Thursday, May 1, 2014

What happens when you have too much energy?

Like I do?!

Well, you tend to come off as rushed, but you really aren't. You walk fast, talk fast, and charge around like a woman with a mission.

You say all your thoughts, even if they are random and seemingly insignificant to others (like, "hey, my new Phillips Sonicare toothbrush is like a light sabre for my teeth!!" -- actual thought by me. Who cares? Probably nobody!).

The problem with having this amount of energy is you have SO much of it at night because you are charged up further by your evening workouts and your only alone time is once the kids are in bed, which some nights can be as late as 11:30 for kiddo #3, that you end up staying up until 12:30 most nights.

Then the next morning you hate yourself and you just want to lie in bed, but you have to get up for work.

Yes, yes.

Repeat daily. This is my life!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday, Friday . . .

Holy hell, am I ever tired today. I did go to sleep at 11:45 last night, probably falling asleep around midnight. That is the earliest I normally go to bed. Otherwise it's usually 12:30. Earlier this week -- Tuesday night, I finished up a photo session and then hit the hay by 1:20. I am still waking at night because Elise and Jameson night nurse, so it's right back to sleep for me (and them), but interrupted sleep nonetheless.

This whole getting 5-6 hours of sleep is for the dogs, but I know this, too, shall pass. (I hope?)

Today is rest day for me in terms of my workout stuff, so I welcome that, even though working out is what gives me energy and keeps me centered. A day of rest a week is good. I am not sure what I will do with the kids tonight, but we have been in the habit of taking them to the Family Fun Center at the Y, because there is a big room for them to run around in. They have slides and a climbing wall (think McDonald's Playplace, but better and probably less greasy). The best thing about it is the room is staffed, so I can sit on my tablet and read while this college aged kid chases my kids around and plays tag. I look up and laugh as I see them laughing and just being kids.

What else... oh, I lost my mother's necklace -- my new one (I have 5 of them). It's a 3 disc, personalized necklace that has my kids' names etched into it. I got it as a Groupon deal so only paid $40 for it, but it's precious to me and I lost it last Wednesday and have re-traced my steps and made phone calls. Nothing. So irritating. I feel like I took it off at home and put it in my jewelry box like I always do and I have talked to the kids and they didn't take it. Ugh. St. Anthony, come through! ;)

That's my update. Pretty exciting stuff, folks. ;)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend craziness . . .

I sometimes feel guilty that I feel more "relaxed" when it's the work week. Sure, I can lay in bed (slightly -- very slightly) longer on the weekends, as I don't have to rush to get ready for work, but other than that, weekends can be very rough. I love spending the time with my kids, but I feel like they act up more because I am around, and I know that's all part of the deal but the days can be long. I made sure we got lots of time, then, this weekend to burn off some of that energy. Friday evening I took them to the family fun center at the Y and they had a blast. Both yesterday and today, we took hikes because we finally got up to 60 degrees (today hit 62, yesterday it wasn't quite that high, but the wind wasn't as bad). We celebrated my mom's birthday (which was actually Friday) tonight at her house and I was happy all four of my siblings could make it (it's hard with work schedules and the like).

All in all, it was a good weekend, but Monday is sounding refreshing. I really do need to focus on all the good but the stress part of me takes over and it's a struggle.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blog hiatus... coming to an end? I'm BACK!

I have absolutely no idea if anyone is still following this blog, but I wanted to put my thoughts down and get back to the reason why I started this blog: to share my feelings, because as time goes on, I don't remember the day-to-day musings I have... only the big milestones with my kids. And heck, even some days, I have no idea what I did yesterday, as in my constant sleep-deprived state, my short-term memory can be terrible.

First, a little update on the kids. Andrew has been keeping me busy with his adjustment to full-day kindergarten (last year was half-day pre-school). He is still going to weekly OT at the clinic, and his therapist is wonderful. The only thing that is troublesome is that at school, his behavior can be great one day or maybe two days in a row and then he will have an atrocious day, which results in him in tears, the principal writing a note to send home for me to sign, and phone calls from the teacher on suggestions for his behavior. She stated the other day that in 20 years of teaching, she has never seen behavior like this. Talking to other parents of sensory kids, I am finding his behavior is somewhat typical, but I think Andrew is able to "hide" the fact that he has "issues" because he "seems so normal". He's not in a wheelchair, he doesn't have a speech impediment, he can carry on a conversation just like any other kid, so I think oftentimes, adults and other kids alike will be shocked when they see him suddenly on the ground, crying as if it's the end of the world when told he can't go to Grandma's house or have another cookie. Public places are still a struggle for him. If we go to anyone's house, he starts foraging through the cupboards, looking for a snack, and one of the things that is totally characteristic of ADHD kids is that need for immediate gratification, versus a delayed reward. Andrew doesn't care about consequences in the moment, and he is that mouse that would go in the trap for the cheese because his need takes over his logic.

His actual diagnosis from October, 2012 is Sensory Integration Disorder and motor dyspraxia (specifically fine motor). At the time he was being monitored for ADHD as well, although it is pretty apparent he has that too. These disorders all tend to go hand-in-hand, meaning many kids with sensory issues also have ADHD, or kids with a specific learning disorder also have another impairment.

I attended a meeting last week, an interdisciplinary team meeting with his teacher, the principal, the school social worker, the guidance counselor, the school OT, the adaptive physical education teacher, and the EBD Program Specialist. The meeting closed up the 60 day review period they had to determine Andrew's eligibility for special education. We did, as a team, determine that he met eligibility for an IEP under OHI (other health impairment) and he also meets the criteria for EBD services, as his behaviors are frequent and prevalent. The one area they all saw as an area of concern is his aggression, which  caught me a little off-guard because Andrew is not "aggressive" but when he gets upset, he has thrown shoes, knocked over the bookcase at school, thrown his scissors down on the floor (because cutting is hard for dyspraxic kids), etc. So he's not bullying other kids but he does have problems with voice inflection so he has yelled at kids and teachers.

The options that came about from this meeting are:

1) Keep Andrew at his school for the remainder of the year, adding in the services he now qualifies for (one of these I am really happy about is that he will get 5 days a week of quality time with the guidance counselor whom he adores -- they work on communicating with words instead of tears/yelling and they also do relaxation activities like yoga -- Andrew really likes it)


2) Transfer him to a school with EBD services, as his school is too small and doesn't have them;


3) Keep him at his school for this year and then transfer him to the new school opening up next fall, which has EBD services too. EBD services, for those not familiar -- EBD stands for Emotional and Behavioral Disorder and an EBD classroom would allow Andrew to be in a regular classroom for the day, but the EBD room would be there when he needs it, and would be equipped with anything he might need -- anything to accommodate a kid with sensory or behavioral needs.

Most likely, we are going with Option 3, as I have just learned that one of the Childcare workers at the Y (where he is now "banned" from) is doing her clinicals (student teaching) in Andrew's classroom and he clicked really well with her.

That is my update on Andrew. It's been a lot to take in. I am thinking we will be discontinuing his current OT at the clinic -- let another kid take his spot -- as if he is able to get what he needs at school, then it's more convenient than me leaving work 1.5 hours early every Wednesday. The school OT did find a lot of sensory-type things in her assessment of him and in the meeting, she said she WANTS to work with Andrew. I was impressed with her, and she seemed intelligent and resourceful.

Moving on to the other kids: they are very typical for their age. Elise is four now and coloring at about a first grade level. She goes through a coloring book a week, on average, and is loving coloring and puzzles. Jameson is 2.5 and enjoys playing independently and following his sister around. She is "bossy cat" and she tells "baby cat" what to do and they crawl around the house together, meowing. It's adorable! Jameson is refusing potty training but we are able to catch a few. It will come in time, I am sure. Elise is really into My Little Pony and has an endless supply of dresses. She changes her clothes at least 3 times a day.

As for me, I am working out 6 days a week: 3 days of straight cardio (36 minutes) and 3 days of strength training (1 hour). I have lost 3 inches off my waist since I started, but am up just a few pounds since starting. Because I do see a change in my muscles, I am attributing the gain to that, and am trying not to focus on the scale. I am; however, focusing on healthier eating. I have become a tea "addict" and drink 5-6 cups a day. I love it, especially black tea (Black Cherry organic, at the moment).

Oh, and on March 13th, I got a tattoo! I have been wanting one for over a year and I finally did it. It barely hurt, like seriously 1/10th of the pain I anticipated. It would be akin to taking a calligraphy pen and writing hard on yourself. Maybe a slight "carving" feel to it, but it wasn't bad at all. It took all of 12 minutes or so, but I could have withstood it longer. Not bad at all! Obviously it's my kids' first initials and their birthdates. I originally wanted it on the outer part of my upper arm, but decided on a more discreet place, just in case I have to "hide" it at work or something. The tattoo artist suggested inner arm, and a google search yielded plenty of results where women had them on their inner bicep and I thought it looked great. It's also apparently the celebrity "go to" spot now, not that I care what celebs say or do. I am so out of touch with pop culture!

I am still working full-time and doing photography on the side. My spring/summer busy season has just begun, with a newborn/family shoot I did yesterday.

The past year, for me, has been about "finding myself" and figuring out where I fit into this thing called life where the primary focus has always been my kids. I never envisioned doing some soul searching, but I like what my search has yielded. :) More good things will come in the future.

I think that's enough typing for now. I hope I still have followers. LOL! If not, this is here so I can come back to it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday's "The Office" quote

I love this show. Haha. I have one of those daily calendars on my desk and today's quote made me laugh.

Funny "Office" quote off my calendar today:

Jim, if he won the lottery: "I'd probably buy a big piece of land in Maine, build a house, work in town. Somewhere I could bike to or kayak to. I'd either bike to my job at the kayak shop or kayak to my job at the bike shop."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sometimes it's too much.

I have many friends (online and in real life) with kids the same age as my oldest. I continue to see things they make at school. A friend just posted some adorable valentines she made with her daughter, who is actually younger than my oldest (she's 4; my son is almost 5.5). She printed both her classmates' name as well as her own.

Andrew still can't do this.

My heart breaks for him, so much that it brings tears to my eyes. We don't make a big deal out of it, but it makes me so sad because he has dyspraxia and he can't help it, yet when I see age-appropriate handwriting from kids his age and younger, it's like a little punch to the gut. I see some progress in school with his ability to trace lines and shapes, and some with the letter tracing, too ... but he cannot outright make a letter. And he's too young to realize that it will become an issue if things can't be fixed.

The truth is, in his interdisciplinary team meeting we had in October, they seemed to give me little hope that he would be able to write.

It doesn't change my opinion of him, as I am SO proud of him for all that he is and everything he has accomoplished thus far and they have assured me that not only is he smart, but he's highly intelligent, but still . . . I think of all the things I did as a kid (writing and drawing were two of my favorite things) and I hope that he can someday do those things as well.

I don't want the other kids to treat him differently if he ends up having to use a laptop in school. I know some probably will. I know the kids in his class love him, but pre-schoolers are so innocent yet and untouched by society, almost. For example, Andrew wants to someday marry a girl in his class. She happens to be black. Kids don't see color or differences, and I love that about childhood.

To my Andrew, I love you, just as you are. I will always love you, forever.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Two Thumbs up and a You BETCHA!

I'm going to be starting a new thing where I recommend products, shows, or movies based on my own personal experience with them. This will be the first of many, I am sure.

Today I'm giving "Two Thumbs and a loud YOU BETCHA to a PBS/BBC series called Downton Abbey. You may have already heard of it because it got some recent awards and I think that only helped catalyst its already apparent success. Please remember that if you purchase/view the series, get the British version because the one that is played for us yahoos in the U.S. is an edited version which doesn't include as many views of the lush landscape. Apparently. I have not watched any of the US versions, only UK, so I cannot verify this, but learned of it on another blog I follow (which strictly reviews films/shows).

There are ways to find the show online (besides Netflix, of which I do not subscribe to -- too cheap here), if you know what you are doing. That is all I will say on that. I know people. Who know how to do things. /incongnito mode

The show originally aired in Britain (what is the difference between Britain/U.K./England anyway? -- I will just call it Britain) in 2010 and is presently in its third season on the American PBS. However, you can find the entire third season online if you would like to get ahead of the game and not have to wait until Sunday night to view the next episode (episode 5 is the next one coming, if I have my A game on).

Three nights or so ago, I started watching Season 1 and was immediately drawn in to the characters. It's strange because I am not a history "person" and while certain things are interesting to me from our past, I don't typically read strictly history-type books, because normally it's the elements of suspense/mystery/romance that draw me in, not this. HOWEVER, this series has plenty of romance and scandal to pique the interest of even the most cynical person.

The show begins in 1912, when the family finds out that the only male heirs to the estate have died on the Titanic. Lord and Lady Grantham have only daughters, three of them, and they are obviously a big part of the story here. It becomes pretty clear early on that it's the goal of the Lord and Lady of the household to marry off their daughter, Mary, to a suitable man (preferrably sucessful and with money, as that's how it was back then -- it was a shame to marry between "classes") who would become the heir.

The daughters are all different personality-wise, and all of the servants/maids of the household have their own interesting stories. I found myself caring for all of them and loving the way each scene jumped around enough to keep the interest going, but not so much to where it was confusing. The camera work is fantastic and I love the way the castle (Downton) is romanticized in a way that I wish I could go there and live in those times and live amongst these interesting people.

There is some humor at times that caught me off guard and had me laughing. I completely adore the grandmother: she's intelligent, witty, and outspoken enough. Read: she's so old she doesn't give a Fuck what she says, and she will tell it like it is. At first I thought she was pretty cold, but you will soon see she does have a heart and she's a sweet little thing. She's probably my most favorite character, not because her life is one of the most interesting stories, because it really isn't compared to the others, but because I can't wait to hear what she says next. There's the story of sweet Anna, who serves as the maid to Lady Mary (the "main" and oldest daughter), and the man who becomes her love interest (no spoilers here) -- I totally called that one before it happened, but there is some definite foreshadowing with this show so you can sometimes predict what's going to happen. There's the "evil" servant, Thomas, who is always seeming to be jealous of his fellow servants who are above him -- you will become so angered with him, but every show has to have a villain. And then there's Matthew, the "stud" of the series, who has so many things happen to him throughout the shows, you almost think he's going to surpass Vincent (Young and the Restless? I am not sure as I don't watch soap operas, but I remember hearing that there was a character named Vincent who somehow always survived despite everything happening to him). There are many more characters I have not mentioned here, but every episode seems to have plenty of different stories for the viewer to enjoy. And there's always the shocker at the end of the show, leaving us in suspense.

I am up to season three, episode 2, and am hoping to get all caught up this weekend.

That about sums it up for now, but anyhow . . . this show gets Two Thumbs up and a You Betcha from me. Definitely check it out. Watch the first episode and I bet you will want to continue watching just to find out what happens.

Friday, January 25, 2013

No apologies.

Sometimes he'll tell me things like, "you're too outgoing" or "you're definitely an extrovert."

So what?

Is it a bad thing to be "too talkative" or want to talk to people, even complete strangers? Hell, I could maybe make someone's day. What if I am at the clinic and someone is in the elevator and is having a bad day and I give that person a smile and he/she feels better, or wants to have a conversation?

I love people. Don't get me wrong: people can be bad people, annoying, or rude . . .  but overall, I think most people are good. Most people enjoy human contact. If they don't, I can usually tell the ones who want to keep to themselves. As part of my job, I interact with new people all the time as part of the interviewing/hiring process.

I enjoy life. Most of the time I am truly happy. I don't let much bring me down. It just bothers me that someone close to me gets "annoyed" by my personality because it is so different than his. And he doesn't see the day-to-day interactions I have and that people actually do like me (I think). I don't care that he's quiet, not a bit.

Do I annoy any of you? Be truthful!