Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Girlfriends

It is apparently an epidemic. Women yearning for close knit, meaningful female friendships.

I have become a Facebook addict and one of the "notes" currently making the rounds is "25 Random Things".

I've lost count of the number of women that have posted "I wish I had close girl friends I could spend time with/share with/etc...".

I used to think it was because I worked out of the home. That left me with little time to participate in mommy groups (MOPS and the like). I figured if only I stayed home, I would have those friendships.

However, many of the women who posted "I want a close friend"-like comments are stay-at-home moms, so I guess I was wrong.

We HAVE friends (lest you think we are trolls that nobody wants to spend time with) and MotH has buddies and he's happy with that. Yet I desire something deeper and more meaningful.

I think women just desire more intimate friendships.

Is it even reasonable to want a friendship like that? I remember my mom having close girlfriends when I was growing up. Is it the way we live our lives now?

I thought going to church would help and it certainly helped grow my circle of friends, but still that "close" friendship remains elusive (note: that is not WHY I started going to church, but I did think it would help to be around like-minded women).

I know I'm not alone in this and am curious what others think.

So here is my question: if so many of us are looking for the same thing, why aren't any of us finding it?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I hope Bob gets royalties........or at least a good tax break.

I'm probably the last person in America to connect these dots, but did Barrack Obama not STEAL his campaign slogan from a cartoon?

"Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!".

He totally ripped off Bob the Builder!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cure for a Broken Funny Bone

So it turns out that there is a cure for a broken funny bone. Something guaranteed to make a mom snap out of a funk.

It's called the stomach flu.

Yep, nothing like buckets o' barf to take your mind of your troubles. Not my barf, mind you. AM's barf.

Solved another problem too. No homework today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Broken Funny Bone

No, I'm not injured. Just be warned that this isn't a funny post.

My AM needs prayers. As those of you reading this know (and for the benefit of anyone, though I'm not sure who that would be, that doesn't know), AM has sensory issues with certain sounds. His main "triggers" are sudden, higher-pitched sounds that he can't control. In other words, if it's loud but he knows it's going to be loud (and when it will be loud), he's fine.

Unfortunately, babies and kids can just suddenly scream and he doesn't know when it will happen....and it causes him a LOT of anxiety. This is a result of being born waaaaay too early (born at 23 weeks weighing a staggering 1lb 2oz) and his little brain being barraged by more stimulus/sound then it was ready to cope with.

We knew that he would have a hard time when NR was born and took measures to try and help him cope.

He is doing better, though he still struggles quite a bit. I felt a tremendous amount of guilt for bringing this kind of anxiety into his life, but the reality is that he's got to learn how to cope. Not only at home, but in public as well.

Added to this is something most of you DON'T know. AM has really struggled in school. Since kindergarten, actually. He doesn't struggle with the actual subjects, but he has had very real problems staying on task. Initially we hoped it was a maturity thing that would work itself out. It hasn't worked itself out.

We were told, repeatedly, that he was at an extremely high risk for learning disabilities (including ADHD or ADD). In fact, it's one of the reasons we put him in private school. The public schools had his file "flagged" as high risk (he received speech and occupational therapy through the public schools from age 3-6). I wanted him to prove he DID have a problem, not have to try and prove he didn't (when they were already looking for problems).

This year was the "straw that broke the camels back", so to speak. AM is a pleaser and it really affects him when he disappoints someone, especially his parents or teacher. Therefore it was totally out-of-character for him to simply not care that he disappointed people when it came to school work. Completely out-of-character. Plus, it DID bother him.......it just didn't change anything.

He was officially diagnosed with ADD right after the start of the school year. I HATE even typing that, because there is so much "stigma" attached to it. It has been SO over-diagnosed that I have found people practically sneer at me when I mention he has it.

However, if I want people to pray for my son, I feel like they need to know what they are praying for. I'll just hope that people know me well enough to know I F-O-U-G-H-T this diagnosis for three years. It came to the point where I had to decide whether to keep denying there was a problem and let him fall behind, or swallow my hang-ups and get my child help. I chose the later and cried about it for two weeks.

Yes, before anyone asks, we decided to put him on medication (hence my two weeks of crying). It was one of the hardest things I've done as his parent, putting him on meds for something I knew would cause some people to think less of me as his mother. The reality is that he has something wrong with his brain. If he had diabetes or heart disease, I'd hardly expect him to just "get over it" and I can't expect him to get over this (though heaven knows we've tried).

We also started taking him to neurofeedback sessions (which, of course, insurance doesn't cover.......why would they cover something that might make it cheaper for them in the long run?) in hopes that it will help him get back off the medication.

The brain bleed he had as a baby, combined with the over stimulus of his brain, obviously did more damage then we realized. I cannot tell you how badly that hurts my heart. He beat more odds then we could have EVER hoped he would beat. To have him not beat this one hurts me down deep in that part of the heart that aches fiercely for our kids when they struggle. Perhaps it's selfish of me to have wished he'd beat one more odd, when God has already brought him through so much, but the truth is that he had to struggle so hard just to LIVE that I wanted things to be smooth sailing for him.

I do take comfort in the fact that God is working in this situation and will use it for good. It's still hard to see your child struggle.

So why am I posting about this now? AM's teacher has noticed problems again in the classroom starting several weeks ago. Last night she sent me an email and said her biggest concern was that he'd lost his "spark".

I knew he was struggling to adjust to NR at home, but didn't think it was affecting him at school. He walked around here for a few weeks simply not being himself. He just acted sad. I knew it was due to trying to figure out the new order of things. How he "fit" in this new family dynamic. He was an only child for eight years and this has been an enormous change for him. He's so sensitive to peoples' feelings that he would NEVER tell us he was mad/sad at us, but it was obvious he was.

To find out that he's even sad at school makes my heart clench.

How are these things related? His teacher believes that his current troubles in school are related to NR's birth and I tend to agree with her. I don't know if he's bringing homework home because it forces me to sit with him at the table (even though we play family games at night if his homework is done, so he actually gets MORE positive attention without homework) or if he's just so preoccupied with the changes going on at home that he can't focus at school.

Complicating things is the fact that NR IS just a baby and AM is eight. That means I can't just leave NR to give AM undivided attention to try and work through this. Babies need to be changed, fed, etc... Plus, a HUGE component of all of this is NR's crying. Luckily he's a happy baby, but when he cries it is VERY loud and AM reacts strongly. I know that's part of the problem with him staying on task at home, but what is the solution? If I sit in the kitchen with NR, AM is anxious that's he's so close. If I leave NR in the living room, he's unattended and will just cry from there.

Thankfully, things have improved in that area. AM no longer runs to his room and hides when NR starts to fuss. He just plugs his ears or puts his ear muffs on. He is starting to be interested in his little brother (talking to him more, asking about his day, etc...) where before there was indifference and even resentment (though he never said anything, his body language and the fact that he avoided NR spoke volumes).

Over the past week, and especially this past weekend, he started acting like himself again. Perhaps we've seen the worst, but he is still having a hard time in school.

So please just pray that he figures out how to cope with everything that's going on. And thank you for reading this VERY long post :).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not Easier the Second Time Around

Turns out it's not any easier to watch my second baby get his shots then it was to watch my first baby.

Is there any sound in this world that causes a mom's heart to constrict more then the sound of her baby's gut wrenching sobs? I think not.

I need chocolate.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Paging Sir Mix A Lot

There is a countdown in my head. At the end of this countdown, I will return to the office.

I fear I will return wearing a Hefty trash bag accessorized by a bungee cord belt.

Why? Because it fits (they go all the way up to 55 gallon). And black is slimming.

I have steadfastly refused to buy any clothes for my post-pregnancy body. I am the "before" on any given episode of What Not to Wear. Sweat pants? Check. Oversized (though not nearly as "over" as I'd like) sweatshirt? Check.

My theory is that I will be more motivated to lose the weight with my clothes waiting for me. Only they aren't so much "waiting for me" as they are "mocking" me.

I guess I'm grateful that my extra fluff is due to having a baby. People tend to give you a free pass when it comes to post-baby weight. That and they really aren't all that interested in how I look when I'm holding a perfectly adorable bundle of baby boy cuteness.

Now, some of you might say that this is the perfect time of year for me to be battling baby weight, right? After all, it's a New Year. Make a resolution! Time for a new beginning!

Resolutions suck. Plus, I think carrying around a resolution adds a couple of pounds, so I'm better off without one. Are you following my logic?

I've lost weight before and know "how" to do it. I have a game plan that works. I just don't wanna play right now.

To my way of thinking, I should go back to my pre-pregnancy weight simply by eating what I ate pre-pregnancy. Right? I mean it was good enough then, why not now (even if I wasn't all that happy with my weight then)?

Only it's not working. I'm afraid it's going to require something drastic. Painful even.

Something like........I can't believe I'm saying this.......exercise. My fingers trembled a little just typing it.

I was planning to start walking with NR once it started getting warmer outside. I'll be honest. I thought I'd be back to my normal weight and would just need a little toning. Or maybe lose some bonus weight.

Yeah, that's not happening. Unless it doesn't start getting warmer until, say, July. I might be closer to my original weight by then.

So, I have to figure something out. I know. My "motivation" practically leaps off the screen.

I need ideas. Fun'ish workouts. I wish I had a workout partner, but my sis moved just far enough away that it's too inconvenient for us to workout together. I've tried to convince MotH to get a Wii, so that I can then get a Wii Fit (hey, it's cheaper then a gym membership and my sis is using it to lose her baby weight), but he wants to wait until we have money....bleh bleh bleh.

OH! I forgot to add a BIG (no pun intended) component to my approaching-manic need to lose weight. We just bought a boat. Nothing fancy, but it will require that I wear a bathing suit this summer (it's also the reason we don't have money for a Wii. MotH is busy fiddling with the stupid thing. I hope he enjoys his new prop while his big ol' wife traumatizes everyone from the bow of the SS Imperfect.).

So, in the interest of not scaring small children (mine or those of a perfect stranger), random fishermen or sun perch, I really must make some changes.

Or maybe I'll just wear the Baby Bjorn all summer and hope NR distracts everyone from looking too closely at mom.