Monday, April 29, 2013

Cry It Out??

In one of the many mom groups I'm in, one of the moms had posted that her baby doesn't sleep through the night (STTN). She just wanted to commiserate with other moms who know what it's like to be up at all hours of the night because baby still doesn't STTN. What she had said was that she just wanted to know that she wasn't the only one. Well, instead of people commenting and saying things like "They're only little once!" or "He'll sleep through the night eventually!", they were insisting that she needed to do CIO on the baby. A baby who is only 5 months old. Yep, you read that right. FIVE months old. 

One of the commenters had this to say:
So let me ask u this.... 1. Is he waking up to eat? 2. He is 6 months is he a healthy weight? 3. Have u tried sleep training? I was so tired and back to work I needed my baby to sleep. I use to nurse at 8 pm them 12am then 4am then 6 am. At 4 months wegot rid if the 2 am feeding. Sleep training 3 days if crying and a few hard nites for me. Then at 6 months we got rid if the 12 am feeding. Then he slept from 8pm to 4am. Then back to sleep. Have u tried anything like this? Every baby is so different but I couldn't give in.... I couldn't afford being up all nite. Good luck mama!

Remember, this baby is only 5 months old. The mom wrote this in response:
At next dr appt we are discussing sleep training. He's waking up to eat- not to snuggle. He houses the boobies! To all you moms out there that work and do this at night- you're my hero. Thanks for the sleep training tips.

Now, I don't know about you, but if my baby was waking up to eat, I sure as hell wouldn't be denying them food. This is a genuine case of the baby being hungry, as mom admits. I couldn't stay silent any longer, and I posted this:
 I guess I'm going to be the "bad guy" here to say this. But, babies should not be forced to STTN until they are ready. My daughter is almost 20 months old, and STILL does not sleep through the night. They will not STTN until they are ready. Cereal before bed won't help. Again, they will when they are ready. "Sleep training" is honestly nothing more than teaching your babies that you will not be there for them. The reason it feels so wrong when you subject them to it is because it's not natural. It goes against everything we are supposed to do, and that's to comfort them. They don't cry to be manipulative. They cry because they need something. Whether it's nutrition, or comfort. 
PLEASE read these links before deciding to CIO.

It definitely made me the bad guy because people left and right were bashing me for stating the truth. CIO is dangerous. It is terrible. Your baby cries and cries for you, and you ignore them. You are telling your baby that you don't care about them. That their needs aren't important. That you don't want to be bothered by them. And to me, it's irresponsible parenting. When you chose to have kids, you chose to sacrifice things- sleep being #1. If you are REALLY that tired, then you can hire a babysitter to watch your kid while you take a nap. Or ask your parents, in laws, siblings, or even your significant other.

What bothered me the most, is this screen shot I'm about to share. Whether you are pro-CIO or against it like I am, you can't read that and actually think it's okay. Remember, this baby is only FIVE months old.

Seriously?! Who puts in ear plugs AND turns the monitor off?! A friend and I were saying that she might as well have gone to a hotel. At least then, she would have gotten better sleep. She wouldn't have to worry about the ear plugs falling out. What really gets me is, what if something was GENUINELY wrong with the baby?  What if he got his leg stuck in the crib slat? What if he threw up and inhaled it? What if someone broke in? A fire started? Anything?! I can only hope that while she was being selfish, and ignoring that poor baby, that her husband went in there and consoled him.

I posted this picture on my personal wall, and on my FB page as well. I wanted to get reactions from parents to see what they think. I asked a friend to post on her page also. Almost everyone agreed that this was irresponsible and selfish. Another friend asked if she could post on her page. The comments she received surprised me. Some of them thought it was perfectly fine! I am just not sure I could ever agree with it.

I am well aware that we all have different parenting styles. I am well aware that what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. And I try not to judge those who do things differently than I do. But some things that people do are just downright dangerous. I try to educate those around me about things I learned. I  welcome new information with open arms. I always strive to improve my parenting so that I can raise my kids to be successful, productive members of our society. When I see things that are dangerous, I feel the obligation to inform so that the parents/caretakers can take the measures necessary to improve the situation. I know, in a situation as such, this is something that a mandated reporter would HAVE to report. I'm sure people in the group are mandated reporters, and I am 100% sure that none of them reported her. As a matter of fact, everyone who commented after her congratulated her for making it through the night. I wonder how it would have went, if something tragic happened? Would people still congratulate her for getting her precious sleep? Would they congratulate her for not caving in, regardless?

Personally, I have done a modified CIO with my older 2. I never let them cry for longer than 10 minutes, max. But I did try to have my kids self soothe. It just didn't work, no matter how hard I tried. No matter how often we went through this at night. They never just laid down and went to sleep. Not until they were ready. It was like a switch. I can't recall their exact ages when they STTN, but they were a bit older than one. For the record, I did not attempt any modified CIO until they were closer to one. I would never do it to a baby younger than 10 months, and even then, it really depends on the baby. However, ear plugs in and monitor off? Not a chance.

I would love for your input on his. Leave a comment and let me know if you agree with CIO. Why or why not? Have you ever done it? How did it make you feel? Would you ever do it again?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

UGLee Pen ***REVIEW***

I was given the chance to test out an UGLee Pen. The pen is actually called The Ultimate Grip pen, but was shortened to UGLee (Lee because the creater's name is Dr. Lee).

Their description is as follows:
"The UGLee Pen is good for everyone who writes (even just a grocery list), and is especially helpful to people who experience pain and discomfort when writing, for example those with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.,. It's also the best writing utensil  for children who are learning to write and are developing fine motor skills, as well as helpful for special-needs children who find holding a pen or pencil properly difficult. And for high-school and college students who have to take copious notes, this pen helps keep hands and fingers from cramping."

While I REALLY wanted to love this pen, I just couldn't. Maybe it's because of my sensory quirks, but the grip felt too much like a fishing lure. It was too squishy for my liking. It did write smoothly though, and it really was comfortable in my hands. I hold my writing utensils two different ways, and each hold is used for different things. For writing quick notes, or lists, I hold it the "proper" way, in between my thumb and pointer finger. For long letters or more heavy duty writing, I hold it between my pointer and middle fingers. In either hold, I wasn't cramping up as quickly as I did with regular pens.

I gave one to my husband to try out at work, since he's always writing and making notes for where things go. The first day he used it, the little part that clips on to your shirt/pocket/tie/etc broke right off. He liked the way it wrote, though. He and I agree that it is a smooth pen. I prefer pen tips to be extra fine, but was more than happy to keep writing with this one. 

My son has Sensory Processing Disorder, among other disorders, and has a hard time with certain writing utensils. This was one that he was more than happy to use constantly. He's asked me all the time if he can use it. I'm not too fond of children using pens, but would absolutely love to see one of these in pencil form. It might actually make AJ more excited to do his homework!!

For now, I keep mine in my checkbook because I write checks so infrequently. I have no idea where Anthony put his. The third one we were given is in the drawer so that it's there for whoever needs it. Overall, I do like the pen, I just can't use it for long because of the gripper. I would have likely bought one on my own just to see what the hype is all about. You can purchase one HERE for only $5.95. I definitely would have picked a different color, since red is not a preference of mine. If you write a lot, definitely check this out.

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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New kitties!!

I keep forgetting to post the pics of my new kitties! I've also been busy playing with them and cuddling them. Especially the kitten! He's so sweet!!

I am absolutely in love with them!! My allergies, on the other hand, are not. UGH I feel like death when I play with them after a while. But I just can't help it!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

About time for a new post

Apparently, I have been slacking big time when it comes to my blog. Things have been crazy, and I'm trying to catch up.

Since I missed Throwback Thursday, I'll add it now. This is my husband before he covered himself in tattoos. You can actually see the color of his arms! I can't remember for sure, but this had to be either 2003 or 2004. Notice the old Nokia phone on his belt. We were so cool with those phones!

On Friday, AJ had a potty accident while outside and ended up tracking it through the house. While I was busy cleaning it, I asked Sofia to please keep Gianna in her room so that she didn't get into the mess or what I was using to clean it up. Apparently, G was on the bottom of Sofia's bed, with her legs hanging over the foot board. She started bouncing, and fell face first. This resulted in a lovely black eye. I called her doctors office because I was worried about it affecting her more because of her blood disorder. They told me to take her to the walk in if I wanted to, just to make sure it wasn't worse than it looked. We spent about 20 minutes there, and they looked her over. Just told me to keep an eye on her and call her doctor, or take her to the ER, if her behavior changes.

 By Saturday, it was a little darker

And by Sunday, it was starting to heal a bit more and look better. Monday, it was a little yellowish. Not as bad as I thought it would be.

I really should have just asked them to look at me real quick when I took her in. I'm not sure how it happened, but I suddenly developed a large lump under my arm. It started off pretty small, and within a few days, it grew larger. I assumed it was from the new deodorant I was using. I kept forgetting to buy my own when I went to the store (bought everything I didn't need, though!), so I have been using Anthony's. I mentioned that theory to the doctor at the walk in on Saturday, but he said that it didn't look like an allergic reaction or irritation, because it wasn't all over. He mentioned possibly lancing it, but decided not to. At this point, I'm kind of wishing he did. It REALLY hurts!!

AJ started on a new medication a while ago- Risperidone- and it didn't seem to do much other than really make him more angry and hostile. We upped his dosage from .25mg to .50mg for a week, then to .75mg. It started with just one pill (.25mg) in the morning. Then we did one in the morning, and one in the evening. Now we are at one in the morning, and two in the evening. It seems to be helping a bit, but he still has his moments where he is mean and out of control. I think I am going to ask about upping his dose one more time. Maybe .50mg in the morning and .50mg at night. All I know is, he's only 6 now. What is going to happen when he turns 8, or 10?

In other news, I have sent Sofia to school with a letter of refusal regarding the NYS Assessment tests. The Sunday before school started back up (the 7th), she spent 2 hours crying because she was so nervous about the test. She thought it was the next day, and hadn't studied at all. I didn't even know these tests were coming up because if I did, I would have made sure she studied. She was so upset that she made herself physically sick with a stomachache. It was awful watching her so upset. I asked in a mommy group that I'm in on Facebook if anyone had experience with anxiety in a 10 year old. One of the girls mentioned that it was testing time and that we could actually refuse it. She gave me THIS link, and from there, I decided I would talk to her about it. The following morning, I asked how she would feel if I had her refuse, and I could literally see the weight of the world lifted off her shoulders slightly. I looked into it more, spoke with my husband, and we went through with it.

I sent 3 letters of refusal in to school that Friday (the 12th). One to her teacher, the superintendent, and the principal. I also sent an email to the principal later that day to confirm that she read it. Sunday night, she replied. She had been out of town, but was in email communication with Ms. F, the superintendent, about this. She said that she had wanted to call me to discuss this, and I gave her the times that were best for me. I also mentioned that I would actually prefer to meet her in person so that I could show her what I found. I thought the tests started that Monday, so I didn't wait for her to call. I went up so I could talk face to face. I came fully prepared to stand my ground and fight for my right as a parent to refuse on Sofia's behalf. Luckily, Mrs. K was understanding. She said she didn't agree with it, but she knew that there was nothing she could do. There is a spot on the test to mark that it was refused. As long as Sofia didn't write on the test at all, the proctor would fill that bubble in.  When I told Sofia everything was all set for her to refuse, the rest of the weight of the world was lifted. No more tearful nights. No more stomachache.

She went to school just fine on Tuesday, and I picked her up right before the test started. Wednesday she went to the office while the test was taken. I'm not sure what she did today, but I'm sure she was in the office again. She just reads for that hour and a half. She will do the same thing next week for the Math tests. Those are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I'm not sure if I'll leave her there, or if I'll pick her up. It really is a waste of gas to pick her up for only 90 minutes.

This is our motto lately.

We're getting a cat tomorrow, and I can't wait. She was left behind by my mother in laws neighbors, so she took her in. It was Winter, and cold, and Abby was pregnant. She only had one kitten. My MIL is trying to reduce her cat-load, since another one they took in had 8 babies (we took them to a no-kill shelter), and the cat that actually belongs to them was, surprisingly, pregnant. She had 7. So, now she's in cat-hell, and needing to get rid of some. Abby is so cute, and her kitten has an M on his forehead. We're bringing them home tomorrow, so I will have some pics soon! I'm going to call him Mighty Meows. I am hilarious.

Okay, I think that's enough. If you've managed to make it this far, yay! Thank you!

Friday, April 5, 2013

AJs Outburst and some updates

Let's back it up a few days ... April First. Yes, we all know it as April Fool's. My kids got me, and they got me GOOD. Sofia and AJ had been playing WONDERFULLY all day together. They enjoy sitting in the recliner together, tho it's not a big chair. Every time Sofia is sitting there, AJ will ask if he can sit next to her. She happily says yes, and scootches over. Same thing when AJ is sitting there first. I'm not sure why, but it's just something they've always done.

On April First, I thought "Wow! Look how great they're all getting along! This is fantastic!" I was so happy! Even Gianna was being nice and sharing her toys with them. A few minutes later, I hear AJ and Sofia starting to argue. Oh boy. I am not one to step in when they are arguing. When they come running to me, "MOOOOMMMMMM!! S/He did this .... ", I always tell them that I don't want to hear it. No tattling, no snitching, none of that. Work it out yourselves. And for the most part, they do. They argue, they yell, but then they come to an agreement. May not be an ideal agreement, but it worked for them.

On April First, my kids played the ultimate prank on me. They started fighting. Not just arguing. PHYSICAL fighting. Unfortunately, I can't place the video in the blog, but they were arguing about the chair. Sofia got up to put her socks in her room. At that point, AJ apparently decided to take over the entire chair so that he could play with his toys. Chairs are for sitting, not playing. I did not know he was playing with his toys. I thought he just wanted a turn to sit on the chair alone. I let them go at it, thinking Sofia would do what she usually does "FINE! I'm going in my room!" Boy was I wrong.

Next thing I hear, Sofia is screaming at the top of her lungs "STOP!! OWWW!!!" and she said something about biting. I'm still not exactly sure what it was that she said, but she lunged off the chair, and ran to me. She had tears streaming down her face. She took a minute to calm down, then was able to talk to me to tell me what he did. Apparently, AJ had bit her, and then scratched her hand. I had already told them when they first started arguing that they were not to get physical. They can argue, but they need to work it out without hitting or hurting each other. Sofia kept her hands to herself. AJ, obviously, did not.

I sent Sofia upstairs to wash her hand because drew blood, and she was bleeding quite a bit. While she was upstairs, I took the time to talk to AJ. Okay, I yelled at him. I yelled that we do NOT hit. It was NOT okay for him to hurt her, or anyone. That was when I found out he had the toys on the chair. I reminded him that toys do not belong on the furniture. You want to play? Go in the playroom. That's why we have it. Or go to your room. Either way. But don't play on something that someone wants to sit on. At that point, I sent him to his room, and called his father. He then called his mother and asked her to take him for the night. Clearly, those two needed to be separated, and I needed to calm down and regroup without him around to have another tantrum or become more violent.

On his way up to his room, he started stomping up the stairs and screaming that he hates us all. "I HATE THIS STUPID FAMILY! THIS IS THE WORST FAMILY EVER!! I'M RUNNING AWAY AND NEVER COMING BACK!" (For the record, he didn't attempt to run away.) He started throwing toys around, destroying his room, and I do believe he was hitting his head on the wall. He says he didn't, but he had a pretty big red mark on his forehead when I went up to check on him. He did fall asleep while he was up there, since I refused to respond to his outbursts. I let him sleep for a bit while I made dinner and talked to Sofia. We talked about how she could have easily gotten up off the chair and came and sat on the couch with me. She knows AJ has issues. Not that it's an excuse, but she knows that he can't help himself 100% of the time. She also knows that how he behaves is directly related to how she treats him. She is an instigator.

So, April Fool's to me. This is the damage AJ did to Sofia. I took these pictures the next day.
The first pic is the scratch on her hand. The middle is a scratch from his tooth scraping her. The last is where he punched her three times.

While he was in his room, I did call the Crisis Center. Unfortunately, the woman I spoke to was of NO help at all. She kept insisting that there was nothing they could do because of his age. She told me I could bring him in for an eval, but she can't guarantee anything, and we would likely just be sent home. My van is overheating, and the hospital I'd have to take him to is about 20 minutes away. My van would have overheated, and we would have never made it back home. That was not a risk I'd be able to take. Which is why we made the decision to see if my MIL would take him.

He did have another therapist/nurse practitioner visit today. Since I had the video on my phone, I showed his therapist. She spoke to him a bit about it. We talked about his punishment. We talked about a plan for him. I'm really not seeing any progress being made with her. It's still mainly her focused on me, asking random questions, doing paperwork, talking about his punishments, his behaviors, etc. The visit with the NP went much better. At the last appointment, we discussed medications that he was on, and she put him on Risperidone. Only .25mg to start off with. This time, she upped it. He is to take one tablet in the morning, and one in the evening. After a week of that, he will take one in the morning, and 2 in the evening. Hopefully we will see a change with this increase. If not, I am seriously going to consider asking them to hospitalize him until they can find the proper dosing and medication to help him.

On a positive note, Easter went well! The kids didn't get a lot of candy or toys, but they did enjoy what they got.

A picture of AJ from today:
He is in the Harmony Defender 360. Still harnessed at 6 years old and 45 lbs.

So, that's it for updates for today. I am exhausted. Sofia and Gianna are now sharing a room. This is the second night, and they are both fast asleep. The first night was rough, and Gianna fought sleep for over 2 hours. Today, she whined and cried just a little bit, but it only took half an hour. I am hoping I can just lay her down tomorrow night, and she'll go right to sleep. In the meantime, I will enjoy watching Sofia be an amazing big sister to Gianna. Last night, she read 4 books to her in hopes that she would settle and go to sleep. One being The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I love my girls!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday 4.4.13

Can you seriously get any cuter than this?! I was so stinkin' adorable!! Oh, and don't worry. That beer bottle was empty and clean. Right, Uncle Bill?? At least ... that's what I was told! ;)

Designs By MRS Giveaway!!

Once again, one of my favorite WAHMs is offering up another necklace for a giveaway!! Designs By MRS has contacted me to host another giveaway for her. This time, it is a Mother's or Grandmother's layered pendants family necklace. Each layer can be customized with the name(s), phrase, or song lyrics of your choice in the font of your preference. The one shown is the last name on the smaller washer, with mom and dad's names on the middle, and the children on the outer most. This would be PERFECT for Mother's Day (May 12)!!

Check her out on Etsy and use the code LIFEINTHEODDLANE at check out to receive a 10% discount off of your purchase! Remember, 5% of all purchases will be put aside to donate quarterly to a variety of Down syndrome organizations. My absolute favorite part about her shop!! So, feel free to check her out while the contest is running!

Giveaway starts today (April 4th) and ends April 9th at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 1, 2013

Giveaway hosted by The Crafty Monkeh!

My good friend Lindsey, from The Crafty Monkeh on Facebook, has generously donated her talents to us for a giveaway! I am super excited over this because I have bought many things from her, and have yet to be disappointed!! She's made a giraffe hat for Gianna, a cookie monster hat for AJ, wipes, and more. Everything that she makes is excellent quality. She really puts a lot of time into her products.

For this giveaway, it will be a winner's choice. There will be 6 items available, winner will chose one. It will be custom made to the winners choice of color(s) and size, so please allow 2 weeks for it to be made and mailed out.

Your choices are:
A) Chick hat (baby not included!)

B) Football hat
C) Wide headband

D) Narrow Headband
E) Monster hat
F) Newsboy style hat

Contest starts April First (no, it's not a joke!) and goes until the 8th. Make sure you're entering correctly, and providing the correct links when required. Good luck, and as always, share share share!! a Rafflecopter giveaway