Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We Survived The Twin Cities!

I'm most definitely an introvert.
I'm also a country girl. I'm so glad that the one time we thought about moving to a city, we weren't able to. I am seriously grateful. At the time it was disappointing but really I didn't have a lot of disappointment about it because deep down, I know I wouldn't be happy there. But seriously, I'm so grateful to still be living our simple, quiet, peaceful country life!

This past weekend, we spent three nights - THREE - in the Twin Cities. W.O.W.
I've been down there before, and actually was alone and had to do my own driving, so it's not that bad. I go to the MACHE conference for homeschooling. This was my 4th year, though 2 of those were only in Duluth. You are allowed to take babies under 18 months so baby came with me when I was there on Friday. It wasn't so bad, but the carrying of bags is always a problem for me! But still, I thought he wouldn't be too bad in a class or two. NOPE. That was not going to happen. I tried one for about 5 minutes. They record the classes or it might not be so big a deal. Though, apparently, they haven't discovered the beauty in high technology. See, my husband has a headset that he can use to make phone calls, and he can literally be using a chainsaw and I won't hear it. So why can't these people/places figure out how to get a sound system/mic system that doesn't pick up baby noises in the BACK of the room? I mean, it's not like I'm the kind of person who always sits in the front row or something! 

Anyway. So I will have to be ordering recordings of the seminars I wanted to hear because they were GOOD ones. "What do I do with a Resistant Learner", "What about THAT Child" and especially "Attention Obsessive Compulsive Perfectionist Control Freaks". :P 

Anyway, Friday evening we had to get to the MOA because the Sea Life had a homeschool week special rate! SUPER low. So we went. And we survived! We also had long promised our son a trip to the Lego store to pick bricks from the wall. Bonnie even got her own cup full with pink and purple legos! She was pretty happy about that! And they got their own hand made minifigure. We made it to the MOA, and out, and didn't have too much trouble - except the afraid of heights husband who was freaking out the whole time especially at diner when we had to eat on the third floor, right above the Lego store. I got chipotle! Yay! 

Saturday we had some time before the one seminar I really wanted to go to, so we went to Como Zoo! That zoo is always fun and they had Earth Day things there too so we got some free seeds and stuff too! I always end up feeling bad for the giraffes who have such a small enclosure, especially when they are inside all winter! I hope someday they change that and allow them to have more room!

Then we tried to go to the conference again. I really only wanted to go to one seminar (the Obsessive Compulsive one), so Hubby was going to just somehow man all three kids somewhere - probably the car. HAHA.
We get down in that area, and there's thousands of people, and a bunch of loud music and stuff. Some hockey event. No parking. Nowhere to even drop me off, and hubby didn't want to do it anyway. So we gave up, we were all hungry, it was lunch time anyway. So we headed out, found the nearest Perkins and had lunch, then headed to Apple Valley where we had gotten another (better) hotel for the last night of the weekend. 

That was a really good day/night. We just relaxed in the hotel, took a walk and then went to Panera Bread for dinner - someplace we'd never been. WOW is that place amazing. Went to the pool and relaxed. Well, that evening littlest baby fell into the sink counter thing and chipped his front tooth! :( Poor baby. it didnt look too bad, so it's not like I tried calling around at 9 pm for someone to check him out (though now trying to find someplace to check him out I kinda wish I had had the energy to find someone on emergency basis or something). It has to be filed down so I'm hoping I'm going to find someplace to look at it and file it down since its a bit of a scratch when he nurses.

Anyway, next day, we have a normal morning and check out, planning on heading to the MOA again because we also got special homeschool rate tickets to the Crayola Adventure! It was 9:30, and the mall apparently doesn't open until 11. So, since it was literally right there, we made a last minute stop at the MN Zoo! Left there right after lunch, and went to the MOA. Crayola was wild, although I could have sworn somewhere it said "make your own crayon" when they really mean "make your own label for a crayon we already have". But the kids had a lot of fun doing all of that stuff there, and we got three tins of markers and crayons of our choice (coolest part was you can indeed fit one of every color they had there into the smallest tin). 

We had dinner (Yay for discovering Panera Bread, although I sure could have used another stop at Chipotle) and got out of there around 6 or something. We go out to the car, and we knew when we left the car that the planes were going right over the parking garage, so we looked and sure enough you can see right up the runway from there, so we took some time there and watched planes take off. It's like a bus station, one every 2 minutes or something! Like a well oiled machine, planes coming in from the left, and taking off right toward us, crossing paths, so it seems, but never with any trouble whatsoever. It was kinda cool! With just a few potty stops we got home around 11. 

Now recovery mode! I'm completely worn out. My head hurts. Muscles are sore from constant baby carrying and walking! Crazy how that happens, and I guess I must be getting old and lazy because I don't remember that happening so badly before, though I've never spent three days carrying babies either. That, and pillows in hotels are never good it seems like! I must remember to bring my own pillow from now on. 

But we survived the MOA! TWICE! We have literally never gone, I don't think. (I've been when I was a kid a few times. Camp Snoopy was better.) And this weekend we went TWICE. That's crazy! Got all unpacked (I think) and supposed to start back at the school work this afternoon. whew. Lots of emails to sort, and phone call to make (waiting to hear back from a place to see little baby chipped tooth). Checkbook work to do.

And I hope that we don't have to go anywhere for a month. Except the tooth filing I hope to have done for the baby, the MNsure application meeting we have tomorrow... blegh.

Now, we have to pray like crazy that we did not run into any germs, because I do NOT want to deal with sicknesses.

One more thing!
As we were going home, we opened the windows and hubby noticed at some point it felt like it was getting a bit cooler, and sure enough it was - it had dropped some 20 degrees! See, in the Twin Cities, it had been in the 70s all weekend. We knew that it had snowed a bit at home, but we didn't really realize that when we got north of White Bear Lake, it would be so cold! Here's a map or 2:

Seriously wild! There are even a couple of rogue temperatures in there, I can assure you at no point was that one spot in the 60s. Which means that other spot was for sure not in the 70s either. I even have my doubts over that one 40 degree mark up there too.
This post is taking me 2 days to write, so I'll update one little thing: we went to the person to help us with our MNsure and the kids and adults in our case are screwed up. The adults are closed because we didn't send in the renewal. The kids are open, they are through MA instead of MNcare, so I have to call MNcare, see if we can renew, and if not, I have to call the county to cancel the kids before we can reapply. What a mess they have made of this system! That is absolutely rediculous. :( 

But anyway. We are mostly recovered, though it has been quite a battle trying to get some school work done again. Fighting it, and today we had to leave for that meeting, so its extra bad. I hope we get back on track tomorrow. We are already behind this week.

Just keep swimming...

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Haircut

So, we've been kinda celebrating.
Celebrating my husband's hard working paying off, how hard he works for us and how he's finally achieved a dream of working for himself, with his own truck. He's done so well! Now that he's on spring break (when road restrictions go on so you can't haul as much, around here called 'breakup') we have been doing some things to celebrate.

We bought a new fridge. Ours is as old as the house (1997 or something like that), and it has started to just run and run and run and the temperature didnt seem quite right. The water in the door had stopped working well, a seal or something would leak if we used the water, tho we were still using ice. And we knew it was time. We also wanted something bigger. We got a new dishwasher. We knew that was on the list next too, but what spurred it right now was the price. There was one there that was on discount because it had a ding in it, and we were even offered a bigger deal on it over the marked price, so SOLD!

We also spent a weekend away, which we often do this time of year whether we should or not, because after a long winter it is just time to do that. On our way, my hubby wanted a haircut, something I usually do but hadn't had the time to do lately. So all of us (except baby) got a haircut. #2 B and I had gotten one not that long ago, I think January, but I thought we would go for at least a little trim. I thought #2 B wanted to go for a summer bob, but I think she was too worried about it? I don't know. She got a shoulder length.

Me, I was going for a certain look:

What I got was:

The back is super short. Like, my son's haircut. That freaked me out the most. I've had bobs like this in the past, a couple times. But never have I ever had it this short anywhere on my head, nor had I wanted it this short.
I did ask for VB's haircut, but I was thinking of the more grown out version. I guess it wasn't even on my radar that she had started it out this short. :P I was still thinking I'd come out with shoulder length in the front, but it's cheek to chin length now.

Well, I followed myself through stages of greif. What I learned is that you don't always go through them and get over it. You go through them, then you go through them again. Sometimes you don't go through them in the same order, sometimes you get depression first. 

Anyway. I'm glad to say that I think I am finally through it. What got me through it was yesterday I ended up finally looking for pictures of what I wanted, and I had an easier time finding the short short version, instead of the longer version. So at least I know when I said "like Victoria Beckham had a while back..." I know what she saw in her mind. And, that the cut I wanted is only a couple inches off, and I will still get it! 

If nothing else, it taught me I need to be more merciful to my husband. You know how you tell people things to make them feel better about something they don't like? My hubby doesn't like his gray hair. I'm a bit younger, so I don't share his problem (yet, they are starting to show up tho...), so I guess I can't really understand. But I don't care, I like him as he is. I'd like him as a dyed blonde too, which is what he always used to do. I married an older man, and I prefer that. :P But he really doesn't. He just doesn't like it. I just didn't like this cut either. And telling me it was fine didn't help at the time either.

Mostly, this haircut was unexpected and a huge irreversible change. Aspies don't like that. Especially, I would say, with their appearance. It's hard enough when something changes outside of yourself. I think that's much worse when it's a part of you, especially when it was a change you didn't ask for and didn't expect.

But given time, space, safety to cry, we get through it. The comments of how good it looks didn't help me feel better, but it helps now. At least I don't look weird. Well, at least no one tells me I do. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Go All Out!

I'm not really a risk taker. I don't have any desire to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, IF you could get me ON the airplane in the first place! I won't ever feel the need to bungee jump just to prove something, it's not on my bucket list or something. I don't want to do things that make me scared because I have enough stress, anxieties and fears, I don't need to purposely do more things...

But I have noticed that there have been a few times when I did things that were pretty risky!

I don't consider getting married young "risky". In fact, I encourage it. Don't make a life and try to fit someone else in it, get married and then make a life together. That's kinda the point. When you make your own life, you end up kinda stubborn and unwilling to accept someone else's mess. Anyway, I digress.

However, when I got married, I took a risk. It wasn't the spouse, the dress, the age, the timing. It was the location.
We got married outside, at the lake near where we grew up. 

Did I have a back up location? Nope. I just prayed it wouldn't rain. It didn't. Not even close. But if it had? I had NO backup. I have no idea what we would have done. Maybe we would have gotten married in the rain? I don't know. I guess we would have had some friends pull some strings at the Lutheran Church, which would have been the biggest in town. But I had no plan. 

I did something else too like that.

I had a homebirth without backup.
I mean, I know where we would have gone, just for simplicities sake, but I probably would have wanted to go to my "normal doctor" in the other town. But still, I had no backup. I didn't talk to them and ask if they would be there if we transferred. Though I think this is probably normal for homebirths, I was thinking about it the other day and made the connection between this risk and the wedding location risk. I had NO backup. I went ALL IN on my plans, and just prayed it wouldn't rain, and that nothing would go wrong.

I am so lucky. Everything went just fine, and beautiful, and I have these two incredible experiences. 

Maybe someday I will jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

As long as its a foot from the ground.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Anxiety, My Old Friend, Nice To See You

It has been tough lately again. Mostly, inside. However, as you might expect, what is inside comes outside. Tho, I honestly don't feel as if things on the outside are much different. So I don't know.

I've been plagued with non stop anxiety about this thing or that thing, this means that and that means this. OH NO I'M DYING. Know what I mean? If you don't suffer from anxiety, then you probably don't. 

It has been a little out of control lately and it has to stop.

I just don't know exactly how.

I have gotten over a couple of little things I was freaking out about - thanks to prayer and logic. However, once one thing eases up, another thing pops up.

So now I've got a crazy numb tingle down a leg, and I'm sure it means my bad posture has caught up with me and I'm giving myself back problems. I probably should be seeking out some help with massage or chiropractic. Somehow the thought of setting that up, finding somewhere for the kids to be, leaving them for an hour (the little one mostly), and actually going to things makes me stressed out.

It is actually that I have to do some kind of muscle therapy, strengthening, physical therapy. Only our insurance is in flux right now - we didn't renew because we didn't have enough information to give them for income. Of course.

So many balls in the air and none of them are going to be caught it seems like. I don't know.

I don't really like this. I don't really think it's fun. Go ahead, say all the cliche things. However don't forget that if I could just make it go away, I wouldn't have invited it to come and stay in the first place!
So have patience with me. Give me your tips. Send me your prayers. Thanks.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Overwhelm In Florida

Part of the fun of being an adult diagnosed aspie is looking back at my life, and even remembering specific moments, and being able to explain to myself, or others, why things were a certain way for me, or why I behaved a certain way.

I thought of just one of those times recently, and I couldn't get it out of my head. So I get to put that to words now!

When I was in school, we got to take a band trip to Florida for an All American Music Festival! It was literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. They didn't return to Florida for that again until last year, 15-16 years after we went (or so). We had the band, choir and a smaller group of us in show choir! Basically, for a few years, or one year, they had a required class up against choir in the schedule. So many of us couldn't take choir, so we made up our own choir group that met in the morning before school, and we did show tunes and stuff like that. We sang and did choreography. It was pretty genius, looking back.

Well, when we went, of course it included things like Disneyworld, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom (if I remember right).

I think the moment I am thinking of was after a long day at Disneyworld. Now, it's March, but in Florida. We left Minnesota in snow, and came back to more sticky wet snow (which felt great on sunburns). So it was warm. And you've just stuck an undiagnosed aspie into a VERY busy place. I had a pretty good time, despite being hung out to dry by a friend. She teased me about calling my favorite teacher, really strung me along quite a while, then flipped the switch and started calling me a freak and really spazzing out on me. I ended up in my mom's room (she was a chaperone, luckily) and ended up wandering around with her. But still, as fun as it might have been, and as beautiful and exciting, after a long day doing that, I was pretty much exhausted. I wasn't just tired physically either, I was emotionally exhausted. Top that off with some overstimulation (which none of us would have realized was happening) and you have a pretty unhappy picture!

So, we get to the parking lot and something had happened with the buses, like ours wasn't there or the one there had broke down or something. I don't remember. But I know there was a long long wait for our bus. And because they were bored, they decided we would do some of our songs or something. Which doesn't bother me, until they wanted to do show choir songs and choreography. I DID NOT WANT TO. I don't know how long it went on, but I did NOT want to do it. I tried to tell them I was tired, I didn't feel like it, just do it without me, just leave my place open or whatever in the lines and just do it themselves. But they would NOT leave me alone and finally forced me to do it. I hated the fact that I was ignored and disrespected and it marred my experience. A lot of that came from the fact that no one understood my needs or why I felt that way. 

Looking back now, I know I was just overwhelmed, and forcing someone to cooperate or socialize, who's spent all day in a loud, noisy, sunny, hot walkabout isn't really a good idea.

I still to this day do not know what their problem was with just doing it without me. There is no reason that they had to force me to do it. I really don't. They could have done it without me while I continued to recover from the day. Then oddly so many people called it a highlight. Really? A highlight, but at my expense. Thanks.

I see my son all the time becoming uncooperative and overwhelmed and not wanting to participate. There are many times when it is unavoidable and he has to continue the course. But when there are situations when we can avoid it, we put him somewhere where he can be alone and get over it himself. That is very effective, actually.
Had they just left me alone, they wouldn't have aggravated me more than I already was, and I might have joined in when I was ready all on my own without their forceful coercion. That would have made the experience much happier, and comfortable, and memorable.

Which leads into just a general comment on respect. 

We as humans need to start paying attention to our own actions. We need to accept that people can only give what they give, do what they do, offer what they offer, whatever. We often have expectations of people that are not always fair. We can't expect everyone to be the same. Worse is when you have to realize that you can't expect everyone to be the same kind of person you are. I've lost friends over this. When you expect people will drive the same mile for you that you do for them, you will eventually be disappointed. And with some people, you will be disappointed OFTEN. 

We need to give people their autonomy. We need to be able to ask them to participate, and not force them. We need to accept a "no" for an answer, and let them join in when they are ready. Having an argument and forcing them will only lead to scars. I know it did for me. I don't lose sleep at night, but I can still hear their critical voices basically telling me I was stupid for trying to stand up for my own needs to recover. Their voices still ring in my head as clear as if it were yesterday.

Some people will remember things like that too. They will remember the scars you left behind, but not so much any good you did.

And again, teenagers have brain damage, and don't act rationally. :P