Monday, February 16, 2009

Long Overdue

14 months - February 2009

A lot has been happening lately on all fronts, and an update is long overdue. So much time has passed since my last post that I don't know where to begin, but I'll give it my best college effort.

We just returned today from L.A., where we visited H's sisters and had one night to ourselves. It was kind of a trial run of leaving Jellybean overnight with someone else, and he did pretty well. We have a few couples who we share babysitting with for a few hours at a time for small dates, but it's nice to know that the world won't come crashing down if we want to go away for a few days.

Jellybean is changing so much. He is finally walking, and his favorite thing is to push his stroller around. My mom also got him a shopping cart for his birthday, and he loves to throw the plastic items out of the cart and then push it all over our living room. I'm getting a good glimpse of his personality. He can be very sweet and charming, and absolutely LOVES other kids. The last time I took him to the doctor, there was this toy in the waiting room that he wanted to play with - it was a large sized cube with different activities and beads on each side. This one little girl was being a brat and would block JB from playing with any part of the cube. Finally, he went up behind her and grabbed her shirt. I thought for certain that he would pull her down in order to get to the cube. Instead, he laid his head against her back to give her a hug. She looked at him like he was crazy and ran off to her mother, at which point Jellybean finally was able to play with the cube. As sweet as he is, he has quite a temper. When he's angry, it's usually because he wants something I won't let him have, or I take something away from him that he wasn't supposed to grab in the first place. When this happens, he throws himself on the floor, stiffens his body and his fists, and screams. Then he gets even more mad that he's hurt himself, and looks at me with huge eyes and yells "OWWW!", like it was my fault he got hurt. I have to hide my laughter because I'm still trying to figure out the best way to nip this in the bud. I've tried ignoring his behavior, and that does not decrease his fits. I try to say "no temper" while looking straight into his eyes and shaking my head "no", and that doesn't work. The only thing that sort-of works is when I look at him and say "no, that's not okay" in a very serious voice, and then distract him with something else. He is very curious about things, and points at a lot of different items and looks at me expectantly. He says a handful of words, but understands a lot more than he can express. I look forward to each day to see what new thing he will learn.

On the work front, I feel fortunate to still have a job, especially with the horrendous budget deficits in California. I've been a speech therapist for 10 years and this is the first time that I am worried about my job for next year. I got a letter from HR that basically says my position is not guaranteed for next year. I have mixed feelings - I've never been laid off before, but it wouldn't be horrible. I love the school I'm at, even though my caseload his high. I see about 47 kids in 3 days, which is too high. However, the cases are not as difficult as what I've been used to in the past. Even my two "high profile" families are kittens compared to the parents I've worked with previously. A bonus is that the staff members are not as cliquish as other schools I've been at, and people seem to be genuinely grateful for the services I provide. It sounds basic, but it just doesn't always happen, especially at high SES schools.

On the personal front, I have goals of becoming more organized (I currently cannot see my kitchen table because of all the stuff piled on it), and I'd like to lose weight. I was watching Oprah and Bob Green was on there talking about the underlying reasons why people are overweight. I thought about it for a while, and I thought it was hogwash. The reason why I'm overweight is because I'm lazy and unmotivated at this particular point in my life. It doesn't need to be more complicated than that. Also, different people have either mentioned my weight directly to me, or have hinted about it, both of which piss me off. My major personality flaw is that when someone pushes me, I push back. It's almost an instinct for me. So some people go through life pushing others to do things, and it works for some. But not for me. I have to want it, and it won't happen any other way. On a positive note, I'm starting to pick up knitting and quilting again, which keeps me busy when Jellybean goes to bed. Also, I go walking with a friend on one or two weeknights, and she's actually able to keep a decent pace. Baby steps.