The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Everything’s Coming Up Roses! December 19, 2014

Up dog

Hello all!  And a very Merry Christmas to you!  Ok, so I think I have just diagnosed myself with a serious disease.  I have dubbed it UDSS:  ‘Up’ Dog “Squirrel!” Syndrome.  That’s where I have so many things flying around in my distractible little head, that I can’t really latch on to one and think about it before another one catches my attention and I go all “Squirrel!!”

*

For right now, here’s what I’m thinking about.  Kindness.  Kindness to a child, is what I’m saying.  Today I had a really lovely fulfilling morning being kind to a child.  The Boy had his last day of school before Christmas break today, and all they were going to do was have breakfast and trade gifts, so I stayed with them.  (He attends a small, private Christian school, where there are only about 12 kids through the whole 12 grades.  It’s basically kind of a group homeschool, and I am not sure how much training or education the two teachers have beyond years of actual experience.  It may sound kind of iffy, but it is working for my son, so I’m not questioning it too much.)  Anyway, there is a new boy in the school.  He seems like a super sweet little boy, but he has a LOT, and I mean a LOT of challenges.  He’s clearly very affected by attention deficits, he has speech delays, and he doesn’t understand a lot of social cues and boundaries.  On the opposite side of that, he is obviously very smart and very interested in a lot of science questions and how’s and why’s, AND the kid was humming “Carol of the Bells” all morning.  So yeah, very complex and very special kiddo.  So I spent the morning trying to help keep this child down to a slow whirl, and I think I was pretty successful.  Ok, he did manage to spill hot cocoa all over his leg, but we got through that.  I tried to listen to him, I tried to talk to him, and I tried to help him behave within acceptable limitations.  It was really great.

*

First of all, it was just awesome for me to be able to actually have patience for a kid like that, because I have been so used to The Boy testing it!  I get so tired of dealing with my own son sometimes, and it was nice to be able to work with another kid and actually handle it well and be able to help him.  Now, here’s where the “Squirrel!” part comes in.  It made me consider, just for a brief moment, if maybe I should go back to school and get my certification to teach elementary level or special education.  I have a degree in English education and a (lapsed) certification to teach middle and high school level English.  But maybe I should look into taking a few special ed courses or ed psych courses, or something to be able to work with these kiddos.  The thing is, I really don’t think I want to work daily in public school.  It’s a mess, and the paperwork and bureaucracy and politics are beyond my ability to tolerate.  I don’t necessarily want to be a counselor, and I don’t want to take that much time going back to school.  So my thought was “I wonder if I should just start my own little private school?”  But that takes money and time and just… I don’t know.  Hard work and stuff.

*

Anyway.  I’m not sure where I was going with all this.  There’s that UDSS again.  I just know it was really nice and fulfilling to spend a morning showing love and kindness and patience to a kid who clearly struggles. Part of me was thinking maybe I could just go visit the school once a week and work with the kids on some sort of social or personal behavior-type issue, and just help be a positive force in the little school.  It was just a thought.

*

Other thoughts:  More theater stuff is on the horizon, as usual.  Auditions for Spamalot are January 4-5, and I’m simultaneously looking forward to and dreading them.  I’ve got my audition song.  I think.  So I just have to breathe and survive until the time comes and see how it goes.

*

ALASKA NEWS!  I actually applied online for some summer tourism jobs in Alaska.  I don’t have the foggiest clue how I’m going to pull it off if I actually do get one of the jobs, but I think I can make it happen.  I’m very lucky right now, my job is pretty flexible.  The kids are older, and it’s time for me to start seeing if there is somewhere else I belong in the world.

*

Anyway, I’m feeling the love and happiness today.  Maybe it’s just a bit of a manic phase, or the excess of caffeine I’ve had today but I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders.  That usually means I’m headed for a full-speed crash into the wall meltdown, but maybe we can avoid it.  We’re going to give it our best shot.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

*

Until next time,

D.

 

Some Done Deals, and the Peace They Bring! May 3, 2013

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Hello all!  You know what just irks me?  Feeling the need and desire to write, but not knowing what to say.  That happens to me very frequently.  I’ll be just… in that mood.  If you consider yourself a writer at all, even an amateur, you know the one.  For me it’s that I just feel like writing, like I just need to write, RIGHT NOW.  Forget the fact that I may or may not have anything particularly significant to talk about, as long as I’m getting the chatter that’s in my head relocated to the paper or the screen.  It probably doesn’t help that I don’t craft posts ahead of time and save them in organized draft folders for posting at a later, more appropriate time, as some of the bloggers I’ve read apparently do.  I post when I have something on my mind AND I have time to devote to it.  This is probably the reason I often have ideas for posts that never get written.  Things pop into my head, and I’ll think, “Man, that would be a good thing to blog about.  I should write that down.” But then I don’t, and by the time I have a good stretch of time to sit down and write, I’m all “What was that I wanted to write about, again?”  I should definitely work on that.

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Right now I’m all hyped up because after weeks of indecision and dithering, I am tickled to announce that I have booked my flights for my trip to Charleston!  Yay, me!  I am so excited about this.  I know I have gone back and forth, worried incessantly, and probably driven everyone I know stark raving mad, but now that it’s a done deal, I am so happy.  Part of me is still a little concerned about the whole ‘fitting in’ thing.  I feel like I’m older and at a different stage of life than a lot of these amazing bloggers I will be meeting.  Many of them are writing about their babies and nap schedules and nursing problems and sleeping through the night, and terrible twos and kindergarten schedules, and I’m thinking, ‘Boy, could I have been the queen of this world if they’d had this stuff when the girls were little!’  But alas, they didn’t.  So now I have twin girls who are almost 20 years old, and a boy who will be 12 on Monday, and sometimes I’m wondering what I have to offer.  I don’t really have too many Raising Twins cautionary tales or horror stories, unless it’s about what to do when one of your twins literally hates the other one, or when your son is almost universally looked upon as being either the next Jim Carrey/Robin Williams or a future school shooter, and which one he becomes is entirely dependent upon you and your parenting.  That’s a scary-as-heck place to be, I can promise you.

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Anyway, I do realize that there are bloggers of all ages, in all life stages, with all kinds of stories, who will be at this event, and I am so very much looking forward to the adventure and the journey of being a part of it.  I am a little torn between tempering my expectations so that if I don’t find at least one or two people who become fairly good friends I will not be terribly disappointed, and having faith that this is going to be the best, most amazing thing I have done thus far in life and it will result in some wonderful friendships.  I think I’m going to do with the latter, as that seems to have been the experience of many of those who have attended in previous years.  If nothing else, I am excited that it will be the first time I have just branched out on my own and done something for myself, by myself.  (Except for having someone drive me to and from the airport, which my mom has always been willing to do for me, thank goodness.)

*

So, more about my son.  He started out in public school in our local district, but he has never really done well.  He has struggled both academically and socially.  We’ve had him tested at every turn, and he has some non-specified processing difficulties, as well as a diagnosis of ADHD.  He also seems to have some Asperger-y traits, but has never been diagnosed with that.  He was in 4th grade last year in public school, and we have been “homeschooling” this year.  I put that in quotes because while we started out with a very structured, organized system at the beginning of the school year through online public school, we pulled out of that after about six weeks, and have been taking a different approach since then.  We have just explored different things that he really loves, and I have tried to teach him some real-world skills that he will need in the future, but there has been very little structure or consistency.   I have really beaten myself up about this.  But he has grown so much, matured in a lot of ways, and I think more than anything, he has really benefitted from just being out from under pressure.  He has spent a lot of time with me, coming to work with me most days since I am blessed with a flexible job as a church secretary, and I think it has been what he needed.  Our lives for the several years leading up to this year have been marked by change, tragedy, and chaos, and I don’t think he handled it very well.

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Thankfully, I think that is largely behind us!  This week, I found an educational option that I think offers the best of both worlds- the self-pace and lower pressure of homeschooling with a little more of the structure and consistency found in the public school environment than I have been able to offer him while trying to work full time simultaneously.  It’s a small private Christian school here that is basically a group homeschool, but the beauty is that it’s NOT I who is responsible for the teaching and structure.  It’s a little pricey for what it is- they want $230 per month, and if I didn’t think it would be incredibly presumptuous, I’d ask friends and family for “sponsors.”  But I think it is do-able for me, whether I get help or not, so I am very happy and excited for both of us.  Honestly I will miss him coming to work with me, but this will be so much better for him- he will get the education he needs in an environment that fits him.

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I could go on and on about this, but this post is already longer than usual.  I’ll just say that for now- I am happy, the stars are aligned, and everything’s coming up roses, and I won’t even make a remark about ducking under my desk to avoid the Other Shoe Dropping.  Oops.  Scratch that.

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Until next time,

D.

 

My Allure of the Seas Trip Report: There IS No Readers’ Digest Version! June 6, 2012

English: MS Allure of the Seas leaving STX shi...

English: MS Allure of the Seas leaving STX shipyard, Turku, Finland. Photo is taken from Saaronniemi, Ruissalo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[NOTE:  This post will be edited later to include trip pictures, so be on the lookout for that!  Thanks!]

 

Hello all!  Well, we made it.  I’m just back from my very first cruise.  We were on the Allure sailing 5/27/12.   I had been looking forward to writing this for quite a while before I ever even left home!  I was even playing around with cutesy titles.  Some of the contenders were:  A First Time Cruiser’s Big Adventure! (Pee Wee Herman, Eat Your Heart Out!); Cruise Virgin No More- How I Lost It to The Allure of Seas!; and Me and My Kids: From Oklahoma to the Caribbean and Back on Two Prozac a Day!  In the end, I just decided to go with the obvious.

Just the Facts, Ma’am:

First timers, family of 4: Mom, twin 18 YO girls, 11 YO boy

Allure of the Seas– Eastern Caribbean sailing

Captain Johnny

CD- Anna Banks

Pre-cruise- fly in on 5/26, stayed at Pier 66

Cabin- Interior Quad, Deck 3 #838

Dining- Traditional, early seating

Ports of call:  Nassau, Bahamas; Charlotte-Amalie, St. Thomas; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten

Tours:  Nassau- self-guided walking.  Went to Pirates Museum and Ardastra Gardens

St. Thomas- Sunny Liston Fun Tours

St. Maarten- Bernard’s Tours, Driver- Sugar

___________________________________________________________________

And now… The REST of the story!

Saturday, May 26, 2012- We Leave For Cruise!

I woke up early and knew I had no chance at going back to sleep.  Packing was pretty much complete, lacking only things we had to use before leaving that morning, like toothbrushes and deodorant.  You’re welcome.  😀  Being a charter member of Internet Addicts Anonymous, I got online, checked the Cruise Critic message boards, checked Facebook, and took a screenshot of my one-day countdown on Royal’s website.  My nerves felt so tightly wound at that point, if I’d been hooked up to some electrodes or something, I probably could have powered a small city!

*

Finally it was time to wake up the kids, which if you have them, you know is a gamble as to what kinds of moods you’ll be facing when they finally become fully conscious.  Luckily, on this day, mine were pleasant.  I should add here, that in addition to being just your normal kid types, one of mine has been diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and some as-yet-undefined mood instability issues.  Another one is developmentally delayed and operates at a level approximately 4-5 years younger than true chronological age.  The third one is basically pretty normal and well-behaved, thank you Jesus! 😀

*

Well, we got around and got dressed and got all the last minute stuff collected and waited for my mom (hereafter referred to as G-ma) to come pick us up and take us to the airport in Dallas. She arrived, bringing a few things that we had left at her house and might possibly need, and we started loading our bags (2 large bags to be checked, and two carry-ons, if you’re interested.)  Experienced a small moment of panic when her car did its usual thing of not wanting to start unless the key and the steering wheel were perfectly and precisely aligned.  Finally it started.  Whew!  We stopped at the Dollar Store and I ran in to grab a few last minute things while G-ma ran to put gas in the car.  Our flight was at noon, and we left my tiny little hometown (Lone Grove, OK) at about 8:15.

*

The trip to DFW seemed to take no time at all.  G-ma had brought along a little GPS thing which kept telling her to take certain actions, and she would take them, and the calm little voice would say “RE-calculating…” as if we had totally gone off the wrong direction.  These things do NOT take construction into account.  (Later, we texted her to say one last goodbye and she said she was still “arguing with the lady who kept trying to tell her how to drive!”)  I wasn’t sure whether she would be able to accompany us into the airport or she would just be dumping us out on the curb, and as it turned out, it was a curbside farewell.  She popped the trunk, plopped our bags on the sidewalk, hugged us all… and from that moment on, for better or worse, it was just me and The Munchkin Herd.

*

We paraded inside, a mama duck and her little ducklings (with suitcases) and checked our bags.  I had done the flight check-in online the day before and that whole process was super easy and quick. (American Airlines, flight 600, if you’re interested.)  We went to the waiting area, where The Boy quickly made friends with an older gentleman sitting nearby, who kindly and cheerfully chatted with him, as well as with the girls, despite the fact that he had just opened his newspaper.  I love older gentlemen like that.  🙂  We had plenty of time before the flight, and the kids decided they were hungry.  DFW has a wide variety of places to grab food and stuff once you get through security (at least from my less-travelled, not-familiar-with-many-large-airports perspective.)  So The Rugrats decided they’d like some Subway sandwiches for lunch.  I knew their usual, as we go to Jared’s Place frequently at home, and they ALWAYS get the same thing!  (Remember this tendency of theirs toward habit and repetitiveness when it comes to food.  This will be pertinent later.)  So I trotted over to Subway and acquired sustenance.

*

Not long after I had returned to them and we had wolfed down our sandwiches, they began making the usual pre-boarding announcements and I ran back to get the other package of chips I forgot to get, and we got ready to board.  The kids sat three across in one row and I was in the aisle seat across from them.  There was a small child seated by the window in my row, all by himself.  I quickly determined that his parents and two small siblings were in the row in front of us.   I was worried that this was going to be a HUGE problem, as I could easily picture the little urchin wanting to climb in and out of his seat the whole flight.  He was already playing with the trays and the window shades.  He put the middle tray down and tried to put mine down too, and I ever-so-gently indicated that this would not be taking place.  The middle seat was as yet unoccupied, but eventually a young man arrived and indicated that was his spot.  A few minutes later his friend came and asked me if I could trade seats with him so they could sit together, but I politely declined, explaining that the three kiddos in the row across belonged to me, and I probably should stay near them.  The two young men were perfectly accepting of this and the friend returned to his seat several rows forward.

*

We took off (the man in the aisle seat behind the kids crossed himself) and it quickly became apparent that the kiddo in my row was not going to be a problem.  He conked out almost immediately.  I am one of those travelers who feels she should make some attempt at conversation with those sitting next to her, and I felt guilty that I didn’t do that with this young man, because I didn’t really know what to say.  He and his friend hadn’t seemed to be fluent English speakers, so I just let it go and consoled myself with the fact that he was listening to his music and napping anyway.  The flight was somewhat bumpy and I think the captain left the seatbelt sign on for the entire flight.

(I don’t think I like flying much, by the way.  The minute I step on a plane I always notice the mild urge to use the restroom, which gradually grows more “urge-nt” but I hate getting up and walking past all those people, so I just stay put and suffer the whole time.  Strangely, I always accept a soda when the flight attendants begin serving beverages, and then I get to sit and watch the Great Pee Parade of others who also accepted their drinks, but don’t have my particular hang-ups.)

*

So anyway.  Not a moment too soon, we landed in Ft. Lauderdale, and after a much needed restroom stop, we claimed our bags, which seemed to take quite a while, especially with The Boy, who was of the opinion that hanging back and waiting patiently for our bag to make its way around was for lesser mortals, and we needed to crowd our way up to the front and just get our bags, darn it!  At one point I think he might have suggested we just leave it there and go on to the hotel.  Patience is definitely not his strong point.  (Not to get ahead of myself, but if you were unfortunate enough to come within a 25 yard radius of us at any point during the week, but particularly on Sapphire Beach, Studio B ice rink, or the 2:00 Cupcake Class on Saturday, you probably noticed this particular fact about him.  I’ve been combing the reviews of my fellow sailors with terror, looking for references to “that one horrible kid I saw who …………………..”  Fill in the blank with any one of a dozen objectionable attitudes he displayed during the week.)

Ok, we got a cab to our hotel.  (Hyatt Regency Pier 66, if you’re interested.)  Cab fare was $15.90 and I just gave the driver a $20.  (As an aside, this would be a theme for the rest of the trip- cabs were always more than I had thought they were supposed to be based on research on Cruise Critic, or CC.)  The room wasn’t ready, and we waited in their lounge area for only about 15-20 minutes, maybe.  It didn’t feel like very long.  It was here I uttered to my children the first of many similar sentiments I would reiterate in different variations throughout the week:  “Don’t act like rednecks!”  We felt like the hotel was a little on the fancy side for us.  I wanted to make everything as amazing and impressive for the kids as possible for this trip, but we would have been just as well served at a basic Holiday Inn-type establishment.  Anyway.  The waitress approached us as if we were there to eat, and after a moment’s confusion we told her we were just waiting for our room.  She brought us water and I left her a small tip.  Finally, they said our room was ready, and we checked in and got directions to the room.  It should be noted here for future reference that I am terrible with directions.  TERRIBLE!  So we took a rather scenic route to our room and finally had to ask a housekeeper to help us find it.  We had a balcony room facing away from the port, with a big fancy yacht outside our window.

The kids were getting hungry, but they were also in full-on “Veg Out” mode, having discovered the TV clicker, and were flipping back and forth between something about alligators on Animal Planet, and Forrest Gump.  I wanted to make the most of our only night in Ft. Lauderdale, and had planned that we would ride the Water Taxi around and eventually find a place to eat supper.  So I insisted that they get up and we went to the desk to get directions to the Water Taxi stop.  We had to stop once more when we got out by the pool area, and finally got headed in the right direction.  The first of many poignant moments occurred about now- I was rushing along, trying to get to the stop, and we were passing all these boats, both super-impressive and not so much.  The Boy said something like “Hey, mom, look at these fish!” or something similar, and I replied with something along the lines of “I don’t care about the fish, we’re trying to get somewhere, hurry up!” and I looked at the boat we were walking past at that exact second, and its name was “Share the Moment” which was the absolute most important objective for me on this trip.  That hit me like a prize fighter, and I stopped, looked at the fish, and took a pic of the boat so I’d never forget that moment.  And I won’t.

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Up next:  The Water Taxi, Embarkation, and First Day

Until next time,

D.

 

This Is The Way We Ramble Incoherently, So Early In the Morning! September 27, 2010

Hello all.  I regret to inform you that I have nothing in particular to talk about in this post.  I just needed to get something new up here.  I’d like to get in the habit of writing at least every other day.  It is a complete time-sucker, but what else have I got to do?  Oh, that’s right- laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the garage.  Meh.  Writing’s much more fun. 

*

So I’m trying to decide where would be the best place to get the girls’ class rings.  I’ve browsed the big school-sponsored vendors, Balfour and Jostens.  Ridiculously expensive.  I’ve checked WalMart.  Ridiculously limited options.  I wish I could remember the name of the ring design site I was playing with when I thought I was going to buy myself a college ring.  It seems like they had a good number of choices for a good price. 

*

The weather is cool again.  I love it.  I felt sure the sign in front of the high school had to be wrong, though.  It said it was 48 degrees when I was dropping the girls off this morning.  Not a chance.  It was maybe 52.  Poor Daughter J.  She hates this time of year, when the heat is gone and the cold is coming.  She loves summer more than anything.  I think she was meant to be a California girl or something.  Yesterday the weather was so beautiful, we all agreed that we needed to have a picnic after church.  We invited these twin boys who are friends of my twin girls, got some gosh-awfully expensive KFC, and went to the park.  It was cool and windy, (almost too cool in the shade) a perfect picnic day.  We didn’t really spend much time playing at the park.  They wanted to try a different park, and it was busier than the first.  There was a mom and her two little kids flying kites at the second park.  My kiddos might have liked to do that- it was a pretty perfect kite day, but we didn’t have any.  We walked for a bit, The Boy rode his scooter, and we went home. 

*

Speaking of The Boy, here’s hoping he has a good day at school today.  We went to the doctor on Friday and he increased the ADHD med a little.  He seemed in a good mood when he left for school, but with him you can never tell.  I was really proud of him on Thursday, though.  I got the idea to see how he behaved with a little extra of his ADHD med, because someone had pointed out to me that he had gained 30 lbs in the year since we started that med, and we hadn’t changed the dose!  And 30 lbs was almost half his original starting weight.  So I gave him a little extra on Thursday, and wouldn’t you know, he finished all his work for that day, as well as the work for the next day, because I told his teacher we were going to be gone to the doctor!  His doctor increased the dose by 1 mg, which was less than what I had given him the day before, but more than he had been taking.  I’m praying it still has enough effect to help him have a good day.  As I said before, he seemed to be in a good mood when he got out of the car this morning, but that’s never a reliable indicator.  I’ve literally had him get out of the car smiling and happy-acting, and the school was calling by the time I got back home!

*

I haven’t talked about Weight Watchers much lately.  That’s because there’s nothing to tell.  I cannot seem to get my head on straight and start tracking again. I’ve been slacking off for a couple of weeks now, at least.  I’m hoping I can avoid losing ground.  It. is. so. hard!  Today, for example, I fixed some cinnamon rolls for breakfast. You know, the kind you find in the canned biscuit section of the grocery store?  There are 8 in a package, so we could have had 2 each.  Two might not have been bad, but when I got home from taking the kids to school and Daughter J. had not eaten hers, I finished them.  And weigh-in is TOMORROW!  I’m extraordinarily frustrated with myself.  I’ve tried not to be too bad, but I haven’t been very good either.  Oh well.  I just have to hang in for 3 more days and then I can go get a big batch of groceries and buy healthy stuff and plan really good WW meals and get my ‘stuff’ together before the holidays hit and I am completely out of control. 

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Well, I know this post has been wildly exciting to you, and you’re loathe to see it end.  However, as all good things are wont to do, it has in fact come to an end.  Do join me next time, when I will post some new poetry and hopefully write something entertaining!

*

Until next time,

D.

 

 
The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Broadside

Smart and surprising

Mostly Bright Ideas

Some of these thoughts may make sense. But don't count on it.

Mad Scientist.Crazy Mom

Welcome to my laboratory: five kids on a farm

A Clean Surface.

simplicity, organization, inspiration, minimalism, humor...and reality

Princess Nebraska

If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. If would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in a cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it. -Frances Hodgson Burnett

She Likes Purple

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Crazy with a side of Awesome Sauce

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

musings of a madwoman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Glam-O-Mommy

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

happily ever me

a life in progress

Our Little Geekling

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

mighty maggie

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Writing Finger

Translations of Poetry from Galician and Spanish into English

The Better Man Project ™

a journey into the depths

An Unexplored Wilderness

A writer's journey