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Monday, September 22, 2014

Mom's purse

This is one of those random things I am jotting down simply because I thought of this and it made me smile.

I am at work and went to grab some gum out of my purse and it reminded me of how my kids will go through my purse looking for gum. It's one of those things where I explain to them that they need to ask and that they're not supposed to go through peoples' things without asking, but it doesn't upset me so bad, because I remember rummaging through my mom's purse as a kid (along with my siblings) and getting all excited when we would strike gold and find gum or Tic Tacs or something. I also remember my grandmother giving us Certs or gum (half a stick; she would split the DoubleMint gum in half for us) out of her purse (she even would have a can of Pepsi, unopened, in her purse for when we went to the local festivals or wherever, she would share her "hot" Pepsi with us, which tasted surprisingly good, considering it wasn't even on ice or anything. I think it was just because it was from Grandma).

Someday, my kids will hopefully think back, just like I am now, and remember the little things in life that made them smile. Mom's purse (with her gum hidden inside) may just be one of those happy memories so for now, it's one of those things where I am only half-serious when I crack down on them for "digging".

Monday, August 4, 2014

Elise lost a tooth!

Yes, the four year old. Not surprising, considering her older brother began losing them a week after his 4th birthday. She was so proud and kept looking in the mirror and smiling. She was happy to find a dollar under her pillow (on the couch, where she prefers to sleep, but whatevs) today.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Steady as she goes . . .

This woman is BUSY! My daily life is basically dragging my ass out of bed at the last possible moment, rushing my oldest off to summer school, getting in the shower and doing things as fast as possible (I could win a speed leg shaving contest, no cuts and smooth as butter), driving off to work safely yet speedy, having my day here where I do my thang, going home for my half hour lunch, where I speed eat and zip back to work, coming home at 4 where the children greet me, getting ready for either a workout at the Y (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays there -- Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays I run from home) or getting the kids ready to go to the park for a walk, eating a quick supper, bedtime routine (CRAZY STRESS!!!), Facebooking/social networking (is that still a "term"?), working on pictures, and heading to bed by 12:30 or so.

I have been insanely busy with photoshoots, but this is a good thing. This summer, I have done lots of senior sessions and have found that I am really the most passionate about that. I still love family shoots. It's crazy, I have done probably close to 80 shoots over the past few years and I still get nervous for them. Then once I'm there, I get into my groove, and the only way to describe it is I'm almost in my own little world. I interact with the people but I feel like all the stress of the world leaves me and I just aim for that happy place. I am a little perfectionist too and if I am not feeling something right where the subject(s) is standing, I will have us move. I need perfect lighting and that magical light this time of year happens around 5:30. Other photographers will know what I mean. Mmm, it just paints the subject.

Workout-wise, I am kicking ass. Let's just be honest. I am up 3-4 pounds from where I was 2 years ago, however, I lowered my body fat, lost 3.5 inches off my waist, and people are finally starting to say, "wow, you are ripped". Now, I know what "ripped" means, and I am not there nor am I willing to commit to a diet that a fitness model would have, but I know I can celebrate that I have come far from where I was and I can say that I am stronger. I can do 3 sets of 10 of 85 pounds on an overhead press and ain't no shame in that for a female. I'm doing the 30 pounders (free weights) for my standing curls, as well as for lunges and squats and all my legwork. Working out is my one escape -- the one thing I can do where nobody is demanding things from me. I set the pace -- I aim for my goals -- nobody is going to ever take my STRENGTH from me. I also am keeping up with the running -- 4.5 months in now. I recently did an 8:06 minute mile on my (treadmill) 5K. I would love to do a "real" 5K in the fall.

The first pic here is from October of 2012, just as I joined the Y.

The second picture is from June 27th, 2014, so about a month ago:

The kids are really doing great -- besides our crazy (think late nights and a frustrated mom) bedtime routine, they're at the age where they're relatively easy. I am still nursing (gasp!) Elise (4.5) and Jameson (almost 3) -- never intended to go this long but a little antibodies/stem cells never hurt. I hope they wean soon and it will most likely be a gradual, self-weaning type thing.

I think that's about all I have as far as an update goes! I'm still kicking, just busier than I ever thought I'd be.

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.