Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dealing with an anxious child. (Advice please!)

My daughter has grown and changed so much lately. Sometimes it blows my mind that she was ever a tiny baby. She's independent (in a lot of things), creative, funny and overall a really great kid. She's always been well behaved. We've had moments but for the most part she's always been pretty good. I rarely have to spank (yes, we believe in spanking.....) her, put her in time out or anything. Usually a stern word and she straightens up. Sometimes it takes a few times for her to get it but even then I never feel it's out of sheer rebellion but more that she just gets so preoccupied with what she's doing that she doesn't hear me.

But as she's gotten older instead of getting braver and more outgoing and interested in trying new things I feel the complete opposite is happening. She's becoming shyer (is that a word? More shy?! Lol!) and less likely to try things or participate in new things. As I've mentioned before this kinda started back in pre-school. After months of going with no issues she suddenly started to "freak out" when I'd drop her off and she's cry and cry. If asked what was wrong she'd simply say she missed me (or her daddy). I tried to just ignore it. Tell her things were fine and just let it go. The teachers said for the most part she'd be fine not long after I'd leave. Then it started happening at dance. She loved dance then after a month or two she started crying through out the entire class. Until finally I realized it was completely pointless to continue. She wasn't learning or really participating. So I pulled her out thinking maybe she just wasn't ready.

Now she's attending a different school, a much bigger school and has really had no issues. Two or three times we've taken her she's been crying at drop off but that's been rare and has seemed to be when she wasn't feeling well. For the most part school isn't an issue. But church, now that's different.....she goes back and forth. Some Sundays we drop her off and she's fine, a little shy but fine. Other Sundays she starts crying as soon as we pull up. And it's not just sniffling or a few tears. She's all out sobbing and crying, can't pull herself together stuff. Now it's starting to work its way into other things. I took her to the park the other day (she's been a million times!!!), she was all excited until we got there - as soon as we walk up and I tell her to run play she bursts into tears and won't move. Yesterday I asked if she wanted to go to the McDonald's playground and play, she said no. And I could tell she was "scared" to go. Today, because it's so cold out, I asked if she wanted to go to the mall. She got all excited and said yes, they had a fun play area for kids. Got there, took her shoes off and told her to run play and she immediately won't move and starts crying. And there wasn't even anyone there except two little girls who looked about 3 playing together.

I'm at a loss. If I ask her what's wrong she just shrugs. If I press her she'll give me something like, "I just don't want to....." or something vague like that. I've tried every approach on dealing with it from comforting her and encouraging her to bribery and threatening punishment. Nothing works except leaving.

I'll be honest it's embarrassing. It makes me (and my husband) look like we're doing something bad.....I feel like people look at us like we must be mistreating her or something because she's so overly sensitive and weeping her eyes out. She doesn't want to be apart of anything like dance or gymnastics or anything. She's "scared", she says. I've tried to talk her through so to speak and she just refuses. I hesitate to take her anywhere or do anything because I'm afraid how she'll react.

Here's the weird thing though - it's not all the time! My husband took her to Chuck E Cheese the other day - tons of kids, somewhere she'd never been and she was fine. Granted, he was with her the entire time so maybe she wouldn't have reacted the same if he had just sent her off on her own.

I've talked to a few people and most of them tell me to talk to a doctor. But I'm afraid a dr. is just going to want to put her on meds to calm her or something. She doesn't seem to be a nervous child overall, no nervous twitches or behavior. But when people speak to her in public she just looks away and won't answer. She's almost six and I don't know how to encourage her anymore than I do. We praise her, compliment her, encourage her......and yet I feel like it's doing nothing. I don't know how to help her find her confidence and bravery.

Anyone else dealt with anything like this with one of your kids? Or know someone that has? Advice, help, suggestions? Anything please!

Monday, November 12, 2012


The Walking Dead! We are obsessed! We finally caught up with the current season. We DVR'd the current season when it started and we've gotten through the first two episodes. It's cuh-razy, people! I also recently watched This Means War (super cute & now I LOVE Tom Hardy!) and The Amazing Spiderman (good but nothing to get super thrilled about.).

Listening to:
Ellie Goulding's Halcyon OVER AND OVER AND OVER! No joke. I have listened to it daily for weeks and I'm still not tired of it. My hubby bought me the album on Amazon (because my car still uses CD's.) and I'm supposed to get it tomorrow and I'm going to play it like crazy in my car!

.....for the Holidays. Getting everything in order for our trips. One this month and one next month. Now that I'm working and Gianna is in school we have to plan these things a little more than we used to. We can't just decide to up and go.

Thinking about:
....a lot of things. Trying to figure out life and where we are going and planning for the future, etc. We just bought a condo and I'm thinking about all the painting and decorating that I hope I can do next year. Trying to decide what steps we need to take next for our life ahead. I'm always scared that we might make the wrong decision - what if we don't do something and we regret it later on or what if we do something and then it messes things up......I'm always scared to take the next step.

Looking forward to:
Going out with my sister and some girls she knows on Friday - we are going out to dinner and to see Breaking Dawn Pt. 2!!! I'm looking forward to it so much - just getting out with some other girls and doing something fun and relaxing! And then next week we are headed to Bama for Thanksgiving with my family. It's been years since we've been with my family for T-day and I'm beyond excited!!!!
And then in December we are headed to TN for our annual family Christmas trip - so lots of exciting things to look forward to before the New Year!
Oh, and I did I mention we are getting iPhone upgrades this week too?! We've had the 3GS for two years now and we are going up to the 4. I know, it's not the newest BUT the 4 is way better than the 3GS so I'm super stoked!

Currently reading Dreamcatcher by Stephen King. It's a huge book and really weird. Lol! We watched the movie years ago but I don't remember it being anything like this book has been so far.

Making me happy:
Off days from work, hot chocolate, lazy days with my kiddo, watching shows with my husband, going out with friends, seeing family, the thought of the holidays, chocolate croissants, maybe getting new ink soon, and dreaming of what our family could be one day!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thank God for Craigslist.

So we decided we really had to part ways with Gaspar. As much as it really broke my heart I knew it was for the best.

Let me tell you this first, I have a very special place in my heart for animals. My husband thinks it's funny that I can watch a human be hurt or killed on TV or in a movie and I'm ok but if someone kicks a dog or grabs a cat the wrong way I'm done! I just feel like 1. animals have feelings they just can't express them like we can and 2. they are mostly helpless to truly defend themselves. So when I feel an animal feels neglected or not wanted it just kills me! And the thought that Gaspar would feel that way had me bawling Thursday as I was trying to find him somewhere to go.

They have no-kill shelter's around here but of course all of them were full to capacity. The only place that could take him was a shelter that did. I was so upset. In a last ditch effort Thursday afternoon I thought I'd put him up on craigslist again (that's where I got him from). Put up lots of pictures and listed all his pro's and con's (I didn't want to hide anything. I wanted someone to take him knowing his good and bad sides!). I figured I wouldn't hear anything before the next day when we planned to take him to the shelter. But at 11pm, while we were laying on the bed watching The Walking Dead, I get a text asking me if I still had the cat and that they'd love to give him a home. They didn't have other pets or any young children which I thought would be a better situation for him.

After talking for a few minutes I found out it was young collage guy who lives in a big house with a couple of other guys. They all wanted a cat but not a kitten. He was really excited about getting Gaspar! And he said he could take him the next day....

Luckily, he lives right down the road from us and we agreed to meet up at the Wal-Mart. Gaspar FLIPPED out on the ride. Screaming (for lack of a better term) and drooling buckets everywhere. It was THE longest 8 minute ride of my life. I warned the guy ahead of time that Gaspar would probably be really upset and probably wouldn't be very nice for the first few days. He said it was no problem, he understood. I text him a few hours after just to see how it was going and he said everything was fine, Gaspar seemed like "a nice guy" and was exploring the house. I really hope it works out and I felt SO relieved to send him to a home. He promised he would be well taken care of and even "spoiled a bit!"

The funny thing was I had another call about Gaspar Friday morning from a lady wanting him! But yeah, I'm SO glad I had a random thought to put him back up on Craigslist or he'd be sitting in a shelter and I'd be torn up so bad. I was a little sad after we dropped him off. My husband didn't understand why, he was relieved to have him gone, but I cried when I had to get rid of my crazy cat and she drove even me nuts. I just hate thinking that pet feels unwanted by me. The same way I'd feel if I knew a young child was unwanted by their parent. Same feeling.

So anyway. We haven't sworn off a second pet. We just know we are going to have to get a kitten we can train and one we can hand pick, making sure we get a laid back, docile, lap cat. Gianna wants a pet she can carrying around, at least for a bit, and play with. And I want her to have special memories with a pet that she helps pick out so to speak. I remember my dad taking me when I was about Gi's age to pick out a kitten of my very own - a little orange and white female I named Wendy after the character in Peter Pan because it was my favorite movie at the time. I loved her and she had a billion kittens over her lifetime with us but that was such a special memory for me. I get my love of pets from my daddy!

I still miss Gaspar a little. I expect him to come running every time I open doors or closets, or to be laying on Gi's bed staring at me when I walk in.....but I'm happy he had a home to go to! Thank God for Craigslist!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

When you can't grant requests....

There is nothing I love more than granting my daughter's requests. It makes me so happy to see her happy. Obviously sometimes I have to say no. And I know even as a child myself I thought my parents got a kick out of telling me no. But now that I'm parent myself I realize that sometimes the frustration behind the 'no' isn't because they didn't want me to ask or did love doing or buying things for me but because they were frustrated they couldn't grant my request. Whether it be money, time, etc. sometimes it has to be a no. And I hate that. I wish I could always says yes and hand over whatever my little girl's heart desires. But it's just not possible.

Today, as I was parking the car at Wal-Mart, Gianna pipes up from the back and says,
"I want a brother or sister!"
Out of no where.

She went through this about a year ago too. She kept asking for a brother or sister. Her cousin Ava, who is her age, has a little brother and at the time Gianna had been around them a bit and I think she really wanted to be a big sister too. Like Ava.

For those of you who don't know my tubes are tied. We can't biologically have any more children. At the time that Gianna was born we were really young, barely making it and the thought of "accidentally" getting pregnant and having another child was terrifying. I had two surgeries back to back, a month apart. I was an emotional wreck and being on birth control pills was making it 100% worse.
In the county we lived in, if you were over the age of 20 and already had one child you qualified for a free tubal ligation. It seemed like the perfect idea at the time. No more BC pills, no more worrying about accidentally getting pregnant. We have one kid and we were done!

It never crossed my mind that maybe one day my little girl would grow up and want a sibling. And now, now I can't give her one. I never thought I'd regret my decision to tie my tubes but I do now. Do I want to be pregnant? Not really, but I know it's worth it in the end. I feel like my husband and I are at such a better place in life and would be able to handle another baby so well. Not that we didn't enjoy Gianna as a baby but I feel like I'd enjoy another one so much more. I wouldn't be as "green" about motherhood as I was the first time around. And to see my daughter with a sweet sibling to love would probably make my heart burst with love and happiness!
People tell me, "You can have the tubal reversed" but no insurance (even if we had it.) would cover it because it's not a necessary surgery. So it would cost anywhere from $8,000-12,000 to have it reversed. So that's not really an option!

About two years ago, even before Gianna started asking for a sibling, I really felt like God placed adoption on my heart. Let me say this, in all honesty, I don't dream big. I guess I just don't have the faith yet to see far beyond where I am now. Adoption seems completely and utterly out of the question. At the time I talked to my husband about it and he said that maybe at the right time that would be something to consider. 
That was two years ago and I guess I honestly don't know when the right time will be. To me there will always be reasons not to and the money it takes to adopt?! Wow. But I guess I also have seen, over and over, people pull together to raise money for adoptions so I know it can be done!
I dream of starting the process, of being approved, of meeting that sweet baby for the first time but most of all of seeing my little girl as a big sister!!

It's an overwhelming idea but one that two years later is still growing strong in my heart.
And sometimes, like today, Gianna says something that makes me realize that idea isn't as crazy as it may seem. Adoptions happen all the time, people make it happen. When you want something enough you make it happen, right?! Hopefully it'll happen. 

Gianna's 5 1/2 now, to me she's the perfect age to be a big sister. She's past all the potty training, she sleeps without issues, she's becoming more and more independent around the house and taking her out places isn't a problem. And I know more than anything she'd be a sweet and loving big sister!

So who knows, maybe one day I'll be able to grant even that big request. And nothing would make me happier!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Second Pet Curse

This is Gaspar. We got him about a month ago. And this is probably the one and only time you'll hear anything about him. We got him off Craigslist. A family was trying to get rid of him because their daughter's asthma was linked to him and they wanted a good home for him. I wanted another cat. He was fixed and declawed and it sounded like a good fit. I wanted a cat my daughter could interact more with since Gandalf is so old and out of it. I originally wanted a kitten but I knew getting it's shots, getting it fixed, keeping it from clawing the furniture, etc. was going to be a challenge so I opted for a cat out of the kitten stage.

He was NOT happy when he arrived and spent the first few days hissing and slapping at us if we got near him. And flipping his lid if Gandalf got close to him. Right away my husband didn't like him but I figured he'd be fine after awhile. It's been a month now and he's "settled" in now. He'll let us pet him and stuff but he doesn't like to cuddle or even get in your lap much (he's climbed in mine twice for a minute or two). Even though he's short haired he sheds like crazy. He sleeps on my daughter's bed a lot and her covers are covered in fur all the time. Gandalf is messy with his food and Gaspar is messy with the litter. He constantly climbs on the counter tops and table which is a BIG no no but his previous owners allowed him to climb on theirs for four years so I don't even know if we can break that habit. He also bites occasionally, never drawn blood but he left four teeth marks on me before. 

For me, I grew up with TONS of pets. We constantly had dogs and cats around and I'm used to the crap that comes a long with them. It's much harder for my OCD hubby to deal with. So needless to say it's been stressful the month he's been here. My daughter has suddenly decided she doesn't want him in her room anymore which leaves very little space for him to roam and be in. 

So needless to say we're giving him back. I hate it and I feel awful but ultimately I guess it's the right decision. And I know I'll get over it at some point.

But we seem to have what I called the Second Pet Curse. 

Gaspar is the fourth "second pet" we've tried to have since we got Gandalf shortly after we got married. The first was a cat I adopted from our local vet. She seemed really sweet, I named her Esme' and brought her home. She was bat crazy. She tore up stuff around the house, would bite at you when you tried to touch her, etc. After several months I knew it wasn't going to work out so I had to get rid of her. 

Then we got Gypsy. He was a kitten from my mother in law's cattery and I LOVED him. He was beautiful and the perfect lap cat. He'd snuggle with you all day and had the sweetest personality. After only a month or so we lost him in an accident with the dryer. (That was almost two years ago and I still get choked up and I'm still nervous when I start the dryer every day.)

A few months later my mother in law talked me into another kitten. A little female named Gemima. She wasn't nearly as loving as Gypsy and kept to herself a lot. But she was perpetually sick and constantly got crap everywhere. Literally. In the end I was able to place her in another home because it was just too much.

And now.....many months later I wanted another cat. Again. Gave it a try and well, here we are.
I think I'm done with pets. I guess I figured since Gianna is an only child having pets around would be fun for her and important. But obviously it's just not meant to be. So after this I seriously doubt we'll ever get another cat. At least not at my suggestion.

So that's that. Within a week or so I think his previous owners are going to come get him and hopefully they'll be able to find a good home for him.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tat Talk

Did a video about my tattoos and why I got them.....I've done similar blog posts but sometimes it's hard to type it all out so I talk about it and show them to you!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The hubby & I vlogged!

So yesterday, while the kiddo was still at school, the hubby and I sat down and did a marriage tag vlog. We got this from my friend Mallory and her husband. She has an awesome YouTube channel where she does tutorials on hair and makeup....she's flawless so check it out! She also has a blog she just started, so go show her some love!

So anyway, the video is a little long but it's funny and gets better as we go so take a few minutes to watch it! And let me know if you and your hubby decide to do one - leave me a link! I love watching these kinda things.

I think that I may start vlogging more - since I'm kinda over the whole blogging thing. But I'll leave links here. I've got a video about my tattoos coming up soon and also a tour a our new house! So stay tuned!