Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Smarty Pants!

There, their, they’re. To some, the spellings of these three words are confusing. By 5th grade, if you don’t know the difference you are considered slow, dumb, stupid, and even special needs. You are automatically a target. You inherit the not-so-nice nicknames: stupid, dumb a**, retard… To most people reading and spelling is a breeze, its second nature to them. So naturally, they don’t understand why some can’t grasp the concept. They don’t understand that maybe some have a learning disability.

I am dyslexic. I see letters, numbers and some words mixed up or backwards. To me, b’s look like d’s as well as p’s. Where I saw the word angel I would say the word angle. Where most see the number 503, at first glance I see 530. In high school it took me twice as long to read a sentence and even longer to read a phone number or math problem. I love words like “together”, to-get-her, this is the only way I can remember how to spell it. I hate words like “read”, one word with two meanings? What the heck english language??? Once I hit 3th grade I hated math, reading and spelling. I was put in special classes. I was tested once a year. And yes, I was bullied… While some kids skip grades. I was held back and had to do 3rd grade twice. In 11th grade I had the approximant reading level as a 4th grader. Once I got to college I was placed in the lowest reading level class. I didn’t pass that class. I quit college after one semester.

Even at age 28 I have a hard time with the difference of there, their and they’re. Reading is a challenge and other then simple adding and subtracting, math is near imposable without a calculator. The first time I read a book all the way through I was 18 and that was for school and I had to ask for extra time. I have only read about 4 books my whole life. Only 2 of them were because I wanted to, and one was The Hobbit and it took me over a month to finish it.

It is "rocket science" when you have a learning disability
As an adult I still see others (whether they know it or not) giving people with learning disabilities a hard time. Some might call this bullying. I know most of them don’t mean anything by what they say (or type) but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother some people. Not everyone gets a 3.5 GPA or higher in school. Not everyone graduates with honors. Not everyone who goes to college successfully passes every class. I know all the people I know never mean to hurt feelings and I would never hold it against them. I didn’t write this to make anyone feel bad. I wrote this so people might take a second look at why, instead of quickly judging. I may not be a smarty pants but I have family and friends who love me, and to me, that’s worth more than spelling correctly.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Little Girls & Fashion

As I was scrolling through Pinterest I typed “little girls fashion” in the search box. I was shocked at what I saw. Little 6 to 8 year old girls dressed like models. All I could think of was “Do these girls know the meaning of life?” I have no issue with child models, it’s the message us parents receive from these pictures that bothers me. Most of the comments below the pictures were a lot of “my little girl will dress like this” and “this is how I picture my little girl to look”. I’m sorry but what happened to letting kids make their own decisions? I encourage independence with my kids. Call me crazy but I let my kids dress themselves.

I have seen comments on facebook pages about not going into public unless their kids are spotless, hair up and cute and dressed in their cutest clothes and perfect. Now, I understand not going out if your kids are filthy, but really? You know you’re only making your kids dress up so YOU look good. And in my opinion, that is wrong. I understand the feeling of wanting to show off your cute kids but I believe some parents take it too far. What are you teaching your kids? That it is only okay to go in public if you’re cute? We need to be teaching our kids to be independent. We need to teach our kids to love themselves and love others for who they really are. We need to teach our kids that looks fade but character doesn’t. If we teach our kids to respect us (their parents) and themselves they will respect others.

There is so much wrong in the media (TV, facebook, twitter, Pinterest, magazine covers, etc.) that it’s clouding our minds. We think if our kids don’t dress or act a certain way they will be an outcast or bullied. As parents we all want our kids to fit in. If we teach our kids to be confident we won’t have to worry “will she fit in?” But we need to be careful, being confident and being prideful are 2 very different things. Pride is thinking you are better than everyone else, confidence is not caring what others think about you. Teach them to be confident!

The meaning of life is not cute clothes, hair styles, shoes, makeup or accessories. Life is who we are, not what we wear. Life to a kid is playing outside without worrying about getting their hands dirty. Life is enjoying the fun times, working hard for something you want, loving your family and friends and trying to make the world a better place.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Princess In The Middle

With hands on her checks and tears in her eyes, “Mommy! My Pinkie Pie fall down!” As I tell her it’s ok she picks Pinkie Pie up and cradles the toy as if it was truly hurt. Kissing it better she went back to playing.

My Emily is about as dramatic as girls come.

From my previous blog entry’s you can tell she’s a bit of a handful. Well here is her “life” story.

While still in my first trimester of pregnancy with my daughter, I was holding my 5 month old son. I felt a sharp, stabbing pain in my lower back. It came, then went. I put my son down to make him a bottle when the pain struck again. This time it shot down from my lower back, down my left leg. I fell. The pain was almost unbearable, but then suddenly left. Sitting on the floor of our apartment with my son safe in his pack-n-play, I was confused. “What the heck was that?” I said out loud. I was almost afraid to get up. But slowing I made it to my feet and walked into the kitchen.

When I asked my doctor about it, she said it was my sciatica. It’s a nerve in the pelvis area that can get pinched during pregnancy, due to the hormone relaxin witch loosens your joints. Well, little did I know that the “little” pain I felt was nothing compared to what was to come.

As my belly grew, so did the pain… At times I couldn’t even move. No matter what I did (or my husband did) nothing would sooth the excruciating pain shooting down my leg. I would take hot baths, sit on heating pads, take pain relievers, nothing helped. I remember one night in my third trimester I couldn’t move without pain and I really had to pee. So in the middle of the night, my husband had to carry me while I cried to the toilet, helped me pull my pants down, held me up so I could “sit” on the toilet, pulled up my pants and carried me back and laid me in bed where I sobbed. Not only because of the pain but I felt humiliated. He laid next to me not knowing what else to do, he held a heating pad on my lower back and I remember seeing a tear fall down his check.

I will never forget that moment.
During the ultra sound the technician had to get measurements and could only get them from certain angles. She had to push, hard at times, on my belly to get her to move to get a better angle. After an hour and a half of tears (on my end) and “fighting” my baby for clear snap shots, the technician called in her boss and he “fought” with her for a while. Finally she (Emily) gave up and they got everything they needed. This was proof that she was going to be a handful. We just didn’t know it yet.

The day I walked (or should I say limped) into the birthing center was, in my mind, supposed to be a good day. My doctor said my nerve pain may or may not continue for a few weeks after birth. Hoping I was in the “may not” category, I prepared for surgery (I was having a C-section). As I lay on the operating table with my husband holding my hand we hear a squeak, then a gasp for air, then a scream. Our little girl had arrived! They wiped her down, wrapped her in a blanked and placed her in daddy’s arms. He brought her to me and I looked at her face. Those checks! Those chubby checks! I couldn’t be happier. Then, unlike with my son, only after a few short minutes with her, the nurse took her from Chad and said “Sorry but her heartbeat and breathing are irregular. She has to come with me.” Chad went with her while I could not. Once I got back to my room I just laid there in bed watching the clock. 20 minutes goes by, then 45 minutes, an hour and a half… WHAT THE HECK?!?! Where is my daughter and is she ok???? Chad comes in and gave me an update. Her heartbeat and breathing were still irregular. She had to be put on oxygen once, had a chest   x-ray, she was under a heat lamp and had wires on her… He kissed me then I told him with tears in my eyes to go be with her. He left. I just laid there and waited...
6 hours after she was born she was finally in my arms! And I never wanted to let her go. Her doctor came in and told me what had happened. She was in shock. With some babies the transition from belly to the world sends them into a somewhat common shock (sorry I don’t remember the name of it). And it took her 6 hours to calm down. Every baby goes through it but every baby reacts differently. My girl wanted the whole world to know she was here and not happy about it.

The first month was hard at the time but looking back now it was easy. She had an attitude. When she was hungry, she gave you about a 10 second warning then she would SCREAM for 40 minutes. Nothing would calm her down, not even a bottle. Once she got over her fit she took the bottle with no hesitation. As month 2 came along she seemed to do nothing but cry. This continued for months. At her 6 month appointment I talked to her doctor about it. He said “it sounds like she could be colic. But she’s too old, so it must be behavioral”… In other words “it’s a phase”. I went home and like every day before I just laid on the floor and cried with her. I took care of my sons needs but it was near impossible to give him the attention he needed. Every night I went to bed at 7 with a migraine. I fell into a deep post-partum depression.

As time went on Emily did not grow out of it. At 18 months she still screamed all the time. She woke up screaming most every morning. When she would throw a fit it would last hours. If I ever braved the store, I always regretted it. I would end up with her screaming in my arms and “dragging” Michael while trying to push the cart. 80% of everyday was nothing but screaming, 15% of everyday was crying and 5% of everyday she was not crying or screaming, but not happy either. I remember her screaming so much her voice would be gone my 4 every night… By 2 years old Emily had not changed. She still screamed ALL the time. And with a new baby brother things seemed to only get worse with her.

One of the first good pictures of her not crying but smiling!

One day, around Christmas time (she was 2 and a half) I finally noticed a small change. Something was different, she seemed almost happy. She still cried (a lot) but it was not the screaming fit of rage she had been. I couldn’t tell you what changed but honestly, I didn’t care. After 2 and a half years of nothing but screaming from her, seeing her smiling and laughing was one of the best moment of my life.

Loving the pool with daddy
Even now, I still don’t know what went on those first 2 and a half years of her life. Today she is my VERY pssionate, happy, stronge-willed, energetic, and very dramatic 3 year old princess. She loves life and loves her family. She is not afraid to say hi and make new friends at the store or in the park. Her toys are her “live” babies, daddy is her knight in shining armor, big brother is her best friend, she is little brother’s favorite thing and mommy is her best snuggle buddy. We all love our little miss Emily!                          

My princess in the middle!