Friday, January 30, 2015

Raising a child with ADHD or ADD

These past few months have been exhausting. Princess still isn't sleeping through the night and she's now one. My first trimester of this pregnancy is taking its toll. And we're pretty sure that Blue Rock has ADHD and are finding ways to help us ALL. I say help us all because I feel that ADD and ADHD are something that can and does affect the whole family. We always knew Blue Rock was a very active kid. But finding out a big reason he's so active, has trouble sitting still, talks a lot, and is curious and wants to be into everything, is helping us know how to better parent him. 

Depending on when he met my son, you might think he's just a very smart and active young boy. A lot of Blue Rock's behavior is normal, especially for young boys. I thought a lot of his misbehavior was due to the fact that he is a boy and is immature. Even though I've never seen a kid with as much energy as he has. While that is part of it, there are other factors that play a role as well. About 8% of kids have this "disorder." I personally don't want to label it as a disorder. I'd like to refer to it as learning differently and seeing the world differently. This is going against some of my natural instincts of let's be "proper" at all times. One must always come when called right away or else! I'm learning that kids who have ADHD have a much harder time following directions at times, hearing you call them when they are actively involved in something, and have a wide range of interests. They also act impulsively from time to time and may get the urge to climb something random or run around really fast. Some of these skills require extra patience and time to teach. I'm also a firm believer that food plays a huge role in my child's attitude and well-being. When someone offers him a piece of candy for instance, I'm later dealing with a child who seems to have lost control over his body. Is he wanting to be bad? No. Does he think he's bad when he starts acting out? If he thinks about it after doing it then yes. Otherwise, he's just going with how God made him. He honestly does not want to be "bad" or misbehave. Doing what other kids might think is normal, such as sitting still and quietly, he truly has a hard time with. 

Which brings me to my next point. It's okay to seek help. I have become so frustrated with how Blue Rock behaves at times, am embarrassed, upset with how he carelessly seems to make a mess as he explorers, and his attitude. That finally I decided to seek help. I found a counselor who does play therapy to help explore some of his impulses and social anxieties. Also to help me as well! He's not a bad kid, he's actually a very good kid. But in large groups, he tends to get overwhelmed and at times will act out from nervousness. He's super extroverted and very friendly so this seemed strange to me that he might get nervous or overwhelmed in a large group. But some of it is his brain hears and sees everything. So someone without ADD or ADHD might walk in a room and notice a few things and find a place. He on the other hand will walk in the room, realize it's very loud with lots of different conversations going on, notice all the colors people are wearing, the smells, and get overwhelmed with what to do with himself. It takes a kind and patience person, even another peer, to bring him down and help him engage in the group setting. His impulse tells him to be the center of attention and act out and be the class clown. While being funny can be fun and funny at times, we want more for him that than. We want him to learn to control that part of his brain and realize it's okay to be quiet. Even if that means he needs to be manipulating something in his hands. People with ADD/ADHD tend to need to be focused on at least 2 things at once to really pay attention. 

Will we medicate for this? I sure hope not. While sometimes medication is best for some people, I'd prefer for us to seek all the natural ways before medicating or considering medicating my child. Some of the side effects of the medications are, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, depression, and a more sedative state. I don't want to lose my kid. If you knew him, you'd know he already doesn't sleep much and he's very skinny. The risks are not worth it. 

Lastly, through my research and what I'm learning about ADD and ADHD is that there are lots of benefits from having this. Sadly our society tends to want to put people in a box and if you are different or see things differently then they don't see a benefit. However, there are benefits to having this. People who have it tend to find jobs they love because they are not afraid to try new things. They are adventurous, usually very smart, outgoing, and are able to notice many things that other people in the world might miss out on. They also tend to have more energy and make great athletes, actors/actresses, spies, inventors, and anything else that takes a lot of energy and time with. 

If you have a child with ADD/ADHD, please don't be discouraged. At first I literally was crushed. But now I'm seeing the beauty of my son and looking at the positives and realizing that God made him the way he is and gave him to me to love and cherish. I've become more understanding. I'm changing my parenting approach, and I'm praying more than I ever have before!

By the way, please don't give my child any candy, mints, or gum without asking me first. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Princess is 1!

Dear Princess,

Today you are 1 years old! Where has this past year gone? You are such a sweet and beautiful girl! You have a beautiful smile and infectious laugh! You love smiling and talking with people you see. Your walking has gotten really good. You have lately mastered walking from tile to carpet very well. You love to follow Blue Rock around and try and copy what he's doing, including trying to "help" him build things. You also can color pretty well since you watch him color and write a lot. You still have a love of music and love to dance to any beat you hear. You are very smart! For example, you know which animals are what in most animal books we have. You are able to copy the sounds they make as well. You are very aware of your surroundings and love to explore and especially climb our stairs!

Yesterday at church you did the cutest thing. We were sitting in worship and you reached for a pen and member/guest card. You sat down on the floor and began to scribble on it. You held the pen very well and did a great job for your age. 

This last year you have kept us busy. You still don't sleep through the whole night but will go back down pretty easily after waking up once or twice. You take one nap a day, usually for 30 minutes to an hour. You go to bed around 7-7:30pm and will sleep usually until 8am. You wear 18 month clothing and are really good at feeding yourself. Actually you seem to get quite offended if we try and feed you. You can drink through a straw and have only drank water and breastmilk. You love taking baths and playing with your toys. You also love books are will bring me different books to read. 

You are a very healthy baby! Thankfully, this first year, you haven't had a fever or needed any kind of medicine or antibiotics. You had an upper respiratory infection in early December that we think you picked up at church. It lasted about a week. We took you to the doctor just in case and she told us to do exactly what we were already doing. We feel so blessed to have such a healthy baby!

This year, Lord willing, you will become a big sister! You love kids of all ages and I know you'll welcome the new baby with open arms. 

God has blessed us with a beautiful, smart, healthy and lovely little girl. We love you so much and look forward to watching you grow!


Here are few pictures from your 1 year old pictures. I'll post the rest once we get them back! I also have a few from when you were born! I'll also post the stats from your well baby visit once I get them.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I'm pregnant!

A week before Christmas I found out I was pregnant. We told our families on Christmas Day. Today I went in for my first prenatal appointment and sonogram. Praise God! The baby looked great! He/she has a great heartbeat, is growing well, and everything looks really good. I count this is a huge blessing. This is my 7th pregnancy, I sadly lost four babies between Blue Rock and Princess. I'm 8 weeks along and my estimated due date is August 26, 2015.

Please keep my family in your prayers. We are excited about having another child. Children are true gifts from God.

11 Wonderful Years!

My husband and I recently celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. Over the years, we have had our share of ups, downs, shares of blessings, sadness, overseas moves, and overall have continued to build a stronger friendship, thanks to God's help. This year we celebrated by eating lunch at a seafood restaurant called Waters. It was delicious! This was our first time to leave our baby with a babysitter. She did great. We went after church since she naps around lunchtime. It was nice having 3 hours to ourselves. A very rare thing!

Here are some things about our last 11 years:

- We met while attending college at a local church.

- We have lived in 5 homes and spent around 4 months living in a hotel, and 2 months living in a temporary house while waiting searching for a house when we moved from Germany.

- We have owned 7 different cars, thankfully not more than 2 at a time!

- We have lived in two different cities in Texas and one city in Germany.

- I gave birth to one child in Germany and one in the U.S.

- We have two precious children and one on the way!

- We have lost four precious children through miscarriages.

- We love to travel and have been to 29 countries together, which consists of 3 continents. Here's where we've been in no particular order: US, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Czech, England, Ireland, Spain, Morocco, DR, Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Belize, Honduras, Netherlands, Belgium, Malta, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, and Norway.

- We love church ministry and serving in ways that help people.

There is no one else I'd rather spend my life with. My husband is my best friend and a wonderful dad and husband. He works so hard for our family and is the definition of a servant leader. Our family is so blessed to have him. I included a few pictures from our anniversary and our wedding day.

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