Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Life: Not Always Bubbles and Cotton Candy and Hula-Hoops

My brain aches. Literally and figuratively and dramatically. I'm milliseconds away from sticking something über-pointy in my ear to pierce my gray matter and scramble everything around a bunch. Make a real mess out of things, as dramatically as possible.

Yep. No friendly greeting today.

Next week is finals week and I couldn't be more ecstatic to be done with this semester. Organic Chemistry is no joke. It's tested me. It's tested my classmates. It's a make-or-break class. But I want to be a nurse so I need to press forward. I just need to survive one more week. But then I'll blink my eyes and it will be time for the next round of intellectual torture: Micro lecture and lab, Life Span Development, and CPR. Summer fun, am I right?

I'm actually pretty excited for summer since last year, we spent the whole season in and out of the hospital. I've just bitten off more than I can chew right now with school, 2 young kids, and maintaining this household. Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot but every single one of my days is crazy from start to finish. I don't feel like I have a lot of help at home anymore. Not anything that's constant anyway. But I guess if you're not going through the nursing school process, you can't understand how hard it really is. It's not something I can explain. It's a full time job, for sure. I can't do EVERYTHING yet it's like I'm expected to. But I chose this. All of this. So I guess I shouldn't complain. I'm just so worn out and there's no real break in site.

Until Mexico.  It's going to be like a 5 day nap...with salt and limes on the side. I can't wait to recharge these batteries. I've needed something like this for almost 3 years now. It's been a LONG 3 years...


Spencer started the evaluation process to transfer into the Brunswick schools. Like I've said before, the whole thing makes me nervous because the school he's at now is like a nice, supportive, comfy bubble. They love Spencer and I cannot stress that enough. Every tiny thing he does is a major accomplishment in their eyes. Unless you have a child with a developmental disability you can't really understand how huge even the smallest things are. Spencer said JUICE and DID IT yesterday and you would have thought I won the lottery. I had been nervous about him moving into the city school system because I didn't know how supportive they would be and I was worried that maybe he would be the only one who was a little different.

My worries were calmed a little after a meeting at his future (fingers crossed) preschool and I've heard nothing but good things about their program. In every classroom, there are eight special needs children and four peer students. And a mom friend of mine says you cannot tell the difference between the kids when you look into the class. Everyone is treated the same and they all enjoyed being in each other's company. They learn from each other. It's a very in-demand program. People want their typical kids to go there.

He was already evaluated by the school psychologist and she couldn't have come on a better day! It was the first time he had taken unassisted steps in front of his teachers and he was very chatty and social. They were so excited. She was impressed. Next we will have a couple of lengthy phone calls to go over some history, he'll be evaluated by a physical therapist, and a few people will come to do observations within our home. There are some things he may not do in school that he does here and they want to see all of his potential. 

Even though I am certain he will be accepted into the city schools, I'm still nervous and slightly blue. There is a part of me that is still so mad that he has to jump through all of these hoops. He can't just go to a regular preschool like every other kid. I love him more than I can possibly put into's just that sometimes I still wish he was your typical, average bear...for his own sake. I feel sick when I think about him struggling. But I know all kids struggle, I certainly did. I've done my best to stop thinking about the future because those are things that may never happen and my time is wasted on that. But it's time to transfer into the city schools so, I guess the future is here. 

We will know June 5th what the decision is.

As for the medical side of things, he has his next clinic appointment on Wednesday. It's been two months so I really can't complain, even though I hate going. I hate the cancer aspect of our lives (which seems to be just about everywhere these days). The clinic is move to a new location and I'm actually pretty pumped to see it. The staff there loves him and haven't seen him in a while so it'll be a good day as long as we don't receive any weird news. I'm not really expecting any. Maybe a change in his thyroid medication but that's going to be a possibility for the rest of his life. 

Poor Sully. It always seems like he gets the short end of the stick. People are drawn to Spencer because of all his crazy circumstances. There's just a lot to talk about when it comes to him but that doesn't mean that Sullivan doesn't deserve some major attention. He is awesome through and through. So smart and so funny and so so so crazy! I don't know what I would do without my little red pepper. He spices up even my darkest days. He always knows when I need an extra tight hug or a good smooch. He's such a pal.


My one-month work out group has come to an end. Our before and after pictures and measurements were due on Monday. I'm happy to report that at least for me, the whole thing was a success! I lost 4.1 pounds (and still dropping), 10", and a pants size. And I'm not stopping there. My particular workout program has a schedule that goes for 20 weeks and I'm going to do my damnedest to make it the whole 20! I like the way I'm starting to look and Todd has even noticed the difference. It's really, really, really hard but every day gets a little bit easier which makes me feel kind of proud. I don't know if I'll make it to my goal weight by July but I'm willing to trade the number on the scale for how my legs and stomach and arms are looking.  It's only going to get better as long as I stay focused and determined. It's the one thing I do for myself and JUST for myself everyday.

So it's time for me to go do it!

I'll blather at you again soon!

17 days until Lady Gaga.
29 days until my next weigh-in.
51 days until my godchild's high school graduation & Jen's wedding.
70 days until my weight loss goal deadline.
77 days until Mexico! Olé!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Where Does The Time Go?: A Quarterly Report

It's already April, which blows my mind. Time goes so slowly when you're a kid and then suddenly you hit a certain age and BOOM! Days are like speeding bullets. I feel like my little dudes were just born but it's not true. It makes me so sad even though I'm so excited to see who they become and have great adventures with them. I don't know why I'm rambling like this so early in the morning. I guess it's because I realized it's been a month and a half since I blogged last. No, that couldn't be! But it can and is. And here I am, rambling.

I'm half way through a month long workout group I joined. Everything happens at home but the online group is there for support and motivation, which is something I need. Knowing I need to report my weight and measurements to other people after a month holds me accountable. I've been making better eating choices and I'm really starting to feel some changes in my body. A little definition here and there. They (yes, the all-powerful THEY) say it takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change, 8 weeks for your family/friends, and 12 weeks for the world. My entire program is 20 weeks. I can not quit. I love the new energy and sense of accomplishment I'm feeling. Now I want to love how I look in short-shorts and bikinis! May sound shallow but it's what I want and I'm the only one who can make it happen.

Not much more to report about me. The nursing programs are full for Fall so I can't start until the Spring. I was heart broken. The plan for nursing school was set in motion before Leukemia took over.  Taking care of Spencer was priority #1. My plans had to be shuffled around so there were setbacks. But Todd is very supportive and didn't see it as a big deal. It's a few more months. I'm going to take a class or 2 over the summer to boost my GPA and get me ahead. I just can't wait to get in those scrubs. I feel like I have so much to prove. Like there are still people expecting me to fail or quit. It just motivates me more. I'm no longer letting anyone's negative energy pull me down. I'm using it as fuel. I have no space in my life or hours in my speeding-by days for people who suck. Awesomeness only.

Speaking of awesomeness...

My little dudes aren't so little anymore (crying on the inside). Spencer is making some great strides. Now is a very exciting time for him. He FINALLY took his first unassisted steps!! He has been walking more and more with the assistance of a gait trainer they provided for him at school. He is going to be off and running in no time. He has added a few more words to his vocabulary and is definitely understanding everything that's going on around him. His receptive speech is fantastic and I know he will be talking our ears off soon enough. At school they said that when kids focus on one skill like walking other skills like talking fall by the wayside until they accomplish what they've set out to do.  This is true for all kids.

In the next few weeks we will start meeting with people from the Brunswick school district, along with people from his current school. They will do a series of evaluations to see if he is ready to move to a preschool within the school district. He could stay at his current school but in the long run, he's going to be in the city schools. I want him to be with everyone he's going to grow up with. I'm nervous about him leaving his nice supportive bubble, but it's still preschool where everyone wants to play together and be friends. I need to stop worrying about things that are not happening right now. He's not getting picked on and he's not getting laughed at and he's not struggling. And if we're lucky those things will never happen because he's a great kid. I just still can't help but feeling like he got shafted. He's so so sweet and awesome and I hate to see him struggling but he doesn't even realize that he is. He just enjoys his life. He's happy so I'm happy. 

And what do I say about Hurricane Sullivan?? That kid blows my mind on a daily basis. He's running, climbing, jumping, diving, doing everything possible to terrify me! Definitely still my adventure baby. And he is so smart. He's been saying hundreds of words and short sentences for awhile now, he can count to five, can associate tons of animals with their sounds (including the fox which apparently says DING DING), can sing parts of songs, follow tons of commands, problem solve on his own, and just a plethora of cool things. But he definitely uses that big brain of his to be very sneaky. But I love my sneaky little redhead. My red pepper. He is so cuddly and snuggly and sweet and he gives the best hugs! I love getting to know him more and more every day. He is great motivation for Spencer. They're just the best of friends. It looks like good weather is right around the corner so I know we're going to have an awesome summer together because these kids are in exploration mode. So curious. So awesome.

So it looks like things in my life are still kids, school, self, and I'm okay with that. Like I said, spring and summer are right around the corner and there are so many cool things we plan on doing as a family. I want my kids to grow up having cool memories of their childhood like I do. Even simple stupid things like coloring Easter eggs together. But outside of mom-mode, I do have some cool events coming up that I am personally excited about. It's cool to have things to look forward to. It's cool to not necessarily feel like your head is going to fall off all the time. Life is good. Even when it's not, it is, if that makes any sense at all.

COOL was the overused word today!

13 days until my weigh-in.
40 days until Lady Gaga.
74 days until my godchild's high school graduation & Jen's wedding.
93 days until my weight loss goal deadline.
100 days until Mexico! Olé!!!
117 days until Road Rash Bash.