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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Brendan!! Missing my Dad

Brendan turned 9 years old yesterday!! Every year seems to fly by. I can not believe he is 9 and next year we hit double digits!! I am not ready for the next 9 years. He is heading into his teenage years. That seems insane!! Okay I know I have a few more years before that but lately he is maturing before my eyes and becoming this young boy that I never thought I would see.

He loved his birthday. We had a family party and he had a blast. He can open presents without any help now...must have the been all those years of practice. I think this was his first birthday that he genuinely enjoyed all of his gifts. Usually we don't even open half of them for weeks because he shows no interest but every single present has been opened and played with.

Maybe we are all learning who Brendan really is or maybe he is just becoming more 'typical' as he ages. I am not sure but I am loving this little boy that is growing up on me. He can play by himself in his room. He watches t.v. in bed and can actually have the remote within reach and NOT press a million buttons. He even shuts off his t.v. by himself when he is ready for bed. The past year has been really humbling for me. So many changes. So many good things. I am so impressed by my own son and I know part of that is due to our parenting and helping him become who he is today and part of that is his determination to be like everyone else.

Before my dad passed away he told me I was doing a great job with Brendan and he knew I had a difficult life. He told me he was proud of me which he never really said to me throughout my life. I am thankful for the last conversations we had. They really helped me let him go. I miss him and these holiday's are not easy. I know my mom must be having a very hard time. I know everything will get less painful as the years go on but right it is very painful. I cried while making apple pie for Thanksgiving because a few months ago my dad told me he meant to text me to tell me how good my apple pie was in hopes that I would make him one. Well I am glad I did make him his very own the next time I went to visit. The little things just pop up and bring sadness to me. I hope that fades. It is hard to even see a picture of him or think of him without crying. I know it has only been 2 1/2 months but it seems like yesterday he was still with us. RIP Dad.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We have had a breakthrough! Playing on is Own!!

Brendan still has accidents on occasion. He doesn't get in trouble for having an accident since he can't exactly run to the bathroom. He does get in trouble for not telling us because we don't want him sitting in it. This has been going on for over a year now possibly longer. Two weeks ago I said to my husband "he just isn't getting it, we are doing something wrong because he just doesn't get it, we have to figure something else out". We have taken away his t.v. for two days, his power wheels, the computer.... basically everything he loves for not telling us, hoping this will make him tell us. Two weeks ago he had an accident and Derek took away his t.v. yet again. We both had long talks with him about why we took it away and we kept reiterating that he wasn't in trouble for having an accident but for not telling us. We had him practice telling us "I had an accident" over and over and over. Derek actually felt bad after our discussion of him just not getting it and gave him back his t.v. the next morning.
Fast forward to yesterday morning....Derek went to say goodbye in the morning before work and walked into his room and immediately Brendan said "I had an accident" WOO HOO!! This was a moment. When Derek told me I was beyond proud. I really thought he would never get it but he finally did! I went down to say good morning and he told me that he had told Derek. He was so proud of himself and had a big grin on his face wtih his t.v. on. :)

Moments like this can't be completely understood by parents with typical children. These moments are huge milestones for our children. I am so proud of him and all of his hard work. He continues to progress every single day. Lately he is maturing and becoming this amazing young boy. I get teary eyed writing about it. I love that I get to feel this way as a parent. Life is hard for him and it is hard for me to watch at times because everything is a struggle but moments like these make me realize he will be okay growing up in this world. Baby steps people baby steps. :) I told my mom and she was laughing at the situation and said "it is always the little things". Yes it is mom, yes it is.

Brendan as usual continues to amaze me. He has actually been playing by himself in his room on his floor for an hour at a time. He is back into his tools and geo trax. Hint: geo trax train is great for our kiddos with limited hand control. He has been banging away on his train table (fixing it) with his hammer and has a blast!! His room is a mess and it is actually from him not his sisters. he has train pieces everywhere, tools and his laptop on the floor. He is pretend playing and that is wonderful for both of us. What an amazing year this has been.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deal of the week! Garage issues and I miss my BOY!

Shaws has a great deal this week. Buy ten Betty Crocker items and get $5 off instantly. Combine this with coupons that double and you make out. I bought 21 items and paid just $10. The picture I posted only cost me a total of $35. Lately I am able to cut my usual budget of $150 per week (to buy food and household items) to around $70. The picture shows 8 pillsbury grand rolls, 3 fundamiddles, 2 cake mix, 2 frosting, 4 packages of cookie mix, 2 boxes of potatoes, 3/4 lb. of fish, over 2 lbs of chicken, 3 packs of english muffins, chocolate milk (for my husband), juice boxes, jar of pesto sauce, two zone bars, can of chefboyardee, and a box of breakfast bars. That is a $1.06 an item. Ya I can deal with that!

We built a huge garage. 28 feet long to be exact and we are having space issues. We are having issues parking both vans and being able to open up Brendan's ramp and get him off. Seriously who knew? How could this garage not be big enough. Well once you throw either a lift or ramp in the garage and fit both vans in you are left with one foot of space once the van ramp is open which simply doesn't work. This garage is not cheap so it is kind of a bummer that we both can't fit and get Brendan in and out of the van. Maybe we can come up with something. My contractor is amazing and super helpful so we are brainstorming.

Brendan left me for a week! He went off to FL with his dad. I am sure he is having a blast but I am not used to not having him here. I will admit that it has been a little vacation for me. The girls are fairly easy now and self sufficient. Grama even took them overnight last night so I got to stay in bed until 8:00 today. The builders start at 7 so there isn't much sleeping in around here but I just stayed in bed because I could. It was lovely.

I have been working on hiring my pass worker. I have two interviews next week. I even had someone going to school to become a PT so I am very excited. I hope we click because I like her already after reading her email.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sometimes I almost lose my sanity! ADHD is not easy...

I think dealing with the ADHD is beyond harder than cerebral palsy. Some days I am at the brink of a mental breakdown. He can drive me batty in the matter of seconds depending the day. If we are stuck in the van together on one of his bad days it is not pretty. The girls hate when I yell and I don't like yelling but sometimes nothing works and I lose control of myself. I try asking him nicely, I try taking away anything that is causing bad behavior, I try threatening, I try taking away a favorite item....some days absolutely nothing works and I lose. I think I need a class on how to handle my child with ADHD. I can't stand when my kids don't listen and when it involves banging, slamming doors, or hitting the keyboard aggressively I flip out very quickly. Some days I can control it. Some days it doesn't bother me quite so much but other days I go bazerk. If this kid could run I would be in trouble!
Can you guess I am home with 3 kids all day due to no school?? Right now he is opening and closing his bedroom door over and over...actually slamming it and he has things hung on the door knob so it jingles along with the bang and I am really really trying to ignore it. I have asked him not to do this at least 20 times today. I give up. Like I said sometimes nothing works. I am not sure how I made it through the summer.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Birthday Boy! Deals of the week!

Brendan is turning 9! How can that be? How have I been a mother for 9 years?? I think back to the day he was born and can not believe where we are in life today. Life certaintly did not turn out as intended but does it ever? I never expected to be a mother to a disabled child but now I can't picture life any other way.

Years ago we never knew if Brendan would talk, ambulate on his own, or go to a public school. Today my boy is doing amazing and he never stops progressing. He doesn't stop talking and he is learning new things everyday. We have been through so much together and have the most amazing bond I could ask for. I know I can handle just about anything after handling these past 9 years. Yes I have my moments. I do cry. I do feel like life is unfair at times but in the end I really wouldn't change my life. Would I want my son to experience life easier...YES! Do I wish he never had to endure all those surgeries...YES! Do I wish he could walk or stand without his walker...hell ya! But I don't dwell on this everyday. I don't look at him and wish he was different. I look at him and smile and feel beyond proud of this little boy who has come so far. Brendan has this personality that will change people's perception of disabled people. He already has! I can not beleive how much he has overcome over the past 9 years. I am so proud of him. I can't even begin to imagine what our lives will be lilke when he is 18. He was born on Thanksgiving and his Birthday is on the 28th and I am excited to celebrate another great year!

Deals of the week:

Rite Aid: Two Colgate Toothpaste Cost $3.50 Rewards $3.50, you can buy two and use a coupon $1 off two and make $1. Stay Free Pads cost $3, rewards $2, you can buy two and use 2 coupons $1 off one and they are free. Buy Two Orajel kid toothpaste Sale Buy 1 Get 1 (Cost $3.99 for one and use 2 $1 off coupons) and two Oral B toothbrushes B1G1 ($8.99 and use 2 $1 off one coupons = (get $5 reward if you spend $10. I spent 12.98 and saved $4 in coupons). Kerri lotion Cost $6.99 get $6 reward, use $1 coupon to make it free! Total out of pocket cost $25 (with tax) but I got back $22 in rewards which means all that cost me $3.

FREE ITEMS Just With Coupons!

Walmart: Shick disposable razors Cost $1.97 use $2 coupon and make $.03. Red Cross travel first aid kit Cost $.97 use $1 coupon and make $.03. Travel Tide detergent Cost $.99 use $1 coupon and make $.01.

Target: Print Target Coupon on their website for $1 off Hungry Jack Pancakes, buy the 7oz pouch for $.99 and make $.01.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Deal of the week! Happy Halloween and Special Olympics!

Coupons take up a lot of time from cutting to sorting to storing to figuring out the deals!!! UHHH but it is soooo worth it. At shaws I ended up getting 6 bags of Doritos, 6 jars of gravy, two large bags of Tyson Chicken Nuggets, 4 frozen TGIF meals for one, 3 cookie dough's, a bunch of bananas and a large tote of apples for $30 and then I got a $5 coupon back.

Happy Halloween Everyone!! Brendan was Batman...again! That kid loves being batman. We tried giving him other options but he would yell BATMAN after every character we said so batman it was. He really enjoyed trick or treating this year. He was happy as can be being wheeled up to each house. He would say trick or treat and you could even understand him this year! Our neighborhood was super busy so lots of houses ran out of candy. The houses with lights on became 'candy houses' and the kids would yell there is a candy house! It was cute. My husband even got home from work on time to come with us!

The first season of Special Olympics wrapped up this past Sunday. Brendan had a blast. It was a bit chilly so it was in a gym. They received a medal at the end which he loves. We made it to every session and it was a great experience. Pictures will be posted in the blog!