I never wanted to be the mom of a special needs kid. The idea and thought terrified me. Then I became very close with my cousin who one day just stop growing and no one knew why. He was like having a baby under the age of 1 for about 2-3 years. And I watched what my Aunt was going through and I definitely didn’t want it then. I had a perfectly healthy daughter and that was how I wanted all my kids. But then I met my husband.
I have a blended family. My oldest daughter and youngest daughter came from my husbands previous marriage. The mom got into some trouble and lost custody. The day I moved in, she quit coming around or calling much. Eventually she signed over her rights and I adopted the girls as my own. My middle and youngest daughter are only 5 months apart. But they are mentally and physically years apart. When I came into the picture Bri would talk but you couldn’t understand her at all. Only 3 words came out clearly. She was having a hard time potty training. Very small and petite in size compared to the other kids. It seemed like everything with Bri was on hyperspeed. And she was very impulsive and unaware of dangers.
We originally got the speech diagnosis and started her in an intense pre-k with tons of speech therapy. About 2 years later, we got the ADHD diagnosis. But within 6 months of being on meds, she turned violent and out of control. My little sweet petite girl could bust my lip, punch a hole in the wall and break a window all in one day. And yes she was only 6 or 7. From there we got the diagnosis of mood disorder. She has been on meds ever since. But I kept saying there was something more. That something wasn’t right. I homeschooled for a couple of years until her meds weren’t working and she became a danger to myself and the newborn in the house at the time. We decided that we needed a break and public school would give us that. But in school she was struggling. Inevitably getting in a fight because and I quote “the other girl wanted to”. She didn’t have any social common sense in my opinion. She will talk to you like dirt and treat you like dirt but the minute you do it to her; your labeled as mean and she runs to her room crying which then goes into a temper tantrum. She doesn’t understand right from wrong or just doesn’t care. I am not sure. She struggles in school with making friends and being on her grade level. No one has an answer, a solution and just keeps passing her along!
I have been to therapist that have suggest locking her in a closet to talking to her like she is a baby. I have been to neurologist, endocrinologist, psychiatrist, psychologist and had many IQ test done. But finally I might have a light at the end of the 9 year battle! It took the 5th psychiatrist to listen and say whoa, i think she might be this instead. But finally there is hope. And the scary part is I have suspected it all along.
I am really hoping this is the answer. I am exhausted and beginning to lose my drive. But I can’t quit; I know that. But it just sucks going on this journey.
I will say that with everything I picked up with my daughter and cousin, I have learned a lot. I can look at someone at the restaurant and say he is autistic or listen to a friend share her worries about her child and say sounds like a sensory issue.
But it still is hard…….
Part 1 talks about getting a schedule set for your older child that way you and her aren’t always wondering what’s next. And this also allows more time for you to play and be hands on with your toddler. With my toddler I have a toddler/preschool curriculum I bought (very cheap I might add) and I also use preschoolpalace.org and preschoolexpress.com to supplement.
At the beginning of the month I like to pick my themes and color for the month.
beginning of the month
I then go on the websites and through my own curriculum and pick out the activities that would interest Dakota. Then take a blank monthly calendar and list one activity on each blank spot. I do not fill in the dates because that is not relevant to me. Basically I say these are the things I want to accomplish this month. Every morning I look at the calendar and say ok I have everything for this or I can fit this activity in between errands. As we do an activity I highlight it so I know what we have and haven’t done. Very simple and yet organizing. As you know life with a toddler is day to day. Today they could be sweet as pie and tomorrow their evil twin might show up. So with this kind of relaxing scheduling you can accommodate anything that life throws at you. Some days it is as simple as reading a specific story. Those are good on days when your toddler isn’t feeling well.
Also at the beginning of the month I like to hang up our theme posters on Dakota’s bulletin board. That shows Dakota pictures of what we are learning along with our color poster for the color of the month. Throughout the month as we do an activity I like to hang some of them on his board so everyone can see and he can show everyone. Sometimes it spills over onto the refrigerator because what Mom doesn’t have a refrigerator full of art.
- Dakota’s board
By the end of the month our board is full and we take it all down saving some things of course and getting it ready for the next month.
Some days are absolutely crazy in a large family. Some days I am trying to get so much done that I forget about dinner, or to read the recipe and make sure I have all the ingredients and also how much time it takes to cook. This is me scatter brained (but what’s new).
I hate when I get home from my bus run (some days 3:45pm and some days 4:15pm) and listen to the question what’s for dinner! When I am in a pinch like this I try (and fail) not to do the whole fast food thing. Well this past week I ran into one of those days. And what did I do? Take a look at the picture……
I made breakfast. Homemade pancakes which only take a few minutes. And defrosted some bacon and fried it up! Yum Breakfast for dinner is Heaven! By the way I make 30 pancakes with the hopes of having some left over for another breakfast for my 2 youngest kids. This day I walked away with 7 left over. THAT’S ENOUGH FOR 3 KIDS!
I did not acquire a large family the traditional way. First I had a child in my teens. Then I fell in love and married in my 20’s a man who had 2 kids. We adopted each other’s kids to make it legal. 6 years later we were pregnant with our first child together. 2 years later my grandmother moved because my grandfather had went into a nursing home. So this is my Instant Grow Large Family. The kids ages range from 2-13. And we are raising all of them on a shoestring budget that my hubby brings in being self-employed. I am homeschooling 1 of my daughters and the other two choose to go to public school. And my little man is gearing up for his first year of toddler school as he will be homeschooled as well.
ABOUT THIS BLOG~
What do I hope you will find on this blog? A little bit of everything. Recipes, frugal tips, life learning lessons because we are all still learning, funny stories about our life as a large family, homeschooling activities and household management. So please have patience with me as I am new to this whole blogging thing.
Sometimes being around my kids can be very trying. I am not gonna lie. There are days when I am like that’s it; I have lost all sanity; why did I have all these kids? Okay most days are like that. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have a boy who is a toddler just hitting terrible twos and testing the waters with his parents. I have an 11-year-old daughter who is special needs with ODD, ADHD, language and speech delays and sometimes acts worse than my 2-year-old. I have a 12-year-old daughter who is a peacemaker and honestly an emotional wreck. Say the wrong thing and the tears flow. Then I have a teen, my 13 almost 14-year-old daughter, who prefers to lock herself in her room with her TV than spend time with the family.
But like I said I wouldn’t have it any other way. AND the crazy part is I would like to have one more. We aren’t perfect like the Duggars with the best kids in the world. But they are MY kids and with all their quirks and craziness; I love them with all my heart!
Even the weeks where I feel like I can’t catch my breath, it’s 9pm and just realized there is no milk in the house and my kids are running around acting like I fed them sugar for dinner. Even when my sanity is gone, my patience is tried and at the end of my rope. I wouldn’t change a thing! And to those who say I don’t know how you do it? I say I don’t know how not to do it.
This is me….. This is my life….. and the rollercoaster ride that comes with it…….Hang on and Enjoy the ride!