Thursday, January 31, 2013

Today's appointment

Did I mention that I hate not having a car? I hate that I have to rely on people to take us places. Luckily, my father was okay with taking us to the Mental Health Clinic today. AJ's appointment was at 9:15 (or 9:30, depending on who you ask). We got there at about 9, and waited in the waiting room for about half an hour for us to be called. During this time, Gianna played with a truck, colored a bit, and ran around. AJ, however, decided he was going to draw a picture for Beepa (my father). He started to, and wrote "I love Beepa" on the inside, and then something made him snap, and he scribbled it all out.

We were finally called by a woman named Peggy. She was nice. We went over the paperwork, and got a little bit of introductions in. We discussed some things that have happened with him- the incident on the bus, his temper, blacking out, lies, the devil talking to him, etc. That was what made her decide that she definitely wanted to see him sooner rather than later. He also had an outburst when we asked him to please pick up the toys that he and Gianna were playing with. He started whining and yelling and crying that it wasn't fair and no one ever helps him. Arms crossed, face long, full on pout. I think she was actually taken aback when he started. The look on her face showed that she was surprised to hear how quickly he turned. 

While we didn't do anything ground breaking today, I have confidence that we will soon. She did ask that I request a full psychological eval with IQ from the school, because she thinks he should have a 504 plan. 504? IEP? I'm not even sure what it's called. All I know, that kid needs help, and I do not want him to fall behind. Tomorrow, I call the school and request that eval done. We'll get there. Slowly but surely, we'll get there!

Next appointment, February 12th. Hoping for a bit more progress then. In the meantime, we just hope for the best!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tomorrow is the day

Well, tomorrow is the day of AJ's appointment at the Mental Health Clinic. I'm both excited, and scared. My heart is pounding because I don't know what to expect. Mainly, I'm nervous because AJ has been in the lying phase lately. Is he going to lie while there? Most likely. What, though? What will he lie about? Will he say that he doesn't do anything wrong? Most likely. Will he blame Gianna for it all? Probably. Will he say that I yell at him? Probably. I do. So that won't be a lie. I'd be lying if I said I never yelled at him. I do. I lose my patience, and I lose it often. Do I feel awful for yelling at him? Absolutely.

Take today, for example. This AM, Anthony told AJ to get dressed. It was 7:00, and he was just sitting on the floor in the hallway. It was like he was in a trance. Just sitting there, staring. Staring at nothing. He didn't even flinch when Anthony walked in front of him. After a while, he snapped out of it and went in his room. Instead of getting dressed, he chose to play with his toys. When I finally rolled out of bed at 7:45 (Gianna was up off and on from 1 until 6), he was still playing. I told him to get dressed, so he finally started to. After a while, he calls to me because he need socks and can't find any. I went in his room to get them, and what I saw pissed me off.

His dresser is in his closet. It fits perfectly, and it allows him to have more room in his room to play. About a week ago, I did his laundry and gave it back to him to fold. He was gone for about an hour, whining for most of that time. When he came down, he apologized for whining and crying, because he said it wasn't that bad. But the next morning, I found out why it "Wasn't that bad"- he had thrown the clothes in the closet, on the side of the dresser. Well, he had fun getting them out and folding them when he got out of school. He spent an hour in his room folding them all.

And that's what I found AGAIN this morning. The clothes I gave him last night to fold were on the other side of his dresser. Again, he came home from school and folded them all up. This time, I sat there and watched him fold. I would have helped him the first time I gave him the clothes if he asked for it. But not this time. Oh no. I do not do for you when you clearly disobey me. I refuse to give in to that.

On a positive note, today was an AWESOME mail day!!!! I received my Boogie Wipes kit, a behind-the-ear Thermometer from Klout, and a sample of Emergency food from Wise company (featured on Doomsday Preppers).

More tomorrow after his appointment. Cross your fingers for us!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

***REVIEW*** Noxicare Natural Pain Relief Cream

Recently, I was given a 3.5oz tube of Noxicare to use and review. From their website:
Noxicare™ is a breakthrough natural, patent-pending pain relief formula that is a proprietary combination of 7 of the world’s most potent natural pain relievers that quickly and effectively alleviate inflammation, muscle aches and nerve pain—with NO known side effects and without a prescription.

I love the fact that it's not greasy. It's easy to put on, and it doesn't smell terrible. The color is not the best, but it doesn't effect function. Noxicare works by treating the pain, not numbing it. It works on Muscle Aches, Nerve Pain, and Inflammation. The main ingredients in Noxicare are: Turmeric, Willow Bark, Ginger, Holy Basil, Rosemary Extract, Aplpha Lipoic Acids, and Boswellia Extract. See what they do here. Individually, they help heal and reduce pain, but they're said to work together to increase pain relief.

The first time I used it, I applied it to my knee. I have Patellar Femoral Syndrome, and have used lots of products for pain relief. I was impressed with how quickly it worked. As I was rubbing it in, I felt a sort of relief almost instantly. The pain was dulling down, until it was almost gone. It wasn't entirely gone, but it certainly was much more bearable. The more I used it, the better the relief.

I've also been having trouble with my elbow lately. When I wake up, it's incredibly painful. I suspect it is because of the way I have my arm when Gianna is in the bed with us. Usually, bending it a few times and stretching it out helps. Not today. For some reason, the pain is incredibly strong, and the more I move it, the more it hurts. I decided to apply the Noxicare to it to have some relief. Unfortunately, it did not help as soon as it did with my knee. I applied it the first time, and there was no relief. After a few hours, I applied it again, and still, no relief. I will wait a few more hours then apply it again, but I'm not holding my breath.

My husband has also used it for his chronic back pain, but didn't have much relief with it, either. He said it was slightly better, but he's had better results with other topical creams. I had some relief with it on my back, however.

All in all, I think this product is best for minor pain. My knee, fortunately, was not hurting too bad when I used it. My elbow and my husbands back, I fear, were just in too much pain. It required a more aggressive approach to relieving pain for us in those areas. But, for major pain, this would likely work in conjunction with something else. It does state that it should be used multiple times, much like you would with medication (2-3 times a day/ roughly every 8-12 hours). It also states that it's not for use by pregnant or nursing women. As a nursing mom, I used it with no difficulties. I did ask before I used it, and was told it would be alright.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Goodbye car

I've had my car since November 2004. It's a 2004 Dodge Neon SXT. My father bought it for me because he wasn't comfortable with me taking the bus to and from work, especially at 11pm or later. Plus, he didn't like that we were taking the bus with Sofia when she was that small- She was just under 2 years old. We live in NY, so Winter can be pretty brutal. He wanted to make sure that we weren't going to be cold, wet, or mugged late at night. It was much appreciated. My very first car. I loved that car. I wish I could find a pic of my car when it was brand new.

It was shiny. All black, with 2 thin silver stripes on either side going from the front to the back of the car. One slightly thicker than the other. A spoiler that wasn't too big. Power locks. The front windows were power, back manual (who does that!?). The radio was incredibly loud. It was the perfect car for me. It wasn't too big, wasn't too small. The trunk was the perfect size for my baby's stroller. Sofia loved being in the car. I loved being in the car! It wasn't my dream car, but I didn't have anything to complain about. It was reliable. Got me from Point A to Point B, and all over in between. I've taken it to NYC many many times. Even drove it up to Maine many times to visit my mother. And it felt nice to not have to walk everywhere. No more bus, no more walking, no more asking people to come and pick us up. I didn't have to leave 2 hours early to get to work. I didn't get home 2 hours later.

Finally, I was in control of my time. I didn't need to rush around to make sure that we made it to appointments on time. I didn't need to worry about scheduling appointments too close together because of the bus schedule. At the time, we were on DSS. I didn't need to worry about making appointments too early with a worker because the bus didn't run at that time. I was free to make appointments whenever I wanted to. I could even change doctors to somewhere I was more comfortable. We didn't, but we could. I was able to take Sofia to the beach that I grew up at (man made, but still awesome). I could take her to Chuck E Cheese. The Zoo. Anywhere I wanted to. Hell, I could cruise the streets with my music blasting if I wanted to. And I did just that. Often. Stressed at home? I just got in the car and drove. Needed a breather? Get out and drive. Bored? Go for a drive. I was even able to show my husband where I grew up, out in the sticks. I hadn't before because it was too far to walk.

But yesterday, I made the gut wrenching decision to sell my baby. I've said that I was going to sell it for a long time. The car has served us well. I put 88,665 miles on it. I called a local junkyard to see how much they would give me for it. The quote was $210. Now, I know the car has a lot of problems. But I was sure that $210 was far too little. I'm not exactly sure what's wrong with, something about a cylinder misfire. Whatever that is. Still, $210? No thanks. I just had a ton of work done to it recently. I want more. I posted an ad on Craigslist, and within minutes, I had emails coming in left and right. I posted that I wanted it gone, I would not hold it for anyone, and I wasn't sure exactly what was wrong with it. We were driving it just fine, well, sort of. But Anthony came home, parked the car, and all was fine. He went to move it to the other side of the street (alternate side parking sucks!) and it wouldn't start. We tried a few times. Nothing. It just would not start. So, we ended up with another parking ticket. Oh joy.

That wasn't what sealed the deal. We sat on it for a while, but finally decided when we needed to move the car again for the following even day. When we couldn't get it moved, we took the chance for a parking ticket. Luckily, we weren't given one that day. But that's what did it. It was time. We had walked to have our taxes done on Saturday, and it was cold. We found out how much we were getting back, and decided that we had enough to get a van. We need a van for the room, anyways. The Neon is just too small for 3 children in car seats. Yes, Sofia still rides in a booster and AJ is still harnessed. It was time to upgrade. Even if the car were working perfectly, it just isn't feasible for us to keep trying to squeeze everyone into that little car.

One of the interested parties sent me an email and asked for a picture of the car. This is the picture I sent him:
The last picture I took of my car. After this, it would no longer be mine.

A few emails between him and I, and he said he would be on his way. I also had 3 other people email me telling me that they would be on their way as well. Good. I figured let's get it done and out of the way. Everyone come at once, everyone be interested, and I'll get the best price for it. I was asking $600, and did not want less than that. Turns out, the first guy here was NOT the guy that I was first talking to. The first guy sent me a few emails "Looks like a good turnout." and "Lots of people interested, huh?" and finally "Did the car sell?" The first guy here ended up buying it. I guess he saw everyone else interested and decided it would be best to dive in and say he wanted it before someone else could. Good. It's yours. Give me the money, and take the car before I change my mind :-p

As it turns out, I guess I never saved the lien release. I don't remember getting one, but I do know that there is no lien holder on my car anymore. The car was completely paid off in 2009. Oops. So, the guy gave me a $100 deposit, and will give me the rest when I get the lien release. I purchased a new title tonight on the DMV's website. Hopefully this new title will be clear. I really need the money ASAP. I need to make sure I have money for cabs for appointments. Or to bribe some of my friends to come and pick us up ;)

Anyways, one last picture.
Good bye, car. Thanks for being there for me for the last 8 years. I'll miss you!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Help Stop Bullying!

Bullies are everywhere. Teachers with some students, bosses with their employees, kids towards other kids. And it's often the children that are the worst bullies. Some are down right brutal. Sometimes, it's so bad that the bullied child feels that they have to leave the district to get away from it.

That's exactly what happened with Slap Dash Mom's daughter. In Mom's words (because I couldn't have said it better myself) "She dealt with severe bullying this past August-December, to the point where we had to switch schools. This new school is a little better, but even when she isn't being bullied she is seeing other kids get bullied and it's hard. She knows if she intervenes, she will become a target and her life will become a living hell again. She knows if she does not intervene, she's no better than the bullies (her words). It's been stressing her out a lot, so she started making jewelry to turn her negative thoughts/energy into positive.  She decided to donate $1.00 of each sale to anti-bullying campaigns, so they can help kids learn how to positively deal with bullying as well."

"What sales?" you may be asking. Well, here's where you come in. Janelle has an Etsy shop. You can find it here. They are stocking up on February 1st. She makes such cute earrings!! They're guitar pick style, and so unique! I have never seen anything quite like them. I haven't been able to wear earrings lately, but I love these ones! Placing an order helps bring Janelle closer to her goal of $100 for donation. Any little bit helps!

Janelle and mom have offered my readers a special code to use when they go live. Enter in code KRISTEN for 10% off your total. Feel free to share the code and tell everyone you know! Let's get Janelle up to her goal!

Don't forget to check out her Facebook page as well! You can find that here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lesson Learned

I am one tired mama. I went to bed at 10:30 last night, and slept right through until 5. I didn't even notice when Anthony brought Gianna into bed with us. Did I mention just how sleep deprived I really am? I have an EXTREMELY hard time sleeping at night, and it takes me a good 2 to 3 hours to actually fall asleep. I lay there listening to Anthony snore, to Gianna snore, the cars outside, the heat kicking on, the house creaking, etc. Eventually, I just pass out. But last night, I fell asleep about 10 minutes after getting into bed. I didn't think I'd wake up at 5, but it happened. I felt great. That was a solid 6.5 hours of sleep. MUCH more than I'm used to.

At about 5:30, I fell back to sleep for an extra hour or so. Woke back up at 6:45, and I didn't feel refreshed at all. I was beat. I actually got out of bed at 7 with Gianna, got the kids up and ready for school, then saw them out at 8. By 9, I was practically begging Gianna to take a nap. I knew it wouldn't happen, but I thought I 'd try.

At 10, I had given up, and decided that I would just lay on the couch and pretend to be asleep. Usually when I do that, she curls up with me and goes to sleep. Not today. She ran around, happily playing. I was still pretending to be asleep, in hopes that she would just give up and see how comfy I was. Well, the next thing I know, it's 11:30 and she's handing me a pair of dice. Apparently, in my attempt to pretend I was asleep, I actually did fall asleep. She got into the Monopoly game. All the pieces to the game were scattered. Books thrown off the shelves, paper towels ripped to shreds, toys all over. Okay, so the toys all over isn't anything new. But there were MORE toys all over.

So, lesson learned: It's not wise to pretend to be asleep when you really are exhausted. 17 month olds just don't care!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Last minute ramblings

I have no idea what I'm going to blog about, but I figured I'd have at it before I go to bed.

It's only 8:30, but I'm beat and ready for bed. I'm sure I won't fall right to sleep if I go to bed now, but at least I'll be calm and relaxed. It usually takes me a good 2 to 3 hours to fall asleep once I'm in bed. It would be nice to fall asleep before midnight comes. I've been awfully cranky lately, and I'm sure the kids are sick of it.

Speaking of the kids, AJ FINALLY has his backpack. When he stole my money (and wallet), I called the bus garage to see if he left his bag on the bus. He told his teacher he didn't have it, so my assumption was that he left it on the bus on purpose so that he didn't get caught with my wallet in there. Turns out, my wallet was not in his backpack, as confirmed by the head person at the bus garage. It was actually under his bed, by the way.

Anyways, they never brought his backpack back to the bus, so he went a week without it. Every day he asked the bus driver "Do you have my bookbag yet?" and "Can you bring my bag back when it's time to go home?" On Tuesday, I asked him where his bag was, and he said that the bus driver yelled at him and told him that he didn't know where his bag was, and he didn't care, so stop asking for it because he wasn't going to get it for him. Ummm ... excuse me?? Oh yes, you will get it and you will give it back to him. At that point, I called the bus garage, explained what the situation was, told them what the driver said, and informed them that I want my son to have his bag back the following day. Wednesday, he came home with his backpack. It was sitting in his seat, waiting for him, when he got on the bus. Mama don't play this game.

The car stopped running again yesterday. Anthony wasn't able to put the car on the correct side of the street, so we woke up to a ticket on the car. That's another $10 that we don't have. At least it's on the correct side tonight. It's just been too cold for the car to start up. I can't wait until someone decides they want to buy it, or we just junk it somewhere. It needs to go!!! I want my new car. Well, new to me. And a van ... not a car. But, same diff, right?!

I am beat, and really thinking that 9:00 is the perfect time for bed. One last thing before I go. I have a Facebook page. It's still relatively new. I only have 80 fans now. Just yesterday, there were 81. As soon as the giveaway was over, and the winner was announced, I lost one fan. I am assuming it was someone who did not win. While I kind of figured that would happen, it's still upsetting. I realize that I don't lead the most exciting life. But it is what it is. I know it comes with the territory. Giveaways are a great way to promote your page and bring fans, but they don't all stay. Some are just there for what you can offer. I just hope it doesn't happen often.

Baby it's cold outside

Brrrr It's only about 10 degrees outside right now. My house is cranked up to 79, but it doesn't feel like it. I'm wrapped up in a blanket, Gianna has a one piece warm zippered PJ on. She's happily playing with her toys. And making a mess with the books that I just put back on the bookshelf. This is a game to her, so the books will stay on the floor for now. I am not going to keep picking them up and putting them back, for her to tear down.
Don't let her look fool you. 9 times out of 10, she loves the camera, will stop what she's doing, and will give a cheeky grin. But she certainly isn't as innocent as she wants you to think she is!
Oh well. We are having fun playing and making messes. Whenever the Fresh Beat Band's song Spin Around comes on the TV, we stop everything and dance. She enjoys it, and I'm making memories. I don't care if there's a mess behind us, or in the playroom. It'll be picked up .......... eventually. 

Pardon me, Spin Around is on, and I have a toddler begging me to dance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Scaling gates and playdates

Monday night, I put Gianna to bed at about 9. By the time 2:30 rolled around, she decided it was a good time to wake up and stay up until God knows when. At 6, I gave up with trying to keep her still. I was exhausted, and just turned my back to her and crashed. I'm fairly certain she fell asleep shortly after because when I woke up at 7:30 to get the other kids ready for school, she was in the same spot that I put her in last. I was hoping to get the kids off to the bus, then curl back up and go to sleep. Gianna was not having that. She woke up shortly after I got off the bed. *sigh*

Got the kids dressed and out the door, and made breakfast for Gianna and I. I made her oatmeal, because that usually makes her sleepy, for some reason. Not that day! She was WIDE awake! Here it is, Tuesday morning. Mom got just over an hour of sleep. No nap in sight. I was expecting company. I could have easily text her and said that today wasn't a good day, but I have been longing for adult company. I enjoy my daughter while the others are at school, but I'm still so lonely. I need adult interaction.

K came over with her little boy, Jr. I figured that the kids would LOVE to play together in the playroom, seeing that there are thousands of toys. Our playroom is technically the dining room, but since we don't have a table, it's been converted to the playroom. Of course, they decide not to. Gianna decides to teach Jr how to scale the baby gate. Terrible influence she is. Have you ever seen the video of her scaling the gate? No? Well, here you go. Try not to laugh too hard lol
I had to teach K how to "swag" effectively, and to make it worth her while. Don't know about Swagbucks? You should. It's an easy way to earn a bit of guilt-free spending money. Anyways, off of that. After a bit of playing and chasing and swagging, we went out to grab some McDs for lunch. Funniest drive-thru experience ever. Granted, if I were alone in the car, I likely would have flipped out on them. K didn't, though. She laughed it off but it really was frustrating!
Worker: Welcome to McDonalds, can I take your order?
K: I want a number 11, medium, with a Hi-C, a McChicken, mayo only, and large fries. I also want a 10 piece nuggets and --- wait. Let's make that a meal. Chicken nugget meal with a Large fry, and a large Diet Coke, no ice.
Screen shows a medium diet coke with the #11 meal, and a large Hi-C separate. No meal for the nuggets. So, K tried to tell them it was wrong.
K: the screen isn't right. I need the #11 to be with a medium Hi-C, and the #10 to be with a Large diet. Wait, there is no #11 on the screen. The nuggets need to be a meal!

At this point, the poor worker had no idea what they did wrong. So, they tell us to pull up to the window. K just asks them to scratch the order, and let's start fresh, because CLEARLY they aren't getting it. So, we start over. They STILL mess up. Here's where I am DYING of laughter. I mean, it's really not that hard. Just listen! (and before anyone says anything, I worked at Arby's for 3 years, manager for 2. I know fast food isn't THAT complicated) After the order mess, we go to the next window to pick up the order, where the drinks are wrong already. Whatever. We get it fixed, and come back to my house. Sit, eat lunch, share some embarrassing stories, look at pics of our babies, and have a jolly ol' time.

I'm telling you. I really needed that. It felt great to just sit back and chat with a friend. K and I haven't known each other for very long, but we get along great. However, staying awake all that time really had me beat. I went to bed at midnight, which is actually early for me. I slept straight through, until 7:10. It was the longest sleep I have had in a while. I did end up taking a nap today as well, though. I needed it.

I wish my life was much more exciting than this. Sometimes, I feel like making up a story just to make it seem like I have an interesting life. Wait until I get my income tax money and I purchase a van. Yep, you read that right. I am so getting a van. And I am EXCITED to have one!! I plan on leaving this house as often as possible. Even if that's only to go to Walmart. At least I might actually have a conversation with another adult. Even if the conversation is only a few minutes long, as the cashier is ringing up my items.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Captain Destructo strikes again

Gianna and I woke up this morning somewhere around 10. Since the kids were off school, it was a nice, much needed, extra 3 hours of sleep. I *NEVER* get to sleep in, so I was so very thankful that my children were courteous enough to let me sleep in. Boy, was I so very wrong.

My first tip off that something was wrong was the fact that ALL the lights were on upstairs. There are 2 sets of lights in our bathroom, one near the tub (which stays on all night) and one by the sink. Both sets were on. Then the hallway light, which is pointless to have on during daylight hours because the window on the stairwell provides more than enough light. The last light on was his bedroom. Overhead light, along with his nightlight. All of those lights being on means that he was up earlier than he needed to be, and that he was in a  hurry to get downstairs so he failed to turn them off behind him.

When I came downstairs, I saw him sitting in the recliner, looking all sweet and innocent. First thing out of his mouth? "Mommy? I love you." ... oh crap. What did he do? Well, it didn't take long for me to find out. Behind the chair, on the floor, was my wallet. Now, my diaper bag is kept up high enough where he can't reach. Or, so I thought. This means, the child climbed up the recliner, to the high chair, and up to reach the diaper bag. Surely he didn't do that, right? Maybe Anthony went looking to see if I had any cash so that he could get lunch with it today. When I asked AJ, he admitted that it was him who took my wallet. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Didn't you learn already!?

Please excuse the mess. This is what he created in an attempt to get to my wallet and hide it from me. It was sticking half out from under the recliner when I found it.

I was not happy. So, I sent him upstairs to his room. After a few minutes, I thought to myself "Why am I just letting him sit there? He should be doing something!". I remembered the punishment I was given in school when I spoke out of turn, or when I forgot homework. I got out a pen, and a few sheets of paper. I wrote on the top of the first paper "I will not touch what isn't mine." I took it upstairs to him and told him I wanted him to write that out 20 times. And he will sit there as long as it takes to write it all out. I did not expect it to be perfect. He is only 6, after all. But I didn't tell him that. I told him I wanted it nice and neat. 2 pieces of paper, front and back, and 1 hour later, this is what I got.
We need to work on his handwriting.

After he was done, we discussed why we don't take things that don't belong to us. It was also at that time that I noticed what else he did. Since he told me he was hungry, I got up to get him a bowl of cereal. I noticed, as I moved the Cheez-its out of the way, that the BRAND NEW box was just about empty. He ate more than half the box this morning! Not only did he eat them, he cut the box all apart. It was barely standing up alone because of all the cuts and missing pieces. 

Not only did he cut the box of Cheez-its, he also cut the recliner, a blanket, and Anthony's Yankees hat.
I was one pissed off mama. 
I decided to implement his punishment, finally. He was sent upstairs to the bathroom where he was going to clean the tub and the sink. First, I had to look up on my friends FB for the recipe for bathroom cleaner. All I have is Clorox. While I was pissed at him, I still didn't want him using such harsh chemicals. I do love the smell of the Clorox cleaner, but it's even way too strong for me to be right in it. So, after mixing some baking soda, water, and vinegar, a bit of lemon juice and some Tea Tree Oil, we were he was ready to start.

I did not make him climb and reach the very tops of the shower. I did, however, make him scrub scrub scrub what he could reach. He spent about 30 minutes scrubbing the hell out of the shower. Believe me, it was way past due for a good cleaning. While he didn't get EVERY single spot off the tub or the sink, he did a damned good job. Though, this may have been a punishment fail. He said he enjoyed cleaning it and wanted to do it again. Oh well. At least my house will be nice and clean.

I just hope Captain Destructo takes a hiatus and doesn't strike again. The 31st is only 10 days away. I. Can. Do. This.

What this blog and I are about.

I've taken a few days off of blogging to help give the giveaway post the attention it deserves. I love doing giveaways for my readers, and love receiving new fans this way. I do believe it's a great way to expand ones fan base, while also bringing awareness to a specific thing.

While I realize that not everyone will go back and read all the posts, it would be nice if most people know what made me start this blog. So, I'll do a quick summary here :)

My best friend, Ange, has a BEAUTIFUL 5 year old daughter who just so happens to have something special. You see, she has Down syndrome. I started reading through all of her old posts on her blog and, the more I read, the more I loved her. Emily is simply beautiful. She's inspiring. I've learned so much from her. So much about Down syndrome, that I've come to appreciate the differences. Any time I had a question, I was able to ask Ange without her getting offended. And some of these questions I was SURE would strike a nerve. You see, I was seriously ignorant when it came to Ds. I just didn't know. While there is still a lot more left for me to learn, I know much more than I did even a few months ago. Even though I've never met Ange or Emily face to face, I support them 100%, and have told a few people off who chose to talk ugly about Ds. I've also taken the time to clear up some misconceptions (there is no such thing as having a 'slight' or 'major' case of Ds). Spread the word to end the word is also on Facebook.

While Ange and I were talking about Ds and about my sons issues (Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder) and she encouraged me to blog about my life with AJ's issues and also Gianna's (Hereditary Spherocytosis). It would be a good way to get the word out about those issues, and also provide me with an outlet to get things off my chest. You see, I love my kids to the death, but I don't always like them. I realize that makes me sound like an awful mother, and I'm okay with that. My children know I love them. They know I will go to the depths of hell for them (after all, they do have cookies!), but they also know that there are times that I cannot tolerate their nonsense. It isn't that I don't like them, I don't like their behavior.

My son has slowly been spiraling downhill, and I'm slowly losing my patience with him. I have been trying so hard to get him treatment. We have tried many different medications. We've tried diet modification, to no avail. Behavior modification. Punishment. Withholding toys. Withholding video games, outside time, even making him do extra chores when he acts up. Nothing is helping him. We finally have an appointment with the Mental Health Clinic at the end of this month. I am hoping that they have some ideas on what we can do. I know they will work with him. So, I shouldn't worry. But I can't help but have that voice in the back of mind that screams "THIS WON'T WORK!! YOU'VE FAILED HIM!". I refuse to accept that. Somewhere in this angry 6 year old is my sweet baby boy, longing to emerge again. I miss my baby. I want him back. The baby boy who wanted to cuddle at every opportunity. The baby boy who hugged me and told me he loved me, just because. Not the 6 year old who hugs me and says "Mommy? I love you!" when he steals from me. That's the only time I get affection, when he does something wrong. I refuse to submit my son to feeling like this. I refuse to not get my baby back. He's in there, and I am going to get him back.

I started this blog for my sons issues, hence the name. I have decided that it wasn't enough to just leave it to be about him. Having a blog solely about his issues would make him seem so much worse than he is. And I do not want that. I want an outlet where I can come to, to not only talk about the troubles we've had for the day, but also to talk about his accomplishments. But, not just his accomplishments, and his problems. This is an outlet for me to come to and talk about anything. About my 9 year old's bossy ways and her fantastic chorus performances. About my 16 month old's new milestones and about her health problems.

I am expanding to reviews and giveaways, as you have seen lately. I am working on getting more things to review and would like to also be able to do more giveaways. I'm looking into more family friendly things, as well. Children's items, things to help out around the house, etc. I am loving this blogging experience, and really wishing that I had gotten into it sooner. I finally feel like I'm being useful, and think I have found what I love to do. Unfortunately, it's not a job that pays out well. Maybe one of these days!

In the meantime, I am here and I'm not going anywhere any time soon. I would love to hear feed back from my wonderful readers. Comments are always welcomed, and they are encouraging to read. I'd love to hear how other parents of children with SPD, ADHD, and ODD do on a day to day basis. I'd love to hear what works for you. I'd love your ideas on what kind of products you'd like to see reviewed and have giveaways for. Any questions on anything? I'd love to answer them as best as possible!

Oh, a little more about me:
My name is Kristen. I am 28 years old. I am a mother of 3. I have been with my husband for almost 13 years. We have been married for almost 4. I am passionate about breastfeeding and car seat safety. I am not against formula feeding, but I am against not educating about yourself the differences between the two. I believe everyone should be fully vaccinated unless they have medical and health issues that prevent them from being so. I believe in keeping children rear facing for as long as possible. I believe in keeping them in car seats as long as possible. I love babywearing and love to have my daughter riding on my back in our Boba 3G, or on my chest in our Baby K'tan. I don't always cook fully nutritious meals. We are a very picky family, so I make what we eat. Or rather, I might order out often. My older children both attend public school, and Gianna will as well when she's old enough. I stayed home with my older 2 while they were small, until they were around 7-9 months old. With Gianna, I am continuing to be a SAHM because of her health issues. I don't have a ton of friends. The friends I do have are here for me when I need them. I don't hang out until all hours of the night. I enjoy Facebook, and playing Call Of Duty on the PS3 with my husband.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Another generous giveaway from Designs By MRS!!

I always love doing giveaways for all of my readers. Even more, I love to work with Designs by MRS | Hand Stamped Jewelry to offer you a giveaway! She truly is a pleasure to work with, and her jewelry is downright beautiful and very unique. Quoting her directly "Each of Designs by MRS pieces are hand stamped making them unique! The beauty of hand stamped jewelry is that the misalignment of letters or difference in letter depth adds character. You will receive a unique Designs by MRS piece each time you place an order!"

Once again, I must share that my favorite thing about her business is that she donates 5% of all purchases to a variety of Down syndrome organizations. Check out her Etsy shop here. Look around, because I want to know what your favorite piece is that she offers!

For this giveaway, she is giving away her Sweethearts Double Heart Hand Stamped necklace with custom names and wedding/anniversary date! A $20 value.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My son, the thief

It pains me say this, but my son is a thief. This is not the first time he's stolen. He's taken a candy bar from the Family Dollar once. He's taken things from the grocery store. He recently stole $5 out of my wallet when G and I were napping on the couch. I woke up because I felt like someone was staring at me. Sure enough, he was right there, hand in his pocket, staring at me. I asked what he had, and he said nothing. Then ran to his room. When I went up to see what it was, I assumed I'd find candy, or fruit snacks. Nope, there was my $5. Little shit. I took it from him, explained why we don't steal, especially from our parents, and asked why he did it. His response was "Because I wanted to." Well, okay then. Not a good excuse, but whatever.

Today, I received a call from the school. When I looked at the caller ID on the phone, I knew it was in regards to AJ. I thought something happened and they wanted me to pick him up. I was about to break it to them that I couldn't since I don't have a working car. After what I was told, I wish that was the issue.

Mrs. B called me to ask if sent AJ in to school with $20 for ice cream. Wait ... what did you just say? "Did you send $20 with Anthony for ice cream?" Ummm, no. Not a fat chance in hell did I do such a thing. It turns out, AJ took $20 with him, bought some ice cream, then got caught. Mrs. B took it from him, and put it in a baggie. At that point, she called me to ask about it. When she asked, I immediately got up to look in my wallet. Well, guess what? My wallet was missing. Why was I not surprised? I informed her that he stole that from me, and thank you for taking the change from him. I later found out that he had only purchased one ice cream thingy with it, for 75 cents. Okay, I'm still pissed, but whatever. She said that when she took the money from him, he started crying and having a tantrum. The note she included in the baggie with the money left over said "Anthony brought $20 in for ice cream, so here is his change. He seemed upset about sending the change home." You think?

Since we have no car, I sort of rely on people to possibly take us to Walmart when we need to go. Luckily, it's only been twice that we really needed to go, and our friend D has taken Anthony, or allowed him to borrow his car. However, since last night, I needed wipes for Gianna. We usually cloth diaper and use cloth wipes, but because she has a bleeding rash, I want to take care of it first. The ointments and creams I'm using are not CD safe. She's been crying when I use the wipe spray, so disposable wipes are the best in this situation. I used most of our wipes in the AM when she had a nasty diaper. I ripped them in half so they'd last longer, but was at 1/2 wipe when I had my little rant.

I've asked a few people if they could run to the store for me. Since all I had on me was the $20 bill, they could keep it all. Pick up a few things, keep the change. I always am the first one there when people need me. I pick up my friends from work at 11pm, take them in at 7am, babysit for free, give them food and money when they need it, but the one time I need something, NO ONE is around. Thankfully, one of my friends from school came to my rescue. Unfortunately, since my son stole my money, I wasn't able to pay her back. I told her I would when he came home and/or when I see her again, and she said not to worry about it. I wanted to cry. Something so little meant the world to me. Thank you SO much, S. You seriously made my day.

I fully expected AJ to come home with the $19.25 in his pocket, with his tail tucked between his legs. Nope, the kid came in, bouncing around, like nothing happened. I asked him if there was anything he wanted to tell me. At that point, he lowered his head, and muttered something. I'm not sure what it was, but he said something along the lines of "I don't want to but yes".He handed me the baggie. The first thing I noticed was there was no quarter in there. I asked him about the quarter. He said he gave it away. Wait, you what?? You STOLE my money, then gave the quarter away!? Are you serious?? So, then I take the money out, and count it. Since he gave away my quarter, there should be $19 there. Nope, there was SEVENTEEN dollars. $17!!! Woah, hold up. Where the hell is the rest of my money? His response "I gave it to some friends that I don't know their names."

Hold the hell up ... you STOLE my $20. The ONLY money I have for the next 2 weeks. Then you bought ice cream with it. Then you took the quarter and gave that away. Then you thought it would be a good idea to take $2 and give it to people you don't know?! He nodded his head, and said yes. Because it's always a good idea to steal money from your parents, then give some away when you know you're already in trouble for stealing it in the first place. Why not!? I seriously hope that ice cream was worth it.

His punishment? I took all of his toys away. ALL of them. Even his crayons and colored pencils. The child has nothing. He also didn't get any ice cream cake tonight. Sofia, Gianna, and I enjoyed some, while he sat there and watched us eat it. Unfair? Not in the least. He had ice cream at lunch time while the rest of us did not. He was not happy. He pouted and whined that it was his ice cream cake. No, child. It is not. We bought it to CELEBRATE your birthday. We did not buy it for YOU to eat alone.

Originally, the plan for punishment was to take away his favorite toys- his Matchbox Wall Track, and his Nerf guns, and no ice cream cake. This was when I only thought he took the $20 and got ice cream. When I discovered that he gave more money away, that's when I took them all. I even had him help me bag it all up. All of his toys are now in my closet. He has his Pooh Bear that he sleeps with, and his Fisher Price Aquarium. That's it. Nothing else. And I think that's pretty fair. Now, I have to determine when he can have them back. This is the part that always gets me. I can take things away, but when is a good time to give them back? I told him he can have them back when he gets the money back from his friends. Realistically, I know that won't happen. Maybe a week of no toys will get to him. Then he can start doing things around the house to earn them back, one at a time.

Any suggestions as to what he can do??

Happy Birthday, AJ!!

Today was AJ's 6th birthday. We didn't do much, and I wish we were able to. We went to Sofia's concert at her school, then came home and had ice cream cake for AJ. One of these years, I am going to have a HUGE party for him. He's never had a big party because we've never been able to afford one this close to Christmas, but that needs to change.

I can't believe how big he's gotten! My itty bitty 5 pound 14 ounce baby has grown into a 41 pound 6 year old. His birth was fairly uneventful. Went to the hospital on the 15th in the AM, given a dose of cytotec (or was it cervidil?) to help my cervix, Pitocin started, and that was that. I tried an unmedicated birth, but the hot tub was NOT hot enough. They said it couldn't be any hotter than 98 degrees. For me, that was unacceptable. I took showers hot enough to turn my skin lobster red. The "hot tub" felt cold. I got out, and just tried to deal with the pain. After a while, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I do believe I was 5cm when I got the epidural. It didn't take long after that for me to hit 10cm. It was about 9:30. My preferred Midwife, Melodye, was off for the day. However, by the time it was time to push, she was there. She came when we first got settled in, bringing a gift for Sofia and 2 blankets for the baby. It was such a relief to have her walk in when she did. I really did NOT want someone else delivering my baby. Absolutely uneventful after that. 30 minutes of pushing, and he was here! 10pm, 5lbs 14oz, 19 inches long.

Look at my baby boy!! He's so big now!

AJ considered Sofia's concert to be his gift. It was awesome, and he loved it. I had taken a video using Anthony's phone, but for some reason, it refuses to upload. So, for now, please let the photos be enough :)

Sofia is in yellow      Gianna has had enough of being held          Can you spot Sofia here?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pertussis outbreak?

Today, Sofia came home with a paper from the school stating that there was a confirmed case of Pertussis in her school. Wonderful. That is just what I wanted to hear. NOT. Sofia is 100% vaccinated. AJ is 100% vaccinated. Gianna is on her way to being 100% vaccinated. However, she is severely immunosupressed. Her body may or may not hold the vaccination for long. Pertussis is something that we can't afford to contract. Especially since we don't have a car to get up to Syracuse on the drop of a dime. I needed to find out more about this confirmed case of Pertussis. I need to know how likely it was that Sofia was near the infected child. If the infected child were close to my daughter, and possibly coughed on her, or did a number of other things to get her germs on Sofia, I need to protect Gianna. I need to know what our chances are.

I called the school first thing, and asked what grade this child was in. I was told the most ridiculous excuse of it being against the confidentiality to tell me what grade the child was in. I explained the situation with Gianna having the blood disorder. I explained that it likely meant I needed to get her up to have a transfusion. You would think she'd say "Oh, well the child was in 5th grade" ... or 3rd. Or whatever. Nope. Instead, she got snotty and told me that she "just isn't comfortable sharing such sensitive information." Really?? I'm not asking you the child's name, age, teacher, bus number, or where they live. I'm asking a general question. What. Grade. Is. This. Child. In? Is that REALLY that hard to answer?????? I (not so) kindly informed her that if Gianna became ill with Pertussis, I was coming after her, and suing her.

After that incident, I called the Health Department. According to them, they didn't even know that there was a case reported. One other mother called before me, and we're the only way they knew. They said they didn't know what grade, either. Unfortunately, that's likely true. I just wish SOMEONE knew what grade this child was in. I just need to assess my child's risk. It's really not THAT hard ... is it? Am I asking for too much?? I didn't think I was. It's just really frustrating. Sofia is doing fantastic in school, and can easily afford to miss a few days to keep her away. She'll bounce right back without missing a beat. But, now I'm not sure if the risk is there or not.

Tomorrow is AJ's 6th birthday. We have nothing special planned. The poor boy has never had a big party. We'll likely not do anything major. We'll have to walk to Walmart to get a cake for him. Something small, because I am not walking with a big cake in my arms. No way would I be able to pull that off. One of these years, he will have a HUGE party. Hopefully, that will be his motivation to behaving. We'll have to work on that as a goal for next year.

Gianna has been slowly getting sick for a while now. Today, it's full blown. I've done my best to keep her away from a massive amount of germs, but apparently it didn't help. The cold does NOT cause a cold, so I know damn well that bringing her out didn't cause it. I don't care what people say. A cold is caused from germs. Bacteria. Not cold weather. So, I know it wasn't because we took these insanely long walks the last 3 days.

Speaking of walks. It's been YEARS since I've had to walk far distances. I've had a car since 2004. All of a sudden, we don't have to car, and I have to walk. Saturday, we walked to take the kids to Grandma's. Then to Walmart to pick up some things, then back home. Yesterday, we walked to pick them up, and to Walmart again for things that we forgot on Saturday. Today, I had to walk to the Police Station to pay a parking ticket. Thanks to Ange, I now see the irony. Walking to pay a parking ticket. There went $10. After that, I went to Walgreens, then stopped at Dominos to reward myself with some Parmesan Bites (seriously, I could live off of those!). Came home, and called it a day. I decided to weigh myself. I've actually GAINED a whole pound since this walking. Not very encouraging. The rest of the week is supposed to be pretty cold. Doesn't look like I'll be out walking in it. Maybe I'll plug in the Wii and play some Just Dance with Gianna. She always seems to laugh when I play. Yeah, mommy can't dance. We know this.

Last bit before I forget. I ordered a beautiful headband from Designs By MRS on Facebook. She was one of the sponsors of a giveaway I did, and she is going to graciously allow me to do another giveaway! The headband came in today!! Gianna was SO excited when I showed it to her and put it on her. I can't wait to put it on her when we go out somewhere! You can shop her Etsy store here. My favorite thing about her shop?5% of all purchases will be put aside to donate quarterly to a variety of Down syndrome organizations!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Sunday!

I just have to start off by saying, I am the MASTER hacker. Poor Ange. I changed her birthday to today, and also changed her sex to male. All day yesterday, I kept seeing the notifications pop up on the side of the screen "Ange also commented on his status". It was the best hack ever. I did that late Friday night, right before I went to bed. I also put up a funny status to distract her from the fact that I changed those things. This morning, I woke up and immediately checked FB. When I read her status, I laughed so hard that I woke up Gianna and Anthony. She wrote " is NOT my birthday and I can't change it because you just did. Seriously????" That seriously made my morning. Then it only got better when I saw this status from her, "Kristen, I am going to HARM you. All these sweet people taking time out of their day to wish me a happy birthday and it ISN'T my birthday. Start explaining yourself." Hahahahaha

You know what was even better? When she dedicated a blog post to me. Okay, so it was only the ending, but still. It really did make my day. I am going to have a FANTASTIC day because of this. I do so love Ange, and I am so glad I have her password :-p

AJ's birthday is on Tuesday. He'll be 6 years old. We have to pick him up from Grandma's house today. Before we get them, we are going to stop at Walmart and pick up a cake. Yes, that means we have to walk with it. That's okay. We'll get a small one, celebrate at Grandma's then come home. I would love to do something for his actual birthday, but Sofia has a concert that night for both band and chorus.

Gianna is coming down with a cold, again. We just got over another really bad cold so I hate to see her sick again. She was just starting to feel better. Oh well. This is the Winter cycle for her. Sick for 4 days, well for 1. Sick another 4 days, well 1. We may catch a break and have her well for up to 3 days, but that's rare. We'll see. Since the car is messed up, it means we'll be spending much more time at home. More time at home means less time out in public, around sick people. Hopefully we'll manage to not get too sick this Winter. I'd hate to have to somehow find a ride up to Syracuse in a hurry.

I am hoping for a calm, peaceful Sunday. So far so good. We'll see how later plays out. Happy Sunday!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Just another lazy Saturday

I have no plans for today, so I am enjoying the laziness. AJ and Sofia were upstairs putting tattoos on each other, Gianna was trying to join in the fun. They wouldn't let her, of course. Poor baby. She was crying because they shut her out of the bathroom. Now, they're all running around.

I've listed a ton of items up for sale on Listia. You can check out my listings here. I'm hoping to make a few bucks. Or in this case, a few points so that I can buy more things that we need. Gianna is starting to outgrow her clothes, AGAIN. I wish she wouldn't grow so quickly. My baby isn't going to be a baby much longer. Time sure does fly.

I've got a little down time, so I'm just kicking back, watching TV, and thinking about High School days. Why? Well, on my local Yard sale group on FB, there was a recent post of someone complaining about ISOs. I don't remember exactly, but it was something along the lines of "Why do people post ISOs when no one sees them? And then other people post their items for sale, but don't tell the person who is looking for that item. It's not fair. People get passed over all the time." The comments were ridiculous. This is not the first time someone has whined and complained like an overgrown toddler. It just reminded me of when I was in school.

The nonsense fights, the complaints, revenge, all that. Name calling, picking on people, ignoring. Not just High School, but Middle School as well. It was really childish of me, and I wish I could go back and take it all back. I wasn't the bully by any means, but I did shun some people. I've ignored people because I didn't want to be seen talking to them. I've told people that I was too busy to hang out with them, when I really wasn't. I just didn't want to be associated with them. I got in a fight with my friend in 10th grade over my boyfriend. I took part in my fair share of rumors and gossiping about others. I'm not proud of it.

As an adult, I see the stupidity of my actions. I see how mean I was. I see my children, unfortunately, going through the same thing. Whether they are the ones who are picked on, or they are the ones picking on others. I can only hope that I am wrong. Though I know it's a part of growing up, I don't want my kids to be targets, nor do I want them to be the bullies. I fear that AJ will be the bully. He's so aggressive and just so mean that I'm fairly sure he will be the bully. I am hoping his appointment with the Mental Health Clinic will help so that I don't have to worry about this.

It takes me all day to write out one blog post. I start in the AM, get distracted with the kids, leave to do errands, take a nap, play with the kids, blog some more, eat, play more, etc. So I almost cried when I some how highlighted a fairly large section of this post and deleted it. Thank God I changed over to Blogger. The "undo" button brought it back! WOOT!!

Anywayssssss ... Anthony and I took the kids over to Grandma's a while ago. Since we don't have a car, we had to walk. We dropped off Sofia and AJ, and ended up bringing his sisters home. Even exchange. After dropping them off, we went to Walmart to pick up a few things, including some hair dye that I got for free using my freebie coupon. My hair used to be light blonde, and over the years, has darkened up. I miss it as much as I hate it. I can't wait to dye it, though. Along with that, we picked up a Zero Water pitcher. I drink a lot more water than I used to, and have to buy gallons of it because of tap water tastes nasty. I am hoping this helps it taste bearable so that we can stop spending money we don't have on store bought water. Oh, and the temperature wasn't TOO low, but it was still cold out. said it was 40, but I think it was colder than that. There was no wind, so that was a good thing!

It is now 11:45, and Gianna is still awake. Why? Because she napped in the stroller on the way to Grandma's. She slept about an hour, and has been going ever since. I am going to try to put her to sleep, and get to work on trying the next product I am supposed to be reviewing: Noxicare. Hoping it works out for us!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Just a tad bit bored

Today was semi busy. I spent the majority of the morning and some of the afternoon at a friends house. Once the kiddos started getting whiny and showing signs of tiredness, K brought me back home (seriously this no car issue sucks!). I thoroughly enjoyed the adult time, and enjoyed getting out of the house. Once home, another friend stopped by with her daughter for a little bit. The kids played while we chatted.

Once they left, it was just the family. We ordered a pizza, I did some online shopping, paid some bills, and then they got ready for bed. It wasn't the worst day ever. I'd go as far as saying, that for me, it was a pretty good day. AJ didn't act out much. We had a minor incident with back talking, but that was quickly put to an end.

My excitement for the day? Finding out that our cable bill had a $10 charge on it for a movie we didn't order. What movie was it, you ask? Well, it was an adult film. Supposedly we watched this on Sunday night, at 9:13. Now, I'm sorry, but my children WERE awake at that time. Getting ready for bed, but still awake. I do not watch pornos, and I would NEVER watch one with my children around. That is just wrong wrong WRONG. I explained this to the man I was chatting with online. Yes, I chose the "chat with someone" option. My phone has issues, and I'd rather it not hang up when I'm trying to get this fixed. I explained that this was impossible, and I want it off my bill IMMEDIATELY before I call a supervisor. He took a few minutes, but he came back and removed it. Ugh. I understand that some people enjoy watching porn, and that's fine. I, on the other hand, find it degrading. No thanks. I'd rather not see.

It is now almost 11:00, I am looking into more companies to review and possibly offer up giveaways. Any suggestions? What would you like to see?

Today's Doctor appt did NOT go as hoped.

We don't have a car any more, so I have to rely on rides to get to appointments. Today, my father took AJ, Gianna, and I up to the doctors for AJ's appointment. This was supposed to be a medicine recheck appointment, just to make sure the dosage and medication is correct. I have yet to see any changes, so I anticipated we would up his dosage of at least the Adderall. No dice.

We discussed a few things. His lying. He's been stealing lately. $5 from my wallet. Some change that was in his father's pants. $1 from someone at school (sorry that he took your ice cream money, Morgan). Lying about how he's acquired this money. Lying about his activities. Dr N told him that the lying and stealing need to stop. He's a wonderful man, and my kids love him. I just hope AJ respects him enough to listen. I informed him of how AJ had a tantrum and told me he wanted to kill himself.

While that is quite disturbing, it wasn't all that shocking, honestly. We just assumed it would have happened later on. Maybe when he was in his teens. Not at 5 years old, We discussed the appointment he has with the mental health clinic. While AJ is slowly spiraling out of control, there is nothing that we can do at this point. Well, technically there is, but at this point, the best course of action is to let the mental health clinic get their hands on him, and see what they recommend. It seems like a LIFETIME away, though. I would have loved for Dr N to up his dosage or something, but I trust him. He's a good doctor, and I bent backwards and sideways to ensure that my kids saw him. He knows what he's doing.

The concern is that we keep changing his meds, and it's upsetting his body. Because he's been on so many different medications in such a short time frame, he may not actually be given enough time to get used to them and have them take full effect. I fully blame myself for this. I keep expecting immediate results, and get upset when I don't see them. There are others who have had great success with the combination he is on now- Adderall and Intuniv. And here I sit, watching my son struggle. His temper is flying, he's talking back, he's mean, lying, stealing, and I just don't know what to do. Easy solution is to see about another medication. Dr N says we need to stop. Keep him on what he's on now. It's only been about 2 weeks since he started. I do need to give him more time. My issue is that he's been on Adderall for a while with no change. Months. I do think that his dose needs to be increased from 5mg to maybe 10. But I trust Dr N and we will wait and see what the clinic wants to do.

Today, after his appointment, a friend was supposed to come over. Her daughter also has SPD, so she knows what I go through with AJ on that front. Unfortunately, her daughter was having a hard time today, so they didn't make it. AJ was NOT happy about that, and immediately pitched a fit. He started flailing himself, yelling, screaming. I told him to get upstairs until he can calm down. He didn't like that, and started telling me that he did not want to go to his room, and he wasn't going. I had to remind him that I am the parent. I was not asking him if he wanted to go up. I was telling him that he was going up. Stomp*stomp*stomp up the stairs he went. Slamming the door. I did tell him that he is not to come out until I tell him. He gets 5 minutes of time out, and his time does not start until he's quiet. After 10 minutes or so, I assumed he had fallen asleep because he didn't respond to me when I called to him. I didn't hear any noises, nothing. About 5 minutes later, he storms down the stairs, screaming his little head off. Apparently, he smashed his face into the wall in an attempt to loosen his teeth so they fall out. He wants money, badly, and since he already got yelled at for stealing, his solution was to knock out some teeth so the tooth fairy comes. Too bad she doesn't come if you intentionally knock out teeth!

Fast forward a few hours. Dinner is done. I went upstairs to get the older two so that they could come down and eat dinner. While I was upstairs, I asked AJ where he smashed his face. He pointed to a part of his wall that would be impossible for him to have smashed his face there. If he did, he would have had to tilt his head to the side, and bend sideways. No, that didn't happen. I know it didn't. After some prompting, he FINALLY admitted to the truth. What he had done, ladies and gentlemen, was bite his pillow, and pull on it repeatedly. Over and over and over again. Hard enough to make the bottom right tooth loose. And of course, since he did this before it was ready to be loose, it hurts. Well, sorry kiddo. Not my fault. Guess you're going to be in a pain for a while.

I'm not sure how much longer I can take of this. The 31st is so far away. If I had a car, I would drive him there myself, and demand he be seen sooner. But I can't. I'm just tired of waiting. I'm tired of living every day anxious and scared to see what the day holds for us. AJ is very quickly losing his self control, and I am very quickly losing my patience. I will no longer tolerate his back talking and him disrespecting me. While I will not be randomly beating my child, I do believe spankings may need to come back into play. I did spank him once today. He stood there in shock that I actually spanked him. Maybe it was the nudge he needed to know that I wasn't playing games anymore. We'll see.

I'll end this here because it's pretty long, for one. And for two, AJ woke up just now. He's crying again about his tooth. At least, I think he is. I don't speak whinese, so I am not 100% sure. Hope your day went better than ours!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

No sleep makes for a cranky Kristen

Last night, Anthony and I attempted to go to bed early. We usually don't go to bed until close to 1, sometimes 2. Then I lay in bed for another hour or two. Since the goal was go to bed early, I thought I'd benefit from this. At 11, we headed up to bed. By 11:45, hubby was starting to drift off. By the time 12 came, he was out and snoring. Where was I? Wideeee awake. Nope, early bedtime not helping. At least when I'm downstairs, I'm pretty tired by 11 (like now). 12:15 came, and Gianna started to wake up. This was a game for her. When I started to get up to get her out, she laid back down. Up, down, up, down. At 12:30, I gave up on the game, and just took her out.

By 1, she was ready to play. Not happening. Mommy is tired, and would like to sleep. Lay down. Every time I told her to lay down, she started crying. Bawling her eyes out, crying. Some crocodile tears, some real ones. But the crying was heartbreaking. I cuddled, I nursed, I rubbed, I changed her diaper, I rocked, I SHHHHHHHH'd ... NOTHING was working. By 2, I was beat. I just wanted to go to sleep, and I was fighting the urge to just go to sleep. I nodded out here and there, but never completely out. I begged some more, rocked again, rubbed more, patted again. Nothing.

3:00 came, and I was done. DONE. I was tired, miserable, and really just needed to go to sleep. I was over the games. Over the crawling all over the bed. I was headbutted 3 or 4 times. I was slapped. I just wanted her to go to sleep. At about 3:15, I told her "You WILL lay down, or you WILL go back in your crib." Apparently, that got through to her. She laid down on my lap (I was semi-sitting up), and she crashed within 10 minutes. I let her lay like that for a bit longer, just to make sure she was REALLY asleep, and then moved her up to the pillow. FINALLY I was able to sleep. I was so looking forward to this. At 4, she slapped me awake. I shushed her, and she went back to sleep.

My alarm went off at 7:00 this morning. Before my alarm could even go off, Gianna was up and ready to face the day. Great. Wonderful. NOT. She was on the go until about 9:30ish. At that point, I could NOT keep my eyes open any more. Instead of napping on the couch and hoping for the best, I decided it'd be best to take her upstairs, and lay down with her. I gave her some melatonin at 9, so I was hoping it would have kicked in by that time, and she'd be ready for bed. Not happening. 10 came and went. It was close to 11 when she started showing signs of being tired. Around 11:30, she was out. I curled up next to her, and off to dreamland it was. But by 12, she was done. No more nap. Thanks, G. Mommy was so ready to be up. UGH

This has been a trying day. I am exhausted, but of course, there is no way possible I'd be able to fall asleep right now even if I tried. Tomorrow is going to be an extremely busy day, so I'm not holding out hope for a nap for me then either. Oh well. Soon ... I hope.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vitacost giveaway coming up soon!

I have been in touch with a company called Vitacost. Perhaps you've ordered from them? Or maybe you've been meaning to, but haven't yet had the chance. If so, you're in luck. I will have a $25 credit for one lucky winner!!

If you aren't familiar with, I suggest you head over there and see what they have to offer. The name implies vitamins, but they have so much more! Vitamins for kids, gluten free foods, baby lotions and baby foods, diapers and wipes, cleaning supplies, even makeup! They have just about EVERYTHING!! It's all pretty reasonably priced as well.

If you use this sign up link, you will get $10 credit towards a $30 or more order. Feel free to check out the site, sign up, and stay tuned to the giveaway. I'm still working out the details, but I am hoping to offer the giveaway soon!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Contest winnings fun

During the summer, I entered a pic of my husband and Gianna in the pool in a contest. We won first place (woot!) and won $1,000 to This was the thrill of my summer, and I was ecstatic when we won! Seeing that it was for such a large amount, and I received a LOT of help from my Facebook friends, I decided to give back a bit.

First things first, my friend Ange has a beautiful little girl who happens to have Down syndrome. They participate in the Buddy Walk every year. So, we decided that we would encourage people to donate by offering some official Team Beauty Queen gear. T-shirts, coffee mugs, and magnets. It was sort of a bribe. But, it worked! Team Beauty Queen raised money, and the 'prizes' were encouraging. I don't remember the exact amounts, but for $25 or more, we offered a t-shirt. I am happy to say that we had a lot of t-shirt orders because of donations! It was a great way to spend my winnings!

I then used a bit more for t-shirts for my friends son's foundation. You can find them on Facebook here. He is 5 years old and trying to make a difference in our community. His recent endeavor is to help a family adopt a baby. I used some of my winnings to purchase some shirts for them to sell to raise money.

The last little bit, I'm using for myself. I used some to buy a coffee mug for my father from the kids. I put the picture of him and the kids on Halloween. I'm also in the process of uploading all of my pics from FB over to Snapfish so that I can have them in print. Now, I just need to find a photo album to keep them in. They still make those, right??

If you won $1,000 to Snapfish, what would you do with it?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A tantrum to shock your pants right off

I have spent all night yesterday, and all day today transferring all of my blog posts over to Blogger manually. Xanga does not let you export, from what I understand, unless you purchase a premium account. I have no intentions of spending any money on something that I am moving away from. So, copy and paste it was. After 50 posts, I had to start entering captchas. AWFUL. I hate captchas with a passion. Glad that is over!

We are on day 6 of the Adderall/Intuniv combo, with no results so far. He still has many many meltdowns. Today was one of the worst I have seen in a long time. Every day, there is screaming, fighting between AJ and Sofia. Yelling at each other, and then AJ screeches and either hits things, or throws himself down, kicking the floor. Today, though, he threatened to kill himself. Let's start at the beginning.

I don't own a 'real' alarm clock. I use the alarm on my phone because I keep it next to me during the night, and I set 4 alarms just to make sure I do get up. When I went to sleep last night, it was fully charged. Anthony woke me up in a panic at 8:15 this morning. We slept through all the alarms. Well, he did. Apparently, my phone decided it was going to die in the middle of the night. Not only that, but Sofia woke with her alarm, but just turned it right off. When I asked her why, she said "You didn't tell me last night that I had to get up right when it went off. I didn't think I needed to." Reriously? You're 9 years old. You know you have school. If your alarm goes off, and you don't see me up, maybe you should get up and wake me up! Needless to say, the kids missed their buses. Since my car isn't safe for driving all over, I couldn't take them to school. I also assumed that Anthony took it to work since we've been told he can take it to work and back, and that's it.

AJ was cranky because he missed school today. He wanted to go and use his money to get ice cream. I asked him where he got this money from, since I sure as hell didn't give him any, and I know he didn't have any of his own from before. His voice got really low, he started to mumble, and the conversation went like this:
AJ: I found it
Me: What?
AJ: I found it.
Me: Oh, found it? <AJ nods> Where did you find it? <shoulder shrug> Hm?? Where did you find this dollar? Did you take it from my wallet? <shakes head> Dads wallet? <shakes head again> Then where did you find it?
AJ: At school.
Me: WHERE at school?
AJ: Ummmm <looks around> Well, ummmm <shifts side to side>
Me: You better tell me right now, and do NOT lie to me.
AJ: Morgan gave it to me.

I have no idea who Morgan is, and he can't tell me if Morgan is a boy or a girl. I know he likely took it from someone. And it makes me really upset that he did this. Someone didn't get to enjoy their ice cream today because 1) he took their money, and 2) because I overslept. Insert Tantrum #1 for the day.

Later on, he decided that Gianna couldn't touch ANY of his toys. When she did, he screamed at her. Gianna, being all of 16 months, is in the hitting phase. Since big brother yelled at her and snatched a toy from her, she decided to bop him on the head. Insert Tantrum #2 "SHE ALWAYS TAKES MY TOYS THEN HITS ME! IT'S NOT FAIR!!!" <cue tears> Melt down. Totally lost it. I sent him to his room to calm down. He slammed his door probably 5 times. Kicked the wall, threw toys, threw himself around.

Tantrum #3 was because I made him clean up his mess before he could come back downstairs. Took half an hour, but he finally cleaned it up.

And finally, the Crème de la crème. He was whining about something. I have no idea what it was, but it sort of sounded like "Why can't I .... " or "It's not fair ... " some sort of whine like that. I told him that I don't understand whining, so he needs to stop, and talk to me normally. That caused him to whine more, and stomp while whining. I HATE those tantrums!! Stomping, arm throwing, body lashing, whining tantrums. At that point, I said to him "I do NOT understand whining. So, since you're not going to stop, my answer is NO. Whatever you are asking, no." That's when he did it. He uttered those 6 words no parent ever wants to hear: "I REALLY WANT TO KILL MYSELF!"

Woah ... hold up. Did my 5 year old REALLY just say that?? He wants to what?? Now, I know my son. This was said to shock me, and to get attention. I calmly got up, walked away, opened the front door (Anthony was outside having a cigarette) and calmly informed him of what he said. I then shut the door, turned back to my son (who hadn't moved an inch since I got up), and told him "If you EVER say that again. EVER. I WILL call the cops, and they can take you to the hospital to be evaluated. I will NOT have you talk like that. Do you understand me??" He looked at me, shocked, and said "No you won't. I'm too little to be arrested." Umm, okay. Whatever. He likely won't say it again, unless he wants the attention. But at that point, I really will call. 

I don't think the Intuniv is helping. Maybe we need to give it a bit more. In the meantime, I'll just count down the days until his Mental Health Clinic appointment. I finally got that call yesterday. We go on the 31st. Seems like a lifetime away .... Let's just hope I can hold out until then.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Yep, it's official

My car is a POS. I mean, we knew this - it's a 2004 Dodge Neon SXT. It wasn't built to last, unfortunately. It served me well. My dad bought it for me, brand new, in November of 2004 so I've had it for over 8 years. I've taken countless trips to Maine to visit my mother when she was alive. Many, many trips to NYC to visit Anthony's family. Multiple trips to Syracuse for Gianna's appointments. But now, we're out of luck. We don't have the money to purchase another car right away. We have to wait until income tax money comes. But that leaves us with another dilemma.

My dad called this AM to let me know what the guys said at the shop. Apparently, my car burnt through the brand new spark plugs that were just put in recently. I'm doing all I can to not cry some more, so I wasn't really listening to what else he said was wrong. Basically, the car is ready for me to pick up, but it's not driveable. I mean, we can drive it here, and likely put it on the correct side of the street every night, but we can't take it to the grocery store when we feel like getting some snacks. We can't take it to the mall just because we want to get out of the house. We can't drive to McDs when we're too tired to cook. We should be able to use it for Anthony to get to work and back each day, but he certainly can't come home for lunch. Hell, he may not even be able to drive it to work. I'm not entirely sure. All I know is that I shouldn't drive it, period. Chances are, if I go anywhere, I'll have the kids with me. And if the car breaks down, then I'll have to walk home with all the kids. Not. Going. To. Happen.

The van I want is just under $3,000. It's nothing fancy, but it runs. It's reliable. Might not be good enough to take it to NYC as often as we like to go, but that's fine by me. I just need something that is going to take all of us where we need to go. Comfortably, and safely. This also means that in a van, Sofia can be back in her booster. There is no room in my Neon for all 3 kids to be in seats. Sofia is *technically* okay without the booster, but I am much more comfortable with her in one. It also means that I can put Gianna in her new seat. I bought it a while ago (okay, almost a whole year ago) and we've only used it a handful of times. She still fits in her infant seat, so we use that. It's a lot easier to just take the whole seat out of the car when (and if) she falls asleep. No unbuckling, waking the sleeping baby. Just lift and go. I'm definitely going to miss that in a car seat. It's okay though. I'm still super stoked to use it!

In the meantime, I have to deal with not having a car. Now I need to find a ride appointments, to the grocery store, to anywhere. Totally sucks, but I went years without a car before. I'll live. Hopefully. It is winter, after all. I'm still taking donations to help me get the van, sooner!! winky

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I just want to cry

Welcome, 2013. Thanks for bringing your crappiness with you. Already. 

My car won't start. It's not the battery, because the radio will come on, and the windows will go down. No idea what it could be. Of course, because Christmas was just here, we are 110% broke. We have no credit cards because, well, our credit isn't that great. We are screwed. Anthony has to work tomorrow. The only way he can get there now is either walking, or riding his bike. In the summer, that wouldn't be that big of a deal. But it's winter. There is snow on the ground, and freezing temperatures. This is just awful. 

And what makes it worse? Our town has alternate side parking. All cars must be on the proper side of the street by 5pm. Since tomorrow is the second, an even day, all cars need to be on the even side of the street at 5. It's almost 4:30 now, and we're still on the odd side. Since the car won't start, we can't get the car on this side. We have a driveway, but we share it with the neighbors on the side of us, and the guy behind us. Which means, we can't park there. We can't even use the driveway, ever, because of this. That means that I'll be getting a ticket every other day because I can't move the car to the right side of the street. I believe parking tickets are $10. So, that leaves potential for 15 tickets a month, as long as they come and check every night. Not to mention, if you don't pay it within X amount days, it goes up to $20. And if you don't pay it for another few days, it goes up MORE. So, I'm looking at AT LEAST $150 a month, as long as I pay the ticket immediately. I seriously don't know what we're going to do. We won't have any funds until our income tax is filed and comes in. Which will take even longer now, because we need a ride to H&R Block. 

Ugh, okay. I guess my rant is over. Here's to hoping that was a fluke because I really need to get some groceries! I'm starving!!!!