Saturday, September 27, 2014

Finger Sucking Saga

My daughter has a mouth full of teeth.  She is an overachiever by growing her 3yr old molars just after she turned 2yrs.  At the last dental cleaning the kids dentist told me that I needed to start breaking her of sucking on her fingers, it's changing the shape of her palette.  It is pretty bad, her fingers have callouses.  I hadn't really thought about it before, and it looks like she's giving the "I love you" sign to everyone, but apparently, that's not good.

Lil' bit loves being a princess, so I told her that princesses don't suck their fingers.  No go.  Since they don't suck their fingers she won't be a princess.  I've pulled her fingers out of her mouth. Another no go.  Now she 'hides' it but covering the act with her other hand.  Hmm, NAILPOLISH!   That would be my answer.  What better thing for a girly-girl than to wear polish, she would never risk ruining it, right? Wrong.  It did last until she got sleepy, so that was an improvement.

What was I doing wrong?  We'd been working on this to no avail.  I did what any mom fearing thousands of dollars in orthodontics bills would do...I called the dentist.  They recommended putting socks on her hands and tying them on with pretty ribbons, special thumb sucking polishes, or if we wanted to go extreme - there are silicone finger covers you can order from Like this, Finger guard. Ok, now I had a some sort of direction to take.

I have cute little pink gloves that are just Lil' Bit's size.  Now this was her version of heaven!  They are pink, and she can wear them!!!  I was very proud of myself at this point.  She loved her gloves, she wanted to wear them.  But, when she wanted to suck on her fingers, off went the gloves.  I told her that she couldn't have them if she kept sucking on her fingers.  She decided that the gloves weren't that pretty after all.

Next, we moved on to Tabasco sauce.  This was sure to work.  I caught her sucking on her fingers, took her to the kitchen and explained that she was going to get sauce on her fingers because she was being 'yucky'.  She put the Tabasco coated fingers in her mouth, looked at her fingers and promptly sucked it all off and asked for more sauce.  After I was able to lift my jaw back into place I told her no, that she couldn't just drink her 'sauce'.

Fine, I bought some of this stuff, Mavala Stop.  It has extremely good reviews.  I got it.  I read the instructions saying that it would last for 2 days.  Yippee!  At first Lil Bit was unsure about it.  I thought that we had beat this.  One less thing that I would have to worry about.  But, Lil Bit is able to suck all of that stuff of in about 20 minutes flat.

I called the dentist back.  Now in my head, is that my daughter is going to have teeth that stick out everywhere, her fingers will remain calloused and her nails will curve the wrong way for the rest of her life!

I called the dentist again. I hear, Wow, she is a very tough case.  Keep trying the best you can, but as long as we get her over it before she's 5 yrs old, it shouldn't be too bad later.  This is where I want to scream.  Several months of trying to break this habit, and now Lil' Bit has dug in her heels because I pushed so hard.

Now, when I see her sucking on her fingers, I remind her that it's very yucky but I'm not stressing so much.  She will eventually stop.  I just pray that it's before any long term damage is caused.

Where did my stuff go?!

At home, if I can't locate a particular item, I rarely blame one of the kids.  Even the 2yr old is generally ruled out of swiping items.  You see, my husband likes to hold things when he talks.  He knows this about himself, which is good.  He doesn't carry something for himself, so he picks up anything that happens to be in his reach as he's talking, which is bad.

I've learned that if an item goes missing, currently it's my main set of keys, I just go and search his "spaces" for said item.   To ask where things are is an exercise in futility, he doesn't remember picking them up, much less where he left it.  He has adamantly denied moving items which have later been found on his desk.  People have also learned at his work place that he takes things and they simply go to his office for their return.  One day he accumulated 6 staplers on his desk with no idea who they belonged to.  I think he's better than the lost and found desk, of course, he is the reason that the item is lost in the first place.

Currently my keys are lost.  I have turned my house upside down for them.  We are trying to sell a house right now and some of the keys to it are on that ring.  I also can't check my mail box because it's keyed, but hubby can so it's his job now.  This loss could cost us $200 minimum.  The big cost is from the remote control vehicle key.  I have asked what happened to them but he denies ever having them.  I would really like to know how he was able to drive my van to work.....Since that day they have been completely AWOL.  It's been almost a month now and I keep praying that they'll turn up, but I fear they are gone for good.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Family is Different, So What.

I have been asked many times recently if it upsets or bothers me that C-note has High Functioning Autism and/or Sensory Processing Disorder.  I know that some moms may feel this way, but I never have.  Have I been upset by some of the behavior it causes?  Yes, but that's because I couldn't understand WHY he was doing the things he does.  I actually find having a diagnosis was very helpful.

Why do I feel this way?  Society says you can't be different.  But that can't be further from the truth.  As I tell my kids, if we were all the same in our thoughts and deeds then nothing would ever change.  We would never see any reason to improve ourselves, what would be the point?  We would not have diverse inventions, because we would only need one thing to suit all needs.  And lets face it, life would be extremely boring.

Getting a diagnosis didn't change my son.  He is still the same child that he was even the day before.  The difference is that I know can understand him better, and help him understand himself.  Think about that for a minute....Do you really understand what that means?  He is just the way he needs to be and he will look at things in ways a 'normal' person wouldn't.  He asks questions that often leave me stumped due to their complexity and depth.  He will learn to problem solve to a much greater extent than many of his peers because he has to learn ways of adapting to the world around him.

Bumblebee is another wonder.  We're still trying to figure him out.  While C-note will not deviate from a given rule, Bumblebee will reinterpret the rules to suit him.  He is what many would call sly.  He will follow the rules  but bend them in a way that isn't really breaking them.  When you point this out, he gives his best baby blue eye smile.  His smile can melt the coldest of hearts and he has a personality to match.  The world is his oyster.  If something confuses him, he just changes the subject and ignores the trouble.  This makes him a very happy person, until he can't avoid the problem anymore.  When he's run out of evasion tactics Bumblebee panics and melts.  We're working on this, but he's 4.5yrs old.  He'll get there.

To ask me if it bothers me that my children are different, or not like their peers is crazy and a bit offensive.  I wonder if it bothers them that their kids were born boys or girls?  It's the same thing. They are all unique and special.  We all have quirks, some people simply have more quirks than others.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ask a Simple Question....

I love my kids with all my heart.  Yes, they do make me crazy at times, but I wouldn't trade them for the world. I asked C-note if I could keep him forever; he responded with a solemn "no".  When I asked him why, he told me that one day I would die before him and that I would leave him alone here on Earth.  Ah, I really wish he would tell me what he thinks about things.

Pokemon Party

My oldest recently turned 7yrs old.  Before his birthday, I asked him what theme he wanted.  He is obsessed with Pokemon, so that's what he asked for.  I thought, since Pokemon has been around for years that this should be easy, right? WRONG!

Pokemon stuff is still around, but it's influence is dwindling so items are getting harder to find.  Harder to find = more expensive.  So I did what any mom would do in the face of promising her child the party of his dreams.  I made as much as I could and scoured the internet.  Party City and Toys R Us are the only local stores that had ANYTHING.

I started 2 months early, and boy am I glad!  I made these pokeballs for a pokeball toss.  Amazon was a great resource for prizes and a Pin the Scalchop on Oshowat.

Collected pictures of all the kids coming to the party and made each one a personalized pokemon card thanks to this web site: Make your own pokemon cards  I also made made the bags (so easy).

I was extremely pleased with the end result.

I also found an amazing artist who is willing to email fans his art for free when you contact him. I had his art printed on a piece of tin and displayed it behind the cake.  Josh is an amazing artist and you can contact him through this link Pokemon Poster

It was a lot of prepatory work, but my son had a great birthday.  

Experiences in Sensory Processing Disorder

Every child is different.  Every child will react differently in any situation.  C-note has sensory processing disorder.  Does this mean that there is something 'wrong' with him? no.  It simply means that his brain processes sensations differently than most people.  In his case, everything is bigger, louder and more intense.  We always knew that something was unusual in him, even as an infant, he couldn't tolerate being touched and we had to hold him away from our bodies to calm him.  At 7yrs he still struggles with the loudness of the vacuum cleaner and has to be in a different room.

Eating is also a struggle.  C-note doesn't like starches, including rice, pasta, potatoes; gags on root vegetables; anything green; any rough textured fruit, like apples and pears; and he does not like sauces on is food.  So, basically, he likes very plain, and smooth food that has little to no color.  We avoided taking him out to restaurants until he was about 4.5yrs old because we never knew when it would end up with screaming, crying  or even throwing up on the tables.

Over time, and a lot of trial and error, we have found that there are things that C-note simply can not handle, and we don't push those things on him.  There are things though, that he does not have as great of an aversion, so we slowly integrate them.  Just earlier this year he would melt over a carrot on his plate, now he is able to eat one at meal time.  He also changed his mind about Ranch dressing, which is now the only way to get him to eat a veggie.

C-note went to a private kindergarten.  He learned a terrific amount of information, but he was constantly in sensory overload.  When a child with SPD is in overload they can act out or act erratically.  This is what C-note did.  His teacher insisted that he had ADHD because he couldn't stop fidgeting, he would randomly walk out of the room, he would get loud and produce large uncontrolled motions.  I would get condemning letters home weekly.  I met or spoke with the teacher several times a week about helping him, but was only met with resistance.  Because his overload looks like ADHD, then in her mind, he should be able to control himself.

C-note homeschools now and we introduce new experiences and tastes slowly.  He has good days and bad days; but so does everyone else.  He is also learning to recognize and express his feeling about things better.  He is also getting better about removing himself from a stressor.

The reason for the Insanity

My life is always in complete chaos.  I'll start with my kids.
My oldest son has High Functioning Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  He sees the world in black and white, there is no middle ground.  The SPD makes things even more rigid for him and is a whole topic on it's own.  His memory astounds me and will talk about things that happened when he was 2 yrs old.  He thinks math is fun and was able to start algebra at 6 yrs old.  I call him C-note because, he marches to music that is all his own and it is a very beautiful song.

My middle son, also marches to the bet of his own drum.  Currently he lives as Bumblebee, the Transformer.  When he is in costume, which is ALL the time, he will not answer to his real name.  He has major trouble sleeping, and learning new things.  He also has ADHD, and as I am typing is showing me all of the flips and moves that Bumblebee can do off of the couch; yes, he talks about himself in the 3rd person.

My youngest, Lil' Bit, is currently 2.5yrs old going on 20yrs.  She really tries to rule things and I'm constantly reminding her that while she may be the princess, I am the Queen.  She tells the boys what to do and they listen!  She's loves bows in her hair and if it's pink then it MUST be hers.  But, if you want to wrestle, count her in, because there's no way that she's not as strong as the boys.

My husband is undiagnosed Aspergers, and is just like the character Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory.  Never play monopoly with him, because he likes to write contracts and it all gets very complicated.  

The dog, Athena, is a black blab/blue heeler mix.  She has seperation anxiety is terrified of loud noises.  She is also never allowed outside while anyone is on the trampoline because she will either go underneath and nip at feet, or go on top and tackle the jumpers.  She does make me smile though and even though she's 43lbs. thinks that she's a lap dog.

I homeschool my boys because the schools simply aren't able to handle their individualism.  We tried private school, it didn't go well.  I am also a co-director of children's ministries at my church.  And we are also involved in several other activities throughout the week.  Life is complicated and chaotic.  I end most days completely exhausted but unable to sleep because I'm thinking about the next day.