Peek A Hoo

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Quote of the Day from Bug:

"I'm a good person on the inside, Mom. I really am. It's just that I am overwhelmed with anger, and my ADHD & OCD to the point that I can't be a good person."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Following the trail of thoughts

Randy & I are both reading the book: "Talking Back to OCD" by John S. March, M.D. (Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center). This book was recommended by Bug's Psychiatrist, so we bought it and have been working our way through it. With the helpful insight that the book gives on OCD, we are slowly seeing some of the severity of how Bug is affected by this disease. Here is an example of something that Randy and I are connecting the dots on:
Bedtime
1) Bug must have a night light and his "fish" light on (OCD tells him "if you don't have the lights on, the monsters will get you!")
2) All of his stuffed animals need to be around him while he sleeps in a specific order for "protection" (OCD says "you need all 31 stuffed animals just so in order to have comfort")
3) He needs his cat in the bedroom at night to help hunt the spiders that OCD tell him are crawling on his floor and in his bed.
4) Bug doesn't want to sleep in his bed at night - he feels more comfortable on the floor now.
5) Recently, it is the TV that has to be on (OCD says "your brain can't relax if you don't watch some TV in the night.")
6) Bug comes out at least once, usually 2-4 times, each night saying how hungry he is. (Even though he eats a full dinner, dessert, and a bedtime snack before bed.) We are learning that this, too, is triggered by OCD. (OCD tells him "I'm bored, lets eat...if you don't you will starve to death!")

So, OK, we are connecting some of the dots...now what?!?
Step 1: Figure out what things are Bug and what things are OCD -- learn to separate them and treat them as just that...2 different "beings" so to speak.
Not as easy as it sounds! It is hard to tell if the melt down that had Bug crumpled on the floor crying over being told no video games is actually him throwing a fit or is it OCD related?? (Because we have learned that being "entertained" all of the time is part of his OCD sometimes.)

Alright, I am exhausted just thinking about all of this. I need to get to bed. **yawn**

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stuck In High Gear...

I had a conversation with Bug this morning regarding his OCD. It is always highly interesting when he and I can have a conversation about his feelings...especially when his ADHD and OCD are allowing him to calmly explain what he thinks and feels during his times of uncontrollable compulsions and obsessions. Here are some of the things we talked about:
I asked Bug why I found his TV on (in his room) after bedtime again last night...even though he KNEW that he was grounded from it for having it on the night before. He said that he knew he wasn't suppose to have the TV on, but he didn't "have the will power to say NO" to his brain. I turned the TV off and went to bed, and Bug said that he got back up and turned it on again a few minutes later. He said he was awake until 1:40AM watching TV...and he told himself "turn the TV off and go to sleep" but once he turned the TV off he couldn't sleep and that he HAD to turn it back on before he could sleep.
Bug said that "the TV occupies my mind at night so that I don't get up from my bed." He said that he often has "racing thoughts" from which questions develop and he "has to get up to ask them." Also, the thoughts of "starving to death" don't creep into his mind when he is watching TV. (His brain tells him that he "has to eat or starve to death" at night.)
Something else that the TV helps him with at night is the fear of darkness. (Don't get me wrong, his room is nowhere near DARK to anyone except him!) But, he said that "the TV makes my room bright enough so I am not scared to stay in my room."
Something that we have been noticing with Bug (at night especially) is that he has very little concern for what the consequences of doing things that he knows he shouldn't be doing are. So, I asked Bug, out of curiosity, if Dad or I were to spank him EVERY time that he turned his TV on, would he still do it?? (We don't spank, but I was trying to use a severe consequence example in my question.) Bug said "I don't know if I would or not" and then he followed that up with "probably I would still turn it on, because I don't think I could stop my brain from making me do it." (Hmmm....very interesting to know!)
During our talk, Bug came up with his own insight about something that I had not put together yet. He said that he feels the need to be "entertained all of the time." That he cannot just sit and do nothing. (He is constantly asking if he can play a video game, ride his scooter, go to a friend's house, play a board game with someone, etc... He can't just "be.") He said that it is like that during the daytime and the nighttime for him and that the TV helps with that feeling as well. Bug even told me something that I did not know from the days when he was attending public school. He said "Mom, I had a desk and a chair at school, but I couldn't sit in my chair. I even stood up to do my papers to keep my brain happy." (Wow, I had no idea!)
So, this was how our conversation went. I came away from it feeling as if I had a bit more understanding of how Bug's OCD interrupts his life and I have a different attitude about the TV in his room, for sure! My little boy's brain seems to be in a constant state of being "stuck in high gear."

Friday, June 20, 2008

In disguise...

Just a warning...below is a picture of what seems like an adorable little angel, but DON'T BE FOOLED!! Underneath that sweet exterior is a TODDLER in full "toddler mode"!! Yes, you read that right! I know, I know...you are saying "she looks so innocent!" If only you were aware of the trouble that she can cause!

Here is a slight glance of her current "rap sheet"...
*Torturing her big brother, Bug, to the point of a screaming & yelling match
*Jumping on Mom & Dad's bed when they aren't looking
*Snatching toys from her baby sister, Baby Blue, & making her cry
*Sticking her tongue out at strangers as they pass her in public
*Starting arguments with little girls in Target
*Jumping in the pool with all of her clothes on, when she was told "no swimming today"
*Sneaking drinks into parts of the house that she knows are off limits
*Manipulating her Dad to get her way

Yep, this little devious toddler is in disguise! She often goes under the alias "Stinky ____" -- which she made up, not me! Be careful folks...from what I understand, there are several of her kind around! (I have a sneaking suspicion that there is another toddler-in-disguise next door even!) Here is her picture...be on the lookout for her kind...they can cause havoc!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Who needs sleep anyway??

I am so tired! Every night I go to bed with this HOPE of sleeping well and waking up refreshed and ready to start a new day. Doesn't everyone think that way? Slowly, but surely, I am coming around to the fact that sleeping well and being refreshed is only a dream!

This is how the majority of my nights go:
9:30 - 10:00 Bed Time (yes, I know, it is early, but we are early risers here!)
10:30ish - Baby Blue is up to eat
11:00ish - Randy comes to bed
11:15ish - Bug comes in with a problem
12:00ish - Bug comes in with a 2nd problem
1:00ish - Baby Blue wants to eat
1:30ish - Bug comes in with a 3rd problem
4:00ish - Baby Blue wants to eat
5:30ish - Cricket wakes up and needs to be tucked back in
6:00 - Cricket & Baby Blue are up for the day

When I list it out like this, I can completely see why rolling out of bed in the AM is hard to do!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A day in the life of a crazy mom...

Sigh........
What a long day it has been aboard the Bullet Train. I don't even know where to start. The morning started out OK, I suppose. (If getting woke up at 5:30 AM by a toddler wrestling you in bed is your sort of thing.) Cricket was a grump -- even though she was the one who insisted that we wake up with the sun. Baby Blue was her normal happy morning self. At 7:00 AM, I decide to get Bug up, as the neighbor and I were going to some garage sales and her husband volunteered to watch my 2 older kids along with his own 2 kids. (Brave man, I know!) So, by 7:30 we were all up, dressed, and walking out the door. So, the morning gets off to a great start!! YAY!
We returned home from the garage sale outing at around 10:15 or so. The kids had been GREAT! I told my neighbor that I was sure the kids were saving all the bad behavior for me! LOL (Little did I know how right I was!)
The kids and I got home and right away they were begging me to let them go swimming in our small, plastic pool. OK - why not!?! I helped them wriggle into their bathing suits and slathered them with sunscreen and sent them out the door. Before I could even close the door, the two of them were already bickering. I didn't think a lot of it, as this is typical at my house, and I continued inside. Within 3 minutes they were both standing at the window, looking in at me and screaming about the all-to-common "he did it/she did it" arguments. Well, as usual, I played referee for the rest of the time that they played in the pool. (Lucky me.)
Lunch time came around too quickly and I had to get the kids out of the bathing suits and back into their street clothes - since we had to run some errands and pick up lunch. No problems. We get loaded into the car and buckled up, when I hear "Mommy, I need to go pee" coming from Cricket. Sigh. Alright, we unbuckle and run back inside to the bathroom. Whew - made it! Now we are back in the car and on our way to Subway for some well deserved grub. As we are 3/4 of the way there, Bug says "Mom, I don't have my shoes on!" I grumbled and said something along the lines of "why did you take them off in the car anyhow??" Then he assures me that he didn't take them off in the car...because HE NEVER PUT THEM ON IN THE FIRST PLACE! Ugh. Alright, so now I am thinking about how I am certain to look like the crazy Mom that doesn't put shoes on her kids when taking them into public EATING facilities! Great. We get out at Subway and Bug decides that the parking lot is HOT on his feet (duh, it is 95 degrees outside) and takes off running as fast as he can for the shaded sidewalk. Meanwhile, I am trying to carry Baby Blue in her car seat and keep Cricket (who wants to run like her brother) in my grasp as we cross the parking lot. We got inside...I made Bug sit on his knees in the closest booth to the door that I could find, hoping that no one saw his bare feet. OK, so I ordered lunch, we ate, and all went smoothly. (Ahhhh.....) I ran into the grocery store for a couple of items and, as always, Cricket wanted to ride on the bottom of the cart. Sure, why not!?! She has done it a million times before, so I didn't even think twice about her climbing on. Well, about 1/2 way through our shopping, my cart slows down for some reason and all of the sudden Cricket is crying. I stop immediately what I am doing and grab her from the bottom of the cart to find out what is wrong. It turns out that she decided to let her hair hang down to the floor while riding. I am sure you can see where this is going... Yep, some of her hair got ran over and RIPPED from her head!! Once she was calmed down, we finished our shopping and went home. It was at home that I noticed the BALD spot on the top of her head from the incident! Poor thing! LOL - I couldn't help but laugh. (She says she won't hang her head off the cart anymore!!)
Later in the day, Bug came into to rat himself out! (I love that!) He said that he had taken 2 quarters out of my garage sale money bag. I am thinking that "OK, this is the first I have had to deal with stealing from him, so I am going to give him the 'Stealing isn't right' talk and be done with it." That is what I did. The day continues on as usual...me, playing referee, and the kids being little monsters. Eventually I got to the end of my patience and put both kids to bed early. I went outside to turn the sprinkler off (yes, I remembered to water the lawn!) - and the darn thing looked like Old Faithful, the geyser, because the top had blown off and the water was shooting straight up into the air! Perfect! (I wonder how long I flooded that 1 section of lawn!?!) I came inside and actually got to shower and have some "me" time even for about 30 minutes before bed! YAY! Once I was in bed...yep, the day doesn't end there in this house...Bug was out of bed and in my room 3 times for the typical "I am hungry" or "I am scared" reasons. (Scared the lights out of me to see his little shadow in my room at first!) Anyhow, I sent him back to bed each time and I finally got to sleep. What a day...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sisters...



I love my girls!!

Cricket ~ She is what we like to refer as "A Free Spirit" or "Fearless." She loves to dance & dress up pretty...she loves to climb trees & dig in the sand...she loves swimming & soccer. Cricket is a little bit of this & that...a little of everything. She is afraid of very little. As the middle child, her personality is perfect! She is a tough little sister who wants to do anything that her big brother does, but a sweet big sister who wants to teach Baby Blue everything that she knows!
She is her Daddy's girl and refers to him as "My Hero" and if you ask her why - she will tell you "because Daddy saves the day!" But when she is tired or hurt, Mommy is who she wants...so, I can deal with not being her "hero," I suppose! In short, Cricket is an amazing little girl who wins my heart each and every day!

Baby Blue ~ What a little doll she is! She is such a happy little girl. She, like her big sister, is very determined in everything that she does. She can roll over both ways, sit up on her own, stand at the couch momentarily, and is using a sippy cup!! She is trying to crawl like there is no tomorrow! If she sees something across the floor that she wants, you can bet that she will get there - not quickly, but boy does she remain focused and determined until she gets there!
Baby Blue - unlike Cricket - is a Mommy's girl! She has smiles for everyone, but only if she is in my arms. Now, she likes her Daddy & doesn't mind hanging out with him, but she prefers her Mommy. (I am sure this will change more once she starts understanding that Daddy is wrapped around her finger like Cricket's!) Baby Blue is growing so quickly though! This is one of my favorite ages and I just want to keep her little forever!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What Time is it??

Time. This is Bug's newest obsession. Doesn't matter what we say or how many times we say it...these are the CONSTANT obsessive questions he has:
"What time is it?"
"How much longer until...?"
"When will we be there?"
"What time will we be there?"
So, Randy and I decide to get him his own watch so that he doesn't have to ask annoying "time" questions every two minutes! Great Idea, right!?! Now, Bug is wearing his watch at all times. (Of coarse, it doesn't come without complaints that the watch is too loose or too tight, or his arm is sweaty underneath it, or the weight of the watch is bothering him...) But, nevertheless, he is wearing the watch. Now, we are encountering these "time" obsessions...
"We only have X minutes left until...now, only X minutes, X seconds left...now, only X minutes left...etc..."
"Can I time you?"
"My watch says X:XX -- your clock is wrong."
Sigh. Now, we still get the previous questions too...but now we get to remind him to look at his own watch instead of just telling him the answer to his question! (I think it actually takes MORE effort to go about this in this manner since the conversation then turns to what his watch "actually" says...)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Our Trip

Whew! What a week or so this has been! All 5 of us went to Boston & New Hampshire to visit family and friends - and to do the headstone dedication of Randy's mom, Janet. (She passed away Dec 10th, 2007 after a very long battle with cancer.) Although we were not looking forward to the trip, due to the circumstances, we had a very nice time and were very happy to see our loved ones and dear friends! They were all so thoughtful and sweet! On our way up to New Hampshire from Boston, Bug & Randy got out and walked along the beach at the Scituate Lighthouse in Scituate, Massachusetts. (I stayed in the car with the girls since they were both sleeping.) Bug found an 1805 penny coin while walking on the rocks! It was the highlight of his morning! When we got to Opa's house, Bug and Opa went to the coin shop in town and had them take a look at it. It was determined that it was of no monetary value due to the poor condition it was in, but that had it been in better condition, it would have been worth $100's or even $1000's of dollars! Very Cool! So, while it is of no monetary value - it is a neat item to have and will make a good story for later!
So, I said that the coin was the highlight of Bug's morning...the highlight of the afternoon had to be the Black Bear Cub that we saw once we were at Opa's house! Bug LOVES to stand in the sunroom or on the back elevated deck to watch for wildlife in the woods behind the house. He uses his binoculars and just watches and waits. (This is probably one of the few things that he has the patience to do.) After about 20 minutes of watching, Bug came running to us telling us he saw a bear - or what he thought was a bear! We ran to the sunroom and looked down into the woods, and there was the cutest little Black Bear Cub playing with some sticks! It walked around a bit - paid no attention to us - and then meandered back into the thicker woods. It was so cool! This ended up being the only bear we saw at Opa's house this trip. (We have seen several others on different occasions though.)
We spent a day at our dear friend's MJ & MD's home in Vermont. They live on nearly 50 acres of beautiful land with woods and a river that runs through it! Bug got to drive the tractor with MJ down the big hill to the river - while Randy took Cricket down by foot. Of coarse, Bug had to test the temperature of the river water and, as expected, fell partially into the water! Accident?? Probably not! LOL (Then again, the last time we were near a waterhole, Randy fell in, so maybe it is genetic!) Anyhow, we had a wonderful visit with the ladies - we even swam in the indoor pool, which the kids LOVED!
We spent a lot of time just enjoying the scenery and weather - even though it was colder than we expected on a couple of days, but it beats melting in Florida!! Cricket got really good at going up & down the stairs! She had Randy and I on the edge of our seats each time she bolted towards them! But, in typical Cricket fashion, she mastered them in no time and never even took a spill on them! Go Girl! Baby Blue was a good girl! She hung out on her blanket, playing with her toys or sitting in my lap. She did get to know Drummer, the dog, fairly well! He wasn't sure what to think about the baby - but was giving her kisses before long! Baby Blue thought this was OK at first, but soon decided that she wasn't thrilled with dog kisses and would cry. LOL
All in all, the trip was fun & relaxing. But, as with every vacation/trip, it was nice to get back home and on our normal schedule!