Season Four, Episode Ten: A Tiny Rant

I think I do a pretty good job of balancing the funny and the serious here on this blog.  In fact, I try to write more about the good than the bad because I feel like people don’t want to read about downbeat things…because no one likes a Debbie Downer.  No one.  Don’t lie and say “yeah they do” because no one really likes a liar either.

Don’t be that guy.

So anyway…I don’t think I have ever really posted about my son outside of cute anecdotes.  I was so hesitant for a long time about even writing about him at all…but I felt like when I eventually did after not doing it for like four years, it would be the Internet version of being that girl who hid being pregnant by wearing hoodies for nine months and then showed up with a ten year old.  It would be like “whoa, where did that kid come from?” and this is a blog, not Maury.  I was even on the fence about using his real name.  One of my favorite blogs, Diary of a Mom, uses two pseudonyms for her daughters.  I considered using the name Noah for him, but fuck it…it felt weird to use a different name for him, so Nick it is.  If he gets embarrassed about me blogging about him, I’ll just tell him that all moms embarrass their kids and it builds character.  I’m all about telling him that the things he doesn’t like build character.  It’s my mom thing.

Nick and I.  He's pretty cool.

Nick and I. He’s pretty cool.

So Nick has ADHD.  He was diagnosed with it at the end of third grade.  I went to a therapist and we screened him and sure enough, he had it.  It explained all the things about him that drove me crazy–easily distracted, forgetting things (his homework, stuff for school, things he was told to do), jumping from task to task without finishing, not being able to focus, not finishing classwork, not listening when he was being spoken to, daydreaming, not following instructions…talking nonstop, constantly moving (some part of him would always be moving, even if he was sitting down), fidgeting, impatience, showing his emotions without restraint, interrupting conversations, and being unable to wait for things.  Apparently Nick was the textbook definition of a child with ADHD.  In fact, he was so good at ADHD that he wasn’t the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive subtype or the predominately inattentive subtype–he was the combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive subtype.  He was also diagnosed with an aggressive behavior disorder too, because why the hell not?  It explained his crazy tantrums and temper.

My son is a brilliant, funny, and sweet child.  But he has a hard time functioning with his severe ADHD.  So I decided to try both the medication and therapy routes.  I love his therapist, Bekah.  She is an angel.  He looks forward to meeting with her and he says he likes to talk to her.  I am grateful for her.  Our family physician at the time of diagnosis until this past July (the clinic we go to uses residents, so we have a doctor for three years at a time) was amazing.  She truly cared about Nick and his situation.  We put him on Adderall, starting at the 5 mg dosage and then working up to 10 mg.

Anyone who has a child on Adderall or who takes Adderall themselves knows that appetite loss is a huge side effect.  Nick was functioning well on the 10 mg, but his appetite was non-existent.  Due to weight loss and the fact that he is 10 and a half and can’t afford to lose weight since he is bound to have a growth spurt soon, we had to lower the dosage to 5 mg for the summer.  And of course, we lost our amazing physician in July.  (Thank you, Dr. Kolp–you were such a great doctor.  I truly appreciate everything you did for us.)  I decided that we needed a permanent physician with all the things going on with Nick.  We have an appointment with her at the end of the month, which seemed like an okay thing but I think I have to try to get a hold of her much sooner than that.

Nick has anxiety, and it first really manifested in the beginning of June with his first visible panic attack.  We were referred to a child psychologist for it, because ADHD has a way of bringing their friends into the mix–in our case, it’s the aggressive behavior disorder and the anxiety.  We are on the waiting list to go in and see the child psychologist.  He doesn’t do well with crowds and this summer was hard on him.  He is still taking the 5 mg of Adderall, and school started two and a half weeks ago.  It hasn’t been a good start to the school year…the 5 mg is like him being off the medication entirely, and he is acting out in ways that are making me upset.

He has been losing his temper much more than usual, and has taken to punctuating his tantrums with swearing.  I know that kids swear.  I did it, we all did it, but you don’t swear at your mother or your grandparents.  He got in trouble in school yesterday for not paying attention and for not finishing his work, and got a written warning for it.  Naturally he forgot it at school (he has also forgotten his homework twice since the school year started) and decided to not tell me about it…and proceeded to forge my signature pretty badly.  He then lied to his teacher and principal and got a phone call home and a detention to serve next week after school.  I’m very disappointed in him because he should know better, yet it’s hard to be completely mad at him because I know that a lot of it has to do with his medication.  I didn’t tell his teacher about his ADHD because I assumed she knows about it since he has an IEP–I’m guessing that was a rookie mistake.  I will be writing her a letter tonight explaining his situation to her.

The next few days with be filled with phone calls to the new doctor, his therapist, and trying to secure a higher dosage of his medication.  He is currently grounded until further notice.  I am starting to feel the way I did back in the days before he was diagnosed–stressed, with a constant headache and upset stomach.  It’s very hard to watch your child and know that he wants to behave but he has a hard time trying to keep it together.  It’s hard being the parent of a child with ADHD sometimes not because of your child, but because of the community around you.  I hate when people tell me that ADHD isn’t real and Nick is just being a typical 10 year old boy.  No…he definitely is not.  I want to put these people in a room with him when he hasn’t taken his pills for days and then have them tell me that his behavior is normal.  I constantly have “Facebook physicians” telling me that I shouldn’t medicate him because he doesn’t need medication.  That’s like saying we shouldn’t vaccinate our children against dangerous and infectious diseases.  Cutting sugar and washing our clothes in plant based detergent (which is very expensive, by the way) and embracing a crunchy granola mom lifestyle isn’t going to magically make my son better.  My siblings all have it to a degree, and I think that I probably have a touch of it myself.  The best thing that I can do is help him to learn strategies for certain things in his life that are difficult for him to control, and help him embrace his strengths and work on his weaknesses.

And, of course, love him.  I don’t let his ADHD define him or let him use it as an excuse.  I tell him that he just happens to have ADHD, but it makes him more awesome than he already is.

I hope I didn’t sound whiny or dull.  I really just needed to vent after this long, frustrating day.  Thanks…XO.

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Season Four, Episode Five: Sweet Bug

Love

“…and she loved a little boy very, very much–even more than she loved herself.”

-From The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

(Photo courtesy of Brittany Gidley Photography, Cleveland, OH

Copyrighted by Brittany Gidley Photography, 2015)

Season Three, Episode Eight: Summer Hiatus

So I’ve been away for months.

I have no excuses. None. I suck.

–BUT–

I have been busy living life with my friends, enjoying time with my sick dad, and being a mom. Enjoying all that summer has to offer and carpe-ing the diem.

I’ll share some pics.

And I broke my laptop charger last night. I’ll update you all once the new one arrives via Amazon 😘

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And a brief description of each photo:

1. Mommy/Son Time at the beach.
2. Playing in Lake Erie.
3. A bunch of pretty motherfuckers.
4. The Voice auditions (I didn’t make it through…their loss, not mine!)
5. Out with my boys!

Season One, Episode Thirty: Mid-Season Recap

Time flies when you’re living life.

In Niagara Falls, Canada back in May.

I hadn’t realized that April was the last time I blogged!  I suppose that in the rush of everything positive that has gone on over the past three months, I just didn’t have time to write.  The casino opened May 14, and the shift I had been on up until last night made it damn near impossible to do anything but work and sleep–I worked what we call “sunrise” (a more pleasant-sounding spin on the more depressing-sounding graveyard shift), and when you work from 1 am to 9 am, you find that blogging ranks pretty low on your list of priorities 😛  But anyway, life at the casino is great.  I love being a dealer, it’s pretty fun to just essentially play games and interact with people for eight hours and get paid.  I’m surprised at how comfortable I have gotten dealing roulette;  if you had thrown me on a roulette table back in April I probably would have burst into tears (as a matter of fact, back in April I did burst into tears on the table in class) and froze up.  Now I can easily tell you how much five straight-ups (175) and 7 splits (119) are (294), all in my head.  I actually enjoy dealing roulette more than blackjack, and the people that I’ve known since the original Table Games Service Academy (Dec. 2011 to Feb. 2012) can tell you how much of a 180 that is!  It’s great to work with people I enjoy and actually feel appreciated, something that I never once felt at the dealership.  I have no stress and I’m relaxed…I love it.

Other that, one would say that my life is wonderfully mundane.  Nicky is getting so big!  He’ll be in second grade in three weeks, and he’s only 11 inches shorter than me–that doesn’t say a lot for me, but 50 inches is a pretty huge achievement for him 🙂 He’s had a summer filled with climbing the tree in our front yard, swimming in his friend’s pool, playing baseball, and just being a little boy with his entire summer vacation ahead of him.

Nicky during Marine Week back in June. He has had an awesome summer so far!

My boyfriend and I are still together and are pretty happy.  He went home in the middle of June, and I went out to Chicago for a few days this past month to see him, which was great because I love the city (and him, but that’s beside the point :P).  We’re pretty confident that we can make this long distance thing work.

I also lost nearly 20 pounds since February, I’ve gone from 160 to roughly 145-147 pounds.  I’ve joined a gym and am trying to be a lot healthier in my eating and lifestyle habits.  I feel great, and I love how I feel.  I was thinking about losing 20 more, but I don’t want to lose my curves, so I might drop about 10 to 15 more and build muscle.

I actually didn’t notice how much weight I’d lost until I took the picture on the right at my boyfriend’s house in Indiana.

I have every intent of being more consistent with this blog now that I am on swing shift and have more time during the day to get things done.  I’m actually going to sign off now to go eat dinner and get ready to go to work…Til next time, XO!

Season One, Episode Seventeen: The Myth of the Supermom

As being a mom goes, I guess one would say that I’m not particularly very good at it.

Let me rephrase that.  I am a good mom, in the actual definition of a mother.  My son is pretty well adjusted and happy, he eats three meals a day, is very loved, and takes his baths and does his homework.  I’m good at the parenting part.  It’s this idealized notion of motherhood that I suck at.

My fabulous little boy!

I’m not very good at being the stereotypical idea of what a mom should be.  I go on to sites like CafeMom, which I refer to as the “MySpace of Mommydom”  or other “mommy friendly” blogs/sites and I’m just like wow, I really suck at this mom shit.  These ladies are really on the ball when it comes to the nominees for Mom of the Year 2011.  I’m not married, nor do I really have a desire to do so.  I’m not a stay-at-home mom.  I don’t cut my son’s sandwiches into fun little shapes with cookie cutters because A.) I would never be able to come up with something like that on my own, and B.) I think it’s a little stupid to cut my kid’s PB & J into the shape of an Easter egg just because Holy Week is right around the corner.  I don’t volunteer for school related activities because I work crazy hours, so if it’s in the morning I’m usually sleeping because I’m tired from work the day before, or if it’s in the afternoon I’m trapped at work.  I actually don’t really like kids that aren’t mine.  I don’t make fun little crafts for Nicky to take to school because I don’t have an ounce of craftiness in my body, and I remember making fun of the kids that would bring in crafty stuff for the teacher.

I am nowhere near this. Nowhere. In my world, the dishes would be piled up and I'd be off doing something fun and adventurous with my son. My husband would be the one washing the dishes in joyous exultation.

I can’t sew.  I’ve tried, but I can’t make cutesy blankets or scarves or whatever the hell it is that those perennially perfect moms do with their spare time.  You know, the little bit of spare time they have between making amazing vegan/organic meals that they have to take pictures of to remind the moms like me how much we suck for taking our kids to McDonald’s or making them Ramen noodles for dinner, taking their kids to the 8858475484 sports practices, ballet recitals, and band rehearsals, and just being all around awesome and perfect.  I’ve never made a cake from scratch or boasted about how I got this stubborn grass stain out of my husband’s khaki shorts.  I don’t have time to create a beautifully elaborate scrapbook of every single memory my son and I have shared or created in the almost seven years he’s been alive.  I barely have enough time to spend with him when I get home from work before it’s time for him to go to bed.  I am not a domestic goddess, not by a long shot.  Nor do I want to be.  It actually sounds pretty damn boring.

I’m not jealous of, or threatened by these “supermoms”, the stay-at-home Wonder Women who claim to be able to change a diaper and frost a cake simultaneously.  First of all, that is overwhelmingly unhygienic, and secondly, I highly doubt that they can actually do that.  No, I actually think it’s pretty cool that they are so dedicated to making their husbands and children so happy.  That is their life and they love it.  Kudos to them.  I, on the other hand, am on the other end of the spectrum.  Like I said earlier, I have no desire to get married and have a huge house with a white picket fence and big backyard for my 2.5 children and my golden retriever.  I have no desire to buy a minivan or discuss home decor or the amazing sale on corn at Giant Eagle.  Nay.  I suppose I am selfish.  And lazy.  And crazy independent.  I’ve always been that way, though.  I was the girl who didn’t want a husband or a dream house or kids.  I wanted to travel the world and have ridiculous experiences to tell whenever I’d write home or visit or whatever.  I didn’t want that cutesy perfect life most girls dream of, with the fairytale wedding and the Cinderella-type happy ending.  I don’t even think my Barbies lived happily ever after, to be honest.

That said, however, I love my son.  I love being a mom.  I’ll just never be that perfect idea of what a mother should be.  I’m the mom who is always late, rushing out the door in the middle of winter without my coat on, juggling my purse and coffee and coat and keys, yelling up the stairs for Nicky to hurry up, when he is actually on the porch with me, coat all zipped up and ready to go.  I’m the mom who loves snuggling up with her son and watching movies.  I’d rather crack jokes with Nicky and lose at Monopoly Jr. than pretend to be perfect.  I’m the mom who sings silly songs at the top of her lungs and gets in tickle fights and has awesome conversations with her kid.  I’m a hands on mom. I’m the mom who works six days in order to make forty hours so that she can supplement the ridiculously low child support she gets a month.  I’m the mom who toughs it out and still lives at home because she has the common sense to know that she can’t do it alone.  I’m pretty proficient in self-sacrifice.

I think, actually, that this alleged “Supermom” that seems to exist only on CafeMom and these other peachy keen mommy sites is just a myth.  It’s easier to sound perfect when you’re behind a computer screen and no one is actually there to back you up.  I’m willing to wager that 85% of the moms in the world are like me–imperfect and fun and nowhere near the stereotype from the 1950s.  I’m pretty sure that I’m the definition of a real mom, and I’m okay with it.  Just don’t ask me my thoughts on matching wall paint colors with curtains and upholstery.  You’ll get a blank stare 😛

I love this, haha. Sums me up in one short sentence.

Season One, Episode Three: Alaska, Chocolatey NFL Caketastic Deliciousness, and Tornadic Tubby Time

Today was a blissfully boring day.

I worked six hours today, filing all alone in an empty office.  I know it sounds boring, but I love it.  My favorite part of my job is when all the other girls in the office have gone home and it’s just me and my thoughts and a nice playlist that I burned playing in the CD player.  I’m a social person, I love being around people and laughing and joking and having a good time, but I also enjoy having time to myself where I’m not subjected to country music and gossip about relationships and stuff that bores me.  I’ve always been like that, to be honest, I prefer to be alone in my room with a book and music in the background when I’m not out being the social butterfly that society expects of me.  I also prefer to go out places with Nicky and my mom now more than I do with my friends.  It’s weird, but maybe that’s part of getting older.  Maybe you develop more of a chill, homebody side as the years go by?  I don’t know.

After work, I came home and watched football with my dad and ate cookies and nachos and this sinfully delicious chocolate cake–and I feel ridiculously stuffed and sluggish at the moment.  Nicky came in and sat next to me, and we watched TV with his head resting on my arm all evening until it was bath time.  Bath time is actually a lot more fun now that he’s older.  I liked “bubble tubbies” when he was smaller, but he keeps more of the bathwater actually in the tub now, and he likes to wash himself up and wash his own hair.  Next thing I know he’s going to be shaving, hahaha.  I love that he still calls his bath a “tubby” 🙂  After his bath, I put on his favorite DVD, that show Storm Chasers, and we snuggled up on the couch until he fell asleep in my lap.  In our house, we all know that Storm Chasers = Nicky is sleepy.  He usually won’t make it through an entire episode.  It’s actually kind of odd that my son watches a storm about chasing tornadoes to fall asleep.  He’s my silly silly boy…Although weather intrigues me, and we will go out on our porch and watch huge storms roll in, so he probably got that from me, along with his love of cake and staying up late…and his sense of humor, his blue eyes, and his goofy, lovable smile.  He’s definitely his mommy’s baby.

I’m currently in my pajamas, typing away at my keyboard in between texting one of my bestest friends, Destinie.  After I’m done with this mindnumbingly boring entry I plan on brushing my teeth and curling up in bed with my favorite book, Looking For Alaska (by John Green) until I fall asleep.  I was reading Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, but the story of Chris McCandless pisses me off and I’m not in the mood to ponder the sanity or motives of McCandless tonight.  I will blog about him another day, because I could write an entire post on him and how I can’t figure out if he was an idealist that we all should respect to some degree or if he was a spoiled rich brat who wanted to rebel against societal norms and his parents.

Goodnight, and here’s to another blissfully uneventful tomorrow to make me smile 🙂

XOXO

Season One, Episode Two: Robot Cockroaches, Minty Face Masks, and Target Teen Mom Shenanigans

My blog would like to thank you for calling it back in a timely manner. It wants to tell you that it didn’t wait by the phone at all. Well…maybe once or twice it checked the caller ID to see if you may or may not have called. Simply because it was in the shower and didn’t want you to think it was ignoring you.

So, I am sitting here at my trusty laptop, my face slathered in Mask of Magnaminty from the ever wonderful LUSH, fresh from playing with Nicky and his newest little toys, these little robotic bugs called Hexbugs. They’re actually kind of cute (see photo below), and Nicky wants to get more from Target the next time we go. I like them because they teach him science in a fun way (he remembers when we went to the Robots exhibit at the Great Lakes Science Center a few years back, and was telling me all about robots earlier tonight), and they are fairly inexpensive. As a mother with a ridiculously low-paying job, you can’t beat that.

These are Hexbugs. They look like little robotic bugs, and they scuttle about like motorized cockroaches. Sounds gross, but they are actually kind of cute. Nicky named them Speedy and Follow.

Today was a wonderfully quiet one. I took the day off from work, relaxing and spending time with Nicky instead of working for ten long hours. We laid around for a good part of the day, then went to Target and the grocery store, which is always fun and excruciating, depending on Nicky’s particular mood when we go to Target. This shopping trip was okay, although Nicky seemed to decide to bring his outdoor voice inside and thought it’d be best to be smart-mouthed. I may or may not have gotten angry with him and gotten the Look from one of my mom’s old friends. I didn’t spank him or yell at him, but he was being an unruly boy who was probably tired of sitting in the cart section of the shopping cart (it’s easier to keep him in the cart still, especially since he’s six and easily distracted…Target has a large toy department and has a Halloween section set up already–he stays in the cart for both of our sakes), and got antsy and mouthy. I may have snapped at him to shut his mouth because I didn’t want to hear it. And this lady overheard me and so I got the Look. I loathe the Look. I was nineteen when I had Nicky, and I have gotten the “you young mothers don’t know crap about raising children and that’s the problem with teen moms” kind of look since he was born. I am funny about the term “teen mom” in my case. I was nineteen, yes, but I had already graduated from high school and was technically a legal adult. So yes, I was a teenager, but I wasn’t in the kind of category that would land me on a MTV reality show or as a real statistic worth studying. To older people who need to mind their own damn businesses, however, I am a teen mom who shouldn’t have had a kid because I suck at parenting. I guess they either never had children or forgot what it’s like to be a parent of a small child. I usually ignore them, but the Look I got tonight really stuck with me for a while. She looked at me like I was the worst mother ever and that I had no business with a child–I had the misfortune of being in the same aisle as her when Nicky had a minor meltdown about Hot Wheels last week at Target. Mind you, he’d been up over twelve hours that day because of school, and he stopped napping last year in Kindergarten. He was beyond tired, and I was cranky because I hadn’t slept well the night before. We were both on the edge, but she didn’t know that.

And to that, and to her, I say fuck you. You don’t know me. You don’t know the crap I do and the things I have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice to be a good mom. And I’m not a teenager anymore, so don’t give me that “Teen Mom bullshit Look” anymore. I’ll be 26 in three months. I’ve been a mom for nearly seven years. So shut the hell up and remember what it was like to have a tired and antsy kid at a department store. And if my memory serves me correct, you had like three kids. So you have no room to judge at all. All that matters is that Nicky is loved and clothed and fed and warm and has the things he needs in his life to be well-adjusted and to safely and easily assimilate into society. Blahhhh.

Other than that, we had a great day. We had a deep conversation as to why he needs to behave when we are in public, and then we had pizza with my parents (whom, by the way, we live with, thanks to my shitty paying job and the craptastic economy) and spent the rest of the evening watching old episodes of Benny Hill and The Three Stooges. It was a great day indeed.

Oh, and save that spare change for the parking meter. We’re going out on the second date soon 😛

XOXO