not my field of expertise.  I have no clue!  I suppose I need to call the doctor back, all the books I read say the parent who doesn't give up has the most successful child, God bless those parents. Can you sense my discouragement?

I'll rest my brain this morning and see how I'm feeling in the afternoon.  Perhaps my child really is the energizer bunny.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Forgive my rant, and if your sensitive and know me you may not want to continue reading.

Everyone has an opinion, some are trying to be helpful, some are judgmental, some are genuinely concerned.  But everyone has one.

To a  Mom who is dealing with a child who has a "disorder" or "disability" that can be overwhelming.  I share my stories on Facebook sometimes, to get them out, to share, sometimes for advice but many times the responses that I get are overwhelming.

Amelia has been a diva this week, she could be a teenager!  Of course, as I shared this many said "it must be the new medicine, you know it can do that".  Um no, the bad mood started Monday, the medicine started Wednesday...S-T-R-I-K-E!  I know that it's from some people who are not really into giving kids medicine like this--I get it, I'm THAT Mom...or I was. 

You see, every kid is different.  I love that my friends are trying to help me, really.  But this morning I spent 5 minutes crying, it was overwhelming.  The "try this, try that", "could she have...", "have you had her tested in a lab", that's a lot for a Mom to take.  Yes, I need to trust my gut but I'm going with some things that my pediatrician says because she's known Amelia since birth and I truly trust her.  Oh she knows that if I doubt something I'll tell her, but overall I hear what she has to say.

Some people have asked if Amelia could have aspergers, talk about scaring me!  I called the doctor, she doesn't see that in Amelia, I can test her, but I'm not ready just yet.  I don't want to stick my head in the sand but I don't want to go looking for trouble either.  There are some bad doctors out there.  And if I do then what?  Label her?

I know for some parents it's important and I respect that and have several friends whose kids have Autism and Aspergers, they are amazing parents who really help me with Amelia because some symptoms can be similar and I've gotten great advice from them.  But I'm not there yet...I don't think.  It's a day-to-day thing. 

So next time your friend says she put her child on medicine just listen, your fear comes through whether you want it to or not, know that it's not a decision that any decent parent wants to make.  But what worked for your child may not work for mine and vice versa. 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yay for sleep!

A quick update on the sleeping situation.

Don't judge, unless you've been in my shoes with my child, you don't get that right :)

So after another entire night of NO sleep and I literally mean she was up ALL night, the pediatrician prescribed something to help Amelia sleep.  She told me to give her 1/2 a pill an hour before bed.  Of course, I hate giving medicine to my child so I gave 1/4 of the pill.  Two hours later she was still in there talking up a storm--I mean Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Minnie and whoever else she could imagine was talking. 

I had it and went to the fridge and got a cup of coke zero, took it in the room and she drank it.  10 minutes later...SILENCE!

She slept all night!  WOOHOO!

The pediatrician wants me to give the full 1/2 pill so I'll try that tonight but this weekend I'm going to try the coke zero again.  I guess I'm doing testing on my child but I need to do what I can to help her brain keep growing...and my sanity not go any further down.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I love about Amelia

Having a child with ADHD is certainly exhausting, add in the diva attitude of Amelia and it's downright overwhelming!

But as one of my recent Macaroni Kid contributors said, sometimes we need to remind ourselves of our successes, so here is my "success board" of sorts for Amelia, I'm actually using it to show me the fun times that I have with her.  Let me tell you, this is one funny kid!

On Sunday we decided to take her to church; it's really one of the first times she sat through a church service so she wasn't sure what to expect.  First she started off asking people if there were sno cones there, just random people that would walk by before church started.

Then as worship began she got excited hearing the music and loved clapping, when others would raise their hands in worship she would raise hers.  She even sang the songs as though she knew them, she did ask if they would sing Carrie Underwood though...eek!

When they would bow their head in prayer she would ask me when they would be happy again.  Oh through the eyes of a child!

That's just one morning of fun!

On Friday daycare apparently was showing pictures of bugs and showed her a tick, then explained how they get in your skin and it hurts.  Thanks daycare!  She was obsessed all weekend and will probably be for weeks to come.  She is a very anxious child and this set her off, for now we've explained that ticks only live in the dark woods and she would never go there.  Go with it people!

Let's not forget the trip to the pet store a few weeks ago...Amelia is obsessed with "thermometers" thanks to Frosty the Snowman., she calls them "odometers" though.  I decided it would be an expensive way to entertain her to go see the animals at the pet store and we visited the fish.  It was then that she saw an "odometer" in one of the tanks.  *Sigh*, every time I tried to get her to go look at another animal she wanted to go back and look at the "odometers".  So, yes, we went to the pet store to see "odometers".

The Amelia-isms keep coming, she certainly keeps me on my toes and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Except at 3am, at 3am I could trade her.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What is brain training?

I get lots of questions about what Amelia is learning at LearningRx and honestly, I'm just getting a grasp of it myself.  When I started into this process I thought it would be like the typical place, tutoring and teaching her the basics; but now I know it's so much more.

What does playing with blocks, clapping on beat and memorizing a bunch of words have to do with school and learning?  I've found it's about training her brain unique ways to learn.  If she can learn these "crazy" things then when she starts school she can use her own unique way to do what needs to be done.  This brain training has already taught her my phone number, directions and much more.  She's learning to process things in a different way than I can. 

The other day while we were waiting, one of the other students who I would say is about 17 told me he wished he had started LearningRx earlier in life.  He see's a difference in the way he can study and learn and it's improved his studies tremendously.

For Amelia being so young, it's about providing unique challenges and showing her unique ways to get through them, I wish I knew that she would be taught this way when she starts "regular" school. 

I'm probably not the best person to explain how it works because putting it into words is tough but I see that it works.

Today someone said that I need to let Amelia know that she is smart, very smart but that she learns things in a different way than most kids.  The things she is learning at LearningRx will help with this.  If it takes using beats or singing to solve a math problem then so be it!  I wish I had found a way to do that when I was young.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

She's growing up too fast!

How many of us say that about our kids?  Everything happens so fast, it seems like just yesterday she was learning to walk.

Today I took her for testing for magnet school, I won't know until April if she gets in but it was very scary for me.  That building was so big and she wondered why the big kids parents weren't with them.  Me too, Amelia, me too.  I know at some point they have to be dropped off but can't I just follow her around and make her hold my hand until she's like 15?

When they called her back I almost threw up, literally.  All of the talking the other parents were doing was too much, they were loud and I just wanted to peak in and see how she was doing.

When she came out I asked her how it went and in her usual fashion of not giving information she said "fine".  I asked what she did and she said "I can't tell you".  Just great kid!

Fortunately another Mom who brought her child to testing was at Chick-Fil-A when we arrived and her daughter was much more forthcoming so I was able to get the scoop.  That made me about to get her to talk about it a bit more, she couldn't draw a star.  Honestly I can't either so no big deal in my eyes.

It's funny though, we all see our kids as geniuses and then when testing starts you wonder if you've done enough to teach them.

Ahhh, this waiting until April may kill me!  But then again, let it pass slowly because August means she goes to school and I'm not sure this Momma is ready, even if my big girl is ready to take over the world!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oh sleep, where are you?

One thing about having a child who has ADHD tendencies is that sleep does not come easily.  There is too much for them to do and too few hours in the day.  As Amelia says “we can’t sleep TOO much”. 

While she doesn’t find trouble, she isn’t exactly a quiet little mouse.  There are nights that I put her to bed at 8pm and she will still be awake and playing when I go to bed at 10pm. 

Here’s what I hear (done in the voice of her “friends” Mickey, Minnie and their friends, all stuffed animals that she has):

Mickey:  You can’t stay in the bath too long or you’ll become a prune.

Donald:  Princesses can’t become prunes.

Mickey:  But her Mommy can and then she won’t have a mommy anymore.


Mickey:  I can’t help it, that’s how I talk.

Donald:  She said to go to sleep.

And on and on and on.

One day last week she was awake from 130am-6 in the morning.  She had school and I had work the next day.  While it is not easy for me to function, somehow she seems to make it though.

Monday of this week she woke up at 4:30am and it did not make for an easy day that included a stress test for me.    Of course, she then went to school and apparently punched 2 boys…because they wouldn’t move out of her way.

Well, I do teach her to defend herself but geez! 

Not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but this Momma’s at her wits end. 

Before all of the advice starts rolling in, yes, I’ve probably tried everything your going to say and thanks but no thanks on the medical advice.  I am in constant contact with her pediatrician and we are raising the dosage on Melatonin starting tonight.  I know there are a million more all-natural remedies but I won’t give anything without the pediatricians approval—I figure if she went through 8+ years at school I can go by that and, of course, my Mommy instinct.  After all, every person is different.  I also have some other things I’m asking her about.

So anyways, I know there are others who deal with this.  I have a few friends whose children have ADHD, Autism and many other “disorders” and we talk about it frequently.  That doesn’t mean that if your child isn’t sleeping that they have one of these, some kids are just hard at bedtime.

So how was last night?  She went to bed at 9pm and slept until 6:15 this morning—I see a boxing class in her future.  LOOK OUT BOYS!

(sorry for the rambling, sleep is not easy to catch up on)

Friday, January 18, 2013

A rose for my Rose

Once we got out of the insanity of holiday time Amelia has gotten back in the game!  Last night she learned some words in order from Ms. Rachel and did very well. 

Amelia has been on top of her game lately, listening well and picking up things quicker than I can keep up with, it's all so exciting!  She even learned my phone number and is proud to share it...probably a little too much LOL

But last night as she was working Ms. Ali asked her if she liked flowers.  Of course my princess loves flowers, she likes to "dance around with them".  So Ms. Ali told her if she does well that she would give her one, as soon as I got back to get her she told me she had to go get her flower!

So here's Amelia, Ms. Ali and the beautiful rose!  And, yes, she danced with it last night.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Are kids really cruel?

I wanted to share an article that I posted in my newsletter this week. 

Amelia is very sensitive and I think it makes me overprotective of her, I'd love your input:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Holidays and vacations are hard to come back from!

Amelia had been doing really well listening at her classes at LearningRx, she would even tell me “mom, I’m going to try really hard to be good”.  She was so proud.

Then the holidays came around…holidays are the “debil”.  Something happens to kids when they spend too much time with their families and get spoiled, they don’t want to come back from it.  And Amelia wasn’t alone, I saw multiple students having trouble focusing, poor things just wanted to go eat some more chocolate pie! 

So last week going back to classes were a bit treacherous, she loves Ms. Rachel but couldn’t stay focused.  She’d say she was tired and grumpy and wanted to go to sleep.  Apparently she does have an arm for baseball judging by the bean bag throwing going on…YIKES!

But, as usual, Ms. Rachel was patient and did her best with what she had to work with.  She knows when Amelia’s at her limit and we cut it off and go home, another thing I love about them.  This is on Amelia’s level, it’s what she can take. 

Coming soon I’ll tell you all of the awesome things she has learned, it’s exciting and even more exciting the things that I have learned!