Mother’s Day 2016

Good morning, and Happy Mother’s Day.

Holidays and parties are HARD for our family. We need to prepare by doing a lot of resting prior, and then we must prepare for the inevitable meltdowns and struggles that will follow. Beth and Anne can usually “hold it together” while we are there, because they truly WANT to be there. The problem is that it is too much for their systems, especially Beth. The one thing our loved ones will never understand is the “happy meltdown.” The “happy meltdown” is the fallout as Beth’s system tries to process all the excitement and happy she experienced at the gathering.

After many PAINFUL holidays this past year, we are doing things differently. It is upsetting to people that want to see the girls at parties, but I cannot please everyone and my girls’ mental health cones first. So today, I will spend the morning with my amazing daughters, then this afternoon I will go visit with my family (mom, gram, aunt, etc…) to celebrate Mother’s Day. Our decision was not popular, but I must admit that once it was made, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.

Today is Mother’s Day, and EVERY Mother should celebrate in a way that puts a happy in HER heart. We should not celebrate in ways that only make others happy. We must put ourselves first sometimes, and today is the perfect day to do that.  Remember Different is just different; it is not better or worse, and you need not justify your choices to anyone. May your day be filled with laughter and love; may it also be meltdown free and relaxing.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Hard Lesson

Today my baby learned a hard lesson. She learned that the world is filled with dishonest people. At the age of 6, she learned that people will steal from others, simply because they can. She learned this, because it happened to her today.

We went grocery shopping, and she brought her friend Bessie (aka her purse). She still had birthday money left, and she takes it everywhere in case she wants to buy something (usually for sister or daddy), or donate a dollar or two. She cannot open her purse fast enough, when she sees people collecting for a cause.

Toward the end of our shopping trip, she dropped Bessie. When we realized it was gone we went in search of it. A woman we had seen several times throughout the store saw Beth sobbing and yelling; she asked what was wrong. I told her that she dropped her purse. She said I just saw her bear over by the chicken, which was where I thought she left it, but it was not there.

We walked around the store for 45 minutes hoping to find it elsewhere. We asked almost everyone we encountered if they had seen it. I left my number with the service desk, in case someone turned it in. We did all this with my daughter in a full-blown meltdown, refusing to leave the store without her purse. It was heartbreaking! When we finally left the store, we were both in tears.

Beth is persevating on this, and we talked a LOT about it. I told her that perhaps God thought the person who found it needed it more than we did. She finally started saying she wanted to share her purse/money so the people could buy food, clothes, underwear, socks or toys. Although she tried to sound happy about it, I could tell how sad she still was. Henry even went back to the store to check the garbage cans, but it was not there. Beth had $25 in her purse, and he suspected whoever took it, pocketed the cash and never gave a second thought to the cute unicorn purse.

Thankfully a friend of mine found the purse on ebay and bought it for Beth. I am overwhelmed with her kindness, and cannot thank her enough. I told Beth what this woman had done, and she told me that my friend got her a new Bessie, so she would not be sad. I told her that was exactly right, and that we were blessed to have such wonderful people in our life. She is still sad, and will be for some time, but she is also VERY excited to meet her new friend.

Today was horrible, but even on the bad days, I am reminded of how truly blessed we are. Today Beth learned a hard lesson, one that I do not think a 6yr old should have to learn, but it what it is. She is an amazing child, and this is just one more building block toward the adult she will become.  I cannot wait to see this extraordinary young lady change the world.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Disappointment

Today was Beth’s birthday party. I considered cancelling it due to Anne’s recent illness and hospitalization, but then decided to have it as scheduled. Henry is gone 17 hours a day, Monday thru Friday, between his two jobs, so I knew it was my job to prepare for the party.

He had told me to leave what I could for today, so he could help me. I do not do well with last minute preparation; I end up anxious, stressed and crabby. So I did as much as I could and was proud to have everything bought, except the food being picked up today, by Friday afternoon. All that was  left was the cleaning.

Disappointment #1, he woke up irritable. Upon returning from an errand, and having a very tense breakfast, I had to send him to bed, because his mood swings (due to unregulated glucose levels) were upsetting the girls. I had to get the house ready for company by myself, which meant Beth and Anne were ignored, because I was overwhelmed, while he was napping.

Disappointment #2, he was completely antisocial during the party, watching TV and only talking to his friend or father. The only interaction he had with the kids were negative ones, and my heart broke more, the longer the day went on.

Toward the end of the night the girls were struggling, Anne especially was melting down over everything and Beth was getting agitated. I was exhausted and really needed his help. Disappointment #3, he could not stop himself from being the crabby, nit-picking daddy; the daddy he hates to be, but nonetheless becomes when his glucose levels are not regulated. Needless to say, I was greatly relieved when he said he needed to go to bed.

Today is one of those days, when I am beyond grateful for Al-Anon. I kept my mouth shut (silence is better than angry words), worked my program and did not make the situation worse. In Al-Anon we are reminded that “expectations are predetermined resentments.” My expectations for the day, were that he would be the fun-time daddy they were longing for all week. He was not that man today, and so I find myself filled with anger, disappointment and resentment.

Tonight I will go to bed talking to God, and asking for help in reconciling my heart and mind. My mind knows that Henry had a VERY stressful week at both jobs, on top of Anne’s health concerns. My mind knows that he did not purposely upset us today. My mind knows he is working through his own stuff, and needs the space to do that. My heart, on the other hand, is hurt; which always brings the negative thoughts to the forefront. When that negativity gets a hold of me, all I do is sit on the “pity pot.”  My heart and mind will talk, so that I remember  all the reasons (and there are MANY) that I am blessed, and proud, to have Henry as my partner in this life. Tonight, as I converse with God, I will replace the negatives with positives; I will stop judging and start loving more, so tomorrow can be a better day.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Why We Started Homeschooling

After our Healing Touch session, it occurred to me that I never really shared the reason why we homeschool. One thing I have learned in Al-Anon is that sharing your story, helps you to heal the wounds from it. Since our homeschool story is quite lengthy, I will share it in parts. This is the emotional part of Why our journey began.

Beth was being bullied by three typical boys, in her blended class, at our public school. At first we did not know the extent of the bullying. Thankfully, when we asked the school for assistance in helping her identify the correct emotions, and understand the difference between a friend and a bully (for lack of a better word), the response was unbelievable. The Director of Special Education cut off all our communication with the staff, and became VERY defensive. Her extreme overreaction, and attempt at “handling” us, was a HUGE red flag that there was much more to the story.

The director told us our daughter did not need to know what a bully was, because it could not happen at this age. She told us our daughter created issues where there were none; her examples only proved that she knew nothing about Autism and the literal thinker. She told us when we spent hours trying to console Beth during her meltdowns, we were telling her, that her issue was more important than it was. I could go on for pages, but I will spare you all the other inappropriate things this “professional” had to say, except this last one. Her ultimate solution to the problem was to teach Beth not to cry, so that the children with less control (aka the bullies) would not be as compelled to target her.

As I explained to the Director in our last communication, before we withdrew the girls, her solution did nothing to help our daughter, and only served to foster more bullies. To not reprimand the bullies, and teach them to behave with respect and kindness is wrong. To teach a victim to not cry, and just accept that they are less than their peers, is WRONG. Her way of “helping” special needs students, which is sadly the same almost everywhere in the USA, is one of the reasons so many of our children are abused and tortured every day at school.

Having taught preschool myself, I know this is the age that can set the tone for a child’s future. I was disappointed and outraged by the way this situation was handled. I was also horrified by how Anne was starting to behave, after only being in that school for a few months. She was becoming disrespectful and cruel. I knew exactly what was happening to Beth at school, because I was seeing it happen at home.

We knew our daughters deserved better, as a result we withdrew our children from the public school district, and began making plans to homeschool. The socialization the school had to offer, was nothing our children needed.

You may have caught the word thankfully above. It may be hard to believe, but we are thankful for this ugliness, because it led us to something wonderful. Also, please know that if it were not for Al-Anon, this story would be very different, and not in a good way.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Healing Touch

Have you heard of Healing Touch? If not here is a great post that explains Healing Touch.

On Saturday, I had a Healing Touch session with Sarah, from Color My Spirit. In this session, the intention was to work on Beth, through me. I was the one on the table, while Beth was at my parents house playing the day away. Before I left for my session, I put Chakra Balancing Oils on both Beth and myself. I also put a Chakra ring on both us. I then brought a picture of Beth, for Sarah to have during the session. Since Beth loves rocks, and is always on a quest for the perfect gold one, Sarah also placed a beautiful pyrite stone (amongst others) by Beth’s picture.

We talked about what I hoped to achieve through the session. My main goal was to help Beth process, and move on from, the negative energy that resulted from bullying. She had been bullied for months in public school, and is still trying to work through all those emotions. Beth is Autistic, and for her that means her memories are sensory based. Unfortunately, many activities such as painting, eating, playing, etc… tend to bring back painful memories from her experiences at public school. Sometimes she talks about how sad she is, while other times she has massive meltdowns. I am doing my best to help her work through her emotions each time she shares an incident with me, but I was hoping Sarah and Healing Touch could help her on another level.

The session was amazing! The energy that comes from Sarah vibrates in the air when she is working on me. When we started I had a lump, that felt like a rock in the upper left side of my chest. As the session progressed, the pain and weight I felt in that spot slowly dissipated. At times I had to take a deep breath, from the power of the energy moving through me. During the session, I felt another rock-like lump manifest in my lower abdomen and slowly travel up toward the center of my chest, where it rested, before dissipating as well. There were moments, when I felt as though I would weep, and others when I smiled from immense feelings of joy. Toward the end of the session, Sarah was moving her hands from my knee to my toes in a sweeping motion. Each time her hands swept downward, I felt as though she was pulling something out of me. My arms automatically stretched toward her, and I felt as though I was fighting to keep my body flat on the table. It was as if whatever she was focusing on, was being dragged out of every fiber in my being.

I pray this helps Beth. The overwhelming feelings of peace and love that I felt at the end of our session, is something I pray my children feel countless times in their life. Today Beth and I are exhausted, despite both of us sleeping very well last night. Sarah warned that we may feel more tired in the coming days, as our bodies detox from the negative energy she attempted to remove. I will be watching Beth in the coming weeks to see what changes are apparent. I will also be paying close attention to myself, since Sarah sensed that I must heal my own (old) wounds in order to fully help Beth heal hers.

There was one new thing today. For the first time, while talking about the boys who tortured her, Beth said: “I don’t like K anymore. He said I was bad team, but he is bad team and I don’t like him anymore!” This is HUGE, because just a few days ago, she was still crying about how he broke her heart because she wanted to be his friend and he didn’t like her. This change in her dialogue is like a beacon of hope for me! It is the shining star that tells me, she will not only overcome this, but she is going to use it as a base for something wonderful.

I believe the Lord has great plans for Beth. I know she will encounter good and evil on her path. I also know that when she must endure the bad, He will help her heal, and take what she needs from those events. I am very thankful that He has blessed us with people like Sarah, to help her on her journey.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Should Have Known

We had a really ROUGH day on Friday. Aside from Occupational Therapy for Anne, we ended up scrapping the entire school day. I suppose you could say we took an emergency institute day. 😉

Friday evening, as I listened to Beth struggling to breath normally, our rough day started to make sense. Whenever Beth is sick, she is “off” and VERY meltdown prone; because her sensory system is trying to deal with the illness, and it makes her self-regulation much more difficult. Excessive meltdowns are typically our first sign of illness, and always send me into high alert. My current cause of terror is the respiratory virus hitting the midwest.

At 5 years old, Beth has spent more time in the hospital than I have in my 38 years. Thankfully, I have learned to notice the signs and can usually catch the illnesses before we get to the hospital stage, but I am always preparing for our next trip to the ER. We are blessed to have found a good combination of supplements, which typically help her immune system stay strong. We have not had an illness related hospitalization in almost two years (knock on wood), and I pray that we can keep it that way.

Yesterday when she woke up, she told me her throat did not feel good. She kept clearing her throat and I could tell it was really bothering her. A few hours later, my throat felt like it was on fire and it hurt to swallow. Beth appears to have a much higher pain tolerance than I do, but if she was feeling half as horrible as I was, then I knew ibuprofen was not going to be enough. So off to Walmart I went to get us both some cold medicine.

Last night, I introduced her to my mom’s secret weapon for sore throats. I rubbed her neck in with vapor-rub and wrapped one of Henry’s socks around her neck before bed. I am close to 40yrs old, and still wear one my Dad’s socks with vicks every time I have a sore throat. We are both feeling much better today, but our socks are hanging in the bathroom waiting to be used again this evening.

Anne is also congested today, so I will be trying the magic sock with her. Hopefully she will think that “matching magic socks” are as cool as Beth thinks they are. Although, in all honesty, I doubt she will let me put it on and/or wear it for long.

While it is possible for all of us to have picked up a virus in our travels; I am hoping that since Beth and I seem to have recovered quickly, it is simply allergies and we will be healthy for all our outings this week. My girls LOVE to be out and about socializing with everyone; but I will not bring them out if they are ill, because we firmly believe in keeping our germs to ourselves. I suppose we will just have to see what tomorrow brings, and take it One Day At A Time.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

 

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Fourth Day

On our last day of the first week, my children reminded me, that any given moment the day can take a turn, for better or worse.

The morning was rough, but we finally made it out of the house around noon, to shop for Daddy’s birthday. After an unsuccessful trip to Target, Anne asked for a Donald’s visit to slide. I hoped that some play-time at the golden arches would make the next store visit a little more enjoyable. I was wrong!

Anne climbed to the top (something she has done countless times before), where she had a meltdown because she was scared. I asked Beth to help her, and she climbed up there, only to have Anne refuse her help. This caused Beth to meltdown as well, because she cannot handle the crying, but would not leave her sister. I was patient, I was patient, and then I was a jerk. 😦 Eventually she came down (with Beth’s help) and sobbed in my arms. She was tired, and sad that I couldn’t come up and get her. I was angry at myself for being too big to climb up and get her, as she cried for me to do just that. It was a painful reminder, of how far I still have to go on my healthy journey. I was also embarrassed for being a jerk, when my kid was struggling. As I work my program, I have less self-hatred, but when it does rear it’s ugly head, it makes me act like a jerk, and I hate myself even more.

Needless to say after the McDonald’s disaster, we came straight home, and no more shopping was done. While Anne napped, Beth watched a Veggie Tales movie to relax. Then we did our meditation, played some Monkey Wordschool on her kindle, and did laundry.

When Anne got up from her nap, we officially started our school day. First up was art, which today was making daddy’s cards. Following art, we had story-time, then exercised. Since we needed some fun, instead of walking our mile with Leslie, today we danced to TobyMac, while playing follow the leader. After 20 minutes of dancing back-n-forth through the apartment doing all kinds of crazy moves, we were ready to sit down and do some worksheets.

The girls did really well with their worksheets, and did one coloring sheet for our bible study, before finishing with a yoga adventure.  Our school time ended at almost 8pm. It was late, but the girls were in a great mood and ended the day on a good note.

It was not our best day, but it also wasn’t our worst. I apologized to my children for my poor behavior, and they gave me the love I needed (and couldn’t give myself today). One Day At A Time, I become the person God intended me to be; thankfully I have Al-Anon and my two amazing kids to help me find my way.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

 

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.