J-Bear and Me

learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Month: September 2013 (page 2 of 3)

Yard Sale Aftermath

We did it! We survived our yard sale. Through the generosity of the Carpenito family, who allowed us to invade their space (which we are still invading, and will fix that soon!) and made generous donations of items alongside our many fabulous donors we raised $300 yesterday for Team Jacobly!

I have so much more to write and no time with which to write it.

Tomorrow I hope to have an updated total on our efforts for everyone. Stay tuned and most especially, thank you to everyone who so wonderfully supported us yesterdays.

And thank you to Papa Ginos for lunch. Which was purchased. But was still good. Cause, pizza.

Come on by! Yard Sale Today!

image

We will be here from 9am til 2pm!

Yard Sale Saturday!

Our yard sale is Saturday! Check out details here!  We’ve got a lot of random items, a LOT of them gently used baby and young kid items. Come on by on Saturday and check us out!

Also please pray this heat breaks, I’m going to die. Thanks. 😉

Never Forget

Every year I have posted these same pictures on other sites. I got them from a magazine not long after 9/11 and there was no explaination with them other than they were taken near Ground Zero. I wish I knew the story, or who these men were, or how this dear little lion came to be wearing a lifevest.

I was 23 years old on 9/11/01. I worked at the Museum of Science as a telephone services rep assisting visitors with information, ticket purchases and assisting educators with planning field trips. I always got to work extremely early because of the brutality of the commute from Bridgewater, MA, to Boston, MA. It was so, so very peaceful that morning and so very beautiful. The skies were clear, the sun was shining, the temperature was perfect. I remember looking out the library windows at the Boston skyline and admiring it, wishing my friend Nick who was in the area visiting from Australia could have seen it. He was up in Maine, you see. He’d flown out of Portland a day before the terrorists did.

It was people I spoke to on the internet who told me what happened. It was “just a small plane”. Oh. Scary, but not as scary as it could have been. When the “could have been” started to come true, it was terrifying. People down in the museum had access to television but in our office we did not due to the nature of our work. We had what we could get textually on the internet. Fark.com and other sites became essential as they had the best updates and were the most stable. We fielded few calls that day, mostly from schools cancelling or rearranging trips and such in the aftermath of such terror. We reassured people our doors were open and eventually, the admission fee was waived. People still stayed away, and I understood that. An eerie quiet settled over our world.

Driving home that night, the roadways were empty. Logan was closed, all her aircraft lined up neatly at the gates and on the tarmac. The only sound was an occasional military jet. Everyone was jumpy; skittish. What shoe would fall next?

But we emerged. Our generation was dragged into the realities of a military at war. We saw young men and women head off, some to never return. Today, those wars have either ended or will end soon. Our military is coming home.

Maybe next year, I can say we live in a more peaceful world, a fitting tribute to those we lost that day.

Haircuts, He Hates Them

Oh, does he hate them.

He liked exactly one haircut in his whole life. It was his very first, done by a dear friend, and he was the happiest clam to ever clam.

Every haircut since has been utter fail and woe.

Today was only a little different. I didn’t want to drive so far away and risk hitting nasty traffic so I took him up the road to a chain salon. The lady who took him happened to be the lady who cut my hair a couple of weeks ago. She did an amazing job with him! Despite his screaming the entire time, she gave him a very clean, even, nice haircut. I am actually shocked given that even though I had him on my lap he was all over the place.

Here’s his cuteness before grocery shopping afterwards:

haircut day_marked

Of course this sweetness belies the fact that the moment we got home he lost his mind so badly it took a half hour to calm him down. Good with the bad, folks, good with the bad.

Back to school tomorrow with the goal set at having him attending full days by next week. It might be too ambitious but we shall try!

I have great news about some awesome donations that I will post later. My inbox needs going through and I better get at it!

Gratitude

I had another post started and ended up crying too hard to finish it. Why? Cause I’m a sap, that’s why. I cry very easily. It’s embarrassing.

This time it was about the story of a mother and daughter. The daughter has autism. The mother, for reasons known truly only to her but speculated at by those who have both been there and not been there, attempted to end her own life as well as that of her young daughter. There are not words for the horror and fear this sparks within me.

So after I read the story this morning, I sat watching J. His word of the day is again “no”, so every question you ask is answered with that. No one could make “no” sound sweeter than J. His little voice is just a beautiful thing to me. We fought over the idea of sneakers. We fought over wearing a sweatshirt. We fought over leaving his stuffed cat home. It was a struggle and a half this morning until the moment he arrived at his classroom…

I would change none of it.

I am so scared that a day might come when my little boy is a very big boy and he cannot manage how he expresses himself. I am so scared of the idea that one day I might be scared of my beautiful son. Part of me wants to keep him my sweet, loving little bitty (well, not so little bitty) guy forever. I know his nature. I know he is sweet right down to the very soul of himself. He is empathetic, he is loving, he is naturally observant and kind. He has limits, though. When his system is overwhelmed, I do not know what may happen years down the road.

So today, I am thankful for the little boy I now have and the chance to just love him. I hope that as he grows older, supports are always there to help manage raising him and helping him. I also hope that my friends out there who find themselves being primary caretakers also know that hey, we’re all in this together. Let’s not let any one of us sink. If you find your mind wandering off into dark, scary places… Well, I may be crap at phone calls but call or send messages. Raise the red flag and I’ll be amongst those who rally to you to help you get through it.

Our kids deserve it and so do we.

My Preschooler

firstdayofpreschool

Welcome to life with J-bear. He attended his first day of preschool today. I decided that him only staying til 12:30 was likely the best bet for him since he’s never had anything like a full day of school before.

Turns out, he did pretty well!

He struggled with transitions but recovered well it seems. He even went to the gym without melting down from what they said. It’s pretty awesome to hear that knowing how he struggles with places that echo.

The fact that his teacher and the classroom aides have this amazing sense of calm about how they manage the classroom is likely a huge part of why they’re succesful. Despite every child having very different needs the classroom had no air of chaos whatsoever. Everyone seemed well attended to and well cared for. This makes me feel better about the year to come. I can see him truly flourishing in an environment like this.

Next week will be the true test as he starts to get into staying even longer days and such but I think this will slowly start to work out just fine.

At least I hope it will, anyway.

What a Day

The meltdowns, they return.

He hinted at their resurgence this morning when, upon arriving at his new school, he realized that he would not be going out to play on the beautiful play structure they have right beside the preschool classrooms. He was livid at being “forced” to enter the school and visit his classroom to meet his teacher, aides and classmates. One of the aides from the summer classroom happens to be the secretary at his school so seeing her helped.

I would like to thank the brain trust that decided to put a gorgeous, fun, appealing playground structure outside the preschool classrooms at J’s school. The preschoolers are absolutely forbidden to play on it. You must be in kindergarten or older. Let’s ignore that the exact same structure is at every school in our town and he was allowed to play at the one at summer school. I feel pretty awful for the teachers and aides having to explain to all these 3 and 4 year olds that nope, as fun as it looks you must NOT go near it.

Good times.

Anyway back to our story – He came home, had a brief nap and then we were off to therapy. The poor guy, something really does seem to be going on. He was so very spaced out and at one point even bodily moving him did not get his attention to return. I had to wait til he tuned back in to ask him to hop into the car. He continued to be a little spaced out during therapy though he did a good job meeting his new speech therapist.

Then we went to the grocery store.

Big mistake.

He screamed pulling into the parking lot. He screamed getting out of the car. He screamed going into the store. Once we were in the store I stopped with him and our carriage the first place it was safe to do so. I let him stim against the side of the carriage to calm himself but even with timers and transitional warnings, he wasn’t transitioning away from it. He melted down completely. Now, this is not the time to give a stranger unsolicited advice but of course, someone did. I ignored it the sheer stupidity of it, for they had no clue my son wasn’t just being an angry three year old, he was dealing with oh so much more.

I did all I could to stay calm and not cry. I succeeded, mostly. Very close to completely. I got him settled with his iPad once he relented to sitting in the cart and raced like my butt was on fire through shopping.

These are the days that are hard. These are the days I want to tell all the things that make my son struggle to jump off a ledge. I cannot however separate the good from the bad without losing that which is intrinsically J, so I will take the bad with the good and hope people keep their weird advice to themselves more often.

Gentle Giant and Troubling Behaviors

J is a big boy. He just turned 3 this past June and is already 39″ or so tall and 36lbs of boy. He seems like such a little scarecrow to me given how lean he is but when I pick him up I am quickly reminded just how solid that deceptively scrawny body of his is.

He has this natural gentleness to him that has consistently surprised me. There has only been one true instance in his whole life where he swatted at another child intentionally. It happened at Early Intervention group and the moment it happened I separated him from the moment, told him “no” and that we do not hit, and sent him back to play. I was nervous that it might be a sign of emerging aggression yet the aggression never came. The episode never repeated and though he can be as rough and tumble as children his age generally are this behavior has stayed at bay.

The gentleness disappears when it comes to himself. It would be unfaithful to the truth of our story if I did not tell the bad with the good. Within the past few months he has taken to hitting himself in the head or hitting his head off things when he is frustrated with something. The situations that bring out this behavior are nearly always within the home and seem to all be related to him being told “no” when he is already kind of tapped out or tired, but it’s hard to say whether or not he does it outside the home. I am definitely going to ask his team to keep watch for the behavior but overall… I can’t describe how it makes me feel.

I guess in a lot of ways it doesn’t matter how it makes me feel because the focus truly needs to be on finding out the root source of why he does it. I have some empathy for him when he gets frustrated. He doesn’t understand why he might be being told no, or being diverted, or being asked to get ready to transition. He seems like he is overwhelmed with things in that given moment and he has no proper output. Today, after a careful transition out of playing a game on the Yogibo with me he walked into the kitchen, knelt down on the runner and banged his head off the hard tile floor. I was so upset I just couldn’t even act. He realized quite fast that wasn’t a great plan on his part but then proceeded to keep smashing his head and face into the Yogibo til I managed to work him away from being on it and got him focused on dinner.

This is likely very convoluted but this is very difficult. I want to help him cope, to give him tools to help ease whatever is making him feel that actions like these are the only outlets, but how do I do that? I use my words. Words aren’t going to be his outlet, not yet, maybe not ever. I know the people he works with always have great suggestions but man. It breaks a mother’s heart to realize that her sweet, loving, gentle giant of a boy is having a hard time being that way with himself at so young an age. I can only wrap him up in my arms and remind him he’s okay and everything’s alright so many times. I always remind him he needs to be gentle with himself and to “play in a gentle way” (thanks Ni Hao, Kai-lan!) with his body but man do I ever feel useless.

Broken Toys

I was going to write something Deep! Profound! Amazing! today but then, well, Hurricane J hit.

There’s something in the air today that is causing every toy he touches to break. He’s broken a flashlight, a light up spinny thing and what feels like everything else in this living room. I’m scared to hug him because I cannot afford any more ER visits this year.

I think he knows school starts this week. I tell him, of course. Today we’re even going to put up our super awesome Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magnetic Calendar* and start talking about our days. I am going to use the bottom half of the calendar as a magnetic schedule. I initially had planned to do something completely different in terms of daily scheduling but when I discovered this calendar had the top and bottom parts it made much more sense to keep our month and our day all together.

Anyway the starkly strange weather (highly unsettled, lots of rain, hard on allergies type stuff) plus the imminent change really is the likely culprit for Mr. Boy being so loopy and frankly destructive. He’ll have some Yogibo time later after we go run our errands, which I hope will help, but for now… pray for me.

And send defensive padding.

I’m going to need it.

—————-

*= obligatory disclaimer that my Amazon links are affiliates links. purchases made via them will help with diaper money. I know, I live extravagantly.

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