Friday, September 30, 2011

One Job, Two Job

It would be nice if I could actually have a choice in the job I want. They ask me what my "perfect" job is in interviews, and it is not like I ask too much. Really, I really don't ask too much.

But it seems that in this economy, with employers having the upper hand, the little I do want is hard to find.

What do I want?

Hmmm...

I want a job that I can be challenged in. That recognizes that I have a brain and I would like to use it.

I want a job that I can leave at the office. I have a rather hectic, complicated life and I would like to have my "off" hours be my "off" hours.

I want to be able to pick my kids up from daycare/afterschool care at a decent time, so that they are not in a scheduled environment for longer than I have been. (this seems to be the most elusive)

I want respect and a respectable wage to go along with it.



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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Long Distance Week

This week has been pretty disjointed, with Chewy seven hours ahead of us and communication spotty at best (having to use IM and Facebook as main communication).

Between a sleep over, Buffy marathons, doctor's appointments, dropping offs and pick ups, visits to the new playground, homework, on demand Disney movies, going out to lunch with friends/family, and counting seven hours ahead to figure out where Chewy would be in his day...its been pretty hectic here.


Playing at the New Playground near our house. (It was an old playground--totally new equipment has been put in now.)


Other things I have done this week -- bought some of the new DC comics, got the kids haircuts, did some bills, applied to some jobs, picked up some library books, painted some of the upstairs bathroom, did a phone interview---

and tomorrow, a job interview and another phone interview.

Not surprisingly, I have not had much down time. I had had thoughts that I would be catching up on some reading, some internet surfing and some movies. Not so much...but I have gotten some Judging Amy episodes in.

Chewy comes home on Saturday.

While kids and I will be at the Museum of Science.




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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Buffy Marathon...

Chewy is safe in Romania now. His luggage is missing, but traveling 3 different planes for almost 24 hours drains you enough that you don't care until you get some sleep(!) So, now we hope he gets that luggage tomorrow!

Meanwhile, Michael and I are "celebrating" dad's business trip to Transylvania by having a Buffy marathon. Since we have not been remiss and have already indoctrinated him in the arts of Buffy--we have started with Season 2. Tonight we are watching the Halloween episode--the first episode I ever saw.

Michael is really into two things right now--Buffy and Mine craft (videogame). So...we spent a whole bunch of time with his friend last night playing that videogame; and then time with Uncle John playing the videogame.

While we watched a Buffy episode this morning. Willow watched with us. And kept asking--where is me? Is that me? Where is the Willow? Did she just kill that demon? Oh, no, she is the geek/witch, hon. Yes...that is Willow. (Very fun!)

I am really enjoying rewatching Buffy. And I am glad I can share this with him.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Anxious

Chewy took today off so we could just relax a little before he goes on his business trip. Tomorrow we will start seriously packing him up; Friday evening he leaves.

While I am used to his wacky hours and being the main parent at home during the week, both of us are experiencing anxiety about this coming week.

He hates traveling and it is a Looooong flight(s); me because I will be holding down the homestead (I really give kudos to those single parents out there--seriously!)

While he has been having some long hours the last month, he has still been within reach (not to mention he has usually given me a break during the weekends). After Friday, he will be 7 hours ahead of me. He has been on business trips before, so I know the drill. However, this is going to be the first time soooo far away and first time with Willow too.

I know he has the harder week coming up and I worry about him--which is hard to do with kids around because I don't want them to worry too...so--

Plans for the coming week--

--Get out of the house and enjoy the fall weather (please don't rain!)

--Buffy marathon with the boy

--Frequent Skyping with Chewy for all our sanities

--Chocolate

--Judging Amy

--IMs and emails to that guy I love


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Monday, September 19, 2011

Changes...

I hate doing nothing for hours. I hate trying to do small talk. I hate spending money and time on something I think is superficial.

And I had to do it nonetheless.

I needed my hair updated. I needed a change. For interviews mainly--but also because I have kinda had the same style for many years.

(Oh, and I hate putting my picture up...but here goes)

Before:




After:



Not sure if I can keep up the 'do...but I like it!


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He is going here...

Chewy is going on a business trip for a week HERE, starting on Friday.

Eeep.

UPDATE:

Chewy looked at my link and said this was a better (re funnier) link. This is where he hopes to VISIT while there. (note the site has not been updated for quite a while...)



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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Random Summer Photos

Just retrieving some pictures from my cellphone from this summer, thought I would put them here.



Going to the Community Pool.



Random weekend hug (I can tell, cuz she is still in pjs)

One of the first things we did this summer--camping with Ana!


Walking around in Lexington Minuteman park...


Swing time!


Labor Day Lobster!




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Friday, September 16, 2011

Play Time

Lately Willow likes to play at being the "mommy" and I am the child. She takes me to the couch and tries to put me to bed. She gets me a toy to sleep with, a blanket. She reads a book or two. This is often fun because I get to see what she really retains from the book readings.

This book becomes the book about "the man who hates monkeys". It was amazing to watch her read this book to me (one of those times when you wish you could grab the video camera, but you are kind of stuck there in the moment with her and you know if you went to record it, the moment would end). She did the voices and the imitations of the monkey see, monkey do exchange and she understood the concept of the peddler needing to rest against the tree and the caps, etc.

Then it is time for me to go to sleep (which usually I CRAVE and have no problems with, but I know she is playing and wants a more realistic exchange). So, I claim that there are monsters under the couch; she gets them away. I ask if she will sit with me a while. She exasperatedly says yes (she is good at playing my role!). Then I ask for water. Then she sighs and agrees to get me water, but I have to go to bed.
She stays with me for a bit.

Then she says "good night" and then leaves the room.

I rest my eyes and start to drift...

And then its "morning time!" time to get up, honey! And we go through a routine of a day. Repeat. And now...

She wants to play "me be the mommy and you be the honey" again....maybe I will get about 2 mins of rest?!





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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trying To Find My Fall...

On Monday I was at the beach with my friend. And I got a sunburn (the first of summer!) Hanging on as tight as I can to summer...

Which is so unlike me. Usually I love to embrace autumn. It is one of my favorite times of year. I love the fall colors, I love grabbing a sweater and sweatshirt, love playing in the leaves.

For some reason, I have not gotten my head around fall yet. Perhaps it is because I have been laid off since the start of summer. I have definitely made this summer count and I have had a great time doing it. Maybe it was because this summer in New England was pretty much perfect (well, aside from the tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes). I spent some wonderful times with my children--and I think I found time to enjoy those things people talk about doing in the summer, but don't always find the time to do.

Perhaps it is specifically because of that that I am having a hard time in letting summer go. I think that when I first became an adult, summer was bittersweet--because I realized that as an adult (unless you are lucky to be a teacher or some other profession that has summer's off) I still had to work...and looking out at the perfectly blue sky while in an office--not so fun. But with my time with the children, we had the time to enjoy those blue skies.

I might also be a bit bitter that there are already Halloween displays out. I love Halloween, but it comes at the end of the fall. And I want to have the fall...I want those changes to come slowly.

I guess I need to see those leaves changing...to have that slight chill in the air--the crispness...to remind me that there is so much of the season that I do indeed enjoy...

[[Breathes]]

OOookaay, Autumn...come on in!




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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Labeling...

"Clearly the label we use has extreme importance, and we need to make every effort to be accurate. Getting the label right is important for many reasons, not the least of which is that diagnosis often drives treatment planning, selection of medication, educational programming, and the way we conceptually and emotionally view our children."

Earlier this week we went to our second appointment with a new doctor. As was his procedure, I had spoken with him previously the week before so that he could be brought up to speed with Michael and his diagnosis. From now on he will be meeting with Michael and then with me as we work through how we can help him function better in school and with others.

This has been a wild ride for us as a family. And it continually brings up changes in diagnosis and treatment. This is sometimes because we are focusing on one thing (behavior) or the other (focusing and attention) and these different goals do not always fit together. Sometimes a medication that works for his attention skills, causes him to behave in ways that mark him as different (OCD behavior). Sometimes if he is not on his focusing medication, he is hyper-active and will not stop talking to you about his latest obsession.

Sometimes we get stuck on the labels too. For the longest time I have been saying he is ADHD. But there has always been the other label of Aspergers. I have always shied away from that label as every professional we have seen has said that while Michael has some symptoms of Aspergers he seems to be, if anything, on the high functioning end of that spectrum. And, frankly, it seems that when using one label versus the other--more acceptance is shown with the ADHD label.

However, with this new doctor, the first point he wanted to make was that he believed his diagnosis could be Aspergers. Part of me says--who the hell cares what he is, just help me help him! But the other part of me wonders if I should pursue the other diagnosis through the school system to see if there are other accommodations that they could be giving him.

And then there is the whole labeling thing in the first place. I hate that I often have to point out that he has ADHD--I have gotten into a habit of doing so and I had started out not ever pointing it out, but as time has shown me that people seem to be very mean and intolerant of people who are different or quirky, it has been my default button to push to try to make sure he doesn't get hurt (or at least not get as singled out).

In the end I will have to just see what this school year brings. I hope it brings not only learning but some understanding of how to fit into this society which can get very hung up on labels.

"Whatever their profile, whatever their label, both the child with ADHD and the child with Asperger’s syndrome require us to change our assumptions about relationships and our expectations about behavior. They are both demanding, confusing, exhausting, and frustrating. Inside, each is a child who needs tolerance, our informed understanding, our thoughtful interventions, our patience, and our love."

Quotes from this wonderful article.


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Here it is -- 7th Grade!!

This year is another year at Middle School. Last year was a year of firsts and now this morning, he was pretty weary and only slightly anxious (mainly to just get going).

Last night we went through all the supplies, we packed them into his new backpack (its HEAVY) and then realized that we did not know where his combo lock was. After a few minutes searching, I decided to go buy one after he went to bed. So, this morning he practiced on his new combo lock.

He has his lunch, his supplies, his book and book list from the summer. He has a note in his lunch box and he knows we are picking him up from school.

And I got him there late (me--of all people!) and on the first day (!) It was because he used the restroom just before we were going, it was raining hard, AND I went the wrong way out of habit (I was going to the elementary school!).


Since he has been in kindergarten, the pictures are the same...situations change and time moves so fast!


Waking up this morning. Hardly any words...just stumbled into the shower...

First picture of breakfast--(Yay, school?!?)

And then a smile!


And out the door!

Some extra things this year--



A hug from Willow...



Who then dragged his (very HEAVY) backpack over to him.



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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Small Things

Playing "this little piggy" with her and remembering when her piggies were so small. Then she comes up with a variation on her hands; and I come up with a variation using both feet and both hands.

Listening to a CD with her that was his favorite from when he was her age. Bittersweet in the fact that I can play it again to a new audience while he is upstairs playing with his friend, blaring Weird Al.

While we are doing errands in the car, she wants to hear "Werewolves of London" which is on daddy's music player. Then he says, well, we don't have it right now, but we can sing it. She starts going "whooooo whoooo, Werewolves of London" and soon the whole car is out of tune and singing "whooooo! Werewolves of London".

He is upstairs with his friend, I am amusing her so that she doesn't bother them. I go to check on them--and find that they were playing a Le.go battle with Bio.nic.als and throwing them at each other. His room is in a mess...but is so wonderful to see him playing with toys with a friend. Because I know this stage is fading, fading away.

I take him to a Chinese buffet on this last day before school starts. At first he says that he is not too hungry. Three plates later, he has filled himself--but has room for jello. I think of toasting him -- happy 7th Grade -- but my small cup of tea and my timing is inadequate.



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Saturday, September 03, 2011

Giving Summer a Good Good-Bye

Went to the beach today. It was wonderful and sunny and warm but not too warm. We found tide pools and we hunted hermit crabs and snails. We climbed rocks and got into the water.

I am blamed for sunburns...I mean, I did allow Chewy to apply the sunblock, didn't I? So, both the kids have slight (well Michael's is not as slight) sunburns...first time in years...I guess a good reminder of the summer?

Then we clean off the sand and go into town. Eat some wonderfully priced lobsters and walk along the pier.

Willow had three tantrums--one at the beach (she did not want to GOooooooo!!) and one when I told her that she was not getting that expensive toy and one more time on the way back to the car (she wanted to go back to see the Bunnies--there was a woman with bunnies in town).

Lastly, we have ice cream and look at the water. Take the long walk back to the car. Tired and burned and thirsty (and tear-streaked--well, at least one of us).

The drive home...I think, how perfect it was.

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Things I haven't done yet...

Things I haven't had the chance of doing yet or been prevented from doing: See my son's presentation on Rabies for his biology ...