Sad Tantrums

My little boy had a bad day the other day.  And it made me so sad.  I am not sure why this day was any different to others, but I just have a feeling my boy needs something and I’m not sure what it is or how to help.

To give this some perspective Pudding has a history of really severe tantrums.  She started early (around 10 months) and goes through phases where her tantrums are so bad and so clearly out of her control that I find myself reading books like how to discipline your child, or how to handle your spirited child or how to talk so kids will listen etc etc etc.  She once had a tantrum in the middle of the night (literally woke up out of sleep into it) that left Chris and I wondering if possession was real and she might have a devil in her, that night it took us 2 hours to calm her down.  For a little while it got so bad I found myself sitting in the doctor’s office one morning crying because it really honestly felt like something was wrong with her.  The doc obviously took me seriously as she suggested we could send her for assessment (this was probably about a year ago).  We didn’t do anything about it, Chris and I discussed our strategy for handling her and the phase passed.  She goes through the phases (we had another one a few months back), but they do pass and I think possibly the severity of her reactions are levelling off a little.  Now I know plenty of people are going to tell me about tantrums and their kids, but let me assure you that when Pudding is in a phase there is nothing ‘normal two year old’ about it.  Her anger is so intense it is terrifying.  But I have learnt that this is a part of my little girl’s make up and we are getting better at helping her to cope.

Sausage by comparison is a ‘normal’ two year old.  He has his tantrum, they are in the normal range.  They look like what I have seen in other kids.  In fact by comparison to Pudding they are so mild that sometimes they are comical.  But the last couple of weeks he seems to really be struggling with his emotions.  I can really see that when he gets into that space he actually doesn’t know how to stop himself and I can see the fear in his eyes as his emotions run away with him.  Luckily he will always come for a hug and it really seems to work for him.  He just wants to be held while he figures it out, so a quiet time out with Mom or Dad in his room always helps align him again.

He was not in a good space when we left home to head for school, he seemed a bit sad and withdrawn, then at school he insisted that I carry him up the hill to the school and then cried and cried and cried when we got to the classroom.  He didn’t seem to be crying because I was leaving him, he didn’t seem to not want to be at school, just something was bothering him and he couldn’t express what it was.  Anyway he kissed me goodbye and off I went to work, but one of the other mom’s sent me a message later to let me know that after I left he became inconsolable for a while.  He did eventually settle down and had a good day until the late afternoon.  When I got to the school to fetch the kids Sausage was on the one teacher’s lap having a total meltdown.  Turns out he and his sister were fighting (sometimes I am so grateful that it is only each other they fight with and attack, other kids are almost never in the firing line as they are both very feisty) and he just could not be distracted from wanting to attack her.  He saw me and came up to me and just collapsed into my arms sobbing and sobbing all the emotion out.  He settled a bit, but was just not himself.  At dinner he threw his carrots off his plate and when told off lost it completely and eventually went for a time out with Daddy, which seemed to help a bit.  He just seemed so out of control.

A good night’s sleep and he started the next day with lots of hugs and cuddles with both Mom and Dad and seemed in a much better space.  I guess this is the ‘normal’ hey?  Is this what a ‘normal’ pre-schooler goes through as they figure out their emotions and how to handle them.  His tantrums seem so sad whereas Pudding’s seem so angry, I think I just find anger easier to understand and relate to.  His sadness breaks my heart.

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Grounding Myself

This might be a bit of a rambling post, thoughts swirling in my head the last few days.  Might have something to do with being on cortisone which kills my sleep and leaves me lying awake thinking instead of sleeping and then the lack of sleep means my head doesn’t seem to hold a fully coherent thought.

Two friends have been in my thoughts so much lately.  One is my oldest friend who for so long was my BFF.  I’m not sure why, but she has been in my thoughts so much lately.  For a while there I felt like we had drifted apart, but somehow the further away from infertility I get the more I see our common ground again.  Last night as I lay in bed listening to Pudding coughing and coughing and coughing (she doesn’t seem to actually be sick, just one of those irritating coughs from a post nasal drip) I wanted to pick up the phone and ask her for one of her home remedies for the cough.  In the end I got up and made what I knew Bird would recommend, some honey in warm water and it did seem to relieve Pudding’s cough and we all eventually managed some sleep.  And I miss my friend, I miss our long rambling chats, I miss her guidance on healthier lifestyle, and how to grow herbs.  I find it hard to believe that I don’t even grow herbs anymore, I want to go back to a bit more of the good life that Bird encouraged in me.

The other friend is one of those weird friendships where we knew each other in person for such a short time and yet got so close.  She lives in Australia and she is honestly one of the most beautiful people I have ever met.  Her smile lights the world even half a world away.  When Chris and I went travelling we spent time with her again and we were right back in the deep friendship again.  Then time passed and a while ago we found each other on Facebook again.  She lives so honestly, so in touch with herself and really seems to touch everyone deeply.  I wish we were closer in time and space and even friendship (if that makes any sense).  Anyway she too plays on my mind a lot the last little while, I feel like she is reaching across the ocean and encouraging me to step it up.

I think I had a bit of a collapse this week.  I have been stressed out, pushing myself and just drained and it has been getting worse.  All my own doing, too much pressure to do things the way I ideally want them and not enough allowing things to just be.  I’ve been focused on being healthier again (at least with my eating) and it became a bit obsessive.  And life with a house to run, a job to hold down, whilst trying to grow the business and handle the accounting, twins in school (which turns out to be much harder than having kids at home), a husband to make time for who is travelling on business so much … anyway all just too much I think.  So my body put a stop to it and laid me flat for two days.  I can honestly say I have never in my life had a headache like that, turns out it was a pretty hectic sinus infection.  And two days of just resting and ignoring the emails and reading has restored some of my energy.

And maybe that’s part of why these two friends are so on my mind, they both are so good at reminding me to be gentle with myself and at showing me a way to do it.  I think I need to stop thinking about it and actually go to the Garden Centre and buy some pots and some herbs and get my (and the kids) fingers stuck into the soil, touch the earthiness that reminds me to ground myself a little.  And I think I need to keep writing love letters to myself, to my people so that I stay more focused on what really matters REALLY.

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A letter to my infertile self

I am working on a new / old project.  I am back on a project I worked on briefly just before I fell pregnant.  And I don’t think I have even set foot through this clients’ doors since falling pregnant.  As I was driving to client site this morning I was reminiscing on how I was feeling about life when I was last travelling this journey.  Actually I was thinking about a phone conversation I had with one of my besties whilst driving to this client what must be more than three and a half years ago.

And the realisation dawned on me how different my life is now.  How different my conversations with my besties are and how my world has changed.

I considered putting a post on the Fertilicare Forum telling those still in the trenches that there really is light at the end of the tunnel and advising them to look after themselves and go gently with themselves.  But I thought back to that sad, bitter person I was who was struggling to hold onto my hope with all my strength and not become despondent and I realised that for many on the forum my words would not be a healing balm, but possibly salt in the wound.  I could hear myself thinking to a post like that back then “yes yes you have YOUR baby, your life is fab, whoopy twang for you”.

And so I just wish I could send a letter to my infertile self.  I wished more than anything else whilst going through that struggle to just know what the outcome would be.  If I could have just KNOWN that there was going to be success at the end, I would have handled it all very differently.  But the not knowing was so hard.

Dear Juanita (aged 34 and just deciding to tackle the infertility diagnosis and see if we can have a baby)

I am you in five years time and I just want to write a big HUG to you.  I know you can’t write hugs, but as we are separated by time I can’t give you a hug, so this is all I have, if only I could get it to you somehow.  I know that actually the thing you need more than anything is gentleness from yourself.  But the place you find yourself hasn’t left you any strength to give yourself love.  I wish I could ease your pain by showing you just one picture of what this future looks like.

The road ahead of you is going to be the toughest ever.  Nothing you have ever been through will compare to the journey you are embarking on.  But I have the most amazing news for you.

You and Chris are going to learn to love each other more deeply and with more honesty and openness than it seems possible can exist between two people.  You are going to stand together and conquer.

Yes you are going to get to carry and hold in your arms your amazing husbands biological child.  And not just one child, but two.  You are going to see your husband’s eyes crinkle with joy as he touches your belly and feels the life move in there.  You are going to get to see your husband’s perfect nose on your daughter and see his sense of humour in your son’s laughter.  You are going to watch two little people rush with joy into their father’s arms shouting “Daddy!”  You ARE going to have the happy ending.

I am now on the verge of turning 40 and doing plenty of party planning and even my thoughts around this reflect how much has changed from where you stand.  Now I think of how I can incorporate the beautiful, smart, loving kids into my celebration.  When I stood where you stand now I planned a gothic small dinner party in a wine cellar full of cobwebs and maybe that most of all is reflective of your state of mind.  Now I know it will have to be a party where I can see my beautiful daughter dance and twirl with her Daddy and watch my amazing son charm the prettiest girl in the room.

I wish I could send you deep breaths and peace and love and the reassurance that for you the happy place is coming.  Hold on and gather strength because the parenting journey isn’t that easy either, but it is so full of love and joy that all else fades.

Here is that picture I wish I could give you.

This is the perfection that lies ahead

This is the perfection that lies ahead

Love

Juanita

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Our first ever selfie

I read a blog the other day (sorry for the lack of reference I never made note) where the woman tries to do a selfie with her kids every week. It made me realise that while we have loads of pics of the kids I am seldom in the pics with them.

So here is my first selfie with my gorgeous Sausage and Pudding.

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A girl emerging

I am about as far from a girlie girl as you can imagine and so I have plenty of people offering to teach my daughter how to apply makeup and other things I am happy for her to never know. But despite her useless example of societies ‘norm’ for girls my lovely Pudding is blossoming into a real little girlie girl.

She loves music and dancing and so she started ballet lessons a couple of months back. We even got her the appropriate leotard and tutu.

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And she just loves spinning around and around as she dances.

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She totally refuses to be fussed with and so even brushing her hair is a challenge left to only twice a week (thank heavens it’s so straight so I don’t have to fight with her more often) but on ballet day the teachers at school are allowed to not only brush her hair but also tie it up in a ‘ballet pony’.

But her best thing in the whole world is painting and anything arty. Any time you ask her what she wants to do the answer is always paint.

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Yes she is still more nudist than anything else.

She is very strong willed and not to be argued with and is currently refusing to be photographed so unfortunately don’t have any pics of her fantastic outfit selections which today included tracksuit pants (because a girl must be warm and comfortable) socks and gumboots (to stay dry and make the most noise when walking) a long sleeve top with a gorgeous white summer dress with gold sequins on it over it (because it swirls nicely when she practices her ballet) and a lovely fleecy top which also swirls when she spins and is warm. She looked so weird nd unique and gorgeous with her wild mane of blonde and she bounds around.

Her little smile and the look in her eye when she places her hands on each side of my face and whispers ‘Mama I love you’ melts my heart every time.

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Mischief in the cutest disguise

Our Sausage is a busy mischievous little guy and we wouldn’t have it any other way, but boy is he
exhausting.

He came home from school the other day looking like this:

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He had been drawing with a koki at school but I have no idea how he drew so well under his clothes.  It took almost a week to get him clean. He had even drawn in between his toes.

Busy Sausage decided to draw on the walls on Saturday something they have never done and know better. Drawing is for paper, he even told me when I found his creativity all the way down the staircase. So I got him to try clean it. He was eventually telling me how tired he was but no much of the crayon had come off. So if anyone has any good tricks of removing crayon without removing the paint please let me know.

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Last night after bath time Sausage headed off to the toilet and when he came back to his bedroom brought the whole roll with him laid out in a neat little ‘road’ for them to walk on?

This little guy lights up my luge with his cheeky smile and quick kisses. Look at him dressed in Daddy’s clothes!

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Micro Blogging

So I am still probably keen to get back to blogging, but it’s a habit broken now and may take some time to get back into the swing of it.

I have been reading a few of the bloggers participating in the Writers Bootcamp and I keep thinking maybe I should use that to kick start me back into writing, but right now finding the time to blog that much that thoughtfully, just seems unlikely?

Then as so often happens I read something over at Stirrup Queens which struck me as perhaps a better way to get back to blogging.  She mentions a blogger she followed who did Micro Blogging, basically just a few lines a few times a day – ala Twitter style.  I am also struggling to get back into Twitter, but maybe I can do that right here on my blog.

So bare with me while I try something a little different around here.  I do think this format might be exactly what I need to capture and store all those terribly precious things my kids are getting up to these days, which don’t necessarily warrant a full blog post

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