Friday, March 30, 2012

Boo boo goes to school!

All three of my children have struggled with speech delays. If you know me you're probably thinking how can that be?? I clearly have no issues talking. I blame the Simpson genes! We all know Jeff is a man of few words. I have always said he chooses his words carefully. An art I continue to try and emulate. Anywhoo..Matthew began the slow to talk trend. In fact, I would say he had the most severe delay. He began therapy at 18 months. We had a wonderful therapist named Ms. Karla. She was the angel of speech therapists. Matthew was so frustrated with being unable to communicate that he would run from her, throw things at her, hit her. Wowza! He was a little pain! She hung in there and persevered and our little guy went from neery a word to talking in FULL BLOWN sentences. Seriously, one day he literally woke up and was like, "Mother, good morn, I would like toast and a cup of milk. Thank you so much. " Well, maybe not quite like that, but close. He never had to go to speech again after age 3. Then Caroline came along and struggled greatly with her speech. Unfortunately I had problems getting her qualified until she was three. I wish I had fought harder for early intervention because she is still in speech and struggles with stuttering.
So along comes Ellie and I will admit, I thought to myself, this is our talking kid! She is the third! By the time she is 18 months she will be talking in full sentences. Nope. Although she did say words. But, being I was a seasoned speech mom by now, I had her tested when she didn't say more than ten words at age one. She didn't qualify. Her speech seemed to cease in progressing from age one to two so I had her tested again. I had to admit this, but on the day of testing, I hoped she would under perform. I know it is mostly a numbers game when it comes to qualifying so the less she said, the better. I also knew that one of Ellie's problems with speech is that sometimes she has the words and other times, she can't make the sounds. Well, she was my shining pupil and completely underperformed and qualified. For a few months we had an intern because our beloved Ms. Karla was out on medical leave. When Karla returned this week, she was quite alarmed with the lack of progress Ellie has made. She recommended that we enroll Ellie in the special education preschool program next Fall. I will admit when I heard this voice mail, while at my internship yesterday, I cried. I am not sure why I cried? Maybe it was because I didn't realize her delay was the significant? Maybe it was because I can't imagine my last baby going to school FOUR days a week on a BUS!? Maybe it was because I don't want her to have to ride a bus when she is three but I have class and internship to contend with and I feel mommy guilt? Maybe it was PMS? Who knows!? But, once I calmed down, talked to Ms. Karla,whose opinion I trust implicitly and Jeff, I realized all the tears were for nothing. This is a good thing. Our girl will get the extra assistance she needs from specially trained teachers to learn to communicate better. She will be with other children who have the same types of difficulties. She will make new friends in a diverse environment and it is FREE. My tears soon dried and were replaced with emotions of joy and thankfulness that we have such wonderful resources available to us.
So in a few short, six months when Ellie is just three years old, she will head on a BUS to school! Time certainly does fly!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday Blues

I turned 37 yesterday and I think I may have just experienced " I am getting older" birthday blues. Usually, I love everything about a birthday. Celebrating, getting gifts, having lots of people celebrate that YOU were born, going out to dinner, eating cake! This year Jeff actually got on the clue bus that I have been loudly honking and got me some great gifts, a specialty cake and took me out for dinner! And yet I was really down and grouchy yesterday. No matter how good the day went, I felt this sense of blah. It was really annoying. I finally went to Jeff, late in the day, and tearfully admitted my feelings. He offered a sympathetic ear, gave me a hug and said, " I think you're just depressed that your old!" Leave it to Jeff to put it all into blunt perspective. Maybe that is what it was? Today I woke up feeling so relieved that it wasn't my birthday. That it is over. That I am gulp..37. Now I know that 37 certainly isn't ancient. I know that I have nothing but great blessings to be thankful for in this life. I have had a wonderful 37 years and look ahead to the next 37 with great anticipation.
I don't really know what to make of the emotions that came with turning 37. Maybe when I turn 38 I will figure it out!

Monday, March 19, 2012

When I only had one kid..

My supervisor at my internship has a little girl that is the same age as Ellie. She told me on Friday that she is pregnant with another little person due in September. Now don't get me wrong, I love my internship supervisor. In fact, if you just read my last post you read the glowing praises I had to say about her. But, and I say this with the utmost respect, she only has one kid. Her little one if well behaved, easy going and life for her as a mother so far as been pretty darn perfect. I remember when I was her. You think you're so savvy, you've got this mothering down. Nothing phased me in the first year of Matthew's life. I remember many a nights, gently rocking him, singing to him, nursing without issue, reading to him, praying over him. I was consistent with everything. I was never overwhelmed. As I type this I laugh because little did I know how much my life would soon be rocked...TO THE CORE! When Matthew was a mere nine months old I became pregnant with Caroline, unexpectedly. I feel like I literally got pregnant with Caroline and it triggered something inside of my sweet little boy. He became, well, should I put this?? Well,he became a pain in the arse! Into everything. Speech delayed, walking delayed, busy, busy, busy!!! Then when Matthew was 18 months old Caroline arrived on the scene. We love our sweet girl but she has been a pistol since she popped her head out of the cesarean incision! Colicky, finicky, horrid nurser. (Of course she had redeeming qualities, which I am omitting for dramatic effect!:)
My perfect parenting, it went to hell in a hand basket. Caroline's bed time routine consisted of shoving a bottle into her mouth and holding her at just the right angle so she didn't puke it all back up. Caroline's medical dramas also began pretty soon after her arrival. All the planning and good intentions in the world were trumped over and over by the demands of being a mom to two children under the age of two. I learned some of the most challenging and hardest lessons during that season in my life. All my life, all I had ever wanted was to be a mother. When I was a mom to one child, it was if a dream came true. Then a mere two years later and I was overwhelmed and often sad. We found our way, Matthew, Caroline and I. Through great friends, supportive family, an incredible husband, a faith in a God that I could always lean on, we made it. Did I make mistakes? Hell yes! Do I continue to? Certainly! Do I find that life has more balance now a days? YES! Do I ever miss those days of the past? Not quite yet. The kids, being ages 7,5.5 and 2.5 are still little and they can still frazzle me. But, slowly but surely,this momma has gotten her groove back. I have realized why I wanted to be a mother again. I have found ways to discipline that work. I have begun to understand that for every bad thing you do, the few good, consistent things really round it all out. At the end of the day, I have three beautiful, sweet, healthy and for the most part, well behaved children. They are resilient thank goodness and for every grouchy mommy day I have given them, the ones where we lay around in our pajamas coloring and watching movies seem to over ride the not so good days. As my mom always said as I was growing up, " I do the best I can!" In the end, that's all anyone can really do.
And so when I am tempted to give Sheryl lots of advice about what to expect and what to do and what not to do, I tell myself to shush. She'll find her own path, I am sure of it. And if she should find herself the mother of a crazy, colicky, asthmatic, speech delayed, sensory craving child..well then, I am at the ready:) In closing, in my nearly seven years of parenting I only have one piece of advice to any prospective parent and it is.." Never say never and never say always!"

Friday, March 16, 2012


What is waah, you may be asking yourself?? That is the sound of me crying when I think about my internship ending at the Borgess Neuro Rehab. I have been there seven months now. I have loved! I have been blessed beyond measure to know the nurses, the doctors, the occupational and physical therapists and their staff but most of all from Sheryl, the MSW who supervises me and from the patients. Sheryl is the greatest example of what I strive to be as a social worker. She is leads by example, has integrity,compassion, boundaries, self-awareness and has taught me so much on how to be effective. I joke with her all the time about her detail oriented she is and how much I LACKED that skill before working with her. She has taught me so much about how to be more detailed oriented and the importance of that and how reflects on you as a professional.
In many ways, Sheryl and I are very different. Maybe that's why our relationship has worked so well. We're different but we have a mutual respect for our differences and how those differences really compliment each other and makes us more effective. I am certain that spending eight months with Sheryl will have a profound and lasting impression on me for years to come.
The patients, those who have had strokes, suffered traumatic brain injuries, been hospitalized for several months and are now are weak and in need of intensive rehab, have taught me so much too. That you never really can take this life, your health, today, tomorrow, your family, your job, for granted. Nothing is a guarantee in life. Nearly all of the patients I have been privileged to work with are inspiring and courageous. It has been a pleasure to be of assistance to them in a valley of their lives. It has caused me to have some tough discussions with Jeff about what our wishes and desires are for one another and our family if God forbid a medical crisis of this nature should occur. Because one thing I have learned is that most people don't think it will happen to them and aren't prepared. It has made me appreciate that my parents and Jeff's still have their health and that we haven't been faced with these difficult decisions and to have those talks with them to.
Most of all, my internship at Borgess has given me inspiration again. To be a better social worker. To continue to give 100% every time I am there and do all I can to make life better. Even if all I can do is secure the medical equipment they will need to return home once they leave the hospital.
I have taken an internship next year at the Child Trauma Assessment Center. It will be a much different experience than the hospital setting. Though I am certain that many of the lessons I have learned through the rehab team will transfer. I look forward with anticipation and back with much gratefulness.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Listen to God or crazy people will endlessly email you!

Hey readers, all five of you:)! I am sorry for the drama that ensued last week on Facebook. I had some major drama going on. I will admit that some of it was my own fault. I was introduced to some one's blog who I barely know. Sometimes her blog has fun things, good recipes, cool craft ideas. But mostly her blog annoys me. So why read a blog that annoys you? Exactly! I wasn't for many months. Especially after I wrote a comment about her pics being stolen and posted on pinterest. I simply said that when you try and make your blog more public there are casualties if you don't safeguard things like photos. She deleted it and accused me of being negative and told me not to read her blog anymore. As if she has control over things like that. I did feel that God was telling me to stay away. I think He knew that there would be craziness if I ever commented in any way again. Well, I had a glass of wine, I went, I read and the hypocrisy , oh the hypocrisy!It may have been the wine, it may have been me not being able to just mind my own business. Whatever the reason, I commented. I called her out on what I felt was hypocritical. Let's just say it did NOT go over well..AT ALL. She immediately deleted the comment, came here and made a nasty comment, which I moderated b/c all of my comments are moderated. I then went to her via FB and wrote her a message saying that I didn't appreciate her comments and that I would stay away from now on because of how vain and self-absorbed she was. Then her husband wrote me a couple of hours later and his email was downright crazy talk. Especially when I initially only stated that her blog etiquette post was hypocritical. As far as saying she was vain and self absorbed, not nice, but you would think I threatened her life with the way he was talking. In fact, it was so crazy, that even Jeff was annoyed which is something you never see.
BUT, and there always is a BUT, I totally reaped what I sowed. God warned me, I didn't listen and this is what happened. I am annoyed at her but I am more annoyed at myself. God was just shaking his head at it all but I could tell he didn't feel bad for me at all.
So, I made my blog private. But it is such a pain to put everything in place for those who want to read it and are harmless. I have blocked all of the people associated with the blog. I don't think anyone will read her or comment further. At least I hope so. If I continue to have issues then I will have to close her down again!
Lesson learned. Listen to God. For you never know if He's protecting you from a person or something more!
Here's praying for less drama!