061618: unload

Where to even begin?

I suppose I can start with “I smell burning.” For whatever reason, Doods just decided to microwave her goldfish & cheese for ENTIRELY too long. Ah, teachable moments in life.

Anyway. As time has gone on and my posts have dwindled, it’s been made very clear how necessary these entries are for me. I’ve been working upwards of 50 hours a week between both jobs and it’s left me little time for everything else. While I don’t mind being off-line, having these entries as an outlet for, well, everything, has been taking it’s toll – emotionally/psychologically.

I’ve always said: don’t do things you can’t tell others about. I’ve also said: don’t say anything you wouldn’t want others to hear. It’s a fine line for living, but it definitely keeps your integrity in check.

There’s a lot going on and I’ve been doing an OK job at handling everything. The transition of having one less person in the house has gone smoother than anticipated. My Mom graciously took Boy Child to school in the mornings on certain days, which was nice to have one less responsibility to check off on my list. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to schedule the timing quite right BUT it’s worked out well thus far.

Since my Mom moved, we haven’t had cable TV and it has been AWESOME. We’re reliant on the internet and, man, it’s great. Boy Child has been forced to engage in other activities for his free time and he’s been much more… amenable to forced family fun time (although Mario Monopoly might have something to do with it). There’s less noise in the house, too. It’s been quieter and calmer. I’m really excited to have a yard for times like this – just go, sit outside, read a book, sit under the gazebo, jump on a trampoline, go on a slip-n-slide, do ANY outdoor activity – man, that will be great. Right now we’re super limited by our concrete yard, so it’ll be nice to have more options for activities.

So speaking of yard and new house, steps have been taken to officially start the process. I talk with the bank Monday and should have Pre-Approval at that point as well as a more solid timeline on all of that. We have to move all of Mom’s stuff after the fourth of July, officially buy the house the following week and have to be out of this house by, essentially, August 1st. Sup, anxiety? I’m hoping I don’t go in to crippled anxiety mode in July because of everything and I’m thinking I need to set up my support group, like, yesterday for all of this. We have to set up an estate sale for the house as well and I just… don’t really know how the timing is going to work out for everything.

I’m going to need help. I’m going to need help packing and moving, organizing this whole estate sale thing, and getting work done to the new house (toilet, flooring, painting, and fence). We are going to need furniture, too. Of course, I already have lists and spreadsheets for everything but it’s getting it all done in the janky time table we have that makes it extra exciting. Throw in the mix that we may have to share space in the new house with someone for a little while and it’s EXTRA extra exciting. Again: hoping I don’t go in to crisis mode in July.

I’ve told the clinic what’s going on and I’m hoping to maintain sanity, but who knows? I’ve been talking with them about going full time as well. I really like the clinic, a lot. I like working from home and having flexibility, too. BUT, there’s definitely something to having a set schedule and a place to “leave” your work. They’re very accommodating and flexible and I really enjoy being around the littles again. It’s just different. I like working with adults as well. I just like working with anyone who needs help, really ; 3 It’s all about trying to find the right work-life balance and I *think* I’m teetering on the edge of figuring out what that looks like for me. It’s only taken a few decades.

Since I’ve been working so much and have all of this life stuff, I’m behind on my personal research project. Kinda bummed about that. Yes, everyone, my fun free time activity is doing research. Aren’t I the most exciting person?! But, in all fairness, that’s where my husband comes in – he “forces” me to do other things that regular people do…Like sleep, eat, or go to a wrestling show. It all works out.

Overall, things are moving in a positive direction. Of course there have been days where I’ve been completely stopped in my tracks by my brain going “Nah, I don’t think so, not today.” But you do your self-care (this time it was binging on “Grand Designs”) and keep on with life.

Last night, I passed out at like 715 in my clothes with my contacts in and was woken up 12 hours later by my husband. Guess I needed that sleep. Apparently boy child came in, gave me a kiss on my forehead, and said goodnight. He’s a great kid. A little tangential, slightly weird, but a great kid – I wouldn’t change him for the world.

Well, I need to get it together a little and go to the grocery store.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

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060418: and it goes a little somethin’ like this

I just realized it’s been a little over two months since my last post. Sorry about that. A lot has been happening in this neck of the woods and it’s slowed down for approximately one nanosecond so I can update on the shenanigans.

So what has been happening?

God, where to begin… Well, I started working part-time at a clinic with littles about a month ago. So far, so good! I really like being there and working with the kiddos. It’s been about 5 years since I’ve worked with littles and it’s really great to be back in an incidental teaching type environment and getting back to basics. It really reminds me of how important early intervention is. It’s just a contrast to my main position working with adults. Honestly, it couldn’t be more different. But it’s good – one fuels the other. Working two jobs has presented its challenges, though. I shifted my schedule in hopes that working two days instead of three days will be better overall. Time will tell, but I’m enjoying it – very much.

My Mom got a new job down in Nashville and moved this past weekend. We’re really excited for her to make this huge step! We’ll be taking the rest of her stuff in about a month or so. It’ll be nice to see her and her new place and all that fun stuff. It’s an adjustment to her not being around all the time, but it’s all good. Boy child had a bit of a meltdown yesterday, but we worked through it. I told him it’s okay to be sad, but it’s not okay to be angry and take it out on others. The water works flowed for a straight 10 minutes. It’s hard to see your kid sad or in pain. Little butt head made me cry too. My Mom used to say the same thing – not the butt head part, but the seeing your kid sad part. I used to think she was nuts (I was right about that), but I totally get it now (because I, too, am nuts).

We are close to buying the new-old house. We are getting quotes for various work this month. I’m buying the house mid-July. Then we’re pulling the trigger on all the work end of July and moving in around my birthday – happy birthday to me, a house! This past weekend, Husband and I sat and designed the rooms – color schemes, layouts, floor plans, etc. We need to get actual measurements to do some better planning, but overall we have a solid idea/direction. We also started packing this weekend – books, mostly. I have a LOT of books, woof.

What else… oh, both computers took a complete and utter shit at the same time, so that made things really interesting. I had to buy a new computer and our tower just got fixed by our supremely awesome computer whiz friendo. So that’s a thing… the printer we have doesn’t work with either computer either, so we are going to try Husband’s printer and hopefully THAT works… otherwise it looks like I’m getting a printer too. Hrrumph.

I had to have a colonoscopy which is… well, the test itself is nothing – the prep though, ugh. You have to have anesthesia as well. Because I have mild/moderate Raynaud’s, was dehydrated, and in a super fucking cold room, they couldn’t find my veins… So I look like I got in to a fist fight with a needle and lost. I have giant bruises on my hand and arm. Ridiculous. The test, thus far, came out fine – nothing major. Took some biopsies and should know the results this week. SO, we don’t know why I get fatigued, nauseous, seizures and hip pain… still. My body is an ENIGMA.

Kids are doing well. Doods is done with school, Boy Child is in his last week. I have an awesome care provider for the summer and I absolutely love her. Doods will start ESY next week and BC will have drama camp then carpentry camp, essentially. Kid is gonna hammer a nail through his hand, swear to god. It’ll make for a good story though.

Um, what else… I’m going to be setting up therapy services for Doods next month. Or at least get the ball rolling with it since it usually takes about a month from intake to start date. She’s been losing skills as was evidenced when her care provider and I probed her this past week. If you don’t use it, you lose it…. So we’re gonna stop that nonsense.

Once we get in to the new house, I’m going to look in to a few different fitness class options that I’ve been super interested in. Fuck this body, I’m gonna do the best I can with what I’ve got. We went to a wedding over Memorial Day weekend (which was lovely and super fun) at Starved Rock. I tried to do the hiking but my body was just full of middle fingers at the activity, so I couldn’t do as much as I wanted. PLUS I had to save my body for dancing, you know. I danced my ass off. I couldn’t really move the rest of the night after I stopped and most of the next day but it was 1000000000% worth it – got the funk down to the Low Down Brass Band. So sweaty. So good.

I think that brings everything up to speed. I’ve been doing pretty okay overall. I’ve definitely had some ups and downs over the past two months, though. Some days have been REAAALLY difficult. Thankfully, my husband is understanding and supportive and wonderful and deals with me appropriately. There have been some days where I was like I NEED TO WRITE. I NEED TO GET THIS OUT OF MY SYSTEM. But the computers were broken and I didn’t want to type from my phone so it manifested in other unhealthy ways.

We’re going to be having one last game night at the red ranch house in a few weeks. Then hopefully a belated birthday/housewarming bonanza at the new-old house ; D I hopefully everyone is doing well out there in interwebs land.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

040918: imposter, get it together

Do you ever have those days where you just feel like a complete fraud?

I have those days a lot. Days where I feel like an imposter, like I don’t really fit in anywhere but people believe I do and I feel like one day I’m going to be found out.

I had an interview earlier today for a clinic to work with littles. It’s a really exciting opportunity to get to learn a whole nother side of ABA that’s not currently available to me. I’m going to pursue it, because I like to learn and I like little kids. But heading to the site I couldn’t help but feel like I’m a fake.

I was thinking: What DO you know, really? Do you even know ANYTHING? You couldn’t do ABA if your life depended on it. What makes you think that you can really do this job and help others? You’re pretty much someone who fails upwards. Why should people listen to you? You don’t know anything. And so on and so forth.

So I have to try and pep talk myself – but you DO know things. You have degrees, certifications, clients making progress, staff who enjoy working with you, your kids – you’re good. Sure, there’s still a lot to learn but that’s the whole point of this – get in there and learn all you can so that it’s not an area of deficit.

Somehow the negative always wins… Even though I have degrees and certifications, my brain is saying “You’re an idiot” – even though, logically, I know I’m totally not. I’m not sure how to fix that.

I really appreciate being a position to develop my own schedule. I really like having flexibility and being able to say yes and no to different things… and sometimes feeling like shit and not doing any work that day. It’s a beautiful freedom. It’s a beautiful freedom that I have had to bust my ass to be able to do. I’m grateful for that.

I need to get it together and focus. I have to get work done.

Sometimes I think about everything I want to do or get done and it’s so overwhelming that I just…. don’t do any of it. I think it’s helpful for me to have a busier schedule… in a way, it forces me to schedule my time. With this current gig, I can schedule for the most part but sometimes things come up and that changes. I wish I had more people/opportunities to learn more stuff. I feel like such a noob in this field. Which, really, I totally am. I’ll figure it out, I guess. I have to.

Okay, I think I’m going to make some tea & get myself situated for the rest of the day. I’m going to finish this behavior plan, write out my house rules meeting plan for tomorrow, and pound out another chapter or two of vocab in to Quizlet. To do lists are fantastic. So is tea.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

040618: ya wanna wrastle?

Life has a way of throwing curve balls at me, nonstop.

Just balls. All the time. Comin’ at me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the idea of balls in my face but if something could go smoothly for just like… a few weeks, that would be super amazing. However, then it wouldn’t be my life.

So, what’s going on now? Well, my Mom lost her job yesterday. It puts us in a little pickle. We should be okay for about two months. If the unemployment extends longer than that, well.. decisions will have to be made, I suppose. One step at a time with that.

Health wise, I’ve actually been doing a LOT better. I’ve been eating a relatively bland diet for the past few weeks and I’ve definitely noticed improvements (and non-improvements). I decided to treat myself yesterday with a cup of fancy coffee and that was a HUGE mistake. Now we know, coffee is out of the picture. SAD DAY. Either that or I’ll take an entire package of Imodium before drinking a small cup of fancy coffee to balance out my butthole evacuations. Yin to the yang.

In other news, if you’re in to wrestling or are in a relationship with someone who’s in to wrestling, then you’re well aware that this weekend is Wrestlemania. What that means for me is an evening without Husband and Boy Child. What that really means is – I can pound out some more work with a relatively low-key household.

In light of the upcoming event, last night’s pre-sleep musings ran to Wrestlemania.

Me: If you were a wrestler, what would your name be? How about Beardman Magoo.

Husband: Beardman Magoo? That sounds so stupid. No… I’d be Dad Bod.

Me: Your finishing move could be the Time Out… or You’re GROUNDED.

Husband: Or Cowman McGillicuddy

Me: Oh, so Beardman Magoo is stupid, but Cowman McGillicuddy ISN’T?? Oh! Just think! You could have a move where you “milk” the competition!

Husband: Come out with a stool.

Me: A stool?

Husband: Yeah, a stool. For milking. Gotta sit to milk.

Me: Oh, yeah. I think I like Cowman more than Dad Bod. PLUS Cowman could have a breakaway stool AND a cattle prod.

Husband: Breakaway stool? I’m in to it.

*about a minute of silence*

Husband: Dad Bod’s finishing move could be saying he’s going to go get a pack of cigarettes and never returning.

Me: OR he could return but with a mask or something, like Kane. AND HE COULD BE THE SECRET DAD OF ANOTHER WRESTLER. And no one would know who he is!

Husband: Jesus.

Me: Yeah, he could be… John DOUGH. Get it? ’cause of the Dad Bod?

Husband:…

Me: What would the son be?

Husband: the Dough Boy?

Me: Well, no, because John Dough is the secret identity of Dad Bod so his son wouldn’t know that John Dough is actually his dad.

Husband: I don’t know then… Taint? His name could be Taint.

Me: It’d have to be THE Taint, not just Taint. Think of the announcer: “and now, TAAAIINNTTT” It just doesn’t flow or have any real crowd power versus “and now, THHHEE TTAAAIINNNTT”

 

Husband: Then one day he finds out that’s his dad and they could go on and be a tag team. This whole story line is going now! And now I’m going to sleep.

NOTE: This post is in no way discriminatory against wrestlers, taints, bajingos, absentee fathers, dad bods, cowboys, bearded fellas, or cows.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

040418: back on the wagon and the return of Geoff & Lucy

Okay. I’m mid-completion of my supervisor course, I’ve looked up the contacts for the sign language interpreter program, I’m feeling less like death, and this Orange Spice tea is absolutely delicious. I felt really behind because of being sick for the past few weeks. However, I feel like I’m getting back on track and getting things done. It really starts to mess with you when you’re down and out for so long – you can’t do anything, you don’t have the energy, you can’t concentrate, you get depressed, it’s just… no fun.

Anyway, I’m getting back on track. I set up a zoom (video call) with a respected leader in Illinois for ABA. Pretty stoked about that! I have to come up with a list of questions for her. I don’t want to go in to the conversation empty-handed. I want to make the most of the conversation. I don’t think it’s going to be a one-stop shot, but I’d like to make it a good conversation to start with. It’s really great to reach out to people in your field and pick their brains. Get some guidance. Some insider info.

I’ve also reached out to a few different places to try and set up research opportunities. You know what’s annoying? When you write an email that consists of TWO things, TWO, ad they only respond to ONE. And that response includes a question. So you answer it and restate your second thing… they respond…. but only to one thing, ignoring that other piece – AGAIN. That doesn’t really bode well.

Anyway: looking in to research opportunities? check. looking in to SL program? check. working on supervisor course? check. Things are on the move.

The other night, I had a pre-sleep conversation with Husband. Of course this was super important information, so I need to share it with you.

Scene: laying in bed

Me: what are the bumps on your nipples called?

Husband: I don’t know… areolas?

Me: no, no they aren’t called areolas – areola is the fancy name for the whole nip nap. What are the BUMPS called?

Husband: uh, mini nipples?

Me: No, it can’t be mini nipples. Mini nipples are an actual thing – they’re extra nipples. I’m just talking about the bumps.

Husband: (silence)

Me: Do you think that maybe the bumps are like braille and there’s actually a hidden message in our nipples?

Husband: What? No.

Me: Yeah, I mean, what if it’s like… palm reading, except it’s braille nipples…. or ball sacks. What if you could tell the future by the veins on your ball sack? IMAGINE THE FORTUNE TELLER. Imagine the lady you go to see, Madame Clairvoyance, and she has to touch your hands, balls, and nipples in order to tell you the future….. It’d probably be really good AND you could negotiate a happy ending while you’re at it.

Husband:….

Me: THEN when you’re done, you would go outside to the backyard and Geoff and Lucy would be waiting to greet you with an ivy scarf they made. It all comes full circle.

Husband: You’re an idiot, go to sleep.

Like I said, guys, this important stuff. Fortune telling nipple braille. It’s a thing of the future, just you wait and see. I’m tempted to have someone who knows braille read my nipples. They probably say I’m really great. Just a hunch.

NOTE: This post is no way discriminatory against the blind, fortune-tellers, wolves, squirrels or the AETA. (Don’t know what that’s about? Refer back to 031618: Riding bad ass bears, Geoff & Lucy)

Anyway, that’s what I’ve got for today.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

032718: zoning out

Today I am venturing out on a number of visits. I’m hoping my body cooperates. Gonna load up on bananas and Imodium to get through today.

I have to get myself motivated. Being down and out for over a week is a little killer. Speaking of killer, I’ve been watching Dexter. I watched the first two seasons and I think I’m done with that show. It was interesting but not enough to keep me viewing for all 8 seasons. It’s predictable. Some of the characters are portrayed tremendously well – like I know these people, like Batista or, ironically, Dexter. Other characters are… well, they aren’t played tremendously well like Doakes or Deb. The actor who plays Doakes just tries to hard. With Deb, I don’t necessarily think it’s the actress but rather the scripting. Every curse feels forced and unnatural. I also just don’t like her character – she clearly has a Daddy complex. I could go on, butttttt I don’t think I want to.

In other news, husband and I talked about different dietary things last night. I looked up bland diet. I decided to try and keep a log of everything. I don’t want to walk in to the GI without any information other than “hey, everything hurts and I’m poopin’ all the time.” Gonna be a good patient and track what’s happening. It’s a pain in the ass, but necessary. Helps speed along the process.

I keep zoning out.

I really want to eat something other than a banana.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

032618: doctors, diagnosis, and depression

Doctors, Doctors everywhere and not a diagnosis in sight.

I had my follow up appointment with my lady doctor today. She said well, I have some good news and some not good news. I said, Ok…. She said “the good news is – everything is good. Everything looks clear and checked out normal.” I said, what?? Okay… so… She then said, “not so good news is – we don’t still don’t know what’s causing all your pelvic/abdominal pain”. I said okay, so, what do we do now? My eyes started to well up with tears at this point. She said, “well, we just have to do some more investigating.” I broke down. She just sat there. She said, “Let’s get you a referral to a gastroenterologist.” I just kept crying.

I immediately texted my husband to relay the news.

I think it’s hard to relate if you haven’t gone through this type of situation before. You hurt, you’re in pain, your body is doing some really fucked up stuff but nobody has any answers. I had this same exact thing years ago when I was having seizures. The neurologist I had at the time basically threw her arms in the air and said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you, you need to see somebody else – you’re probably just making it up any way.”

I remember that. I remember when she suggested I go see a therapist because she didn’t really believe I was having seizures. I remember when I had a video EEG done and the neuro on staff grilled me and didn’t believe I didn’t do drugs. He must have asked me like 8 times – “are you SURE you don’t use any drugs?” Mother fucker, do you wanna do a blood draw or some shit right now? I was a clean teen, damnit.

Yes, I was totally faking a major seizure during my morning teacher meeting and following neurological impairment. I was totally faking while I was in the ER and the doctor asked me to raise my arm and I couldn’t. I was totally faking when he asked me to raise my eyebrows and I couldn’t remember how. My mom was there and said, “Do the Melinda face” and instinctively my body knew what to do – very slowly and very minimally. I couldn’t wiggle my toes or tell you what day it was. I was totally faking the second seizure in the ER, too. Faking. Big faker – right here.

Now, I know there are people out there that have this kind of sick disease where they ACT as if they are sick, but they really aren’t (munchausen’s) – but I’m not that person. I fucking HATE being sick. I HATE being needy. I HATE being unable to do things I want to do. I can’t just make up taking a liquid shit every 20 minutes. I can’t just will it out of my body – it doesn’t work that way.

I can’t just make up that my hip hurts to the point of almost immobility. I can’t just make up that my front hurts so bad that I want to vomit.

How the fuck, also, do you gain 5 pounds in two weeks when you’re barely eating and all the input is being turned to output in incredibly quick fashion? Riddle me that, Bat-doctor.

I can’t help but feel frustrated, sad, and depressed. You start the process hoping for answers and it turns in to a wild fucking goose chase. So far, we are at a Primary Care Provider +xray and a lady bit doctor + ultrasound. Now we are adding a GE doc and lord knows I can’t WAIT to have something shoved up my pooper. I mean, we’ve already gone up one hole, let’s just throw in the other for good measure.

Also, “PCP + xray & LadyBit Doctor + Ultrasound” totally sounds like a play made during some weird card game…. Maybe I’ll work on that. Could be fun. It’d be like Munchkin – but with Doctors and procedures – “You have an armor of: White Lab Coat +2. Headgear: Stethoscope +1. Non-slip footwear (needs two feet): Enables Proctologists to chase down Run Away Patients.” All in my spare time, right? Maybe I’ll work on it ONLY when I am at doctor’s offices. With how long you have to wait, I could probably have that shit knocked out in NO time. Somebody get the Kickstarter ready for me.

In the meantime while I’m making the porcelain throne my new home, it’s still sinking in that I passed the exam. I have my ID number now and everything. It’s official – I am Board Certified. That shit is CRAZY, yo (read that in your head like Scarface from Half-Baked). I feel like… man, I still have so much to learn and do and accomplish. I’ve been giving myself a break since I took the exam. I need to get back to it. I’ll give myself till April and then get back to creating visuals and such for others. I enjoy creating visuals. It’s a talent I’m grateful to have and I know others appreciate them tremendously. I think I may be more methodical about it. Or not. I have the most wanted visuals all written out – might as well give the people what they want amidst working through the task list… Even though there’s going to be an update in 2020 – that’s okay. I’ll deal with that when the time comes.

I’m also at the point where I just say Fuck all of this and work out any way. Do what I can. Even if it’s 10 minutes a day. At least it’ll be at home so if I need to puke or poop – hey, guess what?! It’s right there! I’m tired of this. If I’m going to hurt and my body is going to be an asshole anyway, might as well do the goddamned thing – right?

I don’t have the conviction or desire to be vegetarian, but I do think there are some things that we can change with our eating here at the house. I’ll talk about that with husband later tonight. I’m not sure what, but I’m sure there are some rules/changes we can apply that will help us both be healthier and hopefully live better lives.

So, what now? Well, I think I’m going to let myself feel my feelings today. I’m going to do my best to try and shake off as much as I can tomorrow and get on with a new day. I’ll do as much as my body permits me to do. I can’t let this bullshit health nonsense get in the way of living my life. That’s just no fun. So I’ll throw myself a little pity party, complete with a small cup of coffee (which I haven’t had in about two weeks and if I’m going to shit anyway, it’s not really going to make THAT much of a difference), sleep it off and get my ass back in gear tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

032218: behavior, bowels and my brood

I’m not sure where to begin this morning. I suppose I’ll start with the good news: I passed my exam! I’m officially a BCBA!

It’s still sinking in that I passed and I’m board certified now. That’s crazy – board certified. I passed one of the toughest exams out there… And not on the first try… or even the second try. It took three times to pass.

This exam has been a true test of patience, resilience, and work. I feel like I still have so much to learn. I have really enjoyed collaborating with other professionals since I started working as a BA. I feel like I have been acquiring more knowledge through my work than my schooling.

This whole experience has been a really great example to my son (I think and I hope). He has been following this whole journey. Each time before I took the exam he would wish me luck. He would ask Mommy are you going to pass this time? I hope you pass this time. I would always say that’s the plan, bud. I kept telling him that even though I hadn’t passed yet, I wasn’t going to give up. This is a goal that I have and I will pass the test, no matter how many times it takes.

I was convinced I failed. I walked out of the exam feeling like I failed. I told myself not to think about it until the results came out. I wasn’t sure how I was going to rally up for a fourth try and I’m awfully glad I didn’t have to cross that bridge. Yesterday morning I saw people posting about their results. I didn’t keep my window open because it was causing me anxiety. I told my husband that I’m pretty sure I failed, I just need notification so I can move on with my life and figure out a new plan.

I was just about to close down my computer and I decided to check the gateway once more. I was able to log in and saw the word “passed.” I gasped so loud, Pepper ran over to me and was like “HUMAN, YOUR FACE DID A WEIRD THING. LET ME LICK IT TO MAKE SURE IT WORKS.” Then I began to sob hysterically. I called my husband immediately. He didn’t answer, so I started sending an obnoxious series of texts which consisted mostly of HUSBAND. HUSBAND. HUSBAND. HUSBAND PHONE. PICK UP THE PHONE. HUSBAND. Of course each word was sent individually for emphasis amidst calling numerous times. When he finally answered, I cried out between sobs “I passed!” He said, “Way to go, idiot! I told you you would pass, ya dummy.” I laughed and cried and all I could say was “I passed.” He of course kept laughing at me (in a good way, mind you) and saying congratulations. Then he said “Now you can build your boat!” I was like, OH YEAH! I CAN BUILD MY BOAT!! When he got home he said “Congratulations, board certified smart wife.” ; 3

About the boat: so we know I love Legos, yes? This is no secret. One of the most recent Lego Ideas was a ship in a bottle. I thought it was TREMENDOUSLY cool. Both Kevin & Cayden said, “Well, you need to get that for when you pass your exam and have a fancy office. Every fancy professional has a ship in a bottle.” So, although we didn’t quite have the dollars for it, husband and I agreed – this is totally a necessary frivolous expense. The caveat, though, was that I couldn’t build it until I passed the exam.

The package arrived, I opened it and just sighed. It’s been sitting out, staring at me, almost mockingly, for over a month. BUILD ME, it was saying. PASS AND YOU CAN BUILD ME. Kevin and I would be playing games and I would just sit and stare at the box, “Some day,” I would think, “I will build you and you will be MY fancy ship in a bottle.”

I started building last night ; 3 However, I still was not feeling aces, so I stopped building to take a shower and go lay in bed. My stomach situation is improving, minimally. I finally broke down and took medicine for it. I really need to stop being so stubborn about medicine. It’s there for a reason. It’s helpful.

Man, board certified. Crazy.

So, of course, people knowing I am how I am asked, “What’s next?” My plan, now, is to wait for my certificate to arrive. Once my certificate arrives, I can level up at work. I’m going to start contacting people to try and get involved in research opportunities. I’m also going to look more in to the sign language program. I may hold off on that one… Lies. I’ll research it and probably start in the fall.

You know how yesterday I talked about Doods and her drawings? Yesterday she started to color her entire whiteboard blue. We looked at it and went… what the hell is she doing? Maybe she is drawing water? an ocean? There was nothing else on the board except for blue. This morning I walked past the board and went OH MY GOD, I GET IT. I KNOW WHAT SHE’S DOING. She was drawing a negative screen. She watches these like… demonic sounding videos where the video is reverse/negative image. THAT is what she was drawing. Let me show you…

VT neg screenkaylee screen

Isn’t that crazy? She’s never done that before and honestly, it’s kind of brilliant. She is such an interesting child.

Anyway. So that’s the scoop for now – Board Certified. Insides are still messed up. Children are amazing weirdos.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

032118: missing pieces

I woke up this morning and got Doods ready for school. She gets herself dressed, for the most part – just needs a little assistance like remembering to put on a bra and deodorant. If I set them out on her table, she’ll do it. If I don’t, it’s about a 50/50 chance she’ll remember her bra and almost a guaranteed 0 for deodorant. Anyway, she got dressed and I brushed her hair. I decided to put it in pigtails today. I told her she looked cute, she checked herself in the mirror, smiled, grabbed her iPad and went on her merry way.

She definitely understands what “You look so pretty!” and “You’re so cute!” means. She’ll go check herself in the mirror, smile, and get on with her life. It’s important to me that she understands what those phrases mean and that she has a positive self-view. Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and low self-concept are HUGE issues for the disabled population. I try, at least once a day, to tell her she is pretty, smart, funny and wonderful and that I love her so much and I’m happy she is my daughter. You can tell she is a confident kid. She is confident, creative, and very loved.

I watched her play this morning. She goes in spurts of what she likes to do. She loves to draw. She has a large dry erase board and basket of markers. She likes to pull up pictures on her iPad (usually of VeggieTales) and draws them on her board. Recently, she has started to give them more appropriate eyes. What I mean by that is – before now, “eyes” were two black dots that were vertically stacked. Now, she is clearing some white space and placing them almost horizontally next to one another. The amount of detail she puts in to the drawings is incredible. They aren’t well-defined drawings, but she uses all the colors she sees. If you know the characters, you can tell who you’re looking at now. They used to just be blurs. I often wonder if she is drawing them the way she is seeing them. I guess I’ll never know.

This morning she didn’t draw. She went to the DVDs. She was looking at them very purposefully… like she was comparing them to whatever she was looking at on her iPad or doing research or something. I sat on the couch and watched my little girl… who’s not so little any more. She’s 10 years old. I watched this 10 year old with pig tales and pink smiley face t-shirt just go about her business before heading off to school.

I started to think about the future. It feels like just yesterday that I was snuggling this itty bitty podling baby. Same with Boy Child. I haven’t been feeling well and I asked BC to help with dinner on Monday. He was SO. EXCITED. This was his chance to be the caretaker. Granted, dinner was frozen pizzas, but he did the thing. He looked at the boxes, set the oven, got them on the pans, set the timer, got them out and even tried to cut one (before we said Good job! Let me do the next one). That may not seem like a lot, but that is a LOT of steps and he did it – without any help, really. At one point, he did yell to me that he couldn’t open the pizza bag and I said use scisssors, bud and he said oh yeah! When you have a kid with a disability, even the littlest things are work and take training.

I’m glad I’ve taken the time to show him how to do these things. I’ve stood by and watched him so that he knows how to take care of himself and others. These are important skills to have as an independent human being.

Anyway, Girl Child. I watched her this morning and thought about how quickly time has gone by and how these next years are going to go even faster. What decisions am I going to make? How can I continue to help them both grow? What kind of life can I continue to pave for them? Am I doing enough?

My answer to that last one is almost always no, but we won’t get in to that trap this morning.

My kids are getting bigger every day and I can’t help but feel like I missed something. I feel like I have given them a good childhood so far. It’s been tough most of the time, but I’ve done the best I could with what I’ve had. I can tell they are both happy kids and that they know they are very loved by us. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like something is missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it at the moment.

It was weird answering the ultrasound tech’s question yesterday when she asked how old I was. It felt so foreign to say, “I’m 33.” Like, fuck, I’m 33. When did that happen? It feels like just yesterday I was in my mid-twenties with two crazy babies running around. I feel so old. My body is tired. My spirit is tired. I’ve been fairly resilient throughout my life and my experiences and I’m tired. I’m hoping after my ladybit shenanigans gets resolved I can get back on track – just being active. Be active, be outside, get back to enjoying my life instead of being sad and sick all the time.

I almost feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. Which I know for a fact is bullshit. I’ve accomplished a lot of things so far, I really have. I almost feel like… maybe I peaked too early? I don’t know. I was this super motivated person all through my 20s with this, “Fuck you, I’ll show you!” attitude and it helped me to accomplish a great many things…. just now… I’m tired. I don’t have that same drive. Which I guess isn’t a bad thing. I still have goals but I guess it’s okay to just chill the fuck out and exist for awhile. I don’t know.

I still feel like something is missing.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.

032018: see me from the inside

Hey campers,

Today was ultrasound day. I’ve been feeling… not well over the past week, so handsome husband took me to my appointment. We did the first part of the ultrasound, then I got to pee (which felt glorious) and when I came back out we were going to do the second part. While I was waiting for the second part, I (of course) took a look at the pictures on the screen.

Now, I’m not a doctor (I just play one on TV), but I’m pretty sure what I saw wasn’t great. When the tech came back in I asked her, “So what is that? What are those pictures of?” She got wide-eyed and quickly said, “NOTHING. That’s just the gel. Those aren’t pictures of anything.” She then turned the screen … Girl, please. I’m not new. I’ve had two kids. WHAT IS THAT IN MY BODY.

I told Kevin afterwards. Husband, of course, said don’t read in to any thing, but I was already off and running and miles away. The tech said the radiologist will read the pictures within 1-2 days and then get the results to my doctor who will follow up with me.

Of course, now that husband is at work and I have my computer, I’m scouring ultrasounds of lady parts to see what looked like what I saw. Damn you photographic memory and the internet. On the brightside (I guess?) it didn’t look like the cancer ultrasounds. At least, from what I saw. It looked more like the cystic ultrasounds. We will see.

Let me tell you, though, a probe ultrasound is so uncomfortable. It’s like – oh your insides hurt? Let me jab ’em with this big stick for a while and take pictures, ok? AWESOME. Plus there’s no wining and dining beforehand. No sweet talk or anything. It’s just a long, cold, weird dildo that gets maneuvered around your insides – but without any foreplay or happy ending.

Afterwards, handsome husband and I went to breakfast. I needed that time with him. We went to one of our old joints – Aunt Sally’s. We both were experiencing HUGE flashbacks. He used to go there with his family all the time. I went there every month on late start days in high school with my friends. We had fun reminiscing, sharing memories and eating lots of tasty food.

I enjoy my husband. Very much. He is always extra positive when I’m crying and convinced I’m dying. He always makes me laugh and feel loved and supported.

Ok, I need to rest a little bit before I do somethings this afternoon.

Thanks for stopping by.

I am glad you exist.