Monday, October 7, 2013

The Trap

Having a child with special needs that are not obvious creates a giant trap. One I'm sick and tired of living every day. Two traps actually:

1-The child's behavior is a reflection of bad parenting therefore others judge you and everything you're "doing wrong".

2-The child's behavior is a reflection of your bad parenting and you think it's all your fault and certain things could have been prevented and you're not doing a good enough job as a parent.


Though Nate was only officially diagnosed with ADHD, I still really think he is on the spectrum. Though I have no idea what it is like to have a child with full blown autism, or even full blown Asperger's, it brings challenges that are difficult in their own way. Because he seems so normal, he's expected to be as such. He's expected to react like normal kids react. And when he doesn't, because he seems so normal, people don't understand why he has a difficult time, and why we have a difficult time.

I'm so sick of living this every day. I'm sick of hearing about what people have thought about Nate, what they have judged me for, what Phil judges himself for, etc. I wish I knew everything about his brain. I wish we had thousands of dollars to spend on diagnostics, treatments, therapists, just so we can figure out the best way to parent. There's no parenting manual that can prepare you for this and it sucks.

Just having a bad day with this. Tomorrow I'll feel better.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Terrible 2's" and "Horrible 3's"

One of the dumbest things we do as parents is compare our kids to other kids. In a way it's not a bad thing to do because if our kids are severely delayed it can help us know that there's a problem. But for the most part, as far as development goes, we all know deep down inside that our kids do things in their own timetable, but we still can't help ourselves.

One thing that was really different was the "terrible 2's" and "horrible 3's". Everyone always said "you think 2 is bad, wait till 3!" Which, if you don't know, statements like that drive me INSANE! If I am struggling with 2, the last thing I want to hear is that it gets worse with 3. But that's beside the point. Everyone warned me of various things and said 3 was worse than 2. But as 3 approached, things got easier with Nate. And that's when I started to realize he was a little bit different. Not in a bad way, but he does have ADHD (as much as I HATE labeling it as a disorder). All that really means is that his brain gets different blood flow to different areas. He is very normal in a lot of ways, and very different in others.

On the other hand, there's Audrey. She is more average and what I expected and let me tell you, I get the whole "horrible 3's" thing now. I hate to say they're horrible because they're normal, and she's not broken. She's just learning what she wants and doesn't want and learning how to fight for it.

She said something the other day that made me come to this realization. Actually, it was more of a yell, "I will watch anything I want!!" It's so hard to explain, but Nate just didn't have an attitude like that. It's almost reassuring in a way to watch her go through stages in a more expected way. I spent so much time worrying about Nate not doing the same things other kids his age were doing. Now I've come to peace with the fact that he will do things on his own, very different timeline, but it is just really nice to have a more predictable child!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Needing Humility

I just have to get a few things off my chest. As I scroll through Facebook sometimes I stop and realize how judgmental I am being in my head and how gross it makes me feel. It's only directed towards people that are sending their kids to school. And do you know what it is? Jealousy. Not because I wish I could get rid of my kids and get a break (quite the opposite of that. I have no desire to be away from them for that amount of time). It's jealousy that they can be so open about their choice and no one cares. I can't tell you how badly I want to post about the fact that Nate is starting "Kindergarten". But the minute I say anything I feel like I will be living in a fish bowl. Like everyone will be watching and waiting for me to fail so they can say I told you so. They don't see how fluently he can read, how confident he is talking to people of all ages, how honest he is with me, how he knows some multiplication in his head. How he spells words wrong and I correct him and he works on spelling them correctly. How he is learning to type. And I don't want to flaunt it. I don't want people to know what he can do because I know when I see another kid that can do something he can't how I worry that I did something wrong. He wrote out Twinkle Twinkle on the piano roll on Phil's music software by trial and error the other day. I want to tell people things like this so they don't think we sit around at home doing nothing. I posted about how we were playing multiplayer minecraft typing to each other, but what I didn't say is how amazingly fast he reads what I type. I don't have to sit him down with a book to get him to practice reading. But people look at that and don't see the value in it. And I feel like I have to justify myself and the choices I make. So I get judgmental and think my choice is better (in my head) only because I'm trying to tell myself that it is the right choice for us even though so many people don't understand why. But I don't really believe its the better choice for everyone. And truthfully I do worry I can't do it. I do worry I will fail. It would be nice to feel good about sending him to school. That's the easy choice. But it doesn't make it the right choice. Specifically because Nate is too ahead for what they learn in kindergarten, but also too behind in emotional maturity for even Kindergarten. He NEEDS individualized learning. I'm working on a post listing all the reasons we chose homeschooling. It's long but it will feel good to get it out there. Anyway thanks for reading and letting me get that out. If formatting and grammar is bad it's because I'm on my phone.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Diaper Free!! Well mostly.

I honestly thought this day would never come. Audrey likes to take her sweet time with everything. Everyone always said girls were easier and the fact that she refused to go until she was 8 months older than Nate was I started to think they were full of crap, but I had faith that the process would be easier once it finally began and I was right. Nate had countless accidents. To this day he has accidents on a DAILY basis. That is not an exaggeration. This kid puts off going potty so bad. He never has pants on because he pees in them and takes them off. It's so frustrating! But Audrey? Not one accident since she started. Once it was her idea on her terms holy crap! She's amazing! She even wipes herself. Something I still struggle to get Nate to do. Now if I could just get her to remember to wipe before standing up that would be fantastic!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just a little PSA.

I just have a few things to say that I have been thinking about a lot and feel are important. I contemplated a lot about how I would announce the final addition to our family. So many beautiful, wonderful people I know suffer with infertility, and many people are silently suffering without my awareness. Because this is something that I have always had a really sensitive place in my heart for, announcing my pregnancy is not something I wanted to make a big show of, but I also just wanted to use this opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of infertility. The most important thing is to be aware that you don't know who is suffering so it is important to always be sensitive. I want to make a few things clear: 

1-If you have to hide me from your facebook feed or avoid talking to me, that's ok. I will not be offended (not that I would know anyway), but I don't want to cause anyone pain. If that's what you need to do, I completely understand! 

2-It is NOT fair that I am pregnant. I'm so sorry and know you will have the opportunity to be a parent the way you are meant to be and you will be the most amazing parent in the world because you had to fight for that title. 

3-I just have to interrupt this message to say that Audrey just went pee on the potty for the very first time and it's a big celebration. She even remembered the song I told her I would sing if she went on the potty and told me to sing it!!! YAYYYYYY finally!

4-I am always more than willing to be a support if you need someone to talk to. I understand if it is easier to talk to someone that has also suffered and understands what you are going through so I won't be offended. Pretty much nothing you can do will offend me. I just want you to feel like you can talk to someone. I am part of an infertility support group if you would like to be added. 

That being said, we are really excited!!! It came a little sooner than we were anticipating (after all I am going to full time school this year and were hoping to wait till I was done, but feel like this is the actual right time...it just might be a little stressful, but doable). I am "due" March 21st. And I plan to have another home birth and am super excited about that. Especially being in our house and not an apartment. The kids are really excited too. :D 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Playdates/Homeschool adventures.

Mondays and Thursdays are quickly becoming my favorite days of the week! They're the homeschooling play group days! I feel more energized and excited for the future being around these amazing ladies! It's funny because most homeschooling moms that I've come across are also pro home birth/natural birth. My best friend Whitney and I have come to conclude that when you question the hospital, it becomes naturally easy to question public education. And truthfully, none of us have any problems with people that choose differently, we're just all happy to have each other to bounce our crazy ideas off of!

Unschooling is somewhat of a natural result of attachment parenting. Most of the moms cosleep, breastfeed into toddlerhood, don't discipline, etc and the thing that is so refreshing is the way they respect their kids' opinions even if they are unpleasant. One of the moms brought a 9 year old who outwardly complained that she was bored. Instead of saying "that's rude, don't say that" she just respected her opinion and said they would go home soon. That's such a beautiful concept to me! I love being around people like that. People I know are going to respect my kids too.

This evening we also went for a walk with my neighbor. Her kids are bilingual English and Spanish. I can't even tell you how happy it makes me for my kids to be around that. Tonight we spent about an hour on google translate learning different Spanish words. I love that they are also pro homeschooling and live only a two minute walk away. We went and saw the "Caballos". I tried to pick up on some of the beautiful words her kids were saying. I can understand Spanish more than I can speak it so it's fun to have that exposure as well. Gives me motivation to teach/learn it myself. So Gisselle, if you're reading this, come speak lots of Spanish around my kids ;)

Every summer I always have big plans to spend time outside and do fun things, but end up staying inside because of the heat. But because of this group and having Whitney, I've really pushed myself to never say no and to do what my kids want to do. When my neighbor asked if I wanted to go for a walk, my first instinct was to make up an excuse because I was tired from being out and about all day (Whitney and I went to lunch after the play date and the bounce house), but I decided that I don't want to be that person anymore and I was so glad I said yes. Having all these homeschooling families around is helping me understand why I felt so strongly that this was the house we needed to be in.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Someone else.

I don't even know where to start. I've erased this post at least ten times now. I just need to write and pretend like everyone in my world secretly reads my blog, but doesn't comment because they don't really give a crap what I do. That would be ideal.

Here's the thing. No matter how many times I can say this and how sincerely I mean it, no one believes me, but I do NOT judge you. I do not care in the slightest if people don't choose what I choose. Why? Because it's SO freaking hard to go against the mainstream. SO HARD! It's not something I want to do because I think it will be fun. It's because I research a lot and truly try to do what is the most logical to me. So I can't be me. I can't be me because I don't like to argue. I hate it. I really suck at debating. It's sad when you realize that being the person that you are just make people want to argue with you. I don't have to do anything. I just want to be myself. And this is who I am:

1-I am unschooling my kids. I don't like public school and I don't want to subject my kids to it. I think the idea of them missing out on the socialization in the school system is BS and everyone in my social homeschooling group agrees.

2-I love home birth (you all know that). I will never choose a hospital unless I have to. I don't trust that doctors are making decisions in my best interest 100% of the time.

3-I still breastfeed Audrey a couple times a day. This one is the hardest for me and I lie to people and say that I don't because I'm embarrassed, but I truly believe she needs it. I hate doing it and try to talk her out of it, but it has so many more benefits. My own sister told me I should stop and I told her I have. I died a little when I said that. It's such a stupid thing to judge someone about and I absolutely do NOT understand why people care.

4-I do not discipline my kids. This one is really difficult for me because Nate has ADHD (which I am renaming ECB for energetic creative brain because I don't believe it is a disorder, just a difference that makes him less convenient for me, but it's not freaking about me!!) and people think that he acts the way he does because of my lack of discipline, but I think it's pretty obvious that Audrey came from the same parenting style (actually less discipline than with Nate because I didn't know how to handle him at first) and does not act out. I have MANY reasons for this that I don't want to list right now.

5-I don't eat meat. Big freaking deal, I don't care if you do.

6-I am a voluntarist/libertarian. Not a democrat, not a republican. I do not believe in the initiation of the use of force, I follow the non-aggression principal, and exercise my right to vote by not voting at all.

7-None of my siblings take me seriously because they are all older than me so I avoid them as much as possible.

Ah that felt good. Now let's just all move on and live our lives without judging each other. I do not care what you do, I only govern myself.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Unschooling

One thing I have always had a really difficult time with is debating. I absolutely hate even the possibility of hurting another person's feelings. But I have SO much information I have been learning lately that I am going to burst at the seems if I don't at least write it down to the possibility that just one person will read it (I don't even care if anyone does to be honest, I just need to say it).

I'm getting really excited about the concept of unschooling. Admittedly it's an off putting name. The concept of unschooling does not mean no education. It's the idea that learning is organic, authentic, and doesn't require force. It's the idea that you learn through life. Some examples that I have been reading (from author, advocate, radical unschooler Dayna Martin) are that you take your kids grocery shopping and give them a budget and they learn math, they learn to make good food choices, and they mature by having their own responsibilities. The idea is that you treat your children like partners and not apprentices. You treat them like they have value and don't make them your convenience (for example, Nate makes this clicking noise all the time and it drives me insane. Is the clicking noise hurting anyone? No. By forcing him to stop making it would be making it my convenience. I just ask him to do it in another room or I leave the room....it's a concept I'm working on).

The idea of unschooling makes so much sense to me and it's really giving me the permission and confidence to parent the way I have always wanted to parent. It doesn't really fit in the spectrum of parenting styles we learn about in psychology. It's really quite a new concept. It's not authoritarian, permissive, OR authoritative. It's a very active and engaging parenting style. You're not being permissive because it's not neglectful at all. You act as a facilitator. And it's not authoritarian or authoritative because you don't give them rules. They learn by your example. When you enter into a partnership with their kids, they do all of the things that authoritative parents want their kids to do. Dayna's kids help her clean because when she cleans she acts happy and grateful to do it. They all help each other collectively because they want their house to be clean. Not because she's making them do it. They make good food choices because she doesn't force them to eat something they don't want to.

It's such a beautiful thing. It's really motivating me to be the type of person I want my kids to be. Not to teach them to be the person I want them to be, but aren't myself! It would take me hours to explain everything and really get into it all. I've spent quite a bit of time studying this and reading about it. I've been listening to a lot of podcasts, and watching videos. She was on an episode of wife swap actually. It's the Avery-Lamb/Martin episode (and just a disclaimer, she does a few things differently than I plan to, but for the most part you can really see the love her family has for each other).

So this year we've been faced with the decision of whether or not to send Nate to kindergarten. With the high likelihood of an ADHD diagnosis, I was actually seriously considering it. Phil still wasn't up for it, but he just wants to do what's best for him too. But the more I have gotten into this idea of unschooling and being able to work with Nate myself in a caring loving way to help him the best I can (obviously if I can't help him the way he needs, I'm not opposed to getting outside help). So I got involved with a West Jordan homeschooling group and am floored!!! I can't even believe that there are two homeschooling moms within walking distance of my house! One lives two streets over and the other lives about 4 streets over. Both of them have kids my kids' age and one of them is bilingual. Three others live in my general area. One of them owns a farm (that's right by my neighborhood) and my kids will have a nice opportunity to learn about how meat is produced so they can make an educated choice about eating meat (we're not going to tell them they can't). None of them are "weird" at all like all these stupid preconceived ideas we have about homeschoolers. We get together twice a week and our kids play while we throw ideas around. It's amazing! I feel so blessed to be around all these great homeschooling families!

I want to be open about my choice, but there's too many people that think it's a bad idea and since I have such a difficult time debating, I find it easier to just ease into it. Slowly make it public after I get more and more confident about it's effectiveness. Mainly people worry about the socialization so I kind of am just wanting to see how this group works out. We all have the same goals so I can't imagine it won't. I'm just really excited and feeling really great about how it's all going. I don't think it's a coincidence that I came across all this information. I'm looking forward to the future!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dear 16 year old me

It kind of just dawned on me that it has been 10 years since I have been 16. Which is kind of crazy right?? Any age that I can remember vividly seems like it's not that long ago, but 10 years? Wow. Soon someone's going to tell me it has been 10 years since I met Phil. It's only been 7.5 so far phew! :D So if I could write a letter to my 16 year old self this is how it would go:

Dear 2003 Krista,

Guess what. Life just started. Woohoo right? School's out for the summer and life is good. What are you doing being so anti social right now? Actually, meh enjoy the silence. Don't worry about working at Dairy Queen/Orange Julius. It's almost over and it stresses you out more than it's worth. The next job you get is owned by a crazy lady that will form a strange disliking to you for no good reason merely because she is crazy. Don't take her seriously. You'll look back on that job and feel like what you learned was invaluable. Like how to decorate cakes and it will also give you a deep appreciation for the Fall which will come in handy when you have a Fall baby (hint: it's Gardner Village that's why). Have more confidence. Stop wishing you were skinnier or prettier. Just love who you are because that's actually all it takes for a guy to like you. Confidence. Simple.

Stop worrying about the people in your high school. Just stop. None of them matter. The ones that do will stay in your life and will bring a positive energy, but for the most part it just doesn't matter. You'll go to college and realize this so I just want to give you a head start. This reminds me, definitely keep on the college path. That will be the best decision of your life. But it's important to realize that you don't have to take as many credits in college as you were in high school. Take it slow and pay close attention. It's not as easy and you have to actually work to pay for your life so keep that in mind. Enjoy college while it lasts. Because it's going to be some of the best time of your life. It feels like a lot of responsibility, but it's actually not as much as you think. Really enjoy it!

DO NOT JUDGE!!! I know you try really hard to be loving and accepting, but you're not near where you need to be. I really need you to stop judging people right now. STOP IT! Especially parents. Yes you can look at your siblings examples and learn what not to do, but stop thinking that you have it figured out, stop thinking you're not going to make the same mistakes, and stop thinking you will make all the best choices. Every single thing you have ever judged someone for you end up doing. And then you think, "I shouldn't have judged them for that...I get it". Parenting is really hard. Especially because you'll find out that your oldest is not like most children and you, nor anyone around you, will know he's not and and you will spend years trying to figure out why doing what everyone else is doing doesn't work. Then you'll feel really stupid like you're a really bad mom. Until you realize that he is different. And that it's ok. Just hang in there.

Start looking into attachment parenting now. It is the parenting style that fits your personality. It will feel right to you and when you listen to society and not yourself, you feel guilty. Follow what is in your heart. Make sure you cosleep with your oldest. Don't listen to other people. Don't do it. You'll regret it. You'll realize when you have your second baby that having them there with you all night is the most wonderful thing you have ever done. Their lives go by slower and the bond is stronger. It's absolutely beautiful and you will love it! Do what makes YOU happy! You know the only reason you put that baby in the other room is because other people tell you to do it. And it sucks. Ignore them.

You'll get a house sooner than you think. Don't stress about it and know when the time is right it will happen. Don't listen to your sister tell you how to live her way and that you should be buying a house before you're ready. It will happen and you will be happy. Ignore her. Actually, in general, don't worry about anything she ever says. You'll find out how judgmental she is and be really sad you ever cared about her opinion. Also, when you move into that house, don't give your neighbors Christmas cards. They don't care about them anyway and you'll end up with a broken pinky.

Lastly, I know it sounds crazy and hippie and right now you have no desire or understanding of this concept, but find out what a doula is NOW. Don't wait to find out about it until your pregnant with your first. Once you find out what a doula is, it will start your journey to home birth and it will be another one of those things you wish you would have done with your first. It's amazing!

Look, I know you're going to end up on a good path that makes you happy, but just try to make the decisions that will lead you there faster ok? Happiness is always a good thing! :D

Love 2013 Krista

Thursday, June 6, 2013

That moment you realize you have to throw all parenting advice you've ever received out the window and start over.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do as a mother is to let go of all my pride and finally admit that Nate really is different. But I know it's going to be ok, I just have a lot of learning to do. After all, it looks like Nate may have a neurological disorder....that sounds so much better than ADHD. There's such a stigma around ADHD because it's been so over-diagnosed, over-medicated, and used as an excuse for so many. So here are the facts:

-He is impulsive. 
-He forgets a LOT.
-He is really hard to discipline because he doesn't understand consequences.
-He may be receiving 40% less blood flow to his prefrontal cortex than the average person.
-We will do everything in our power to not medicate him. 
-We are going to focus a lot on retraining his brain to hopefully allow it to fix itself.
-It is not an excuse. It's an explanation. 
-He is too young for an official diagnosis.

Though he has not been officially diagnosed and there is ALWAYS a chance that it is not officially ADHD, he does have many of the symptoms which means that many of the treatments (non-medicinal) will help him. The best way I have heard how to explain it is that a normal child will look around and then grab the cookie. A child with ADD grabs the cookie then looks around. The biggest issue with being so impulsive is that he doesn't think through consequences. He just acts. So what would take a normal child a couple time outs (I'm not in favor of time-outs anyway), it would take 50 time outs to see any improvement in Nate's behavior. It took me several weeks to teach him not to walk out the front door. It takes SO MUCH repetition to get something through to him. Sometimes I have to make certain dangerous situations seem REALLY extreme so he will remember. Like "don't stick your body through these poles or else you will die!" Or else he'd do it when I turn my head and get injured. 

I think that the worst part is how everyone thinks that the reason Nate acts the way he does because I'm not trying hard enough or not disciplining well enough or not following through. The thing people don't understand is that most of the time Nate does understand why he shouldn't do something. He will agree with me and stop. But the important thing to understand is that he forgets. Constantly forgets. There comes a point in parenting an impulsive child where you start to realize that discipline does. not. work. And you don't know what to do because nothing at all works. There is so much frustration and fear that it will never get better. And then everyone around you says you're just not trying hard enough? If only they realized how much work I have been doing on that behavior. 

It's hard to realize that you have to start over from scratch and figure it all out again. I feel a lot of relief just knowing that I do have an answer and there is a solution. I just know it's going to be a long road. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Today I officially got accepted into the HIT program at SLCC. Not that I didn't think I wasn't going to, but my background check results made me nervous that they reported something wrong because of the way it was worded (in other words it looked like they found something on my criminal record but I don't have a record).

So I'm really excited that I found this program and the more I research it, the more I feel like its the right thing so I just wanted to take a minute to explain what it is (I felt like my other post was all over the place)  and why I'm doing it.

In September 2014 the medical industry is changing from ICD-9 to ICD-10. What ICD is is a set of codes assigned to every diagnosis. It's used for billing and statistical purposes. The World Health Organization is the one that implements it. When they go live there is going to be a great need for people that know how to do it. The pay is comparable to a nurse especially if you do freelance work. So that's what made me decide to do it in the first place.

I have changed my mind about nursing more times than I can count. A big part of why I decided not to do it before was because of the way nurses are treated. I also don't like the idea of always having a boss and evaluations. I have always been an independent self motivated person and my self esteem is highly effected by what my bosses think of me. I hate group projects, I never was the type to make another girl go with me to the bathroom, I just work better without someone staring over my shoulder. The fact that this career gives me even the possibility of working for myself makes me really happy!

The other thing is that I start this summer and will finish in a year! Nursing was a minimum of three years away. It's going to be intense. I don't expect it to be by easier because it is still a lot of info I have to remember. But the job prospects are going to be significantly higher when I graduate. Seems like everyone is doing nursing now! The other plus is that I have finished every single class I possibly can outside of the program already!

So I'm really excited and I feel like this is the right thing for me! Now if I could only get a refund on my HESI test!!! Maybe I'll still apply for nursing for the heck of it.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'm not even sure if anyone reads these things anymore, but it's one of those "I stayed up way too late, I might as well type a bunch" kind of nights. So here I am to unload all the things that occupy my mind lately to hopefully free up some space ;)

This semester has been THE WORST ever! I've always done really well with online classes, but this semester the set up on my Chemistry class is extremely confusing. To make it easier to understand, this teacher uses both online software (called Pearson) AND the school's online program (called Canvas) so I can't keep track of everything because I'm not used to classes doing that. Just last week I realized she had lectures for each chapter posted on Canvas. Every other class relies on the book, but the online book we had to buy is extremely difficult to navigate. So basically, I had really high hopes of getting in to the nursing program when I got a 4.0 last semester, I hoped they would see that I'm a better student now, or something, but between that and Math 1040 being math I've never ever ever done before so also very confusing, I'm pretty discouraged. I wish I wouldn't have taken those classes online, but the problem is finding babysitters that are willing and able to watch the kids for a few hours a day. It would be different in the nursing program because it's a set schedule that I could give my mother-in-law and it would be more than just an hour class here and there.

But there is a positive side to this. Last Friday my mom talked to me about how the medical industry is changing all the medical billing diagnosis codes and coding is going to be a lot more complex when they switch from the system called ICD 9 to ICD 10 and it's a job that's going to be in really high demand starting next year (I read somewhere online that they go live in October of this year, but I only saw that in one place).   If you didn't already know, my mom is the office manager for a couple orthopedic surgeons. She is one example of why this job will be in high demand. Her doctors are going to be retiring in a few short years. She doesn't want to learn this complex system and isn't going to pay to have their employees learn it either. So when the time comes, they will probably hire someone that knows how to do it already. And she heard from someone she works with that hospitals will pay certified coders $32 an hour to start. I don't know if this is a reliable source or not though. Through most of my research, in the past few years the average pay for a coder is around $20 an hour, and around about $17 or so to start. That is before the switch and salaries are expected to increase because this switch is so drastic. (If you're not familiar with the medical industry, which I wasn't before I found out about this, the World Health Organization is the one that determines what program is used I guess. It's not just like an IHC thing or what not. It's country wide). In Utah, nurses make $21 to start....

So I looked into it and found out that SLCC has a program! And here is the best part: it's 3 semesters long all online!!! A part of me wants to do this instead of nursing. But because I'll be able to apply for nursing at the end of this semester I'm going to apply for both. I don't expect to get in to the nursing program because it's so competitive and my hopes are low, but it would be stupid if I didn't at least try. I feel like I would be more fulfilled as a nurse in the long run and that coding would be more temporary, but I don't know, maybe I'll really like it. I will have more of an option to work from home as a coder which I would never be able to do as a nurse. By the time I'd be able to do that, however, my kids might be older and not need me to be at home as much, but maybe I'll be able to have more kids this way.

So there's a lot I'm thinking about. The coding program (called Health Information Technology) definitely fits my need to be home with my kids more until I can start working and Phil can start working from home as a musician (I know it sounds weird, but honestly, Phil has been doing stuff on the side with music either teaching, making beats, or mixing for my dance teacher. He doesn't make enough with it right now to be able to quit, but he could make more of it if he didn't work and I'm completely supportive of him doing what he was born to do!)

I go to a meeting on Thursday to get more information on the program. I'm feeling a lot of relief knowing that if I don't get in to the nursing program that there's a back up that will take less time and make a similar amount. I hope everything works out and have faith that it will!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

10 Audreyisms that Make Her My Favorite Daughter

1-Every time I laugh she goes, "what's so funny?" and I tell her something like, "the story I'm reading" and every time without fail she does this little fake laugh like she gets it.

2-All of her R's and L's are a Y sound (mostly, sometimes a W). So if she said "right there" it would sound like "wight deh-ey"

3-If I ask her "who's the best?" She points at herself and says "Audjee". I didn't teach her that, but I'm sure I've told her 1,000 times that she's the best so it makes sense.

4-When she walks, her hair swings from side to side because of the way she walks.

5-Whenever a song she likes comes on she puts her hands on her hips and sways from side to side to the beat.

6-When she's falling asleep she grabs my arm and squeezes it. She also grabs her ear. And sometimes she'll climb behind me and lift up my shirt and hers because she still loves skin to skin.

7-She is willing to try any food. She's not a picky eater at all and I have high hopes that it won't change. Nate was already picky by her age (fingers crossed!).

8-She likes to put blankets over stuffed animals and put them to bed. Also, we went to Whitney's house the other day and she had a doll with a bottle and Audrey kept feeding her. I love how nurturing she is.

9-I know without a doubt that I'm her favorite person. Feels good to know with such certainty that someone can't live without you. I'm sure Phil and Nate are the same because I feel that way about them, but Audrey shows it the strongest.

10-Whenever she sees my phone or something important and it's not with me, she will always come give it to me. Earlier I guess my credit card fell out of my purse and it was next to the bed and when I woke up from our co-nap (I have to work tonight so I was trying to get some sleep in) she goes "wait mommy!" and runs up to me with it in her hand.

I just can't get enough of her. I love this age because her personality is developing more and more every day and she says new things and makes me laugh more and more every day.

Nate is of course my favorite son, post coming soon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Update, mostly about Nate, but Audrey and school too

What do you do in the middle of the night when you can't sleep? Why blog of course! :D 

I hate to say "I've been busy" because, full disclosure, I sit on my butt all day (which is why I'm taking a yoga class this semester!). But my mind is busy. Preoccupied with school, kids, personal relationships, etc. 

School is going well. I don't know if I mentioned it before on here (I think I did), but I got a 4.0 last semester. I don't feel like I'm bragging, because it's not something I just happened upon! I worked really hard for it and it was the first one I've ever gotten in college. I'm hoping for another GPA at least close to it this semester, but I'm taking Chemistry and Math 1040, so I'm not going to beat myself up if I try my hardest and don't get it. I really like being in school. It's a self esteem builder to feel like I'm working towards something. I spent a lot of time trying to talk myself out of it and do something easier, but I just feel like there's something I still need to finish and I just realized it would never go away unless I powered through and got it done. 

Nathan has been learning a ton. He is an absolutely AMAZING reader! He blows me away! I'll have to post a video of it some time. I have to say, it's hard for me to want to talk about it a lot because I really don't want to give the impression that I think Nate is exceptional and every kid should be at his level. Truth be told, by age 8, research (that I am not citing because I'm too lazy to search for it) has shown that most 8 year olds are at very similar reading levels. There really isn't an advantage to be able to read earlier. Part of me wonders if that's just because of the way the school system teaches though....I actually haven't thought of that. But anyway, it's really quite a sight to see. I do find that it has it's advantages (and a few disadvantages...like the fact that if he really wanted to know what I'm spelling to keep him from hearing, he could figure it out. He hasn't really done that yet though, but it will happen). One example of an advantage is if we're at a swimming pool, he gets so excited that he wants to run from place to place so I can show him the sign and ask him what it says. When signs tell him to do something, he actually listens haha!

I really love the way he retains information. He is a really bright kid. Honestly, I had very little to do with it. It's all him. I don't pat myself on the back for being a "good mom" and teaching him to read. He mostly taught himself! I mean, I helped him along the way, but it's not something I pushed him to do. And that's just it too. He may be really smart and retain a lot of information, but he has really poor decision making skills and has a really difficult time grasping the concept of consequences to actions. I'm not going to get into it fully, but basically the best way to describe him is that he makes irrational decisions based on emotion instead of logic. So for example, a kid with this kind of thought process is sitting in a tree and his mom yells at him "it's time for dinner" he may jump right out of the tree because he made an emotional decision. It was faster and simpler to jump right out, but he didn't think about the fact that he might get hurt. Most of what frustrates me about Nate is when he makes emotional decisions instead of rational ones. So, for example, we went to Disneyland two weeks ago. In the airport he started walking up the escalators the wrong way when we were trying to get in the security line. ALL of us started yelling at him to stop and come down. He didn't. He wasn't trying to be malicious or purposely piss anyone off, he just wanted to do it so he was going to do it. Whether it made sense or not, it didn't matter. The thought came in his head and that's the end of that. Or another example was when I was waiting for my mom, sister, and niece to go see Mickey (we had gone to see him by ourselves like a half hour before that) so I sat down at Goofy's house while Nate played on the little playground. I started worrying about not being able to check in for our flight the next day (the standby priority goes off of who checks in first) and was calling and texting a couple people to try checking in for me and I looked up and he was gone. I thought he went one place, but he wasn't there. I started to panic a little, but remained calm to not alarm anyone around me. I walked out of the playground area to find him running toward me (totally fine, not crying or anything). Never did it occur to him that if he left and didn't tell me that he left that he could end up getting lost. This is how he makes every decision. I can't tell you how many times he has gone into the kitchen to "make" something and no matter how many times and how I explain to him why he needs to ask first, he NEVER does. So anyway, it's something we've been working on. I recently discovered that this may be caused by a neurological disorganization where the pathways in his brain are crossed (people with dyslexia have neurological disorganization) and it might be a simple fix to exercise his brain a certain way to help those pathways to straighten out (to put it in Laman's term). 

Audrey is doing really well too. Her speech is great! I worried about it being delayed, but the sentences she says blow me away sometimes. She is a lot more lucid than Nate. She doesn't know her ABC's as well as he did at her age, but she is smart in a totally different way (I don't love one more than the other....but I won't lie and say that Audrey's not easier than Nate...easy doesn't mean anything though). Her little voice is just amazing. She can't say her R's so it's pretty funny to hear her try. She usually replaces it with a Y or W sound. Here are some examples of Audrey language:
English-Audrey
brrrrrrrrrr-buuuuhhh
heart-hoit
there-deh-ey
little-yittle
I'm a monster RARRR!!!-I'm a monstey waaaaaah-ey
Nathan-Nasan

Maybe I'll think of some more later, but I need to go to bed! :D