Monday, July 23, 2012

Waiting for Laundry Blog Session

What better thing to do while waiting for a late night load of laundry to finish washing (so I can put it in the dryer) than to write a blog?

A lot has been on my mind lately. Update on the kids first, then my thoughts. Sorry for the intense lack of pictures. Since my iphone passed away last May, my kids have been under pictured. Our phones take crappy pics and yeah I have a camera...I know....but I never get it out because the batteries die so quickly. But I need to do an update for my own sake (I use my blog to look up stuff on the kids all the time).

Nate-
Lately he has been doing really well with his language and sentence structure. It seems like he's understanding some concepts a little better and having more connections. It's a slow process, but he's playing pretend a LOT more and saying more complex sentences. For example, Phil woke him up the other day and asked him if he wanted to go to the store with him and Nate goes "um...I want to go to the store daddy, but I think I need to get dressed first" Something like that. He's been really good about not bothering me or crying at my door when I'm working (actually, Audrey too). I just have to tell him first and make sure that he knows. I can't sneak in to my room (I used to have to or else they'd follow me and make it even worse) anymore. I just tell them and they're cool with it. Phil gets home right around or slightly after 5 and I start right at 5 so sometimes I have to go to work a few minutes before he gets home so as long as the kids know, they do well.

Audrey-
Audrey has also been doing well with her language. Still not talking near as much as Nate, but I know she's trying. She doesn't just point and make sounds, she actually does talk....it just makes absolutely no sense at all. She's really good at saying yes or no and meaning it. Maybe that's normal, but I don't remember Nate being this good at it. I can tell she puts more connections together than Nate. It's really hard to explain because I'll just notice it and point it out right then, but then forget. Here's an example (not an exact example, but one that will hopefully make sense): Nate has always been really bad at finding things. I will point to something and he will look in a totally different direction. I'm not even kidding you. If I tell him to go find something, he will just look at the room and then say he can't find it. Audrey on the other hand would pick things up and look around things. Nate would never think to do that. They're just a different kind of intelligent.
Something interesting. I was reading on Reddit the other day about this kid who had a concussion in the Broca's area of his brain. Now, the reason kids can read sign language and do that is because the reading part of their brain develops before the speech (Broca's area) part. And their motor skills develop before that too. So the way this kid described it is that he knew what he wanted to say and was trying to say it, but it wouldn't come out right. I thought that was interesting because that is Audrey's exact issue. That is why she is not talking. She KNOWS what she wants to say, but absolutely cannot form the words. Her Broca's area must be slower to develop. Just like some kids walk sooner. It's the same type of thing. When I read that I couldn't believe it. It makes so much sense. One day that area of her brain will develop and she will be speaking sentences.
Also, she's still breast feeding. I really want to stop, but it's not easy. I've been refusing it more and more and making her wait. But it's hard because she gets really upset and I know if I feed her then she'll move on and be happy. She is sleeping through the night more. She'll still wake up maybe once in the middle of the night, but not again until morning. Then she'll wake up several times and go back to sleep, but that's after at least 7 am. She'll wake up every 30 mins to an hour until she gets up for the day. So that has been nice.

Ok on to my thoughts-

1-I am really really really sick of my job. It has been absolutely AMAZING while I've had it. It has served it's purpose and I'm ready to move on. I have loved working from home, I've loved the free flights (though I mean, let's be perfectly honest here....the flight benefits for jetblue out of SLC SUUUUUCK, but we've still been able to go places and that's the important part).

I just can't take the customers anymore. I can't take the same STUPID questions, the same STUPID mistakes from people and the angry abusive calls because a plane has been delayed or cancelled. I'm just sick of customer service in general. I want to take care of people again. But I'm not going back to being a CNA because it's expired and I'd have to retake the class all over again. Not gonna happen! I just need a job where I'm not interacting with people over the phone. I need face to face. But not necessarily customer face to face...

So I'm trying to find another job, but not super actively searching for one. Jetblue is so flexible with school and being a mom and I'm not quite ready to give up the flight benefits and start paying if we want to go out to New Jersey yet. But when I'm in nursing school it's going to be hard to travel anyway so I don't know. I can't stand the thought of having to pay $1,200 to go out there (after October) as the bare minimum cost. It's too much. Once I'm a nurse, it will be fine. We will be able to save up. But now, it wouldn't be possible. So I'm still sticking with it for now. I'm just super sick of it and ready for a change.

2-School. I know I said I was going back to school in the last post, but I didn't talk about the stupid crap I've had to go through to get signed up for classes.

Ok, I tried to sign up for summer classes, but there was a "hold" on my registration. I called them, they said it was a technical difficulty they were experiencing and that it would go away. It didn't. I was undecided on taking summer classes anyway (the classes I was going to take weren't online in the summer so I didn't really want to do it). Then I decided to go back for nursing full force. I go to sign up for classes and a new error message was there. I called them, they said it was an error that happens when you sign up for a semester then don't take classes (probably caused by the previous error). So then I had to fill out this stupid form (this was on a Friday), and my dad turned it in for me that Monday. Then they had to enter the information in and it would take 24 hours (seriously? whatever). So finally Tuesday rolls around (probably about 2-3 weeks ago, I can't remember) and I can sign up for classes! Two days later I get a letter telling me I'm a "non-resident" because my drivers license number wasn't on the form I filled out. I didn't have it with me and it said it was on there for residency reasons. I had always been registered as a resident so I didn't think it would make a difference anyway. So I wrote an email to the residency specialist (after talking to 15 different departments it feels like) and she corrected it without me having to send anything in (wahoo!).

 *boring ramble alert* Now I'm all registered, my financial aid is ready, but I can't figure out what classes I really should be taking. Most of them are completely full not even wait list possible so my options are limited. I had a great schedule, I was all ready to go. But thanks to the fact that I can't stop obsessively checking the requirements for the nursing program admissions, I keep second guessing myself. I'm trying to finish my associates degree after next semester and I found out one of the classes I was signed up for was no longer required, so I dropped that. Then I thought I had to retake biology because my grade was too low. But I called Dixie and found out it was the very minimum grade it could be for me to be accepted. So I'm meeting with the academic advisor on Wed to give me some pointers because I'm not sure if it will look worse to retake biology for a better grade, or to have the bare minimum grade accepted. So just in case I end up dropping Biology (I'm so not taking it again unless it will make a significant difference) I am signed up for extra classes to give myself at least 12 credits for financial aid. So right now I have 19 credits just to hold my place in case I take the classes. Here's the other thing. I'm signed up for Math 1020 (for health professionals) and it's not a prereq for the math I need to graduate. So in order to be able to take the math I need to graduate next semester I either have to take 1010 this semester, or try to test out. So to be safe, I'd rather take it this semester. But the classes are all full, so I'm wait listed for 2 different Math 1010 classes in hopes I get at least one of them and if I do, I'll be taking 2 math classes this semester....my least favorite subject ever, but it will be worth it to get my associates and have one extra thing on my application that will help me stand out. I wish I would have had this all sorted out when the classes weren't all so full!
*end boring ramble* If you made it through this, I have no words. Thank you for caring.

It's kind of funny and sad that the thing that is motivating me the most to get through the nursing program is looking at houses in the city we want to move to. I really don't want to say where it is, it's just way too premature at this point. There's no way to say for sure we'll end up moving there. We could find our place here and decide moving is not the best thing for us. But we've wanted to go there for over a year now and decided finishing school here would be better to do first. I will just say that nurses make $10 more an hour there to start, it has a huge natural birth community, a big music scene, barely snows, and there are a lot of vegetarians. So, yeah, basically...it's perfect. The list does go on, but I don't want to talk about it very much. I'm just glad I have found something that motivates me.

3-my best friends.

I just feel like I always want to talk about them. I feel so lucky to have my best friends. Two of which have also gone back to school recently for a medical career. I'm so glad I don't have to go through it alone. Heather is doing radiology, and Whitney is doing nursing (I'll probably end up applying before she does it seems like, but if I don't get in the first time, at least I have the hope that Whitney and I will be able to do it at the same time).

I love all my best friends the same (disclaimer) and I hate talking about just one, but you all have your turns so don't feel bad (haha jk). But being friends with Whitney feels a lot like the city we want to move to. Just like "could this be any more fitting?" We were friends in middle school and then never ended up having classes together, ended up drifting apart (never hated each other or anything) and led two very separate lives. Now, I almost feel like we're living the same exact life. Not really, but close. Both got married young, ended up pregnant young (our kids are both the same age 4 and 1.5), have the same exact problems with our (east coast) husbands, struggle with the same exact things (cleaning, managing money, school), passionate about the same things (namely, natural birth, non-violent parenting, breastfeeding), and can talk to each other about anything and everything. We hang out and just end up talking for hours and lose track of time and never get sick of each other. We completely understand each other's parenting problems and never judge each other. I feel totally safe with her. I'm just very very very very very grateful/lucky to have her as a friend (and my other friends too. Just like my children I love you all for different reasons, but the same amount haha). I always want to post about it on facebook, but think it would be weird. The other positive is that just like Heather and Dan, Phil doesn't complain if I spring a "we're hanging out with them" on him last minute! That says a lot. haha!

OK that's all for now :D

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"nothing"

Every so often one of my bestfriends Nate Patten calls me. He usually starts the conversation with some wild story. Some crazy "only in New York" story or a situation he's in with his newest love interest (he always asks me relationship advice it cracks me up! I guess since I'm married I have it figured out? Hahaha I really do not, but I play along). After 5-10 minutes he asks the dreaded question. I hate it so much when he asks this question, but every time without fail, he asks, "so what's new with you?" He just told me this epic story and the best I've got is, "Audrey farted really loud today and instantly looked at me and laughed really hard" (that really happened today. It was really really funny). Seriously though. When I say nothing. I really mean nothing. Work is the same, I'm sure he really doesn't care about the way I've rearranged my house, and it's summer so no one is in any type of program (like preschool, dance, etc). The only interesting thing is my awesome kids. 

But now, I actually do have something interesting. I'm going back to school. I recognize it's only interesting to me, but it feels good to actually get back into it and to be talking about it again. I'm all registered for school, FAFSA in place, and major decided. My major life events have caused me to postpone, change my mind, work towards something new, quit again, go back again. But this time, it's on! I'm too close now to stop. Having a newborn and going to school is the hardest thing to do....probably ever. Which is why I've never done it. 

Here is a timeline of my college going years (sorry if I've lost you)
  1. First year (after graduation)-super enthusiastic, nursing is my decided major, working towards that, feeling good. Start dating Phil near the end. 
  2. Second year-First semester did horribly because I started working nights at the hospital. Get discouraged. Break up with Phil and decide to move home. Get engaged to Phil. Take a break from school indefinitely. 
  3. Third year-decide I still want to do nursing, look into the program through SLCC, take one prereq required just for that program. Find out I'm pregnant with Nate. Second semester take on a full schedule and enjoy my first semester of Fafsa. 
  4. Fourth year-Be a mommy to Nate. Still off and on about nursing. 
  5. Fifth year-Decide to go back just for general ed. Take all required classes for a plain old Associate's Degree. Take my doula class, think I want to do that forever. Find out I'm pregnant with Audrey during second semester. 
  6. Sixth year-Be a mommy to Audrey and Nate
  7. Seventh year-Still a mommy to Audrey and Nate. Think about doing radiology because I would love to do ultrasound. Find out you don't have to do radiology to do ultrasound, you just have to have a 2 year health care degree. Still kind of in this year since Fall hasn't started. 
  8. Eighth year-Holy crap is this really the 8th year? 
So when I saw that I didn't have to do radiology to get ultrasound I just came to the conclusion "what am I doing with my life??? Why do I keep trying to get around nursing?" 

Yep. I've decided for probably the 5th time in my life that I DO WANT TO DO IT. Ugh get over it already Krista and just do it! No matter how many times I talk myself out of it I know it's just because it's intense, I'm worried about neglecting my kids, and it's not going to be slow paced like prereqs are. But I'm ready. My kids are old enough to handle it. It will be better for them in the long run. And for my whole family. But because I have changed my mind so many times, it's not really something I want to talk about openly on facebook. I've said it in a few comments here and there. I just don't want to explain to a bunch of people if it doesn't work out, if I don't get in, etc. But my blog is safe. I'm pretty sure that no one reads it anyway. 

Well, I only have 2 prereqs to go before I can apply. I took the math placement test today and am able to take Math 1020. I wish I could have tested high enough to get into Chemistry too, but wasn't expecting to. I'm terrible at math. At least Math 1020 is a prereq to Chemistry. The only thing is that after this semester the only class I'll have to take to get my associates in general ed is Math 1050. And having a degree would give me an extra point on the nursing application. So I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Maybe I'll call them and ask. 

Anyway, so there you have it. I'm going back to school. This time it's for real. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The trick to a clean house

I have found the trick. The trick to having a (relatively) clean house. I can't say it's 100% clean all the time. I mean, I still have kids, but by the end of the day, it can be just as clean as it started out as. With very little effort. I thought I was going crazy. I'd clean my house and by the end of the day (more like, by the next day) it would be right back to where it was. I think the best word to explain it is explosion. I would turn my head and my eyes will fill with tears. It was as if all my efforts were for nothing. Devastation. I didn't want anyone to come over because I could never stay on top of the mess. It. Was. Awful. I felt desperate. I had organized my house and it would still explode. I couldn't figure out where I was going wrong.

But then....

I rearranged my house. My kids are ALWAYS in the room I am. They will rarely play with their toys, unless I'm where the toys are. I don't know why they are like this, they just are. Probably their age. Because Nate will go play in another room more often than Audrey will. So, to make a long story short we moved our tv and a couch downstairs, and most of their toys went upstairs into Audrey's room. Turns out the problem was having the main room right next to the kitchen and away from their toys. Because toys would go upstairs (in the room they do not belong), they'd get into food and get it all over the living room and clothes would end up on the floor. Now the main room is not near the food, it's in the room where the toys go so clean up is really fast and easy, and it's next to the laundry room so clothes can just go straight in there. I knew I wasn't crazy for thinking that my house exploded more than usual! I cleaned my house on Monday and it is STILL CLEAN!!!! I am one happy mama now! 



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Executive Function

I have recently become *slightly* (ok a lot) obsessed with this website called Reddit. It's not really "cool" to talk about it. Not really sure why. They even have a code way to ask people if they are redditors. Which I will not reveal on my blog. It's pretty much the best website ever and it's where a lot of internet trends (I guess that's what you'd call them) start. ANYWAY so the other day I wrote a post asking other people if they have experienced similar difficulties to what I experience with Nate. I actually got some pretty amazing advice that I plan to bring up with his pediatrician. One thing that another parent mentioned was a little thing called "executive functioning disorder". I really hate to call it a disorder. If this is something that he is ever truly diagnosed with (according to many different sources, he is still too young for a diagnosis, so it's more that I am looking out for the signs and working with the information I have) then the last thing I want him to think is that he is broken in some way. It seems like this is something that only exists in adolescence and it can't be medicated (thank freaking goodness). So it's just something that I will accommodate to and adapt the way I discipline him.

So basically, I am beginning to believe that Nate is either behind or lacks executive functioning skills. I'm still not 100% sure on what they all are. Kids with this difficulty are often misdiagnosed with ADD because kids with ADD also lack (for lack of a better word) these functions. However, because of the evaluation Nate has had, and also my own observations, I truly do not believe he has ADD.

Here are some of the reasons I believe this is what he has:

-He's impulsive and does not think things through before he does them.
-He does not respond to consequences (it's not that he chooses not to respond, they just don't seem to click in his brain).
-He does not seem to understand consequences, even natural ones like, if I get on this high place, I could fall and hurt myself.
-He does not think abstractly. For example, he doesn't not understand if and because. When I ask him "why" questions, he never answers them correctly. If I said "why do you love me?" he would answer "because I just love you". Even when I try to explain how to correctly answer the question (which I have been trying to explain for over a year. I understand he's still little so I'm not TOO worried about it at this point).

Some positives:

-He never ever ever ever ever tells a lie. And he never has once.
-He shares most of the time without even questioning.
-If Audrey gets something that he doesn't...like the fact that I can put him to bed and he'll stay there, but Audrey won't so sometimes she gets to watch shows even after he goes to bed. He doesn't care. He has no concept of "equality". Everything in his life just seems to be very black and white. Which makes it a lot easier on me.

So we shall see how this all plays out. In my mind there is nothing really "wrong" with him. He's just different. He doesn't have some crazy birth defect or anything, he just thinks differently which can be both challenging and rewarding. I think that just understanding it will make it easier. The part about parenting that makes it stressful is the unknown. If I discipline him differently than other people, it's because I have to cater to his needs. And it will be nice to say to someone else "Oh I have to do it this way because he has a mental difference and this is the most effective". People are just SOOOO quick to judge when they haven't been in the same situation. I need to get over caring, but it's hard because I have such a judgmental sister that it's something that has been ingrained. But in reality I know in my heart that I am just trying to do the best for my kids and it doesn't matter if people have a different opinion because no one else will ever be Nate's mom. Only I am. And honestly, it's a pretty big honor because, well, Nate's pretty freakin' awesome! Love that little dude!