. With Love, From The Mother 'Hood: July 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Still Here, Mostly

My friend recently said, "Where have you been?!", in regards to my lack of activity on facebook. Once the weather breaks and Spring has really sprung, I am outside, A LOT. My husband is only half joking when he says that I am solar powered. I am definitely one of those people whose mood improves in direct proportion to the amount of sunlight she receives, and my children are much more manageable with a daily dose of fresh air.

Along with my kids' energy, my gardens erupt in Spring, and beckon me with weeds to be pulled, flowers to be tended and promises whispered of sunshine for my soul. It is my escape - there is something so soothing about working the earth with your hands. With Spring also comes the end of the school year, and then the kids are all home for the Summer - with five here all day it never ends: "Mom?, MOM!, MOMMY!!!!" I can't imagine anything else (actually I can imagine a tropical getaway to recharge, or perhaps a week or two in Italy, but I can't imagine my life without my kids (although right now I could do without all the "extras": autism, AD/HD, sensory induced tantrums, and screaming on a level from a certain three year old that tests every fiber of my being as a mom). There are days I feel as if I may actually lose my mind and truly run away(what mom of more than one child doesn't feel this way at some point, especially during the summer months when school is out? (if you really don't, kudos to you). My sanity is still (mostly) intact thanks to my zoloft and resumed running (another escape and mood booster), but there are still times I am convinced that I am (unwillingly) part of some extreme parenting, hidden camera, game show.

I have also started a new diet and am slightly smaller and healthier as a result, and I am glad to say "see ya!" to that part of me - unhealthy weight that needs to go away for good, but it is always hard to change old habits. I am considering a second blog (in all of my free time) to chronicle this weight loss journey, which I hope will be a true success this time. It is amazing what five babies can do to a body (and mind). I have been searching for my pre-baby self for awhile, and the legs are finally returning thanks to the new diet and all of my miles run (portions of my mind may be MIA for years to come).

In addition to my lost pounds, we are minus a few pets (just fish) at this point -"Lucky Bob" a.k.a. "Swimmy" is lucky no more (he apparently didn't like the move to his new digs), and we also lost two of the three new goldfish we added. I don't think we are good "fish people", but better the fish than my dogs or cat. As much as Stella drives me crazy, I know it will be a whole 'nother ballgame when my old girl says "goodbye". She is 10.5 years old, and her age is starting to show in the white fur covering her face, and the way she seems to "zone out", just standing and staring off into space.

Mostly, I have been busy with our new therapists for Sam (Currently OT and Specialized Instruction 1 x a week, PT every other week, and Speech 1 x a month). Our autism evaluation is coming up, and that has been on my mind as well. We may or may not get an official label (obtaining additional services is so much easier with one). There are moments I wish I could go back to the summer that I was pregnant with him, and to the few months after he was born when all seemed to be "normal". I remember thinking how much easier he was than our other son with autism, and in many ways he still is, but there are many differences that I am still navigating.

Lastly, I am looking at returning to school. I have always wanted to pursue a profession that would enable me to help others, and the path my life has taken with my children has made that choice more concrete. All those years ago when the hubs and I dreamed of this life it wasn't quite what it is now, but it is still here that I imagined I would be, mostly.