Posted in Kids

Graduation

They did it. WE did it! Bennett and Laura graduated on Saturday. I cried up to the ceremony, but did pretty well during and after. I love those two kids and it’s SUCH a HUGE milestone! From not even a kilogram at birth to high school graduates!

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Posted in Health, Kids, School

Where Do I Begin?

I made my counselor cry on Monday. Seriously. Because she saw how much I’m carrying and how self-sufficient I’m being and she feels so badly for me.

I feel like I’ve attained a new level when I can make my counselor cry.

Nitty Gritty Details:

Daughter who was doing partial hospitalization program successfully completed it and also completed four-day-a-week group program and is down to once a week counseling again. Except, she can’t because she just had her 2nd seizure. We meet with neurology in an hour to get more info, but she’s on an anticonvulsant and has a rescue med as well.

I have two kids finishing senior year in 9 days. Whether both can finish all their work on time I’m unsure, but here’s hoping.

Tomorrow I meet with Ethan’s new governmental agency–the autism waiver people–to see what they can offer him now and in the future.

Jim and I met with a disability life planner on Monday to start the social security paperwork process. There’s a LOT between Ethan and Laura.

Yesterday (after the above meeting) I emailed our lawyer to update our wills to add another special needs trust. Everything needs to be redone.

Took the seizure daughter to the pediatrician yesterday and also got a boatload of bloodwork done. SIX VIALS of BLOOD. Yowza.

This morning I returned the majority of the hardware and books for cyber school because of the two graduating seniors.

Tomorrow is Laura’s spring art show and Ethan’s spring concert.  Always on the same day. We will manage it, but will need to drop off the girls in between so one can rest her brain and the other can babysit her.

There’s always other miscellaneous stuff going on, but that’s the major stuff. I just want to get off the merry go round, people. Does it ever stop??!!

Posted in Kids, Me

Managing

I am. Managing, that is. Managing four teenagers, their schedules, their schooling, their mental health (and lack thereof), driving them hither and yon, my own life (thankyouverymuch) and, a little, my husband.

My daughter finishes up her Partial Hospitalization Program tomorrow. Finishes because they have seen much progress and she is ready to move down to a group therapy setting four times per week 2 hours per session. Down from 8:30-2:40 Monday through Friday at a place that was about 30 minutes away. Including dropping my other daughter off at her school, I would leave at 7:45am and return at 9:10ish. and then repeat at 2:00 and return around 3:15.

I saw some joy returning to her this past weekend. Joy that I hadn’t seen–honestly–in three or four years. It has deeply grieved me and I was almost in tears yesterday seeing it. So I will unilaterally say this program has been GOOD. I had my doubts in the beginning, although I supported her going because she wanted it and the team thought she needed it.

I think I’m just a little tired of keeping too many balls in the air. Some are starting to fall, and I really dislike that. But there’s just one of me, and I can only do as much as I can do, so I’m trying to give myself grace. Not necessarily doing well with it, but I’m trying.

Posted in Health, Kids, Me

Margin, or Lack Thereof

It has Been. A. Week. (insert shaking head)

Monday began like it regularly does, with grocery shopping and one of the girls having counseling. At the end, however, the counselor wants to see me. She’s concerned about where this girl is, and thinks that she needs to change from one on one counseling once a week to group counseling 4x/week for 4-6 weeks. For reasons. I’m, naturally, freaking out not only about the need but also, realistically, about the scheduling and what needs to be done to make it work.

So Wednesday we make our way to the counseling center to fill out forms and for the group counselor to assess my daughter. For “30-45 minutes” after our forms.

One and a half hours later, she says that she doesn’t think group is the right placement, that my daughter should go into a “partial hospitalization placement” for a couple of weeks. This is from 8:30 – 2:40 Monday through Friday about 25 minutes from our house.

Ok. More freaking out, because of the exact same reasons listed above.

I reschedule my upcoming allergy appointment and the boys’ upcoming plastic surgery consults (long story there), but keep my “relaunch your career” class even though it’s stressful to do it, because, darn it, I NEED it. I need something for ME. And I hardly ever do anything for me. I’ll manage the driving from West Chester to Phoenixville to Media. It’s a LOT of driving time, but it’s worth it. Maybe the next two days of my classes when I have to also drive her, I will not go back home in between but will return to Phoenixville instead after class.

I find myself taking very deep breaths and letting them out slowly through my mouth in a blowing motion. No clue why, but if it’s what I need, then ok. I feel on the verge of tears a lot, and REALLY want someone to hold me and say everything is going to be ok. Usually I’m the one doing that to one of the kids.

I don’t do well with a lack of margin in my life. I build it in on purpose because I know myself and I need it. However, hopefully this will only be for two weeks and then we can just worry about group time in the evenings.

Right?

Posted in Me, Uncategorized

Empowering and Humbling

Those were the two words I used to describe to Jim an exercise at yesterday’s class. The class is right now finding more about yourself–your strengths, values, Myers Briggs, etc. (Later on we’ll be taking that info and incorporating it into our resumes).

One of our homework items last week was to write about a Good Experience. It had to be fun and something we were proud of. (I don’t know about you, but as a mom of teenagers I don’t often think “yeah, I’m so proud right now!). I had to dig and dig and dig and finally came up with an experience while I was still a professional organizer.

The original plan was to break into groups of two and read each other’s stories and write down strengths or traits we saw about the person because of that story. A lot of people were just as overwhelmed as I was about it, and didn’t do it. We ended up reading one out loud and then breaking up into groups. It was mine. I thought it was just a story about helping a young mom with three littles unpack and organize after SIX moves in 18 months. (As an aside, I loved that job. It was challenging and fun and the mom was very sweet.)

So I read the story out loud. They asked questions for clarification. And then–yowza people!–they started listing words and phrases:

Taking initiative, organized, discerning, altruistic, assessment of space, parcinga job into tangible, manageable parts, assessing, decision maker, kindness, non-judgemental, patience, supportive, efficience, time management, flexible, objective.

  1. The fact that these women got these words from my little story blows me away.
  2. There’s no way I would have come up with two or three, let alone that long list.
  3. Look at my blog title. That’s EXACTLY how I felt in that moment. They saw such wonderful things about me. But I also couldn’t deny the words, because when she handed me the list at the end and I looked it over, I had to agree that I had shown those things.
  4. Man, having the arthritis in my back kinda stinks because I could totally go for organizing again.

I have more homework this week, which I’m looking forward to. I haven’t done homework in 27 years, but while this is difficult, it’s also fun.

Posted in Family

This Week

Besides the regular driving kids to and from school (with or without snow delays)

Monday: L counseling, L annual ophthalmology.

Tuesday: Me “Relaunching Your Career” class, Me counseling first appointment.

Wednesday: Normally scheduled stuff

Thursday: Me help organize a friend’s dining room/school room so both uses can work, C tour of L’s school, Center for Performing and Fine Arts, because she is applying to get in.

Friday: L her Bureau of Blind and Vision Services coordinator comes out to discuss this year and how services will change once she graduates.

Saturday: B SAT, C Aurora concert in Philly

Sunday: E The Song that Never Ends performance in Philly.

Guys, I know in 5 years things will be drastically different, but I can’t imagine what life will look like when I’m not scurrying around like a chicken with my head cut off.

Posted in Marriage

State of the Marriage

I’ve always thought that marriages–just by their nature–have highs and lows. Rocky times and smooth times. For a long time, we’ve enjoyed the smooth. Things seemed to be going pretty ok. I wasn’t foolish enough to think that it would always stay that way, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Christmas Eve we had quite a LONG discussion/fight. I asked if he thought we should do marriage counseling. He said maybe. Fast forward a month and man, I KNOW we NEED to do it. He may have said his piece, but having thought and prayed a LOT over the past weeks, there seems to be a lot going on in my brain and heart that I would like to not only share with him, but share in front of an educated ear who can hear and help heal. And I’m coming up against some resistance to counseling, which is confusing to me.

We’ve been married 23 years. There’s been some very tough ones in that number–we’ve been to marriage counseling a few times–and some very sweet ones as well.

If you are a praying sort, please pray that we would make our way to a good marriage counselor (our old one is long retired).