Mother-Daughter Trip to Toronto

My summer, so far, has been really wonderful. I work a lot and I don’t get to spend as much time with my daughter as I would like to. So we carved out special time to go on a few vacations. One being our very first time going on a trip ALONE, just the two of us.

For our Mother-Daughter trip we decided to go to Toronto. Only a few (4) hours away from home, but we had been talking about this trip for close to 2 years. All of the fun attractions we would get to go to, the amazing sights we would see, and of course all of the shopping that we would do. And trust me…we did them ALL! Going into it I was really nervous about how my daughter would react to the noise and total chaos that is Toronto (remember her issues with change in setting etc). Honestly though, I was totally surprised by her grown up attitude and the fact that she literally had ZERO break downs the entire trip. Sadly, I cannot say the same for myself lol

13508863_10153512387971230_4586725344150228137_n
Our first subway ride #UnionStation

We had a lot of firsts (for both of us) on this trip. First time travelling alone, first time going to the CN Tower!! (WHAT?), first time riding the subway, first time at the aquarium. It was all amazing and we got to do all of these firsts together!

Our first day was The CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium. This was honestly the day that I worried about Brook’s reactions the most because  we were taking the subway, there would be a ton of walking and it would be super busy, and I just didn’t know what to expect. Brook’s reaction was not the one to worry about though because she did amazing, staying calm and keeping it together. I, on the other hand, did not keep it together. Before we left the hotel I

13522016_10153512388111230_7285001961550675928_n
CN Tower fun

had a panic attack. We almost didn’t go out. But after talking to my cousin (he lives in Toronto and gave me some direction) I got my bearings and we headed out. It was all about me not being able to take full control of our surroundings but my daughter and I empowered ourselves that day and it felt incredible.

We ended up having the MOST amazing day that day. It was actually my favourite day of the entire trip. Brook’s reaction to seeing the CN Tower was priceless. And the endless fish tanks at the aquarium, with a million different things to learn about, had us busy for a few hours.

We spent the next day at The Ontario Science Centre. It took us 5 hours and about 12,000 steps to get through it but we honestly loved every second of it. They had a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not exhibit that was pretty impressive and my daughter is all about science and experiments so it was the perfect place to spend the day.

13511977_10153515181811230_3494554655500993186_n
AMERICAN GIRL #lookatthatface

The third day was spent shopping. We found out before leaving for Toronto that it has one of the only American Girl Doll stores in Canada. Well my daughter is ALL about AG. Obsessed! So this was an obvious stop on our trip and I set money aside just for this moment. The excitement that radiated from her all the way there and then the smile that was PLASTERED on her face from the moment we saw that iconic red sign until she fell asleep that night. Lets just say these moments will be something we both hold onto for years to come.

Our entire trip I reminded myself (and my daughter) that we were here to have fun. There was no rushing aloud. We decided that if we didn’t make it to a certain place one day, we would just go the next day. We took our time getting to and from each place, exploring everything along the way and just taking in the scenery! Taking time to ‘smell the roses’ if you will.

Our trip together was part of building our Mother-Daughter bond.  It was quite amazing learning things about my daughter that I didn’t know before. Seeing how much of a young lady she is becoming before my eyes. Seeing how strong she really is. Seeing how she struggles but is learning to manage her emotions and reactions that come with the territory. I am happy to report that the trip was eye-opening and definitely brought us closer together.

As for the rest of the trip I will let the pictures speak for themselves 🙂

Life With My Daughter-Changing Plans and ADHD

You have heard me talk about my daughter’s ADHD and the yet to be diagnosed, “learning disorder” that affects her ability to cope with changes, deal with her emotions and regulate the way she handles responses to external stimuli.  Going to new places, trying new things, doing regular family stuff that involves being out in public or just around people in general (even our own family) and any kind of quick change of plans or change in routine…we do all of those things differently than most. We introduce things slowly. Brook has to be mentally prepared for pretty much anything that we do. We plan things well in advance in order to give her the best shot of being able to enjoy herself.

For instance at the beginning of each school year we go in the week before school starts so that she can be prepared and will know where her new desk is, where her new locker is, what the new teacher’s routine is. When having a family party we have to start talking about it weeks in advance, explaining that there will be lots of people in our home, it will be crowded, noisey, she has to use her manners and if she gets over whelmed to tell us and take a break in her bedroom with the door shut. The extra planning doesn’t always help. When we had her First Communion last year she was excited to have all of these people over and have a party, until the last second before we left for the church, when she started crying and yelling and asking us to cancel the party…she wasn’t going to First Communion at all! But for the most part planning helps.

I’ll give you two examples of what happens when we dont plan, or when we do plan but the plans change.

Example 1) Going to her friend’s birthday party at a family fun center. We talked to the mom and she told us exactly what we would be doing in the order that we would be doing them in (I love parents that are totally open to helping make experiences for Brook so much more enjoyable), I explained to my daughter what each activity was and how she would play it. We get there, everything is fun, she is having a great time but then the one activity that we were supposed to do (laser tag) was not working so we had to do bumper cars instead. She had a melt down. She was prepared for laser tag and not bumper cars. She could not wrap her head around the change until I explained to her exactly what she would do, from walking to the bumper car, getting in, and driving it around. I had to have her watch the other kids so that she could see how the cars were used. She eventually went on and had a great time (YAY) but the before was the struggle.

Example 2) Right after we learned that my daughter has this disability (whatever it is) but before we had learned anything about it, we planned a trip to Disney World. Every kid’s dream right? We made it a surprise for her…you can only imagine how that turned out! She was miserable for the first 2 days as she acclimatized herself to the new surroundings. She cried, whined, wants to go home, did not want to leave the hotel room…for 3 days! It was awful. I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life. She eventually came around, got used to the crowds and the different setting and had a great time, but those first 3 days were brutal.

This is just a glimpse into our life. Everyone’s experiences are different. Everyone has their own opinions. These are mine.

3rd Generation Mommy

Life With My Daughter-Giving Up Is Hard To Do

Today I watched my daughter give up on something she is Completely in love with. One of the things that she has worked so hard for (outside of school). The one thing she was so excited to do every week. It was the one thing that, after she had done it for a while, you could see the change in her (for the better). Today I watched as my daughter’s disability took over.

My daughter has ADHD as you know. She also has another, yet to be diagnosed, ‘learning disorder’ that affects her ability to cope with changes, deal with her emotions and regulate the way she handles some of her responses to external stimuli (among many other things). Going to new places, trying new things, doing regular family stuff that involves being out in public or just around people in general (even our own family) and any kind of quick change of plans or change in routine…these things are excruciatingly difficult for her.

Over the years we have tried many different extracurricular activities; soccer, dance, Girl Guides etc.  These were all her choices of what new activity to try next. And while the idea of doing these things really appealed to her, the social aspect of these activities threw her for a loop and she hated them ALL. We are not a quitting family, so yes she had to finish out the season or the session of whatever she had chosen to try but after each session was finished she was not required to go back unless she wanted to. The only one that had stuck, for a while at least, was Girl Guides and that was because I became one of the leaders in the hopes that she would be able to feel more comfortable with me there to support her if she needed it.

20150724_161952.jpg
Feeding Ginger

Then came horseback riding and it was love at first trot.  She was scared at first, who wouldn’t be? But then she flourished. Horseback riding constantly brings her out of her comfort zone, pushes her to do things she didn’t think she could do. It makes her work on things that she normally struggles with like independence or trying those new things. It built up her confidence, helped her with leadership skills and to learn responsibility.

20160130_132517.jpg
Playing with Houdini

 

Within a few weeks she was blossoming into such a different girl. She was coming out of her shell, she was happier, less likely to ‘freak out’ over the little things. She LOVED horseback riding and her Ponies, Ginger and Houdini. If she wasn’t riding at the farm or doing her chores at the farm, she was talking about riding, making her dolls ride their ponies, building “jumps” at home and pretending to ride a horse while galloping at full speed and jumping over them herself. Obsessed is the word I would use, but that was ok with me. I LOVED that she loved something this much. I loved that when we left the farm she would ask how many days it would be before she would be able to go back and ride again. Nothing peeked her interest quite like horseback riding did.

20151129_121026.jpg
Yes she is backwards on her horse. Around The World builds confidence.

And then one day, just a few weeks ago, she froze atop her horse. Anxiety is what I am guessing it was and it stuck. She froze like she was terrified. She started to cry and she couldn’t move even with her trainer right beside her talking to her. None of us know why. We’ve asked B and she doesn’t know, she just all of a sudden is scared and cannot handle it. We tried going back to the basics, no riding just brushing her ponies, walking her ponies, playing with her ponies and bonding with her ponies. She loved it. She wanted to ride. She was ready she said. So we got her back up on a pony and she froze again. Didn’t even get a single step in before tears started rolling down her cheeks and she had that same panic attack all over again.

 

It was awful to watch her react that way to something that she loves doing. All the way home she cried and said ‘I hate myself’, ‘I hate my body and brain for not letting me ride’, ‘I want to ride but I am so scared now and I don’t know why’. It

20160220_133019.jpg
Riding Houdini with no lead rope.

was absolutely heartbreaking. It was heartbreaking because nothing happened that should have made her scared. It was heartbreaking because a ‘normal’ kid wouldn’t have these difficulties. A ‘normal’ kid would be able to work through their fears. It was heartbreaking to see B not being able to work through those fears. It was heartbreaking to watch her give up on something that she loves so much even when she knows she wants to do it.

 

Today I watched as my daughter cried while she brushed her pony, knowing that we wouldn’t be back (at least for a while) until we could figure out why this was happening. Today I watched as my daughter gave up on one of her dreams. Today I watched as my daughter’s disability took over and the only thing I could think of was; is this what the rest of her life, our lives, will be like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good-Bye Confidence It Was Nice Knowing You

FYI: This post has very personal things in it…so if you don’t want to know about my sex life…stop reading here lol

Up until now, I was a badass bitch and I knew it. I had the attitude that said I love myself and if you don’t like the way I look then I don’t GAF! But then…I got naked in front of a man and my confidence was nowhere to be found.

I have always thought of myself as a pretty confident woman. I was never confident growing up but the older I got, the more my confidence grew. Yes there are parts of my body that I would like to change but in general I am pretty OK with it. In my situation, with the fact that it is so hard for me to lose weight, I kind of have to be ok with where ever I am in my journey. But apparently when I am NAKED in front of someone else it changes my self-image completely!

For me, I have not been with a man in 5 years. It started as getting over a breakup, then I was too busy with my kid, then I just got scared because by that time it had been a few years and now here we are. I felt ready. I don’t have a boyfriend or anything but I NEEDED to sleep with someone lol how desperate does that sound but 5 YEARS?! Come on! It was overdue haha. So I decided to sleep with a man that I trusted. A good friend if you will.

This really has nothing to do with the person I was with. He is nothing but a sweetheart and would never say anything bad about my body. It has to do with the way I viewed MYSELF.

The sex was great. But there was this little voice in the back of my head saying awful things to me…about me! “Not good enough” “Fat” “Huge” “disgusting”. The self-doubt and total self-consciousness filled my head. I felt those awful things afterwards. Not because of having sex, but because I felt like my body wasn’t good enough. Like my looks and my weight were all that mattered in the equation and they felt not good enough to me.

I am fine now. That self-conscious feeling went away and I am back to my Fabulous self again, but what the hell? Why does that happen? How does that little voice in the back of our heads sneak in there when we least expect it to? When we are feeling great about ourselves, 100% confident and fabulous. I want to tell that sneaky little voice to shut the F*CK up.

What I have learned from this experience; I will have sex AGAIN because let’s be honest, I am never waiting 5 years to have sex ever again lol. The other thing is…I need to love myself MORE. I found out the hard way that I didn’t appreciate my body as much as I thought that I did. That is going to change.

As I have written before, I AM ENOUGH. I am MORE than enough. I am amazing and wonderful and beautiful and sexy and the list goes on. I know that about myself. I just need to reconfirm my own self-image. To remind myself that I am an amazing woman with, or without, clothes on. 🙂

20151113_143446.png
A picture that I feel pretty in ❤

 

 

 

Life With My Daughter-ADHD at it’s finest

ADHD Primarily Inattentive formerly known as ADD. With the possibility of Non-Verbal Learning Disorder.

This is the diagnosis we waited for. What we searched for. What we knew in our heart of hearts that would affect my daughter, and us, for the rest of our lives.

This is the reason for our struggle for the past 4 years of school, before the official diagnosis. The one we bypassed the school system for. The one we paid for out of pocket instead of waiting another 2 years just to find out what we already knew.

We knew. We were decently prepared. We read up on it, learned about it, set changes in motion at school and home for it. We thought we were ready. But if we were so ready, and so prepared, why does it feel like everything is falling apart now?

1 full year after her diagnosis of ADD. 2 years after having special IEPs (Individual Education Plan) in place to try to help her without medicating. 8 months after starting on medications that seem to be working to help her focus. This is where we are.

The learning is going well. She can focus. You can see it in the excitement that she has when she gets her grades back on a test or project. Grades that she prayed for and cried about when she just couldn’t get them no matter how hard she tried. The grades that never came in her first 4 years of school (Jk through the end of grade 2). 1 year ago, she would give up immediately because she KNEW there was no point in trying. She literally couldn’t focus enough to begin trying.

She gets the grades now. The A+’s, the B’s, even the C’s. We celebrate anything that isn’t an incomplete. Those are the grades we were looking for, for so long. Now she gets them. Those grades are showing that she can focus that beautiful brain of hers and is actually trying to do her work. That she can actually BEGIN to try. She is so happy when she brings home those tests, projects, and report cards. So proud of herself, just as I am of her.

The grades and school are great. The issues we are having now are with an emotional and behavioural demon that we have no clue how to deal with. I know that kids go through stages and ‘phases’ in their lives where they behave differently. I know that. But this…this is nothing like that.

She had bouts of it when she was younger too. The “I hate you” or “your ruining my life” statements at 3 years old. We thought it was cute then. It’s not cute anymore. Those statements now come daily. Screeching and screaming and other awful things being said “I wish I were never born”, “no one loves me”,” I hate you”, “you are the worst mother in the world”.  Throwing things, punching, kicking, those come when you are putting her on ‘time out’ in the corner or in her room for 5 minutes.

It is like when she is being defiant, she is totally irrational. She has no control over what she is doing or saying. She doesn’t start off at a debating tone of voice. You know that a bit louder but still controlled voice you use when you disagree with someone? No. It automatically starts at an ear piercing pitch that is unimaginable unless you have heard it before. The tears automatically start flowing. She looks terrified and terrifying if I am honest with myself.

She was never the kid who got everything she asked for or got to do whatever she wanted. She was never the kid who was allowed to talk back to her parents or be rude or disrespectful. She was and is still the kid who is so kind hearted. So wonderfully playful. So beautiful inside and out. So genuinely concerned for everyone else’s wellbeing. That’s why this is so difficult for us.

They say that when there is a diagnosis of ADHD: Inattentive there is almost always another disorder lurking. Hence the possible Non Verbal Learning Disorder that they say she may or may not have. It could wait to show its ugly head for a while, but it’s there. And in a way I’ve always known that it was there. It has just recently become a big issue. A huge enough issue that it is affecting our entire household. No one really knowing what to do. Everyone on edge.

There is no way to know what the secondary disorder is, or if it really is anything at all, until we re-test her. Re-testing will not be done until after she has fully reached puberty. That’s another 3 years at least.

For me, this is both terrifying and hopeful. Terrifying because I have to wait so long with this crazy behaviour that IS taking over my house. Hopeful because maybe there is a reason for this crazy behaviour that has taken over my house. Hopeful also because then there will be a way to help her. A set plan that we can work with. For now, we try anything and everything we can think of, that we read about, that are suggested to us. For now, we wait.

 

 

 

 

MY New Year

I went to see my Endocrinologist (my doctor for my Type 1 diabetes) and my dietician last week. Neither of them were happy. Either not happy with me, or not happy with the way things have been going lately. There will be a lot of changes this coming year. Some changes are things that I should have been doing already but maybe had slacked off on for a while *cough* years *cough*. Some things are new, things that I knew in my heart of hearts but needed that official ‘doctor’s advice’ before really settling into my brain. I don’t make new years resolutions. These are changes that need to be made regardless of the time of year. It just so happened that I saw my doctors last week. It’s taken me this long (hence the dead blog space) to really wrap my head around everything. I don’t think I have it completely wrapped…but I am going to get there lol

As per my doctor, my blood sugar (A1C for those of you who actually speak diabetes) was elevated. I have never been one to have a good A1C. In my entire 21 years of being a type 1 diabetic I have only ever had 1 good A1C. But that is going to change (or so says my doctor). I have been instructed to test my blood sugars MORE (I usually fail miserably at this), get my blood work done every month and see a special diabetic nurse every 4-6 weeks. The thing that will be toughest for me will be the testing my blood sugar. I need to test 6+ times a day. Currently, I am lucky if I get in 2 tests a day and this is where I fail at being a diabetic lol. I am going to need to test my blood sugar upon waking up, 30 minutes before and 2 hours after every meal/snack, before bed, in the middle of the night, and any other time I am fasting (lol never) or just feel like it.  I am having a panic attack just writing this, but I NEED to do this. I NEED to wrap my head around it NOW because if I don’t, there is a good chance I will die a lot SOONER than later. There are so many health complications that come along with high blood sugars. They are scarey; I know, I have seen them first hand in other people. Also, once my blood sugars are more under control I will feel so much better and I honestly cannot wait for that. I have felt like shit for years but I have felt even worse in the past few months. This will help me immensely on my journey to a healthy me.

As for the meeting with my dietician and my journey to a FIT me…For a year I have followed the advice of my doctor and have been sticking to a 1200-1300 calorie meal plan in an attempt to lose weight. During this time I have lost an insignificant amount of weight and have stopped loosing altogether over the past 6 months. I couldn’t figure out why? I have been working out and eating as my doctor advised for a year. An entire year and I have lost a total of about 5 pounds compared to my weight at the same time last year. Luckily I went to see my dietician a few days later and she gave me some great news….I have not been eating enough. Maybe that’s not the great news. The great news would be the fact that I get to eat more food! WOOHOO She has set me up with a new meal plan of 1400 calories (more on workout days). The reason, she said, that I have not seen the weight loss that I wanted is 1) because as a type 1 diabetic it is very difficult to lose weight in general and 2) because my metabolism doesn’t have enough calories to work correctly.

I know not to expect a weight loss like most ‘normal’ people experience but I am HOPING *PRAYING* that I will see SOMETHING! Something that is going to at least push me a little closer to my smaller goals that I have set and eventually (in a few years) towards my larger goals.

I am not giving up. This is me jumping over a crack in the sidewalk of my journey. Wish me luck! I am definitely going to need it J

Its Sleep Oclock

Tired, tired, always tired.

I’m not really sure what is wrong with me the last few weeks. I am so overly tired. Tired to the point that when I get home from work, at 6pm, I eat dinner and go to bed. My daughter gets herself ready and basicly puts herself to bed so that all I have to do it tuck her in and say goodnight before heading to dream land myself.

I have ZERO energy to do. To do laundry. To do lunch prep (sometimes I do still manage this). To do fun things with my daughter. To do any excersize routine of any shape or form. What the hell is wrong with me?

I got blood work done to see if some levels were low but it came back and everything was fine. My diet hasnt changed. I have a new job but honestly there isnt too much stress. But I am waking up MULTIPLE times per night. I am waking up MID thought…my brain is not shutting off when I go to sleep, it just keeps going!

Insomnia. Is that what they would call this? Even though I can fall asleep, and fall back to sleep everytime I wake up in the night. Is that still insomnia or is it something else?

I hope to God I figure it out soon or I feel like I will never be able to work out again.