Monday, February 18, 2008

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy In Children and Adolescents

So, I'm reading all about cognitive-behavioral therapy in my spare time. Having a 10 year old daughter with a mood disorder is very frustrating...but I think there may be something to this treatment I am reading about. The whole idea of it is this: "Cognitive therapy assumes that maladaptive behaviors and disturbed mood or emotions are the result of inappropriate or irrational thinking patterns, called automatic thoughts. Instead of reacting to the reality of a situation, an individual reacts to his or her own distorted viewpoint of the situation." This is exactly what my daughter does! Now whether or not outside therapy is right for her, I'm not so sure about that. I wonder if there are corrective techniques that we can work on at home to change her behavior. I would take just about any advice at this point.

Friday night was HELL ON EARTH. My daughter brought home a progress report and it said she had a D+ in math, plus the remainder of the subjects (Social Studies, Science, etc.) also had dropping grades. This after bringing home STRAIGHT A's on her recent report card. I didn't even yell at her but I did tell her that I was not giving her back any of the things I had taken away, despite the fact that she behaved well all week. I wanted it to be clear that good behavior and good grades are equally as important. Well, of course, that did not go over well. The crappy attitude immediately set in, and the "I didn't do anything!" fight began. The night ended in yelling and tears, and it was not fun at all. She was practically pulling out her hair because I wanted her to listen to what I had to say and didn't allow her to speak until I was done. It was really just a mess. The next day, after our chat, she was great all day. But Sunday I helped her with a Black History Project for school and she became frustrated and cried and was a mess all over again. I am really at the end of my rope!

Advice, anyone?????

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Controversy of Getting Tattooed While Pregnant

For those of you tattooed moms considering getting a new tattoo during your pregnancy, please take a moment to read this article. It talks about the concerns and associated risks of getting tattooed while pregnant, which should help you make the final decision on whether or not you want to do it. It tells the opinion of a medical professional and a tattoo artist's thoughts on the matter.
After you read the article, tell me what you think!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Baby's Heartbeat

Today's doctor appointment was great, but a total pain in the ass. Yes, it was worth it. Today, overall, was unproductive. I got up and went to work, got in around 8:45am. Worked for 45 minutes and then left to go to the doctor's. I should have just slept in.
My appointment was scheduled for 10am - I didn't get seen until 11:30. I guess sitting there reading magazines was better than being at work, but that was a looooong wait. My doctor comes in, whips out the Doppler, and begins searching for the baby's heartbeat. She struggled a bit trying to find it - so for a minute, I worried that it wasn't going to be there at all...and then...there it was. That wonderful fast-paced beating - nothing else sounds like that.
The beating was fast, but not as fast I as remember with my two daughters and then the doctor says the magic number: 130's - The baby's heartbeat is in the 130's. So, I rush back to the office and Google gender prediction and heart rate. Here's what I find out:

"One belief that has been around for some time, and even had some acceptance in the medical community at one point, is that the fetal heartbeat differs for boys and girls. If you're having a girl, then the fetal heart rate will be above 140. A boy will have a heart rate below 140."

Sweet! As we keep our fingers crossed for a boy, every little bit of hope helps!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Everybody Knows!!

The last couple of weeks have been very eventful! With the holidays and everything, I was feeling so tired and well, just blah. Finally, things have calmed down and I can breathe - sort of. This week we are moving into a new house. Finally - no more apartments! We get a 2 car garage AND a fenced in backyard. I am beyond excited, but moving is a lot of work.

Some updates on the pregnancy:

Jason's parents are thrilled! They opened their Christmas gift to find out they were going to be grandparents to a new Baby H. Jason's dad said that his mother could probably be heard screaming from the neighbor's house and that she has pretty much told any and everyone who will listen that we are expecting. It's a beautiful thing for people to share in our joy.

I finally told my parents, too. After about a week or more of not really being on speaking terms with my mother, she sent me a nice e-card to tell me she was sorry for saying anything that hurt or offended Jason and I. We emailed back a forth a few times (loooong drawn out emails) and I told her about the baby. Somewhere in her response she said that if this is what we really want, then she is happy for us, too. My dad even called me to congratulate us.

I feel so much better knowing things are all out in the open. I can focus on staying healthy and making a healthy baby instead of stressing over a bunch of family crap. I have been researching information on fetal development and found the cutest picture of a 12-week old fetus that I wanted to share, as this is about where I am in my own pregnancy.


How beautiful is that? These are things that are taking place at this stage:

  • The neck is present and the face well formed.
  • The eyelids close and will reopen at about 24 weeks.
  • Tooth buds appear.
  • The arms and legs move.
  • All body parts and organs are present.
  • The fibers that carry pain to the brain are developed; however, it is unknown if the unborn child is able to experience sensations such as pain.
  • Definitive signs of male and female gender are present.
  • A heartbeat can be heard with electronic devices.
  • The length is about 2 to 3 inches.

Very soon we'll get to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. As much as we love our two girls, we do really want to have a son this time. With all of the estrogen in the house, I'm hoping a baby boy would even things out a little for Jason. :-)

Our daughters are very happy to be getting a new brother or sister, though I have to wonder if me being pregnant has anything to do with my oldest daughter lashing out and being overly disrespectful and rude to me. Has anyone else experienced this with an older sibling during a pregnancy? She is ten years old, already has a little sister who is five. What do you think?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hiding The Baby News

So far, we have only told a few friends. Our parents don't know yet, especially for Jason's parents, it's going to be a big surprise! Along with the Christmas presents, we made this and wrapped it up like a regular present:


We are just going to wait for the phone call after they open it! Now, with my parents, it's a different story altogether. They are NOT going to be happy for me. Forget the fact that I am happily married and just doing great at my job, and that I'm in a terrific place right now. When I told my mother I was even thinking of having another baby, the first words out of her mouth were: "I'm not saying your marriage isn't going to work out, but do you really want to be stuck with THREE kids?" Really, she couldn't have said anything worse. It was like a punch in the gut, because we were already trying to get pregnant. Plus, I had just recently had a miscarraige in June, so I couldn't believe she said that to me.

So, it's been awhile since that conversation - a few months. I'm supposed to see my parents on Dec. 28th and I was going to tell them then. sister told me that she talked to our mother two days ago and she was ranting and raving about all the "bad things" I do. I'm guessing she's talking about getting tattooed and not going to church. That's all she has against me. And as their conversation continued, she tells my sister very angrily, "I hope she doesn't go and do something stupid like get pregnant when she doesn't even know if her marriage isn't going to last!"

See the thing is, no one knows if their marriage is going to last. Anything can happen at any time. But with Jason, I absolutely trust him with my life. He has his faults, but I am okay with what they are. I know he loves me, and I never have to question that. This is NOTHING like my first (and very unhappy) marriage. We are very close and connected, and both of us want this child very much. So, next week when I go visit my parents, I have decided NOT to tell them.

This is really shitty because it means I have to hide news from my daughters. They can't keep a secret - and they are going to be staying with my parents for the winter break from school. If they are with my parents for 10 days, there's no way one of them wouldn't slip up and say something. So, um...for now...we are hiding the baby news.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm Pregnant!

I have recently found out that I am pregnant - at this point I am 8 weeks 3 days along and my due date is 07/27/2008. I am finding this very odd because my oldest daughter's birthday is 08/27 and my youngest daughter's birthday is 01/27. What is with the 27's??? Both of my daughters were born on their due date.

To make this even more odd, my birthday is 10/28 and my sister's is 05/28. Just a coincidence???

My husband is very excited, as this will be his first biological child. Although he plans to adopt my two daughters, this experience of becoming a father is much different. He has never experienced a pregnant partner so all of this is really new to him. So far, he has been very understanding of the nausea, food cravings, etc.

I am a little sad that I have to hold off on getting any new tattoos until after the baby is born, but it is absolutely worth the wait. At least Jason has time to draw up all the things I want to get and he'll have no more excuses after I've given him all that time!

More updates, belly pictures, and parenting info to come soon!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why Are Little Girls So Mean?

My oldest daughter is a 5th grader this year. I have just this one last year before she heads off to middle school where she will inevitably turn into a moody teenager and the world will feel like it's coming to an end. But I have noticed that ever since about the 3rd grade, my daughter has had constant problems with other girls in school. Little mini cat-fights. Seriously. What could a group of girls, starting at the age of 8, have to fight about?

It hurts me as a parent to watch her go through these ups and downs. Because, being a girl myself, I know that it does not get any better. Sometimes it affects her grades, and it most certainly affects her moods...which in turn affects my mood because she gets pissy with me after work and well, that sucks.

All of the parenting advice that I've read and received tells me that these problems are very common for her age group. My friend (who happens to be a child psychologist) and I took the kids to dinner last night and tried to help my daughter sort out all of the issues. We wanted to give her a way to go back to school and take care of the situation. So we did some role playing. It was odd, but it went pretty well.

My friend and I pretended to be the mean girls that gang up on her, and Deja played herself. She asked us: "Why are you mad at me? Why did you stop being my friend?" And we made up things such as: "I heard you said something mean about me." and "You act bossy." and we made Deja come up with responses to these questions and even a general apology towards the girls if she felt like she wanted to mend the friendship.

We also talked about how when she gets mad, she shouldn't yell at people. We talked about what other things she could do to get her feelings out and to calm down before she makes the situation worse. She said that she likes to write, so I got her a notebook in which she can write down how she feels - just to vent - a private notebook just for herself.

Do you think these things will work? I didn't know what else to do, but I'm going to ask her in about a week how things are going and if she has talked to the girls. I'd love to hear what other parents are doing to help their daughters get through these situations....