Bloggy Moms

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mornings Are a Bear

My husband and I are blessed that Princess gets picked up at our door step every school morning by a District provided bus. This is a little perk that the District provides because Princess's home school doesn't have a program for kids like her. I'm not gonna lie here. I love this little perk. Read on and you'll see why.

The bus arrives at our door step at approximately 6:50 every school morning. This means that Princess really should be ready on the curb when it pulls up. In order to facilitate that happening, her alarm goes off at 6:00. Yes I know that is early.

To make it easier for Princess to get up in the morning, we try really hard to make sure she is in bed, lights out, by 8:30 every week night. But gosh darn it 6:00 still comes whether we like it or not.

When I set the alarm at night, I make sure one of Princess's favorite songs or playlists are set to go off. Usually it involves Michael Jackson. ( Princess is actually sad that she will never get to meet Michael Jackson here on earth because she loves his music so much. For some reason it resonates with her.- But I digress.) At about 6:05 or 6:10 I go in Princess's bedroom to encourage her to wake up. Typically that involves turning off her fans and turning on the lights. She takes some medication in the morning so I give her that with a glass of water in hopes that once she sits up to take it, she will get up out of bed and get ready. Right now at this time of year, that is a complete fantasy on my part. After the medicine is swallowed, Princess lays back down and plays possum until the last possible moment. This may sound drastic but I sometimes have to resort to taking Princess's sheet away to motivate her to get up. When she is cold and uncomfortable, she knows one of the quickest ways to warm up is to get dressed.

I find it humorous that the one thing that always succeeds in getting Princess up out of bed is her bladder. When that happens, she bolts out of her room with lightening speed but not before taking her school clothes with her to the bathroom.

This past Monday Princess missed the bus because she refused to get out of bed. It was funny though because shortly after it left, she got up, got dressed and we made it to school before the final morning bell rang.

On Tuesday I implemented a new strategy. I told her that if she made the bus then she would get 30 minutes of TV time after school. That did the trick. She once again waited until the last possible moment before getting out of bed but she worked hard to be ready for the bus. On this particular day, she was dressed except for her shoes when the bus pulled up. The District has a policy that children must wear shoes before boarding the bus so Princess put her shoes on quickly and boarded the bus with her shoe laces flapping in the wind.

This same tactic worked well for me on Wednesday so I upped the stakes for Thursday. I told her that not only did she have to be dressed but the dog had to be fed and her shoes needed to be tied before the bus pulled up.

This morning, Friday,  I kept the expectations the same as the previous day. Princess did not meet my expectations but she was fully aware of them. As she was running to catch the bus with her laces flapping in the wind she said to me " Can I still watch TV after school?" My goal is to get her on the bus with as little drama as possible so I responded with " We'll see when you get home."

The interesting thing about all of this is that I have a very detailed chart that we used this summer during summer school. It tells Princess all of the tasks she must complete and how long she has for each one. I haven't used the chart since school resumed because for Princess  the goal right now is to get on the bus. You can bet that I will start the chart again, maybe even next week, but right now we are taking baby steps.

 Getting back to the beginning of the post where I said that I love the perk of the school bus, by the time Princess is actually ready for the bus, it is just so nice to be able to say "Your bus is here." Princess knows the bus is not going to wait for her. By the time that the bus arrives I am spent and need a little time to recharge. Having to take Princess to school means that my fuse gets a little shorter. That's why having transportation provided for my daughter is a blessing.

Can anyone relate? What do your mornings look like? Feel free to post comments directly on this site.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I have been thinking about this post all week. You see because of things that are beyond my control, my daughter did not start school on Monday like so many other children in Fullerton did.  Since I became a SAHM I did not go back to school as a teacher for the first time in 9 years (Only the second time in over 20 years!). The only other time that I did not go back to teach in the Fall was the year that Princess was born. I was still on maternity leave until November of that year.
I am by nature a very positive and upbeat person. Sometimes this can be a detriment. This time, however, I must face reality and realize that this stinks. My daughter and I did not get to experience all of the first day of school joys with the rest of her school mates. Oh I know that we can make our own special memories when she is able to start school. We will take pictures. I will pack a special lunch. She will pick out a cool outfit to wear. Heck we may even celebrate the first day back with a special treat when she returns from her first day.  For now I will try to forget all that she missed out on.
So what do I do when I need a kid fix? Well I borrow another kid for the day. My favorite kid to borrow is my BFF's daughter. She is Princess J. She is such a cool kid. On Monday I picked her up from day care and surprised her by taking her to the mall and spoiling her rotten. Those were the words of her grown up big sister. The whole time we were out there was no drama, very little whining and a whole lotta gratitude. She and I were able to talk about her day, her new teacher and her friends.
I know this may sound crazy but it is so nice to be able to take a child out and not have to worry about melt downs, wandering off or aggression. Don't get me wrong. I love Princess and we have done some pretty cool things together but I can pretty much count on her having problems wherever we go and whatever we do so those times out are becoming less and less.
Tomorrow Princess will start school. You can be sure that I will try to make as special as possible but I have to downplay of it otherwise those darn purple spots will return. You see too much excitement and stimulus aggravate them.
By the way if you were wondering what those purple spots were, they are aggression fueled by a chemical imbalance. Hopefully we are closer to getting all of this under control.

Photo courtesy of:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Highlights of Our Summer Vacation

I love that FaceBook has reconnected me with so many family and friends. I have FaceBook friends from my high school and college years. I have FaceBook friends who are former parents and students that I have worked with or taught in the past.  Many extended family members are friends as well. I enjoy reading their posts and seeing what they are up to. However, sometimes it is hard to see what a great life they are living. They are basking in the sun while vacationing. They are excited that their child just got accepted into a major university or baseball club team. Their daughter just completed her very first ballet class. FaceBook is a place where I can rejoice alongside of them. It is also a painful reminder of how very different my life is.
Since Princesses Purple Spots flared up so badly this summer, we were restricted to where we could go and what we could see. Most of Princesses days were spent at home swimming, doing crafts and reading. We know from experience that the more outside activities that Princess participate in, the worse her Purple Spots become.
The other day I was talking to my husband. I made the comment that while some people tour the Major League Ball Fields or the famous California Missions, our family has toured other lesser known facilities. At one Purple Spot Clinic, I told the intake staff member there that perhaps my family should get their own parking space. I mean we are now becoming regulars. We know the staff members on a personal basis and they know us. 
As a result of Princess's condition, we had a very limited repertoire of events that we participated in this summer.  When Princess was not confined to home, many of our outings consisted of checking in at the Purple Spot therapist's office or the Purple Spot doctor's office. Sometimes our only outing for the day meant a trip to the pharmacist to pick up more medication. Princess really wanted to go to the beach or have play dates over but those activities only exacerbate her diagnoses. Come to think of it, we did not go to the beach once this Summer.
If you know me, I like to be on the go. I am an extrovert. My energy comes from being with people. If I am cooped up too long, I become rather difficult to live with. My husband knows this even though he is the antithesis of this. He would rather stay home doing work around the house. Since he realizes what I need, he will watch Princess so that I can attend bible study or get together with a friend. For my part, I will stay home with Princess so that my husband can go to Home Depot or any other masculine store so that he can get the supplies that he needs for his garden or any other current fix-it project he may be working on.
And so as Summer vacation draws to a close for us,  I can't help but to notice what a very different experience our family had this Summer than many of my friends and family. It may be this way for a while.  And I am OK with that as long as Princess gets what she needs. It is also important that my husband and I, who are caring for her, get the breaks that we need so that we can be the best possible caregivers for her.
P.S. You can read more about Princesses Purple Spots here.

Here's a picture of some of the bounty from my husband's current number one stress reliever.