Monday, December 8, 2014

A Melatonin Testimony

Hi everyone! I am very excited to share this post with you! Use wisdom but don't operate out of fear, special Moms!

     A couple years ago I was desperate for suggestions on helping Noah get to sleep (and stay asleep) at night. I sought the help of one of Noah's specialist that treat kids with Autism and he told me of other families that had a lot of success using melatonin and highly recommended it. I was more than skeptical. I didn't really know what it was, how it worked, or anyone else who used it... and to be honest, it kinda sounded way too easy.

What is Melatonin? <----Learn more

     More time passed, and bedtime was becoming more and more of a battle. I seriously HATED BEDTIME. HATED. IT. I would dread it every night... My mood would go from "positive" and "upbeat" to "someone shoot me" as the sun went down on a seemingly rapid pace. It was like a bad movie appropriately titled: 
Groundhog Day: Mommy's Personal Hell.

     Every night my children turned into sun downers on speed and I was exhausted by just knowing what was coming my way. 

Noah is over stimulated. 
Lydia is overly tired and crying. 
Sophia keeps leaving the room. 
I can't seem to make Roman happy. 
1 hour. 
2 hours.
3 HOURS (!!!!!) 
sometimes went by.... 

And just when I thought I had won the battle,  Noah would wake up a few short hours later, READY and EAGER to start his day. 

     It may sound funny, but really was clinically exhausting. I was not getting the sleep I needed, nor were they. Every morning the boys were starting their school day stressed out, tired and emotional. I hated it and something had to change.

     Over the last couple years I was learning and becoming more and more comfortable with using essential oils, pro-biotics, herbs and vitamins. But for some reason I was STILL nervous about this melatonin thing. Maybe it was because it was a sleep aid and I was fearful that I would give them too much and GOD FORBID! **FYI, that has never been reported as happening** But honestly, looking back, I know this ridiculous fear came from the pit of hell to keep me exhausted, frustrated and overwhelmed!<---RealTalk

     I decided to seek the opinions of fellow Moms on Facebook- and immediately assumed they would judge me or have nothing positive to say. And that was if I was lucky enough to know ANY ONE who would do such a thing to their child(ren)! 
Wow... was I SHOCKED. 
I received overwhelming and POSITIVE responses from 20+ Mom's who's child(ren) regularly use it and had been for years!

     I was ready to give it a go. I called Noah's Doctor and the nurse explained to me how to use it and how to find the appropriate dosage. I bought the recommended type based on Noah's sensory issues- liquid instead of sub-lingual, and a higher potency so there's less to ingest. I purchased it at our local drug store, and have continued to use the same brand ever since. It took a couple weeks of adjusting the time administered and dosage to make it work effectively. Every night got easier, and easier, AND EASIER. Before long it happened. it really happened... A NIGHT TIME ROUTINE. 
It was like a MIRACLE. 

            ^These cards are funny!^
     A few days into our new routine I was successful in taking their TV out of their bedrooms. A week or two after that I was removing sippy cups at night with out a fight. These were 2 things that caused a lot of obsessive behaviors and frustrations at night for Noah, and were a distraction to the other 3 as well! Its been over 2 months now, with absolutely no issues, problems or concerns. Their sleep patterns have been better established. The two girls no longer need to take it every night, yet if we have a couple nights activities that disrupt our routine, one dose gets them right back on schedule. Everyone is waking up well rested and that makes a big difference in their behavior at home and performance at school. Can we say "No more stimming at bedtime?!" Thank you, Jesus!

 ^Learn More^

     Our time together in the evening is now my favorite part of the day. Instead of yelling and tears, there's reading bedtime stories and saying night time prayers -and I'm not having to bribe or threaten anyone in the process! It's so fulfilling in fact that I understand why the devil would  mess with me for so long in regards to using melatonin! 

     So again, use wisdom but don't operate out of fear, special moms! Here's to a good nights sleep!

**Not all children are able to take melatonin (like those with respiratory issues and some heart defects) as well as many other supplements and dietary aids. So ALWAYS discuss with your child's doctor first!** 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy {Belated} Birthday

As the room parent, you are typically responsible for sending home birthday cards to your child's classmates on behalf of the PTA and class. I kept up with it fairly well (small special ed classes worked in my favor!) UNTIL this year. 

I promised Roman I would be his class's Room Parent since I was Noah's the year prior. When I let his teacher know, she was ecstatic. She said it had been over 7 years since she had one and stopped asking parents. This breaks my heart because if any class should have a little help, it should be in the special education classrooms. In general ed you sometimes have 2 or 3 Mom's who team together to help plan events and fundraising! But with the small class sizes and already overly extended families, the chances of a special ed teacher getting a Room Parent are slim to none. It certainly makes sense, but still a bummer.

School had started and Noah's new teacher was eager to tell me that she knew I was the room parent the year prior. She asked me if I was wanting to do it again this year. I couldn't say no, especially when she followed with "I have never had one in all my years of teaching!" Seriously, how could I say no?!

I have been so focused on keeping track of the birthdays of the teachers, parapros and classroom therapists that I didn't keep up with the kid's birthdays. So I thought to just give a card to all the kids who have had a birthday from the beginning of the school year until now and send them home the day of our holiday party.

Here's what I came up with for the Kindergartners:
And for the 2nd Graders:

Feel free to use for yourself! 
They will print as a 4x4 card and I recommend using a heavy card stock. 

...And go ask your child's teacher how you can help today!