Friday, July 10, 2015

To Adoptive Parents of anxious children

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI haven't been on here in ages and I've missed it. I've missed writing and being creative but to be honest this has just not been high on my priority list. This post might give you some insight into why.

We moved to Toronto 2 years ago and we love it here. We love it here but moving across the country one year after bringing home our beautiful son was a lot for him to handle. We all had to find our footing and Oz's anxiety was fairly excessive that first year. Without getting too much into what that looked like for our family I will say anyone who is parenting a child with trauma issues will likely understand the struggles that encompassed.

Over the passed year things have changed dramatically and Oz began attending preschool and gained so much confidence and ability to be away from me. His separation anxiety dissipated and it was incredible to see him blossom and embrace changes.

This last week he's been attending summer camp which has been another change and he's struggled with that separation again. Nothing like before but yesterday he begged to stay home with me and run errands and I said ok. It wasn't the most fun day but I didn't feel like pushing him to go was the right move and frankly, it would have been a disaster. He stayed home with me and midway through Winner's he declared  he should have gone to summer camp. He was eyeing me with both pity and admiration at this point, imagining how boring my mornings must be without him.

Spending the day with him was a really good reminder for me. Admittedly I started off annoyed and a little frustrated, thinking about how Kindergarten would go in September, and worrying about a million things rather than just focusing on that moment. Once I let go of my expectations to how the day was supposed to go and embraced where he was and worked with him in the present moment things improved immediately. Raising an anxious child has required me to let go of my own anxieties and that has not been easy. But I can't encourage him to breathe and be mindful when I'm obsessing about the past and future at a breakneck pace. Him having an anxious week doesn't negate how far he's come nor is it any kind of predictor for the future. It is simply indicative of where he is right now. Breathe, just breathe.

I know that first year whenever I read blogs from other moms raising children with trauma and anxiety issues it helped me immensely. I felt less alone and more able to to face the world. I learned a few things along the way I really wanted to share in the hope it might make someone else feel less alone.

First of all, it's hard. Let me say that again for every parent out there struggling through these issues, it is really really hard. The kind of hard that breaks you down in ways you didn't know possible.

People will judge you. They will. I know that sucks, but it is human nature and if your child is having a really hard time you will likely at some point encounter looks and comments and it will hurt. Remember, please please remember, those moments when the world seems to come crashing down around you both, it's only about you two. Blur out the rest of the world, enter your bubble, and just get through it.

And you CAN get through this. Sometimes you will feel like you are failing in every way imaginable and not know how you will face tomorrow when you barely got through today, but you will. I know I am just some random person you may not know writing some idealist sentiment but I believe in you. And your child believes in you. And I know you can get through it. And you don't have to get through it with a smile on your face and spring in your step, you may be bruised and beat up in every way possible but you can do this. You can and more importantly you will.

But you will likely need help and support, don't be afraid to reach out. You may need to reach out a few times in order to find professionals who you can work with or friends and family members you find comforting but don't be afraid to talk about it. This is not a failure on your part, do not be embarrassed. You child is going through a perfectly normal reaction to their circumstances, and while you offer them grace and understanding make sure that same understanding is given freely to yourself. Like I said above, this is not easy. What you are feeling, whatever myriad of raw emotions you yourself are working through are understandable, and normal, and it ok to feel them. In fact, it is healthy to feel them.

You are not alone. There are many of us out here working through the same things. I'm not in your house, and I know our lives are all different, but the fundamental issues you are working through unite so many of us.

Take care of yourself. This seemed like a ridiculous expectation at times when I was too exhausted to sit up at the end of the day. but find some time, a minute, a moment, to take care of yourself. Even just to breathe deep and tell yourself you are doing fine.

Most people won't get it. They won't understand that your child's meltdown stems from a completely different place than theirs, or that your child's meltdown won't be over in 5 minutes or 10 minutes or maybe even an hour.  They may try to relate and it might make you feel better or make you feel worse and that's ok, but it's important to find people who do get it. Sometimes you are going to be desperate to sit across from someone who says they understand. Your weary soul will find rest in that understanding.

The biggest thing I've learned to embrace is being different.  Being a parent through adoption is different and many times you might feel left out of a club where labour and pregnancy stories are the norm.  Being different though doesn't mean being less than. My family looks different than most, and we came together differently, and how amazing is that?!!  Our situation is different, our experience is different, and I think it's all pretty awesome at the end of the day. I can't parent the same way as many of my friends because it wouldn't fit for my family and I have learned to be ok with that because again, it's not between me and the world. My only responsibility in parenting is to my son.

Lastly, remember the awesomeness that is your child. These kids are survivors and I don't say that lightly. These are awesome beings of light that need you. Embrace those easier moments and revel in their majesty. These are amazing kids and that is everything. The love between you is everything. Have a good cry, work through your emotions, and when you find those quiet moments sit and revel in the love that binds you.

Much Love, J xx

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter Cards

Related Posts with ThumbnailsThese past few weeks have been a bit of a blur, and while I have yet to accomplish much of anything I did manage to get Easter cards out to the Grandparents and cousins and this felt like one ridiculously massive accomplishment. I have been patting myself on the back about this all week. Yep, it's been those kind of days which makes getting these out my Everest. So here they are I have been so dazed that I forgot to take pictures of the others before sending them off. Still, feeling more accomplished than I've felt all April! And you know what? I'll take it!

Images on cards from

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cord organizing in the bathroom

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI know. I know. Why does someone who is so insanely lazy about doing their hair have two curling irons and a straightener? Well, for the two times a year I make an effort I do use these things. But yes on a daily basis I am very very lazy. Pony tails were invented for people like me.

I do have them though and these took 10 minutes to make and for those who don't suffer from "I need to label everything" syndrome they could be done even quicker. They are easy to use and cheap. I just covered them with scrapbook paper I had.

I hope everyone has a great Friday! The first day of spring was yesterday and I can almost see the remnants of our patchy lawn underneath the melting ice... Almost. I want to go the nursery and buy a bunch of plants but we walked home in flurries yesterday so Toronto spring might not quite be here yet. Spring is my favourite season and it can not come soon enough!

J xx

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Craft Organization (mini project)

I was so disappointed when the over the cabinet holder was miles too big! Thankfully I found another use for it. I used to have Oz's crafts in a caddy but it was so big it took up his whole table. I love this! $5 at Home Sense. I love Home Sense. We used to to live 5 minutes from one in Vancouver. I probably miss it a little too much. 

Ignore the chipped paint! This is on my summer painting project list! I'm actually thinking of painting it orange.

I have three mini boxes in there from the dollar bin at Target. Perfect fit!
Filled with paint, markers, paper, colouring books, and painting smock. 

For the record out of all of his paintings he chose to hold up the abstract beauty I made. :) 

Hope everyone is having a great week!!! 

 J xx

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

3 years ago this kid was born!

So blessed. My heart is too full to say anymore.
1 Samuel 1:27 For this child I prayed. 
Love, J xx
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Infertility Hurts. Period. (Yellow Shirt Day!)

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      Today is yellow shirt day for endometriosis awareness. Endometriosis is a disease very close to my heart, my uterus, my intestines, my bladder and other organs.  If you have read my posts on infertility before you know that this is the disease responsible for my infertility. Endometriosis affects one in ten women and is the leading cause of infertility. Endometriosis is when the endometrial lining that sheds each month grows outside the uterus. This can grow anywhere, it has even been found in the brain. Each month this lining sheds from the organs it has attached itself to which can cause excessive pain, exhaustion, diarrhea, burning bladder pain, headaches, vomiting, painful sex, and much much more. It can also act as a paste attaching organs together. Some women experience very little discomfort if any and for some women this pain is debilitating. Not life threatening, but quality of life threatening.

There is no cure for endometriosis. The only way to get rid of the excessive growth is to undergo surgery. This will temporarily remove it but it will grow back. Many women suffering the effects of this disease will undergo surgery every couple of years, have parts of their other organs removed,  and in some cases have a complete hysterectomy.

Infertility is more often discussed in todays society and I think that is a really important thing. I think it is awesome more and more people are speaking out! I do however think it is important to talk about the after affects of infertility as well. The causes behind infertility do not always go away once someone has been successful in pregnancy or decided to no longer seek treatment. For many of us infertility was a long and painful emotional process that began with a long and painful disease, and continues with a long and painful disease.

I am thankful for my infertility in that I have been given the most beautiful gift from this journey. My son remains the icing on my cake every single day. I still battle this disease though, it is still very much part of my life.

For those reading this that may have endometriosis I will share a few things that have been huge life changers for me! (These will not help everyone but they helped me)

1. Accupuncture. Without a doubt I have had amazing success with this. It is worth a try for those desperate for relief and many specialize in these issues.

2. It is common for women with this disease to have wheat and milk allergies! I had no idea until last year when I was at the end of my rope. Going off wheat changed my life. I mean that sincerely. Changed my life. Daily pain minimized. Exhaustion affects me less and less. I have not had a headache in 3 months!

3. Interstitial cystitis has been referred to as endometriosis's evil twin. If you experience bladder infection  symptoms each month you may have this disease as well. Do not make the mistake I did and take cranberry pills for this! Cranberry, lemon, citrus are all irritants of this bladder disease. Here is a link to the bladder friendly diet recommended.

4. And here's a tricky one that is easier said than done but it helps me.  Relax! I know, I know, hard to do when you feel awful and sick, and want to rip your uterus out but it makes a difference.  Stress affects our hormones and this is an estrogen dominance disease. I take Vitamin B which is a big stress buster to help keep me calm... Sort of. Calm is still a work in progress.

Today is our day girls to spread awareness and talk about how this disease has impacted us. Please share your own stories and insights and if you have anything that work for you! I am always after new  tricks to help fight this disease.

Big hugs to all you women. You are warriors and I have the utmost respect and empathy for anyone who is suffering from this. Our numbers are large, and our voices need to be heard. Speak out. Share your stories. Support one another. We need you.

Love, J xx


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy Peasy Earring Organizing, Simple Drawer Fresheners, and My Favourite Spot in the House!

This is my favourite spot in the house. It's a tiny corner of our tiny bedroom and when I walk into our room it always makes me smile. It holds two of my favourite family pictures and a bowl of summer (ie, lemon potpourri), and some other little goodies I love!

These were two of the first pictures I found for our new house and they were from a thrift store for $6. I love lily of the valley but with three cats lilies are a no no in our home so this is the best I can do. Plus they make me think of Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet and then I feel a little like a princess. I'm not sure I've ever mentioned my hard core love for Kate Middleton whose wardrobe I am obsessed with but there it is. My life long goal to be best friends with the duchess all summed up in a $6 Goodwill find. 

This shelf I found a few years ago at the Sally Ann as well and I still love it. It holds my perfume (and yes I do have Britney Spears perfume. It's ok to judge me. I judge me a little too. ) And two baskets from Ikea that fit perfectly! I love a good basket. 

In basket one is a large collection of antique handkerchiefs that I have wrapped around lavender and rose petals to make drawer fresheners and a couple extra flat drawer ones. The flat ones work great for travelling and you can also use the perfume samples in magazines as well for a quick easy way to keep your clothes smelling good! 

Cute and nice smelling. This one is made from my Oma's handkerchief. Sentimental and useful!

The second basket is my jewelry holder. The Tiffany box holds some larger earring I rarely wear and the silver one holds my sentimental jewelry safe and contained. The faux egg cart if my favourite though!

With nine little spaces all my frequently worn earring fit in here. This was $2 from Michael's and worth every penny! You could easily do this with an actual egg carton or if you want something fancier Anthropoligie has some very cute ceramic ones. And as for my stud earrings...

I keep them together with buttons. Cheap and convenient buttons! Cute and easy to grab. Easy to pack too. The ones on the end Doug got me for Christmas. Aren't they ridiculously cute?!

So that is my easy Peasy Jewelry organizing! How do you store yours? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Love, J xxxx
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