Ducky Diaries: March 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Beautiful Momma

Often when I look in the mirror or at pictures I can pick out at least a dozen things that I dislike about myself.  Thanks to media and perfect body stereotypes it's too easy to see all my "imperfections".  
 
But last night as I laid with my son (who had just rolled out of bed in his sleep and was rightfully pissed) comforting him and telling him how much I love him and cooing all his nicknames into his ear while sweeping his hair to the side, he said something amazing.  
 
I cried softly at first, then I had the fat, ugly, tears and snot.....   Because, let's be honest, that's just how I do it.
 
He said "I luh you, bee-ul ma-ma". 
 
It may not make much sense to anyone else but I know what he said. I understood. 
 
"I love you, beautiful momma."
 
It's so easy to not be satisfied with myself. It's so easy to shy away from my husband because I just don't understand what he sees in me, physically.  It's just WAY too easy to be down on myself.
 
The one thing that's easier than all that, is seeing myself in my children's eyes...  They think I am beautiful.
 
The MOST beautiful.
 
Beautiful Momma.
 
I feel it when my son plays with my hair.
I see it when we dance around the house.
When his smile lights up a room when he sees me.
When he lays his head on my shoulder and kisses me good night.
When he listens and laughs during his bed time story. 
I am perfect to him. 
 
I am Beautiful Momma.
 
I see it when my daughter gets lost staring into my face and my eyes.
I feel it when no one else but me will do.
When she twirls my hair around her fingers.
When she smiles wide at the slightest funny noise I make.
I see it when she crawls at lightening speed to come get "Mama's Na-nas" before bed.
 
No one else will do.
I am the only "Ma-ma".
I am perfect in my imperfections.
 
I am Beautiful Momma.
 
My children don't see my double chin, they see my smile.
They don't care that I am lacking the "thigh gap" because I have the perfect 'sitting lap'.
 
They don't notice that some days my pants are a little snug. 
Or that my arms have extra jiggle. 
They look at my marked belly with amazement and think it's hilarious to tickle.
 
 They point to my belly button and then their own.  Smiling.  We are the same.  Them and Momma.  We match.
 
Momma is perfect.
 
"Bee-ul Ma-ma"
 
That's me.
 

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If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers Don't forget to check out our "Exceptionally Special" page and "Tot Spot" for tips, tricks, and tidbits for the kiddos.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A survivors voice

I was 8 years old.

I was being hit, kicked, punched, tortured.  I was used to this.  It was a weekly occurrence.  At least.

This time was different. It wasn't just physical. This attack broke me like a wild horse being rode. It broke my spirit which was all I had left. And is still one of my most painful memories.

I had to use the restroom and upon saying this I was told to stand still and hold it.  

When I no longer could hold my bodily fluids I urinated on myself and was laughed at and called a disgusting mutt. Embarrassment, shame, and fear flooded over me as I felt tears fall out of my eyelids.

My hair was gripped by a fist and my face was pushed down inches from the tiled hallway floor.  I was a "bad dog" and had to be punished.

"Bad dog! You pissed on my floor! BAD DOG!"

My nose was shoved into the tile and into my own urine.

As painful and embarrassing as it is to share this, I need to.  I suffered through years of physical, emotional, and mental abuse at the hands of my biological mother. 

I attempted suicide 3 times by the age of 10.

I had severe panic disorder and PTSD until the age of 18. 

I still suffer from occasional panic attacks at 29.

Why am I sharing this?  Now after 20 years?  

More than 3 million reports of child abuse are still flooding in, each year, now, today, in the year 2014.  It's still happening.

Why? 

What are we neglecting to see in ourselves and in others that is allowing this to happen? 

As a child abuse survivor, I firmly believe that we can end the cycle of child abuse and endangerment here in the U.S.A.  We have all the necessary options to eradicate these statistics, yet it is still happening! 

We have the resources!  The mental health advocates, counselors, therapists, infant and parenting classes.  Why is there still shame in seeking the help we need!?

I cannot speak for my own mother as to why she did what she did.  I don't understand how one can harm her own children and how people in her life that clearly witness her behavior would not force her into help.  To me that isn't love.  Love is protecting someone even if from themselves.   

I don't understand why she was not on medication to help her think clearly at all times.  And if she was why didn't she take it correctly?

I don't understand why she had no support system.  I don't know why she didn't reach out to anyone.

I don't understand why screams were heard by neighbors and no one even batted an eye.

I don't know how medical staff at the doctors office would walk by children with a blanket over their heads, being hissed at to not show their face by their mother wouldn't garner even a second glance.

I don't understand.

It's simple.

If you are overwhelmed ask for help. Do not be ashamed.
Have a support system that you trust. Educate them on child abuse.  It often starts at home or a close family friend or at the hands of a relative.

Educate them on the signs to look for.
 A child that acts out physically, sexually,  withdrawals or  flinches at physical touch or loud noise,  unkempt, dirty appearance, bruises or markings in unusual places. A child that wants to wear heavy clothing or a turtle neck sweater even in very warm weather may be hiding physical abuse marks or neck bruising.  An abuser will often avoid hitting the child on the face or body parts that can be easily seen.  

The child may limp, or move slowly if in pain.  Child may apologize often for no apparent reason or tell you they are 'bad'.  Child may show signs of fear or trepidation upon seeing the abuser.

If you're a family friend, be a friend.  Care about the parent enough to pay attention.  Do they look worn down, depressed?  Is the parent not acting like themselves?  Are they becoming increasingly short tempered with their children or spouse?  Are they confiding in you that they or something doesn't feel right? 

Offer to take the children for a few hours. Sometimes a break is all a parent needs.  If you suspect something deeper, offer to help call their family doctor or a counselor.  Be an emotional support buddy.  

If you are a witness, do not do nothing....    You may be that parent or child's LAST hope.  

At a grocery store and someone violently pulls, smacks, screams at a child, ask if you can offer the parent a break, even a 5 minute break, so they can finish shopping.  They may not even realize they are getting close to a breaking point. Your acknowledgement may help them take a breath and recollect themselves.  If they are a repeat abuser they will most likely respond to you irritably and or claim their child is 'bad' or use other put downs.   Pay attention! 


 If you can't bring yourself to do get in the middle of a situation  get a license plate number and call the National abuse hotline. 

If you are a friend or acquaintance who doesn't want to get involved, call anonymously. 

1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453)   National child abuse hotline

Use it. 

End the abuse.

Please.

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Don't forget to check out our "Exceptionally Special" page and "Tot Spot" for tips, tricks, and tidbits for the kiddos.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Parks in March

Last week we had a very rare warm day here in BFE Ohio and jumped at the chance to take the littles to the park.  Bear LOVES the park, but this would be the first time Zo would be old enough and big enough to enjoy it. 
 
Or so we thought... 
 
She for the most part was completely unimpressed by the whole experience.
 
 
The closest to a smile we got was this \/    
 
 
Bear on the other hand had an absolute blast!  
 
This was his first year going down the slides alone.  :) 
 
His smiles are infectious, be careful....   
 
 
xoxo, Ducky 

Monday, March 17, 2014

I forgot you were here

"Why did I even bother leaving the house at 8:00 a.m. if you're just going to cut me off every time I speak?"

This is what my husband said to me after our meeting with the preschool psychologist who was evaluating Bear for preschool and therapies, this afternoon. 

I was taken back by his sentence.  "I didn't cut you off!  What are you talking about? When?"

And when he told me I realized, yes, I had jumped into his sentence.... And then taken it completely over.... 

I felt horrible.  I felt horrible because it's something I have become accustomed to doing.   Not allowing him to speak at important meetings for Bear's well being and needs, and appointments, and anything, really, important pertaining to Bear. 

I must be a really horrible person.  But I'm not.  I swear. 

When Bear's problems and lack of meeting milestones first started showing themselves, D.i.c. was the first and the loudest to assure me that he would grow out of it all. He would wake up one day running.

 D.i.c. would point at me, and say "You'll see!", "You're so negative!", "There's nothing wrong with my son."..........   

I was alone, because there was something wrong with my son.....  It was as if we were seeing two different children.   My husband didn't see what I saw, and I knew what he saw was a hopeful illusion covered by rose colored lenses.  

So this is where it began.   I had to talk over him at specialist appointments regarding Bear, because he would downplay issues or even lie.  It became my duty to fight.  Even when that fighting was aimed at my husband to assure Bear all the care and possibilities he deserved.  This has been my life for two years.

It is my duty to protect my children. It is innate.  When my children were each born I became a Mother, a protector, an advocate. 

And until today I just stomped through my husbands village, taken what I wanted. Silencing him. Taking his right to speak.  Forgetting he was there.  It was easier.

Easier to ignore someone who feigned ignorance rather than fight for his right to knowledge.  It was easier to ignore the person who refused to be educated than it was to fight for him to see the truth. 

Today, my eyes were opened.  I have grown so accustomed to him being behind the curtain that I never saw him step out.   He's been standing here by us, for awhile.  Somewhere along the lines he grieved and began to accept our son in all his glory and his different abilities and I never noticed.  He's been silently tagging along with us, waiting for me to see him, to remember him. 

When D.i.c. asked me that pivotal question today I had to step outside.  I had to breathe.  Tears stung my eyes.   "Why?  Why bother?!" I thought, "Because you are my partner, my rock, my best friend, my sons father....." .  "I need you to be there.".  "This isn't just MY job!."  

I went back inside and told him these things.   "Then let me speak up, let me be a part of it all." He said.

I've gotten so accustomed to him being my enemy that I never saw him wave his white flag.



* Parents, we are our children's front line of defense.  We need to work together, we need to be a team to achieve lasting success.   However sometimes, it's not possible. Especially when one parent refuses to acknowledge the child's needs.    An open line of communication is vital. Even if the other parent never comes around they should have the right to speak. 
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Shoe full of pea

You know that moment when you're exhausted while doing the dishes and clearing your fridge of your leftovers?  

That moment where you mistakenly dump an entire Tupperware of peas into your shoe instead of the trashcan?

That moment that you don't notice.

Followed by that moment the next day when you go to slip on said shoes full of peas?  

Well, I do. 

And as I cussed and felt a wave of anger and disgust roll over me I wondered "what the hell brought me to this point?!"  How did this happen?  How could I even do that? 

Plain and simple? 

I am tired.  Physically exhausted.  We have been bed sharing for 9 months and 2 weeks, to the day.

I often hear "well that was your choice." But it wasn't, really,completely.  Because my sweet daughter would refuse to sleep anywhere but on me or with me from literally the hour she was brought into this world.  Her screaming was so loud that even the hospital nursery refused to keep her for longer than an hour at a time.   I was fine with that. She needed me.  She had just been thrust into this cold scary world, ripped out of her cozy uterus she inhabited for 10 months and 8 days. 

I understood that. 

And until about 3 months ago bed sharing was perfect.  I assumed that like my son, she as well as us would know when our time was up and we would gradually transition to her crib, gently.  But there is no 'gently' when you're dealing with an angry tiger, folks.

Bed sharing is something everyone has an opinion on.  For the record, I don't want to hear yours.  If you think I am a reckless parent, your opinion.  If you think it is dangerous, your opinion.  If you think it is the best thing in the world, your opinion.  Keep it to yourself.

With that said,

My daughter right at this moment is C.I.O. I am sitting outside of her room. This sucks.  I feel like the worst parent in the world already, I don't know how people do it. It has been 15 minutes with 5 minute check ins.

I am at my wits end.  I am at the pivotal moment of proverbially throwing in the towel and shipping her to boarding school. 

Probably not, maybe not, not....   But I am still exhausted.  And the saying "Every baby is different" is no more obvious than the parallels between my two children.   

Boo bear was an independent little son of a gun from the get go.  He was okay with snuggles and pre bed snuggles but after 4 months old he would writhe, kick, wiggle, grunt, swing his head around until he was placed in his crib by himself.   Just to clarify because I am the type of parent that has no qualms about crawling into my childs crib if I deem it necessary.   He had no issue holding his own bottle or hanging out playing while I finished what I was doing, in a close by room. 

Zo, has been unwilling to let go of the other end of the umbilical cord for quite some time, even when I am trying to yank it out of her hands.  She will not sleep alone, 99 % of the time, she will not allow me to go into another room without notifying me by screaming her head off, accompanies by large crocodile tears that she cannot see me.  She has caused me to fall quite a few times by crawling under, around, and on my feet and legs. She is one of the neediest babies I have ever met.

Not that I am complaining, okay so I am.  I just need a break.  I need my shoes not to be full of peas.  I need to not have to hide from everyone in my house just to breathe. 

So I am venturing into the land of C.I.O. which I don't necessarily agree with, but at this point if someone told me putting her in a bird cage covered with a blanket would work, I might try it.  Kidding, totally kidding.  Mostly.

If you don't hear from me in a week it's because one of two things is happening.

1.) She's still crying
2.) She won and I am weak. 

*Update.

After 15 minutes she is sound asleep.  I went in to comfort her and gave in to holding her closely. I hate C.I.O. but  I stuck to my guns and placed her back in her crib and twirled her hair between my fingers.  She fell asleep. 

Maybe C.I.O. isn't the devil after all.....   We shall try this again tonight.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Being wrong can be beautiful

A few months back we began the process of ordering a wheel chair for Bear.  

The rep for the company sold me on a particular model with crazy adaptive seating components for Bear.  The seating would move with him, WITH HIM!  No throwing himself backwards because, OMG, the seat would bend and contract with him!  It would be stylish and sleek, and mostly, just look like a giant stroller.  Seriously, it looks like a giant stroller.

No one was happy about that, but, we felt the benefits outweighed the actual look of the chair. 

We ordered said chair and received the quote, a total of almost $6,500.00.  ACK!

However, Bear's physical therapist put a stop on the order convinced Bear needed a wheel chair he could self propel..... 

"But what about all the seating!!!  The seating that will surely save him!!!  Save him from himself!"
I thought to myself and said out loud. 

"And how do we KNOW he can and or will ever self propel??!!  HOW CAN WE KNOW THESE THINGS!???!?!?!  " 

I also thought and said out loud...  Vehemently.   Because why waste our money on a chair that won't work for him.  

Mrs. V, the physical therapist just kept insisting I wait and see.....   And wait before finalizing the order. 

So I did.  

About 6 weeks.

And yesterday as I made my way to Bears school where the chair company had dropped off two wheel chairs to test out, I had the same thoughts running through my head.  "It's not possible, he can't even crawl. How is he supposed to have the strength to propel himself in a wheel chair!?"  I was irritated.

 And as I made my way to the children's motor activity room I caught sight of Bear strapped into a very basic looking, child sized wheel chair with two big tires and little bitty light up tires.   He looked irritable, but he's 2.5 years old.  He always looks irritable nowadays. So I quickly pushed aside any possible motherly worry   I set  a kicking Zo-Zo down on the padded floor to crawl off and play, the other children and therapists willingly offered to watch her (she's cute and persuasive like that).   

I joined D.i.c. (who was already at school with Bear) and Bear and Mrs. V. in the hallway.

I kneeled about 3 feet in front of Bear and coaxed him to come to me.  Knowing he wouldn't.

To my amazement, he did, I shit you not!  He wheeled right to me on his own. His two tiny toddler sized hands on two over sized wheels, like it was the most natural thing in the world. Wheeling his self, down the hall.........

 I was wrong.  And it was beautiful.

I cried, literally, cried as I watched Bear wheel after his father, playing tag.  Playing, tag. With his father! Following him, laughing, do I dare say, chasing him.   It's a moment none of us realized how much we needed.   Our son had independence.  True independence to explore and play on a level he's never experienced.   It's such a big deal and so hard to put into the words necessary to make everyone else understand.  It was amazing. 

I wish I would have taken pictures, I thought about it, for a brief second, but I was also crying and enjoying the moment.  I couldn't comprehend taking my eyes off him and this moment in time.  I needed to embed it to my soul.   As cheesy as it sounds, it's the truth. 

As I continued crying, Mrs. V rubbed my back and said "Isn't it awesome!? I told you.". 

Dear Mrs. V.

You did tell me, and I didn't believe you.  I was wrong.  I'm so happy I was wrong. 
Thank you for proving me wrong with such a beautiful moment.
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Life. It gets busy.

 I HAS BEEN LOST!  BUT NOW I HAS BEEN  FOUND!

And all that shit...... 

I haven't been here.  I have been other places.  I have missed you all.

I also sincerely hope this snow and cold lets up sooner rather than later because I am ready for kids to be playing outside expending their energy productively. You know, instead of destroying my house. 

Sigh. 

Zo-zo turned 9 months the other day.  I can't quite believe it.  It's crazy.  She's crazy!  I swear, I just had her.  What the hell happened? I'm not sure but she is everywhere all the time.  Crawling, climbing, standing on all the things.    It's nuts.    She's a handful.   She has two teefers.  She's adorable.

She is also a stage five clinger.  We are in the throes of separation anxiety. HARDCORE.  I literally cannot pee without her screaming as though she's being stabbed.  She crawls as fast as she can to keep up with me and then just gives up and cries so pitifully, like I've broken her heart. 

I can tell we're going to be forever friends, until she hits 15 and hates me.  

But that's okay. I'll just traumatize her and tell her stories about how she always had my boobs in her mouth.    Nananana pay back.    Just kidding.  Sort of. 

Boo bear, oh sweet, innocent, angry Boo bear.   He is mostly eating on his own now.  But for some reason meal times are tantrum times?  I don't understand it.   I try.  But. I don't.   And there is nothing more terrifying than watching your toddler scream/cry/ and choke while eating and simultaneously crying his eyes out.     He's also tentatively potty training.   Don't ask me how that's going.   lots of laundry.  LOTS. Tentatively potty training can kiss my ass.  

So, yes, don't ask me how it's going.  

Diapers until college, ya'll!!!  Weeeehoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!    If I could hit the jack pot, I would truthfully keep them both in diapers until college.   

He's loving school (toddler class) and really does have a girl friend.  If I could steal her I would, she's adorable! 

And recently we had a meeting to register Bear for actual preschool.  It's a mess.  We're stuck between the school we want him to attend and the school of our district.   The district school is 2 days a week, 2 hours a day.  He'll be splitting time with one therapist with all the other kids that need therapy.   Sounds great right?   He'll be losing hours, of therapy. :(  That he desperately needs.

School two is 4 days a week, all day, and therapy all 4 days...   So yes, is a no brainer for school two, right? Right?!   Is a no brainer! 

So we fight.   We fight for Bears right to party.   At school number two. 

And we're going to the Developmental pediatrician this week to jump start our testing routine.   We've been postponing it since Bear was a year and a half and now it's time.  We agreed closer to three and before school.  Sigh.   I'm not looking forward to this, any of it.    But, we need to know, he needs to have a diagnosis.  It's time, ya know?  It really is.  Even though it's really scary, it's time.  For real this time. 

And me and the D.i.c,  well, we're around.  Tired. Over worked. Underpaid. But happy.   And that's the wrap up on us folks. 

Here's some cute pictures of the kiddos. 






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