December 14, 2010

Anna's IEP Meeting

So here's another big update that everyone has been waiting for :)

I am going to go step by step through this to make sure I don't miss anything.

Special Education:
     Anna will continue to work regularly with the special education teacher as long as she is working on an IEP. Which could be forever based on something else that came up in the meeting.

Speech Therapy:
    Anna will continue to receive speech therapy but since she has been making great progress with her speech she is going to go from getting speech once a week to getting it 3 times a month. Not a huge change, just one session less per month basically.

Occupational Therapy:
     Anna will not be receiving OT directly. The occupational therapist will work with Anna's teacher to see how Anna is doing and special arrangements will be made. Anna seems to have a hard time with writing on the regular handwriting paper that Kindergarten kids use where it has the dotted line in the middle. She tries to write either in between the dotted line and top line or in between the dotted line and bottom line. She doesn't understand that she is supposed to use the whole space and uppercase letters take up the entire space and the lowercase letters are only supposed to take up the bottom half of the space... So, what we are starting to try is when she is writing on the paper, we are going to highlight the lines on the space where she is supposed to write. So if she is writing a line of capital letters (like when they are practicing a particular letter) we highlight the top solid line and the bottom solid line. If she is writing a line of lowercase letters, we highlight the middle line and the bottom solid line.  If that doesn't work, Anna will get special paper that doesn't have the line in the middle and only has the top and bottom solid lines. Although we aren't sure if that will work either because we think if we go that route then she will want to use the whole space for all the letters. That was the biggest part that we looked at as far as the OT went. Everything else there was pretty average.

School Psychologist Evaluation:
     This is the one that really hit me hard. Anna is a very touchy, feely kind of girl and always has to be touching someone. It's just how she is. Unforunately, it's not acceptable for school. She also constantly has things in her mouth that are not food. She is 5 years old and is way too old to still be putting toys and stuff in her mouth. She also has been chewing on her clothes since she started school which I was not aware of. She does not do it at home and I was really shocked to learn that it has been going on all year long. So, the school psychologist and Anna's teacher both feel like she is having a very difficult time adjusting to the school setting, and they feel like there may be some sensory issues. So our next step with the psychologist for now is to look into Asperger Syndrome.

So that is where we are with everything regarding Anna and school. It's really rough right now. I didn't realize she was having such a hard time. She comes home and is excited to do homework and she has never really had anything bad to say about school. So there wasn't a whole whole lot of good in this IEP meeting, but I was happy to hear that she doesn't need direct OT and to hear that her speech was improving... While I sound like I'm "down" about all of this, I'm not really that upset. I feel like we are finally  moving forward and figuring Anna out. There are still other things to "figure out" with her and things that need to be handled between school and home. I am kind of at a point where I am so overwhelmed with all the information that has been thrown at me in the last few weeks that I just don't know what to do at this point. So I am just going day by day, waking up with every day being a new day.

Anywho, there's the update on my Anna Banana :) There may or may not be more updates on things between now and Christmas, so just in case, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas :)

December 13, 2010

This past weekend

Well, some of you saw some statuses on Facebook last night or the night before and maybe even on Friday that may have been a little bit "questionable" or concerning. So I thought some of you deserved an explanation as to what the statuses were about.

The main one I would like to discuss is the one that said, "It's a shame that one person can ruin everything for an entire family"... So, here is the reason behind that status.

If you read back a few posts, I think there is one that has to do with Anna's dad getting out of jail and me giving him the benefit of the doubt and letting him and Anna meet and try to build a relationship... Well, long story short (and that's how I plan to keep it for now) it was a mistake and Anna's "sperm donor" (as far as I'm concerned right now) will not be seeing her until there is a court order that says that I have to allow him to see her. I told him while he was still in jail that once he got out, he would have ONE CHANCE to prove to me that he is changed and if he did one illegal thing he was losing Anna. Well, he did something illegal and I'm leaving it at that. No, he is not back in jail, but I'm not taking that chance with my daughter. She hasn't had enough time to attach to him and she hasn't asked about him in over a week and I am just going to leave it that way. If she asks, I'm not really sure what I will tell her. I will have to figure that out here soon though.

So, that's the short version with minimal details, but that's about how it is. There will be no further contact with Brian until there is a court order saying that they have to have contact whether it be visitation or phone calls.

End. Of. Story. :)

By the way, I'm happily ticked off about this whole situation. I'm happy that I (for now at least) don't have to see him, but upset because this may affect his entire family who has been there for the kids and I since day one unlike her father. Brian's Aunt Katie, Uncle Mike, his sister Tammy, and his grandfather have all been a part of my kids' lives and it really upsets me that because of Brian, right now we can't visit the rest of Anna's family who loves her and wants to be in her life.

So, that's the update that everyone was waiting for. I will also be posting another update in the morning about how Anna's IEP meeting went today, but I would like to give everyone a chance to see this update first :)

Good night!

December 8, 2010

Mommy Melt Down Time!

Where to begin... Where to begin...

Let's start with Anna's first referral this week and her first referral ever. After thinking about it, I don't think she should have gotten this one, but ya know, it happens... She got a referral for chewing on her shirt and not wearing it properly. I'm sure she was told numerous times to keep her shirt on the right way and apparently she didn't listen... She also chewed on her shirt until it was soaking wet. When she got home, it was still wet and the shirt smelled disgusting...

Then we come to today. Two days after the first referral and she has another one. Today she pushed someone down off the playground equipment. She went to talk to the Assistant Principal for this one... Then I get the mail... Well, in the mail is a nice big manilla envelope that says "To the parents of Anna Dillard"... I open it up and it's the results from some testing that was done at school by the school psychologist... Not only are they concerned about ADHD (not just ADD, ADHD) but maladjustment issues and PTSD. Not really sure what the PTSD would be from, but it says that specifically in the letter. So there will be a lot more evaluations and testing done...

Now, here's the melt down...

Why can't I just have a normal child?

Why do we have to go through all of this? Why can't she just be a normal happy child like Caleb is. Caleb doesn't have any of these problems! What did I do wrong? Was it even something I did? Is this all something I could have prevented? All I have gotten over the last 2 weeks is "This is wrong with her, this is wrong, that's wrong, this is going to have to be looked into further, this needs to be evaluated, this needs..." I don't want to hear what else is wrong with her. Tell me what's right with her. Tell me what I can do to help her. Tell me what can be done to make this better. Just tell me something good.

I'm so tired of negative and bad... I just want her to be normal and be a happy, care-free child like she should be. I guess that's all for now ...

December 3, 2010

Just some thoughts

I just have a lot of things going through my head right now and would like to share them :)

1. Our perception of beauty. I had this discussion with a friend who is going through some hard times in life right now and it really irked me. Have you ever noticed how Hollywood has shaped our perceptions of what is beautiful or handsome? For a girl to be considered beautiful, she needs a fake tan, hourglass figure, she needs to look anorexic, have big boobs, and blonde hair. For a guy to be considered handsome, he needs to have a 6 pack, decent muscle tone and definition, fake tan, dark hair, light eyes. Am I the only person bothered by this? Unfortunately it's the world we live in and there's not much we can do about it. Most men will always think Pamela Lee (or whatever her name is now) is drop dead sexy, and most women will always think Johnny Depp is drop dead sexy. Thank you Hollywood for defining pretty for us. The song "More Beautiful You" by Jonny Diaz comes to mind here...
    "Little girl fourteen flippin' through a magazine, says she wants to look that way.
     But her hair isn't straight, her body isn't fake, and she's always felt overweight.
     Well little girl fourteen, I wish that you could see that beauty is within your heart.
     You were made with such care, your skin, your body, and your hair are perfect
     just the way they are...
     There could never be a more beautiful you! Don't buy the lies, disguises, and
     hoops they make you jump through. You were made to fill a purpose, that only
     you can do. So there could never be a more beautiful you."

I just wish that we all could realize this. The way Hollywood has skewed our perceptions of what people need to look like is disgusting. Barbie dolls don't help much either because they are the IDEAL beautiful. I have heard 7 year old girls say, "I wish I could look like Barbie! Then I'd have lots of boyfriends!". Is that what you want to hear your 7 year old daughter say? How about your 5 year old daughter? Yeah, it starts earlier now. I don't remember caring about my weight or anything like that until somewhere in middle school. Now girls in first and second grades are saying they want to have boyfriends and all those other things that they shouldn't even be thinking about. It really disgusts me sometimes...

Okay, that's the end of the "beauty" rant. Next rant, taking things for granted.

2. What do you take for granted? The stove that cooks your food? The door that you lock at night to keep people out of your house? The bed you sleep in? The blanket you cover up with? The comfort of your own home? The people you haven't talked to in years that you used to be close friends with?

How about we ask a different question. What should you take for granted? NOTHING. Nothing should ever be taken for granted. I know I am guilty of this, and many of us are. We don't take the time to stop and think about how life would be if we didn't have all these things that we take for granted.

How would you feed your family if you didn't have a stove? How would you protect your family if you didn't have a door that locked? Where would you sleep without a bed? How would you stay comfortable without a blanket? Where would you go if you didn't have a home? How would you feel if you found out someone that you were mad at because of something they did in middle school died and you never got to reconcile things with them?

I am going at this more because of the homeless people that I see and hear about on a daily basis. These people don't always know where they are going to sleep at night. They don't know if they are going to wake up in the morning. They don't know if someone is going to come and take the few things that they own in the middle of the night. They don't know how they are going to stay warm in the winter or cool in the summer. They don't know where they can "live" while they are homeless. They have NOTHING. What really irritates me about how people talk about the homeless also has something to do with the paper that I wrote earlier. Blaming the victim. That's right. I hear social workers and other "social welfare" type people say things like, "He's homeless because he's an alcoholic..." "He's homeless because he's addicted to drugs..." "He's homeless because he's lazy..." But what I don't hear is, "He's homeless because he didn't have the support he needed to get off drugs and turn his life around.." All we do is "blame the victim" by saying that it is the homeless person's fault that they are homeless. That's not always true and we need to realize that. Maybe Person A is homeless because she got laid off from her job, her unemployment ran out, she couldn't afford her mortgage. Maybe when Person A became homeless she lost everything she had. Her husband, her children, her dog, her cat, her fish, her bird, her soft, warm bed, her blankets, her pillow, her security, her safety, her life. Her. Life. She lost all of that stuff that she took for granted and maybe now she is too depressed and too ashamed to seek the help she needs. We as people, as christians, as non-christians, as people who have hearts, need to get past all of that and find out if there is anything we can do to help these people. I'm not saying to bring them into your home if you're not comfortable with that. I'm not saying to give them $100. Buy them a soda at McDonalds. Or even just take them a bottle of water. And as you hand it to them, just say, "I was wondering if there is anything else I can do to help you." If they say no, then it's whatever. You can't force them to let you help them.

I don't think I have EVER posted a blog like this or been this deep in thought at 11 at night, but there was NO WAY I was going to bed with all of this in my head. Something told me that someone needs to read this and that my time spent on typing this blog will be beneficial to someone other than myself.

This holiday season, I challenge each and every one of you to make an attempt at helping at least one homeless person. Females always need those female things that we ALLLL know about (and take for granted). It may seem a bit awkward, but can you imagine how much a homeless woman would appreciate them? I'm sure hygiene products would be helpful for any homeless person as well. Give them a can of soup (that has the tab on top that you open it with, they probably don't have can openers) and a bottle of water. They might be able to make that can of soup last them an entire day.

If you're REALLY feeling good about helping some homeless people, go to Eder park behind Good Will in Elkton, right off of 213, on ANY day at 4:00 p.m. and help feed the homeless that live in those woods. Take some hats, gloves, and scarves to hand out. Take some books for them to read. Take some crackers for them to take back to their tents or whatever else they might have for shelter there. There is a whole community of homeless people right outside our doors and I bet you drive by at least one of these people every single day and don't even think about how far they walk in a day.

Just take time out of your life to think about all the things you have, and try to imagine life without them. Stop taking things for granted, open your heart and your mind, and help one homeless person this holiday season and see how it makes you feel. I know every time I have helped a homeless person, I have almost broken down in tears because of how good I felt. I've been on the verge of tears the entire time I've been typing this blog.

I think my keyboard hates me now. Please take this blog seriously and not just as me "venting" about things. Help a homeless person, realize that you are beautiful no matter how you look. God made you the way you are for a reason and God doesn't make mistakes. Stop taking things for granted, think about someone other than yourself, and give with an open heart and open mind to someone in need and help them enjoy this holiday whether they have a home or not.

The end.

A paper I had to write

This is kind of a rough draft of this assignment, but I just wanted to share this. It is a paper I had to write about "blaming the victim" in reference to domestic violence.

Sarah Dillard
“Blaming the Victim”

                Blaming the victim is a major problem in our society today and has been for a long time. In the late 1970’s through the 1980’s there was an infamous case of a man named Joel Steinberg who abused his girlfriend and two illegally “adopted” children. When one of the children ends up dead, Joel and his girlfriend are both originally charged as criminals. What the detectives failed to see was that his girlfriend, Hedda Nussbaum, was a victim. She was afraid of Steinberg and what he would do to her if she told anyone what had happened to little Lisa.
                The short version of what happened is this: Joel gave Lisa a devastating blow to the back of the head that knocked her unconscious. He carried Lisa to the bathroom and lay her down on the floor then went out to dinner with some friends. Joel told Hedda that he would get Lisa up when he got home. Hedda was abused to the point that she had broken ribs and she had to ask permission to eat. She was afraid to call 9-1-1 because she didn’t want to show distrust or a lack of loyalty to Joel. Instead, she would check on Lisa in the bathroom and make sure she was still breathing. She never called 9-1-1. When Joel got home later that night, he went in to check on Lisa and she stopped breathing shortly after. Joel called 9-1-1 and had Lisa rushed to the hospital. By the time Lisa got to the hospital she was already brain dead and was put on life support. Lisa was taken off of life support and died immediately two days later. At this point, Joel was charged with 2nd degree murder and it was shortly after this that the prosecutors realized that Hedda was in the same position as little Lisa had been. She was being abused and was afraid to call 9-1-1. Hedda was granted immunity for her testimony against Joel.
                Society likes to blame victims of abuse for their abuse because they don’t leave their abusers. The fact of the matter is that when someone is being abused, they hope that the abuse will stop. They hope that their abuser will change. They realize that the beatings are sporadic and they just “deal” with the beatings. Abused women sometimes stay with their abusers due to a lack of resources. In all honesty, in New York City (Manhattan specifically) there are currently at least 20 domestic violence shelters in New York City. Unfortunately, I am an unable to find out how many there were 30 years ago. Victims of domestic violence also stay with their abusers is a lack of finances. Before Nussbaum was abused, she was a children’s book author and illustrator. She wrote two children’s books and had great potential. Unfortunately, she was fired shortly after the abuse began due to her shoddy attendance at work; granted, her lack of attendance was due to the abuse. Since she was fired from her job, she did not have her own income and had no money to be able to support herself without Steinberg. Another thing that may have kept her there was the children. She wanted to be able to comfort the children and she knew that escaping with the children wasn’t a possibility so instead of leaving the children to deal with the abuse on their own, she stayed with them to comfort them when the abuse happened. There are many reasons that an abused woman stays with her abuser and, unfortunately, society doesn’t see many of these reasons unless it is a person who has been in the situation before.
                Nussbaum was blamed for her abuse because she didn’t leave. She was blamed in part for the death of Lisa because she didn’t call 9-1-1. She was blamed for the abuse of the baby in the house as well because she never called anyone. The reality is that Nussbaum was a victim herself and was afraid, may not have had the resources she needed, and wanted to stay with the children. Nussbaum had nothing to do with the death of Lisa. She did what she could to help her after Steinberg hit her. However, at the same time, Nussbaum didn’t want to do anything that would anger Steinberg and make him abuse her or either of the children again that night.
                Blaming the victim is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. It seems like the only way to get people to not “blame the victim” for their abuse and neglect is to educate them, or for a person to be in the situation for themselves. This is a very difficult social problem that needs to be dealt with and fixed. On average, 1,500 women are murdered every year as a result of domestic violence. This should not even be a statistic and unfortunately when most people see this, they will say, “Why didn’t she leave?”

December 2, 2010

Last Night

Never a good way to start a blog post right? What a cliche title :)

Anywho, this blog will have nothing to do with sex or alcohol, it wasn't that kind of "last night"...

Last night I was in the ER as some of you know from reading on Facebook. I woke up from a nap around 2 in the afternoon feeling a little hungry... I ate a PB&J sandwich, got Anna off the bus at about 2:20 and by 2:30 I was in excruciating pain and could not get out of the fetal position. My upper abdomen was so sore... I called the ask a nurse phone number from Anne Arundel County (I love them!) and told the nurse what was going on and she said if I couldn't stand up straight and was in that much pain I needed to go to the ER. So I called my mom (who has been a MAJOR blessing to me this week) and told her. She came home early from work and took the kids and I to the ER. We were there for about 3 hours total. They did some blood work and an ultrasound of my liver, gall bladder, kidneys, and pancreas and came up with nothing but elevated liver functions. Elevated liver functions wouldn't be making my abdomen hurt... So I have to go to the G.I. and to my primary doctor tomorrow and see what else we can do... They suggested following up with the primary about the elevated liver functions because there are a number of things that can mean.

Anywho, I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on since my mom had made a post about it, and I had some pretty weird posts last night as well.

Thank you all for caring enough to read this :)

November 30, 2010

The "meeting"

Alright, everyone has been waiting for this and here it is finally. Long story short - Anna met her dad this past weekend.

Here's the long version:

Brian (Anna's father) was never really around much when Anna was a baby and before we moved to Cecil County. He landed himself in jail when Anna was about 16 months old (about 2 months after we moved to Cecil County) and was there for almost 4 years. He went to jail for assault and robbery. Before jail he was a "gangster" and was always mixed up with the wrong people. I refer to our relationship as my "I was young and dumb" relationship. Apparently, my picker was broken (and still is) when it comes to guys...

So Brian got out of jail last Tuesday (11/23) and was apparently very curious about Anna. He wanted to know where we were living, how she was doing, when he could see her, etc... So his aunt Katie (who I have stayed in touch with through everything) texted me on Wednesday (11/24) and asked me if she could call and let Brian talk to Anna and I. I said, "Sure, why not?" So Anna and I talked to Brian probably for a total of an hour. I updated him on the recent medical happenings between the MRI of Anna's brain that needs to be done, the diagnosis from the therapist, the allergies, etc. I told him about her delays and how she's doing in school and all the other good stuff that two parents who are not with each other should share. Well, he decided to inform me that he was going to file custody papers and he was going to get a lawyer and all that good stuff because he wanted his rights as a father and he wanted to be able to see his daughter. So in an effort to "keep the peace" and make sure I didn't look like I was trying to keep Anna away from him, we went to see him this past Friday (11/26). We went to Aunt Katie's and spent the night Friday night. From the time we got there until the time we left, Brian wanted nothing more than to just sit with Anna and read her books, watch her play, play with her, etc. He was a completely different person with her than what he was before he went to jail almost 4 years ago. Anna was happy to have "Daddy", and Daddy was happy to have Anna. I had originally planned on Anna calling him "Brian" instead of Daddy since she had never really known him, but then after a few discussions with a few different people, I felt that it was okay for her to call him Daddy if that's what she wanted to call him.

So, now we have been home since Saturday evening and Anna has talked to daddy every night (except last night because mommy was sick) at bed time to say good night and talk about her day quickly before bed. Anna and I are going to make a "Daddy Calendar" so that we can circle the days that we will go to see daddy and we can cross off the days in between. In the end, everyone is satisfied with how things went and how we plan on things going.

Brian and I were able to sit down Friday night after the kids were in bed and work out (verbally, nothing signed) an amount that he will pay monthly in child support once he starts receiving his social security checks again, and we worked out visitation for holidays and "regular" visitation. I really hope things end up working out so that Anna can have both parents involved in her life. It means a lot to me to have one of my kids' fathers there even if it is only a minimal amount.

I will definitely keep everyone updated on how things go with this. While I am hoping for the best, I am still at an "I'll believe it when I see it" stage...

November 22, 2010

Anna's first diagnosis

So, Anna's appointment went well this morning with the intake evaluation at Upper Bay Counseling. She was given a temporary diagnosis of disruptive behavior disorder. We now need to see a psychiatrist, behavioral pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, and possibly a neurologist. They see a lot of anxiety but she also shows a lot of symptoms of other psych issues too like ADD. So they need to weed out any medical concerns with her head size and brain growth that could be causing her problems. Her skull size is way smaller than it should be and there is concern that her brain is growing at the right rate and being compressed because her skull isn't growing at the proper rate. This can cause her attention and focus issues as well as anger issues. We really aren't sure what to think at this point because we can't see inside her head to see her brain and how it is growing without doing an MRI. So, my next step is to get the MRI done, go to one of the doctors above (behavioral ped, developmental ped, psychiatrist, or neurologist) and get them to read the MRI and determine what we need to do for Anna. 

I am still in a state of confusion at this point and am not totally sure what the next step is other than the MRI. Unfortunately, I can't get the MRI done without having one of those doctors order it... I think we are going to start with the developmental ped since that is where we were before anyway and that was the first doctor to suggest an MRI on her brain. I have a feeling this road is going to be longer and more devastating than I am thinking it will be. 

If you are reading this and you believe in the power of prayer, PLEASE! Pray for courage for Anna, pray for the doctors that are and will be involved, and pray for strength for me to get through this and be strong for her so that she doesn't get too scared. 

Thank you.

November 19, 2010

What a week it has been...

I don't even know where to begin... I feel betrayed and lied to... I am just overall hurt... But I won't go into detail on that because it's something that I'm not sure if it has been completely handled yet... But here is what I will go into...

I came to the realization today that I will NEVER be able to be in a relationship with a man because of the things the men in my life have done ALL MY LIFE.

Let start with man #1. I won't go into a ton of detail on this one, but I was mistreated and lied to throughout my entire childhood by him. I am paying for his actions now. He never will.

Man #2. All I have ever wanted was to make him proud. Nothing would make me happier than to just hear him say, "I'm proud of you and I love you"... That's all I want from him... Here I am, 24 years old now. A single mom, full time student, in the national honor's society doing everything I can just to hear him say, "I'm proud of you" and I'm beginning to think that it will never happen.

Man #3. I feel like I've lost a best friend. He was always my favorite, the only one I could talk to, and now I can't talk to him. I'm trying to make sense of life and everything that's going on but since it involves him, I can't talk to him about it.

Because of those 3 men, I will never be able to be in a relationship with a man. I will never be able to trust a man completely after being lied to and feeling betrayed. I will never feel like I am good enough for anyone because of the lack of pride and love felt from #2. And I will probably do everything in my power to destroy everything good in my life because it's all I know how to do. I feel like I am losing my family, my best friend, and life in general. I am just at a complete loss after everything that has happened mostly today, but over the last whole week. I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like I've lost control and can't regain it. It also doesn't help that next week isn't going to be any better and I will post about that later when I don't have everything else holding me down...

On a lighter note, the only man who has never betrayed me, lied to me, mistreated me or any of the above is God. I just wish I could really realize that right now while I sit here crying because I feel like there's no one I can talk to other than Him.

I know I need help, but I don't have time for me :( I tell all of my other single mom friends "Take care of mommy too, the kids won't be happy if mommy can't be happy", but I can't take my own advice :( And it's not even that I just don't have time for me... I don't have anyone to watch Caleb for me to seek the help I need. I don't feel like I have the support I need to take care of myself, do the things I need to do, and take care of my kids. I feel like I am really close to rock bottom right now and I don't know where to go...

October 12, 2010


So it's been a while since I updated... I guess it's time.

Life hasn't been any different than normal. If anything, I think it's gotten a little more stressful. I've gotten to a point where I don't want to keep my mouth shut and let my dad treat me the way he treats my mom. I am not one to be silenced. Unfortunately, it's what I have to do in order to keep a roof over mine and my chidlren's heads. I'm beginning to think that all I can do is keep the kids and I in our "holes" upstairs, keep to ourselves, eat dinners with the family, and that's about it. I have no desire to spend any other time with my family. And that really hurts me. I've always wanted nothing more than to have a happy family who enjoy each other's company. It's gotten to the point where I don't want to be around anyone in my family other than my kids and siblings. That really hurts me. I can't have any kind of conversation like this with the person I need to because I just end up crying and the conversation is over.

On a lighter note, (yes I know I changed the subject abruptly... anyone wanna give some psychological analysis of that?) I got Caleb's follow up GI appointment scheduled for the end of October. I have started going to the gym to try and get rid of some of my baby weight and look a little bit healthier. I haven't been comfortable with my body since after I had Anna and realized that I wasn't going to lose all the weight just by giving birth. I gained 80 lbs and was in denial every time someone told me it wasn't all just going to go away... Well, 5 years and 1 kid later, it's time to get rid of it. Today, I weight the same amount I weighed when I was 9 months pregnant with Anna and I am not happy. So I am doing a lot of abdominal work, a little bit of weights, some stamina, and some back strengthening. Those are my goals. I would like to lose about 40-50 lbs total before I am done. I remember when I was in physical therapy after my car accident 2 years ago they told me that if I strengthened my abs and back muscles I would be in better shape and less likely to have back pain. So, I'm finally taking them up on the advice and going to get myself together. My first time in the gym I ran 2.4 miles without stopping. I can't run on pavement or on a treadmill because of the impact on my knees. The elliptical is my thing :) I felt absolutely amazing after the gym :)

Anywho, I think that is about all I have to update :) If anyone reads and has anything they would like me to post about, feel free to ask :) I need some motivation and it would help to know that SOMEONE is reading my blog :)

October 7, 2010





September 14, 2010


So I revamped the blog tonight :) I definitely like this. A lot. So, here's an actual blog post lol

One of my favorite shows to watch on TV is Teen Mom. It comes on MTV on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. There are 4 "families" on the show. Farrah is a single mom to her daughter Sophia. She has had family problems, mostly with her mom, and is just now starting to try to repair the relationship with her mom. Props to her, but she needs to stop being so darn stubborn. However, at the same time I can completely understand putting walls up after how her parents have controlled her. She is having a hard time letting those walls down. She needs to continue with her therapy and her therapist needs to recognize that Farrah has put walls up and her therapist needs to help her break those walls down. Especially for the sake of her family.

Then there is Catelynn & Tyler. They gave their baby up for adoption because they wanted her to have a good happy life. They have grown up a lot and you get to see the issues they go through after giving up their baby. Not really a whole lot to say about them, but they are a pretty good couple of kids :)

Then there is Maci. She single parents Bentley and currently shares custody with her ex, Ryan. Ryan is a jerk. He lives with mom & dad and doesn't have a job. Maci has a job, goes to school, and I think lives in an apartment that mom & dad made for her. Maci wants to move 2 hours away to be with her boyfriend. She has known her boyfriend for years and so have her parents. He's not just some random guy or anything. So Ryan is trying to get more time with Bentley and Maci isn't trying to just give it to him so Ryan wants to take her to court. Ryan wasn't around for the first year of Bentley's life. I don't think it's a good idea for Maci to move now that Ryan has told her that he is taking her to court. Ryan will be able to hold that against her. At the same time, Maci has a LOT to hold against Ryan in court. I'm not sure which way it is going to go in the end, but it is definitely a bad idea for Maci to move right now.

Then (I saved the "best" for last) there is Amber & Gary. They break up in EVERY episode and it is always something stupid. I despise Amber as a mother. She kicked Gary out after he tried to get Amber to stop cussing in front of their daughter, Leah. Gary got up, started getting all of his stuff... TV, lamps, sheets, etc. Amber told him he was "being a petty f***ing b****" right in front of Leah. Gary should have taken Leah with him. Gary is a much better parent than Amber is and I pray to God that Gary takes Amber to court and takes Leah away from her. Amber is a (insert your choice of words here) and does NOT deserve to have that child.

Anywho, I posted all of that because tonight's episode just made me want to scream and obviously I can't because it's 11 p.m. and my kids are sleeping finally (I think). So... Now for life :)

Life is good. Lots of school work still, but I'll have a small break in a few weeks. My African American Lit class ends on 9/29 and then I don't have a class to "replace" it until 10/11. I am very much looking forward to that break.

Anna is doing pretty good at school. We have her IEP meeting on 9/23. I am definitely looking forward to it. I talked to the coordinator at the school yesterday and told her what I planned on asking for at the meeting. I informed her that I want Anna tested for Occupational Therapy and she definitely needs to be tested for speech. I also mentioned that I know Anna is way behind academically and I explained to her why. Anna and I butt heads a lot. She doesn't like to "work" with me. Anyone else, it's fine. From what I hear, that is normal though. So we both get frustrated and just can't accomplish anything. It's not a good situation. So I try, but I just don't know how to work with Anna and help her and that hurts me. As her mom, I should be able to help her with things. So, all of that will be discussed next Thursday afternoon. I can't wait!

Caleb is doing well with Anna being in school. He's still very clingy to me and doesn't really want to play a whole lot. We have been doing more with our MOMS club and having a lot of fun.

I'm just hoping that everything continues to go well and we all stay happy :) Loving life right now!

September 11, 2010

Caleb's little head...

I just wanted to share how Caleb's little head works... This child is amazingly smart... Wanna know why?

When you tell your child to clean up their toys or you are going to throw them away, what do they do? Do they cry? Throw a fit? Pick up their toys? Caleb does none of the above... He just says in an ever-so-nonchalantly way as he shrugs his shoulders and raises his hands , "Just throw them away mommy..."

Here's another one for you...

At dinner time, Caleb is difficult to get to eat sometimes. So we will tell him he won't get dessert if he doesn't eat all of his (insert one item on his plate)... So he says, "I don't want dessert".

Please, if you have any suggestions on ways to "fix" these issues, let me know :) He's a pretty good listener, but he knows how to "get around things" to get his own way... Very frustrating at times!

September 9, 2010

Yay for good days!

Well today was a pretty good day. The only "complaint" for today was that I was a little bit dumb and waited until the last minute (as usual) to finish 6 hours of homework in about 2 hours time. Well, of course in that 2 hour time frame, my internet decided to go off and on numerous times. I called my neighbor who watches my kids from 4:30-5:30 on Wednesdays so I can get to class on time and asked her if I could bring the kids over about a half hour early. She said it wasn't a problem so I took them over and I headed to the computer lab at school just praying that the internet was okay there. We had a pretty good wind storm today and I think that is what was causing the problems with our internet at home... So, that's out of the way, I got the homework done at 4:45 and class started at 5... Well, after today, I vowed to myself that I'm not doing that anymore. So I have a weekly presentation on MLK Jr due next Wednesday along with my 7-10 page research paper on subversion and the role of the trickster in African American Literature. Fun. Yeah. I also have a paper due for Sociology 101 next Friday. So, in the next 10 days, I have a total of 3 papers due. So I came home tonight and decided that I was going to do my reading that I had to do for my presentation for next week. That took about 2 1/2 hours. It wasn't bad reading though. I actually kind of enjoyed it. I had to read MLK, Jr's letter from a Birmingham jail and I had to read his "I Have A Dream" speech. Easy stuff. I will prepare my presentation tomorrow and do a little bit of research to learn more about MLK Jr. That should only take about 2 hours of my day (nap time work!). Then I will start my 7-10 page paper for African American Lit. Once that is finished (hopefully by Sunday) I will start my paper for Sociology 101. I need to get myself on a better schedule and a little more organized with school work. Earlier today I decided that instead of leaving Facebook, my knitting forums, and my photography forums open in tabs, I need to close them when I am in "homework mode". By closing them, I am less likely to get distracted by them and waste valuable homework time. I may or may not be quiet on Facebook for a few weeks, we will see how things go. I have Facebook on the iPhone but it only really allows me to read people's statuses and comment on them. I can't do any apps on it (if I can, I don't know how and don't want to know how) so I don't have to worry about being on Facebook for hours. I only pick my knitting up to calm me down when I am frustrated or aggravated, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue either :)

So, long story short... Today was a pretty good day and I won't be on Facebook and other "social sites" very much over the next few weeks! Good night everyone!

"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?" ~Charles M. Schulz

September 7, 2010

Women in the kitchen, Men on their...

Ok, for real. I'm sick of this crap. What year is it? Hold on, let me check... Oh, that's right, it's 2010. Not 1950, 1960, etc. Women don't BELONG in the kitchen anymore and if you feel that way then get a ... grip. You need a reality check.

Unfortunately, my father still feels that way. Women belong in the kitchen and doing all the house work and gardening etc, and men belong working, sitting on their ... or doing the "manual labor" in the yard. Then there's my brother who doesn't belong doing anything except for maybe once a month when he helps with stuff out in the yard... I'm sick of it! It's days like these that I wish I could get out of this house and not have to deal with this crap anymore! But then I give myself a reality check and realize that I can't afford it, would hate it, and wouldn't be able to handle it on my own. Between school work, cleaning, yard work, kids, cooking, and everything else, I don't know how some single moms do everything. I did it for a while, but there were times that I had to spend an entire day cleaning because I just couldn't keep up with it. I also didn't have as much homework when I was going to school online either.

That's all. I just had to get all of that out. I'm sick of the "woman's place" thing in my family. I need to take care of myself, my kids, and our area. That's all I should be responsible for. I do provide most of the groceries for EVERYONE in the family still every month so I am NOT living at home for free. I think I'm done venting now.

"We do not believe if we do not live and work according to our belief." ~Heidi Wills

September 6, 2010

It's been a day...

You know those days where at the end of the day you KNOW you have SOOOO much to do but the day has just been sooo bad that you don't want to do a damn thing? Today is one of them for me. I have a crap ton of homework to do but I have NO desire to do anything but sit back in my chair, watch TV, and finish knitting my dishcloth. Then I'm going to hide it and give it to Anna for Christmas.

Why has today been so bad you ask? Short and simple. "WHINE, WHINE, WHINE! MOMMY!! WHINE! MOMMY MOMMY  MOMMY! WHINE!!" Yeah, that's all I have heard all day. I don't know why they were both so whiney today, but Oh. My. Goodness. It has just been ridiculous. We spent the last day and a half at my sister's apartment in Annapolis. The kids played outside yesterday while my sister and I cleaned up and organized in her apartment. Yesterday was an okay day. This morning, everyone woke up in rare form. No one wants to listen, all we can do is whine... And then we have the nightly situation where someone (named Anna) didn't eat enough dinner so now it is (9:45 and she is STILL telling me she's hungry an hour and a half after they were put in bed. She ate everything we put on her plate for dinner, was offered more, said she didn't want anymore, was given dessert, and now she's still hungry. Sorry, but if you refused more dinner when it was offered, then I don't know if you are genuinely hungry or if you just don't want to be in bed. I'm going to assume you just don't want to be in bed because you can't talk, play or do anything else fun and you can be a VERY hyper child at times. Please, if anyone has any suggestions that DON'T involve giving in to her telling me she's hungry at the VERY last second, please, PLEASE, PLEASE! let me know! I absolutely refuse to give in because sometimes my kids don't seem to understand that mommy is in charge and mommy makes the rules. So the only way I feel like I can make sure they understand that is by not giving in. It's bad enough that my 5 year old knows how to play me against my parents. She'll ask me something and I'll tell her no, then she'll go to one of my parents and get her way. NO WONDER THEY DON'T ********* LISTEN TO ME! Sometimes I tell myself that I can't wait to get my own place again, but at the same time, I am SOOO afraid to be on my own. I'm afraid to walk into a dark house at night, I'm afraid to walk into an empty house in general because I never know if someone broke into my house through a back door or window and is hiding somewhere in the house or something... I just have so much to protect and so much to be afraid of at the same time.

Anyway, I just needed to vent about my day. It's not going to end until Anna falls asleep. I still feel like I have more to vent about but I just don't know what else to say! I'm just aggravated and I WISH Anna would just go to sleep and learn her lesson... But she does this every single night! I might call her doctor and see what she suggests. But her doctor is also the one that suggested "Just feed them chicken nuggets and pizza if that's all they want to eat!"... NO NO NO! Omgosh. I am not going to be one of those mom's that makes two different meals every night because I have a picky eater. My kid are served the same meal that everyone else is. They both like chicken, pork, and beef. They both like peas, carrots and corn. Caleb doesn't like broccoli but Anna does. Neither of them like mashed potatoes so I will compensate with more meat, more veggies, or a piece of bread. Neither of them are really picky anymore. Our problem with Anna seems to be that she will eat everything on her plate, we will offer her more, and she won't eat it. Then at bed time she starts saying she is hungry. Even when we go through our routine of dinner, bath/shower, book, bed... She doesn't tell me until I have turned the lights off, covered her up and told her good night. That's when it starts!

Anyway, I might be done now. Holy jeez!

Let's try this again :)

So I have decided that I REALLY need to try this again so that I have some "venting" space or just somewhere to tell everyone how life is going for Anna, Caleb, and I. So here we go :)

Life right now is going okay. We are still living at my parents' house. Been back there for almost a year. It's not the best situation in the world, but it works for now. I am single, as I have been for the majority of the last 6 years. I think I have decided that I am happy being single with Anna & Caleb. I don't need anything else and I really don't even have time for anyone else right now. I have my good friends, I have my family, I have my kids, I have me. I'm happy. I am going to school full time so I can do better and be a more financially stable family for myself, Anna & Caleb. They deserve better than what they have right now and that is all I want. I want them to have the best I can give them! I am going to school to be a Social Worker and I am also getting an Associate's degree in Photography. I will be going to the Bachelor's level with the Social Work degree. My long term goal with it is to be a CPS (Child Protective Services) employee. My Sociology teacher this past summer told me that I have his full support if there is ever anything I need. When we were doing our introductions on the first day of class, I mentioned that I am a mom, full time student, what I was going to school for and what I wanted to do. He said, "Not only do you have the HARDEST job in the world already, but you want to go and do the second hardest job as well?! More power to you and if you need anything, let me know!" While I realize that what I want to do is going to be very difficult sometimes, at the same time it will be rewarding. I will know in my heart that in one way or another I am doing what is best for the children I work with. No child deserves to be abused, neglected, or harmed in any other way. They deserve nothing but love from the ones that are supposed to love them unconditionally.

On to another topic... Medical issues with everyone! Yay!

Caleb is seeing a G.I. every couple months to track his growth. He is 3 1/2 now and still only weighs about 25 lbs. How many of you have an 18 month old that weighs 25 lbs or more? How about a 12 month old that weighs that much? Yup, Caleb is a tiny tiny kid. Your 12-18 month old is about average if they weigh around 25 lbs... My 3 1/2 year old is in the 3rd percentile on the growth charts. (His small size doesn't affect his heart though! He has the biggest heart I have ever seen in a 3 year old boy!) So, the G.I. has "diagnosed" him with Toddler's Diarrhea which is chronic diarrhea in a child under the age of 5. However, both of the G.I.'s that we have seen have not wanted to do any kind of testing because he is young and tender and all that other good stuff. Well, I've about had it. I'm a pretty educated woman and when you tell me a "diagnosis" I know better than to believe that a doctor is telling me everything I need to hear... So I go home and do my own research. Chronic diarrhea is caused by the intestines not digesting food properly. This could mean that Caleb's body isn't getting the nutrients he needs. Not getting the nutrients he needs could be causing him to not grow properly. WOW! Look at that. I'm "just a mom" and I can put 2 and 2 together. Why is a doctor comfortable with just telling me that it's chronic diarrhea and not wanting to do labs to make sure he has enough nutrients and all that other good stuff... Why???? So I have decided that when we go back to the G.I. (probably in the next couple weeks) I am going to demand a full CBC be done to make sure that his little body has all the nutrients it needs. I do give him vitamins (he gets half of a flintstone vitamin or something along those lines because of his weight) and they don't really seem to make that much of a difference. But, we still do them just so that I know I'm doing what I can. I always make him eat at least half of his veggies at meals and he is usually pretty good about eating his meat. No worries there. So, one of these days, maybe we'll get some answers. Until then... I'll keep everyone posted :)

Anna's update shouldn't be nearly as long... She started Kindergarten last Monday. She is loving it! Our neighbor on the other side of the court also has a little boy who started Kindergarten and who just happens to be Anna's "BFF". She is still slightly behind on speech. I tend to notice it more than other people which I believe is normal. We will be having her IEP meeting soon to get her started on her new IEP and to get the Special Education teachers working with her and all that good stuff. I am also going to request an evaluation for Occupational Therapy which will help her with hand eye coordination. Now that she is at an age where she should be able to write, it is becoming more evident that her hand/eye coordination isn't quite up to par either. If she doesn't show at least a 25% developmental delay in that area they won't be able to give her that therapy. I am pretty sure that she will continue to receive Speech Therapy though and I look forward to her getting back into that. I still need to get Anna back to a Developmental Pediatrician so that we can determine what we need to do next about trying to find out if her speech delay is neurological or developmental. If it is neurological then there is a chance she will never grow out of it. The Developmental Pediatrician that we were seeing is no longer accepting Medical Assistance. I will have to get Anna's records from her and take them to a new doctor. The old DP wanted to do an MRI of Anna's head to make sure her brain functions properly in all areas. We were holding off on it because of Anna's age. They would have to put her under anesthesia to make sure she stays still during the procedure. I am happy to say that neither of my children have ever had to be put under anesthesia for anything and I can guarantee that I would be a WRECK if they ever do have to be put under. So that is where we stand with little Miss Anna. She is 5 years old and weighs 37 lbs. She is little too, but we aren't as concerned about her because she is above the 10th percentile on the growth charts. Last time we went to the doctor she was in the 25th percentile for weight and 50th for height.

Now, my turn! Yes, we save mommy for last, the kiddos are more important! I am doing okay. I have had some G.I. issues of my own lately and will be having a procedure done in the next few weeks to see what's going on. There's not much else other than that. For the most part, I have my depression and anxiety under control. For anyone who remembers my car accident from back in July of 2008, I still have back pain pretty consistently. I have just learned to deal with it. I have been trying for 5 months to get in touch with my attorney... Haven't heard from him since the beginning of April. If it makes it to 6 months, I will be filing a grievance. This is the 2nd time I have had this problem with him. He promised me back in April that he would have a settlement for me by the end of April. Nope, didn't happen. Was I surprised? No.

Well, I guess that is about it for an update for everyone! Hopefully I can get back into a routine with this and post at least once or twice a week :)

Much love!

*It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live...*
~~J.K. Rowling