Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You're Perfect, To Me

Enough paperwork to give me carpal tunnel, enough questions to make me crazy (really...how does my sex life play a role in all this..???) and two hours later...I survived, sans panic attack.

The Children's Center is a really beautiful place. I was impressed, from the moment I walked in and saw the wonderful artwork, sculptures and open areas. The staff, who was really pleasant and friendly, quickly put me at ease.

Thankfully, because I was a nervous wreck. (What? You didn't get that from my previous post, today?)

Well, at the end of it, I wasn't really surprised with any of her thoughts or comments. She is listing Avery as having a mood disorder not otherwise specified and sensory processing disorder. No big shocker, as we suspected both of these. Basically, Avery is unable to control her emotions and they can change rather quickly, without any known stimulus. The sensory aspect is the issue she has with loud noises and places that have a lot of background noise, such as the lunchtime cafeteria at school.

Our direction from here, leads me in two place. First, we are going to be meeting with a pediatric psychiatrist, that I can discuss Avery's sleeping patterns with. Avery cannot fall asleep without a small dose of melatonin, but even with that, she is only sleeping about seven hours a night. She is awakening at 3:30 am and never going back to sleep. That is not typical behavior for a six year old. If necessary, the psychiatrist may be able to prescribe something other than melatonin, that will assist her in finding a more normal, longer, sleep schedule.

Secondly, we will be meeting with an occupational therapist, that will help us learn what we can do to assist Avery in situations that overload her senses, causing her to become frustrated. I think this will be a huge help for her, as our only coping mechanism currently, is to provide earplugs for her.

The lack of sleep and her inability to filter out extra noise could be contributing greatly to the aggression that she exhibits. She doesn't know how else to deal with her emotions and as such, it displays as anger. It makes sense, if you think about it. I get overwhelmed when I don't get enough sleep and when my environment feels chaotic...and I'm 29 years old. A six year old is going to have a much harder time dealing with those situations, if she needs to learn a certain way to cope, that I haven't taught her.

So...forward we go. I have a feeling this is just the very beginning of a long road for us...but, it's a start. No matter what I have to do, I will do whatever it takes, to keep my beautiful girl smiling.

Pretty, pretty please...don't you ever, ever feel, like you're less than, less than perfect. You're perfect to me. <3

You Can't Die From A Panic Attack...Right?

Words can't describe how I'm feeling right now.

But...because I know that writing things out helps me, I'm going to try.

Avery's appointment is in less than three hours and the anxiety I'm feeling is overwhelming. I'm sure my family thinks I've lost my mind...as I've become withdrawn and overly emotional. I've been on the verge of a panic attack all morning, so that is really not helping the situation.

Yes, I'm probably over-reacting. Yes, I know I'm probably not making things any easier. Yes, I know that this is what is best for her.

I just can't shake the fear of the unknown. I don't know what will happen today. For other doctor appointments, I know the routine. Weight, height, vitals...she has another ear infection? Big shocker.

But, today, I don't know what they will ask or what they will have her do. I don't know what they will think or what they will find. I don't know what the future holds for her. For our family. I feel like I'm going to be interviewed and examined to see where they can find fault.

And what if...it's mine?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Might Be A Bad Mom

School is back in session for the little people. (Pictures to come!) In fact, I just dropped Luke off for his first day of kindergarten, a couple of hours ago.

As I scan Facebook and check out the cute pictures of all my friend's little ones returning to school, or heading off for the first time, I can't help but see an overwhelming theme...

...all my friends are crying. All their friends who comment...are crying, too.

Uhhh...*checks eyes*...CRAAAAP...not a tear to be found.

Now, before everyone attacks me...I'm in no way making fun of another Mom or belittling her feelings. Not. At. All.

I'm simply realizing that I don't feel like this. And I'm apparently in the minority.

I'm EXCITED for my kids to go to school. No, not just selfishly because my house will be quieter so that I can work and do my own homework. It's because they will be exposed to so many new and wonderful things! They absorb so much and are so passionate about everything they learn. They love school and I want to foster that and encourage it!

Of course, everything they are exposed to isn't something I would choose for them to experience. However, I don't see this as a negative thing. I embrace the opportunity to explain things to them and educate them. I like that they will come to me with any questions, knowing that I will calmly discuss it, without brushing them off or acting shocked, making them feel uncomfortable. (Not so easy, when your 5 year old comes home with a very specific question about sex on the second day of school. Yup. Been there. Try swallowing your bite of spaghetti at the dinner table and calmly responding to that one...)

So, I might be a bad Mom...but I'm not crying today.

Now, the day one of my daughters brings home a boy for the first time? I'm not promising anything...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

School Daze

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever."
 — Mahatma Gandhi

Well, this momma is registered for Fall semester. I remember the excitement of accepting my Associates degree...but that all means nothing if I don't continue on and obtain a higher degree.

My original plan of pursing a BS in Family, Consumer and Human Development (FCHD) was changed today, to a BS in Family Life Studies. Very similar, however the FCHD program is focused more on early childhood, where Family Life encompasses the lifespan. This will make more sense for me, working in the nursing field.

This fall I will be taking "Marriage and Family Relationships" and "Balancing Work and Family." Both of these make me laugh, because I feel like I'm going to be taking a class from a recent college grad, who is going to tell me how to live the life I'm living...

However, many of the other classes for the degree look really interesting. I'm looking forward to "Families and Cultural Diversity", "Family Finance", "Current Issues in Family Life Studies", "Family and Social Policy" and "Human Sexuality." It'll be exciting to participate in each of these classes and I'm curious to see what I will learn from each of these courses.

I will also spend the next many months stressing over nursing school applications and praying that my past efforts have been adequate enough to get me into a program for Fall 2012. I'm telling myself that if I don't make it, its for a good reason and I will just continue on with my BS degree, while I wait to apply again. Realistically, I know that deep down it will break my heart and I will take it like the rejection that it is.

If I do get accepted on the first go-round, I will graduate with an Associates of Science, classes towards my BS and an RN....plus 6+ years of school under my belt. If I don't get admitted and end up waiting two more years for Weber's next program, I will graduate with an Associates of Science, BS in Family Life Studies, my RN and be a Certified Family Life Educator...with 8+ years of schooling.

At that point, what's stopping me? Might as well become a Physician's Assistant, huh? What's another 2.5 years in school? ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just A Housewife

I'm having a "just a housewife" day.

Stay at home moms, you know the kind of day I'm talking about. A day where I feel frumpy, useless and jealous of all the women out there who get to leave their house on a daily basis. Or who interact with people who don't repeat, "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy." incessantly and don't touch them with sticky hands. Or who can meet friends for lunch without worrying about finding a family friendly restaurant. Or who can hit the gym, without worrying if the daycare is open. Or who contribute to the world something more than a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Or hell...who get to pee alone.

I'm tired of feeling like nothing more than someone who is around to find lost shoes and cook dinner. Someone who has just as many cheerios in the bottom of her purse, as loose change. Someone who always smells faintly of Clorox Clean-up. Someone who must enjoy cleaning up after others...because why else would they be so kind as to leave their messes for me? Someone who talks, but nobody listens, because I must have nothing important to say...I'm just a housewife, after all.

*sigh*

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

MY Life's Philosophy

What is your philosophy on life? Have you ever pondered that?

What. Is. Your. Philosophy?

What are your beliefs? What are your values? What are your views on life? They seem like simple questions, until you actually sit and think about it. How do you articulate your convictions, in a way that truly encapsulates who you are?

At the end of the day, I want my children to know who I am. One day they will read my writings and get a sense of the person that I was. I want them to know what I stood for and the kind of person I strived to be. Do I live each of my values, to its fullest, every day? Well, no. I'm human and I falter. I succumb to emotion over logic and I allow others to influence my decisions. However, the core of who I am, of who I want to be, can be explained in the following:

Embrace the Differences in Others
It is important to me to accept and love people for who they are, regardless of how their lives or choices may differ from my own. I strive to maintain a "live and let live" type of attitude and not judge others for the life they choose to maintain. I want to raise my children to love everyone, blind to their religion, race, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or net worth. In return, I expect the same respect concerning my own life.

Work Hard
I believe in working hard for everything that I have. I don't expect handouts and I don't take shortcuts to achieve my goals. I got my first paying job at the age of 10, putting together the Sunday newspapers for a local convenience store. My first "actual" job, with a real paycheck (and the gov taking a chunk of it) at 14, was as a waitress in a small restaurant. I haven't been without a job...or two...or three...since then. I'm not rich and I probably never will be. However, I'm putting myself through school, while raising five kids and working full-time, for three reasons. First, I am showing my children that it is never too late, or impossible, to achieve your dreams. Secondly, once I graduate and become a nurse, I will have a career in a field that I am truly passionate about. Lastly, and the most personal, to prove to myself that I can do anything that I put my mind to.

Learn From My Mistakes and Forgive Myself
You heard it here first...I make mistakes. I'm not always right. (I didn't admit to ever being wrong...I'm just saying that I'm not always right. *giggle*) I can't beat myself up over poor choices and bad decisions. I must simply learn the lessons provided from them and move on. More importantly, I must forgive myself for them. I'm not always going to be perfect. I'm not always going to be proud of myself. Additionally, my views may change at a later time, shedding light on a particular situation, causing my understanding to change. This is part of the maturing process that happens as we experience life.

Share my Knowledge/Talents
I can't do everything on my own. I require the expertise and assistance of others, every single day. It's my responsibility then, to share my knowledge and talents, whenever possible. I enjoy volunteering my time to help another person. I love when people come to me with parenting or medical questions. It makes me happy to know that people trust me enough to ask my opinion on matters that I am enthusiastic about.

Question the Things I Don't Understand
I don't want to be a person that does what is expected, simply because it is mainstream. I want to make my choices based on what will make me truly happy and what is best for my family. A big part of this, is simply asking myself, "Why am I making this choice?" I don't ever want my answer to be, "Because I'm supposed to." I want to know that I am questioning anything I don't understand and making informed decisions. This also plays into general knowledge. I love learning new things and when something catches my interest, I enjoy seeking out information that helps me better grasp and understand it.

Be A Voice For Those That Don’t Have One
I am a huge advocate for the underdog. I always have been. I hate to see another person tormented or ridiculed. I hate to see another person put down or made to feel useless. I hate to see a person hurt or caused unnecessary pain. Life is hard enough, without people inflicting undue misery on others. I have used my blog in the past to write about some of these situations and I hope that something that I’ve written has touched the intended audience. Be aware of those around you. Your family. Your friends. Children in your life. Stand up for those, that for whatever reason, can’t stand up for themselves.

Find the Positive in the Negative
This is one that is newer to me and I’m really trying to work on. A great friend of mine explained this to me as realizing that negative things will happen in life; however, finding the positive in the negative situation helps you grow as a person. I need to focus less on the negative circumstances and concentrate more on believing that a positive outcome will arise from the struggle. I need to be grateful and recognize that my problem could be worse. Surrounding myself with people who are positive, loving and uplifting, will help me through anything life throws at me.

Be Open To New Experiences
“Never judge a book, by its cover.” I aim to live that way in regards to people and I embrace that thought process when it comes to opening myself up to new adventures. Sushi? Horseback riding? “Scary” social situations? Running? All things that I feared or thought I couldn’t do or assumed I wouldn’t like…yet I tried and I conquered. Now I believe in putting my fear and quick judgments aside, to allow myself to experience life. I’ve been exposed to so many wonderful things and people, since making this decision. Next on my list? Skydiving!!

Above all else…and the hardest to live…

Be True To Myself
This will forever be a work in progress, as I learn and grow as an adult. I accept where I have been. I love where I am. I am confident in where I’m going. That’s a pretty good start.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It Came

I have a huge manila envelope sitting on my counter.

I don't want to open it.

Just looking at it, is causing me to fight off a panic attack.

It's for Avery, from the Children's Center. I knew this packet would come sometime soon, since her appointment is less than four weeks away now.

I don't know what's in this packet, other than they told me I would have to fill a bunch of papers out.

Great.

So they want me to lay it all out? Document it all? Remind myself how incompetent I am, on a day to day basis? How under-qualified I feel daily, let alone to even begin tackling this...? Nit-pick everything about my daughter and wonder what is Avery and what is...whatever is going on with her? Or...am I wrong and they are one and the same?

Confused, yet? I am.

Stupid, stupid envelope.

I think I'll wait. Today is not the day to open that thing. Today is a day where we went to the park and played on the swings. Today is a day where we made brownies. Today is a day where we rode bikes in lazy circles. Today is a day that we laid on the grass and found cloud shapes. Today is a day that I have Mom's chicken pot pie cooking in the oven, for dinner.

Today is not a day for me to deal with that envelope.