Sorry about that folks. We had our own little Fa-la-la-la-FASD holiday here at Family of 4.
But it went MUCH better than I ever could have expected. I hate to jinx it because we still have New Years to get through, but this holiday was probably one of the best, behavior wise, that we have had in over 5 yrs of holidays with the girls.
Dave has to work 6 days a week 10 hour days through New Years day. Then he has asked for this coming Saturday through Monday off. He is tired and that gets really old (especially when you are on salary so you don't get overtime). His boss said he could fill out a vacation form and he was like, "I have worked 6 days a week, 10 hour days for two months, I want a day off, not a vacation day. They gave it to him. It will finish off our holidays on a good note.
SO the girls started their vacation on Dec. 23rd. We stayed in and watched movies, went out 1 or 2 days and ran last minute errands, but I knew getting LGA out with all the sensory overload would not bode well so we didn't do it without a plan (had to get pet food and had to go to two different stores so let them look at all the pets IN the pet store. I did my grocery shopping the Sunday before Christmas and got out to see Saving Mr. Banks (which I totally enjoyed, although I did have to bring out the tissue at one point) do some last minute shopping and then grocery shopping by myself. We kept LGA out of the stores where she would be tempted to throw a fit or have a meltdown. The only thing we did do at the beginning of the month is I took the girls to see Frozen, which they both loved and while LGA had a very hard time keeping still during the movie, they both liked it.
I needed to make Christmas gifts for the teachers (luckily the aide and bus driver were out, but I plan on making it up to them when school is back in session. The speech teacher showed up on Friday the last day of school, and I had no idea when he was there so didn't get a gift for him either. Starbucks cards it will be) the last week of school. I had LGA help me in the kitchen because I was tired (we did a LOT of baking this year, more than any of the years they have been home) and she turned out to be the best helper. She likes baking (gonna start her on helping to cook next) and is very focused, a little OCD, but very good in the kitchen. I did the measuring and pouring and she flattened out the chocolate chip peanut butter cookies and stirred while I poured stuff. Next I will let her do eggs and pour, etc. But it was fun for us to be in the kitchen together and I really enjoyed hanging out with LGA. BGA didn't throw a fit or get jealous she let her sister help, but she did make sure she told me she wanted to help me as well. BGA's teacher got two pairs of earrings I made (one was a Christmas pair) and some fudge (which BGA said she liked) and LGA's teacher got some cinnamon quick bread, and a necklace I had bought (not very expensive) but had not worn at all. LGA liked it and wanted her teacher to have it so I made some earrings for her too. Both teachers liked their gifts.
There was a dance for BGA the Friday before school got out. BGA's teacher said BGA was shy and didn't want to dance and she came out really moody and did not appear to have a good time. It was a 6-8 grade dance and BGA's teacher said the kids ALL wanted her to dance and no one was making fun of her so teacher is hoping the next dance will be better for her as she knows what to expect now. I think, based on how BGA can be, that she did not want to get embarrassed. I have seen this behavior in her before when she thinks she will be embarrassed. We will need to work on it, but I was sort of sad as she looked really pretty, a boy asked her to go (he got demerits and was not allowed to go to the dance at all) and I really thought she'd have a good time. But I think it will be better now that she knows what to expect, for the next dance. The pressure is off.
I spoke to LGA's teacher who had a temp for the last 2 weeks of school so the kids were kinda hyper and not acting like they normally would. LGA's teacher explained that they moved LGA off the playground for bigger kids and on to a separate playground with some of the kids in her class. She said that LGA was doing much better (she was having lots of issues with the older kids) and I agreed. Her teacher said she went out and observed LGA's behavior and said it was too much for her. FASD kids do get along with younger kids much more than with older ones, so I was a bit happy this change had been made.
Fast forward to the week of Christmas. Both girls were doing well. LGA was on excitement overload and was getting up at the crack of dawn (4:45 or 5:00, that's really wearing on this NON morning mama) and going to bed at 9pm! This is still happening so she's starting to get tired now. I know when she gets back to routine in school she is going to be very tired and cranky. But she lays in bed and refuses till the melatonin kicks in, to go to bed. She calls down the hallway gets out of bed, etc. She is also very very loud in the mornings.
Christmas Eve we decided to eat cold cuts and salads and have the goodies we baked. I also got diet soda, something I never do (and am now paying for it as both girls want soda at every meal now. We rarely have it in the house and I try really hard to limit it when we are out as well. We watched Arthur Christmas, which is always a favorite. LGA did not go to bed till 10pm, her excitement was SO great. That meant procrastinator Dave and Molly had to hurry up and wrap after she went to bed. I think we finished at midnight, after watching Christmas Story on TBS and Christmas Vacation (a tradition for us while wrapping) on DVD. We finally crashed at midnight and LGA woke up at 5 and began (unbeknownst to us) digging in stockings and took stuff out of Dave and BGA's and put it in mine (I did the stockings so I knew who had what). SO I am thinking she might have gotten up earlier than 5 but 5 is when I became aware of her.
We had a leisurely time at home, baked french toast, eggs and bacon. Hot cocoa with marshmallows for the girls. The kids played with toys and mommy took a 2 hour nap. I cooked a turkey breast and ham and we have been eating off the leftovers. The day after the attitudes got a bit more meltdownish (they did after all feel they needed to hold it together for Christmas to come) but never really too bad. They (LGA mostly) snapped out of the attitudes quickly, which was quite nice. If you have read my previous blog you know that the girls really did not behave well at holidays, there was grief, there was acting out, it was horrible. Dave and I couldn't wait for the holidays to be over. They started getting better in about 2010 and onward, but there were still issues till last year. However, last year my mom died so I really did not care to celebrate. So last year it was pretty simple and pretty simple this year too. We didn't have anyone's house to go to, so we stayed in and kept routines the same as much as we could.
What I liked about Christmas was that we enjoyed each other's company. BGA took stuff from her room and made gifts for us all (without being asked or prompted). LGA got a full story (we are Molly and Dave in the story which is a bit interesting. I have not read the whole thing but that is what I saw on the first page). She wrote little cards for everyone as well. I was really proud about that. The day was nice and so far each day has been pretty good. Which I am not used to. I am used to drama. Lots of drama. This was kind of nice. I don't know if we'll have any drama going forward but hopefully not. Our days are quiet and we are enjoying being together. I am used to drama, I am used to waiting anxiously for them to go back to school and the holiday to be over. Not this time. There has been a little bit of drama from the pre-teen, now 12, whose standard line (which is getting a bit old) is, "Really Mom? Really?" LOL. I am getting used to eye rolls,sighs and "whatever" a lot. LOL.
I wish I had pics to show you but I really didn't take any. I used to take so many in the beginning but I have not really taken too many pics lately. I do have some pics of my baker's helper:
Playing checkers with me (don't notice the messy family room behind. The trash bin is there for them to clean up that shelving area, but we haven't tackled it yet. She's getting good at checkers and almost beat me. We were playing the day BGA went to her dance. This precluded a huge meltdown when we decided to go to dinner after the dance and she wanted soup (and they were all out). She kept saying, "I want soup" over and over and finally the waitress told her they were out of it. She was quiet after that, but it was all relating to her sub aide and she just was on overload. I didn't realize she had an aide and so I couldn't talk to her to help her to work through it. I only found out when she had a meltdown in the restaurant. Dave said there was an older man eating a burger across from us and when LGA started her melt, he got up and went to have his coffee at the bar. LOL. And I can LOL now but I really have a hard time when this kind of stuff happens. Someday I will bust out with, "walk a mile in my shoes, lady/man" I am sure.
I do have a pic of BGA before her dance. I think she was nervous because this is the only 'smile' I got out of her. I ran to school before the dance and got her ready in the van. She did not want to do it but I told her it would be better than going down to the bathroom to do it. The windows are shaded so I put her there with doors closed and she was able to get ready quickly. She really looked pretty I thought.
And this one is on her birthday when she could officially ride with me in the front seat (which she TOTALLY loves, LOL). I just love this picture of her, she is getting older and looking more teen to me.
So from our family to yours, I wish you a safe, happy, healthy New Year. There have been a lot of people losing family and friends this month, it's been sort of sad to me. Here's hoping 2014 is a good, healing year for everyone.
So if I don't come back to this space before New Years............see you all on the flip side. :-)