Friday, January 27, 2012

Blogging Lull

I'm not sure why, but it hasn't really seemed like I have much to blog about lately...or rather, nothing more than a couple lines and a I've skipped over blogging it altogether! Maybe if I start blogging about something, the rest will fall into place...

I still haven't finished blogging about Paris, and haven't posted a single thing about Torie's wedding in September (maybe I can get to it this next week?), but I think I kept up pretty well with blogging over the holidays and the trips we took while my mom was here. (Speaking of, here is a photo of the thimbles I got while doing said traveling; there's one from Trier and one from Frankfurt.)

Oh! And I also haven't yet shared the newest addition to our household! No, it's not a baby (though a close friend of mine just had one on Tuesday!), and no, it's not an animal (in the same house as my boys?! HA!). It's a "roommate" of my craft room! (No spiders this time, I promise!) Her name is Charlotte!

Charlotte wearing my hat from Paris, Ravenclaw earrings (made by me), and the purple Luna scarf (made by me)

I bought her to model the neck wear, head wear, and earrings I make. Sadly, though, there are a few things I made recently I could have used her to model, but forgot about using her until I'd already given them away! LOL

And in that vein, here are some of the things I've recently finished, project-wise!

Triangular Scarflette I made as a last-minute decision for a friend's birthday

*PHOTOS TAKEN BY MISHA* A Hat for Emily for Elphie's husband; I made adjustments to accommodate a size larger than youth, and also made it reversible by picking up the stitches along the edge of the hat and knitting the lining

The fingerless mitts I made for The Instigator as a gift for our anniversary, complete with the logo from Zelda
And for those that pay attention to my Ravelry projects in the sidebar of my wouldn't have even known what I was knitting for these entries! These were super secret projects that I made as gifts for Kristin and Elphaba for Christmas! :D

The capelet I made for Kristin
*PHOTO TAKEN BY MISHA* The sleeved mantelet I made for Elphie
And I love my gifts from them (which I will post photos of next time)! :D :D :D They were very fitting!

In other non-knitting, non-holiday related news, Superman (who is showing signs of being Bizarro today!) lost his two front teeth almost 2 weeks ago!

And now I cannot really think of anything else to seems as though my blogging steam didn't pick up today after all. (Of course, that's likely due to the fact that I'm being distracted by the boys being home from school today, doing laundry, and watching Big Bang Theory...) So I think I'll leave it here for now. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Explosive Child

I cannot express how glad I am that I found the book The Explosive Child (by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.) and that I bought it. I finally started to read it today (I've had it for a few months), and I'm only through the first three chapters, but I already have a good feeling about this book being extremely helpful.

A has been having issues since he started school (and actually even before that, had I known what I should have been looking for) with social skills and emotional developmental delay. It has been a long, taxing process to even get him to the place that he is, and believe me when I say it's a major improvement. There have been "brain trust" meetings at the school with the teachers, counselors, principal, therapists...there have been medical appointments and both medical and psychological evaluations....and paperwork. Lots and lots (and true to military form...LOTS) of paperwork. On top of all that has been my own frustration. I've been frustrated with not being able to seem to make any progress with my son. I've been frustrated with the guilt that comes with feeling like a lousy parent because of how my child behaves. I've been frustrated that it affects our entire family when A has problems. I've been frustrated with C mimicking A's actions when he has no cause to. And I've mostly been frustrated that for all the evaluations and meetings and paperwork, it appears (to me, anyway) that he's made little to no progress. We haven't yet targeted what the problem is, which makes it difficult to try to help A and prepare him to move on in school.

My best friend, Misha, has blogged before about her experience and continued journey of having a special needs child with speech and developmental delays. While A does not necessarily have the same challenges as Luc, I can relate to some of what she's feeling, though likely on a smaller scale.

As I've been reading the first few chapters of this book today, so much of what I read applied 100% to what I'm dealing with when it comes to A. And there are even parts of the book where I see myself from my childhood. While that's not exactly surprising, as A and I are very alike in personality, it's also a bit....eerie, yet somehow comforting, to see something like that, explaining why I was the way I was, and am the way I am about so many things, in print. Eerie, because it's like they're inside my head. Comforting, because it means I'm not alone, and there is a way to work through those challenges. Granted, as I'm now an adult, I've worked through most of it on my own, but it took me the better part of 20+ years to get there.

And just the thought that A can have the help he needs now and not have to struggle through 20 years on his own before he works it brings me to tears. Tears of relief. Tears of joy. I will see progress. He will overcome these challenges. And my never-ending frustration will disappear.....

My Prince A when he was 14 months old!

Bus Stop Nuisance

If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook, chances are that you're aware of the kid at the bus stop (we'll call him "E") that pesters A. Especially after yesterday when he pushed A's buttons to the point of my older son having a mini-meltdown on the bus.

E that eggs A on every morning. Yesterday, after much verbal poking and prodding, E deliberately took the seat that he knew A wanted on the bus and refused to compromise at all, and had a smug look on his face that I could see from standing at the door of the bus while doing it. It escalated to the point of A having a mini-meltdown on the bus. Unfortunately (in this situation, anyhow) for security measures, adults aside from the bus driver and bus monitor are not allowed to board the bus. As I was by the door, all I could see was E being a jerk and the bus monitor getting up and talking to A. She said nothing  to E. Just A. I have no idea what she said, as A took the furthest seat from E that he was allowed, and the windows were fogged up pretty badly (a bus full of warm bodies on a cold morning and all...). Seriously, if E's dad were to get orders to leave this base yesterday, it couldn't be soon enough. (I was actually hoping after last school year that they would be leaving last summer...obviously, no such luck.)

So today, we got to the bus stop before E and his little sister ("Am"). Used to be that the boys and I were first every morning (we, as well as our neighbors across the street, have the furthest to walk to get to the bus stop, so I leave a good amount of time to get there, leaving time for the possibility of ice on the hill), but E and Am started to leave earlier and if they ever see us coming, they run to beat A and C to the bus stop. (Another sore point for my boys because they like to be first all the time, and I don't let them run. It's too dark, they don't watch where they're going, there's only a sidewalk for about half of our walk down there, and the cars go flying by at ridiculous speeds with most not even noticing pedestrians until they've nearly hit us.) So today, when E and Am got there, the firs thing A says to seeing E is "I hate you!" This has, unfortunately, been the most recent of ways he has been verbally lashing out. I reprimanded him for that, telling him it is rude and mean to tell someone you hate them and that's not how we talk to someone. Then, since E wasn't first, when A pointed out to him that A was first (which E does to A every morning), E started saying something under his breath. One of those schoolyard rhymes. I heard "first is the worst" and I let him get no farther. I have had it with him. (And honestly, Am isn't much better. And she uses the fact that she's a girl to boot because A and C sometimes argue over her.) I flat out told him, "E, that is enough. You need to change how you behave towards my son starting right now, or I will go have a talk with your mother." Shortly following that, Am started a conversation with, "A, my friend is coming on the bus tomorrow, and I'm sitting with my friend, and not with you." Are you freaking kidding me?!

This brother and sister are what I'm afraid my boys will turn into if The Instigator keeps teaching them by example and laughing when they sit there and do the "I'm not touching you" thing verbally. I cannot stand that, nor can A. And E and Am's behaviors towards him (and his retaliating in the same manner) are the complete opposite of everything the school staff and I are putting into A. He's had a rough time of it, emotionally, and he's not where he's "supposed" to be when it comes to social skills. It's making school harder for him, and the school staff that works with him (which includes his classroom teacher, a school counselor and an occupational therapist), not to mention me, when they set him back and keep him from moving forward. If I see it happen again, I will march to their house and have words with their mother, because this is absolutely ridiculous. 

Thankfully, nothing else seems to have come from A's bus meltdown. (You're allowed 3 warnings for misbehavior before you're prohibited from riding the bus.) However, that remains to be seen. Last year he got a warning, and I didn't hear anything of it from anyone until THREE WEEKS after the event when I got a notice via e-mail from the bus office (to which I replied vehemently that it was ridiculous for them to go that long before notifying me...and they said nothing in reply to that). If that happens again, not only will they hear from me, but I will show up at the bus office in person and chew them out both for the delay and to demand that E get a warning as well, as his willful behavior is what set A off in the first place. 

In the meantime, though, it's time to carry on as usual...