Connection With Cruzier

My relationship and connection with my son Cruzier has been a rough one from the beginning. When I got pregnant with him, I was 18 and my daughter Ju-Ju Bean was almost one years old. I honestly had no clue that I was pregnant until I was three months along. Now, that may seem a little impossible to some but since I had had my daughter things had been a bit hard and I was very stressed out and I had just gotten on a new birth control shot that you get every three months. I wasn’t taking proper care of myself and was always focused on my daughter first and then my boyfriend, her father. I didn’t take the time to dress up, make makeup on, or relax. It was always about my daughter and how to fix things with my boyfriend so we could be a family. We were on and off again, with a lot of drama. As parents we should have had our lives more stable and figured out but we were young and in love with a lot of issues we both had with our own pasts. Part of the time since I had my daughter we were living with his mom, my mom, and then my daughter and I moved in with my birthmom and stepdad when we broke up. While my daughter and I were living with my birthmom, randomly I had started feeling like something was moving in my belly. I told my birthmom and we both thought it might be gas. Well it was about time for me to get my next birth control shot so I made an appointment to get it. And well, surprise surprise, I’m pregnant. Three months along to be exact. That thing I felt moving in my belly that I thought was gas? That was a baby. My baby. 

My boyfriend and I didn’t agree on what we were going to do. Both of us wanted the baby but we had to be real and face the facts a bit. We had already been struggling so much financially with our daughter since I had her. Both of us had a lot of issues we needed to work on by ourselves and overcome in order to be the parent and person we needed to be for our daughter and for ourselves. We both couldn’t completely see how we could bring another child into the mix of everything. I wanted to keep the baby though. I couldn’t possibly see myself aborting my baby and I couldn’t see someone else raising my child. The whole pregnancy, I was told we had to give the baby up for adoption. That put a huge emotional and mental block on me. I wanted to keep this baby. I know we had had a rough time with providing for my daughter but this baby was mine and brought to me for a reason. But I knew we probably couldn’t keep the baby. When the baby would kick, hiccup, or move I would try to focus on something else instead of getting attached and all excited. To be honest, I was already starting to get a little attached by then but still was trying to block it all out. 

Fast foward to when I was about 8 or a little more months along. It was obviously getting closer to when the baby was due. We were still arguing about giving the baby up for adoption and couldn’t agree. I didn’t want to give up my baby and I knew I couldn’t do it. I wanted whatever we do be both of our choices since it was our baby and I wanted us to be a family with our littles. I knew it would be hard but I also knew we would find a way to provide for our family and give our littles the best we could. Our families wanted us to give up the baby for adoption also. That was very hard to hear. But I kind of understood. They wanted the best for us and our littles and what was best in their eyes was not two young parents that kind of really rushed into things without really getting to know each other, couldn’t afford a child or even themselves, and weren’t stable yet. I totally get that. It was not the perfect situation and to be honest, I a little secretly agreed and thought we really should have waited. But things happen and they happen for a reason. I knew we should have waited and things should have been different. I should have been able to hold a steady job, waited to have sex and/or used protection, and focused more on my future with graduating and college. 

Deep down in my heart I knew I couldn’t give up my baby and live with myself for doing that. So I was secretly starting to get a little bit of stuff ready for the baby. But then things started kind of getting a little more real. I seen my mom struggle as a single mom growing up. Living paycheck to paycheck, being low on food, and struggling to pay bills. Not be around as often because of always having to work just to meet the bills. I thought it wasn’t going to last with my boyfriend. We were constantly on and off again and arguing. Both of us still needed to grow up ourselves. So my mom and I decided to meet with an adoption agency. We got the profiles of some of the potential families and I found one family I really liked. The wife was a teacher and the husband was a firefighter. They would be able to provide for my baby and give it everything it needed and wanted. So we needed to meet with the adoption agency again and also my boyfriend to get his concent to move forward with the adoption. But then he changed his mind. He didn’t want to give the baby up. He wanted to keep it. So for almost 9 months now, I’ve made sure I haven’t completely made a connection or attachment with my baby in my belly because I wasn’t sure if we could keep it or not and was told we couldn’t. And now all the sudden, about two weeks before my due date, when I am now in preterm labor, we are keeping the baby. 

Once I had my son, it was instantly hard for me. He didn’t feel like my baby. Yes, I know I just gave birth to him and pushed his tiny body out of my body but when I held him, it felt like he was someone else’s. When he cried after they gave him back to me when I was all stiched back up and in the recovery room, I looked around the room to try and find the parents. Of course, there wasn’t any parents there to take him because he was mine. But it didn’t feel like it. 

I tried to be a good mom to him, I really did. With my daughter, I used to laugh all the time with her, dance around with her, and read her books. We would giggle together, lay together watching tv, and play on the floor with all her toys. With my son, I didn’t do much of that with him. I would still make sure he was fed, changed, and he would get the sleep he needed. But I never held him just because. Or read him books. Or cuddled with him. He still didn’t feel like mine. I would play with Ju-Ju Bean when I wasn’t working and Cruzier would obviously be with us sitting in my lap or laying on his play mat or in his bouncer so he would be there when I was playing with her and he would smile and laugh at us. But my attention wasn’t really on him. It was on my daughter. I had a connection with her since she had been in my belly and had a very strong attachment to her. It just wasn’t the same. 

When my son was 9 months old we moved again but this time it was just us three. Their father and I had had stuff happen between us and I decided to move away with my littles to the town my three older sisters were living. My son all the sudden got very colicky. I would always make sure he was fed, changed, and got the sleep he needed. I would try to hold him, cuddle him, and play with him. I actually really tried. It didn’t help. He would still cry and cry and cry. The only time he wouldn’t cry was when he was eating or sleeping. We’d go to the doctors all the time because I thought there was something wrong. He wouldn’t stop crying. That’s when they told me that he was colicky and some things to try and help which some of them did start to. I was getting better with him but still felt like he wasn’t my son. I started to feel like something was wrong with me. After going to the doctor’s for a regular appointment for myself with my littles, my doctor noticed the way I was with my son and started talking to me about postpartum depression. She believed I had it and after her explaining it to me, I knew I did. She got me some help which I am very grateful for. I started getting more of a bond with my son and doing way better with him. 

Fast foward to now: my son Cruzier is now almost 8 years old and I am 27 years young. Now for the past about 4-5 years, most things have been stable. We are in a stable home, I have gotten a lot of help for myself and littles, and we are in a good place in life. I am holding down a steady job that I love. Their father and I have worked things out and are dating. He is living with us again permanently. Both of our littles are in therapy still to help them through anything and everything. I am still in therapy. We are going to church every Sunday, youth group on Thursdays, and a Bible Life Group for me on Wednesdays. Things are going very good. Cruzier and I have really gotten our bond back and a connection. We have an attachment and he is always my son. He’s my main little man in my life. Although he’s always going to be my little baby in my eyes, he has grown so much into such a amazing intelligent strong young man. I love him with all my heart. I may have not been the best mom that I needed to be for him until I got some help from my doctor, but I always wanted him and loved hin very much. Love you Cruzier. 

Cruzier a few weeks old

Look at that cute face!

Cutie Putie

Super hero to the rescue!

Best picture ever

Love

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Safety Patrol

My daughter joined the safety patrol team this year at her school. This has been a huge step for her. For a long time she has been scared of a lot of things and very attached to me. So when she told her father and I that she would like to join safety patrol, I secretly wanted to jump up for joy and we both agreed she could, as long as she continued with good grades and doing good at home. She has started to be independent and have a lot of confidence since she has started. I’m so amazed and proud of her. I can’t wait to see what other activities she wants to do and where this helps lead her. 

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Well, happy late Halloween now. You know, I meant to post this on actual Halloween but it was such a good day that I got caught up with everything. Usually I am not into the holidays as much around this time of year because of my depression but this one was pretty good. My Littles had a blast and so did I. Little #1 was Wonder Woman and Little #2 was a ninja. We were able to go trick or treating with my sister and her family, as well as with mom. It got dark and cold pretty early but all the kids were able to go to a decent amount of houses. A church in a town close to us always does a Fall Festival with bounce houses, games, and music all free and indoors that we went to. It was so much fun! 

How was your Halloween? I hope it was a blast!

Treasure Hunts

Both of my Littles were both very anxious to get to their cousin’s first birthday party yesterday and kept asking non-stop when we would be going. I’m sure you all know how that goes. I knew it was my fault since I made the mistake of telling them that we would be going as long as they were behaving and listening, thinking that would help motivate them. Of course, it just made them very impatient as it would for me as well.

So I decided to have some fun with them before I completely lost my patience.

I came up with doing some treasure hunts!

I wrote down a list of four items that they had to find around the whole house on all three floors. Most items were easy-ish but a lot of them, they had to actually think about and look for.

With Ju-Ju Bean, since she is kind of struggling with math lately and reading a little bit, I made up some math problems, had her solve the problem, and had her go find the answer to the problem somewhere throughout the house. It worked greatly! She learned how to solve the problems and she helped her brother as well with it.

With Cruzier, he is learning how to read more now so I wrote down words, had him sound them out to figure out the word, and find the word throughout the house. He learned a lot!

I also came up with a few together treasure hunts where they had to work together as a team to find the treaures. With that one, when they were done, they were able to get a surprise which was a gift certificate to a store that I had. They were able to share the certificate and split it. We went to the store and they were able to pick something out they wanted to buy that was within their amount that they had with the certificate. They were so excited that they could buy something they wanted with a gift certificate they earned. I’m so proud of them!

This whole game was a way better way to relax and have some fun while learning, instead of trying to make them calm down and be quiet without asking a million times when we would be going to the party. It was well worth it!

 

Hello Again

Hello all of you wonderful people that are reading this! I’ve missed you all so greatly and my fingers have literally been itching to write again since I haven’t been on here in about two months now, so here I am! I hope everyone has been well and I can’t wait to catch up with all of you.

Things have been changing, busy, and crazy, to say the least. But, I really am enjoying the ride. Let’s catch you all up on what’s been going on since I’ve been gone:

  1. Thanksgiving was amazing. I spent it with both of my Littles, like usual. We made a turkey and actually stuffed it! Ju-Ju Bean was very nervous and wouldn’t touch the turkey or stuffing for the life of her but Cruzier was extremely eager to help, in fact, he did most of the work for stuffing the turkey! It was a good Thanksgiving and good experience with lots of memories with my Littles.
  2. Christmas came and went. I tried my hardest to stay in the Christmas spirit and did for the most part. Towards the end, I was just ready for it to be done already. But both of my Littles had an amazing Christmas. In the Christmas spirit, we adopted one of our close family friends and her family. Ju-Ju Bean got everything ready for the girls in the family that we were adopting and Cruzier got everything ready for the boys in the family. They both had 2 people each they had to get everything for and pick out. It was such a great experience! The best part was seeing the family’s faces when they opened the gifts. We may have not been able to get tons of stuff for their family but we got some and the smile on their faces was the most rewarding part of it all.
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    Merry Christmas Everyone!

  3. Cruzier turned 7!! I still can’t believe it. I remember still being pregnant with him and giving birth to him like it was just yesterday. It’s hard to believe that he is 7 years old now but I am so proud of the little man that he is becoming.
  4.  We are getting help for Ju-Ju Bean that is actually helping which has been a long time coming. Things are working out so well now, I honestly can’t believe it. Let’s hope it continues to help! *fingers crossed*
  5. Ju-Ju Bean started gymnastics for the first time! She absolutely loves it. Thankfully, she is doing it with her cousin who is in the same class with her so it will help her. She really is doing such a good job in it, I’m so proud of her. 12321236_1198054650223211_288135607670585486_n.jpg
  6. I just got a new job today! I have been filling out applications left and right, going to interviews constantly this week, and finally got the call back from the one I really wanted for a job offer. It’s amazing! I will be working at a nursing home as a Certified Nursing Assistant taking care of residents there. I can’t wait to start!
  7. I am actually happy and so are my Littles. I love it! Everything is working out so much right now, it’s kind of scary to feel this way without worrying that things won’t go to pieces soon. But I know that if you think negative, negative will happen. So I am trying to think positive and stay in the present which is totally new to me. But here’s to new thinking, new things, and a new life.
  8. As of this month, I have really been trying to get in shape finally. I have an amazing fitness partner along with a few other amazing people that are helping encourage and support me. I feel so much better now that I am starting to pick up healthy habits and change it into lifestyle changes. I hope I can continue this, as all of you know that it is hard for me to stick with something for a long time.

From a Mother Whose Littles Have Been Bullied

I look at my Littles and I can’t help but think of how they might have been now if they had never been bullied. I love my Littles through thick and thin, always and forever. There’s nothing that can ever change that. But there’s a small part of me that wonders what they would have been like if they had not been bullied in the previous years.

Before my daughter had been bullied, she used to talk to anyone and everyone with a second thought. While that scared me a little bit since there are so many strangers and others that could cause harm to her, she would make talk to others without really a second thought. It was very easy for her to make friends, in fact she thought everyone was her friend and played with everyone that she could. She would tell me about everyone she talked to and played with, about their lives, and what she learned from them. She was always so proud to have made a new friend. My daughter used to not care what anyone else thought of what she looked like, what she did, or what she said. She used to be her and there wasn’t anyone that could change her opinion about herself or “rain on her parade.” She knew what she liked and what she didn’t like, who she was, and what she was. Every single day, she would pick out a perfect outfit for herself that completely reflected her personality. It may not have matched to everyone else but it was her style and every clothing she picked out was a reflection of her. She would wear striped pants with a polka dot shirt, glitter jeans with a bright colored shirt, or a cute animal shirt with a skirt. It was her. Her style, her personality, her fashion. She loved it and so did her brother and I. I wished I could pull off the outfits she put together and rock it like she did.

Now, she’s changed. She’s not the same little free style, relaxed, fun loving big girl anymore.

She’s very cautious about what she wears, what she says, and what she does. Those outfits she used to wear are mostly long gone. Don’t get me wrong, she still wears cute outfits but she always stresses she has to make sure they match, are in style, and if anyone else likes them. With other littles, it’s a struggle for her majority of the time. It’s hard for her to make friends, speak to other littles, and play with them. She’s always worried about if they will like her or not like her and bully her, if she will get picked on, and what if she isn’t good enough to them. Anything she does, makes, or says now, is second guessed by herself on whether it’s good enough or not. She’s not confident in herself any more to say what’s on her mind, to do what she wants to do, or wear what she wants to wear. If there’s an idea or a problem she has, she doesn’t voice it until later when she’s alone with me.

She’s not the same little girl she was.

My son didn’t get bullied as much but it still has affected him in some ways. He used to have no problem making friends. Everyone and anyone was his friend, even the crossing guard and cashier at the store. He loved talking to everyone and making people laugh. He was always so excited about daycare, school, and even going to the store, simply because he could make friends and play with them.

Now, he’s different. He’s a different little boy.

He has a hard time making friends. He doesn’t just go up to other littles and adults and talk to them. He watches from a distance for a while and doesn’t really approach them. He’s not the same little friendly spunky big boy he used to be.

Both of my Littles have changed. Because of bullies. There’s no bringing back my spunky, free willed, fun loving, relaxed, outgoing Littles. They are forever changed.

I will always love them, always and forever. No matter how much they change or grow up, they will always be my Littles and in my heart. They will always be my life. It may take some time, like now, to get used to the new them and be able to help them with what they have gone through but I will always be there for them to help support, encourage, and love them.

At times I wish what they would have been like if they weren’t bullied. Would they still have no problem making friends? Would they be fun loving without a care in the world about what others thought of them? Would my daughter still be wearing the awesome outfits she used to pick out that fit her personality so well? Would they have confidence in themselves?

But then I remember that everything happens for a reason and no matter what, they are still my little babies and will always be my world. No matter what they go through or how much they grow up or change, I will always be there treasuring the moments. Every once in a while, like tonight at Girl Scouts for my daughter, I see little glimpses of her being her true self again and it almost makes me cry.

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If you know your littles are getting bullied, please take it seriously and push to put a stop to it before it causes damage. If you know your littles are bullying others, please help them. It can cause damage to others that isn’t repairable completely.

Thankful Challenge Day 1: My Littles

It’s November, my favorite month of the year. While I don’t like the cold weather we normally get during the month, I love the changing colors of the leaves and that Thanksgiving is coming. I’ve decided to write each day about gratitude. Every day I will give thanks to something important in my life. Since I’m a little late starting, I will post my thankful challenge for the first three days.

Thankful Challenge Day 1: My Littles

My Littles are everything to me. Since day one, they have changed my life for the better. Even though we met earlier than maybe we should have, they are gave my life reason. Reason for being, reason for living, reason for life. Each and every single day, I look forward to spending time with them and seeing them. I never knew I could love two people as much as I could love them.

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Catching Up

It feels like forever since I’ve wrote a post on here, even though its only been a little over a month. So much has happened over that time, so much to the point that it’s hard to go through everything that has happened.

One of my sister’s and I went to our first Badger Football Game ever! It was a blast. There was a lot of laughs, smiles, and fun that day.

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My sister and I at the Badger Game

My daughter started Girl Scouts for the first time! She is a Brownie Scout and is loving it. There are a lot of other girls in her troop that she is getting to know so it’s really helping boost her confidence. She’s learning a lot and so happy to be apart of something. I got to sew her patches on her sash (my first time sewing ever!) and I’m very happy that I can be with her in her Girl Scouts experience supporting her through the way.

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After a few trials and errors with sewing, her sash is ready!

My son started Boy Scouts for the first time! He is a Tiger Scout. He got to go to Boy Scouts camp with his troop and myself with his sister as well. It was definitely an experience that was very worth it. He learned so much and so did his sister and I. While he was one of the littles there without a father that attended, the other fathers there took him under their wing and showed him how to play football among other activities which meant so much to us. I’m so proud of him and being able to be there go him to help support him in his experience with Boy Scouts.

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Our first time camping for Boy Scouts!

My two older sister’s mother got very sick due to cancer and passed away. A lot had happened in between the moment she got sick and passed even though it happened so quickly. It was a very hard time for my sister’s and the whole family. It still very much is hard for everyone. My sister’s mother was a very important person in everyone’s lives. It’s still shocking to everyone that she is gone and very difficult to get through. She will be greatly missed and remembered greatly each and every single day.

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Greatly missed

My daughter went on her first field trip of the year at her new school. I was able to come with. We went to a survival house at a fire station and to a garden place. It was definitely an experience. We learned a lot and were able to experience a lot that really benefited us.

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We celebrated Halloween this year with my sister, two of my niece’s, and two of my nephew’s. It was a blast and was really nice to be able to spend some quality relaxing time with my family.

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Halloween 2015

Reactive Attachment Disorder

Reactive attachment disorder is a rare but serious condition. It is when an infant or young child can’t establish healthy attachments with parents or caregivers. It may develop if the child’s basics needs for comfort, affection and nurturing aren’t being met and loving, caring, stable attachments with others are not established. With treatment, children with reactive attachment disorder may develop more stable and healthy relationships with caregivers and others. Treatments include positive child and caregiver interactions, a stable nurturing environment, psychological counseling, and parent or caregiver education.

Reactive attachment disorder can start in infancy. Some signs and symptoms may include withdrawal, fear, sadness or irritability that is not readily explained; sad and listless appearance; not seeking comfort or showing no response when comfort is given; failure to smile; watching others closely but not engaging in social interaction; failing to ask for support or assistance; failure to reach out when picked up; and no interest in playing peekaboo or other interactive games.

Infants and young children need a stable, caring environment to feel safe and develop trust. All of their basic emotional and physical needs have to be constantly met. A child needs are ignored or met with a lack of emotional response from caregivers does not come to expect care of comfort or form a stable attachment to caregivers. Most children are naturally resilient, and even those who’ve been neglected, lived in orphanages, or had multiple caregivers can develop healthy relationships.

The risk of developing reactive attachment disorder from serious social and emotional neglect or the lack of opportunity to develop stable attachments may increase in children who: live in a children’s home or other institution, frequently change foster homes or caregivers, have inexperienced parents, have prolonged separation from parents or other caregivers, have a mother with postpartum depression, and are parent of an usually large family where such parental time is scarce or available unequally or rarely.

The best treatment for a child with reactive detachment disorder is a positive, loving, stable, caring environment and caregiver. There’s no standard treatment but it should involve both the child and parents or primary caregivers. Early intervention appears to improve outcomes. Goals of treatment are to help ensure that the child has a safe and stable living situation and develops positive interactions with parents and caregivers. Treatment strategies include: encouraging the child’s development by being nurturing, responsive and caring; providing consistent caregivers to encourage a stable attachment for the child; providing a positive, stimulating, and interactive environment for the child; addressing the child’s medical, safety and house needs as appropriate; individual and family psychological counseling; education of parents and caregivers about the condition; and parenting skills classes. Without treatment, reactive attachment disorder can continue for several years and may have lifelong consequences.

This was one of my assignments to do with my internship so that I could get some background on what some of the children are going through in their lives. Researching reactive detachment disorder has really opened up my eyes and has helped me understand more about some of the children. Very eye opening.

New Adventure: Internship

Since I am almost done with school (YAY!!) I was chosen to do an internship with a juvenile group home by one of my favorite teachers. I am absolutely excited and nervous at the same time. This is what career field I want to go into, helping children in their time of need. I want to save all the children, as corny as that sounds. I know you can’t save everyone and you can’t save someone who doesn’t want the help at that time but I do know that you can be there for someone in their times of need to help support them and encourage them with showing them that there is still someone that cares for them. Now I’m definitely sure there will be many challenges to doing this internship but I couldn’t be happier that I will be able to try and help children in their time of need. That is what makes me tick, what makes me the most happy in the whole word. I know there may be hard, sad, and depressing times in their career field but being able to be there for others, especially children for me, in their times of need is just amazing to me and means the world to me. When I was in my times of need as a child, I had an amazing foster mother that helped show me that I wasn’t alone along with amazing counselors that helped show me the way with supporting me. It was so very helpful having amazing people be there for me along the way. I hope I can be there for children in their time of need and help as much as possible and maybe hopefully make a difference in someone’s life. That is my goal and I’m so happy I’m one more stop closer to accomplishing it. Wish me luck!