new normal

It’s been ages since I’ve posted here or on any of my other blogs. Due to my current job, I have avoided any and all online social life outside of a protected group of Facebook friends. But recent events in the country have me desperate to express myself. I have no other place to grieve.

For historical reference – because I often look back, years later, on my posts – a few short days ago – Friday, December 14th, I came in late to work so I could help my daughter set up a booth at her school’s craft fair, and so I could also attend the morning assembly at my son’s school. He was getting an award (it was a surprise to him – both the award and that we would be there to see him get it) for doing well in class, being a leader. While both of these things were taking place at my kids schools – 3,000 miles away, an elementary school was being attacked in a random assault by a mad man that left 20 kids, the same age as my son, dead, as well as 6 adults and the gunman. I got the news as I was racing to my desk. My phone buzzed – CNN is set up to give me notifications – a shooting at a school – an elementary school – Please, God, no. In that instant – it felt like the world went forever off it’s track. The future forever changed from how it was “supposed” to be.

Since that moment, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. I know other people deal with these tragedies differently. Sam, no less devastated by it, deals by complete avoidance. So when I feel an uncontrollable urge to bring up the subject – it’s almost always a change in the subject. And then it’s quickly changed back to something else. We are not making a big deal of it in front of the kids – my daughter understands the details more than my son. I’m trying to make sure she’s not afraid to go to school – life still needs to be lived. My son is too little to understand any of it. There’s no point in giving him details. I only told him that he might hear about something that happened at a school, and a lot of people got hurt – and the most important thing he needs to remember is that he should always listen and do what his teachers tell him to. I feel like that act probably saved a lot of kids.

That is what’s happening on the outside. Keeping up appearances. Going on with life. Going to work. Making dinner. Putting kids to bed.

Inside is a different story.

Inside, I feel forever broken. Particularly because of the ages of those kids. I will never know them – but their pictures are burned into my brain. My son will bear a burden, possibly for the rest of his life, that he may never be aware of. I will forever look at him and watch him grow, and think about those kids that will never get the chance to reach the age he does, or the accomplishments he will. I will look at him and he will hold the marker in my mind for where those kids are supposed to be, what they’re supposed to be doing. I will watch him live a life they never got the chance to. And I will be proud of him, cheer for him, and I will grieve too.

In one second, I am trying not to watch the news – I’m trying to skim past facebook posts that dwell on this. I just can’t handle it. And on the other hand – I’m seeking out the news – I want answers. Why did this happen? How did he end up at that school? Please, tell me there is something that can be done to make it so this doesn’t happen again, or at the very least – it would be really really difficult. Make more hurdles. Make it harder. It shouldn’t have been this easy for someone to do this.

I drop off my son at school, and there is still a small voice of panic at the bottom of my stomach. =please keep him safe= I don’t want him to be afraid, I want him to feel safe, but I don’t feel like he really is safe.

It’s ironic that in the President’s speech he gave at the memorial service in Newtown – he described having a kid is like having your heart taken from you, and letting it roam free. Your heart’s accomplishments are like your own. It’s mistakes, it’s pain; your own. I used those exact words when trying to describe it to a friend of mine that day.

I know so many people that are just overwhelmed with emotions. I think most people are trying to move on and take action. I am too. I’m signing petitions. I’m getting information. I’m waiting for the news to give (reliable!) details about how and why this happened. I’m planning on putting pressure on law makers to not be bullied anymore into allowing this to be just part of our culture. But I came here because I also need a place to grieve – because my heart is broken, 3000 miles away. And I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

In the air

So many things are up in the air right now. I don’t believe in a god – so I have to put my faith in invisible unknown forces – karma – or whatever – that everything will somehow work out. I’m on the cusp to some big changes (which of course I can’t talk about in specific until something has finalized). There’s a few different options/directions that may work out – or maybe none of it will, and I’ll have to figure something else out. So hard to plow ahead like normal when you don’t know where “ahead” might be tomorrow or the next day. I’m going through the daily motions – waiting for an answer. Once you get an idea in your head – don’t you want it immediately? I’ve heard of people completely changing the course of their lives when they were so close to finishing something – and always thought that was a bit crazy… but at this moment it makes perfect sense. I want my new direction.. now. I want to know where I’m going right now. I don’t want to wait a few more days or weeks or months to know… Is it any wonder that anyone who proclaims themselves to be a psychic can make a decent living? It’s because of impatient, obsessive people like me! (But I’m not hiring any psychics. LOL)

Since I can’t talk about that – and really, at the moment there’s nothing to talk about anyway, yet – here’s weight-loss status update. My body took a two week hiatus from losing weight. Not me. My body. I continued to exercise, watch calories – and during these two weeks, I gained three pounds. Seriously? I have no idea what that was about. I was so frustrated I was ready to call my doctor to have them start running tests. And don’t say it was muscle – it wasn’t. I might agree that I could have been bloated from too much sodium. I was having those gazpacho soups daily for lunch. But according to my calorie log – that’s a lot of sodium. When I stopped having that soup every day – my body started behaving again and I’m back to slowly losing some weight. I started this journey – well technically at 158lbs – but shortly after beginning it went up to 159! (Grrr) – but I am now down to 151lbs. So either a 7 or 8lb loss in 2 months depending on how you look at it. 😉 That’s pretty close to 1lb a week which is the max I can loose at 1200 calories a day. Still doing Zumba – at least 2x a week, 3x week when I can. I’m now able to make it through the whole class without having to “tone it down” towards the end to make it to the end of class. I can go full steam ahead for the full hour. 😀

High Energy Child

My son has always been extremely active. He doesn’t ever stop moving. Ever. I signed him up for soccer in the fall and he loved it – but it didn’t necessarily have the desired effect which was to tire him out! He could exercise all day – come home and still run laps. With that much energy, it’s not hard to get into trouble. Our house isn’t big and there’s not much room to run – so furniture just becomes part of the raceway. I’m constantly on him to settle down, not run on the furniture, etc. etc. but it doesn’t make a difference. I was afraid that with so much activity – no one would want to set up any playdates with him. We don’t do many of them – but I swear that when he does have one, it’s because he runs circles around everyone so much that THE OTHER kid is sure to get a good night sleep. Mine, on the other hand? He’ll be awake until about 9 or 10pm. Sometimes even later on the weekends. (Even though his actual bed time is much earlier) Going to bed is a punishment – or at least that’s the way he sees it. I used to think that maybe the hyperactivity was just a symptom of him being overtired. But there is literally no “making” him go to sleep. He sleeps when he’s ready to and not a moment before – regardless of what I do. You can’t make someone sleep.

Last night I was at the end of my rope, and patience. I know he doesn’t have ADHD or anything along those lines – he is capable of sitting still. I’ve seen him do it at school. When he’s finished with his work, the kids are supposed to go to a quiet corner and read a book – which he happily and proudly does. I don’t get complaints from the teacher about him acting out – so I think he’s doing ok (although I will be grilling her next parent teacher conference on exactly how well he really is doing on that to make sure). So I turned to the all-knowing Google. “Kid never sits still” “Excessively active child” “High energy child” – the last one came up with lots of good hits. “High Energy Child” is apparently the key phrase to describe him – and he’s not the only one. Here is what I got out of the links I read:

1) Limit TV and Video Games. Big time. These will overstimulate him. Other kids get over stimulated, but not nearly to the degree a high-energy child does. So our new plan: I have a chore chart – when all the things on the chore chart are done he can either have ONE (and only ONE) hour of TV OR video games – OR he can have a quarter. (He loves to buy junky toys from those bubble-gum vending machines)

2) Did you see the movie Gremlins? I didn’t actually – but I know there was something about not feeding the things after midnight. Similar rules apply – with similar results when you don’t comply – but in this case it’s the TV and video games again. That hour of media entertainment? Not to be done before bed!!!

3) Redirection. This is where that chore chart comes in. Once he starts complaining about not having the TV and video games – I remind him how he can earn it for an hour for the day. Try to give him “jobs”. Keep him assigned to a task. If he’s idle – trouble will follow.

4) Whatever you do. WHATEVER you do! Don’t lose your cool. Getting angry will make things worse. It will make him amplify his hyperactivity and make you even angrier. You’ll begin a viscous cycle. That’s not to say don’t tell him to get off the furniture or don’t punish him when he refuses to listen. But all punishment and directions must come completely without emotion.

I’m trying to see the world through his eyes and it is helping me to understand how to deal with him. Imagine you have boundless energy… and then imagine there is someone there who is always trying to bring you down – make you go to sleep? How can you sleep when you still have enough energy to jump tall buildings in a single bound.

The good news is that he’s a good kid. He’s sensitive to others. (Well to the extent a 6 year old is capable of) He doesn’t get into fights. He has a lot of friends at school. He’s bright, creative, smart, funny and can focus on school work when needed. He’s going to grow up and be an amazing human being some day. If we can direct that energy to something positive, I can’t even imagine the things he’ll be able to accomplish.

We’ll see how the plan above goes as time wears on. It’s always difficult to maintain these things in the long term. I’m hoping we do, and I’m hoping it works so we can all live a more happy life together. It has been really stressful to say the least.

It comes once a month…

I‘m referring to my blog posts. :) Gone are the days of daily blogging! I had a client ask me recently about my blog and I had to explain that while I always liked blogging, my bigger interest was in MAKING the blog, not so much writing on it. Hence the beginning of Scriptygoddess and then the beginning of my new job/business.

But I do like looking back on life. So here’s this past month’s rundown.

My daughter is wrapping up her part in the local theatre/musical group’s production of Cats. She has an ensemble part – but really does seem to enjoy doing the shows. She wants to do the next show too – against my better judgement, I’m pretty much decided to let her. Her grades were hurting in the beginning, but she’s pulled them up (I can take some credit here too because I’ve been seriously on her case about keeping up) – she’s cooperated for the most part – so I think we’ll do the show. Cats has been fun for me too – the program requires parent volunteer hours and I signed up for makeup. I *love* doing facepaint/makeup – especially cat makeup. At the same time, it’s also crazy stressful as there are A LOT of kids in the show. There’s a bunch of us working on makeup – I have about 6 kids I need to do makeup for – but we only get a little less than 2 hours before the show to do it. For each show, I’ve had the kids waiting in line, waiting waiting waiting for their turn. I’m going as fast as I can, but I feel bad about making anyone wait for me! There’s three more shows left – I’m sure by the last one I’ll be so fast!

Zach just finished up his first soccer season. He is really good at it and I think we’ve got him convinced to do it again. I wish they had a spring session for his age group but they don’t (not unless we want to drive a few towns over each time!) So we’re stuck waiting for fall! I’d like to sign him up for another sport for the spring to keep him active, but I’m not sure what’s available and what programs are good. The ones through the town I wasn’t terribly impressed with. (The soccer program was great – it was through AYSO) There’s T-ball – but I really wanted something where he’d be more active (more than just waiting around for someone to hit a ball – or waiting for his turn to hit the ball… etc.) Flag football might be good if they have a group his age – but I wonder whether he’d be able to STOP himself from wanting to tackle other kids. LOL! Maybe I’ll just invest in a giant gerbil wheel… That would do the job. 😉

Work is the same. Feast or famine. This month has been more on the “lean” side. But we’ll see how long that keeps up. (It usually doesn’t last) I’m thankful for the breaks anyway.

If you follow me on pinterest, you may have noticed a crazy amount of pinning recently for “doodles.” I’ve really gotten into this and started collecting inspiring doodles there. I almost always doodle while talking on the phone – next to my notes etc. but these would usually end up getting tossed in the trash. Some of them were actually kind of cool. So I got a few notebooks I’m solely dedicating to doodles. In fact, I’m thinking of buying a real “sketchbook” (since the paper in the notebook is ruled and isn’t the greatest quality) – maybe even pick up a few super fine point artist pens. I’d like to post some of the things I’ve done – but there always seems to be some little thing that bugs me about the drawing that makes me not want to share it. Sometimes, I just do a partial drawing. If I ever get anything that feels “complete” and “clean”, I’ll finally post it.

Break In The Clouds

WOW. What a whirlwind the last few months has been. It’s literally been non-stop, one big project after the next – very often overlapping. I pushed back (at the expense of possibly losing a new client – but I couldn’t keep it up) and I finally have a little breathing room. I mean, you know it’s bad when you’re thinking to yourself “I wish I could get sick – sick enough that I have to go to the hospital – but not life threatening – just enough so I have a good enough excuse to sleep for even just one solid day.” (I’d say I’d wish for a vacation, but somehow our vacations are never very relaxing. Seriously – a trip to the hospital would be more of a “vacation”)

In any case – I don’t think I mentioned last time – we did get a new puppy. He is an AWESOME dog. If I had any doubts about our decision to bring back Moose – having our new dog is definitely proof. He is so good. So loving. So tolerant. He hangs out in my lap all day while I work. He chases my son around the house (for fun! Not to bite him! LOL!) when he comes home from school. He’s smart. He is the best dog ever. Truly. Have a look:

He is a cairn terrier (like Charlie was) The woman we got him from may want to show and possibly breed him – so we won’t be able to have him fixed right away. If she does decide to breed him, we would have dibs on a one of puppies (which I would seriously consider – the only thing better than a Carin Terrier… is TWO Carin Terriers!!! And certainly if the pup had the same kind of personality!)

Updates on life

Been awhile since I dropped in here. My work has kept me crazy busy. I spoke at Evo Conference – spreading my love of all things WordPress. And… this past weekend we had to bring our puppy back to the breeder we got him from. :(

I hadn’t posted much about him  – we were dealing with a lot. Aside from the normal craziness that is raising and housebreaking a puppy – he was not healthy from the beginning. He had an EXTREMELY sensitive stomach, and after several hundreds of dollars of various tests – no one could determine exactly why or what was wrong with him. We fed him plenty, but he remained skinny and the food he ate practically flew through one end and out the other so quickly.We finally found a food that he would somewhat tolerate – but it didn’t make things perfect. It was a grain and gluten free, single protein food that had to be rehydrated. Then he had a massive flare up and even that stopped working as well as it once did.

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, the real killer was his aggression. Within the first week of having him here, he growled and snapped at me at a way I’ve never seen a *normal puppy* do. It was bizarre. And no one really believed me that a PUPPY would show aggression like this. They said it was “posturing” not aggression. Ok… so we paid top dollar for a great trainer who whipped us into shape about how to behave and treat the puppy so that he would know we were alpha. We did this for months. The problem began to get worse, not better. He would be sitting in a room – no “triggers” near by (no food, no toys) – he wasn’t sleeping, he’d be wide awake – just hanging out – and my daughter who has always been very gentle with him and respectful of him, would come up to pet him – and for no reason at all he would growl at her. Then my husband – who SURELY he must see as ALPHA in our pack – would come up to him – and again, he would growl at him.

I spoke to another trainer, and they said with all his problems – since we had the option of bringing him back to the breeder – we should take it. This is not the right dog for our family.

Who knows, maybe he needed to be in a bigger house – or a bigger back yard – or he needs other dogs with him to keep him in line. Whatever it is – he didn’t belong with us. It broke our hearts – it wasn’t for lack of love that we brought him back. But I have a responsibility to my family and I have a responsibility to him. However, my family comes first and I was worried about the direction this was headed. I was worried that growl would very soon turn into something more disastrous. I’m glad he’s with the breeder – she’ll take good care of him. Maybe she’ll be able to determine the source of his issues – and then place him in a home that’s more appropriate.

In the meantime – we are once again trying to heal from the loss of a dog. Bad timing too. So close to my daughter’s birthday again when last year we had to say goodbye to our other dog after 12 happy years. And I am on the hunt again for a dog. This time I think we’re going to go with the same breed we had last time and that we are so in love with: a Cairn Terrier or Westie (West Highland Terrier).