Thursday, March 13, 2014

letters to my daughters | kayla

To be nobody but yourself
in a world which is doing its best night and day,
to make you everybody else 
means to fight the hardest battle 
which any human being can fight;
and never stop fighting.

-ee cummings

my first baby,

the other day was a sad day for me. it was wacky wednesday. i picked out some clothes for you to wear. they were mis-matched and colorful. but you turned them down. you didn't want to dress wacky. and when i asked you why you told me, "because not everyone will be wacky." i then proceeded to tell you to go get dressed in whatever you wanted. but i wish i would've told you this....

what makes this world beautiful is it's differences. it's imperfections. those are the things that also make us beautiful. yes, you. you my dear are beautiful. our quirks, our personalities, our flaws. it's what makes the world go round. beauty is in our honesty, in our laughter, in our openness and our mistakes. and beauty is in our hearts. imperfections and all. not in what we wear. or what length your hair is.

as your mother i have always known your heart. you may appear wild and crazy, carefree, sure of yourself and there have been times in your life when you were those things. but i've watched you change. i've watched you grow. you are still a little wild but only while at home where you are comfortable and sure of our love for you. you care what others think of you. and i wish that you didn't. i wish you could see yourself the way the world sees you. the way i see you. 


i hope that as you discover yourself that you don't let others thoughts of what is beautiful define yours. i hope you learn to embrace your quirks and flaws. your imperfections. and the imperfections of others. i hope your heart stays kind and it remains open. for you always look to see the good in others. your heart is like the sun and it shines when you enter a room. i see your heart in your carefully colored pictures for your teacher. i hear it in your voice when you talk to your sisters. and i feel it in your touch when you give me a hug.  you are as beautiful in as you are out. and i hope you know that.

don't let this sometimes cold world change your heart. for it is more beautiful than i could have ever dreamed.

love you always,

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March weather in VA

Sunday in Virginia.

Monday in Virginia.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Free Morning Routine Printables

Thank you for all of your kind and insightful comments and emails on Dear mom of an ADHD child. I had no idea it would get the response it did! I nodded in agreement with so many of your comments. None of us are alone in this journey and I think talking openly about ADHD is the first step. We need to raise awareness and not just for our children but for ourselves and others.

I had a lot people ask what we do for discipline. The truth is we are still trying to figure that out completely but we have made so much progress in the last year.

Our daughter Kayla was first diagnosed right before her 5th birthday. She is now 7. We had tried everything from time-out to yelling to ignoring her behavior to taking things away to behavior charts. Nothing seemed to work. I researched and researched and found out that a reward system was what works best for children with ADHD. When I read that I felt like I was out of options. We tried a reward system before and it didn't work. But what I later found out in behavioral therapy was that I was doing it wrong.

She needed charts and instant gratification. We needed to set the house rules and only focus on three that we really could not and would not put up with. Coming up with those three were easy. Inside voices. No hitting. And use your walking feet. I found out that when I said no running that to her that meant she could skip and jump as long as she wasn't running. So we changed our no running to use walking feet.

After establishing the house rules one of the first things I did was search for a free morning chart since mornings are the most challenging part of our day. But the one thing I could not find was one that said anything about taking medicine. And taking medicine is a huge struggle. So I made my own. and I wanted to share it with all of you! I also made ones for parents who don't need the medicine option and blank ones so you can fill it in with whatever works for your family. :) You can laminate it or put it in a sheet protector and have your child use a dry erase marker to check off each thing as they complete them. After Kayla completes her she gets a star on her reward chart for the day. The charts aren't fancy, but simple and to the point is what works best for us! Click on the image to save them to your computer or pin it for later!

Here's to hoping they work for you and you don't have to repeat, "brush your teeth!" a 101 times.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dear mom of an ADHD child

Dear mom of an ADHD child,

I know you are tired. You are worn out. Your house is always in chaos and never clean. There is yelling and fighting between siblings. There have been toys thrown and tears cried. Toothpaste has been spread all over the mirror and homework is a constant battle.

You have called your husband crying. Not knowing if you can take anymore. You've wondered if she would have been better off being an only child, thinking if only she were I could give her the attention she wants. You have yelled more than you like to admit. And you've said things you wish you could take back.

You've made hard choices. Change the families diet? Therapy? Medicine? Maybe you've made all of those choices at different times. Whatever choice you make you are never sure if it's the right one.

To the mom who doesn't give medicine. I know everyday is a struggle. Sometimes you can't wait for bedtime. You are exhausted and tired of yelling. You are doing the best you can when sometimes you don't feel like you are. You change your child's diet and take your child to therapy. You just wish something would "click." You deal with people telling you, "just give your child a pill." You are tired of explaining your choice.

To the mom who does mediciate. I know everyday is a struggle. Sometimes you can't wait for bedtime. Your child has good days but sometimes they have bad ones. You are exhausted and tired of yelling. You are doing the best you can when sometimes you don't feel like you are.You deal with people telling you that you are drugging your child. They question how you could do such a thing. They question the type of doctor you bring your child to being sure that doctors "these days just hand out pills." You've done your research. You tried everything else before this. You've been to multiple doctors. But what they don't understand is this. They didn't see the difference the moment your child took the right medicine for them. They didn't see your child being able to focus and listen to everything that is said to them. They didn't see the notes sent home from teachers who said they noticed the huge difference and that things are just clicking for them now. They didn't see how happy that made your heart and what a huge difference it has done for your child more than anything.

I've been both moms. The one who doesn't medicate and the one who does. Neither of them are easy choices. You both question if you're doing the right thing every single day. And whatever choice you make you make it every day. But only you know what's best for your child. And only you can decide. Not your family. Or friends. And that's something you need to let go. You need to stop letting it bother you. I know it's hard but please do it. Because we all know you are doing what you think is best for your child. And that's all that matters.

I wrote this letter for me. But I wrote it for you too. And I hope you re-read it when you need to.

A mom of an ADHD child


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