Sunday, January 22, 2017

New Year, New Normal


"Am I still gonna be myself?" 

This is the first question Aiden asks me after we leave the psychiatrist's office with a prescription for meds for him. Matter of fact, this is the first thing that comes out of his mouth after being silent for a block and a half. He was definitely thinking deeply about it.

We've been going to family therapy every week for the past few months. He's had individual therapy, and he's had regular sessions with his School Psychologist. And we still haven't quite figured out the right combination of tools to help him cope. Survive. Thrive.

So eventually I make an appointment with a Psychiatrist. I insist that I need to get him a psychiatric evaluation. For an official diagnosis. To see what I'm dealing with. Because... I'm in over my head and this ish is above my pay grade. After several sessions and countless rating scales filled out by his teachers, his School Psych, and me, we have a diagnosis.

Kinda. Sorta. The Psychiatrist gives him a prescription, but wants to see how it affects his mood/ the quality of his life before giving him an official diagnosis.


And he wants to know if it's going to affect his personality. (And rightfully so.)

"Am I still gonna be myself?"

"Yes! Of course," I tell him.

This is all new for me. For us.

But I'm hopeful. So hopeful.

I tell him that he has a Ferrari engine for a brain, but bicycle brakes. I tell him that he needs help to regulate his engine, and that, if nothing else, the medicine will help him do that. (It's an analogy that I read about a while back.)

It works. For now. He's satisfied. He runs down the block, jumping over the cracks in the sidewalk, a game he always plays. #CityKids


Again, this all new for me. For us. The weekly therapy sessions. The behavior plans to help him focus on his frustration tolerance. The subtle things that I must do to make him feel like he has some sense of power even though it's taken away from him each and every time he tells me that he doesn't want to go to his scheduled visit with his other parent... but I make him go anyway. The tools to help him deal with his post-trauma and stress. The psychiatrist. The evaluations. The medicine.

All of it is new.

But I'm committed to figuring this out for him.


At some point this year, I'll have a complete diagnosis for him and know exactly what I need to do in order to help him overcome. At some point this year, I'll be educated and confident and equipped with all the skills to give other folks the tools to help him. At some point this year, I'll be equipped enough to remind Aiden of all the tools he needs to help himself. At some point this year, I'll find him a village so strong and so solid that he'll feel the love and support all around him.

Yes, he can be difficult. Yes, he can be resistant and defiant. Yes, he can push boundaries. But, you know what? They'll love him anyway. Whole-heartedly. And with endless compassion.

At some point this year, along with his teachers and team at his school, I'll have his IEP all figured out. At some point this year, I'll teach him about his own triggers and he'll know them so well that he'll be about to proactively deal with them.

At some point this year, he'll feel successful. Consistently. At some point this year, he'll feel like he has some sort of control over a few things. Consistently. But, most importantly, at some point this year, he'll feel worthy. Consistently. And loved. So loved.

We will continue with the behavior plan, the therapy sessions, the consistency, the extracurricular activities that'll make him feel successful and good and competent. But, we're adding one more thing to the mix.

It's a new year and a new normal for us.

But I'm hopeful. Oh so hopeful.

Monday, December 19, 2016

One Year Down!


Ain't gonna lie: it's been a very trying and exhausting year as first-time mom of two. But... we're still here.

Surviving.

Thriving.

Totally giving new meaning to the term on-the-job training.





Above all else, this past year has really been such a joy to parent August. He has the biggest smile, the brightest personality, and when he's been in a room, everyone knows it because he leaves his mark!





Over the weekend, we celebrated August's birthday in an intimate and loving way, which, if you ask me, was pretty darn perfect. There were way too many pictures to share on social media so I'm compiling them all here.




Happy birthday, August. May you always smile big, shine bright, and own the space that you're in.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12 Months of August Kingston



Whew!

Baby August is one-year-old and officially a toddler! He's a walking, babbling machine without a worry in the world and I love it!




August likes:

  • Food. Any food. From anyone's plate. At any time. Even if he just ate three minutes ago. 
  • Opening and shutting the kitchen cabinets. Over and over and over again.
  • Screaming. Especially on a crowded subway. (He likes to hear his own voice.)
  • Unraveling the toilet paper in the bathroom. (Gotta remember to keep that door shut!)
  • Walking up to mommy, Aiden, and HEB, resting his head on us, which is his definition of a hug
  • All things Mickey Mouse (which was surprising considering Aiden was a total Barney guy)
  • "Reading" books
  • Eating books
  • Pulling down books off of the shelves 

August dislikes:

  • Detangling his hair
  • Washing his hair
  • Whenever anyone touches his hair
  • Whenever someone doesn't share their food with him fast enough
  • Being strapped in his stroller when he doesn't want to be strapped in his stroller


It's been a year of ups and downs, hits and misses for me. But for August, it's been a year of joy, warmth, and love! And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Like my friend, Kelly said, "There's nothing like August in December!" Happy, happy to my little guy! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Grace


Today, August turns one-year-old.

Wow!

I still can't believe that I'm a mother of two. That I've been a mother of two for the past year. That I've survived motherhood with two kids (with equally different and equally demanding needs).

But here I am. Here we are. A year later. We made it.

We're making it.

When I think about this past year -- all the trials and triumphs, ups and downs, hits and many, many misses -- I can only think of one word: grace.

This year, more than ever before, I've learned to extend an incredible amount of grace to myself. I've reminded myself over and over again that I haven't been doing this a long time, that I'm still new to this, that there's a learning curve to this whole thing and that's quite alright.

Grace.

Because sometimes I showed up late for things. Sometimes I was absent-minded while at work or at home. Sometimes I was overwhelmed. Sometimes I was anxious. Sometimes I didn't make time for working out because a nap seemed so much better. Sometimes I was less than patient with my children. Sometimes I yelled at Aiden when I knew that all he needed was a time-out or a nap or alone time because he, too, was feeling overwhelmed.

Grace.

Because if I was kicking ass at home and being an awesome parent, I was failing at work and taking more hits than my Type-A personality is used to taking. Because if I was kicking ass at work, then I was less than stellar at home. Because if I was kicking ass at motherhood and at work, I was a negligent friend and girlfriend, ignoring my relationship with my boo and my girls. No doubt about it, there was always a trade-off. I really learned to stop worrying about being good at one thing and not-so-good at another thing because...

Grace.

But I learned to be okay with the imperfections. I learned to listen to the stress-related tension in my neck and shoulders. I learned to take deep breaths over and over again. And I learned that sometimes, it feels damn good to cry it out, shake it off, and get back up again.

I've learned to extend grace and compassion to myself because this ish ain't for the whips. And more often than not, I'm doing the best that I can.

Monday, November 14, 2016

August Kingston, 11 Months Old



It's official... I've got a walker on my hands! August isn't fully walking on his own, but he's taking more than three-four steps, he's walking across the room without falling, and he's figuring out how to turn around without dropping to the floor. He still crawls when he needs to get to something super fast, but he's very excited to try out his new trick every chance he gets.

He also still likes pulling down all of the things so walking just makes it more exciting for him...


Halloweening 


August likes:

  • Eating food (he's got four bottom teeth now -- and none on top!)
  • Yanking food off of your plate if you don't feed him fast enough
  • Going up to Aiden, HEB, and me and resting his head on us, which indicates that he either wants a hug, wants to be picked up, or just wants a little TLC
  • Making clucking noises with his tongue 
  • Attempting to make kisses noises ("Muah!")
  • Clapping 
  • All things Mickey Mouse
  • When you sing the ABC's to him


What hope looks like... #AandA

August doesn't like:
  • When Aiden closes the door to the kitchen -- or the bathroom -- so that August can't get in. (Can you say, "Waterworks"?)
  • Getting dressed. Still. Ugh... that baby just wants to move around all day, everyday. 
  • Getting strapped into his stroller when he's not in the mood
I had to snap this picture VERY fast because lil dude was on the move!
And... now it's time to start planning his first birthday party! All Mickey e'erythang! Who's ready?!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Embracing A Messy First Birthday with Bounty


There’s a saying that I always use when describing this thing called motherhood – “The days are long, but the months and years are short.” No matter how many things I still haven’t gotten done from my never-ending to-do list, or how exhausted I am at the end of each long day, in retrospect, the months and years always seem short.

Time flies when you’re a mom.

I cannot believe that this week Aiden turned nine-years-old. And I cannot believe that in just two short months, August will be turning one.


Aiden’s birthday has always been a very special day to me – not just because it’s a day that I celebrate his awesomeness, but it’s also a day that I celebrate single motherhood. I made it. Another year. He’s healthy and happy. Another year.

We made it. We’re making it.


August’s first birthday will be even more special. Not because I love him more or anything like that, but because it’ll be a celebration of surviving my first year as a single mom of two.

While I’m looking forward to the singing and dancing and taking pictures to capture special moments, the thing that I’m looking forward to the most is the first cake smashing!

Not gonna lie, there’s going to be cake and frosting all over his face, body, clothes, and high chair. And the cake may even find it’s way to the walls and floors. It’s gonna be a big ‘ol mess!

video

But luckily, I’ll have a roll of Bounty on hand to absorb the mess quickly. Not only is Bounty 2x more absorbent that the leading ordinary paper towel brand, it can also last 50% longer, which can save this delicious single momma a ton of money in the long run. 

In fact, just a couple weeks ago, Aiden, August, and I attended a Bounty event where we put the quicker picker upper paper towel through the ultimate test. There was a little bit of cake decorating (for Aiden) and a lot of cake smashing (for August). And spills, stains, and splashes. Usually this would have caused me to feel some anxiety (I mean, who wants to clean that up?!), but it literally took 2-3 minutes to clean up the messes and put a smile back on my face. Score! 


Even though the planning part of August’s first birthday celebration will add to my never-ending to-do list and leave me a little more exhausted at the end of my already long day, I know that the actual celebration will come and go in the blink of an eye.

And I don’t want to spend the entire celebration tackling food splats, water spills, and messy fingerprints – I want to be able to look back and say that I enjoyed this memorable moment. I want to be able to say that the day was filled with love and hugs and yummy treats.


Thanks to Bounty, I’ll be able to focus on capturing the perfect shot of August smashing his birthday cake – a sign that he’s happy and healthy, a sign that this single mom thing isn’t so bad, and a sign that we made it… another year.

Thanks to Bounty, I’ll be able to focus on the moment, not the mess.


{Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bounty. Thank you for support Mommy Delicious.}

Thursday, October 20, 2016

August Kingston, 10 Months Old


August is eating all the things (he's got three teeth now!), dragging all the things, pulling down all the things, and vocalizing about all the things he approves or disapproves of. In other words, he's really coming into his own. It's been fun -- and exhausting! -- to witness.

He recently went through a growth spurt so we've had to buy him all new clothes. That wasn't so fun for my bank account, but kids fashion is kinda my thing, so hey...




August likes:

  • Eating. Real food, not just that baby puree stuff anymore. And he yells when you don't give him the food on your plate. Or when you don't give it to him fast enough. 
  • Bouncing up and down while holding on to things. His crib railing, the edge of the sofa, my legs. 
  • Biting. (Let's just leave it at that.)
  • Standing, attempting to balance and take a step, before falling and crawling to get there faster. 
  • Clapping while giggling.
  • Attempting to taste people's feet. (Is that weird? Don't answer that!)
  • Taking pots, pans, and containers out of the kitchen cabinets.




August doesn't like:
  • Getting dressed. There's something about having to sit still for longer than five seconds that rubs this baby the wrong way.
  • When Aiden takes his soccer balls, footballs, and other toys away from August.
  • When he eats all the food and there's nothing left to feed him. (Brace yourself for tears and get ready to distract him with something fun!)



I can't believe we're so close to him being a one-year-old and that we'll be planning his first birthday celebration soon. Time truly flies when you're having fun!

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