Not Well

So I’m coming to a strange point in my life. I suddenly realize that over the course of a couple years I have become very unwell. Slowly over time my health has deteriorated. Luckily, we have modern medicine to identify the problem. It took a year and a half, and 6 doctors. Once the problem was identified, it is taking a relatively short time to fix. Hallelujah!

So now I am coming to a new beginning. I want to be well, truly well, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In order to achieve that I need to begin to actively making goals. I’m going to try and record those here.

I am excited to enter this time of change. I don’t believe it will all be fun, but it is necessary.

Advertisements

Organized, at Least I Would Like to Be

My life is a mess, literally.  I thought I wasn’t able to keep up with housework, schoolwork (the cleaning up part), because of lack of time.  Well now I know it was lack of energy.

It is still daunting to look around my house and realize how much I have to do.  Summer is my organizing time and this year is no exception.  I will be creating my lists and going into summer head first.

I’m a little excited that this summer is longer than most.  We had no snow days this year.  What that really means is that I will make a list that is too long.  🙂  I guess one of my summer goals should be to be realistic.

Summer goal list to come later this week.  Stay tuned.

 

Our Adoption Story

I am a 44-year-old mother of two teenagers, 14 and 15, and a 2 1/2-year-old.  People have commented about my “accident.”  (By the way this cracks me up when they say it to me(white) and my husband (white) while looking at my obviously biracial son.)  K was not an accident. K was a wondrous gift.

A little over three years ago, my cousin committed suicide.  His wife of 20 years became pregnant by someone else 3 or 4 months later.  For reasons that I’m not going into, the family was pretty sure the baby would be taken into foster care.  We inquired about taking the  baby when he was born.

His birth mother made decisions that didn’t include our side of the family, after all we are “blood” to this baby.  Now his brother and sister are my 2nd cousins. I never got to meet the baby.  He was with mom for a while.  Then he was placed in foster care.  Family rumors had him being adopted by a cousin of his birth father.

Then on a Monday I got a phone call from another cousin, “Are you guys still interested in adopting the baby?  He MIGHT need another home”  The baby is now 9 months old and has lived in 3 homes.  Absolutely. My husband and I spoke a bit with his Social Workers.  It sound really iffy.  They didn’t want to move him again if they didn’t have to move him.  I totally understood.

The next Monday I got another phone call asking again if we were really committed to taking him. We decided we better tell the older boys that this might happen.  Like us they considered this baby that we have never met, part of our extended family.  They thought it was  a cool idea.  I stressed this probably wouldn’t happen, as they didn’t want to transition him again to a new home if they didn’t have to do that.

That first meeting in the driveway.

That Friday morning I got a call at 10:30.  I’m at school teaching.  An hour later I am in my driveway holding this sweet little boy and falling in love.  He seemed like he had been there from the beginning.  He bonded very quickly, and is loved beyond measure.

Now almost 2 years later I am so grateful that my cousin(not his birth mom) remembered that we wanted him, and told the Social Workers about us.  There were other family members that would have taken him, but I really feel that it was God’s plan to have him here.

In less than two weeks our lives were turned upside down and inside out.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Did I Sign Up For All Of This?

In my last post Sleeping Mom commented, “sometimes I wonder did I sign up for all of this.”  Of course, that was specifically about temper tantrums.  It got me thinking though.

Before I had kids I know that I didn’t think about some of the challenges that I am facing.   I’m not even talking about the ADHD and Autism Spectrum stuff.  I’m thinking specifically school and girls.

As a teacher I expected my kids to excel at school.  I mean, why wouldn’t they?  OK, the ADHD, Autism thing… still I think my children are brilliant. 🙂  And they are, except they won’t turn in their assignments.  I’m not saying won’t do them. They just don’t turn them in….AAARGHH!

Then there is the girl thing.  When my 15-year-old got his heartbroken, it broke mine.  I wanted to smack the little girl who did it.  Now, I actually like her, but she hurt my baby.  I’m going to have a hard time when he actually MARRIES one.

The things I know that I didn’t intentionally sign on for:

  • obsessions…toddlers/Blues Clues and Thomas….teenagers/screamo music and video games
  • hour-long showers
  • holes in the wall, that no one can explain
  • 92 loads of laundry a week

and probably the most important thing that I didn’t sign up for was that grow up in the blink of a second.

 

Temper Tantrums

I have an incredibly stubborn two-year old.  He even beats my child that used to have three-hour melt downs (autism spectrum).  I have learned that there is a huge difference between a melt down and a full-blown temper tantrum.

Bless his little heart, but he thinks he should be in charge of the world.  He is strong, smart, and very precocious.  This is making for a parenting challenge that I didn’t expect.

I’m having Nanny 911 flashbacks while I try to make him take a time out.  Pretty sure Nanny Jo would have some things to say to me.  I’m not going to wrestle him into a time out though.  I will take him to his bedroom and sit in the door.  Ultimately, once he sits quietly (and this can take 25 minutes–or more)  I will let him up.

We aren’t at a point then that I can get him to sit for two minutes.  I think if he calms himself and sits at all then we are making progress.  I will get there, but first he has to learn that temper tantrum or not, I will make him sit.

Does anyone else have super stubborn two-year olds?

Still Struggling and Thunderstorms

Our household is still struggling with the death of our dog, Lilo.  We all feel guilty for one reason or another.  I feel guilty for not taking her to the vet sooner in the day. The house is so quiet without her.  For a dog that rarely barked, she definitely made her presence known.  She was incredibly sweet, but very strong-willed.  We have a bell hooked up by the door that she would ring to let us know that she needed to go outside.  Last night it rang.  It was our cat playing with the bell.  The cat misses her too.  We made some paw prints from her paws the other night with the technicians at the vets.  The Vet and the technicians were wonderful.

Not getting a lot of sleep the last few nights due to increased thunderstorms.  We had golf ball size hail too.  Sounds like we have a break in the storms during the day today, but more tonight.  No sleep again.  Only one kid woke up last night though, and he went back to sleep.

Lots to do today as I will be helping my brother move, and trying to complete yesterday’s goals. Right now I need to find out why the baby is so quiet…

Today

No secret the last three years have been difficult at best.  The last two weeks have really been particularly bad.  So I am focusing on today.  Today I am thankful for my wonderful three boys, the home I live in, and time to work on projects.  So my goals for today are to get the kitchen cleaned (especially the refrigerator), find an end to the laundry, get all of the registrations entered for summer camps, and to begin my prayer journal.

I haven’t been very good at getting things accomplished lately, and so I’m hoping that with some goal setting I can find myself in this mess.  You know that it is bad when others look at your garage and “Hoarders” the TV show comes to mind. 🙂  (Only slightly exaggerating here.)

Summer is a time of renewal for me.  I need to regenerate and maybe more reinvigorate myself.  I feel like the character in Eat, Pray, Love.

End of the day Reflection: Got the freezer cleaned out, kitchen started, bought the journal, and gathered all of the summer camp registrations.  More importantly I hugged, loved, and talked with my kids today.  We grieved for our 9-year-old English Cocker, Lilo, and cried a few tears.   We had to put her to sleep yesterday.  Rest in peace sweet dog.

Withdrawal

I spent almost three years as the volunteer President of our Board of Directors at the childrens’ theatre in my town.  I was the Vice-President and our President resigned.  This year I gave up my post.  I’m still on the Board of Directors, but no longer President.  I had good reasons, and I needed to do it.  That being said, I miss it.

It was fun being in charge (OK, not always.)  I was (and think still am) respected by many people in our larger community’s theatre circle.  I felt like people on our board really respected my opinion. 

Sometimes now I feel like they respected the title’s opinion more than mine.  Sometimes I feel like they don’t really need me any more. Sometimes I now feel out-of-place and kind of lonely.   I try to back off and let the new president, whom I like and respect, stretch her wings.  Yet I’m still there to help mentor and guide. 

I miss being the go to girl. 

Now the funny part is I am the one that came up with our term limits, and I did so for very good reasons.  We didn’t want people getting burned out or too much control. 🙂  Now I just have to learn to accept this role again.  It’s hard, because it changed me.  I changed it.  A very small handful of us took a struggling program and really made it take off.  It’s an amazing non-profit small business now with a whole range of programs for the community.  I’m really proud of what we accomplished.  It definitely was a “we” project, but I loved leading my team.  Probably explains my withdrawal.  I’m just learning to keep myself in balance.

OK, yes, God I am Listening

The last few days I have been discontented. There are many reasons.  The new year always brings on thoughts of change and self-reflection when I combine that with short, cloudy, cold days, I’m tired and grouchy. 

That being said there was an incident that happened where I felt like a blatant injustice occurred.  I don’t know when I have been this angry.  Partially because I feel my child was slighted, because of this injustice.  My mama bear instincts came out and I think my East-side girl kicked in.  I wanted to go whoop someone. 

I am lucky though that I also am in a position to change this from happening to any child in the future.  You think that would make me feel better.  So far not so much.  I’m on day 3 of seething. 

So this morning on my way to work, I switched my radio station.  On comes the DJ, “Are you holding on to an anger that is taking up too much of your energy?  You need to look at what you are holding on to.  Is it worth it?”

I already know I have the ability to change the situation for future.  My child is actually handling it with grace, honor, and a maturity his mother ought to imitate. 

So OK God, I am listening.  I will try very hard today to let go.  Why, oh, why is it so hard?

A Year of Change

This has been an incredible year.  Good and bad. 

A year ago I never dreamed I would be a mama to a toddler by summer.  Yet God just dropped him on our doorstep.  It an amazing series of events we sailed through all of the adoption work and he is now ours.  Talk about whimsy!  Whimsy with him is vacuuming the couch with his toy vacuum.  Today he stole the vacuum from the church nursery and was vacuuming the sanctuary before service.  He makes me laugh.  He makes me tired.

My other two are now in junior high.  How did that happen????  Then the oldest springs a girlfriend on me.  I’m not ready for this!  My three sons wear me out, keep me busy, but bring me intense joy.