8packmom

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Medication and the ADHD child

In Life with my aspie's on July 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm

For most people, a quick glance through my half open front door is enough to send them running down the street screaming. Six children, fifty five arguments, jumping, yelling, hair pulling and a soccer ball or two whizzing past your face.

People always ask me “How do you do it?”  My response is “A glass of wildberry, duct tape, and drugs.”  I may be joking about the duct tape, but when it comes to the drugs that are prescribed for Joshua they have made a huge difference in his daily living.

The decision to put Joshua on medication for his ADHD was never an issue.  The issue was his inability to swallow pills. The Dr. first placed Joshua on 10mg of Ritalin 2x a day.  These pills were tiny and I was able to crush them in a spoon, pour some juice on, and Joshua would swallow it no problem.  The effect was incredible, however, the downfall was with him having to take it 2x a day, this meant that I to go to his school at lunch time and give him his second dose. The other problem was that the effects of the medication lasted on average two to three hours, so by the time school was over, I was assaulted with verbal and physical assaults, and wild behaviour due to the medication wearing off.

As Rick Hodges points out in his article “Making Meds Work.” (ADDitude Spring 2010) it can take eight to ten weeks before the right dose of medication is determined and sometimes changes may need to be made.  This was the case for Joshua. After about 6 months of his roller coaster ride we decided to try Biphentin a longer lasting medication, which is made up of granules that can be sprinkled onto apple sauce, or as Joshua prefers with juice on a spoon.   

Once on medication, some Dr’s recommend that the ADHD child take a “Vacation” from them on weekends and during holidays. I know many families who do this and have no problems. We tried this approach and it didn’t work.  We had more things broken, twice the amount of fights with siblings, and Joshua actually told me he didn’t like his behaviour when he was off his medication.  That was all it took for me.

Is your ADHD child on medication?  Do you take a vacation from them during holidays?  Post your comment below and let me know what’s worked for you.

Until next time

The 6packmom

VACCUMS

In Life with my aspie's on July 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm

What started out as really cute was soon to become my nightmare.  At about age 2 Joshua became fascinated with vaccums.  Everything he played with became his vaccum.  He would puposely make a mess and attempt to pull out the vaccum so that I would have to clean it up.  While I was vaccuming he would start to scream if I didn’t actually let him vaccum.  I thought wow, this kid is going to be super neat and tidy!

Then came the pictures.  Everytime the newspaper arrived he would grab all the flyers and spend hours looking through them in hopes of finding a picture of a vaccum.  Any type of vaccum would do as long as there was a picture.  When he finally found one he would stare at it for hours and then carry the picture around with him.  When he found a new picture the first one would be placed in a box until the box was filled and a new one started.  Thus the collection of boxes began.

By the time he was three the jig was up. I knew the “Cute” was no longer cute.  He was sleeping with vaccum parts and greeting people by immediately asking about their vaccums.  He would want all the details.  Did they own a central vac, a wet vac,  a regular vac, where did they keep their vaccum because everyone has a vaccum so they must have one,  could he see it, and finally he would offer his services of vaccuming for them.

I thought it very strange but figured it was a phase and would pass.  It didn’t exactly pass, but soon the battery issue took over and my struggles had just really begun.  But my batteries are wearing out so I will leave that story for next time….

originally written tuesday-april-21st-2009

“Opps I did it again!”

In Daily life on July 27, 2010 at 6:59 pm

So as most of you who follow my blog are aware that my husband works out of the Province and is only home next to never.  So after five months of being away he came home at the begining of June and was here for almost a month.  I have to say that he was very productive while here.  Spent time with the kiddies, gave me a whole new laundry room, renovated the kitchen and gave me a new baby.  Yes that is correct, due to some technical difficulties with birth control we are expecting our 7th child in February 2011.  I am still picking my jaw up off the floor and adjusting to the fact that I am about to turn 41 and am pregnant again.  The actual due date is March 10 but it will be another c-section (the 5th – it is possible to have more than 2) so therefore the c-section’s are usually done during the 38 week so that brings us to the end of Feb.

The funny thing though is that even though I have been pregnant six times I am still pouring over the books (updated ones of course) obsessed with counting down the weeks, how I look (getting bigger already) and just being pregnant in general.  It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been pregnant – nothing changes (for me anyway) I still find the thought of a tiny being growing inside my body fasinating and well quite obsessive.  I think about it all day and half the night when I am back and forth to the bathroom.  I also curse my husband for doing this while I am standing over the toilet and while I drag myself around forcing myself to stay awake.  This is the thing I cannot stand.  The tiredness!  I don’t think I was ever this tired.  I am sure it has nothing to with the fact that I have six other children to run after, my age and that I am on my own here…..LOL.

So although this an “Opps I am pregnant again!” I am excited and look forward to not only sharing my adventures with six, but the adventures of having another on the way.  If I wasn’t insane before, I must be close now.

Until next time

The 6packmom + 1

THE SNACK

In Mommy Politics on July 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

            With summer vacation into full swing I am continually hearing the proverbial comments of “I’m bored!”  “There is nothing to do!”  and the never ending “What’s there to eat?”

            Now in my house of six children it is not an uncommon sight to walk into the kitchen and see a behind or two sticking out of the fridge.  It seems as though there is always one or two children rummaging through the fridge to find that perfect snack.  But when did snacks become such a big deal?  Back in the day when I was just a wee girl we ate three meals.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  A ‘snack’ was something you had maybe between lunch and dinner and it usually consisted of perhaps and apple or maybe a cookie. 

            Over the past twelve years (or at least I started noticing this phenomenon after my first was born) snacks have become the biggest thing ever.  As a mother (or at least if you are a good mother) you are expected to provide snacks between breakfast and lunch, between lunch and dinner and then again sometime before they head off to bed.  We wonder why so many children are fighting obesity! 

            But that’s not all! Oh no my fellow parents, your snacks have to be nut free, milk free, gluten free and wheat free.  They must be nutritious and the presentation of the snack must be beautiful and flawless!  Really I do admire these parents that can provide this type of behaviour on a daily basis because they obviously have nothing better to do with their day, but whatever happened to “get it yourself, don’t make a mess, and make sure you clean up!”   

            Maybe this is why my children are so independent (although some supermoms would disagree and just consider my children to be disrespectful and bratty.)  If I feel up to it I will provide a beautiful, flawless, and oh so nutritious snack, however, this is usually done if I am expecting my own friends over and then I’ll throw in a bottle of wildberry or wine.

            When my children want a ‘snack’ I tell them to get it themselves – and they do, even the three year old.  I don’t consider this as me being a lazy or mean mother; I believe it is me being a teacher.  Teaching my children important life skills along with the art of independence.

            Do you provide your children with wonderful thought out snacks that take a good chunk of time out of your day?  Or are you like me, a teacher?  I want to know!

“Don’t Worry.”

In BOOK EXCERPTS on July 15, 2010 at 12:03 am

Joshua didn’t go to Pre-K but we started him off in Private school for Junior Kindergarten.  Unlike Marie he had a lot of anxiety, and some other issues.  Believe it or not he probably set the record for being the youngest child to be kicked out of school.

            That’s right.  Kicked out in kindergarten.  It happened about a week after school started.  I had just given birth to the fourth child Arielle and she was in special care so we were all a bit stressed.  Joshua was of course new to the whole school thing and there were a few things he didn’t get right away.  Library was one of them. 

            At this point I knew something wasn’t quite right with Joshua but the so called experts told me I was worrying too much and that he was fine.  Of course years later we now know he has aspergers so it all make sense, but at that time it didn’t. 

            Anyhow, he was at the stage where he was obsessed with the T.V. show Arthur.  So this day in particular Joshua was at school and they had library.  Joshua picked an Arthur book and then (according to Joshua) another boy grabbed it from him and said it was the book he was going take.  Well that set Joshua off on a major meltdown.  The school called the next day and wanted to meet with myself and Paul.  They claimed he wasn’t a good fit for the school and perhaps we should look into having him assessed.  In short they were trying to be polite while they were kicking him out. 

            So in the end we decided that for Junior Kindergarten the best place was a nursery school.  It was the best decision we could make but it wasn’t an easy journey.  Joshua was very anxious and suffered from major separation anxiety.  I can only imagine what must have been going through his head the first week he started when I told him everything would fine and not to worry.  His thoughts probably went something like this:

            My name is Joshua and I am only 4.

            Are you going to kick me out of this school too?

            I have new pants that bug me, a new shirt, and socks that don’t feel right. I haven’t slept well since I was born and I am worried.

            We have a new baby.  What if mommy forgets about me and I have to sleep at school?

            Do we have library at this school?

            What if the other children laugh at me?

            What if it is too loud and I need to run or scream?

            What if I can’t keep my socks on because they bug me?

            What if the other children don’t like me?

            What if the other children don’t like Arthur?  What will I talk about?

            What if I spend the whole day without a friend?

            What if the other children try to take away my Arthur book?

            What if I don’t like the snack and it smells funny?

            What if the teacher gives a seat to everyone and I am left over?

            What if everyone can write their own name but me?

            I’m just a four year old boy, with new pants that bug me, a new shirt, and socks that don’t feel right, but maybe I am as smart as I think I am.  At least I know better than to tell a four year old “not to worry.”

 

THIS IS A HOUSE?

In BOOK EXCERPTS on July 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Confession # 8: I used to dream of a beautiful spotless home, full of fresh scents, baked goods, and happy smiling children.  Then I woke up.

            I don’t know how many times I have told my children that we live in a house.  Not a playground, not a park, not a zoo. A house.  For some reason my children find this concept hard to grasp.  So one day I decided to spell it out for them so they understood what was expected of them.  

To my dear children

v  This is a house.

v  Any form of vehicle is not permitted in the house.  This includes scooters, bikes, skateboards, roller skates, in line skates, and remote control cars or airplanes.

v  Ring. Ring. Ring. That is the phone.  Answer the phone in a polite voice and say “hello.” Say “Good-bye.”  Better yet, let the answering machine take a message.

v  Shoes go in the cubbie.  The cubbies your father was so kind to set up for you. The hallway floor is not a cubbie.

v  Your bedrooms are a special place for sleeping, not playing.  Find your bed each day.  Try harder.  Most of the time you cannot see your bed or your bedroom floor because they are covered in clutter.  A cluttered room is a messy room.  Mothers cannot breathe in messy rooms. 

v  The bathroom is a friendly place.  It is there when you need and want it.  Toilet lids do not like to be stood on, or jumped on.  It hurts them. 

v  Boys aim into the toilet, not the wall or any surrounding area.

v  Towels like to be hung up, not left on the floor to be stepped on as they cannot see when they are on the floor.  Soap likes to go on your hands not the walls, or counter tops. Yuck.

v  Tooth paste is for brushing our teeth with.  Not for painting on the walls.

            See Mommy being the slave to so many children?  See mommy crawling on the floor?  Be nice to mommy.  Do you want to drive mommy bonkers?  Then shape up.  Try.  Ty harder.

WHERE DO THE SOCKS GO?

In Daily life on July 10, 2010 at 3:50 am

I have never had what you would call a good relationship with my washing machines.  They hate me.  They either develop disgusting mold in their rims, froth at the lid, or jerk across the laundry room.  But mostly they have a sock deficiency that defies all reason.

            Men do not understand this.  They are too rational.  My husband leads the list.

            “If the socks are not coming out in pairs my dear, then that’s because you didn’t put them in.” He says flatly.

            I look at him closely and give him the evil mommy look.

            “I know I put them in smart ass.  I took the Pokemon socks of Joshua’s feet while he was sleeping, Sebastian handed me two pairs of soccer socks, I found a black pair of Ryleys sock’s stuffed in the air conditioning vent, and Arielle’s Pink with purple polka dots ones were in her school bag.” 

            I could tell that Paul thought I was seriously losing it.

            “As you can see,” I continued. “I now have only five socks because their partners are missing!”

            “Well I see a pair of green ones that match.” He replied smugly.

            “Of course you see a pair of green ones that match because those are the ugly socks that nobody wants!”

            Sometimes I wonder why I married him.

            “Are you sure you aren’t drinking too many wildberry’s while I am away?” he asked.

            Ignoring him I decided to let him on my theory.

            “I think there is some secret trap door in that damn washer that sucks in one sock from each pair and holds it hostage. Somewhere in that evil machine is a treasure of mismatched socks I’m telling you.”

            “A couple of wildberry’s to get you through Zachary’s freakish meltdowns?  I can understand…..”

            “If we could just find this little trap door in there I would be a hero to all mothers out there…”

            Exasperated Paul stuck his head into the washing machine and started banging, pulling, cursing, then gave a big sigh.

            “Look there is nothing in here.  Why don’t you try putting the socks in a little laundry bag -”

            I really wanted to punch his face.

            “I have put them in a little bag by two’s, as pairs, and you know what? When the laundry is finished I take out the little bag and it’s intact.  But there is still one pair from every sock missing!  I tell you it’s driving me crazy…. do you realize I have a bin upstairs full of about fifty mismatched socks who are all missing their partner?” 

            Paul looked at me with what I swear was a glimmer in his eye.

            “Maybe they just all wanted a divorce.”  He said smirking.

            “What the hell?  How can you make jokes about this?  Seriously?  Do you not care that your children look like little orphans with mismatched socks every morning?  What am I going to do?”

            “Well for starters maybe you should cut out the afternoon wildberry’s and try to forget about the whole secret trap door thing.”

            Forget?  Cut out the afternoon wildberry’s?  I told you men just don’t get it.  Maybe I should let the secret trap door suck me up so my husband would lose his partner.

HALLOWEEN COSTUMES

In BOOK EXCERPTS on July 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm

            With each child,  Halloween has become more and more of a nightmare.  One would think it would become easier because there would be so many costumes to pass down.  No way!  Every year they seem to want newer, bigger and better costumes or they want me to sew them something “special.”  Why? Because I am the Martha Stewart of the neighbourhood. (in my dreams!).

            This past Halloween was particularly crazy when two days before Halloween Arielle came to me and begged me to make her a Princess costume.

            “Why?” I asked “when we have so many beautiful Princess costumes in the playroom that you could wear.”

            “None of those fit me anymore.” She whined.

            She had a good point over the past few months she had grown and put on a few pounds. 

            “Well I don’t know if I have enough time…”

            “Oh please, mommy please! Miranda’s mom made her one!”

            Well of course Miranda’s mom made her one!  Why wouldn’t she?

            “I can’t make any promises but I will try.” I said knowing I had already been sucked in to the depths of sewing hell.

            So for the next twenty four hours I attempted to sew, sweated, swore, threw things, and swore some more.  Finally it was done!  I called Arielle down to see what I had created.

            She looked at me cautiously and asked what it was.

            “What do you mean what is it?” I snapped.  “It’s your princess costume!”

            Arielle bit her lip as she attempted to not to cry. “But, it, looks like a paper bag!” she shouted.

            I couldn’t believe how ungrateful she was being after all my hard work!

            I looked at her disbelief  “Arielle, have you never heard of the paper bag Princess?”

NEIGHBOURHOOD FRIENDS

In Daily life on July 9, 2010 at 2:30 am

            There isn’t a time when my house doesn’t seem to have more children then I gave birth to.  It’s as though people think that because I have six children I have a free drop in centre or I really won’t notice any more children.  Well I guess the truth of the matter is sometimes I don’t.

            Take the other day for instance we were sitting around the table when my oldest daughter asked me how many siblings she had.

            “Five.” I answered thinking surely she must have fallen out of her bed last night and banged her head.

            She looked at me with a serious expression. “There are eight children eating lunch right now at our table. Who doesn’t belong here?”

            I was stuck.  One had my eyes, the other my nose, a couple of them had my hair….. I was getting really confused.

            “Okay would the real Kowdrysh children stand up please?”

            The children all exchanged dramatic glances.  One slid his chair back as though he was going to stand up, but changed his mind.  Five other children slowly stood up and Marie looked at me with a glint of satisfaction on her face.    A poor little blonde girl just hung her head as she continued to eat the food I had just served her.  I kind of felt bad, but on the other hand I seriously wondered what these children’s mothers thought when their children disappeared for hours at a time.  Did they re-arrange their rooms?  Go out on lunch dates? Go shopping while they had no child whining and complaining about how they really wished they were at my house?     

            I think it is flattering when my children’s friends want to join our family but there does come a time when I  have to send them home.  I know that time has come when I call their parents to let them know they are safe at my house and they don’t know who I am talking about.  When I noticed they are coming down with something and make a Dr.’s appointment for them.  Or when the school teacher calls and wants to talk to me.

            These two children have definitely been at my house too long.  A few hours ago their parents came by to pick them up and about ten minutes later I called the police to report them missing.

THE NAME GAME

In Daily life on July 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm

            The moment a woman knows she is pregnant the name game starts.  The name game in our house has always been left up to my husband.  If I have to suffer 9 months of indigestion, reflux, weight gain, varicose veins, mood swings and a baby kicking my insides like some tae kwon do champion then that is the least he can do.  However something that should be so simple often becomes this obsessive issue that goes on for almost the entire pregnancy.  He insists on ensuring that each child has a proper middle name so that the child’s initials means something. 

            For example my oldest daughters initials are M.I.K. giving her the nick name MIK, Joshua’s are JFK, Sebastian’s SDK, Arielle ASK, Zachary ZAK, and Ryley RAK – my husband likes this one the best and says hopefully Ryley will be a boob man when he gets older so he can really appreciate the initials – I think my husband is just a pig.

            Now I must give him credit, the children have lovely names and wonderful initials that mean something (to him at least) however, six children later I can’t even remember who is who.

            The children seem to believe there is something Freudian in the entire name calling thing.  Their attempts to make me feel guilty by claiming that if I really loved them I wouldn’t forget who they are, is useless. I love Mary……. Dick……. Trisha …….. Sam ……… and with the same affection I love Jake ……. Marie ……. Ryley….. Sab ….. okay they know who they are.

            It is a good day when I actually remember what I called the child for in the first place, let alone what their name is.  I mean really they should be grateful for that at least!  Maybe because there are so many children running around and then add the fact that I have lost so many brain cells, I get confused.  I came up with a pretty good solution though.  I call them by number.  “Hey number one get down here!”  Marie is old enough and bright enough to know that she is the first born so typically she will respond. 

            Some don’t get it though like lucky number three Sebastian.  I shouted out to him several times the other day.  “Josh……. Marie……. er…..er…..Sam….number three! Okay how long to have to shout before you answer me?”

            “When you get it right!” he shouted back.

            “Well I was close…wasn’t I?”

            “Sam was sort of close.”

            “Hmmm I always like the name Sam.  I should have told Daddy to give you that name.” I mused.

            “Why then did you name me Sebastian?” He demanded.

            “Well daddy liked it, and it was easy for me to remember.”