Difficult Life Decisions

It’s been an interesting few weeks. I don’t know how to put all of my emotions down here without going into elaborate detail, but you are welcomed to ask me any questions about what I’m about to share.

Being a mom: I used to have very professional goals for myself. I still had them after having Ari and worked my ass off to finally graduate undergrad after 15+ years. I had them after Joshie too and felt really good to be going to grad school. And then one day I was coloring with the boys and began to cry. I wanted more of that. I felt, and do feel right now, incredibly distracted with my life as a student. I’m burnt out and I have changed to the extent that I just want to be a mom for a while. That alone spreads me pretty think because a lot of daily stuff falls to me. But at least that would be my only “job.” So, we’re going to try it. I have put in a leave of absence for grad school which is extended to me for a whole year. If the mommy thing is not working out, I can always go back.  Read more

Shannon

During my pre-teen years I was short, twiggy and wore thick Coke-bottle bottom glasses. I felt painfully awkward in social settings, so I usually could be found with my nose in a book. Bully fodder. That was what I was growing up.

In fifth grade, I was singled out by one girl in particular. She went to great lengths to find me alone to whisper threats into my ear. I ignored them. She’d give me long, lingering, menacing stares. I ignored them. Inside, I was terrified, but I tried my best to stand my scrawny ground. I never said a word. One day, she decided to push me off the sidewalk leading from the playground back to class. I didn’t say a word as I picked myself up and continued walking, but our teacher saw it happen. She asked me what happened. I said nothing. She asked her what happened and she said the same. Our teacher marched us both into the library and told us we were not allowed to leave until we were friends. She left me alone with my tormentor. The funniest thing happened. She and I became friends. She had lots to say and I was a good listener. She had lots of opinions and I was non-judgmental. She hated our teacher and I humored her complaints. She and I were friends until she graduated early in 1988. During middle school, we saw each other through some serious personal trials. Hers centered around her mental instability and mine around some serious family dysfunction. We held each other up when others could not understand. We were completely loyal to each other.

My senior year of high school was particularly stressful. By this time, my friend had graduated and we’d drifted apart. As soon as I graduated and went to college, I left my home city and never looked back. I didn’t abandon my family – they moved to a different city too, so I had no need to return to the site of such painful memories. I finally went back for my 10 year high school reunion. I looked for her, but she wasn’t there. I didn’t pursue it further. I recently went back for part of my 20 year reunion and was shocked to find out that she committed suicide sometime before our last reunion. I felt like a part of me was ripped away when I heard the news. The saddest part? Nobody could tell me what happened. So few of them really knew her. It’s been several days since the reunion and all I’ve carried away from it is that somebody very important – to me – is missing… forever.

I am doing a lot of reconciling right now. It has been over 20 years since I’ve thought about a lot of things, happy and painful things. I find myself in a position right now that I have to re-experience everything. You see, my husband, children and I are moving back to the same city (the same area to be more precise) where all of this occurred. I see familiar faces and places and memories explode into my head. I reconnect with old friends and my high school sweetheart and I feel ashamed that I abandoned them. So much time has passed. How can I explain that I had to get away to heal my bullied soul? How will my healed and stronger self face all those painful memories?

The Most Amazing Thing!

So I have been very quiet posting as of late..Life has just gotten in the way on several occasions.. Kiddoc’s world has been incredibly busy.. Hubby and I traveled across the world to spend a week in Greece. One of the most amazing trips he and I have ever taken together. I highly recommend it if you are ever given the opportunity to travel there.
The big news in Kiddoc and hubby’s world is the Summertime expansion of our family. We have what I have begun to call our miracle baby ! just when i thought the fertility treatments were not working at all and I was all prepped to go see another doc for a second opinion.. we found out the unexpected ! I am pregnant.. Currently actually I am 20 weeks pregnant.. and the reason for the title of my post is that when I am sitting at home resting quietly I feel baby move ! And I swear its the most amazing thing to me that the little fluttering I have been feeling over and over again the last few days is our beautiful baby boy ! I am counting the days until Hubby can feel the baby move.. it really takes the pregnancy to a whole new level now that this is happening ! I just had to share.. Everytime I feel the baby move I feel like I want to bust out into a big smile and share it with the world!

Green Woman

I wanted to find a picture of Green Man for spring, but found this lovely picture of Green Woman. I thought this would be a nice way to welcome in spring, and give mother nature a little hint (snow day here today).

Naked Art Day

Every once in a while I get a glimpse of what type of parent I am and how my children are going to do out in the real world when they’re older. Occasionally, I have to wonder if some of their behavior truly comes from the result of my parenting or from a variety of other places. Then there are those special days where I look upon my children in stunned amazement and think, “Where the hell did that come from?”

My boys have 3 small Doodle Pro pads around the house. They don’t use them very often, especially Ari. He’s usually into much bigger and better things. However, a couple of days ago he must have been feeling artsy. He grabs all three, giving me one, grandma one and keeping the last for himself. He exclaims, “I have an idea” and starts taking off his clothes. Wondering what would happen next I say, “Ari, what are you doing?” He takes off his last piece of clothing, looks me straight in the face with a very serious look and says, “It’s naked art day.” We had a long talk.

Dusting off the Cobwebs !

Ok… so you know its a long time since you have posted when it takes you about 10 times to log in and rereading 6 different emails to find the right passwords.

I am back doing one of the things I do best. Procrastinating ! In a moment of weakness I proposed to do a presentation on pharmacologic treatments of Autism to the Annual Conference of the Ga Chapter of the Autism Society of America. The thought at the time was it will help me make sure I am up to date and in the know about all of the medicines kids with Autism Spectrum disorders may need. Currently I am experiencing the battle of wills. The will to sit around and watch tv and generally do nothing vs. the will of working now where there are limited interruptions and I should just get it done… Its amzing to me how little information there is out there on pharmacologic treatment with children and autism spectrum disorders. Now let me give the plug that says medicine is never the sole treatment for autism but only used in certain circumstances. Behavioral therapies have far and above been found to be more beneficial.

As for me . Life has been its usual hecticness. One amazing landmark has been passed. I am now Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Despite my feeling that the exam went horribly and I was destined to be at the exam next year, apparently my examiners disagreed ! Needless to say great relief was experienced and I am now exam free until 2016. That will be the longest I have ever gone without taking an exam probably ever ! So for all those keeping track I am now Board Certified in General and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (A feat obtained through two written exams and two grueling oral exams ).

Life dealing with infertility treatments continues .. giving myself injections, having blood drawn and many ultrasounds have all become a daily part of life.. We keep hoping …

Married life is wonderful.. Hubby and I enjoy spending time together especially now that I don’t feel that incessant need to study at every free moment. We are looking forward to a spontaneous trip up to Ohio in a few weeks to visit Linda and her family as well as see Hubby’s family.

Hope all is well with everybody. The laundry and my presentation beckon…

Hangover

I know this is a day early, but my night last night might benefit all of you tomorrow. A friend of ours came into town last night. Dinner, hot sauce and several tequila shots later made for a really horrible day today. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I drank so much last night to feel like I did today, but apparently I did.

In the desperate search for something that would take away the horrible feeling I had this morning, I went searching on the Internet for something, anything, that may work. From a site that I love, came not only answers to my problem, but how to avoid them. So, for all of you who are going to go out tonight and partake in any alcoholic beverages, please read THIS first!

Take a look at this chart, too. Read more

The End of A Quest

Today I graduate from college with a bachelor of arts in psychology. I have been working at this for over 15 years. I have, on occasion, been berated for my decisions by friends and family. I have endured through full-time jobs and full-time parenting. I have paid for it entirely on my own. I began the journey alone and will be ending it alone as well. No one, that I know of, will be at the auditorium. Several people are watching the live feed, though. But I think it’s fitting that I’m doing the big walk all by myself. This was never about anyone else. This is all about me.

There is a new quest as well. I will begin working on a master of science in counseling and advanced applied behavior analysis in January.

Yes, as one door closes another opens. Now if I can just find the door to the money house.

Time For An Update

I am addicted to Facebook right now. It’s been amazing how many people I’ve been able to connect with there. And, I can interact with them. I’ve had the best time playing Scrabulous (Facebook’s version of Scrabble) with my friend Mike in KY. I play with other people who I talk to more regularly, which is wonderful too, but it’s really given Mike and I a chance to reconnect on some level other than email. It’s also a way to connect in a social way with friends overseas. I’ve also filled out my wish list with a bunch of things I want, but will never get. You should definitely check THAT out! Hey, they don’t call it a wish list for nothing.

I am set (providing I pass all my classes) to graduate exactly 2 weeks from today. A quest of over 15 years will be complete. And, just because I’m a glutton for punishment, I am beginning grad school in January. I’m already registered. It’s hard to believe that this is really happening. Making a decision on the program, as a last minute change from law to psychology (again), was not an easy thing to do. Honestly, I would have never taken the LSAT knowing that, ultimately, it would not be used. It was without a doubt the hardest standardized test I ever took. I did it while deathly ill, too. Anyway, so I chose Counseling and Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis. Since I would like to use this with adults, this will have to be a PhD track at some point. Here we go…another quest.

Joe is starting to get job offers already. REALLY NICE JOB OFFERS! One position offered several thousands ABOVE what most offers are. Of course, it’s a rural area. But, oh, the standard of living would be so nice. It’s still too early to take anything because he has a little over a year to go. But it’s nice seeing some real $$$ figures for all of the hard work over the last 8 years. Joe has been doing Medifast for a while now and is also losing weight. In fact, he’s losing it quicker than me. However, we’ve both been on Medifast before and both gained it back. I’m hoping, and I’m sure he does too, that doesn’t happen this time around.

While Ari will be ready to mainstream into kindergarten next year, we’re opting to keep him at the same school, mostly because it is full time and it gives him one more year to work on his social skills. Josh will attend next year as a typical peer as well.

M&Ms – Moxie needs boot camp, BAD! It’s been really hard training her since her previous owner obviously trained with food and we want her to work for us and not the food. Taking her on has shown us how good Marinda is, if nothing else. We really do love Moxie a whole bunch. She just needs more work. More than I think we have time for. So, we’re trying to save the money to send her away for a couple of weeks of training where she will get it every day for many hours. She’s also been a bit challenging in the housebreaking department. She is crate trained, but we don’t want her in the crate all the time, but we haven’t been able to trust her very much out by herself a lot. We’ve used our steam cleaner more than I want to admit. She’s still a pup, though, and it will take some time, especially because she is re-homed with us. Thankfully, the girls get along famously. We hope that continues far into the future.

The lapband is going well. I’m still around that 40# loss mark due to some bad eating habits creeping back in, but I’ve not really gained any, which is good. I’m beginning this 5 day test on Monday with a group of friends that is supposed to get you back on track. I’m hoping the scale starts moving again. It doesn’t help that because of my gallbladder surgery, I’ve had to reschedule my fill now 3 times. By the time I get one, I will past a month overdue for one. No fill = no restriction = no weight loss. So, you can see why I want one soon.

My best friend is getting ready to spend a whole month in Hawaii and I SOOOOO wish I could be there for at least a week, but it just didn’t work out. If it’s successful, she’ll likely do it again, so I’m pretty certain this won’t be my only chance. Still, Hawaii – best friend who I don’t see often – beaches – mountains/volcanoes – dancing into the night – massages by day – need I say more?

I’m trying to think if anything else has happened lately. Hmmm…if I think of something, I’ll add to this.