Sunday, May 31, 2009

1 week left before we fly (inshAllah)

Ah! One week left until we fly to Turkey (inshAllah = God-willing)!!! Yay!!! I have 2 bags packed and 5 to go. Hopefully I won't need all 5, and we can just carry empty bags (one inside the other) so that we have room to bring back souvenirs....

Mehmed is doing all right, I can really see a difference with this anxiety medication he's on. Yesterday, I missed a dose, and by dinner time he was back to being miserable. I promptly gave him one, but I also know that once they get used to this medication, they really get used to it. So if I ever want him to come off it, I will have to prepare all of us for a few weeks of misery. And he's only on a quarter dose.

Looking forward to spending time in Istanbul! Itinerary so far: 7 nights in Istanbul, 5 days in the South-Western province of Mugla (silent g), at a little Islamic resort. It'll be nice to swim in a ladies-only pool!!! Then after that we might pass through Pamukkale on our way to his sister in Ankara.

Here's a couple of sketches my little man just drew.... I wish we had a mini scanner we could take with us - I'm going to get him to try to "journal" the trip from his 5 yr old perspective... :)

This one says "Frum Mehmed For Mothr". It's a flower, we're feeding it with plant food, and a worm is flying through the sky yelling "BB".

He drew the roots under the flower, and the orange things are worm trails. Am I totally biased, or is this totally cute?
Well, who knows, maybe the next time I blog I'll be sitting in a Çay Bahçe (Tea Garden) in Turkey! :) (God-willing).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Arg.... How do I help my son develop empathy?!?

Is it just me or is it normal for kids to not seem to be bothered when they hurt other kids? Ok, nothing major has happened in the last few weeks at school, but there have been a couple of close calls involving very large rocks (One was that he was going to throw a very large rock at a little boy in a neighbouring yard because the boy had a water-gun - thankfully a teacher caught him and prevented it, but he was oblivious to the potential consequence). The last thing that Mehmed did was several weeks ago - he punched another little girl in the face - apparently because she was "copying" him. So I get the typical report from the school about what happened and whatever they did about it, and when I try to talk to him about how sad it is that he hurt this petite little girl, all he can think about is the fact that she was copying him. His whole mindset is centered around his own feelings - he has no concept that he actually hurt that little girl, made her cry, etc. Thankfully she seems to be a forgiving little girl because they seem to like to play together in the school yard after school.
But I just don't get it. I can still remember how I was as a little girl. I don't know how old I was, maybe 4 or 5, and I remember that I put a birthday hat on a baby, and by accident I lost hold of the elastic and it snapped the baby on the neck. In retrospect, I realize it wasn't exactly a life-altering injury, but it made the baby cry, and I will never forget how sorry I was - I cried too because I was heart-broken that I had hurt the baby. And the feeling was so strong that I can remember it so clearly still today. But Mehmed has none of that. It scares me. I know I can't leave him alone with kids that are smaller than him because they can't defend themselves against his whims.
I am trying so hard to explain to him how others may feel, or how his actions affect people around him - but I am just not seeing results - or at least I don't think so.
Today, he picked up a huge rock that was on our balcony, and crushed his own toy car with it. Then, when he became disappointed that he did that with the rock, he picked up the pair of rocks and had them poised at the edge of the balcony to drop to the patio below. Thank God I was up there to stop him, and not working below where they would have fallen!!! I shudder to think about what could have happened. I put him in a long time out and tried to talk to him about the potential consequences. He seemed tearful when we really talked about it, but it really seemed to me that it wasn't because he realized what could have happened if he dropped that rock on my head, or his grandmother's head, it was because his own car was already crushed and could not be fixed.
I just wish my son would show some more signs of empathy and clear thinking. Am I hoping for something beyond his age level? Shouldn't a boy who's 5 & 1/2 have a better sense of empathy than that? I'm so frustrated!....
On a brighter note, I did decide to start him on medication for anxiety, because I've been worried about how he will respond to the changes during our 2-month trip to Turkey, and I am finding a huge difference! He does seem to be able to calm himself down a lot faster when a tantrum erupts. It seems like he's having an easier time understanding that he is over-reacting to things & is calming himself down faster. I'm thinking I'd like to keep him on this medication (provided it continues to show a positive effect) for at least 6 months, & possibly 1 year, so that we can work on helping him to understand the severe range of his emotions - which was virtually impossible when he was constantly in an over-sensitive emotional state. Now, if only they had a pill that elicits empathy....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

4 weeks left to Turkey!

Oh my gosh, I can't believe how quickly it's coming. I'm nowhere near ready. I haven't even taken the luggage down from the garage or made a list of things to do before we go or a list of what to bring. And nevermind the fact that I prepared a great learning book to teach Mehmed some basic Turkish and we haven't even been spending any time learning!!!!
But his dairy-free diet seems to be going well. It's always good when you get less complaints from the school about hyperactivity, disturbing other kids, arguing with the teacher, or even worse doing something that hurts another kid. It's embarrassing to be told your very big SK boy has punched a rather small JK girl in the face just because she was copying him.
Yesterday was a bad day too - I'm trying SO hard to keep my voice down when dealing with him - when he starts saying things to me like "DO IT RIGHT NOW!" I start to hear myself coming at me - which is a pain because it's not like I yell at him all the time - but those slip ups obviously come back to bite me - so I'm finding other ways to get him to cooperate. It sure is a pain to have to have a 1/2 hour conversation with a kid about why he should just get in the car because we have to pick up Grandma from the hospital, and that no, I don't have time to complete his home-made maze right now. All the while he's screaming at you. (Yes, she had her knee surgery yesterday). Lesson learned - don't forget to warn him at least 15 minutes before going anywhere, that we have to go somewhere....
So mom is home from her knee surgery, she had a painful night last night but she's doing ok. Keeping it elevated today with some ice.
Well, I guess I better get off my duff and start checking some things off my list - first thing to do - make a list.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Suzanne & "The Fam".

Well, how do you start a blog? I have no idea. But since we're leaving for Turkey in only 6 weeks, I'd like to blog our trip a bit so I figure 'why not start before we go?' Also, there are some things that I want to improve and change in my life, so maybe if I blog it, I will be forced to look forward to seeing my own progress... whether or not anybody else sees it.

Anyways, my profile pretty much says it - I'm Suzanne, a mom of one boy, Mehmed (pronounced Memet, like Dr. Oz on Oprah). He's 5 & 1/2, he has an official diagnosis of PDD-NOS, which places him on the Autistic Spectrum, but not fully autistic. Some days I doubt the diagnosis because he's perfectly fine, but then there are other days... He can be so stubborn and difficult to deal with sometimes, and other times he is just cute & funny.
My goal is to become a mom who's more organized so that we can plan our days with positive activities & to quit yelling. Sometimes yelling is the only way to get through to him, but I think that even yelling at him once a day makes him think that yelling is an acceptible way for him to communicate. If I don't want it to be ok for him, then I really shouldn't make it ok for me. My motivational picture for this one is the TV Character Alison Dubois, on Medium (played by Patricia Arquette). I love her soft voice & calm way. Even when she's mad she seems calm.

"The Fam" is me & my son (Mehmed, A.K.A. Memo) & my DH Orhan - pronounced exactly the way you read it - Or - Han. I've been married for 10 years, and we only have the one child because I have blocked tubes - a ruptured appendix when I was 11 scarred my insides pretty badly. Orhan is a carpet installer & works pretty hard. I've been staying at home for about 3 years now. I love that his job brings in enough for me to stay home since I don't deal very well with stress, especially since Mehmed was born.

The old ruptured appendix caused a lot of abdominal adhesions, the reason for my present infertility issues, but they are starting to haunt my body in other ways now too. No need to mention now because it would probably be TMI. I'm looking for other homeopathic & other natural remedies so hopefully I won't need another surgery. So my other goal is to get my body to a healthier place - and not just because of my abdominal adhesions, which I can't really do much about. I want to get healthier because I've been overweight since I had my son & I don't want to wind up with the same health problems as my mom. She struggles so hard because of her weight, diabetes, arthritis & angina. She's so frustrated with the problems her body gives her. I am genetically pre-disposed to all those problems, so I have to start fighting now to prevent them, God-willing, from causing me a lot of grief in my life too.

I'm also a Muslim, a convert, since January 1999. I do love it. It's a beautiful religion - but human beings are weak and I have not been a perfect Muslim. I'm working on it. The key of course is the prayer. Staying connected with God makes everything else run smoothly. I want to be a better Muslim, wife, mother & a healthier person. I'm trying to work hard on all of these things, & hopefully I can start to see some progress if I blog it. I'm also really looking forward to Turkey!