Saturday, December 1, 2012

Black & White?, 2012 Recap, Happy Holidays!

This is a long one and the last one for the year.  I know I have been quite quiet and full of mostly pictures this year.  I just figured out how to share.

DECEMBER 1st already?  

Morning coffee was an eleven month review of our life in 2012.   

It felt like déjà vu, I was having this same conversation last year and probably the year before and possibly the year after.   The review of the everywhere we went for the year, the crazy December schedule including the where he, she, me, and we have to be/attend for the upcoming month, and the "I can't believe the year is almost over"  and "we are another year older" discussions- Then I heard a click in my head and started to do a my own review as this past year has been filled with so many growing pains. 

After coffee I retreated to my private space, my thoughts started running rapidly in circles in my head.  Soon I came to the conclusion I may have suffered a mini midlife crisis this year after our return from the summer.  Maybe earlier in the year but I ignored it!  I always get a bit darker come September as I know my birthday is approaching.  I happen to be one of those people who loves everyone else's birthday but my own.  As you may have seen through the years, planning the Cupcake Birthday Bash starts well in advance.  

This year presented some issues that I thought better not to discuss until I had a grip on them and my position.  All of the sudden the rainbows and butterflies went black and white on me.  Rainbows are not so pretty in black in white.  It seemed like every moment I turned a corner I found myself feeling like I didn't know anything. My natural disposition of being a problem solver was diminished.  

I had only two choices:  I could roll the dice and hope turning right is the right way or turn left which was going to be a difficult challenge as turning left would be to completely surrender to other's opinions.  Logically, I had no choice but to turn left.  When it comes to Cupcake, I take no risks.   

In November of 2011, her new teacher noticed some issues and tossed out the ADHD term to me and said the word medication.  Who could have imagined the child who was reading and writing at age 4 would have academic issues?  

Solution mode:
1)  Call Pediatrician
2)  Find/Call Child Psychologist
3)  Try to erase all of my uneducated opinions
4)  Clean out my ears and start listening well

Number one, calling the Pediatrician was the easiest.  She and I have a wonderful relationship.  I know taking the time to interview doctors prior to Cupcake's arrival was priceless.  She made all of the worries go away for the moment.  Her simple advice of let's wait because she is only 6 and come back to this in the Spring was just what I needed to hear to relax.

Number two, find and call a Child Psychologist proved to be a bit more challenging as I needed someone to be the potential person who would test her but would be willing to counsel me (I needed more help than Cupcake!).  After 6 referrals, the list was reduced to three (Female ONLY).  I made the first big step and started weekly sessions with Dr. W in December.  This took care of number 3 & 4.

After about 8 sessions and a box of tissues with Dr. W the changes started to occur. I was no longer stuck on my position that I would never medicate my child but I would accept the guidance of the professionals.  Now I understood her academic abilities and the possibility of ADHD were not the end of the world. Coincidentally, the problems at school were getting worse.  Cupcake has started to realize she needed more assistance than the others by constantly needing the directions repeated and the frustration was driving her to tears.  She started to feel like the cry baby.  At the moment she realized she felt different, my heart cracked. 

Solution mode.  I made my final one on one appointment in February 2012 with Dr.W before setting one for her to meet Cupcake in March.  I coordinated the school, the Pediatrician and Dr.W so everyone was communicating.  All of us completed the tests required before Cupcake's testing.  Eight of the nine came back close to identical.  The only questionable one was from Mr. Daddy.  This is a whole different topic.  When spouses do not agree on medical issues for a child would be the next biggest hurdle I would encounter.  One I will leave to discuss next year.

Without a doubt she was diagnosed with ADHD.  In May we started the exploration of medication. Dr. W and I met again prior to starting medication as I was relapsing in my thoughts.  My logic was so persistent.  I couldn't understand how the magic of a little pill would be a solution.  I closed my eyes and clicked my heels three times and gave myself permission to give her the pill.  I did this for the last month of school before we departed for the summer.

Cupcake's school world changed dramatically.  She came home after a week saying things like I understand Mrs. C now (like Mrs. C spoke Chinese all year?) and I am the first one finished everyday so no one has to wait for me to leave for recess, and most importantly for my ears-  I don't cry anymore.

Not knowing anything about everything in this arena was a challenge but there was one more lingering thought:  Dr. W mentioned in our last meeting when a parent is ADD or ADHD with a child who is the same, this compounds the problem for the child.  Without boring you with the whole story, I was diagnosed with the same.  It was a life changing discovery at 40.  All I can say is my condition did worsen her condition.  We are both taking meds and our world is different in a good way.


Now that I feel like a new girl and a new mother- changes were in order.

When we returned from the summer I made a list.  I decided to pull out the dreaded favorite pair of jeans that don't fit from twenty something (gosh they look tiny) but I am determined to wear them soon!  I decided to spend more time playing tennis and playing with toys (like I did when I was 20 something).  Lucky Cupcake!  She now has every favorite toy I could find from my childhood from shrinky dinks to boggle.  The motherly nagging was going to be eliminated. Everyday I was spending too much time (as a mom) being concerned about what she ate (all 3 items on her menu) so I decided she can eat whatever she wants because if I was 20 something I probably wouldn't waste so much time nagging.  Seriously,  I haven't met an adult yet who eats mac n cheese 14 times a week.  Here is the big one, no more retirement.  Not working for the past 3-4 years has made me feel uninteresting.  Retiring by 40 was a stupid goal at best. Certainly not an interesting place to be so a new business was born.  I leaked it a few weeks ago but I can't wait to share it with you.

DollDigz of America.  If I counted correctly it may be lucky number 7 for business creations.  DollDigz is in full motion.  What better for a seven year old little girl than to have a mother who is so off the hook that she decides to develop and manufacture the first dollhouse for the 18 inch doll?  Does anyone not have an American Girl Doll or a like 18 inch doll?  It has been so much fun.  Literally has taken me all over the world. I promise to debut the really neat details in January.  Below I will share a few pictures of some of the rooms in the 18 inch doll's new Digz.

My mini breakdown had a few good results.  We play a lot more games together.  Even on the plane! (cupcake completed her 36th flight last month) I was able to get some of them in travel editions.  My tennis went from I suck to I really don't very quickly.  I love working and the travel is refreshing-  I think they say, "distance makes the heart grow founder?"  She came home last week and said can I try an apple and I really don't want mac n cheese (yes, I thought I was hallucinating).  Cupcake and I have started arguing everyday and even worse when she has friends over because they take my toys and I take her dolls.  My work materials are mistaken for toys and I take her dolls for models in the house and she can't find them.  I concluded she shares nicely, better than her mother!  I am confident we will work this one out.  Solution:   Santa will bring me a couple AGD's and everything I order for work- I will order an extra for Cupcake.  Most importantly school is going fantabulously for Cupcake!

Living and playing like twenty something has been fun and Cupcake promised if anyone asks, " how old is mommy?"  her reply will always be TWENTY-NINE.  She pinky promised with me.

Now is the time of the year where the time disappears and then we wake  having to remember to change the 2 to a 3 so I want to wish you and your family the most amazing holiday season and a very Happy New Year's!  Wishing all of you an even better 2013.

Until next year...Ciao for now!

Here is a little peek into DollDigz:

Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2
Walk-In Closet with Vanity
Laundry Room

Kitchen, Bathroom, Nursery, & Playroom coming soon!

Most Memorable Moments of 2012 :

The Spa Birthday Bash

Cupcake's and Daddy's Favorite
 Place -Home (Grossetto, Italy)

Cupcake's Favorite Evening Activity
( Is this legal in America?)

My one request for the summer.
Island of Giglio (only an Italian could sink a half 
billion dollar cruise liner)-Goodbye Concordia

                                                   Maia and Cupcake saying Goodbye to
                                                           Vacation in Mallorca, Spain

                                                      The amazing art in Barecelona-
                                                           OK I want legs this long!

                                         Welcome home to the USA from Cupcake's BFF's

                                                Meeting Jane O'Connor at the Premiere of
                                                               The Mermaid Ballet

                                                              My American Girl!

                                                   Cupcake's newest addition to amazing
                                                         women in her life-
                                                  Thank you Camilla for kicking both of
                                                                     our booties!

Happy Halloween! 
 So sorry Mommy's DNA is contagious!

                                          A quick trip before Thanksgiving to catch
                                          the last night of The Not So Scarry Mickey Mouse
                                          Halloween Celebration.  A little bit of Sun before
                                          Winter arrives is what we all needed!