CRAZY TRAIN

I am the proud mom to three amazing kids.  I love them more than I can imagine, but some days they make me feel like this:

Yes, a 60+ year old man who dunks his head in a water bucket. No, not really like that. They make me feel like I am on the CRAZY TRAIN!

I gave birth 3 times in 30 months. That alone qualifies me for the crazy train. I had three in diapers for a while. Another stop on the crazy train. I was a milk making factory for what felt like forever. Crazy train. For one year I had the trio at three different schools, which meant three different drop-offs and pick-ups AND I was working full-time. Yup, crazy train. I have one daughter with ADHD, one son with more abbreviated conditions that I can list, and one daughter who knows IT ALL. C.R.A.Z.Y. T.R.A.I.N.

But none of that prepared me for the hell that is sibling fighting. It's bad, folks. It's bad. This has got to be karma hitting me upside the head good and hard for the fighting that went on between my sister and I. And we fought BAD until we were like 18 and 19.

When my kids were young everyone used to comment on how well they got along, how much they enjoyed each others company, blah blah blah. I thought "oh ya, I got this, my kids will grow up being the best of friends."

And then suddenly they weren't. My oldest daughter is constantly irritated by her younger brother. And he knows exactly what to do to push her buttons, and then she yells, then he yells, then I yell. It's a vicious cycle.

We had a long talk tonight and things around here are changing starting NOW! I am implementing a new reward system. When I catch them being good, (playing together nicely, heck even ignoring each would work!!) I'll put a quarter in this:

and when it gets enough quarters in it, I'll take them out for frozen yogurt. This has GOT to work, cause mama has to get off the CRAZY TRAIN! There are negative consequences for fighting, too. Haley has to give me $1, Ella has to give up her doll for 30 minutes, and Ronin has to play in the backyard alone for 30 minutes. Each of their punishments is tailored just for them based on what makes them tick.

I'm telling you all about this because I promised myself that when I started this blog I would be honest about the challenges that I face as I train as an amateur athlete and obstacles I encounter as an obesity survivor. I often compare being an obesity survivor to being like a recovering alcoholic. You can't take just one bite, (or one sip) and not expect some of those old feelings, those powerful feelings to come slipping back in to your mind. And yes, overeating can destroy your body and your life just like too much alcohol can. And the way these kids have been behaving has been hard on me and making me wish I had a Reeses Peanut Butter Egg (or 6) to make me feel better. But I don't keep that crap in the house, it's not good for me, and it's not good for them. So we'll reward our good behavior with FroYo. It's the obesity survivor's O'Douls.

So there you have it. I hope it works.

 

If you are a parent, do your kids fight? How do you handle it??

Dog

My son has special needs. I won't go into all of his conditions here, but one of his doctors recommended to us a few years ago that he thought a dog would be very beneficial for him. Studies show that dogs help to reduce cortisol levels and the number of disruptive behavioral incidents in children with ASD.

There are even organizations, like 4 Paws for Ability that train dogs to work with kids with ASD and other special needs. I contacted a few of those organizations in late 2011 and found out that the cost for one of those dogs was OVER $20,000!!! Yes, $20,000. And I just wasn't comfortable going to the animal shelter and adopting a dog because we really need it to be such a good match and it needed to come with some basic training already in place.

And somehow, not really sure how it all came about, but one of my gym friends told me about a program with Southeastern Guide Dogs. Some times, dogs that go through the training program become available for adoption. Dogs that become available for adoption are dogs "that have not met very strict standards required to be a successful guide dog and do not meet the criteria for other professions such as Arson Detection, Narcotics Detection, etc. for an assortment of reasons. Some of these reasons may include fear of children or animals, they may be easily distracted, or they may have some medical concerns that exclude them from guide dog work."

Call me crazy, but I thought this sounded like a pretty good option for us. So I applied OVER A YEAR AGO!! Honestly, I had even forgot that I had applied until I got a call on Tuesday that they had some dogs for us to come and see!! Apparently there is a L.O.N.G wait process Wink

WHAT???!!! I set up a time to drive down with the kids on MONDAY (they are off from school for MLK Day) and we'll get to meet the dogs (and hug some puppies) and see if we can find our VIP (very important pet). It's a strict process and they want to make sure (as do we) that it is a PERFECT match!! I'm already imagining running with my new best friend. And taking he/she to the dog park while the trio are at football/cheer leading.

Black, Chocolate or Yellow. We don't care. Boy or girl. We don't care. We just want to find a dog that is a perfect fit for our family. And I think we will.