Monday, May 28, 2012

A little yarn will soothe me.

I have always liked to do things with my hands. I like to create. I always wished I could paint, but I don't have that ability - to transfer an idea to paper with a brush.

What I can do is work with yarn, or fabric. When Noah was first diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder I started a weighted blanket and vest business. I worked with his OT at the time to design a vest that would grow with the child. It was fun, but ultimately what I could charge for it was never enough to cover the labor involved. Then I became pregnant with Kiel and by six or seven months I was so tired I didn't want to sew.

It took almost four years for me to get the urge and the energy together to pick up a needle again. Or, in this case, a crochet hook. This is the second baby blanket I have crocheted this year. I found this Drops design on the website, and adapted it to baby blanket size. My individual squares are closer to 4 in by 4 in. The blanket itself is made up of seven rows of six squares.

I like the zig-zag stitch used to connect the squares. I need to work on the corners a bit so the connection is a little prettier. I like the edge because it is simple. This blanket is for a boy so I didn't want anything frilly.

The circles inside each square remind me of the sun a bit, so my next blanket is going to use this pattern but with a nice warm yellow yarn.

It feels good to be creating again. Now I just need to learn to balance better so I'm still crocheting, but also keeping up on my poorly neglected blog.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012


I should not be saying this. I should not be putting it out there in black and white.

I know this, but I'm doing it anyway.

Something is going on with Noah.

It's hard to describe. It's mostly subtle. But I see it.

His teacher sees it.

It's something good.

I think something clicked!

He's more agreeable. He's happier. He's more tuned in.

He understands his math homework and just needs me to supervise, not hold his hand through each problem as before.

He's reading marginally better. More fluently.

He's turning out his bedroom light with out a reminder. He isn't giving us grief when we ask him to turn the TV off in the basement. 

We've also had a few good conversations that he initiated. He asked what "retard" meant, and we had a great conversation about why it was mean to use that word and where it came from. Then today he asked what "suicide" is.

Yesterday he was sitting on the front lawn and two kids across the street were teasing him. He handled it like a champ and didn't take the bait. That is so huge!

It's only been a week. It's mostly in school and for the couple hours after he comes home.

He's still struggling when Rich and Kiel get home and the dynamic changes. He can still be a total butt head. In fact he proved that today after a celebratory ice cream sundae and landed himself in bed at 7pm.

I don't know how long this will last, but I'm going to enjoy it for as long as it does!


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

That post where I give advice but don't take it, make an admission, bitch a bit, then try to pretend I can handle it all anyway.

I just wrote a rather long comment on another blog. The comment was in response to a fellow blogger's post about making the decision to go back to her job after a medical leave, or to permanently resign. She has a son with special needs, different from Noah, but equally (if not more) demanding of her time and attention. She is seriously struggling with his school and getting him what he needs. She also has her own health concerns, that are pretty scary. And much more.

Life is stressful right now. I think I'm dealing with some PTSD over Rich's medical issues (which are still not resolved, or even answered) and incredibly fearful of what the answers might be. We had a contentious meeting with the school last week that accomplished nothing other than the knowledge that we need to keep fighting, and it is going to get ugly, and expensive (expensive to the point that we will have to take a loan or go into debt over it). Parenting Noah is still fucking hard, and while some of the issues may change, I don't have much hope that it is going to get any easier. Kiel needs more of me than I am currently giving him. Rich needs more of me than I am currently giving him. And work continues to get more stressful as my projects continue to get more involved, and that is unlikely to change. My insomnia is nightly, and I am chronically sleep deprived.

(I don't think I've ever really admitted this on my blog before, but I can generally gauge my level of stress by how many scabs I have on my body. I'm a picker. It's disgusting. Usually I can keep it to areas of my body that aren't visible to others. When I move beyond that it is usually my eyebrows that I start pulling on and picking at, until there are sores (in fact, right now as I read this over I realize I am pulling on my left eyebrow). And then I'll dig at any imperfections on my arms, which are numerous since I have some skin condition I can't remember the name for where my skin doesn't shed evenly and I get little bumps on my arms, chest, and legs. But right now it is worse than it has ever been. I am actually picking at my face, and it is nasty and horrible. I have scabs and scars along my double chin line, on my neck, on my nose, and of course my eyebrows.)

(Fuck, I can't believe I just admitted that.)

Anyway, here is what I wrote as my comment.
Like you, there is so much shit going on in my life right now. I have never been so stressed. Not all the same as you, but perhaps comparable in many ways. Sick husband, fighting the school – to the point that we are going to need a lawyer, and much more.
If I had a choice, I would leave my job. My older son needs me to be able to fight for him full time. My younger son just needs time with me. My husband needs his wife back.
I would miss my job, no doubt. I’m good at what I do, and it gives me something I don’t get at home. I think though, that I could figure out a way to get those needs filled in other ways.
For me it really comes down to money. It’s my job that allows us to get Noah the therapies and interventions insurance doesn’t cover. And more and more in this economy it helps pay the bills in general.
If I stopped working we would have to move, probably to a different area of the country with a better cost of living. My husband just isn’t up for that. I’m not really sure what would get him there. And the thought of all I would have to do to accomplish that is so overwhelming that it never goes beyond the thought that my not working would make life easier for all of us…as long as money wasn’t an issue.
I often wonder though if the stress of trying to do it all isn’t going to kill me.
But back to you…if you can at all swing it financially, then I strongly support not working. And by not working I mean not working the “easy” job, because everything else you do is definitely work, and it is fucking hard.
I'm good at giving advice. I'm not as good at taking it.

All I see in my net are huge holes. I'm not complaining much, OK, I am, I totally am, because it is what it is. I try to take it day by day. Maybe someday circumstances will change and doing what I think is best will be possible.

Until then, one step forward at a time. That's what we do as moms. Right?


But if you have an extra pair, please send gloves. My face thanks you.