Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Are You Tired of Hearing About Bedtime Wo's From Me?

Yeah, I'm tired of talking about it. So I'm going to just do a QUICK update: Cam cried last night, didn't want to go to bed, but didn't scream.
Thankfully this isn't the ONLY thing going on in our lives right now. There are HAPPY things too.
Jake is walking. Still not all by himself full time, but he's doing it a LOT and walking LONG distances. It's exciting to see him grow and hit all these milestones. He walks with his hands above his head (for balance?) and will slowly take a few steps. Sometimes he gets excited, and that's when he RUNS. He's been crashing quite a bit, but that's all part of the learning process. Next trick is to get him to LIKE wearing shoes so he's not bare-footed all the time. (And do you know how hard it is to get a picture of an unwilling child?? Don't laugh TOO hard at the whining face...LOL)
Cameron is a HUGE help during the day. Yesterday he helped me clean the whole living room and even vacuumed. He still needed a lot of help, but he vacuumed WILLINGLY, that's the amazing part.
The 4th of July is just around the corner and last night we went to a local flag display. We didn't know there was going to be entertainment, but we enjoyed it anyway. There was a band and a guy speaking about the constitution. It was fun and informative all at the same time. Jake wanted me to walk close to the flags so he could grab one, but I didn't. He was pretty bummed...and whined to me his disappointment.
The weather has finally warmed up. After endless rain, we've had nearly endless sun for a while. It's nice, but I think I like the rain...but then again, rain is my FAVORITE weather...
We've got lots of family coming into town for the 4th of July, and one of Steve's uncles is here from England. Steve hasn't seen him since he was little, and I've never met him. We're pretty excited for all the family events!
(This is my nephew and my mom with Jake. My sister and brother-in-law are in town for their summer break!)
Life really is good....we just have a few bumps here and there. We learn and then move on, dirty faces and all.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Newest Bedtime Update

For the last 2 nights Cam has had a 5 mg ritalin before bed. I don't know for sure whether it's the ritalin or if it's because we've done different things, but the screaming fits aren't as bad. They're still there, but nowhere NEAR as frustrating has they had been.
Last night it was nice because he was SO exhausted from camping with daddy that he just passed out. Unfortunately it was at the top of the stairs, but he was NOT screaming for us. *YAY*
Tonight I decided to let him sleep in the living room until one of us went to bed. Steve went to sleep a few hours ago (he has early Monday mornings...) and Cam didn't complain, much.
I don't know if it's the meds or the different circumstances, but something is working. Don't know for sure if it's something I WANT, but maybe I'll just have to live with it for a while.

Friday, June 26, 2009

As of Now...

...it's just after midnight, and he's been asleep for about an hour.
BUT, at bedtime he screamed and threw a tantrum. I let him carry on for a while and then I went upstairs to put the baby to bed, and I heard Cameron scuffling around to get in bed before I got upstairs.
He knew the consequence, and lost his flashlight. (I had to wrestle him to get it out of his fingers.)
Then his fit REALLY took off.
Steve went upstairs and removed the CD player from his room.
He cried and cried for a while. Even reminding us that he hates us....
I WISH I knew what would fix his sleeping problems!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Plan...NEW Hope

After losing my mind last night, and needing to be talked down by a friend (Thanks, Jenn!) I've decided that just doing the bedtime snack is not enough. He needs more.
It seems like when he cries out at night, it's because he wants ME to go to bed (and his bedtime is 8:00, and I don't usually go to bed until after midnight...so there's NO way I'm letting him stay awake until midnight. He's such a bear after a long night. And there's no way I'm giving up MY nights because Cam says so....) He also seems to cry because he's afraid, but we aren't sure of WHAT! He says "monsters," but he KNOWS monsters aren't real.
Tonight's ALL new and improved plan:
We have a check list. On the list is things like: Go potty, read stories, hugs and kisses, prayers...as he does each item, we'll check it off.
Once he's in his room we got him a few "fun" things. I took him to the store today and let him pick out his OWN flashlight. He picked a little red "Cars" one. We then got a small boom box to play Primary CDs on.
When we got home, I told him that his flashlight has a "special" spot for safe-keeping, under his pillow. I also set up the CD player with his choice of Primary music next to his pillow.
We've discussed what will happen to either or both of these new things if he screams and yells, or if he sits at the top of the stairs and falls asleep there.
I'm hopeful. This sounds like it MAY work.
Update to come!

Nighttime Update

Last night was a nightmare. Cam STILL screamed and threw a tantrum until 11:30. I had given him LOTS of snacks (he ate a bag of popcorn and some chips before he went to bed) but nothing seemed to work. I tried talking with him, reasoning with him, I'd told him that I would come to his room and give him extra kisses in 15 minutes, I tried spending some extra time with the boy (I rubbed lotion on his feet so he had physical contact) but NOTHING worked to calm him down.
While I was rubbing his feet, I told him that once I was done I was leaving him and I hoped he'd sleep. (I'd put Jake in his crib. Jacob found it funny that mommy was sitting in his bedroom on the floor talking quietly to Cameron. He kept poking his face between the slats and grinning at me.) When I told him that I was leaving, the melt-down happened all over again. He was DETERMINED to sleep on the top step of the stairs.
I left him to yell and scream, also keeping Jake awake, and just broke down myself.
We've tried reasoning with him. We've tried just ignoring his screams and yells, that only makes him yell louder. We've tried taking away fun things. We've tried lectures. We've tried snacks. I'm getting to the end of my quickly fraying rope.
Who knew being a mom would be SO hard?
My main fear right now is that if being Cameron's mom is THIS hard right now, how am I going to survive his teen years?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Plan

After talking with the boys' doctor, we have decided that maybe Cam is not sleeping well because he's grumpy and is POSSIBLY having a sugar low. I've noticed during the daytime that he's pale and grumpy if he doesn't eat constantly. The doctor told me that kids can't regulate their sugars the same way adults can. He recommends giving Cameron a bedtime snack for 3-5 days to see if that helps.
He also thinks that our nightmare of a bedtime may be helped if Cam takes a 5 mg ritalin before bedtime. He thinks that his brain may need the medication to help shut his brain down so that he CAN sleep. He recommends trying the ritalin for 3-5 days to see if IT helps.
These two solutions aren't to be tried at the same time because we wouldn't be able to tell which one works. He isn't even SURE that these suggestions will help, but I'm at my wits end and I'm willing to try anything.
This week we're going to try the bedtime snack. I even let Cameron pick out what he wanted.
I've had some other friends recommend detachable night lights or telling Cam that I will come in to check on him in so-many minutes.
Last night was NOT a fun experience, yet again, so tonight I'm anticipating more screaming and frustrations, but hopefully we'll be on a good track!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nights are NOT Fun for Me

For a while now, probably 2 months, Cameron has been VERY defiant and very opposed to going to bed. He's determined that he not be alone upstairs, or if he is, then he MUST have a light on. I don't know what his problem is, I thought maybe he was afraid, but he swears he's not. I do have a theory though....I think it's either his medication or a new anxiety showing it's head.
Cameron has pretty much been an EXCELLENT sleeper. Don't get me wrong, he hasn't been sleeping through the night since he was a day old, or anything like that, he's had his moments, but for the most part, we haven't had the night-time challenges a lot of people do.
Last night Steve and I fought with Cameron for FOUR hours! FOUR HOURS! We punished him, grounded him, lectured him, and finally talked and talked and talked with him, but we're STILL at a loss. My main problem with his sleeping issues has to do with the fact that he disturbs his brother. I would have NO problem if Cameron had his OWN bedroom, and I could just let him scream and cry all he wants, but we have a small-ish apartment and it's NOT an option to just let him go. I've tossed around the idea of putting Jacob back in our bedroom until things settle down, but I'm not sure that I can do that.
Thankfully, Cameron and Jacob have a check-up scheduled for tomorrow morning. I will most DEFINITELY be discussing the recent sleeping problems. Cam's also been SUPER grumpy lately, and I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that he's not sleeping well, but I think there might be more to it.
Right now there's a slight lull in the screaming. Jake is downstairs with me while we wait for Cameron to fall asleep, despite his protests. I hope tonight isn't as crazy as last night. I don't know if my sanity could survive it.

Friday, June 19, 2009


This is the noise I heard coming from my kitchen this morning.
When I went to investigate, I found my child, happily eating frosting from the can. I asked him what he was doing and he held his hand out, to share.
His older brother sneaks into the canned frosting too, and then he puts them back...and since I don't check on it daily, I didn't know I had an OPEN can where Jake likes to play (the pan/food cupboard.)
An hour later, he's on a sugar-high and I THINK he's trying to look for more frosting.
Ah, the joys of motherhood!

Family Summer Tradition

We have gone to the drive-in theater three times so far this year, and I have to say, it's one of my absolute FAVORITE things to do with my family. We pack up the car with goodies, blankets and have a blast! (Of course, Jake is still a little too young to enjoy the movie, but he likes sitting in the front seat of the van with mom...usually jumping on my lap.)
I think after 3 trips we've figured out all the things we need to go. The first time we went I learned that we need to pack a blanket for EVERYONE and not just the kids. (I froze my little tushie off....)
The second time we learned that the car is NOT ideal to take the kids in. Cam could not find a comfortable position and whined that he needed a pillow.
This time, we had it all JUST right. We took the van (Cam camped out in the back seat during the second movie...had a sleeping bag, pillow and his Spongebob blanket. Jake fell asleep when we had about a half hour left of the first movie, and he slept REALLY well in his car seat. I had a comfy seat that completely reclined...I nearly fell asleep during the second movie, and I didn't feel bad about it either....
Cameron has begun asking if we are going to go to the movies...meaning the drive-in, and I am happy to tell him that sometimes we will....
Fun family traditions in the making! :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Losing Sleep

For at least a month now, Cameron has had issues going to sleep.
At first it was just the anxiety that he was alone upstairs and a fear of the dark. We allowed him to turn on our bedroom light and it seemed to be okay....
.....until we had to put Jacob to bed.
Even if Jake is put into his crib asleep, Cam will bother him enough to wake him up. Last night, Jake had been asleep for 10 minutes before I went to lay him down. I laid him in the crib, he was fine...still asleep. I left the bedroom, all seemed to be well, Jake was still asleep and I THOUGHT Cameron was too.
I walk downstairs and within a minute hear poor Jake's screams. (And he does NOT complain quietly.) Cameron had woken him up.
I was livid!! I yelled for Cameron to come and talk with me, but he wouldn't. I told him to see me before I counted to 5. He still refused, using his best defiance phrase: "Uh uh....I don't WANNA!"
I counted to five and he still didn't come to see me, so I stormed up the stairs and confronted him. I asked him why he woke his brother up, and he said, "Cuz."
I swatted his bum (yes, I do the spanking thing, but not very often...) and told him that he was grounded.
Now to figure out what to ground him over.
The difference about last night compared to other nights is the fact that Steve was not here. He was working the closing shift. Usually the fear of his father is enough to get him to comply and do what he's supposed to, but when Steve isn't here, I'm left helpless (or at least that's how it feels!)
I texted Steve (our new form of communication when he's working) and told him the situation. He was upset too and wanted him to be grounded from tv, computer, video games, friends, going anywhere...basically from EVERYTHING.
I said that grounding him from everything might be too much and told Steve that I figured it was just the over-load of a busy "fun" day. (Cam had gone to Cub Scout day camp and that night played with his friends for many hours.) I suggested that he can't play with his friends (or maybe Steve suggested it again, calmer from his initial upset text) and we decided that was a good plan. We also decided that since he loves the Learning Center so much we'd take that away from him as well.
I didn't go to bed until WAY after 2:00, and woke up at 8:00. Usually Cameron is wide awake by this time and has taken control of the television. But he was still sleeping.
Good!! He needs sleep. I am tired of his grumpy attitude!
I quietly went downstairs and cancelled the Learning Center.
When Cam woke up at 9:00 (a full 2 hours after he USUALLY wakes up) he was upset and mad. I told him why he lost the chance to go and helped him take his pills for the day. Soon after the pills were taken he was much happier.
I'm beginning to suspect his pills of being the problem with his sleep schedule, but I can't address it with his doctor until NEXT week.
Stay tuned....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quick Plug

A bunch of talented ladies, that I feel very lucky to have as friends, have started a fun new website where you can find all of their cool wares. If you want to see what it's all about, visit the Mofia Boutique. Seriously, cool stuff from cool ladies!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rogue Father and Son Camp-out

This year's father and son camp-out was cancelled last minute due to all the rain we've had lately. I guess the place was a swamp, and they decided they didn't want to lose any boys in the mud.
Some of the men decided that since they weren't sure they could get the next actual father and son camp-out off from work, they'd find another place and go this weekend anyway. Steve was among those rogue men. So he took Cameron and my friend's son. These two are inseparable.
From what I heard it was lots of fun, a little wet, and sort of cold.
The boys got to ride on a trailer being towed by a four-wheeler (I was assured the 4-wheeler went slow so that the boys didn't fall off.)
I know I quite enjoyed the time off from the oldest child bullying the younger one. In fact, Jake fell asleep last night after crying for only 30 seconds instead of the 30 minutes he usually cries when Cameron is here. He even slept in this morning and I did too. QUITE a different child without being bothered by Cameron.
All in all, it was fun for both sides. I hope that they can go to the ACTUAL outing when they plan it again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain, Hail

Today was um, FUN!?
This morning I realized that I spend WAY too much of my boys' awake time on the computer playing games and just being with my online friends, so I've decided that I will now only be online when the boys are sleeping. It cuts back on my usual time, but I'm SURE it will end up being a good thing. I won't just be there physically for my family, I will really BE there for them.
I decided that since Cam's developmental therapy place is just across the street from his school we'd walk, everyday. No biggie, it's MAYBE a 1/4 mile each way. Really, NO BIG DEAL! I would put Jake in the stroller, and get some exercise. It will end up being GOOD for me.
On the way to the Learning Center it was nice and pleasant. Cam was nervous about being left there (because he's in the new place...for the older kids), but quickly warmed up once we got there. On the way out the door, one of the little boys from his class walked up, knowing who I am said, "Cameron, here?" I said, "Yup, Cameron's in there." His face lit right up.
I went home and watched cartoons with Jake, then I decided to watch "mommy" shows....well, I hear NO noise, no banging pots, no toys, not even Jake's normal babble. I get up and look in the kitchen, no baby. I didn't put up the baby-gate, so I check the stairs, he is 3 steps from the TOP of the stairs!! I grab him, drag him down the stairs and quickly put up the baby-gate.
After watching my show for another 10 minutes while hearing the twang of Jake flipping the door-stop, it's silent. I peek around the corner and Jake is passed-out asleep in front of the door. I was tired myself, so I take him upstairs and we both nap for an hour-ish, and then it's time to pick Cameron up.
I get Jake buckled in the stroller, put his jacket on, slip my jacket on and as we leave the rain is just BEGINNING to fall. By the time I got to the Learning Center it's raining HARD!! Inter-mixed with hail. We walk in, get Cam, I warn him that it's raining...and then we leave.
Facing the opposite direction the rain/hail is bouncing off the little tray on the stroller and is pelting Jacob in the face. He's bawling, Cam's complaining, my glasses are so wet I cannot SEE. (We were QUITE the sight, I'm sure!)
I turn the stroller backward and try to pull it home, but the dang thing had a mind of it's own and did NOT want to go in a straight line. At the corner, flooding has started. There is, easily, 3 inches of water in a giant puddle on both sides of the street. Cam had worn his crocks, and complained, "Mom, I should have worn my tennis shoes, huh!?"
We hurry across the street and slow down a little because the water isn't pelting poor Jake. (We are JUST a street away from being home...)
A sweet lady in my ward drove us home. (Yes, it was just a street away, but it was a NICE thing!) When we get to the house, the rain stopped. Just my luck, right!?
We spent the day wet and trying to get dry. But it was good to spend time with the boys. I KNOW Cam liked it! I just hope over the summer I don't go crazy!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Going to the Circus

Last week we found out the circus was coming our way (sort of...) and we had promised Cameron that we'd take him to see it for Family Home Evening. WHAT A TRIP!
First off, they trick parents into taking their kids to see the circus by offering the kids "free" tickets with a paying adult. What they DON'T tell you is that the price PER paying adult is $16!!! So for the 4 of us to see the circus, it was $32. (We had only taken $20 with us....we had to write a check for the rest...)
Getting there, people had parked all along the street...BOTH WAYS. We had to park a block away and walk. No biggie, except that once we got to the front, the lines were LONG and slow moving (probably because people had to write checks because they didn't know it was going to be SIXTEEN freakin' bucks to see the show.)
Once we had paid, we went in to find a seat....they were hard to find. We ended up on the FAR left side of the building...almost OUT the doors. We were sitting next to HUGE piles of poo. :P
On the way to our seats we passed many balloons, toys, slushies, and other things they were selling. Cam was NOT very good about us telling him no.
They had their clown trying to get the audience excited...but he just wasn't THAT funny.
Then the show started. It was actually pretty cool. Lots of acrobats, animals and trick performers. Out of all the acts, our favorite was this HUGE metal ball that they raced motorcycles around. They had THREE in at once. I was SURE we were going to see a crash, but thankfully, we didn't.
Half-way through the show the ringmaster announced that they had some cool glowing swords for sale, and then the sale's people started down the aisles.....Cam had a COMPLETE melt-down with this. We told him that we couldn't get him the sword, and he bawled. He bawled and bawled. He even said he wanted to go home. I was NOT happy with Mr. Ringmaster after that!
They had intermission where people could buy rides on the elephants, toys, rides with the horses, a picture with the bears and lions and tigers, and even to play on a giant bouncy slide. We sat back and just watched. Cam was too afraid to see the elephants up close, but he was fascinated by them.
After the intermission, a little boy decided to climb on the fence in front of us, and blocked our view. Steve yelled at him a few times, but it was so loud I don't think he heard him. So I got up, walked over to him, tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to get down because we couldn't see. (Really, I was upset because I had paid $16 and was seeing some little kid's butt instead of the show...) He looked at me with a blank stare. Either he didn't understand English or just didn't care. Finally, he got down, and by that time we'd missed the act. I was NOT happy with the irresponsible parents who did NOT have respect for anyone around them or their kid to keep him safe beside them. Seriously, annoyed!
Finally they announced that they were going to have their grand finale. UM, they did the High School Musical dance for "We're All In This Together." Grand finale??? :P
Overall, it was something I'll probably never forget....probably not do again either, but now I can say I've taken my kids to a circus...and it WAS a circus.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Birthday Boy

Yes, a FULL year has passed since I had my second child. I can't believe it.
Instead of a cuddly lump of skin, he's a laughing, walking, talking boy. (We're still working on the walking, but we're SO close!)
Happy birthday, Jacob. We love you SO much!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

End of School

School is FINALLY over for Mr. Cameron.
He did really well, especially once we got him on the correct meds. His teacher made the comment that she was so pleased to see medication help a child out SO much.
Reading through his end-of-year papers I've come across some news.
First, Mrs. Annoying Principal Woman is LEAVING! Can you see me doing the happy dance?? Seriously. She is going to another school to go back to teaching. I'm sure she's a nice enough teacher, but she's just bugged me as a principal. My main gripe with the woman was the fact that at our FIRST meeting ever, she walked in 30 minutes late, heard us mention that Cameron hits children (but only when he was distracted) and immediately decided he needed a bunch of services that really weren't necessary. She *thought* she was being helpful, but she really just made already nervous parents even more anxious.
Over the years she's mellowed, but I still haven't really liked her. Now, I won't have to deal with her again! *Happy dance*
Second, in his papers I read news that I had already known, but was sad to see anyway. His teacher, who I REALLY love, has decided to stop teaching the DAC class and will now be teaching preschool.
I don't know who his new teacher will be, but I do have some new hopes. I hope that she has a different teaching style for reading.
Here's my main complaint. Cameron IS developmentally behind most of his peers, I get that, I do. BUT he is a smart boy. He learns something a little slower than most, but he still learns it. Unfortunately, the reading program that was set up for this classroom is the Edmark program. In Edmark, kids don't learn letter sounds and how to "sound things out." Instead they learn whole word recognition.
To me this is a completely STUPID program. Cameron has only learned 44 words in his last 2 years in this program (not counting the 30 food words that they had for lunches), and really, he hasn't learned them very well. He SOMETIMES recognizes the words, but mostly he gets the words mixed up with other words. And then he feels bad about it because he says he KNOWS the word, but he gets confused.
Poor Cameron would love to pick up an easy reading book and read it, but he can't. Unless you know of a book with these random words in it: "horse," "yellow," "car," "fish," "boy," "airplane"...
I've decided that over the summer, on the days he's NOT going to The Learning Center, I will take him to the library, let him pick out a book, and then I will help him read it. I REALLY want him to be able to read a book on his own. I know it would really help him with his self-esteem.
I'd tried to add the goal of being able to read a book into his IEP, but it never made it. I don't know if my hope for him got pushed aside because they didn't want to work individually with him, but it's not there. Instead his goal is to read 90 words by December, and 100 words by next May. I'm so discouraged over this.
Since school got out yesterday, Cameron has been HOUNDING me for things to do...wanting to do the activities IMMEDIATELY! He's SO used to a schedule, and I am NOT a schedule person.
On top of wanting to do things all the time, he's a bit confused. He's had plenty of small breaks throughout the school year that he thinks that summer break will end on Monday so he can go back to school. I have to constantly tell him that he's not going back to school until September. It just doesn't compute.
I miss him being in school, but I'm excited for the things I HOPE to accomplish.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009