Posted in Random

This is a Test!

So here I am at baseball practice, looking through my iPhone aps and I see the WordPress ap I downloaded when I first made this blog. I barely know how to use the ap or what my post will ultimately look like if I use it to publish a post. So here I am, testing it out.

If it works, this could be an ideal time to squeeze in a blog post, in the midst of my crazy world. *fingers crossed*

20110331-060301.jpg

Posted in parenting, personal, Uncategorized

Chasemaster

Pull up to any elementary school playground at recess and you will undoubtedly find kids playing tag, or “chasemaster.”  It’s a site to behold – children running freely with joy and excitement in their eyes, wanting only to tag or evade tagging by whoever is “it.”  Seems like a lot of us grow out of tag, but not the art of chasing.

I have been a chasemaster of lots of things.  In middle school I chased friendship.  High school I chased belonging and individuality.  In college I chased knowledge, independence, love, passion and my career.  These days I feel like it’s all I do…chase.  I feel like I’m biting at the heels of my life, barely keeping up.  And I’m tired, and ultimately I’m happy.  I’m so happy that I have a life so full that I need to keep chasing the TIME to fit more into it.  That’s really what it is that I’m chasing, isn’t it?  Time.

And sometimes I win my game of chasemaster.  This week, I won a few times.  I caught enough time to enjoy:

The way an 8th grade male student purposely placed these turtles.  If you are in middle school, this is pornographic and worthy of spontaneous and uncontrolled laughter by any other middle school student who sees it.

I caught an 8th grade middle school boy finish his lunch and then walk over to socialize with two of our female special needs students.  I watched how he made them laugh hysterically, completely unphased by the watchful, and likely judging eyes of his peers.  I watched him negotiate with the students’ skills trainer so that HE could push the wheelchair bound student out of the cafeteria and to her next class.  I watched and smiled, because this same boy has been in the office struggling with taking responsibility for a poor choice he made the week earlier.

I chased an unorthodox solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem at work.  It started with a question, loaded with the promise to solve the problem but potentially blow up in my face.  Miraculously my question was well received and answered positively.  I was even THANKED.  And just for the record, really good news travels just as fast as bad news sometimes.

And best of all, I caught enough time to enjoy hugs, snuggles, laughs, and quality time with all three of my children AND my sweet husband.

My house is a mess, I’m tired, we had frozen pizza for dinner, and I’m so wanting to cheat and have a soda (which I gave up for Lent along with juice and buying lunch on work days) right now.  But it’s all good…and I’m on the run.

TAG!  You’re it!

Posted in parenting, personal

Denial Gets A Wake Up Call

I know a lot about denial.  I studied it in my undergrad, I learned more as I pursued my Masters, and I experience it all the time in my life as a middle school counselor.  But, none of this training prepares you or protects you from the denial you keep in your own life.  Yes, I succumb to denial.  I’d like to tell you that I don’t, but then I’d be even MORE in denial.  But enough about that.

I know I haven’t written a lot about our struggles with my middle child, Robi, epilepsy and medication.  I mentioned it when I wrote my first annual letter to her back in September.  In a nut shell, Robi had two non-fever related seizures back in May and June of 2009.  This led to a diagnosis of epilepsy and to the start of anti-seizure meds.  And where everything changed.

I could write a million posts about how much I hate giving my daughter meds.  She takes Keppra – it’s not approved for kids under five, yet we’re told it’s given to kids under five all the time.  The side effect list is lengthy and includes dizziness, tiredness,  and coordination issues.  Although they aren’t life-threatening (for which I’m incredibly thankful), I hate knowing that each day when I give her those meds I am changing her – making my perfect little girl turn into the weeble-wobbled accident prone girl who immediately says, “I’m okay,” after nearly every fall.  I hate that now we are pursuing SPED testing because she has fine motor skill issues that may impact her next year in kindergarten.  I hate that me, the school counselor, will be sitting on THAT side of the table at an SST meeting, an eligibility meeting and annual IEPs.  I hate the feeling that I need to tell everyone I meet when they look at her with their judging eyes that this isn’t all that she is – that there’s a perfectly perfect girl there behind the meds and labels.  There is so much I hate about this, there is so much I want.

On Valentine’s Day Robi had an EEG that I knew would be abnormal.  I hoped for something else, but I knew.  Our doctor called and said there was “a lot of abnormal activity” on the EEG and he wants to increase her meds since it hasn’t been changed since she started two years ago.  We hesitated, asked for an appointment.  The appointment is on Friday.  We wanted to have a chance to see if the meds were really needed – the side effects are hard to accept when you don’t really know if that medication is really doing anything.  “If she went off the meds and had another seizure, then I’d be fine putting her back on,” my husband said to me.  I agreed – I wanted so badly to see what would happen if we could just see un-medicated Robi again.

Well, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.  Robi had another seizure yesterday in the morning.  We were home.  She just woke up.  It was as hard to watch as the first two.  Ruined the day – she was out of it for about three hours after and threw up for half the day.  I called my husband and told him to call the doctor about increasing her meds.  “I give up, ” I told him.  The meds have obviously been doing something.  The doctor doubled her dose and scheduled another EEG before our appointment on Friday.  At least we’ll get some feedback to see if the dose increase reduces the abnormal activity.

I can’t hide behind my denial, my sadness, my wishes and hopes and memories of “before” the meds anymore.  The wake up call I needed came, and although I see I needed it, I still don’t like it.  I want to protest.  Cross my arms and stomp my feet.  Refuse.  But I need to suck it up, face reality and be thankful for all that I do have.  And yes, Robina may not be what she could be right now, but she is perfect.  She is perfectly perfect just the way that she is, and I will fight whatever fights are needed to make sure that everyone knows that.

So there, take that.

Posted in parenting, personal, Uncategorized

Mammanoia

I have a new Kristin word to be added to my dictionary of made up, but totally cool and usable words: “Mammanoia.”

Mammanoia (n) – \ma-ma-noya\:  A condition of being plagued by exaggerated and sometimes unjustified worries concerning ones’ offspring, loved ones or other caretakees; often characterized by nervous behaviors like hovering, nail-biting, distractibility, and spontaneous grey hair growth.  Typically afflicts mothers and mother-figures, but has been seen in fathers, grandparents, aunties, uncles, siblings and school staff.

I suffer from mammanoia and have been for a long time, well before I became a mother.

These two boys I grew up with taught me a lot about worry and love and care.  Oh, sorry, they’re not boys anymore.  But I still worry.  And they are my “little” brothers in case you couldn’t tell. (You can stop laughing now)

Now my mammanoia has multiplied, exponentially.  I’m mammanoied about a lot.  Too much, I’m sure.  I’m mammanoied about my mothering choices, about school and learning, about the health of me and my family, about money, about life  – just to name a few things.  And now I am mammanoied about this tsunami warning we’re under.

Guess what?  A little over a year ago, I was stuck in a hospital room, separated from 3 of my immediate family members because of a tsunami warning.  This time we’re all together.  I’m praying that’s the only thing different about the tsunami this time around.  I’d like so much to wake up to reports of nothing more than some atypical ocean surges.

Stay safe Hawai’i.  Quick recovery Japan.  I’m working on a cure for mammanoia.

Posted in parenting, personal

My bra is a big deal

Yesterday I wore a black, lightly padded underwire bra, and let me tell you, it’s a big deal.  It’s a big deal because this was the first time in probably a year and a half that I’ve worn a bra that was not of the maternity or nursing variety.  For the last year and nine months my breasts have been preparing for and serving their destined role in motherhood.  Nourishment.  And we were successful.

And so it is time to close the door on my “milking maid” days.  Goodbye milk.  Goodbye nursing bras and nursing pads.  Goodbye lanolin.  Goodbye pump.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.