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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summertime Blues

This week has given me a reason to slow down and try to focus on what is really important.

There is something going on with my 4 year old son, and for the first time, we will be taking off our ostrich hats and facing it head on this week.  Thursday, he has an appointment with the doctor and the plan is to discuss his delays and issues.  I am terrified.  And a little bit, mourning my ignorant bliss.

Before I get into what is going on, I need to explain that I don't give one bit of an aerial poop what "letters" or names are assigned to his ailment.  (OCD, ADHD, PDD-NOS, Sensory Integration Disorder and Aspergers' Syndrome are some of the things that have been tossed at me from well-meaning family members.)  Jack is, and always will be, Jack, quirks and all.  Some of these quirks are really quite amusing and endearing, but the fact that they seem to be escalating is what is worrisome. Intervention now only betters is chances of growing up normally and getting his learning curve on target.  Also, despite all the armchair diagnoses, the kid is engaging, funny, interactive and all around happy.  I just happen to think (finally) that he would benefit from a little structured therapeutic learning in some areas.  All of those things are the reason why we waited so long to do anything about it.  We really were waiting for him to grow out of it all.

Jack took his sweet time getting around to talking, and even now when he gets very excited sounds as if he is trying to speak with socks in his mouth.  He will sometimes makes nonsense noises, and then laugh and giggle into a heap on the floor with amusement at himself.  He is very excitable and has a very hard time slowing down to an appropriate "speed" in certain situations.  I know he is 4, and a boy, and they all play into this too - but my "mom's inner voice" is telling me that there is more to it.

He has developed some pretty bizarre rituals, like stopping at every doorway to touch the threshold with the very tips of his toes, then he steps over, then lines his heels up to the threshold, and then finally keeps going.  That is just one example.  He also provides his own soundtrack.  By that, I mean that ordinary everyday tasks have a corresponding sound to him (creaky opening doors, thud of marching shoes, etc)-and he makes all the sounds with his voice as he does each task.  He also seems to be affected by background noise to the point that he will not be able to filter out actual dialogue.  If the TV is on, in any room of the house, I might say "go get the blue comb on the table" and he stops listening at "go" and heads upstairs.

As a four year old he should be on the verge of wrapping up this potty/diaper standoff, but we really do have a ways to go.  He just WILL NOT stop playing to go if he needs to.  As long as I ask (remind) him to go, we are fine but if I don't, forget it.  And don't even get me started on "Number two..."; for anyone who reads who isn't a parent - well I'll spare you.

When I was pregnant with Jack, and we found out it would be a boy, a friend said to me, "There is just something about baby boys and their mommies..."and she was right.  Don't get me wrong, my daughter is my light and my joy, and she is the special soul who made me a mommy.  I cherish all of our secret girlie moments.  But my boy & I have something entirely different and ethereal.  It doesn't have a label and can't be described, but it is something like I have never experienced with another human being, and I can only chalk it up to the "mom & boy" theory of which my friend spoke, nearly 5 years ago.

So forgive me if I mourn a little bit.  If I am a little extra sad.  Even if it ends up being a long journey, we will be the same people and the same family we are - but I just want my baby boy to be OK.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stupor Duper

I have been S-U-C-K-I-N-G at the blog thing, huh?  You know me. Ms. Consistency. (With a capital "C", thankyouverymuch!)

July.  Hot.  Parties+fun stuff+ too hot to exercise = feeling like crap.  I feel like I have been wandering around in a half-sleep for a few weeks now, which is seriously becoming a bummer.  I want to take a nap get out there!  Be lazy active! Chase my kids out of my bedroom in the morning and my dog around the yard!  I have been trying to haul it out the door in the mornings to take the dog for a nice long walk, but when the temperature is like the surface of the sun at 7:00 am, I find myself staying indoors and doing the Wii fit.  Which in my humble estimation is OK, but not nearly as challenging or as good for the soul as fresh air and sunshine.  Or I do nothing at all.  Yay me. Sigh.  Which brings me to another digression - who were the craptastic folks that decided that smearing hydro-Ican'tpronounceyouchemicals or Whoopsthismightcausecancertoo Lotion was better than a little sunshine?  I am not talking about dipping yourself in baby oil, laying down on a field of aluminum and sizzling for 8 hours...just a walk, or a little kiss of sun on the tip of the nose.  I'll save that rant for another day. is also my favorite food time of the year. New Jersey field grown tomatoes, peaches, blueberries and sweet corn are something seriously special.  If you don't live in these parts, if you ever get to the east coast in the summer, make a special day to come to New Jersey and eat corn and tomatoes.  They are THAT good.  Anyway, it is also the time of year where I go all "urban homestead" and make jams and jellies, pickle and can things, and generally get very much like my grandmother.  You know, because you should crank the heat up in the kitchen as much as you can during the summer months.  While I spend the day on my feet doing this, I am not being active, and as you may have gleaned, the heat really saps me of my motivation.  It hasn't helped that since June 1, New Jersey has been 90+ degrees ALOT.  (Girl who loves to eat+not motivated to exercise = static waistline number/annoyed with myself)
I am struggling to strike a balance these days: there is all this lovely, inexpensive fresh summer produce to prepare for myself and my family in our effort to eat wholesome, healthful, non-fake food - but that takes time, planning and effort. There is my desire to preserve all the vegetable and fruit loveliness for when there is much less of it available.  There is my struggle to get a decent amount of exercise, while simultaneously having a rugrat of one size or another tethered to my leg saying "mommy" over and over.  There is the necessity to keep up with my job outside the home; I am fortunate that I works for a great company and awesome people, who understand the mom thing and allow me work flexible hours-but that can mean it occasionally spills over into my "at home" hours.  Factor in basic hygiene, sleep, laundry, household care for me and the family, and I have got nothing left at the end of the week.

I know I am not the first, nor will I be the last mom / wife to struggle with balance.  Under the circumstances, I think I do an OK job - I just wish I could keep the motivation to find that 1/2 hour of 'me' time each day.   I often find myself sacrificing it for my kids/husband/dog/job/mom/sister/neighbor.  One of' these days I am going to stand up and say, "There are 47 other half-hours in the day - you can't have THIS one.  It's MINE!"

Help me find ways to strike a balance and keep it!

Maybe then I can get a post up here every now and then!