Day 196: home alone

Real talk: my kid’s biological Dad leaves Boy Child home alone. He is 11. He is on the spectrum. I don’t care what the child says or how confident you are in him, that is illegal. That’s it, bottom line – it’s illegal.

I don’t care what fight he gives or if it makes it easier for you. It’s illegal. That’s my boy child. I don’t want anything to happen to him.

I’ve talked to his Dad and told him not to do it any more. Short of calling the police on him when I know he’s home alone, there’s not much I can do. On the other hand, do I really want to call the police and have child neglect/endangerment charges on their Dad? There are far more implications than I want to bring on to a person… especially their Dad.

How to drive home a point without having to resort to extremes? Stupid. This shouldn’t even be an issue. Why is this an issue? Why does he think it’s okay?

Last night as we were laying in bed, I started having an anxiety attack for no reason. I was trying to keep it to myself, but Kevin could tell something was going on. He asked if everything was okay and I told him my heart was pounding and racing and I didn’t know why. I wasn’t thinking about anything so I have no idea. Just panic out of nowhere. Sigh.

I did sleep though. And do did Doods! She slept til 5!! Woo woo! Now to recreate that every night would be doooopppe.

That’s about all I got for today, folks.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

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Day 195: bonus material

I sat down at my computer with full intentions of making more fun BCBA task list visuals, but I kept finding myself thinking about the conversation I just had.

This afternoon I had the pleasure of sitting with five soon-to-be SpEd teachers for an open discussion Q&A regarding my experiences as a Parent, Teacher, Administrator and Advocate. I really enjoy these open dialogue sessions. It allows people the opportunity to ask questions they may not ever get answers to. It’s like a “Things You Always Wanted to Know about Special Needs *but were too afraid to ask” session. I like it.

I never know what types of questions I’ll get. Each group is so different and varied in backgrounds/experiences. This group had some really great questions. Ones that I really had to take a second and think about.

One asked, “What do you wish you knew before going in to teaching and/or becoming a parent?” After a few minutes, I had told them that I wish I knew how difficult some administrators could be. A majority of them have little to no experience in special education, so getting them to understand your needs and perspectives can be really difficult. As for parenting, I wish I knew that parenting is just one hat you wear. Yes, becoming a parent changes your life. You’re now fully responsible for the growth and care of this little human being BUT that’s not ALL that you are. I am a parent, yes…. but I’m also a Woman, a Wife, a Friend, a Daughter, a Sister – I am a person with needs just like everyone else. It’s so easy to lose sight of that when you become a parent… especially a special needs parent.

When you have a child that has special needs, it’s SO EASY to feel guilty about leaving them with someone else. You know what a pain in the ass they can be and you don’t want to have anyone else willingly suffer through it. You also don’t want to be judged for it. At a certain point though, you have to stop caring. They are who they are; You are doing the best that you can do; We are all people who need a break some times. It’s OK. I wish I had more people telling me: you are still you, even with children – it’s OK to be who you are and like what you like.

Another question that stuck out was from a girl who’s sister has high-functioning Autism, however she wasn’t diagnosed until she was about 7 or 8 years old. She asked “What do you do when you have parents that are new to this game and don’t have any knowledge or experience like we do?” Such a great question. Before my kids were born, I worked in early childhood so I had a really solid understanding of child development. It was easy for me to pick out the signs of what was happening with my kids and act upon it. For most others (and this is true of ANY situation): You don’t know what you don’t know. So it’s up to us as professionals to help others understand by having open common language conversations. I emphasize common language. There have been so many times where professionals are talking with parents and they are throwing technical terms at them left and right and you can see the deer in headlights look on the parents faces.

That’s not helpful.

From my personal experience and it’s actually backed by research too, parents go through the 5 stages of grief when they receive a diagnosis for their child. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are all a part of the process. Every parent is somewhere within that framework prior to and after receiving a diagnosis. By offering support and understanding, we can help other parents. Sit with them, explain what the diagnosis is and means for them and their child in plain language. Offer to help, provide options and suggestions, ASK how they’re feeling, what their questions are and how you can help. Provide a cheat sheet on the ABCs of IEPs or the difference between an IEP and a 504 or a list of the most common acronyms they’ll hear over the coming years. Welcome them to the team.

Whenever I come across a new parent or meet a newly diagnosed parent, the first thing I say is Congratulations! Welcome to the club! You are going to have one of the best, most wonderful, frustrating and rewarding experiences. Raising a child with a disability is one of the greatest things that will ever happen to you. Every new thing they do is cause for celebration and excitement. It will be difficult, but incredible. And I’m here to help however I can.

And I mean all of that. I would not trade my kids or the experiences that have come with it for anything. It has been hard. I have cried so much because of my kids and what they’ve had to go through. I’ve been angry, frustrated, upset, overtired – you name it – because of them but I wouldn’t change one second. Even now, with Doods having just had her period and me going on no sleep – wouldn’t change it for the world. My kids have given me more purpose and drive than anything else.

I have been able to connect, learn from, and empower so many people – I could have never even imagined…. I am very fortunate and very blessed. My kids are obnoxious, wonderful little beings. It’s because of them that I get to go and speak with others, help them, bring understanding, and so much more. It’s awesome. People helping people, that’s what it’s about.

They’re why I’m here. They’re my reason to keep my story going. I have unfinished business here.

I have another tattoo. One that I got years back and haven’t gotten finished. It’s on my side and I just can’t find my happy place when it’s being worked on. I don’t know that I will ever get it colored in but it’s Leela from Futurama. She is sitting on a stack of books. On the spines of the books it says, “I’m the hero of this story.” I chose Leela because she is different. She is strong, unique, smart, a leader – but also kind of a baby and a softie. She wants love, compassion, and loves to look after Nibbler – a little weirdo. I can relate. I got that after a particularly rough period and needed that reminder – we all have a story to tell and I’m the hero of this story. And so it goes. I continue to fight for my own life, the lives of my children, and everyone else – whether I know you or not. I’ll fight for you. I’m here to help.

Thanks again for stopping by today.

I am always and forever glad you exist.

 

Day 195: sparkles & suicide prevention

Last night’s bridal show went tremendously well! I had a fun time slingin’ cake with Big Red. I got to meet Monte Durham from Say YES to the Dress and we took a picture with him! He was incredibly nice, funny and complimented our cakes. He actually came over to our table and complimented our black cake saying how on trend it was. “Black is coming over from Europe and it’s HUGE,” he said in his adorable drawl. He was wearing this FABULOUS shiny suit. I told him how much I loved it and he said, “Well, usually the only shiny things on me are my forehead and my shoes! I decided to make a go of it for the occasion.” Adorable. Then he insisted on taking a photo with us because I understood his quip about Dorian Gray.

monte

Last night I got home and the house was asleep. It was all quiet on the homefront. Everyone is peaceful… and I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning all night. Weird dreams. Of course, the one night I can’t sleep, Doods sleeps through the night. I could cry.

I have a semi-busy day ahead meeting about my plans and speaking. I have to be presentable and look like a human being. I see a lot of coffee in my future.

In completely different news…

This week is suicide awareness and prevention week courtesy ToWriteLoveOnHerArms. If you’re not familiar with ToWriteLoveOnHerArms and/or Project Semicolon, please take a few moments to check out the sites and this fantastic movement to bring awareness to suicide prevention.

There are so many people who walk around fighting battles with demons we don’t see. They struggle and suffer in silence. I love to see the stigma regarding mental illness starting to dissipate. There’s no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar, personality disorders, schizophrenia, or any other mental illness. None. None whatsoever. Some of the most interesting and beautiful souls I have come across are those who are affected by some sort of condition.

Whether you keep it to yourself or are vocal about it – you’re a survivor and a winner. And you know, it’s totally OK to NOT be OK. There’s no shame or harm in saying, “I’m having a bad day” or “I’m really struggling right now.” That shit is OK. It’s so great if you can even recognize that you’re in that place. That way you can recognize when you’re in a trouble zone.

A few months before my meltdown, I got a tattoo honoring the Semicolon Project and to remind myself: Your story isn’t finished yet.  I wanted to do something personal to me, something that had meaning to me. So I did this:

live

Life is beautiful, colorful, and interesting. When we aren’t here, the world is grey and we go black… but… We are vibrant. We have stories and adventures. We have knowledge, experience, talent, compassion, passion, and love that we get to share with others. We all have so much to offer one another in this life we have been granted. Your story isn’t done yet.

Some chapters are more difficult to write than others, but that’s what makes the good chapters fucking great. Your story has it’s own unique plot and is filled with a variety of characters. At some point it will conclude, but everyone knows – you don’t rush or force a good story. You have unfinished business in this world. I hope to hear your story some day.

Thanks for stopping by and joining in on mine.

I am beyond glad that you exist. ❤

Day 194: OBs, Gynnies, and Plans – OH MY.

Where to even begin…

Girl Child has been handling her first period just fine. She hasn’t appeared to be in any pain or discomfort at this point which is nice. She learned how to handle changing a pad pretty easily, so that’s cool.

She STILL isn’t sleeping and we have tried everything. Melatonin, sleeping pills, oils – everything, she just doesn’t believe in sleep. We need to get this figured out because SHE needs sleep and WE need sleep. Bonus Dad sleeps through everything so he has no idea, but Moms have this thing about sleeping lightly – we hear everything our kids do… whether we want to or not.

Although he sleeps through everything, I need to give a huge shout out to Kevin. He has taken this whole thing in stride. He jumped right in, got a crash course in feminine hygiene, and helped out with GC. There aren’t many biological Dads who would do that sort of thing so it just increases my love and appreciation of him even more.

Pole class last night was really great. Muscle memory is definitely starting to kick back in. Pole is also a great therapy and source of life support. My instructor asked how I was handling everything and I told her I just want to cry all the time, I can’t handle adulting and parenting right now. The ladies asked why, so I explained what was happening, my train of thoughts, my million questions, what should I do, what’s ok for her, etc etc etc. One of the ladies is an OB, another said, “Oh, my Mom is a GYN and she used to work at——– (a state operated facility for adults with I/DD). I can ask her for you, if you’d like.” Dear sweet Jesus, I almost cried. People helping people, that’s what it’s about.

I feel so fortunate and blessed. I have a fantastic support system.

I’m also glad that I can be there for other people. It hurts when you hear of other people’s trials and tribulations. You almost always hope that you’re the only one who has experienced something because you don’t want anyone else on the planet to undergo the same hurt. I guess that’s why when you come across someone with similar experiences, you bond and you want to help them in every possible way.

I still don’t have my plan. However, my new boss is working with me on it so I can be successful. I really appreciate all of her time and advice. She’s been doing this for about 10 years, so it’s really great to have someone like that on my side. She wants me to be successful and that’s really awesome.

Tonight is my first Bridal Show for the bakery. Gonna be slingin’ cake and sweet talkin’ some panicked brides. Should be a good time. There’s going to be over 700 brides, woof! Including one of our own decorators! I’m excited to see her. She’s going to be doing some covert ops while she’s there.

Tomorrow I’ll be speaking again at one of TCC’s classes regarding IEPs. It’s nice having a trifecta of experience – Parent, Teacher, and Advocate. I’ve been on all sides of the table. I guess I could add administrator in there too, since I had to attend ISPs as a Program Manager. It’s nice to talk with a group of young, excited, soon-to-be teachers. They have really great questions and it’s awesome to be able to provide that insight for them.

This whole thing with GC… you know, like, most of the time I feel like, “Yeah, man, I know my shit. I know what’s up. I have these degrees and experience, I’ve read and studied all these things, COME AT ME, BRO.” Then something like, oh, GC gets her period and I’m like, “ah, Jesus, what the hell do I do now???” I think I responded fairly well, but still… there are always areas of opportunity for growth and learning.

I continually contemplate work/life balance. Being emotionally and physically healthy is really hard, guys. It takes a lot of work and dedication. I’m working on getting there, I think know what I need to do/where I need to be and I’m working towards that. It’ll take some time but you know? That’s not a bad thing. Life is teaching me patience and to slow down. For a somewhat impatient person, it’s not that easy.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

Day 192: adventures & servanthood

Yesterday was an adventure to the apple orchard. Oof. Here was my facebook post regarding it:

So here’s the thing: we can’t just go anywhere and do something. Ever.

No matter what we plan to do or how far in advance, the following is almost guaranteed to happen:

The outing will be met with varying levels of opposition by boy child. We will go. Girl child will elope, drop, or both at one or more times throughout the outing. Boy child and bonus dad will get in to and get progressively louder, because volume means power to them and neither of them know when to stop. I eventually lose my patience with everyone and get upset. Then we come home and my mom who is watching tv as per usual tells me that i need to curb my attitude although she has no clue what has just transpired.

It would be nice to just go some where and do some thing without any kind of fuss or drama. My family is going to make me seize out, swear to God. My body can’t handle the stress. We have learned that from the past. No thanks.

By the time we had gotten to the orchard, the damage had been done. The migraine was beginning and almost in full swing as we rode on the tractor. When we got home, I was really close to being wiped out. It reminded me of the period of time when I was having a lot of seizures. When all that was happening, the doctor’s had said that high levels of stress can cause seizures. I said yeah, ok, whatever, I’m not stressed out… lies. Total lies. I was in a traumatic relationship, student teaching, working, finishing grad school, and single parenting two kids on the spectrum… I’d say that’s a little bit of stress.

I think my brain now quickly recognizes the stress chemicals and forces me to stop what I’m doing before bad things happen. The rest of the day, I couldn’t process. Kevin and I tried playing Egyptian Rat Screw and he was like… You’re not really keeping up are you? I said no, I can’t process this right now. So we changed games.

After dinner, Kevin, BC and I played Golden Girls Clue – which I won! I haven’t won a game of Clue in a while. Miles ate the cheesecake in the Bathroom, dun dun dun… Super fun.

Last night, I don’t remember why but I got to thinking about ministry. When I had first gone to college, my intention was to become a Director of Christian Education (DCE) and do youth ministry. As I got in to the program, I decided that I was far too liberal and not set enough in my faith to spend my life convincing people of theirs… At least in a church setting.

I have a very dear friend who is working on his degree in ministry. He and I share a similar view: you can reach more people out in the world than if you stay in your church bubble. Be *IN* the world, not *OF* the world. Live a life of servanthood… and this can look different for everyone. Servanthood doesn’t mean you have to volunteer in a soup kitchen once a week. Servanthood doesn’t mean a life a churchworker. Servanthood doesn’t mean trying to be the next Mother Teresa.

Being a servant is living a life that shows grace, mercy, and love to others.

Sometimes that means just showing kindness or compassion in the moment. Paying for someone’s coffee, opening a door, calming someone in a moment of heat, ensuring someone’s safety and security, nursing someone while they’re sick, cleaning a house, being understanding, joining someone in silence just to be by their side, being patient, it goes on and on and on.

I enjoy being at the bakery because I feel I have been able to reach a lot of people with patience and kindness. I often get, “Thank you for being so patient with me, you were very kind” or “Thank you, you very helpful.” It makes me sad sometimes, because that says me to me that others are not always patient or kind with them.

Why aren’t we kind to others? Is it really that difficult to be nice to others? Or patient?

I guess our world and society is getting increasingly faster and separated. People don’t know how to interact face to face. They need the technology interface. they want an immediate response… If they don’t get an answer RIGHT away or it’s not what they want to hear, they DEMAND an explanation and/or try to haggle you down… We have an outbound response at work for emails – 24-48 hours for response. People will call within 3 hours “Why didn’t I get a response yet???”

Patience. People need to learn patience. I will take care of you and your needs, just be patient.

And be a god damned parent, too. Honestly, people. Parent your god damned kids. Kids are so freaking spoiled these days it’s disgusting. Kids are ignored. I see it almost every day. Parents who let their kids run around the store and behind the counter, crawling all over tables and chairs. These kids clearly haven’t been told no or experienced any kind of consistent discipline.

Now, I’m a pretty understanding parent. I have obnoxious children. HOWEVER, if Doods starts to run around? There are times when she simply does not do what I am asking her to do, so I say Sorry, we have to go, I’ll finish this another time – rather than torture everyone present. It’s also a safety issue.

I could go on and on but I won’t. When those instances happen, again, servanthood ministry – patience, love, kindness, grace and mercy. Whatever you do, do in love. That’s the mission right? My goal is to spread love to whomever I come across however I can. If that’s being patient with you, cool. If that’s giving you a little sticky note to say, “You’re awesome”, that’s cool too. If it’s listening to your needs and figuring out a good plan, that’s also awesome. If it’s leaving you alone to let you have space, I got you too. Maybe a glass of water or a cookie. Maybe a hug. I got you. I’ve had people yelling in my face, getting irate, and that’s okay – I’ll love you too and you’ll calm the fuck down.

I’m pretty good at loving people. It’s work sometimes, but it’s worth it. Everyone deserves to be shown patience, love, kindness, grace and mercy. Try it today. It’ll probably feel a little weird if you’re not used to it. But just go and be nice. Just think about how can I help this person be a little happier today? How can I make their life a little easier? Pick up a piece of trash that you see – otherwise someone else will or it’ll become street litter which effects animals. Let someone else go first if they seem like they’re in a rush or have a screaming child. Tell someone a stupid joke. Anything. Just be that little ray of sunshine today. If we all bring a little ray of sunshine, together we will light up the sky.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

Day 191: becoming a woman

Girl Child got her period last night. She’s only 9 years old.

A lot of what I have read stated that children with Autism experience puberty earlier than their neurotypical peers. While it’s something I mentally knew and was aware of, it’s something emotionally I am not ready for.

Being a parent of a child on the spectrum is different. You have to think about things differently… and significantly earlier than you would otherwise. I have been thinking about my own mortality since their diagnoses – who’s going to take care of them when I’m not here? Will they advocate for them? Who is going to love and care for them? Who’s going to hug them and tell them I love you?

I’ve had to think about life decisions for GC for years. How am I going to handle when she starts to develop? How am I going to handle her first period? How am I going to handle when she wants to do things on her own? What if she wants to leave when she’s an adult? Will she be ready for that? What tools does she need to have? What skills does she need to have? What more can I do to make her successful? What if she wants to have sex?

When it comes to birth control… she doesn’t know how to swallow a pill. She can do gummies, chewables, disposables and some liquids. What about IUDS? How will the hormones effect her? Would she let someone put one in? Can I make that decision? Is that an invasion of her physical body? I’m her parent and am responsible for her health and safety, so I guess yes… For those of you who have daughters who can voice their opinion on the matter, be grateful – they take the guesswork out of these decisions.

In regards to this situation, she needs to be taught explicitly how to handle her hygiene. She’s a pretty smart kid. If you show her something a few times, she gets it… but, at the same time, she kinda sucks. She’ll look at you and do exactly what she’s NOT supposed to do. Children. So far she has only taken the pad off once. It’s something she has to get used to and you can only teach when it happens. I’m keeping her home tomorrow so we can keep working on it before I send her to school for them to continue the teaching… This is something we take care of no matter where we are and we don’t get to stay home every time we have our cycle.

The nice thing is, at this point, she doesn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort. My periods were ok until I got older. It’s like as I got older, they got worse. Doubling over in pain, nausea, migraines, heavy tissue…. Gross. I hope she doesn’t experience that. I hope she doesn’t play with it if it does. Real life, guys. These are things we have to consider. As well as, what if she DOES play with it? What will we do? How will we react? How will we teach her what’s ok/not ok? What strategies and supports can we put in place?

Good thing I studied behavior. Oof.

I took GC out for dinner then to Target last night to get her a “My First Period Starter Kit” – jammies, ice cream, m&ms, stress balls, Lego set and beer for Mom. She was such a freaking punk at the store. I let her ride in the cart (which I almost never, EVER do) because she was being ultra obnoxious and I decided to pick my battles… Which ended up being a good thing. She tore the tags off the monsters and popped their eye balls out while we were walking around the store and I wasn’t paying attention to her.

At one point, she pointed at and said, “I want pickles please.” I said ok, you can have pickles. No more popping out the eyes and you can have pickles. She looked at me and popped out another eye. I said you have one eye left. No pickles if you pop out the eye. We walked a little bit, she looks at me, laughs and pops the eye out. I said, no pickles and put them on a shelf. She then proceeded to try and climb out of the cart, laughing. I made the decision to walk with the jar – not playing the game. We got to the checkout counter and I tell the lady to hide them because they aren’t coming home with us. Soooo then she starts to kick the cart from side to side. The lady says, “oh that’s not very safe.” In my head I’m thinking wellll the faster YOU go the faster WE leave.. so go a little slower, please. I enjoy the adventure.

GC was just. ob. noxious. The rest of the night. She annihilated half a pint of ice cream in like… five minutes. Thankfully, she still has a cold so we pumped her full of Nyquil and called it a day.

I cracked open a beer and played some You Don’t Know Jack with my wonderful hubs to try and relax… only to be up and at ’em bright and early. Today we are heading the apple orchard for our yearly adventure of picking, donuts and cider. I’m going to finish up this episode of Project Runway and cup of coffee then rouse the big bear. Have a great day everyone!

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

Day 190: brains.

I’ve had an odd anxious energy all week and can’t seem to shake it. Maybe it’s because my routine has been disrupted and I’m ready for it to settle in to a new normal or resume the previous normal. This limbo type period isn’t setting well, but it will end soon.

Having anxiety and depression isn’t very fun. I use up a lot of strength and energy at work to… Keep appearances? I guess that’s the best term for it. Don’t get me wrong – I generally genuinely am a happy, bubbly, supportive person. There are some days though where the struggle is real. My head is going ninety miles an hour about all the things but I have to force myself to slow down and be present.

If I allow myself to indulge my thoughts, nine times out of ten I’ll have an anxiety attack wherever I’m at over nothing related to where I’m at. Like I’ll start to panic about things i don’t really have any control over or have catastrophic thoughts.

Catastrophic thoughts are the worst. If you don’t experience them – be glad. I don’t just think about a scenario from one or two perspectives or possibilities, i think of ALL if them – including extremes.

Last night before I fell asleep I thought, “better say i love you and snuggle close in case someone drops a bomb and starts world war three.” Then I thought, “what a terrible shame it would be to die now – all that work for nothing… I should probably pray just to make sure God still likes me enough to save me and my family.” Then i proceeded to have dreams involving my friends that had some serious serial killer vibes to them.. i kept waiting for the creepy narrator to do a terrifying voiceover like on Killer Kids or something.

My brain is a strange place… Its probably why I like the bakery so much. Its bright, cheery, creative… I get to look and admire beautiful things all day… Like today, one of the decorators made this stunning, absolutely STUNNING, Frank Lloyd Wright cake. Or another made this bad ass shoe. It’s her best one yet. Another made an adorable campground, complete with fishing pole. It’s so neat to see what they do. It pulls me out of my thoughts and forces me to be present. If I don’t focus, cakes get dinged or I’m not providing good customer service. 

There are times though when having more flexibility and freedom would be nice. I really do need to exercise everyday. Its good for my brain and my body. I don’t want to die of a heart attack and I don’t want to have seizures. 

I helped a lady yesterday. She was very sweet and kind. She made me want to cry. She had shared that she has a neurological issue and she’s frustrated because her brain doesn’t work like it used to. Boy, can I relate to that. It brought me back to when I was having all my seizures and it’s truly terrifying to wake up and not know your name, the day of the week, be able to wiggle your toes or lift your eyebrows… Your brain has to reconnect. Its so tiring and frustrating.

It brought me back to March when I was walking around and couldn’t remember things. I couldn’t retain information. I felt like everyone was watching me – everyone knew I couldn’t handle life and was staring at me. I also knew that wasn’t the case, but you can’t help how you feel sometimes. I’m really glad I had a lot of support during that time, it was really rough.

It makes me concerned about going into ABA, finding a happy balance, not getting back to that place. It makes me wonder about what that balance looks like – how many hours at which, what’s best for my mental and physical health, what’s best for my family and their needs – it’s a lot to consider. I have some time and there’s no need to rush anything. Everything will play out as it should. I guess a little help, insight or support would be good.

I hope maybe people realize that even us happy kids struggle quite a bit.

You know what else? At my daughter’s open house, someone pulled the fire alarm ( I guess they really wanted to go, huh?). We went outside and i heard someone yelling my name. I looked, someone was waving, i waved back and it took a second to register who it was – it was one of my staff from my previous position… And she was pregnant! With a girl!! I was so happy for her, i ran over and have her a big squeeze. It was so good to see her. Even better was that SHE called to me, to see and talk to me, and was excited to see me. So many not great feelings about my experience and to see her smiling happy face, excited to share her news with me touched my heart in a way I can’t explain. I’m glad we will always be connected in a way as our children attend the same school. She’s a wonderful lady and I truly wish her and my staff the best. They were all great ladies and I miss them very much.

I often think about how they are and all my adults. As much as I wanted to keep in touch more, it was best that I didn’t. My brain and body needed to reset. On the bright side, I’ll be able to see them again when I do ABA. That makes me happy. 

I guess maybe I’ve just had a lot on my mind and heart lately.

Wedding invitations are going out tomorrow, so that’s cool. I bought some more really great stuff at the dollar tree yesterday which is exciting. I terrorized my son with Bones Malone tonight which is always a good time. He’s a good kid. He actually helped with the invitations! 

I should probably wind down. I have work tomorrow morning bright and early.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

Day 189: what a week

Oh boy, what a WEEK, my friends!

It’s been an adventuresome week mostly involving Girl Child. In summation: on Thursday, GC was improperly restrained at school, I was a Mama Lion and the response was fantastic; work had a few… unique situations… and I’m not particularly impressed with the response (or lack thereof); I made and sold Snickerdoodles in record time; there was a second situation with GC at school and I was very pleased with the response; last night was open house for GC and I couldn’t be happier with the conversations we had; my sister and brother in law came in town over the weekend, we had a nice dinner/belated birthday celebration on Sunday.

If I went in depth on all of those, it would probably take me all freaking day to type it out. I’m not trying to do that.

I guess the bottom line on all the things:

  • I’m very pleased with the school’s response to the situations and our concerns. I’m happy that GC has staff that support her and lookout for her. We were extremely relieved after the responses and conversations we had over the past few days. She’s my child and I will always do whatever is necessary to make sure she is safe, healthy, and growing in a positive way.
  • I’m blessed to have children that tug at people’s heartstrings. They are so incredibly loved and supported. It’s wonderful to know that people legitimately WANT to see them happy and successful.
  • I’m extremely fortunate to have married a man who is involved and supportive. Kevin WANTED to go to open house, see the school, meet the teacher… It’s really great to have a willing participant in the kid’s lives who ALSO cares about their success and happiness.
  • One of the core values at work is “Make the Next Person Successful.” I have concerns that this isn’t necessarily lived out, morally/ethically speaking. Considering I adhere to a firm code of ethics and am used to quick, deliberate, positive responses to situations, I have my concerns. I’ll leave it at that.
  • I do work with some amazing people. Positive, talented, supportive and wonderful. For every ONE not-so-great, there’s generally five really-pretty-great.
  • I’m super grateful to be married to Kevin and be a part of his family.
  • I’m better at pinball than I thought. ; )

So it’s been a pretty busy week. I had a killer migraine yesterday for the first time in forever. GC decided that waking up at 145am was a great idea. I don’t miss having migraines all the time… or being super stressed out, either. That combo leads to seizure town for me and I’m not trying to hang out there any time soon.

I don’t miss that, not one bit. Feeling that way yesterday morning really got me thinking. Past experiences help dictate future decisions. Stay tuned, I suppose.

I still have to get my plans written and submitted. Just haven’t had the time. Gonna hunker down this weekend and get it done. Still no word on test results either. Just a waiting game. *sigh*

Allright, gotta tap out for now

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

 

Day 182: half a year

Tomorrow is six months post melt-down.

Last night while Kevin and I were walking Pepper I heard someone call my name. It was one of my long time friends. She and I bonded over being in a shitty marriage and single motherhood. In our conversation, she shared that she recently went through a similar situation, has been out of work for a little while, and is trying to recover from the physical effects of her anxiety.

It breaks my heart to see and hear other people struggling. I know how much it hurts. I know how hard it is. I know how much it sucks to be better off struggling unemployed than working in a shitty environment. I know how awful it is when you feel terrible about yourself, physically and mentally, and have a family to take care of – it makes it really difficult. On the bright side though, I know that things get better and help is out there. I wish there was more I could do than provide support.

I wish I could find jobs for everyone. Jobs that make people happy. Jobs that don’t take advantage of great people with great talents. It’s like companies don’t realize or don’t care how they treat their employees… Like they go, “Oh blank? Blank is an EXCELLENT employee – always on time, super passionate, talented, dedicated, amazing at what they do… What? Compensate them for their skills and actual workload? Nah. Give them assistance and support? Naaahh. It’s okay, someone else will fill their spot.” Rather than value good employees, they view everyone as replaceable.

Which, let’s face it, we are all replaceable – physically. But some people are really freaking good at what they do. They may fill the spot, but the job may not be done with the same fervor or quality as before. Choices, everybody’s got ’em.

I choose to not be taken advantage of. Been there, done that – it’s not happening again.

On today’s day off docket: making cookies and working on my plans for submission to the state…. and staying in my jammies. Today is a good romper jammie wearin’ day. Plus, this onesie has giraffes on mopeds. They should be wearing helmets. Silly giraffes.

I hope you’re all doing well.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

Day 179: showers of happiness

Yesterday Kevin and I had our wedding shower! It was just a small gathering of family and friends (complete with bonus children), but it was a really nice time. We ate too much, drank a little too much, and laughed till our bellies hurt.

My matron of honor and hubs brought their giant party grill which was AWESOME. Kevin burned off some arm hair, but that’s okay ; ) They also brought their clan of boys with which was super great! I always love seeing the boys and it’s nice for Boy Child to have people to play with. The boys took over the basement, played legos and video games and had a nice play visit while we all had a nice time with the shower.

The shower was basically my Matron OH and her clan, my mom, a groomsman and Kevin’s family – complete with baby! Okay, well, he’s not *really* a baby any more… kind of. He’s 19 months which is close enough. We realized Pepper had never been around a small human before and she wasn’t quite sure what to do about it lol The baby lives in a house with two dogs so he was ready to open her mouth and get licked to death. Pepper was a little more leery ; ) She was a good girl, though. She eventually warmed up to him and all was well.

We played some super fun games, too. My sister lives in Nashville so she wasn’t able to come (but they’re coming to visit this upcoming weekend which will be nice) so her help was with the games. We played Name that Cake, He Said She Said: Facebook Edition, and Couple’s Trivia. I think I had more fun watching people’s faces as they were thinking about the questions than anything.

In the end, Kevin’s brother and sister-in-law were the winners and got to take home the big prize – vodka and a case of Miller High Life. It was followed by Kevin’s cousin and then my MOH. Since my mom helped put the games together, she wasn’t able to play – but she did get to read some of the questions. Everyone had a really nice time.

Real talk though: I was kinda sad that none of my blood related family showed up. Most of them didn’t even respond to the invitation… These are the same people, mind you, that said they didn’t/don’t get invited to anything (which isn’t true in the slightest). To make it even better, I got a message from my Dad later that night asking when the wedding was…. even though we sent out Save the Dates like… a year ago. Then I get the RSVP with a “yes” but in reality is a hardcore maybe.

It makes me glad that I am a part of Kevin’s family. They are there for each other, they care about each other, and they will do anything to help one another be successful. They aren’t petty, they don’t create stupid drama, they talk to each other and solve problems together.

I don’t understand how a person can just… I don’t know… opt out of a family. Especially when it’s not like anyone in that family is trying to take advantage of another person or negatively effecting their lives… Like I could see if someone was an addict and you have to draw the line somewhere, but that’s different. It’s just legit pettiness that people have stopped talking to each other, seeing each other, and spending time with each other. I don’t get it.

What’s the saying? You can’t always choose your family but you can choose your friends? There are times when your friends BECOME your family… because your family is petty and choose not to have anything to do with you.

Did you know – no of course you wouldn’t know… When I was younger I had a shirt that said “Abortion is Mean.” My aunt and uncle told my cousins I wore that shirt because I, myself, had an abortion…. I was 17 at the time and still a virgin so, please, do that math. Never once did they approach the topic with me. I approached him with that information and had a little chat but the thing is – no one should have to do that. Why should a 17/18 year old kid have to sit their adult uncle down to have a conversation about truths and rumors?

Why should a 14 year old kid have to tell their Dad to grow up and talk their Mom like an adult? Why should a 14 year old spend their babysitting money on silverware and bowls for their Dad’s apartment? Why should that same kid get left in the dark for their sibling?

True story: when my parents separated, my Dad lived a block away. One block away. My sister was in college 2.5 hours away. My Dad would drive up to Michigan to see my sister more often than I would see him… and he lived down the block. When he moved, I legit used my babysitting money for silverware and bowls. I would decorate his apartment for the holidays. I bought him a Christmas tree.

And he doesn’t know when my wedding day is.

And I’m sure he wondered why I didn’t ask him to walk me down the aisle – either time.

He will come in to town and visit his brother who lives a town over but not his daughter or his grandkids.

I get living out of state makes it difficult to visit, but let’s be serious.

I’ve never asked him for anything. Ever. I don’t think I ever will. He’s paid for his share of my undergrad degree which he was obligated to by the divorce decree. When I got engaged to my first husband, the first thing he said was, “Well, just remember, you’re not married yet so you can always change your mind.” His wife has talked to me, I think, a total of three times over the span of… almost 15 years now. He has always boasted about my sister and her accomplishments but not so much mine.

I will say, though, he did come in for my Master’s degree graduation. Gotta give credit where credit is due, I suppose.

I think one of the reasons I have always pushed so hard for obtaining a PhD is because I wanted to make something of myself – to stand out. My Dad comes from a family of 11 so there’s a lot of people who have accomplished a lot of really great and amazing things. I guess I’ve wanted to stand out amongst the crowd. My little cousin is beating me to it, but I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s so incredibly talented and wonderful, it’s so amazing that he was basically told, “hey asshole, you’re really fucking great – come do our program.” That’s super cool! But anyway, I have some things to sort out on my own first.

Like getting in to the new house. Speaking of which, while we were waiting for the shower to start, three cop cars were cruising around our block… Safe. Must’ve been a good day for a sting operation. *sigh*

In a little bit, I’m going to leave so I can meet up with my new boss to start work on my new plan for submission. Starting my new job will help out a lot. I still haven’t heard back about my test results. I’m anticipating hearing back in the first two weeks of next month. Still feel not great about it, but we shall see. Time will tell. If anything, I’ll just take it again. And again. I’ll pass eventually. One of the girls at work, she was so sweet, I told her about the pass rate and she goes, “Well, I believe you’re a top 5%-er, so you passed. You got this.” That made me feel really good. It’s nice to have support like that and people believing in you.

I know I totally digressed there for a minute. Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.