Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sensory Overload...a daily struggle in a two-year olds world

Part 1:

It's often hard for people without sensory issues to understand what it's like for those that do. In my own home, my children that do not have a sensory problem have a hard time understanding the ones that do.

I don't know if this is just a two-year old thing or a precursor of things to come but our two year old has been wanting to be naked or sometimes not wanting to wear certain clothing, not wanting to eat foods he used to eat, not wanting to play with things he loved to play with and so on. Navigating the day with him has been quite a challenge. Then add potty-training on top of that, a very sensory overloading process as I have just learned, and we are MeltdownsRus.

After spending weeks of complete chaos, meltdowns (by both child and myself) and frustration, I decided I needed to make concessions and be flexible. That's really hard when your child insists on being naked and you insist the he wear clothes in order to go in public. Damn those societal conventions!

I decided that he needed choices. I know, at two, do they really need choices? In a word, YES. So when he gets up in the morning and doesn't want to wear clothes, I hold up a few things, mostly a few different types/colors of underwear or pants and ask him which one. He points and we are on our merry way. Well, except when I don't have what he wants to wear. Essentially this works most of the time. I have decided that as long as his bottom is covered, and we aren't going anywhere, he doesn't have to wear a shirt. Now I keep my house cold and that doesn't seem to bother him and I am honestly too tired and busty to be a helicopter parent so if he wants to go without a shirt, let him be cold and learn about it on his own terms.

Brushing his teeth is another struggle. Can I just tell you that it took me months to figure out he didn't like the toothpaste? He doesn't like the gritty texture of toothpastes. Yeah, apparently he has a favorite brand, Jason with the Octopus on it, and it's only sold at Whole Foods around here. And by "around here" I mean Whole Foods is 30 minutes away. The tube normally costs $6.00, but ended up costing me $55.00 because we found some other cool stuff there and then factor is gas for a Suburban. Cha-ching, the things we do for love, or less meltdowns.

Okay, back on topic, getting the right toothpaste was the answer, or so I thought. My two year old is a routine child meaning he likes things in a set routine and done a certain way. Unless he thinks it should be changed. When it was time to brush his teeth, because we had been out of routine for months, he didn't want to brush after the first night. Apparently it was a novelty the first night. That's where outwitting him came into play. I just offered him three choices of toothbrushes. One that spins, and two that are manual, one with Jessie and Bullseye on it and the other is plain. Tooth brushing issues solved, for now.

Don't get me started on food. Oops, too late! We used to have "safe" foods. You know, the foods he would eat no matter what. Yeah, not so much anymore. The only safe foods, if you can call liquids food, are milk with liquid coffee creamer in it, tea, orange juice, American cheese, and mozzarella cheese sticks. These are the only consistent foods in his diet. I almost bought McDonald's because for weeks all he would eat was their chicken nuggets. I won't even tell you about the time I tried to make them. Let's just say, TOTAL disaster and the smoke alarms went off. 

So we play it day-by-day and I celebrate the small victories like eating applesauce, yogurt and crackers. Those may not be what he eats tomorrow but for today, they work. And, if I can get him to at least wear something on his cute little butt, I am victorious!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cash Diet...struggling with the cash envelopes but not eating far.

I finally have gotten around to adding up all the receipts for our groceries last month. I kinda procrastinated on this because I thought I was over budget and didn't want feel disappointed. I knew I had forgotten my cash envelope a few times and had to use debit instead. AND, I knew we blew our eating out budget completely.

Boy was I ever surprised when I added them up today to see I was $120 UNDER budget! Of course I did what any normal person would do, I added up my receipts three or four more times to be sure. Yep, still under budget! I spent $279.83 (if I found all my receipts) and I got $1263 worth of groceries. That's about a 79% savings. I don't think I will have to buy laundry detergent or cereal for a year or more.

Anyway, it's been a bit of a struggle this month so that's why I thought for sure I had blown it. I mean when I opened my cash envelope and found cash in there I really didn't believe it. Gosh I really hope I don't find any more receipts!

So why stress myself out and take on such a grandiose goal? Well, I am an all or nothing kind of person when it comes to some things. I hate not being able to do something fully or having to stop in the middle to finish it later. Mostly because I never get back to it later and find it again in three years. By then I have moved on to something else. I guess that would explain my messy basement and unfinished sewing table. And probably a few dozen other things and areas. This would also explain why instead of trying to just work on keeping to the grocery budget I have to do the entire budget.

My other goal recently was to not eat out at all this month. My dear husband asked if we could postpone it for another month. The month he would be deployed. Yeah, NO. If I have to suffer, so do you! Just sayin'.  I have only eaten out once. I was craving a burger and dear husband tried to make me one but it wasn't what I was craving. The next day, after spending a large portion of the day at the doctor's and pharmacy with a very busy two year old, I was heading home well after lunch and could not resist the temptation, being weak with hunger and all and super stressed, so I broke down and bought a burger. Good news is it worked and I no longer crave it.

Anyway, we knew there would be a few times this month where we had to "eat out" for events, like a fundraising event for scouts and a banquet for swim team. That money will come out of groceries this month since we knew about them in advance.

Not too bad on the goals. I am trying to think and keep positive. I'll leave all my pessimism for my Facebook page.