Kids say the darndest things

If you are not friends with me on facebook, you are missing out on all the hilarious things that come out of my Boo Boo’s mouth. These are all direct quotes from my facebook timeline.

As he runs past me in the living room,

I have to go poop super bad! When you have to go super bad you have to just run! Like, for your life!

Boo Boo called me “bro” this morning. When I stopped laughing I asked him if he knew what that means, and he said, “it’s like another word for pal, mom…” If he had added a “duh,” I wouldn’t have been surprised.

Conversation while driving in the car, and on the phone with my sister:

Me: “so, you want me to go to in the opposite direction from where I need to go, in the freezing cold, drag Boo Boo into a grocery store, and buy you one can of beans and bring it to your house?”
Aimee: “yes. Please.”
Me: ” you owe me Big time.”
Aimee: “thank you”
Boo Boo: “we’re going to the store to buy a can of beans? This is RIDICULOUS. stupid beans.”

This kid has an answer for everything. Me, “please stop arguing with me and just do what I asked.” Boo Boo, “then you stop arguing with me!” Me, “Just put the marbles away!” Boo Boo, “Stop always bossing me around and telling me what to do!”

And then there was this: Boo Boo has decided he wants to start saving his money so he can give it to the kids in Guatemala who can’t afford to go to school. So, we are off to buy a new piggy bank, while my heart bursts with pride 💕” Have I mentioned how much I love my kid?

Boo Boo and I had a small disagreement.
Boo Boo: “I’m sorry I was mean to you mommy.”
Me: “I’m sorry I snapped at you sweetie.”
Boo Boo: “I’m sorry I was going to throw you out the window.”
At least he was sorry?
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Boo Boo and I are spending Thanksgiving with my sister & family. I was explaining earlier that his cousins are moving to Germany soon so a lot of their stuff is already on a boat to meet them there. He asked about where we will sleep while there, and wanted to make sure they still have a tv. Randomly later he says, very concerned,

mommy, did they take all their tissues to go on the boat? Because I get a lot of boogers in my nose.

I assured him the movers did not pack the tissues for Germany yet and there would be some there for him to use.

Boo Boo and I just had a bit of confusion over the words principal and criminal. Rest assured, he now understands that his principal won’t be killing anybody dead anytime soon.

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First Day of Kindergarten Disaster. This one is going in the scrapbook. **I’ll preface this with, Boo Boo is fine. He’s staying at school and he is completely over it now.** So, I got a call from the health room at school. Boo  Boo got his arm stuck in a RAIN GUTTER. (it’s not an actual in use rain gutter, they’ve attached old gutters to a fence to make tubes for the kids to slide stuff down, if that makes sense.) Boo  Boo put something down the gutter and then put his arm in to get it back, and his arm got stuck.

They had to DETACH the gutter from the fence and they went inside with the gutter ON HIS ARM. They were worried they would have to call someone to cut it off, but luckily after calming down for a few minutes, he was able to slide his arm out on his own. I was able to talk to him on the phone and he is cheerful now and seems fine, although he does say, “it hurt a whole lot.”

Christmas for 2

It’s hard to get into the holiday spirit as a single mom. But, tell that to my five year old! He has enough holiday cheer for both of us. So…it’s all about grinning and faking it. I did my best.

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Small tree for a small apartment

We needed a  spot to hang our stockings.

We needed a spot to hang our stockings, so I made a fireplace out of cardboard boxes. Don’t ask me where I found the motivation to do this because I am so not crafty. Every once in a while the mood strikes me though.

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Then we got sick. And yes, we have an elf. Don’t judge me. I hate the fucker, but Thomas is a part of our family now.

And, Ms. Claus struck again. I'm telling you, Santa is overrated. I'm sure she does all the work anyway.

And, Ms. Claus struck again. I’m telling you, Santa is overrated. I’m sure she does all the work anyway.

On the road again…

I don’t usually write about my “real” job on here. Not because it’s not interesting, but because it usually doesn’t effect my life as a single mom. I go to work, I get to be a grownup for 8 hours, then I go home and be mom again. But, this week, my job is overlapping with my duties as mom.

I leave Monday morning to go to Guatemala for 8 days!
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UPAVIM is located in La Esperanza, an impoverished community located in Zone 12 of Guatemala City

I’m totally freaking out. The longest I’ve ever been apart from Boo Boo is 2 nights, and I cried myself to sleep the second night because I missed him so much. I’m so excited about this trip (more about that in a minute) but it’s overshadowed by all the anxiety I feel about leaving. It’s got me thinking about so many issues I’ve been putting off for so long. Like, I don’t have a will. I don’t even have a legal custody agreement! Boo Boo’s father has never asked to see him or attempted to be involved in our lives in any way, so it’s never really seemed necessary to go through the hassle of a legal custody fight. Not to mention the legal fees that would be involved. (I have no idea if he would fight me on it or not. He hates me, so I could totally see him refusing to agree to my terms, just out of spite.)

Now that I’m leaving the country, and actually traveling to an area that is not particularly safe, I am overwhelmed by the idea that if something happened to me, I don’t know what would happen to Boo Boo. Another reason I’ve put off writing a will and dealing with the legal aspects of this situation is that I honestly don’t  know who I would leave Boo Boo with in the event that I was unable to care for him. I mean, my parents and both of my sisters would love him and care for him unconditionally, so there is nothing to worry about in that aspect. But, each has limitations in their ability to take on another child.

My parents are financially and responsibly, the best choice to care for him. We lived with my parents until just a few months ago and Boo Boo is very, very close to them. But, they are  obviously older and physically I think would be overwhelmed with full-time care of a 5 year old. Plus, they finally have all their kids out of the house, it would be a huge life change for them to take on a child again. I also think Boo Boo would be very lonely. My youngest sister would be a great choice in that they live close to my parents and Boo Boo already spends a lot of time with them. He is very close with his cousins and I know my sister would love him like her own. But, she and her husband are financially not in a position to take on another child and it’s not like I have any money to leave them to help on that end! My other sister and her husband are probably the most logical choice. Her husband is in the army so financially they are the most stable and able to take on another child. But I worry so much about the instability of army life, and because they don’t live locally, Boo Boo spends the least amount of time with them right now. If something happened to me, I think stability would be so important for him and uprooting his life to move to a different state or even a different country would be so hard on him.

Okay, now I’m going to cry just thinking about this. But, now you understand why I haven’t ever dealt with this before. I can tell you one thing for certain. If something happened to me, I know Boo Boo would be well taken care of and loved by his entire family. And I know if it ever came to it, they would fight with every penny they have to keep him away from his emotionally stunted, absentee father. But please, God, do not ever let that happen.

Okay, so back to my trip! I am so excited to travel again! I was so lucky to live in Germany for a few years before Boo Boo was born and really got the travel bug in my blood I think. If I could, I would spend the rest of my life traveling around the the world. Parenthood has put a bit of a crimp on my finances and I’ve been pretty stationary for the past 5 years. Although I am going to miss Boo Boo with every fiber of my being, I am also sooo ready to get back out there in the world. For 8 days, I will be responsible only for me. My life will revolve around what I want to do and I can go places and do things that do have to be child friendly and I don’t have to worry about a babysitter. For 8 days I will be an independent woman again!!!

The organization I work for, called UPAVIM Crafts, is based in Guatemala City. We sell fair trade products made by a women’s cooperative in a community called La Esperanza. This community is plagued by poverty, violence, gangs and other atrocities that as Americans, we cannot ever fully comprehend. UPAVIM stands for “unidas para vivir mejor,” and translates to “united for a better life.” The UPAVIM complex in Guatemala houses not only the crafts division where the artisans make the beautiful products we sell, but also a bakery, a soy production facility, a daycare center, a Montessori preschool, an English language primary school, a tutoring center, a library, and volunteer housing. I am so honored to be able to visit and meet the women who work there.

I will be writing about my trip on the UPAVIM blog, if you would like to read about my adventures be sure to check it out!

Get me off of Pinterest!

Everytime I get on Pinterest, I get this crazy idea that I can be a crafty mom. I can bake and make stuff and decorate and man, it’s going to be awesome.

I moved in March and I had dozens of pins and a very specific plan for how I was going to decorate my new home. Here’s some of my pinterest inspired ideas:

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I was going to frame Boo Boo’s artwork for the living room.

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The toys in the living room were going to be so organized and neat.

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Everything would be so bright and colorful.

HAHAHA!  There is one picture on my wall. Trains and toys dominate the living room, and it’s a basement apartment so it’s never bright. But…it’s home.

Now I’m planning Boo Boo’s Birthday Party. Here’s the plan:

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Train everything – Banners, signs, games, the works. 

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Cupcake Train! 

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Snack Train featuring a Log Car (pretzel rods,) Snack Car (chips,) and Produce Car (veggies!)

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Duct Tape Railroad tracks leading to the party!

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Train Cars to play in!

I may be in a little over my head. We’ll see. The party is on Saturday, I will post pictures to compare the vision to the reality.

By the way, I had a horrible dream the other night that it snowed the day of our (outdoor) party. It was horrible. Summer has arrived but I’m still having nightmares about all the damn snow we got this winter.

My little sensory seeker

I’ve mentioned here before that my son has had some developmental delays since he was about a year old. He has displayed a lot of sensory issues and was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder SPD) by his Occupational Therapist at 18 months. If you are not familiar with SPD, the best way I can describe it to you is that a person with SPD has trouble regulating their sensory input. It presents in many different ways, some kids are sensory avoiders and dislike loud noises, fast movement, and over stimulation. Other kids are sensory seekers and crave constant motion and movement. Many kids are a combination of both. Boo Boo is a combination. Kids with SPD are sometimes anxious and overly cautious. Many are misdiagnosed with ADHD and medicated unnecessarily. If you are interested in learning more about how SPD works, you can visit the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation’s website.

BooBoo is constantly in motion. He craves movement and sensory input as much as possible. He loves to swing, run and jump. As a toddler he used to watch tv upside down because he liked the feeling of the head rush. Even as an infant he sometimes only could only be soothed by TV. He would fall asleep with the Baby Einstein DVD’s playing on the TV. Now he is really only sitting still if he is absorbed in the tv. It focuses his senses so he is able to hold his body still.

Sensory issues often cause development and speech delays. Some kids have trouble forming words correctly in their mouth. Others are so distracted by the all the senses coming into their bodies, they are unable to focus on learning. For Boo Boo this was the main cause of his delays. Once his SPD was diagnosed and we began finding ways to calm his body and senses, he was able to start taking in new information.

He has made amazing progress over the last few years and I am incredibly proud of him. He went from not saying his first words until age 2.5 to being extremely (and I mean extremely) verbal at 4. Developmentally he has remained somewhat behind his age group. He is in a class with 3 and 4 year olds and he seems to relate better to the younger kids, and that’s okay. I’ve thought for a while now that I may end up delaying his entrance to kindergarten for a year, or possibly have him do 2 years of kindergarten.

Over the last 6 months, new concerns have cropped up. He has a lot of issues with food. I read recently about the difference between a picky eater and a problem eater. A picky eater had a limited repertoire of foods they will eat, but will still sometimes try or add new foods to the list. A problem eater continues to remove foods from their list. They sometimes will eliminate entire food groups, colors or textures. Boo Boo’s diet now consists of various forms of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pizza. He eats some fruits, and snacks like chex mix and goldfish. And that’s it. He has continued to remove foods from his diet. He used to eat chicken nuggets, fish sticks, hot dogs, typical kid foods.

For anyone who has ever had the attitude of, “my kids will eat what I make them and if they don’t like it they can go to bed without dinner,” has never had a child with sensory issues. He WILL go to bed hungry. And he won’t, “eat if he gets hungry enough.” (Side note: unsolicited parenting advice and cliches offers by people who don’t have a child with special needs is NOT appreciated.)

In addition to the eating issues, we are struggling with behavior issues. Boo Boo becomes very, very focused on certain activities and it can be difficult for him to remove himself from them. He often will continue to do things after clearly being told to stop, like touching things he is not supposed to or playing with a toy. Of course, some of this is age appropriate for a 3 or 4 year old. It can be difficult to gauge how much of his behavior is age-related and how much is caused by or amplified by his extra sensory needs.

He has become extremely sensitive to loud noises, bright lights and cold temperatures. He can often be observed enjoying activities while holding his hands over his ears. When he is over stimulated he will often complain of being cold and will even start shivering when it’s not cold outside. He also has problems being touched on his head in any way.

Hair cuts are literally torture for both of us. He cries as if he is being tortured for the entire time. His hair is usually either super long and shaggy in his eyes because I have put off having it cut, or cut short and unevenly because he would not hold still while having it cut. Hair washing is a daily battle, as is combing hair and brushing teeth. Washing his face, wiping his nose and cleaning his ears each involve their own fight. I can rarely use a thermometer to take his temperature. He has. It yet visited the dentist because I just don’t see how he would be willing to allow anyone to look in his mouth.

Now that we are approaching school-age, my concerns about how BooBoo is going to function in a classroom are increasing. I scheduled an appointment with a developmental pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center next month. I don’t really know what to expect. SPD is not a recognized disorder in the DSM IV (the manual the medical community uses to evaluate and diagnosis psychiatric and developmental disorders.) Some symptoms of SPD are very similar to those of autism. In fact, most kids with autism have some form of SPD as well. But, many kids have SPD without having autism. As a single mom who works full-time, I don’t know how we will manage occupational therapy or other recommended services.

But, we will find a way. The first step is getting some answers and some solutions to help him. The rest will work out somehow, someway.

I had a point for sharing this, but it spent a lot more time explaining the history than I planned. So I will save my vent about being a single parent to a child with special needs and the rant about my mother’s horribly offensive reaction to a recent conversation about my child for another day.