Friday, January 21, 2011

Would You Use A Doula?

After looking into how to possibly get into the field of lactation consulting or doulas and midwifery I found a quasi-local workshop that's just a few weeks away to start the process to become a certified doula.  I contacted the workshop leader and she was kind enough to get back to me almost immediately to send me all the information and agree to let me still sign up for the workshop at this late date. 

I have to say I LOVE the idea of doulas.  I love the idea of working with an expectant mother throughout her pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.  Technically, there are different doulas for each of these, but one can become certified as a birth and postpartum doula at the same time which I think would be both most beneficial to the mother and also the most enjoyable to me.  Why would you want to leave the mother at birth and turn her over to someone new? 

Anyway, what I think is so neat about being a doula is you can offer emotional, educational, even physical support to the expectant or new mother without actually being the person who delivers the baby.  This is not something I'm necessarily interested in, which is why I tend to lean more towards becoming a doula than an certified nurse midwife.  I'd rather kind of be the person assisting and offering help where ever I could, but not actually delivering.

On the other hand, I don't live in New York City or LA or some other extremely diverse and progressive metropolis where there are likely a lot of women who have the money and the want to add a doula to their birth team, and I never will.  So is this really a realistic choice for me?  Will it be a huge waste of time and money because in the end being matched with an expectant mother would be something that happened too rarely for it to be worth my while?  I mean, as much as I want to find something to do with my life that I could enjoy and even love, ultimately I still have to somehow support my family, right? 

I don't know.  There's a lot to think about.  It's no stretch to say that these ideas are definitely in their infancy and I'm not even sure they'll ever make it to toddlerhood let alone become fully grown.  But for now it's something I'm trying to find as much information on as possible to see how any of this might fit into my life and if any of it is a good answer for me.  How will I find the time and money to pay for the training for whatever I decide to do?  Can I afford to take more time away from my kids by adding something so time-consuming into my daily repertoire?  These and so many more are obviously questions I need to answer for myself pretty soon. 

The birth doula workshop leader has given me until Tuesday to decide if I want to join her workshop or not.  It's $300 plus I'd need to get a hotel room for 2 nights.  I'm not sure if that is something I can really work into my budget or justify.  I definitely can't justify it if I'm not 100% sure about what path I'm going to choose, so it looks like I have a long weekend of thinking ahead of me. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Need A Career. If Only Moms Could Get Paid To Be Moms.

As you know, I have been completely indecisive about what I have wanted to do with my life since, well... ever.  What I would love to do is write a couple of novels and retire to the French or Italian countryside with my kiddos.  But, although my mind spins daily with 9,000 different book ideas something always gets in the way that makes me reconsider.  Usually that is my complete lack of self-confidence, but sometimes it's other factors.  Like kids needing fed and bathed and whatnot.

I have an education degree, and could probably pretty easily go back to that, but I'm not sure that I really want to.  Other than the schedule, there just isn't much about teaching that appeals to me anymore.  Don't get me wrong, the schedule is a HUGE appeal, not only having the summers off but also having the summers off and being able to spend that time with my kids.  Then I tell myself that Ohio is likely to go to a 12 month school schedule any year now so that will probably happen right about the time I decide to go back and then I'd really be livid.

So I'm trying to think of things I enjoy doing and trying to find a career path.  I've really been looking into the idea of becoming a doula, or even a midwife, and especially a certified lactation consultant.  All of these things REALLY appeal to me, but I'm just not sure if it's the right route to take.  It will take me at least 3 years to complete a certified nurse midwife program, and with 3 kids and not much help, that will more likely be something like 6 years.  And do I want to start a whole new challenging career in 6 years from now?  Who knows. 

I like the idea of not becoming a midwife, but simply a doula and a CLC, because the personal care aspect is what appeals to me more than the medical and clinical aspect, but then I wonder what kind of job prospects I would have as a doula, or a CLC who is not already an RN. 

Either way my biggest obstacles are obviously time, and even more so.. money.  I already have roughly a Honda Accord's worth of student loans that I've been paying off very little by very little for 5 or 6 years now.  I can't take out any more loans.  As I've already mentioned, I don't really qualify for grants, and unless I pursue midwifery the other options are certification options anyway and therefore grants wouldn't help me in those cases even if I could get them.  I'm trying to apply for some scholarships for people who already have a degree but I'm finding that most of those want to know exactly what it is that I want to go back to school for.  Why can't I just be a lifelong student majoring in undecided?  Why can't I get paid to go to school?  It is one of the things I most love, so it's unfortunate that this isn't really a career path that's available. 

Anyway... that's why I'm up at 3 am.  Again.  I always seem to end up awake at 3 am.  Every night I fall asleep in my recliner somewhere between 10 and midnight.  Then I wake up and get up and get something to drink and no matter how many times I tell myself I'm not going to do it, I open my computer and sit and start researching whatever is crossing my mind that day.  And then I'm up until 3.  Maybe if I do go back to school this will come in handy for me to get homework done between midnight and 3 am.  Since I'll be going back to work in a week or two, that's probably not really the smartest idea. 

So I'm off to bed now.  Hopefully for good this time.  :)  I just wanted to update you on what I've been thinking about.  Maybe if I get it out there that I'm thinking about these things I'll be more likely to follow through with it.  We'll see.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Are Kettlebells The Answer To My Fitness Prayers?

I read an article today that using a kettlebell burns 300 calories in just 15 minutes.  It went on to say that this is more than you would burn in 30 minutes riding a bike... which made me quickly realize that when I was getting into riding my stationary bike every night before I fell and hurt my foot I must've been riding it much too slowly because it was more like 45ish minutes before I got to 300 calories.. Hmpf.  Does it still count if you don't ride as hard but you stay on longer?  Idk... Probably not as much....

I'm hoping that I can get back on the bike soon (no pun intended!) and am really hoping that the ortho will tell me I can throw this stinky boot out for good after my appointment next week, but for now, this article got me thinking.

When I had started working out before the fall I was doing Zumba for Wii, Step Walking on Wii Fit, and riding the stationary bike.  All of these things required the use of both legs, so I guess I somehow convinced myself that I really couldn't do any sort of working out until my leg healed.  There was always a little bug nagging in my ear telling me there were things I could do with my arms, or I could try modifying some workouts just using my right leg, but I pretty much squashed that bug every time he buzzed through.

But the kettlebell article stuck with me.  I'd always kind of been interested in them, but they're pretty expensive and I never talked myself into buying one.  But today, thanks to a great "Living Social" deal, (one of my daily email coupons!) I bought a $20 gift card for $10.  Yay, savings!  After reading about the kettlebells I used that little gift certificate tonight and ordered the Bob Harper kettlebell training DVD with 15 lb kettlebell and applied my $10 savings so I got a good deal!  I should get it in 3 or 4 days!

I need to Live My Best Life NOW not in 3 or 4 days, though, so I grudgingly decided it was time to get the regular old hand weights out and worked out with those for about 45 minutes.  Nothing aerobic, just strength training.  I'm going to work with those until I get my kettlebell (and human Bob Harper DVD fix!  He's just a cartoon in my Biggest Loser for Wii game!) and get this workout thing moving!  :)  I'll let you know what I think of the DVD and if Bob kicks my butt the way he does for people on the Biggest Loser! 

Our ADHD Story... Moms Can You Help Me With Yours? ^^

My amazingly wonderful gorgeous hilarious sweet as pie oldest daughter Olivia has ADHD.  Pretty severely, I would say.  I think I could have told you by the time Olivia was one year old that she had this, but she's only actually been diagnosed for about 4 or 5 months now.  And it's been quite a road to that diagnosis and quite a road to a solution. 

While the ADHD has always caused me problems with Liv at home, it wasn't until she started kindergarten that it really began to pose a more severe problem for us.  She's always been a smart girl, in my opinion.  She learned to count and group things very early on and started learning letters and sounds and how to write letters also very early.

But when she was around 4 I could tell that she was starting to have problems.  Suddenly she didn't know the letters as well as she used to.  I started noticing that she was forgetting a lot of things that I felt she had already learned and she seemed to have a complete mental block when it came to anything having to do with numbers, even something as simple as identifying one digit numbers. 

I could tell she wasn't learning the things in her 4 year old preschool class at the same rate the other kids were, and she started to become less interested in working with me at home writing the names of everyone in the family (something that was once a favorite activity of hers) and trying to work with letters and numbers.  At her preschool graduation, the kids showed all that they'd learned over the year.  They all recited rhymes and chants and counted to 10 in 5 different languages and sang several songs with motions.  For most of that, Olivia just stood there.

This wasn't too surprising; she'd always seemed to retreat to her own little world in front of people, but it was frustrating nonetheless.  That summer after preschool graduation I really started to kind of go gangbusters to prepare her for starting kindergarten.  Because our local kindergarten was still doing every other day, and because she was going to be in a class of 22, I decided to keep her enrolled at the private kindergarten at her preschool.  This would allow her to go every day, and the class size would only be around 14 kids.  I really believed that both of these things would provide a better learning environment for Liv.

The kindergarten teacher was replaced at the school after we had made our decision.  She was someone who had taught in Catholic schools for 20 years and for some reason was starting over at our school.  She was very nice, but it was clear that she was easily stressed by things like... kids talking, noise, chaos... all sorts of things you'd find in a kindergarten room.  While she always commented about how much she enjoyed having Olivia in class, it was pretty evident that she didn't have much patience for her, and I didn't find her very warm-- something Liv really craved in adults.

I was very soon getting reports from the teacher about the problems Liv was having with learning.  She was falling behind and fast.  I tried working with her at home on reading and math and literally could get nowhere.  I made sight word flashcards and it was a good night if we could get through 5 flashcards.  I literally would have to redirect her back to the flashcard after every single letter sound of a word.  5 flashcards would take 20 minutes.  And she would cry and cry and beg that we could stop.  I would give in.

She continued to fall behind and the kindergarten teacher suggested midway through the year that we'd have to seriously consider if she would be ready to move on to 1st grade.  I scoffed at this; how could she even think about this so soon in the year, she still had a half a year to work with her and prepare her!  But as the year end closed in it became obvious that this was something we'd be having to face a decision over. 

Close to the end of the year I logged on to our Children's Hospital website and filled out some forms to start the evaluation process for ADHD.  My mom was immediately incensed with me.  She is very anti-medication for kids and had made that very clear to me every time we would even talk about it.  Her face would clench and she would either not speak to me or start yelling and/or crying about how I couldn't do this to Liv.  I felt like I was in such a tug of war... I didn't want to medicate my baby either, but the more research I did the more I found that medication was so far the best known remedy for the problem.

My mom is a believer, user, and salesperson for a nutritional product called Reliv.  It saved her from a life of pain from fibromyalgia, and she has met and seen hundreds of others who it has saved as well from myriad diseases and afflictions.  She gave me story upon story about how it worked for kids with ADHD and I agreed to put Olivia on whatever regimen she decided.  It's a natural nutritional product, and I was willing to try anything that would work for us.

We started seeing a behavioral therapist as the first step in the process Children's set up for diagnosis and assessment of ADHD.  She gave us a lot of suggestions that I tried to implement at home.  Many of the suggestions were well-received by our daily routine, others didn't seem to fit into our lives very well.  In truth, I didn't really feel like these sessions were making much of a difference for us.  I really really wanted them to, because I was hoping that the behavioral therapy would be the magic solution that would allow us to avoid medication.  I was soon realizing this was not going to work the way I had hoped. 

Soon at Children's they started the actual testing and not long after we had the diagnosis I knew was already there.  Liv has ADHD.  No kidding.  We were referred to our regular pediatrician to discuss options.  Again, my mom would cry and fight me on this tooth and nail, she basically said, there are no options related to medication.  I listened to her arguments and really agreed with most of them but I vowed to keep an open mind about what to do about this.

Our pediatrician had a very long talk with us.  I had decided not to tell Liv that she had ADHD.  She is already so timid and worried about people not liking her and worrying about being different in any way, I decided I didn't want to put on her little shoulders the thought that there was something wrong with her.  The ped talked quite a bit about what we were dealing with.  It was a very emotional and educational meeting.  Olivia was bouncing off the walls during the visit. 

Something that kind of stopped my breath was when the doctor said that the lack of impulse control was something that contributed to the way Liv was acting in the office.  She asked how she was when we were out in public.  I realized that I almost always avoided taking her into public unless I had a ton of help.  I didn't take her to the grocery store unless I could put her into the grocery babysitting area.  I didn't take her to restaurants unless I had at least 1 preferably 2 other adults with me.  The list went on.  I thought to myself, all this time I was only thinking about how I can help Olivia succeed in her education and social life, that's all that I want out of any of this.  But was it possible that I wasn't realizing how much this was affecting my own life and maybe we could have a more normal life?  It wasn't what I set out to accomplish, and honestly, if we could find the right combination to help Liv succeed but I didn't get that result, I'd be totally fine with it.  But the thought of it sure sounded nice. 

Plus she asked me how Liv was around the (then 10 month old) baby.  I said, she attacks him, all day long.  I am continually saying, be gentle, don't crowd him, leave him alone, he doesn't want you to do that, etc.  She asked if I had to tell Ava the same things.  I admitted that I didn't.  She said that's because Olivia has no control of these impulses and space issues.  It's not normal to have to remind a 6 year old 20 times a day to be gentle with a baby, they should know this by then.  I was sufficiently crying by this point.

She did recommend medication and explained to me in detail why she thought it was necessary and how closely we would monitor it.  She mentioned that if often took several tries to find the right fit that worked for each kid and we needed to work with her teachers to see if there were any improvements or not in school and also to see if there were any side effects such as loss of appetite and trouble sleeping getting to her.

We first tried focalin.  By day 2 of trying this medication I was sobbing.  I realized that I had done my daughter a huge disservice by not pursuing this further.  I saw her entire demeanor change.  She would suddenly sit and play with legos for hours on end and was so much better with her brother.  And when we did sight word flashcards that first day?  She read 30 of them.  And she actually read them.  It was amazing.

Her teachers, however, weren't really seeing any improvements at school.  I was also noticing that on days that she had after school activities she was totally out of it or not paying attention or acting really silly during them.  The doctor suggested we up the dosage amount of the focalin.  It was too much.  Liv seemed "high."  Her teachers noticed her acting like she was in a total daze, and they still didn't see any improvements with her attention span.

Next we tried the original focalin dose, but added a half a dose of short acting focalin for her to use to get through the after school hours for homework and activities.  The only result we saw here was the addition of more anxiety-like symptoms, such as picking her fingers and worrying about things even more.  I tried it for a couple of weeks but soon nixed the afternoon dose.  She stopped the finger picking but we were still back to the drawing board, according to the teachers. 

Honestly, in my eyes, Olivia had improved by leaps and bounds and I never dreamed I would see that much change in her so quickly and I was happy with what I was seeing and happy to acknowledge that as the miracle it was to me.  Her teachers still disagreed, though.  They were still having problems keeping her on task and again, she was starting to fall behind in school. 

I explained these concerns to the pediatrician.  She assured me that once we found the right dosage for Olivia that I would hear different things from her teachers.  She would never be perfect as no child can be, but she will learn to control impulses and pay attention to the point that her teachers won't feel the need to contact me about these issues any more.  The doctor then prescribed vivance.  Sadly, we still weren't seeing any improvements but suddenly the finger picking was back.

I am just so upset about all of this.  Why weren't we finding the answer?  Why were we still treating Liv like a science experiment?  There had to be a better solution.

Just before Christmas break the doctor changed her medication again to something called Intuniv.  I saw horrible results from this medication.  I was told she might be a little more sleepy than normal but I had no idea what to expect.  She literally slept almost an entire weekend.  The girl who hasn't taken a nap since she was 2 and can stay up as late as you'd let her but still be up by 8 each morning could hardly be woken.  I carried her from car to couch back to car to places we were going back to car to couch for 3 days.  It was awful.  I called the doctor's office Monday morning and said, no way we need to get off this med immediately.  She urged me to give it a couple more days. 

I was pretty against the idea, but I agreed to 2 more days.  She thought Liv's body would adjust and she wanted to hear what her teachers had to say.  So I agreed.  And lo and behold, the next day, both of her teachers emailed with the most amazing, glowing reviews of Liv's focus and attention span and ability to stay on task since the start of the year.  Had we found the magic solution??  I was cautiously optimistic.  The doctor was like, "see, I told you so."  LOL. 

But suddenly at home she was much more hyper in the evenings than she ever had been.  Of course she had some hyper tendencies, but her problems were mostly resulting from the inattentive side of ADHD.  The doctor suggested I give her a small dose of Adderall in the afternoons.  I tried this, and we were back to Olivia sleeping for hours on end.  It was too much.  I never gave her that dose again.  More importantly, though, we were on Christmas break.  She was only in school for 2 days on the start of this new medication, and I worried that when she returned to school things would be back to square one again.

On top of that Liv's insurance wasn't agreeing to pay for this medication.  They said it was too expensive and needed more information as to why a cheaper medication wasn't prescribed.  Hours on the phone with everyone from the doctor's office to the pharmacy to the insurance company to the pharmacy board itself proved futile.  Still no coverage.

School started up again and her teachers said at the end of the first week that they were still seeing a lot of the same, longer attention spans, staying on task better, less redirection needed.  I still was having problems with her at home at night and the ped suggested I try the small Adderall dose again but I've been reluctant to do that.  She was so happy to get the notes from the teachers again and I guess had pretty much decided we had found the miracle we were looking for and so we were done with it.  But... still no movement on how to get it covered.  I can't pay even close to what it would cost so that's just one of the roadblocks to this medication.

The next roadblock is something else I'm discovering.  The teachers are seeing more focus, but are they seeing more results academically?  Olivia seems to be very much at a standstill with her improvements in reading and math and I don't know how else to help her.  I'm starting to wonder if there's a learning or processing problem on top of the ADHD.  It's a bitter pill to swallow, and I'm hoping it's not the case. 

I'm a licensed, although not practicing teacher myself and I know what labels can do to a child, and I don't want that for my baby if it can be helped.  I recognize that I may not be able to avoid an IEP for her in the future, but I'm hoping to put it off until we do find the magic solution and therefore no longer need it.  I do not want her labeled to have a learning disability because the poor girl already has so much working against her socially I'm afraid how much more harm this will do to her. 

I don't even know how to approach this next obstacle.  Some people say, oh, she's just in first grade, she'll be fine, blah blah blah.  But there is no question that she is already falling behind and it's going to be a huge uphill battle for her.  I am actively researching more solutions, from different medication options, to tutoring options, and even as far as homeschooling or private schooling options that are better equipped to work with someone with problems like this.

That's our story.  So far.  That pretty much brings us up to date (aside from her teacher saying yesterday they want to have Liv evaluated for gross motor skill deficiencies, which may or may not be related to her ADHD... but I'll talk more about that in another post). 

I hope you stayed with me; I know it was a lengthy post.  But I'm hoping if you're a mom also dealing with ADHD you'll be curious in our journey as you have already been on or may be in the middle of or just embarking on your journey to figuring out your magic solution. 

I would LOVE any suggestions you would like to give!  Anything that worked or didn't work for you or your kids.  I need to find something that really works for my girl and I will try anything!  I hope to find something soon and figure out how to best help my sweet girl so I'm completely open to anything you have to add or offer! 

Thanks so much readers, I will let you know how things progress.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

There's A Pox On My House And They're Dropping Like Flies

Of course it was only a matter of time; I should have known it was going to happen.  Brody spent 4 days being ridiculously sick last week (remember, another "unexplained illness"?) and now it has taken over my life. 

Yesterday the kids were off school and preschool for MLK day and my dad kept the girls and took them sledding.  They got home around 5 and Liv was the first to come in the door.  Before she had taken her second step I knew it had hit her.  She was white as a sheet and her little eyes were all sunken in.  The unexplained illness had claimed its next victim.

I was surprised because Olivia is generally my strong one.  Ava definitely gets sick more than her and Brody definitely gets sick more than both of the girls.  I figured Ava would be the first to catch it, but no, it was Liv, burning up with 103 fever and immediately walking to the couch and curling up into the fetal position.  She was down! 

Not one to be left out, Ava came home from preschool today with a nice little fever of her own.  Ooohhh, it doesn't get any better than this.  So here's where it all stands.  Me: still on crutches.  Olivia: sick.  Ava: sick.  Grammy: in Florida.  Boyfriend: having a root canal and coming home completely knocked out by it.  And the cherry on the sundae... Brody is back to his normal little force of nature path of destruction baby on the warpath self. 

My brain was in serious overdrive tonight trying to deal with all of this.  Stress city, that's what I like to call it.  All while hobbling around in my boot with my crutches I'm doling out medicine, rubbing backs, smoothing back hair, rubbing away tears, trying to get some sort of food and drinks into bellies, and simultaneously keeping Brody out of the trash can, pulling him down from the kitchen chairs, pulling him down from the bar stool chairs that he's recently figured out how to get on top of, resetting a gate that he figured out how to knock down twice, and the list goes on and on...

I know I have already expressed my disbelief at the machine that is a boy, but I swear, I sometimes wonder if he's got some sort of chromosomal abnormality that allows him to be so crazy strong.  At "baby preschool" he is constantly knocking the kids over.  Not to be mean, simply because he wants to play, and he plays way too hard.  His teacher says she thinks it's more of a "personal space" thing with him... like he doesn't know when to stop encroaching.  At home I've already described how he can scale, climb, or topple any obstacle in his way, and his older sisters are no match for his strength.  Olivia can pick him up to remove him from something to help out from time to time, but one yank of her hair and it's over.  The boy's grip never lets up.  And even against his own mother... if he catches me standing on my one good foot without leaning on my crutches, he will giggle and push me from behind and literally the boy can knock me over.  Is this normal?  I don't think so.

Anyway... back to me.  In the midst of the stream of wadded up tissues and temperature checks (Olivia says, "mom, can you see if the 'therstomental' says I'm any better yet?") and coddling kiddos and wrangling babies, I had to do something towards my own Best Life end, right?

Remember a week or so ago, I mentioned how I filled out the FAFSA to see if I could get approved for any grant money to go back to school?  Yeah, well, turns out the answer to that is a big fat no.  Apparently, even though when I was pursuing my bachelor's degree I didn't qualify for grant money because they figured in my parents' income, even though my parents weren't helping me pay for school in the first place... now, even though there is clearly no one's income to take into account than mine, and it's pretty obvious that I'm in near financial ruin, I don't qualify for grant money because... I already have my bachelor's degree.  Funny how that works out, huh?  How the heck do people get grant money?  I guess the only way is to either emancipate yourself from your parents at 17 or marry someone at 18 and pledge to live in poverty together.  Otherwise, you just plain don't qualify.

So it's time to look for other options.  Most scholarships are for high school students, or at the very most undergrads, but I have heard that there are some scholarships and other funding out there for more non-traditional students like me.  And every time I had two free hands today (which really wasn't often, but I take what I can get!) I started perusing the web for some that might apply to me.  I found a few and filled out the applications.  I found a couple more that also need essays accompanying them, so after my little blogging work is done for the evening I'm off to make like a student and write some essays.  Wish me luck!

Monday, January 17, 2011

** I Had My Golden Globes Gown All Picked Out But My Invitation Never Came

I just finished watching The Golden Globes. 

Social Network just won best picture.  I just happened to see that today.  It was pretty great.  Really great.  But was it better than The Fighter?  I'm not sure.  I really don't think so.  I haven't seen The King's Speech and I know everyone says Inception was amazing but I fell asleep in it.  I also haven't seen Black Swan yet but my sister and dad, two of my best movie previewers, have both said it's really good, but very dark and not nearly as good as The Fighter.  Or as good as True Grit, which was also amazing, and sadly wasn't even nominated. 

And again... I haven't yet seen The King's Speech, and although I can guarantee that I will love it (that's a movie that's right up my alley) and I know that I will love Colin Firth, I can't imagine he's any match for Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter.  He is ALWAYS amazing, but this movie just really showcased him (and all the actors in it!) and I quickly forgave him for making me think that I could actually watch a Will Ferrell movie and actually like it only to quickly be proven way wrong.  The Other Guys?  Meh.  But The Fighter?  Incredible.  And Mark in The Fighter?  The best.  I hope he's nominated for an Oscar at least, if not wins the Oscar.  Congrats Colin.  I'm sure you were great.  While I was hoping for a win for The Fighter, I'll give you this one, HFPA. 

But I don't even know what to say for your Best Comedy (Or Musical?  Why are these in the same category?).  The Kids Are Alright?  Meh.  It looked like it was going to be great, and it was ok, but I was pretty disappointed in it.  Although  I guess the other movies that were up for it weren't exactly in the category of greatness, either. 

And I hate to be Fighter-centric, but I am glad that Christian Bale and Melissa Leo (the mother! she was soo great!) won but again... oh Mark how you moved me. 

As far as TV goes, I'm glad Glee won and Jane Lynch for Glee, although Sofia Vergara does crack me up on Modern Family.  And I love The Big C and Laura Linney so I guess it's ok that she beat Lea Michelle, but I really don't understand why cable tv shows and regular tv shows continue to be in the same category.  It's like the regular shows don't stand a chance!  They're still great, but they just don't have the freedom that cable has and the cable shows almost always win out.  Did 87 years of The Sopranos winning teach us nothing?  I don't have HBO, and I've heard that Boardwalk Empire is great, and I know Steve Buscemi is great in everything he does, but basically there were no network shows or actors even given a chance, save Hugh Laurie, who is incredible as House.  I just feel like if there were two different categories so many other great network shows and actors would have a chance here as well.  Same goes for Katey Sagal, who I've heard is amazing in Sons of Anarchy, but I've never seen it.  And the only network person she was up against was Juliana Marguiles, who again, I've heard is great in The Good Wife, but I haven't seen that because it's on at the same time as something else I watch (although I can't think of what right now).  Network shows have great actresses too!  HPFA please separate out these categories! 

Finally, I still haven't seen Temple Grandin, because like I said before I don't have HBO and I haven't yet been able to find the movie, but I want to see it badly.  Wow Clare Danes was beautiful last night and she and Temple brought tears to my eyes a few times after she was announced and during her speech!  That movie sounds great.  I hope to be able to see it soon.   I'm just glad Jennifer Love Hewitt didn't win for the goofy The Client List.  LOL

IDK I guess my opinion doesn't really amount to much in cases like these, but it should!  Who knows more about which movies and actors are great than the movie and celeb obsessed mom who never gets the chance to get out and go to movies herself but lives for Blockbuster, Netflix, and the occasional DVD that somehow gets dropped on my doorstep because apparently someone mistakenly believes that I am someone on an awards consideration panel so therefore am supposed to get these movies ahead of time?  Not many people, in my humble opinion.  I guess I won't quit my day job(s) anytime soon but if you ever want to call on my to join the party and put in my two cents, I'm there, HFPA!  :) 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

As My Brother Says, That Boy Has "Left Tackle" Written All Over Him

I am failing miserably at trying to take one step each day this year to Live My Best Life.  Sheesh, right now it's a good day if 1 out of the 5 people in the house gets a bath or shower for the day. Brody fought a high fever for 4 days and was basically glued to my side.  He got over it as fast as he got it... he went from whining all day long and sewn to my hip right back into his normal M.O. of complete and total destruction.  Yesterday my blog was on my mind all day, but never even crossed my mind last night as I passed out from exhaustion that can only be explained by taking care of a sick, and then dealing with a newly well little boy all week.

This boy is Hell on wheels I tell ya.  My girls were tough as infants and toddlers, but this boy is TOUGH.  I'm experiencing things as a mom I haven't dealt with before on my first two tries.  I have finally realized that when you read about all those celebrity moms who say "I don't work out to stay so thin; I just chase after my kids all day," that these women are moms of boys, not girls. 

Not that it works for me in that area at all but I can see how it would work for them because I am constantly on the go with this kiddo, and really I am in constant chase mode.  I've always had pretty strong arms and have been able to carry kids on one or both hips for hours and miles at a time, but Brody makes this a whole new game for me because I am rarely just holding or carrying him, I am constantly wrangling him!  I don't know how moms of more than one boy do it I swear.

The girls have recently started to teach me that girl drama starts much earlier than I ever dreamed it would.  Always fighting with each other.  Jealous.  Hurt feelings.  Crying.  Name Calling.  Hair pulling.  Hitting.  Kicking.  And this is just between my own two; the drama I deal with each day when Olivia comes home from school inevitably hurt or upset about something a girl at school said or did that day is on a whole other level. 

What I hear all the time from moms of boys (including my own) though, is that not only now in infancy and toddlerhood am I dealing with something so foreign to me with a boy, but in a few years I will be MUCH happier to have a boy.  No drama with boys, people say.  (Have these people seen Brody literally take Ava DOWN when he sees her in his Cozy Coupe?  Or climb on top of her and try to push her off of me when he waddles into a room and catches her on my lap?  Jealousy is clearly something that isn't defined by gender roles....) 

But what I'm told is that I'm in for different fun.  Maybe I won't have the drama... but I will have to deal with frogs.  And possibly snakes.  And definitely bugs.  And any number of other things people tell me that little boys can't catch a glimpse of without putting them in their pockets and bringing into the house to show their mommies.  I hear the animal and insect problem is nothing compared to the sheer amount of mud, dirt, blood, bruises, and broken bones I'll be in for with the boy. 

I can see this already, as Olivia is scared to death to try anything, Ava is much less timid but she still holds back a lot.  But at 15 months Brody is not afraid of anything.  ANYTHING.  He was full on walking by 10 months whereas my girls just started taking steps at 12 months and 11 months respectively.  He's been climbing the bleachers at gymnastics since he was about 11 months.  He can climb on top of any piece of furniture in the house, no matter how high.  He tackles his almost 5 and 6 1/2 year old sister with ease and giggles.  He is a linebacker, and I admit I am pretty nervous to see what the future brings for us with this bull in a china shop in our house over the next years.  I'm scared.  I'm not gonna lie.

But OH MY GOSH is he sweet.  And cute.  And hilarious.  And smart.  And just all around amazing.  I was so scared when I was pregnant with him and found out he was a boy... I was all, "what do I do with a boy?  I don't understand boys toys.  Boys clothes are not as cute as girls.  Boys have all sorts of extra parts that I don't know how to deal with.  Boys are rough and tumble not lovey and sweet.  I am a girly girl and so are my girls and so what on earth am I going to do with a boy? 

Everyone said, ohhh, you'll LOVE it.  Boys are mama's boys.  Boys are so much fun.  Boys will really keep your life on the move and full of adventure.  Boys really love their mamas more than anyone else in the world.  Ok, ok, but my girls love me more than anyone else in the world, and they are mama's girls, so how is that going to be any different with a boy? 

Ya.  They were right though.  It's freaking awesome.  This boy... this little unplanned ridiculous surprise almost medical marvel of a boy... he has changed my life so much for the better.  He is all of those things everyone said and more.  And as you know the relationship I have with his father is falling apart, has been falling apart for some time, probably has already even fallen apart, but there is not one thing in the world I regret about it because not ever having had the chance to meet this little guy is something I never want to imagine.

So anyway... there's my little ode to Brode.  :)  But after all of that it brings me to what I did today to Live My Best Life.  I played.  I played and played and played with my boy, just he and I.  The girls are having a sleepover with papa and the boyfriend was, well, watching I guess.  But Brody and I just had the best time making up for lost time from him having been sick all week.  He's not sick anymore, and he wanted to play, and I was all over it!  :)  We played so hard (again, waaay differently that what the girls like to do to play) my arms hurt from picking him up and throwing him around and flipping him over and every which way. 

I'm exhausted!  But what a great reminder for me that even though it's hard sometimes, and it really is a hot mess most of the time, I really do have a pretty amazing life already.