Monday, August 31, 2015

The bouncers and swayers

I stood in church this past Sunday and bounced and swayed a fussy Oliver.  Church falls right at his nap time and this makes it immensely harder than it needs to be.  But I don't want to not go to church as a family.  So we go.  

We sit in the angel cry room.  My kids are far from angels so this always gives me a little case of the giggles.  This particular Sunday as I was bouncing Oliver to keep him from shrieking I happened to notice all the other mothers that were doing the mom bounce/sway right along with me.  I felt such a kinship with all these women, most of whom I don't know.

These women are tired.  They probably fought the I'm hungry, hot, thirsty, my blankets aren't right excuses the night before just like I did.  They probably stayed up too late just to get a little quiet alone time.  They were probably woken by scared toddlers or hungry babies all through out the night.  Just like me.

They probably woke up to the joyful sounds of a screaming baby demanding to be freed from their captivity of the crib.  They might have wrangled a bucking bronco toddler to get a clean diaper on his or her butt.  Stood in front of the fridge wondering what to fix for breakfast.  Again.  Every single morning these dang kids need to be fed.  But wait first they would have had to clear the dinner dishes off the table because she was so exhausted the night before she just couldn't.

They chase preschoolers and toddlers around trying to put them in their church clothes.  All while telling them the importance of going to church because face it, they would rather be outside playing.  Her kids are well dressed while she throws on clean clothes and brushes her teeth in five minutes because oh my gosh we are going to be late.

Then she stands with her fussy baby and bounces, sways, and rocks.  She is tired and can't hear a word the priest is saying but she is there.  Because in her heart she needs God and needs church.  Because if it wasn't for God she would run for the hills on the bad days.  Well God and cherry coke.  Definitely need caffeine.  

I could feel the exhaustion and weariness in these women's expressions but also the pure joy.  Raising my children to be God fearing productive members of society is going to be the biggest most heady thing I accomplish in my life.  While I think I can't keep doing this a lot of days, I wouldn't trade one second of it for the world.  

I am exhausted.  Just like all these nameless women I watched during church.  I am so bone weary tired some days I just don't know how I will keep up this frenetic pace without either going insane or just sitting down and never being able to get back up.   But I do.  Everyday I do.  God gives me the strength to keep on going.  And truly one day I will look back and give anything to go back to this crazy time.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fighting for Something I don't Want

As I have shared in this post, we have been in the process of having Destructo evaluated for behavioral issues and anxiety.  It is so surreal to be fighting so hard for a diagnosis that I don't want.  I don't want something to be "wrong" for lack of a better word with my son.  But on the other hand, if a diagnosis means insurance has to cover the therapy Destructo needs well I will fight without ceasing to get him that diagnosis.  

We went back to the local children's hospital two weeks ago for another parenting and behavior clinic.  They recommended having Kai have a full psychological evaluation completed (which will happen in November.)  She said she sees some warning signs of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or a possible autism spectrum disorder (ASD.)  It is very clear he has a ton of anxiety that is affecting his daily life.  He doesn't eat well, sleep well, and has a lot of fears that have been popping up.  

Hearing he might have OCD made me want to cry.  While I haven't been formally diagnoses with OCD (because I don't want to spend the money to get that diagnosis) but the therapist I saw and my primary care doctor feel I have OCD.  I went on Zoloft for it back in the fall and that thank the Lord got my symptoms mainly under control.  I know that OCD can have a genetic component.  Way to make me feel like I gave my kid this.  

It is also hard because I know how badly OCD was messing up my life this fall.  I do not want to ever think about Destructo having to feel as badly as I felt when it was at its worst.  No mother ever wants her child to have to go through those kinds of things.  No mother wants to know her child might have a condition he has to deal with for the rest of his life.  But on the other hand, I have to fight to get him a diagnosis if that is what the future brings to get him any and all help to learn to cope with whatever that diagnosis might be. 

It is what it is has become my daily motto.  I can't change anything.  I just have to keep on keeping on.  Oh but I will say the ten minutes with the behaviorist was amazing because we got a velcro board schedule for Destructo.  I have always had a schedule but it was just paper.  Now he can take each thing off as he completes it to signal a transition.  Plus they are actually taking his schedule and making me a personalized picture for each item.  Yay!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Butterfly Life Cycle Week

This week's theme is going to be about butterflies and their life cycles.

Math:  I found a butterfly counting page on Flickr.  After searching I traced it back to My Organized Chaos.  I plan on letting Destructo count the different life stages of the butterfly and then I can write the number in for him.  We also went on a field trip to the zoo and counted how many different species of butterflies we saw while there.

Sensory:  I got the idea for our butterfly life cycle sensory bin from pre-K pages.  I put three boxes of noodles into our sensory bin.  I used rotini, shells, and farafalle.  I got the veggie noodles so they would be colorful without any work on my part.  Laziness I has it.  The rotini represented the caterpillars, the shells were the chrysalis, and the farafalle/bowtie shapes were the butterflies.  Both boys had a blast with the noodles.  And it was super easy to pick up.

Craft:  I made a butterfly life cycle craft.  It was super easy to do.  I got the idea from Bug and Buddy but modified it to go along with our sensory bin.  We painted the paper plates each kids favorite color and then Owl had eaten so much paint I gave up on attempting to do the activity with him and waited until his nap haha.  Kai then glued noodles that represented each stage in the butterfly's life cycle to the template I got from the blog above.  It was easy and turned out really well.

We also did a second butterfly life cycle poster that Destructo got to hang in his room.  I really felt creative with this one since I even used scrap book paper.  You know the scrap book paper I bought three years ago to use for Christmas presents.  That I never made.  Yeah.  Fail.

Reading:  We read a number of books this week.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly
Charlie the Caterpillar The Lamb and the Butterfly
We also used both of the reference books I linked in this blog post (under language heading.)

 Science:  We used this Giant Magnetic Butterfly Life Cycle.  Destructo got to put it in order and stick it to his super fancy magnet board.  And by super fancy, I do totally mean serving platters that we have collected over the years and never used.  They are so super useful.

Fine Motor:  We also used the Magnetic Color Cubes that I mentioned last week.  I told Destructo to make a beautiful butterfly.  I am so in love with these magnet cubes.

Snack:  I made two butterfly themed snacks this week.  The first was the butterfly life cycle and both kiddos loved it.  The second was a decorate your butterfly yourself toast butterfly.  Both were super easy to make and the butterfly was fairly healthy.  (You can also use nutter butters for the butterfly's body but I wanted to up the health factor.)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

T is for Turtle/Life Cycles of Turtles

So we are gearing up for Kai's preK year of home school preschool.  I don't think he will be attending an actual preschool so I am forcing myself to get more commited to schoolwork and a more "strict" schedule to try to get him ready for kindergarten.  As you know, he is a very spirited honey badger kid that really tries his best to get his own way.  This doesn't bode well with school haha.  So I am hoping to help him adjust to having more structure this year.  And having a lot of fun in the process.

He is really interested in life cycles of animals and I love sea turtles so that is where we are starting.

Field Trips:
 We went to the local farmers market and they had all kinds of awesome life cycle puzzles and figurines and a life cycle game.  It was perfect timing for us to learn about life cycles and have fun.  We also went to the local children's science museum.  They are surrounded by wetlands so we took a walk and looked for turtles.  They also have large turtle exhibit inside that we counted turtles in.

I downloaded these free sea turtle life cycle nomenclature cards from Teachers Pay Teachers.  We are going to use these to learn about the life cycle of the sea turtle.  I also bought a pack of Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Green Sea Turtle for him to use with these cards.  Of course if Owl would quit swiping half of the them this would be a lot easier.  No swiping swiper.

I made a sensory bin to demonstrate sea turtles life cycles and to let Kai get his fill of sensory goodness.  I used blue water beads to be the ocean.  Destructo and Owl got to help the turtles hatch from a sensory bin containing kinetic sand and ping pong balls.  The ping pong balls were the turtle eggs since they are approximately the size of sea turtle eggs.  (They also had a giant T on them for Tennessee Vols since that was all I could get.  But I ran with it since T is for turtle.  haha)  We made a nest in the sand and then I used Easter eggs to put little turtles in so Kai could have them hatch.  He then had to quickly make the sea turtle run to the ocean before a predator (or his brother) got them.  Both boys loved it and played with it for days.

Important side note, you want to rinse the water beads daily though or else they mold really quickly.  I did not know this and had to buy more.

Math:  We used the pack of Turtles to work on basic addition.  Kai would pick a foam number out of a bag and a second number.  Then he would use the turtles as counters to figure out the answer.

 Language:  We read
My Very First Encyclopedia With Winnie the Pooh and Friends: Animals  and The Encyclopedia of Reptiles, Amphibians & Invertebrates.  The pooh bear one is a great book and details the differences in mammals, reptiles, etc.  The other book is not a children's book per say but it has all different species of turtles and lots of other info.  We picked out our favorite turtles.

Internet:  We watched this Sea Turtle Video.  I really like these science videos because they are short and very informative.  They have a ton of different animals.

Craft:  We made sea turtle sun catchers.  I let the boys stick tissue paper onto clear contact paper.  I put a layer over the top of the stuck tissue paper and then used Oliver's Cloud B Tranquil Turtle  as a template for the head and legs.  Easy peasy and super cute.

Fine Motor:  
I had bought Magnetic Color Cubes which are amazing for fine motor (but not for kids who could swallow them for obvious reasons.)  Destructo used them to feed all his turtles that I mentioned above.  He was feeding them a certain amount of pounds.  It was too funny (and mostly all on his own.)

I also did the turtle transfer activity on Nurturing Learning's blog.  I had Destructo pretend he worked in a sea turtle sanctuary and had to help the turtles.

So there you have it.  Turtle week.