Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Not a helicopter

Tonight was a rough night for us as parents and it began last week…

We took our kiddos to registration night on Friday. We logically went to school where K has attended for the last 3 years.

Why would we have thought any different?

Upon arriving we were told that our address was now listested as attending the other elementary school for our district. In fact, our whole little neighborhood was. The principal was also confused but would not allow us to register.

Long story short… After a lot of tears and phone calls we found out we are offically rezoned and had to register both kids with the other elementary.

So not only is E starting Kindergarten but K has to start an entirely new school.

Guys…I’m tired.

Some have been with us through our process of getting Konner diagnosed. The admins and teachers of his school have been with us. It has taken so much trial and error, advocacy and tears, phone calls and meetings to get us where we are…where we were.

I feel like a child who has lost her favorite shoes. I understand the new shoes are good shoes. But I don’t want new shoes. I want my old comfortable shoes. My old ones weren’t perfect but they were broken in and I knew what to expect when I slipped them on.

So tonight was Meet the Teacher Night.

K was distraught on Friday but did really well tonight. He wanted to go into every room and touch all the things but he has calmed a bit to the idea of a new school. E also seems to be excited about her teacher.

I was a wreck.

It was so busy and K’s 504 hasn’t been sent over yet. I was trying to discretely pull teachers aside to tell them about his diagnosis and needs. They don’t know that he panics when there is a fire drill or that he needs a chewable pencil topper to keep him from chewing holes in his shirts. They don’t know to keep his supplies separate from his desk so he doesn’t play with them all the time. They don’t have the advantage of every admin knowing him and when he needs a sensory break to calm down.

I’m sure I seemed like a crazed helicopter mom to some. But I’m realizing that sometimes when you have a child with certain needs you have to be a little pushy. Being an advocate for your child sometimes means asking a lot of questions and writing a lot of emails.

I’m ok with tough love and learning through play. I don’t stand right next to them as they scamper up the slide at the play ground. If they fall I wait to see if they are hurt or if they are going to just pop up and brush it off. I make them learn how to do things for themselves…

But the thought of losing all our progress is terrifying. We’ve worked so hard and come so far to lose ground now. I hope they pardon me if I seem hypervigilant for a bit. I won’t hover but I will hold my breath until things settle into place. And I’m sure they will all know my face within a few weeks.

So here is to all the other advocate-not-helicopter parents preparing for battle as the new school year begins. May you have every bit of luck with 504s and IEPs and counselor meetings. We raise our noise canceling headphones and sensory necklaces to you. Keep fighting the good fight.

With Love,

Mama Miller

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They Just Keep Growing

Personal update time for the Miller crew!

K is 8 now! He is going into 3rd grade but if he wandered into the intermediate school I don’t think they would notice. We’ve found some great resources for him, including a change of doctors. He is still largely in love with Legos, Star Wars, and Minecraft. We also mix in some Pokemon from time to time. He even attended Lego Camp this summer.

A few weeks ago we made the rough decision to try medication for him for the ADHD aspect of his diagnosis. He has always done well in school but his concentration and focus are lacking. So far it has been a very positive change and we hope it helps him navigate the higher expectations of 3rd grade!

E is starting Kindergarten! My heart can’t take it. When I started blogging she was a baby. She is now a spunky almost 6 year old.

She loves party planning. We have at least one toy wedding a week at our house. She goes all out too. I end up on hair duty. Partly because of my mad skills…and partly because I won’t let her steal my brush because she always loses hers. I’ve also become adept at making dresses with toilet paper, bits of cloth, or whatever else she dreams up.

Baby F is no longer a baby. He is a couple months from being 4. He is goofy and sweet and enjoys bothering his Gan (great grandma). She also enjoys pestering him. Their love language with each other is mutual arguing, usually over who won a completely made-up game.

Today Nana and Dad left to pick up dinner and he ran to me in tears.

They left me! They left mama!

Oh no. Do you need kisses?

I kissed all over his little face.

Was that enough?

No. Right here too.

Sweet boy. He recovered quickly and ran off to play.

So pretty much the usual chaos and business of life. Sometimes it can be tedious but it is never boring. We just keep loving and growing and wiping noses.

-Mama Miller

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Homeless Care Packs

Hello all.

I know it has been far too long! I’ll do a more personal update later but I wanted to take a minute to share something awesome in which we participated.

We’ve been attending our new church for just over a year now. We’ve also been doing homeless ministry as a family over the past couple of years. We decided it was time to introduce the two to each other.

For our packs we set a number of 24 and asked each family to bring 24 of the item they signed up for. We have a huge Sunday School class with even bigger hearts. Many signed up to bring multiple items.

We gave everyone a month or so to get their items to the church. Then we set an assembly day to put our packs together. Today we had a few people take packs out along with cold water and sack lunches to pass out.

The great thing about these is that any not immediately passed out can be kept handy in your car for when you see a need. (Just don’t keep them too long.)

What was in our packs:

The actual packs are drawstring bags from Dollar Tree. We designated pink and purple packs for women and added pads and tampons to those. Our men’s packs were identicle but without those items.

We included:

  • Laundry Kit- detergent tabs, unscented dryer sheets, quarters
  • First Aid Kit- Purchased on Amazon and we added individual packets of antibacterial ointment, Tylenol, and aspirin.
  • Socks
  • Flip Flops- purchased at Old Navy
  • Cotonelle Wipes
  • Tissues
  • Sturdy Nail Clippers
  • Razors
  • Comb
  • Toothbrush Kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Hand Sanitizers
  • Flashlights- we put 2 and made sure all had batteries.
  • Journal and Pen
  • Drinks
  • Bag of Snacks- cracker packs, beef jerky, trail mix
  • Bag of Mints, Candy, and Gum
  • Personal Note- written by members
  • Feminine Hygene Products
  • Cooling Neck Wrap

Items that were also recommended but not in our packs:

  • Pudding, Fruit, or Veggie Cups
  • Plastic Utensils
  • Travel Cups- especially good if they come with discounted refils at a local gas station
  • Bug Spray- we had a few cans to pass out but they were not in all packs
  • Ball Caps/Hats
  • Other Personal Care Items

Keep in mind that our list is catered to a more rural area of Texas in the summer. The list could easily be altered to fit your area and season. These can also be made by individuals instead of groups.

Tips:

  • Keep things with heavy scents separate from food items. We put all minty treats in one bag. We also chose unscented laundry products.
  • If you are with a religous group consider forgoing bible tracts. They can seem trite and inauthentic. We opted for little handwritten notes instead.
  • Plan to get out of your car and really meet people if possible. Sometimes the greatest gift you can offer is your time. Standing out in the heat taking time to get to know them and their needs is so much more meaningful.
  • Plan to go back and check on people if you are doing outreach in your area. Occasionally our regular people request needed items and we do our best to find them when we can.
  • Donate soap based toiletries to a shelter or mission. They are more likely to have shower facilities for the homeless. Opt for on the go toiletries for care packs. Things like baby/toilet wipes or face wipes are more useful for those camping or sleeping on the street.
  • You can call local missions and shelters for ideas of where to go to pass out packs. Local police and emergency responders may also have good info on areas.
  • Keep an open mind. Some may be homeless because of poor choices, but many more are trying and still struggling. We’ve met veterans, disabled individuals, people who have been laid off, people who’ve lost their family… They are all just people doing the best they can through terrible circumstances.

I hope you found this useful and that it inspires more homeless outreach. You can’t completely change the circumstances of everyone you meet, but you can do something to meet their current needs.

Love,

Mama Miller

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