Life is Lifey

Well. It's been over a year. And I think "perhaps I should just give up on this blogging thing", and then my mind spins at night with aaaaaalllllll the things I want and need to say. And I say "tomorrow morning I shall blog." And morning comes. And no blogging is accomplished. Because mornings are of the devil and I renounce them.

There are SO MANY THINGS to say. I'm not sure where to begin but here's a brief-ish rundown of life. Boyfriend turned 5 in March and remains mostly non-verbal (he chatters constantly, he sings songs with a lot of the words in them, he imitates girlfriend a lot, but there's not a ton of spontaneous talking in a language we understand going on). We missed his evaluation that we had to wait a year to get because we ended up MOVING TO PARIS for 3 months (there will be blogging on this FOR SURE coming soon) the day after it was scheduled and there was no way we could make the appointment. Which is now rescheduled for October. I have thoughts on this. Also, we found more mold in our house because of course we did. I've had lots of health nonsense and anxiety and adrenal fatigue and guilt over all of it. We've taken a break from the myriad of supplements for boyfriend and I, and a break from the diets (because hello France!). My favorite phrase has been "opt out" and I *may* have overused it a bunch this past year- ie opting out of answering my phone, going out in public at all, being social...  So, you know, super healthy.

I turned 40 September of 2018, and as a surprise, the hubbs scheduled a weekend away for me with my Rain City girls in Seabrook, WA. Booked my flight, and contacted them to help work the details for a beachy vacay. He gave me the gift in August and told me I had a month to get my shit together, get over my anxiety, and get ready to finally get the break that I desperately needed. Cut to me having mini panic attacks over leaving my children overnight for the very first time and being 3,000 miles away. Plus, I'm the wooooooorst traveler. I used to have no issues (except motion sickness, but that's what Bonine is for). But now? I rely on hubbs to help navigate my ridiculous anxiety about everything and to hold my luggage while I go puke. The week before the trip, I got a UTI, which I have NEVER EVER HAD BEFORE IN MY LIFE. I took all the natural things to make it go away, but my kidneys started to really hurt. So during a hurricane when nothing else was open I went to the ER. And they gave me antibiotics. Which wrecked my whole digestive system and left me not able to get out of bed. I only took the meds for 3 days, left one day for my body to hopefully return to semi-normal, and I got my ass on that plane. There was a ton of dry heaving and crying. But I did it. And it was one of the best weekends of my life. My girls are amazing. The ocean air was refreshing (AND NOT A THOUSAND DEGREES!!). It was exactly what I needed, and I would like a weekend away every month.

The best way to enter my 40's!

I had my first thermography scan done. I didn't want to do a mammogram- all that radiation and the rates on detection are not that great. And honestly, with all of my issues with endometriosis and digestive troubles, I'm thinking I've got other body parts I need to worry about. The scan covered every little bit of my body, was painless (although you do stand naked in a room getting pics taken for about an hour, but it was way less awkward than I thought it would be), and happily the only issue it showed was that my entire back is a hot mess of spasms, which is not surprising.

I also started seeing a counselor for my anxiety. Just talking to her lifted a large elephant off my chest. Enough that I decided to take the kids to the beach by myself while the hubbs was traveling. I quickly realized why I don't do that solo- boyfriend put on quite the show when I tried to drag his fully dressed body out of the ocean (it was late October), and I threw out my back getting his kicking and screaming self back to the car. And of course, no one stared judgementally at us at all.  But hey. I did it.

And I've done A LOT of reading. I mean, I love reading, I love researching, but MAN I've done a crap ton of not for fun reading. Along with homeschooling with a new (and AMAZING) curriculum, The Good and The Beautiful. I've been looking into red light therapy, oxygen therapy, a trillion different things to get boyfriend talking, to figure out how to make my body deal with heat again. How to detox again from mold. But most importantly, reading all sorts of stuff for boyfriend.

So. My thoughts. We're obviously aware that boyfriend is different from "typical" kiddos. He's definitely delayed in some areas- talking is the most noticeable. He's advanced in climbing, Houdini-ing his way out of things- especially those that are safety related, taking apart and putting together all the things, and hiding really really well. He has a laser focus with puzzles and figuring things out. All traits he shares with his older sister, who also didn't really talk until she was 3.

He makes great eye contact with daddy, sister and I. Not always with other people. But I have this same issue- I still find it SO challenging to make eye contact, especially that lasts for more than a second or two. Until fairly recently, we weren't getting much in the way of listening from him. But now he follows directions and doesn't try to run away. We can take walks now and he mostly stays with us. Which is a huge change. Thank God, cause there are only so many tiny heart attacks I can have on a daily basis. He has his fair share of meltdowns and tantrums. Partly from not being able to just say what he wants...although he does a real good job of letting us know what he's after without using words. Lucky for me, I'm able to comfort him really quickly. Not so fortunate for others who have tried to watch him. He imitates other kiddos and usually likes to play with them, although there are times he'd rather just do his own thing (like mamma like son). He knows the alphabet and how to count to twenty, and actually count things, not just say the numbers. He's not potty trained yet. That's sort of on both of us. I'm reluctant to push it when he can't tell us when he has to go AND I just got his pooping to where it needs to be, going every day. He was an every 3rd day pooper, leading to SIBO and gut nonsense. I don't want to rock this boat because I will cry all the tears if he starts holding his poop. I've dedicated YEARS of my life to being a poop doula and I'm 100 hundred percent all done with that. So if he stays in diapers a little longer, so be it. He loves being naked, and hands us a diaper when he has to go. But he refuses to go on the potty. He'll just hold it and hold it. So here we are.

I've been reading the book "Differently Wired" which I absolutely love love love. Based off of the descriptions in her book, and some of the checklists I've completed, to me it seems like boyfriend has a global delay and SPD. Obviously I'm not an expert, but I am an expert on boyfriend. And reading this book has given me confidence that yes, I do know what's best for my son. And it's helping me really stop and think about what is best for him (and for me, as his parent). I see that he gets overwhelmed with too much stimulation, noise and sight. We discovered this in DisneyLand Paris for sure. His little heart is so so sensitive. He does not like to be yelled at. It shatters him completely and he shuts down. So if we want him to learn not to do something, shouting is not the way to go. Unless he's about to run into traffic.

And I'm also learning that I don't always know everything, and trying new things for him isn't a bad thing and my anxious brain just needs to settle the hell down. I was convinced that 4th of July fireworks at a crowded boardwalk was a recipe for disaster. But hubbs convinced me to try it. And he loved every single second of it. Finding the balance of what gets me anxious vs what are good experiences for him is frickin hard. And we've blown it plenty of times (can anyone say DON'T TAKE YOUR 5 YEAR OLD ON THE TOWER OF TERROR??)

Combine all of this with my crunchy, hippy, European take on schooling (see studies on Finland schools for instance, where they don't start until age 7 and they learn through play and they have some of the smartest kids on the planet right now) and what most parents are doing for their kids, and what we come up with is a constant battle in my brain questioning my gut instincts.

Brain- wow. all these people getting their kids into therapies and classes by the time they're 2 and 3 to get them to talk sooner. Maybe I should look for a specialized preschool? Should we do more speech and OT? should he be going 4 days a week?

Gut- hold up. He gets anxious when he's away from you for too long. You can't learn anything when you're stewing in panic. He's fabulous at independent play. He taught himself the alphabet and numbers. He's a really happy kid. Chill.

Brain- but this is scary! What if he never talks? What if he never potty trains? What if he never likes The Haunted Mansion?

Gut- he's saying words now. He even said "I want chocolate cookie". He's on his way to talking. And he always lets us know what he wants. You read him like a book. And he will not always want a diaper. Diapers suck. He'll figure it out. And some people hate rides. It happens. Life continues.

Brain- *asks a million more questions at really inopportune times and makes gut have excessive nervous poop. Brain needs to calm the eff down.

Add in a bunch of similar nonsense regarding girlfriend, my health, the state of our country, and "what was that noise" and that's basically the hamster wheel that is my brain.

All this to say, every body is different. Every personality is different. And yes, boyfriend is delayed, but also what if it's ok and acceptable for people to learn differently?

So. What was my point? I don't even know anymore. A post to say that life is lifey, and adulting is hard, and we've been adventuring, and I'm sorry it's been so ridiculously long. And thanks for giving me a space to work out all the angst in my brain.

Until I find another hour or two after bedtime, I'll leave you with a gratuitous France pic...

or 2.


  1. Kristen,
    You are one of the wisest people I know and your kids are SO LUCKY to have you as their mom. You inspire me!
    Kathy Powers


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