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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Clean Slate...Baby Steps

Well, now that I have refocused this blog on the steps I am taking towards Transformation, I have done a lot of decision making about how to be more successful in creating lasting transformation in my life--true transformation that breaks out of ALL of the reasons that my life has gotten into the state it is.

So, rather than try to make a whole bunch of changes at one and trying to force life to make a quantum jump (which has been my most common approach to try since I began this blog), I am going to build slowly and carefully, and focus on approximately 3 habit changes at a time.  My life did not transform into the challenging beast it is today overnight, it was a long step by step process, unconscious though it may have been.  So it is going to take a conscious step by step process to enact the transformation that I wish to see in the positive direction.

So the three goals I am going to focus on first are:

1) No eating after 9:30pm--just herbal tea, or water.
2) Exercise--focused exercise--at least 45 minutes a day, EVERY day
3) In bed by midnight, strive for a minimum of 6 hours of sleep each day.

Once those three habits have become part of my life in a way that they no longer require a lot of work or focus to maintain (be a it a week, a month, or or 3 months), then I will figure out the next level of new habits that will move me closer to the transformation I wish to see in my life--all parts--physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

This week there is a very cool FREE series this week on the Healing with The Masters site about Informational Fitness, which I will be listening to.  It should be really great.  Below is the information and link to register to gain access to this great series.  You do not have to listen live, each program is available for play for 48 hours after each nightly live program.  So you can squeak it into your schedule as you need it:

Our newest FREE life changing program: TRANSFORMATIONAL FITNESS - Body ~ Shape ~ Space is STARTING SOON. Join us next week, for a unique, informative, and life changing FREE 6-Day Workshop: July 30 - August 4.

Isn't it time that you just plain felt better? Here is how...

This is your chance to experience a truly pain-free body... Imagine a body that is able to move with ease.

And for those that are physically fit continually experience injury-free fitness, and even take performance to a whole new level.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another post, changes coming...

I have been doing some revamping/reorganizing/rethinking--it has be a re- kind of week!!

This blog has gotten a bit out of hand with the variety of topics that I post on it, as I originally intended it for chronicling my journey towards better health and lower weight, and later changed that to the idea of focusing on my Life in Transformation.  Then I have added in a multitude of other day to day stuff, especially with the kids and school, as well as a number of reflective and somewhat Stream of Consciousness, less focused thoughts on various subjects or ideas.

So, I have decide to return to a couple of older blogs that I have not touched in years for the topics that are not directly related to the Life in Transformation process--of course everything is interconnected and contributes to the ever transforming nature of our lives--but things that focus more on the kids and my journey with them and their special needs, medical and school issues, and other child/adoption/special needs related material will now be posted on my old blog "Blessings Beyond Measure" which I started a few years ago, and dropped when life took its downward turn.  So I suppose it is apropos that I revitalize it now, as life is on a slow, but steady, upward climb. Currently it still only has old posts, as I have been spending time clearing any some info that had been on there when it was a  private blog, now that it will be a public blog, but within the next 24-48 hours, I begin posting all of my child/parenting related posts there.

As for the Mental Meandering type posts, I will be renewing an old blog under a slightly new name (because try as I might I have been unable to recall or get the log in information for the old blog).  The old blog was "Alabaster Camel's Meanderings" and the new one will be called "Alabaster's Mental Meanderings", the latter is where I will be posting my longer, thinking out loud types of posts about whatever idea, topic, or problem suits my fancy on a given day.

Hopefully by channeling this blog into three more distinct blogs, it will serve my readers better, and bring more clarity and succinctness to the three main topics that I have jumbled together so chaotically over the past few months:

Personal Transformation;
Family Related;
Stream of Consciousness 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Short post...

Quick update on summer school issues..

Josiah has been un-enrolled from his school and the ball is rolling to enroll him in the special needs school (a UCP-United Cerebral Palsy--School) where he had done both years of preschool and continues to do his Aquatic PT.  I am feeling much more at peace with this change, as many things concerned me about the other school during out 2 week trial there--including padded isolation rooms, increasing nightmares and sleep disturbance, and a fear of going to school, as well as their misunderstanding of the etiology of his issues.    but I will write about that in a different post.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer school & Pulmonary

So a quick update, mainly because I am short on time (I have to pick the kids up early from school for a second day in a row for a doctor's appointment).

So, summer school for the boys is off to a start.  Gonzalo is having an amazing summer so far.  He is in the same summer program with the same teacher that he had last year, and so far is doing beautifully.  I am so proud of him!!  HE has also been really good at home with me--amazingly helpful and obedient for the most part.

Josiah on the other hand, is slowly adjusting to the new, more supportive, structured and much more strict school.  I think in the end it will really help him learn to contain himself, and will help him stay calm.  As I look at his behavior, I am appalled, I wish I had pulled him out of the school up here when I was thinking about it, and either focused on home-school or getting him into a more appropriate program, as I think some of his behaviors and reactions are done out of habit--it was expected and not handled correctly for so long, that he has to unlearn all that he earned before he can really learn what is expected of him. I am hoping that this school program will work out well, as it really focuses on changing behavior and helping a child learn how to be more successful, both socially and academically.  He did have a fairly good day on Tuesday, so i am hoping that as the 6 weeks progress, it will be good.  He will stay in the same program for next school year as well, so these 6 weeks will really be preparing him for his normal school year.

Yesterday, Josiah had a pulmonary appointment.  He did great--he was well behaved at the doctors office (even though he had had a rough day at school prior to going to the doctor--but he slept on the way there for an hour, so that may have helped).  He did very well with his breathing test--got the rocket to the moon for the first time every!!  So his lungs are getting stronger!!  He will be going off his inhaled steroid for the summer (back on in the last week of August), to see how he handles it, as he has not needed additional steroids like prednisone in over a year!!).  She also upped his Zyrtec by another 1/2 teaspoon and changed it from as needed to daily--as he has done beautifully on the Zyrtec, but she is still seeing many signs of generalized allergy reaction.  So, overall a very successful and uplifting appointment.

After the appointment we ran around doing errands, picking up food and stuff for a picnic (cold cuts, chips, etc...), and trying to find a gas station (I hate driving round and round in cities that I am not really familiar with looking for gas stations while my car gas light has been on for too long, and my transmission began overheating again--blahhh--revved my stress up).  After getting gas and finding the playground (we looked for one with a splash pad, but alas I had not written down the address when I looked it up--so we ended up just going to the playground.  It was a hot but the kids had fun.  A couple of the slide s were too hot to even touch, so too hot to slide down, but the kids had fun and we all got sweaty, hot and tired.  Then we went to a different part of this large park (drove around to get there and it took me forever, due to unfamiliarity with the roads there--sheesh!!).  We were meeting a friend of mine for a quick hello and picnic.  It was hot so we set up under a tree, but I forgot the blanket so we just sat down int he grass in the shade.  The kids were tired.  But they munched their picnic, and  ran around.  I chatted a bit with my friend, though chatting is difficult with the kids as they require a lot of attention and intervention--especially as when Josiah is tired he can get over the top very quickly.  We did toss a ball around a bit, and then got going.  Josiah was in a mood and had some minor melt downs and bad language, and tried to scratch and bite me--I tried to diffuse it with humor, tickles, snuggles, whispers, and ignoring--when kept things at bay but not real comfortable.  So mos of my energy was just taken with keeping Josiah from having an all out tantrum.

As we were leaving I was encouraging Josiah to walk to the car, and he was saying he did not want to--during this exchange a complete stranger came up and started talking to Josiah, touching him and such and asking if he was okay.  As he did not take the hint to leave, I picked up Josiah and put him on my shoulders to carry him out (which I had been about to do when the man approached).  I asked Gonz to grab the walker, and the man asked G his name, when G said it, the man told him to speak up, so Gonz did and the man then accused him of being belligerent).  I just put myself between him and my kids and shooed my kids towards the car and away from creepy guy.  What is is about people that makes them think it is okay to just approach a disabled child and then to be rude and weird to both the kids and the parent.  Josiah tends to draw a lot of attention, and sometimes it is okay, and other times--it is just extremely uncomfortable and creepy.  Sometimes I am not sure how to handle that, as usually peopel don't get creepy.  Usually I just let them say hi and we continue on.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Family Visit & Fun

So, my sister and her husband and two boys have been up visiting this week.  We only see them about twice a year as they live quite a few states away, so it is wonderful when we get a chance to spend time with them. Yesterday we went to the Adirondack Museum, and had a wonderful time.  My kids enjoyed playing with their cousins.  We did take Josiah's wheelchair, as it was  a LOT of walking.  I will post a couple of pictures of the kids (I don't like to post other people without asking first).

Then we had a picnic at my mother's house and had a great time with the whole family (except my brother who could not make it, but all three sisters and their spouses and kids plus a few other great people).  So it was good food, good games, good conversation, and good fun.

Christine and Patrick packed up their camp this morning and headed out.  It was great to see them and have a great visit with family.  I hope you all are having fun with family and friends this week/weekend!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!!

I hope that everyone (well All Americans--and any that want to celebrate along with the US) are having a wonderful and safe celebration of Independence Day!

I hope that you have fun, stay safe, do NOT play with fireworks without great care, and enjoy your family and your freedom!

And let everyone around you enjoy their freedom as well!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

"only" a mom

Sorry I have not posted in over a week!  Life has been busy...isn't it always.

I have much to do updates on..

First...on the weight loss front, I have been moderately successful at replacing bad habits with good habits...definitely a work in progress, but progress, even small, is a very good thing.

secondly...decision...Josiah starts his new school Monday.  I will drive him the first day so that I can meet with the teacher and principle, help them get to know him and go over adaptive equipment needs, and also help him feel more comfortable (which I am hoping will help me be more comfortable with this new change).. then Tuesday, the bus will begin transporting both Josiah and Gonzo to their summer school programs, which makes me nervous due to behaviors and potential problems, but it is what I have determined to be the best course of action based on all of the extenuating circumstances.  Gonzo will be returning to the same summer school program he attended last year, with the same teacher.  He did well last year so I am confident that with the general improvements he has made this year, that he will do well again this year with that same teacher.  So I will have couple of months for Josiah to get used to his new school personnel and class before the regular school year starts in  September.  Hopefully he will be comfortable there by then and they will have learned how to work with him to help support him more as he gets into the regular school year.  Then Gonzo will start a brand new (not just new to him, but brand spanking new) program at a nearby school.  I am very nervous as he did SO well in the program he was in fro the last 2 years.  but alas state budget cuts resulted in that classroom being cut out.  So it was no longer an option, which is frustrating as over 60%  of the reason I stayed in my little rural town is because I wanted to ensure that he could stay in that classroom until 5th or 6th grade.  And low and behold, as soon as I buy a place, they turn around and eliminate that classroom.  NOT happy!  But, we roll with it and hope for the best.

thirdly, the house is slowly coming along.  Each week we get a few more pieces done.  The kids and I are settling in, and it is slowly starting to feel like home.  It will be a while yet before we are "at home" in this new house.  I think as we slowly get more and more done--so many little projects limping along--and get more and more unpacked and set up, it will feel more like home.

fourthly,  as I have been making decisions regarding school transportation, i have not moved forward this week with the daycare paper work.  That will be up and moving forward again this week.

Okay, now a quick paragraph about this concept of "only" a mom.  I have read many things written about this idea that it is a lazy or ineffective person who leaves their "real" job to be a stay at home mom.  And the retaliation of how people who work outside the home and take time for themselves are not "real moms".  So there is this weird written war going on between Moms who work and want to feel better about themselves and their choices to be a working mom by putting down those who make the choice to be a stay at home parent, and the moms who want to defend their position as a full contributing member of society by being a stay at home parent.  I have to say, having been both a full time working parent with a good career, and being a stay at home, going back to work after a couple of years, then choosing to find a way to be a stay at home parent and have reasonable employment (and be a single parent, which was new as of two years ago), ITS ALL GOOD...and IT ALL SUCKS.

It depends on the day and the situation.  I found being a working mother to be EASIER in many ways than being a stay at home parent.  A big part of that is that when I was working, my mind was allowed to work in a variety of different  ways, I had colleagues, adult conversation, and a whole life and identity that was separate from my identity as a parent with all of the stresses that come with that.  For me, having a balance between the two was less stressful in many ways because it was two different kinds of stress, which did not necessarily have to interact.  That mainly was easiest when we had only one child and two parents, and his special needs were not overly impacting his life--aside from attending a special needs preschool program which contained all of his therapies.  So, even with one child with special needs, we were able to be a two working parent family, with minimal needs for a sitter due to somewhat flexible schedules.

Once we adopted Josiah, his needs were much more severe, much more life threatening as an infant, and much more demanding moment to moment, hour to hour.  We did juggle two working parents, somewhat flexible schedules, and two different sitters--but with his medical needs, hospitalizations, the frequent doctor and specialist visits, and all of the things that parenting THIS child with special needs entailed, it required a stay at home parent--minimally to manage his medical needs and schedule, and his in home therapy needs and schedule.  He also needed a LOT more stability and consistency due to a wide variety of issues (he still does, it is just that those needs have shifted in many ways).  Being a stay at home mother was incredible.  As much as I missed my job, there was so much work and reward in doing everything I could to help this child reach his fullest potential.  It was so rewarding to be there for every therapy, for every feeding, for every doctor appointment (and there were SO MANY of those early on).  It also gave me the chance to be there for my older son, and enjoy getting him off the bus after preschool, and being able to really help guide and shape them.

 I have worked many different jobs--from high level cutting edge scientific research, to slinging coffee at a coffee shop, from being a preschool teacher to doing comparative studies of cancer cells via electron microscopy, from doing laboratory sample preps for asbestos testing to being a resort house keeper--and I have to say HANDS DOWN being a stay at home parent is the HARDEST and most difficult job I have ever had.  And it is a job, if done right, it is a true career choice.  I am not talking about the handful of people who sit around doing face book all day (the modern day equivalent to the soap-opera addict), and let the TV babysit the kids.  That is not a stay at home parent, that is a somewhat depressed mom who really needs to find a way to connect outside the home.  MOST stay at home parents (moms and dads) are much more involved in guiding their child's development, helping them reach very important milestones, feeding their intellectual, spiritual, and social developments.  It is a job that has no break time, no end of the day bell, and is truly a thankless job when you seek approval from the wider community that devalues children and child rearing, which is reflected in how much people are willing to pay for child care, how disrespectful most people are to child care professionals, and how much disdain many working people express towards those who work with small children.  Those same people then complain about how screwed up kids are these days, and how little respect kids have--but it is the world that is created when so many in society view the care and guidance of children--by stay at home parents or other child caregivers--as a useless or unworthy profession.  Many of those people would no last more than a couple of months in a stay at home parent position, and would probably fall into that afore mentioned TV babysitter, computer addict depressed adult who really needs to do something different.

I do not think that a parent who needs to work outside the home is any less of a parent just because they prefer to have an outside job.  And I do not believe that a parent who chooses to make a career out of parenting is contributing any less to society than the doctors, lawyers, teachers, sanitation engineers, CEO's, accountants, or politicians are.  We all are built differently.  Our family situations differ significantly, and what is best for one family or for a given family in a given situation, is not what is best for another, or at another time within the same family.

There is no such thing as "just" a mom, there is no such thing as "just" a professional--we are all people regardless of the route our lives have taken and the choices that we have made.  Each of us is doing what we think is best for ourselves, our families, and the people we care about.  I wish that there would be less division, defensiveness, and argument over who contributes more to the world, or even more to their own family or their community--each of us, if we are following what we believe to be the best choice in our particular circumstances, are doing exactly what we should be.  AND THAT contributes to the health of our communities as a whole.  So, I am a scientist (regardless of whether I am actively employed in the field or not, I still have the mind and heart of a scientist), I am a parent (whether I stay home with my children all the time or not, I still have the responsible and heart of a parent), I am a self-employed freelance writer AND child care provider (so yes, I do make my own way), and I am me, and individual with tastes, preference, friends, desires, hopes, and dreams.  And each day I make decisions that impact not only myself, but also my children, my extended family, my community, and yes the world as a whole.  I am "ONLY" a Human Being--and there is nothing small about that.