Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Time to air this baby out...

The air seems a little stale here, especially since I pretty much abandoned this whole blog-thingy. I tend to get stuck in my head sometimes, but I'm thinking that getting some of this crap out of my head might be helpful and maybe a little therapeutic. What has changed since the last time I posted? Well, my daughter was officially diagnosed with Autism back in November. I volunteered for a RIF at work, back in January. With my daughter's diagnosis and the problems with my son, I needed some time to focus on them and it was to hard when I was spending my days focused on getting enough sleep to work a night shift. What hasn't changed? My son is still getting in trouble at school, at my parents' house, etc. I still have a sucky support system. Oh, and I am still barely hanging on to my sanity.

Friday, April 17, 2009

To Be Autistic, Or Not To Be

When J was about 18 months I suspected something was a little "off". She wasn't talking as much as other kids her age, and people always commented about how she "ignored" them. I had mentioned it to her pediatrician and she seemed concerned but wanted to evaluate her after she turned 2, since a few months is a big deal in a toddler's world. Things change that fast.

Her 2nd birthday came and went. There was little change. I had more fingers than she had words. At 18 months, she should have been learning something like 9 new words a day. She should have increased her vocabulary by something like 1620 words by her birthday and she had maybe added 1. I was still concerned, but decided to wait a few more months and see if things changed.

A few more months went by and still very little. Family members were starting to comment that she never looked them in the eye or she never responded when they said her name. We insisted that everything was fine. She could count to 10 and was starting to learn her ABC's. One day someone mentioned that they thought she might be Autistic. I started researching and then started to feel guilty. What if she was? Were we doing everything we could to help her succeed? I decide to consult with the pediatrician.

I expressed my concerns and told Dr. C about what family members were saying. I told her that J only had about 25-27 words. She referred us to the Infant & Toddler program and also suggested that we get her evaluated at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

We've been working with the I&T program for a few months now and decided not to focus on a label for what is causing J's delays. All we need to know right now is that we have the right people helping her and she is quickly showing improvement. In January she tested at a 6-9 month level for speech and 12 month level for cognition. Here it is April and she has already made so much progress. Her teachers are amazed, and we are extremely proud of our smart, determined little girl.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remember Maddie

I read about the untimely passing of this gorgeous little girl, Maddie, over at http://boobsinjuriesanddrpepper.blogspot.com/. My thoughts are with her family today as they celebrate her life. Read more about it here. There's a video tribute here. If you would like to donate to the March of Dimes in honor of Maddie, you can do it here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Extreme Night Owl

"Night owl is a term used to describe a person who tends to stay up until late at night. The term is derived from the primarily nocturnal habits of the owl.

Usually, people who are night owls keep awake past midnight and extreme night owls may stay awake until 5:00 AM or later.

Some night owls have a preference or habit for staying up late, or stay up to work the night shift." - Wikipedia

I have been at my job for just over 9 1/2 years, most of that time has been spent working the overnight shift. Overnights started as 12 hour shifts, working 7pm-7am 3 days a week, but we have now migrated to a combination schedule to better accommodate the company's business needs. Unfortunately these schedules aren't very to a "normal" family life. Actually, shift work just generally isn't.

When F was much younger, 2nd shift worked out great. I didn't have to worry about missing time with him because he had no obligations (no school yet). Since he has been in school, I have worked these dreaded overnight shifts and it has been a very unskilled juggling act.

While working the 12 hour shifts, my health (and sanity) declined. I was barely functional, and I ended up being diagnosed with Narcolepsy and Shift Worker Sleep Disorder (yes, it is a real disorder). I would fall asleep at work, while driving, and while hanging out with family and friends. It was a miserable existence. The toughest part was not being home in the evenings to "wind down" with the family. Even tougher was F begging me to switch jobs. He didn't care if I worked at 7-Eleven and made significantly less money, he wanted his Mom home in the evenings and wanted me to not be so tired all the time.

When I gave birth to my daughter, J, I took a 3 1/2 month maternity leave. Those of you that have children probably know all to well that people without children are clueless about how needy a newborn really is. I sneered at my co-workers when they commented about my long vacation. What the hell did they know? Sadly, it was the most refreshing period I have had in the last 8.5 years. Even with a newborn demanding the boob every couple of hours, I was more relaxed and less tired than when working. J is now 2 1/2 and I am starting to feel the wave of exhaustion again. I am becoming more forgetful and have even caught myself starting to nod off at work again. Before I blamed it on the longer shifts, but now I have to conclude that my body is just not designed to be an extreme night owl.


Night Owl (Person). (2009). Retrieved March 31, 2009, from Wikipedia

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hi, I'm new here.

I've wanted to start one of these blog-things for about a year now. What has been holding me back? The dang blog name. Yup, that's right! I couldn't start my blog because I didn't know what to call it.

I had the same problem when I had my daughter. Poor child was nameless until she was 2 days old.

So what is "Living in Disproportion"? Sanity for those that I know in real life (I hope) and it's far cheaper than therapy for me.

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