Self

5 Self Care Ideas for December

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Holiday Season is such a busy time.  Kids have school projects coming due.  There are band concerts and chorus shows to attend.  Have you got all your baking done yet?  Then the meal planning and the visiting schedule have yet to be worked out.  Oh, and how are those resolutions coming along?  It never ends does it?  It’s easy to get overworked and stressed out on a daily basis.  I know it happens a lot to me.  I can easily forget unless I write the reminders down.

Here are five quick and easy ways to take care of yourself this month.

1. Turn off all the phones and electronic devices for an evening.  Play a board game as a family or go see the lights.  Plan something besides the norm.  We all need a change of pace once in awhile.

2.Don’t put up all your decorations.  Go through them and donate what you really don’t want or need. We were pushed into this by accident.  We adopted two cats this summer so this is their first Christmas.  We didn’t want the ornaments to be ruined so we only put on lights and ribbon.  The ribbon has already been pulled off by the cats.  Thankfully they have not tried to climb the tree yet.

3. Just say no.  You don’t need to go to your cousins house for the day after Christmas extended family celebration.  You don’t have to go to your families Christmas and then drive like a bat out of hell to your spouses family 4 hours later.  Take a holiday off.

4.Give less gifts.  Your sanity and wallet will thank you.  Does your sister really need more potholders?  I know they have kitties on them and that just screams her but let someone else get them. In my family we have this rule that once a person hits 18 they no longer get gifts.  If you are over 18 the next time you get a gift is for graduation, marriage, new home, or birth of a child.  No more holidays.

5. Have a different meal than normal.  A huge Christmas meal with all the trimmings?  I know you can make it potluck.  I just get tired of it all.  So how about a lasagna or pizza instead of ham or turkey?  It doesn’t have to be crazy!

I hope these self care ideas help.  I know they technically are not traditional self care ideas like getting a pedicure.  Sometimes you just have to cut down or not do anything as a form of self preservation.  Good luck.

 

Home · Self

Life Update

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Life happens.  I think my life is happening a little too much at the moment.  I had to take some time off due to events.  I can’t seem to catch a break or relax enough.  Right now I do what needs to be done, then I just can’t do anymore.  I just listen to music or podcasts.  It’s all I have energy for.

My son is still having problems.  School is a month away.  Right now he is in day treatment.  He absolutely hates it.  He goes for three hours a day.  Many of the kids in treatment with him are physically violent or swear and use every manner of bad language.  It is common to hear a 7 year old scream at the top of his lungs “F*ck You, you stupid c*nt.” Wonderful.  My son has Sensory Processing Disorder and High Functioning Autism.  He hates this.  He also says he is hit for no reason.  I know he is telling the truth.  Unfortunately, if the therapists don’t see it, they can do nothing.

I hate to send him here.  However, there is no other place to go.  If I could find a therapist willing to see my son several times a week I would.  There isn’t anyone like that.  Therapists have long waiting lists.

I have even started to have my own panic attacks. I have had 3 so far.  I will definitely need my own medication adjusted.  I’ve avoided a few places because of the attacks which I shouldn’t do.  Bad example for my son.

On a happier note, my family has acquired two new members. We adopted two 12 week old kittens, brothers, from a local pet rescue.  One is a tuxedo cat (black and white) named May.  The other is a grey/brown striped Tabby named Winter.  They were for my son as a way to help distract him from his depression and anxiety.  He was so thrilled to get them.  Check out my Instagram for photos.

I get the joy of cleaning the litter box and feeding them. They are very curious about everything.  Just for the record, I am allergic to cats. I have 5 air filters going all the time.  So far I am getting by.

I also made some zucchini muffins and banana cake.  Check out the blog for recipes.

We have also had issues with insurance. They are giving us the run around on my son’s treatment. I’m sure some random doctor in another state who has never met my son is qualified to decide what treatment he should receive and what he should not.  My son right now is in a day treatment program.  This is the only one we could get him into.  Some programs have three year waiting lists.  We could not wait any longer than a few days.  My son needed therapy.  So he has been going to this program Monday thru Friday for three hours.  He absolutely hates it.

I knew he would.  When I was filling out the paperwork for it, they had two pages on parole officers, and court ordered treatment.  I didn’t feel this was right for my son.  My son has anxiety and depression.   He is not a juvenile delinquent. He is with the 12 and under group.  However these kids are not like the kids he was with in his stabilization places. As stated in the first paragraph, it’s not a good environment.

Starting this month insurance will only pay for three days.  My husband and I can pay for one, and he will have one day off.  I am hoping he can survive being back at school full time.  He has expressed anxiety.  I can only hope for the best.

Until next time.

Family

Your Summer to Do List

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Need a list to check off for Summertime fun?  Well, look no further than this post!  Here is a little help in filling those long summer days.

  1. Go Paddle boarding
  2. Go Kayaking
  3. Lay in a Hammock
  4. Go on a boat trip
  5. Eat outside (a lot)!
  6. Snorkel
  7. Have a picnic
  8. Garden
  9. Watch Fireworks
  10. Hang out on a beach
  11. Go Rock climbing
  12. Visit the Zoo
  13. Ride on a zip line
  14. Go fishing
  15. Make real lemonade
  16. Have a water fight
  17. Go swimming in a natural lake or river
  18. Visit a water park
  19. Have a cookout
  20. Take a hike
  21. Go Geocaching (there is a free app!)
  22. Visit a nature center
  23. Have a new ice cream flavor
  24. Visit a farm or petting zoo
  25. Watch a parade  vicko-mozara-324955-unsplash
  26. Fly kites on a windy day
  27. Go for a bike ride
  28. Visit the farmers market
  29. Visit a flea market
  30. Play Frisbee
  31. Feed ducks
  32. Go mini golfing
  33. Make smores
  34. Join your kids on a run through the sprinklers
  35. Camp out
  36. Have a bonfire
  37. Make root beer floats
  38. Visit a national or a state park
  39. Visit an amusement park
  40. Go on a road trip
  41. Do an Instagram photo challenge
  42. Find a new Food Truck vendor
  43. Go to a festival
  44. Pick fruit
  45. Lay out in the sun
  46. Press wildflowers or do a sun shadow paper
  47. Go to a state fair
  48. Have a water balloon fight
  49. Do a charity walk
  50. Put up bird feeders
  51. Pot flowers for pollinators and butterflies
  52. Visit a waterfall near you for a hike
  53. Take up metal detecting
  54. Visit a local animal shelter
  55. Make a vision board
  56. Build a sandcastle
  57. Play Bocce Ball
  58. Swing
  59. Send some postcards to distant friends and relatives
  60. Find some odd ball landmarks/sights in your state to visit (world’s largest ball of twine anyone?)
  61. Make a different flavored water each day
  62. Have a muffin making party
  63. Find a new podcast and lay out in the sun listening
  64. Try a new author to read outside on your lunch break
  65. Have an Icee
  66. Have a movie nostalgia night.  What old black and white film can you find to watch?
  67. Make a new dessert each week
  68. Take a furry friend on a walk in a new park each week.
  69. Hang a birdhouse or bat house
  70. Try a new magazine
  71. Clean out that garage
  72. Clean out your deck box
  73. Make a new recipe for the grill
  74. Visit a farmers market
  75. Just daydream
  76. Buy some fresh flowers for your porch
  77. Have a neighborhood picnic
  78. Help your kids build a tree fort
  79. Have lunch on a restaurant’s patio
  80. Open all your windows and air out the house
  81. Watch a new TV show that you normally wouldn’t see
  82. Wash your own car
  83. Have your kids do a bike wash
  84. Wash the dog
  85. Start a beach glass collection.
  86. Cull your photos
  87. Watch a sunset
  88. Sit out on the deck and listen to the sounds of nature.
  89. Go to sleep in a rainstorm
  90. Get a pedicure
  91. Do facepainting
  92. Visit an outdoor mall
  93. Go to a food fest
  94. Take an outdoor exercise class
  95. Take a community ed outdoor photography course
  96. Go bird watching
  97. Visit and outdoor flea market
  98. Go on a model home hour
  99. Go on a guided walk put out by your local historical society
  100. Visit a historical outdoor place
Home

Basic Toiletries For Your Emergency Kit.

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1. Feminine Hygiene Products. Include enough for a few months.  These products can be used for so many different things other than what their original purpose is.

2. Teeth Care. Be basic. Toothpaste and floss.

3. Brush. These can be small and compact.

4. Soap. A multipurpose and anti-bacterial bar would be great.

5. Shampoo. In a pinch you really don’t need conditioner. Keep clutter down.

6. Sunscreen. Depending on your clothing and hats, you may need sunscreen. A burn is a horrible thing to have when everything is normal.  During an evacuation? Yikes.

7. Chapstick. I would also say Vaseline.  Both will keep lips soft, and Vaseline can be used on the skin.

8. Bug Spray. There is no where in the world that doesn’t have bugs except for the poles.  I don’t think many of us are going to hang out there.  Bug Spray could be the single most important item besides toilet paper.

9. Toilet Paper. No explanation needed.  Remember to remove the cardboard tube.  That way is packs flat.

10. Nail Clippers.

11. Wipes. I say use baby wipes.  Everyone can use them for personal cleanliness.

12. Medication. How many people forget their meds on a trip? During a natural disaster it can be even worse.  What if you can’t reach your doctor?  How can you get them refilled?  Also, over the counter products like Advil or Imodium may be lifesavers.  When the power is out, you can’t go to the Pharmacy.

13. Glasses.

 

What would you put in as a must have for a basic toiletries kit? Have you had any experiences in travel or evacuation where you wished you had something?  Let us know in the comments!

Family

5 Manners 4 Kids

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It’s time to revisit manners for kids again! Here is April’s list of manners to know.

1. How to lose graciously. This idea for manners has really taken a beating lately hasn’t it? Winning has become everything. The only thing. I get it.  We all want to be winners.  It feels so good to win. To win with grace?  That takes it to a whole different level. It’s okay to be proud, happy just not boastful and mean to others.

2. Interrupting. My son still does this.  To be honest, I do it too.  It’s always tough when you are chomping at the bit to tell somebody something.  The art of conversation is a lost art. Keep fighting the good fight by giving great examples to your child.  Include them in the conversation with adults.  It will take time, but it will be worth it later.

3. How to Introduce Someone. It sounds easy, but for children it can be scary.  A basic lesson on introductions can be in order.  Something along the lines of “Bob, this is Mary, Mary this is my friend Bob” can go a long way.

4. Burping. What kid doesn’t like a good burp? Instead of encouraging the burping contest, how do you teach them to act when it accidentally happens?  First, handle it like an adult.  Don’t laugh, but don’t get upset.  Ask them to say excuse me loud enough so the whole table can hear.  Later down the line, you can teach them not to do it out loud by closing their mouth.

5. How to leave a message. In the era of the text and the email, the idea of leaving a message seems outdated.  We still need to leave messages don’t we?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to listen to a message someone from a company or office has left me.  There are only a few things that need to be included in a great phone message.  One is your full name.  You may think you friend only knows one Monica but you would be surprised.  Second is your return phone number.  Don’t assume someone has it.  It may not be handy.  Third is what you message is about.  Keep it short and sweet ,”Hi. It’s Jane Smith, my number is 555-5555, I’m calling about our meeting time tomorrow.  I want to confirm it’s at 2 p.m.. Please call to confirm this.”  Fourth is already shown in the previous quote.  It’s an action.  What do you want the person to do?  Should they call you back? Wait for you to call again?  Watch for a letter?  Let them know. Finally, short goodbye or thank you lets the person know your message is over.

In addition to the message, you always want to make sure that you speak in a clear and even tempo.  Trying to go fast will only frustrate the listener and maybe not result in the action you were hoping for.  If they can’t understand you, they can’t act upon your message.

Family · Self

The Last Part… To Be Continued Pt. 3

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When my phone rang on a very windy, snowy weekday I expected to hear my son on the other end crying or begging me to come.  It wasn’t.  It was one of the therapists telling me they were going to discharge my son from the program. What?  It was only five days! We removed him from another program track to get him into this one. I have no place to put him.  So my husband drove the hour to go pick him up in a winter snow storm.  Two hours later my son was home.

They told us he did not have an eating disorder.  We couldn’t believe it. All the previous therapists told us how sick he was.  This facility said that although his BMI is less than 15, his weight is in the 50th percentile.  So he doesn’t qualify for weight restoration.  In addition, they said they were doing more harm to him than good.  His anxiety and depression ramped up lot.  He was still talking about suicide. They felt he would only be more damaged if they continued.  So he is now home, not in school.  I have been rushing to try and find a new place for him.  He really hasn’t had enough therapy to make much of an impact. I feel like we wasted more than a month for nothing.  It didn’t help him one bit.  So frustrating!

I immediately got him on the wait list for the last PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) he was in.  There are over 20+ children a head of him.  He may not get in till summer.  In the meantime, he is not in school.  So I have him seeing his regular therapist twice a week and his psychiatrist every month.  We are also once again changing his medication.  As of tomorrow,  he will be on his third med so far.  I hope this one works. We are a bit desperate for something to work.

I have also contacted his school district about enrolling him in his school. We are trying to get him home bound instruction now.  It’s where a tutor will come to the house to help him catch up. He is behind since January.  I hope we can get him caught up.  Fortunately, he is very intelligent.  The classes that matter are Math, English, and Science.  So those we will be working on.  Getting home bound, they told me takes time.  I just want to pull my hair out.

I will be meeting with some teachers and advisors from his school to discuss his IEP on Tuesday.  I will have to see where we are then. I also need to get tutors for the summer.  I also need to make sure our therapy is the best it can be. So much to do with no clear direction to relief.

 

Family

To Be Continued, Part 2

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When we drove our son up to the inpatient hospital he was okay.  I don’t think he could comprehend what was about to happen. Upon arrival, they informed us that they were running behind schedule.  This would turn out to be a huge problem.  Our son would get so overwhelmed that he would have major meltdowns.  We were there for over 5 hours.  During that time, my son cried, dry heaved, screamed, grabbed me and begged me not to leave him. He kept crying saying “Mom, don’t leave me, I can’t do this without you. I need you.”  It killed me.  It was so painful.  I felt absolutely horrible.  I just didn’t know what to do.  I pride myself on always knowing what to do.

I went to visit my son everyday.  My heart went out to the other children on the ward.  I would go days without seeing another visitor name in the sign in logs for the children.  I realize other families have responsibilities and children.  I just thought I would see more visitors.  Every time I went, “E” would beg me to take him home.  He had great difficulty participating in the groups they did.  Each day before I came “E” would call me crying asking me when I was coming up.

Finally after ten days he was released.  From what I understand people are released when their insurance runs out.  We questioned them, (the doctors) about this once they told us that insurance was not going to pay.  They assured us he was fine. I didn’t quite believe them. However, I saw no indication my son was improving, so we decided to take him home.

The doctors advised us that “E” has an eating disorder. I have for years tried to get my son to alter his eating habits.  He doesn’t eat fruits or veggies.  He has sensory processing disorder. Food and dress are his biggest areas of problems.  If you try to force him to eat he will vomit or gag the food.  He will also just not eat at all. If his food has spices he cannot eat them, the spices must be taken off. His food cannot touch, he needs separate plates and utensils.  I had tried for years to get his food issues fixed to no avail.  So when they said he had an eating disorder I thought, ” finally”! They then sprung on us a new inpatient program.

They said that he would have to go to a three week in patient eating disorder clinic.  I resisted a bit saying I thought it would be outpatient.  My son is only 11, how is he going to handle three weeks?  The doctors told me he was very sick.  They said his BMI had him ranked as malnourished.  I guess anything under 15 qualifies for that. So within a few days I drove him to the new facility.

The intake was so long, my son cried and screamed and begged not to stay.  While this was a much nicer place than the lock down facility, it still wasn’t home. In addition, all the kids there were so much older than my son.  He’s 11.  The next youngest was 14.  His roommate was 17.  It was another day of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. While leaving him at this facility was slightly better than the lock down facility it is a lot for a young child to deal with.

Unfortunately, the next day I came down with an illness and could not go to visit him.  He would call me daily in tears and crying begging me to come visit him.  I really wanted to.  The illness I had would be detrimental to kids in an eating disorder clinic.  I couldn’t risk passing this along to others. Then six days later I get a phone call…..