Occupational Therapy, Life Happens and Friendships

Boy has it been a long few weeks, about three weeks ago my boyfriend’s teen daughter moved in with us and things have still be going pretty good for us all. The girls, Ki and Chey, have become Happily Blended Sisters {yes that is what they call themselves on their YouTube Channel} and things are going pretty well around here. That doesn’t mean things have been a slice of cake or that life hasn’t gotten us a bit busy, but overall things are just peachy.

Happily Blended Family

 

With having another child move in and having said child be a teenager, you are sure to have some bumps. Not to mention our household is pretty outspoken in a polite/respectful manner and no topic is off the table, when one who is a teen is not used to that, you are sure to have some transitional, jaw dropping, laugh out loud moments! I still love hearing Chey laugh out loud with some topics or things I say out of the blue. I am who I am, I always tell the kids and I hope they can be who they are too, once they all figure out who that is. Every day we worked to make the next day better than the day before, we don’t look back and we do our best to hold true to our family motto; Peace, Love and Happiness.

Happily Blended Life

 

 

I am not the only one having a pretty busy, crazy Summer; most of my friends are having a tough go this Summer and I hate that I can’t always reach out to them to talk, but my mind is going in 100 directions most days that by the time I have a moment of silence, I dread the thought of speaking to any human being, let alone the dog. I know those who are my true friends, get that, and they have other friends too so hopefully the other friends have been there for them and while I may not reach to my friends as much as I think about them, the line works two ways and honestly – I hear crickets coming from my phone most days. While I miss text chats, I really can’t text very well because I am so exhausted most nights that my tone in text comes off wrong or my mind is so jumbled that I fear I am not being a good listener.

Happily Blended Autism

 

My son, Aj, has been doing OT {occupational therapy} for a while now and it is really helping him all around. I have noticed he is more apt to speak up to me, even though it may take a bit longer than my other children, he does speak up and share his thoughts. Aj is being a bit more respectful about rules and more specifically he is able to handle his half hour video game time each day without much of a hassle most times. School starts soon and Aj is pretty sure he is not going to school, but obviously he is.

My son K-man is doing his normal stuff, not much has changed with him beyond the fact that he is now taking a turn to be a grumpy butt instead of talking about his feelings. When upset or mad K-man can often be found running off with a loud voice or hiding and crying. I am working on teaching him that talking about your feelings is okay, that having people see you cry is okay, but when you have a mother {me} who barely cries, who is to show him crying is okay? It takes A LOT to get me to cry which is why on the rare occasion I do cry, my kids do not have a clue what to do.

I am looking forward to school starting so that I can write more, without writing daily my  mind gets too jumbled and full, writing is my true therapy, but with Summer break the writing slows down a bit. I wish there was more of Summer because we really have had a great Summer, but at the same time, I am excited to have my real work at home schedule back in session starting next week!

Well there it is, in a nutshell, what was going in my mind … so tell me … what has been going on in your world?

Save for Back to School With these Awesome Coupons

As a new-found full time family of six, that is four children and two adults, I am often on the look out for great coupons. Today I received an email from my Escalate Network rep with coupons that I felt would be perfect for our back to school season and wanted to share with you. I hope that you will find these coupons useful, also if you have any tips on feeding and getting supplies for a large family, please do share! I am open to tips, suggestions and advice!

School Supply List Coupons
Breakfast Coupons
 
Packed Lunch & After-School Snack Coupons
 
Quick & Easy Dinner Coupons
 
Mom Survival Coupons

Weekly Giveaway Link Up – Come List Giveaways and Enter Them #Giveaway #contestalert

Giveaway Linky for Bloggers who have Contest to list & People Who Want to Enter

This is how you put details into the linky below. ONLY list giveaways and please make sure to check out other giveaways listed as good bloggy karma

Name of Blog – Giveaway Item – End Date

Then choose the direct URL to place within the URL area of Mister Linky below. DO NOT link to your home page!



Listen Kids, Life is Not Fair

One lesson that was very important to me to teach my children is that LIFE IS NOT FAIR.

I didn’t want my children to grow up with this false sense of reality, ever. From relationships to motherhood to life in general, my kids have seen it all and realized how true the saying “LIFE IS NOT FAIR” really is. I do not do this to be mean, but in all reality parenting can come off pretty “mean” at times, you know, I am the meanie of all meanies. I am hated, I am loved. I am disliked, I am sort of liked. That goes with the job of parenthood. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

From the smallest examples of going swimming; my oldest wears no floaties and only goggles, my middle child wears nothing but occasionally has a tube around him my youngest is armed with floaties on his arm and a tube. Okay, so I have another oldest child too, she is like my daughter, wears no gear except using a noodle on occasion.  Even when we go swimming not all of the kids are equipped with the same gear. Then we have the time spent with each child, as a newly found blended home of four instead of three kids, it’s not easy to give the older two girls the attention they may want during the day, because my son with autism takes up a lot of energy and my other son who is hyperactive takes up a lot of my time and energy. In our household, the days are full of us doing things as a family with the boys. That may not be fair, but we do include all of the children in that time, it’s just that the focus is most certainly all about the little boys.

Life is not Fair Children

This is why at the end of each week day, Lee and I spend 15 minutes alone with each of our daughters. Chey with her Dad and Ki with me. For only 15 minutes. That time is spent doing whatever the girls want to do, it gives them time to have the floor so to speak, but if you think about it when you compare their 15 minutes to the time spent with the boys during the day – it isn’t fair. I have yet to hear that the girls think this isn’t fair out of their mouths, why? Because they know life isn’t fair and they are thankful to have that undivided attention for any amount of time at end of day. You would be surprised what one can do in 15 minutes.

Then there are the times I go to the store and maybe one kid gets a new shirt or the other kid gets a new toy. I am not the parent who can afford nor wishes to buy a toy for all four children every time the little one wants a $4 Dollar General toy. Give me a break!

So life isn’t fair and the kids do not always get the same time spent, the same wants met, the same wishes and desires met, but at the end of the day? The needs of our family are always met and that, my friends is what matters most. I hope that by instilling that what we need is more important than being fair all of the time hits home with these kids and they grow up to practice similar methods with their own children and friends!

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

When my daughter was in third grade, I was the parent volunteer for art class. One day, the art teacher asked the students, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I was shocked by the answers. Every child wanted to be a media star. The boys wanted to be sports stars and the girls wanted to be pop stars, models and movie stars. No one wanted to be an educator, in the medical field, a business person, run a farm or be a chef.

One of the first things you learn in Psychology 101 is that happy people have meaningful relationships and meaningful work. You can live in a palace, but if you don’t have relationships and work that you feel are important, you’ll be miserable. And you can live in a modest abode, and have relationships and work that matter, and be happy.

daughter's cartoon (a bunny of course)

 

Helping our children find meaningful work is one of our biggest tasks as a parent. And it doesn’t start when they turn 18 and you ask them what they intend to do with their lives. It starts in preschool.

Children change their minds hundreds of times about what they want to be. Our job is to encourage them and teach them the process to achieve whatever they will eventually become.

When your child has an interest, try to find the time to take them to the library to read books about the subject. Whether it is trucks, bugs or horses really isn’t important, you are teaching them to research and learn about what interests them.

In a small way try to do activities to support their interests. If your child wants to be a biologist, go out and observe bugs. If they want to be a chemist, mix vinegar and baking soda and watch it erupt. If they want to be a chef, bake cookies. You are teaching them to experiment and act on their curiosity.

Without spending money on expensive camps, tutors and lessons, help your child apply themselves to regular practice. Everyday count and write down how many bugs are on the sidewalk, look up the periodic table on the internet or every week make a different cookie. You are teaching your child that to develop expertise in a field takes time, effort and practice.

And, of course, the next week your child will want to be something different. But that doesn’t matter, eventually they will find a field they are passionate about and committed to. And the skills you have taught them to research, experiment and practice will apply to developing their career.

I shared my views with my now adult daughter and she laughed, “You didn’t do that,” she said. And I smiled. “Do you remember all the books we checked out from the library about archeology and ancient Egypt? Do you remember the long drive into the city to participate in the museum program about cartooning when you wanted to be a cartoonist? Do you remember the inexpensive plastic chess set we bought when you wanted to be a chess player? How about the poetry readings at the library when you wanted to be a poet?”

She hadn’t even realized that we were preparing for her adulthood one library book at a time.

By supporting your child’s interests as they change and grow you will be telling them with your actions that what they want to be in life is important. By showing them the steps of research, experimentation and practice that allow anyone to pursue and become expert in a field, you are giving them the tools to engage in meaningful work. And by helping them to find and develop their meaningful work, you are giving them the gift of happiness.

About the Author -

Dianne Miller is a landscape painter who lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Her work includes the Little Bunny series written for her children when they were preschoolers. The simply written and illustrated books gently guide Little Bunny through the challenges of life. You can find tons of original, free printables and the Little Bunny series at: http://littlebunnyseries.wordpress.com/

 

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