MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Bad Habit?

Posted by mbamommy on August 9, 2012

I’ve decided I’m going to start smoking again.

Ok, which part of that statement is more shocking to you? That I’m going to start smoking? Or that I’m actually admitting to having smoked in the past? Yes, it’s true. For those who haven’t known me my whole life, I haven’t always been….well…angelic. I made some bad choices. I tried a few things. I broke a couple rules. And I had a blast doing it. Sue me.

I know, I know. I know all the research. Smoking is bad. It makes you smell bad. It makes your breath stink. It’s bad for other people. It could even kill you. Blah, blah, blah.

Ok, I’ll admit it, I don’t miss smoking. I don’t miss how much they cost. Or having my wardrobe smell like a bar. Or smelling like a bar myself the morning after. I appreciate the additional lung capacity that quitting has given me (Crossfit would be waaayyyy more challenging if I still smoked). And, hey, those holes in your neck are a pretty big turnoff. As are the wrinkles and the raspy voice.

But let’s focus on the positives here, people. Well….maybe just one positive. And it’s an important one! Ready for it?

Smoke Breaks

Back when I smoked, I took smoke breaks. I still see people taking them now (of course, it’s usually at least 50 yards away from the entrance of a building, right by the dumpster, in freezing cold weather….). I took them at work. If I remember correctly, I think employers were legally required to allow a smoke break every hour. I remember co-workers who didn’t smoke being jealous of that break. And, I took them with friends. I’d walk outside, get 10 minutes of fresh(?) air, chat with some peeps or just stand by myself there smoking. It was like a built in 10 minute self (or friend) check-in multiple times a day.

And, boy, I do miss that.

Ok, so maybe picking up smoking in order to slow down and take breaks throughout the day isn’t the most intelligent idea I’ve ever had. There are some serious health risks involved, after-all. But, whaddya say we re-implement those mandatory self check-ins? Those 10 minutes every couple hours to grab a friend, stand outside and chat? I can’t see anything wrong with that!

Fine. I won’t pick up smoking again. I’ll just pick up smoke breaks.

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Posted by mbamommy on December 15, 2011

I am….

a mother

a wife

a sister

a daughter

an advocate

a friend

an ear

a shoulder

a heart

a brain

a body

a life

a tear

a smile

a giggle

a tickle finger

a Mommy monster

a squeeze

a hug

a kiss

a hand

a sigh

beautiful

strong

willful

independent

curious

scared

unsure

confident

loving

angry

sad

joyous

…me.

I do…

autism

a job

an exercise

a meal

some housework

a lot of talking

a lot of reading

a lot of writing

some yoga

some meditating

errands

pick up/drop off

child care

driving

discipline

…things.

There’s a difference.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Parenthood: Cult or No?

Posted by mbamommy on September 16, 2011

The other day, my fabulous new friend, Mama Leche, made a comment to me about parenthood being like a cult.  I was a little taken aback at first until she started explaining the similarities to me….and it got me thinking….is parenthood really like being in a cult?

On one hand, definitely not.  Cults have a huge negative implication because of their extremist religious tendencies and their propensity for mass suicides (although it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve jumped on a popular saying without understanding it’s founding negative implications). Parenthood, regardless of the parent’s religious beliefs, tends to be viewed as positive…you know..continuation of the species and all that jazz.  And, generally speaking, we do not off ourselves at play dates….even though sometimes we may want to if said kiddo misses their nap or eats too much chocolate.

But, there are some similarities.  If you take a look at Wikipedia (and y’all know how much I love me some Wiki), Cults are (in a nutshell), defined as “a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre.”  Hmmmm….know any parents who behave or believe a little bizarrely?

And, then Wikipedia goes on to describe a cult’s practice of Mind Control:

Studies performed by those who believe that some religious groups do practice mind control have identified a number of key steps in coercive persuasion:

  1. People are put in physical or emotionally distressing situations; (uhhh…..can anyone say labor & delivery and sleep deprivation for months at a time?!?)
  2. Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized; (Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy,)
  3. They receive what seems to be unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group; (who can argue that those little suckers can give you hugs that make you melt)
  4. They get a new identity based on the group; (I repeat: mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy,)
  5. They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled. (Yep, this one too……WAAAAYYYYYY true).

Well, crap.  That doesn’t bode well.  What do you think?

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Run Daddy Run

Posted by mbamommy on August 5, 2011

As you may remember, back in May, J ran the Colfax marathon in order to raise money for the Colorado Autism Society.  It was a momentous event for our little family and one that each of us got to play a role in.

At the end of this post, I’ve added the letter he sent out to everyone who donated, but what that probably doesn’t portray was how moved we were of the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family.  Folks, we’re talking about people who don’t have any extra money to do anything for themselves…much less donate their hard earned money as a show of support for us and our little man.  There were countless nights when J and I would review the donations coming in and both of us would have tears in our eyes.  We truly truly have the most amazing network of friends. People who didn’t even know us directly were donating!  It was amazing.

The day of the race was cold, grey and overcast.  Sadly, the kiddos had to wear sweatshirts over their t-shirts and long sleeves under.  Z put up a HUGE fight because he was VERY concerned Daddy wouldn’t see his shirt when he ran by.  I was able to appease him by promising that as soon as we saw Daddy he’d be able to take his sweatshirt off.  J started running at around 6am, reporting later that it actually snowed the first couple miles.  Z, S and I got to the end of the race a little earlier than I would have liked because I wasn’t sure how long it would take to find parking, how crowded the race would be, etc etc.  Lucky for us there was plenty of open space and not a lot of noise within 1/4 mile from the finish line.  We set up camp in a grassy area where they could play and I could keep an eye out for the moving autism ribbon.  The kids were good, but getting cold and restless….then…there he was…right on time…. Z ripped his sweatshirt off and RAN out to meet Daddy.  Z, with a full tank of gas, made it tough for poor Daddy to keep up!  S tried her darndest to follow along but just wasn’t fast enough so she and I ran on the sidelines as the boys crossed the finish line together.  I overheard very sweet comments about little Z man and his “Run Daddy Run” shirt and saw smiles the faces of the spectators watching them run in together…..it was definitely a moment I’ll never forget.  I wish I could share pics from when they crossed over, they’re absolutely amazing, but alas, they’re also not free.

I *can* share this one though….

And, this one was posted in the ASC summer newsletter (along with a one-page Volunteer Profile of J).  You can tell the kiddos were done with the cold at this point.

And finally, the thank you letter J sent out:

As a supporter to our cause, you helped make this project a complete success:
  • The team I help organize surpassed its fundraising goal by 20%, providing a pleasant surprise to the finance committee chair at the Autism Society of Colorado for the 2011 budget year
  • Thanks to you, I was the #1 fundraiser, inspiring me to continue with another race of some type later this year
  • I finished the marathon in 3 hours, 27 minutes (beating my goal of 3:30)
  • Perhaps most importantly to me, I had the personal joy and honor of running the final 0.2 miles with the Z-man himself.  He took his mini-race very seriously, and I had trouble keeping up when he started to run, but when we crossed the finish line, I hugged him, and he said, “Daddy, that was fun, but next time I want to run with you FROM THE START of the race”.  (Something tells me that day isn’t as far away as I think!)
So, from all the C’s, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  Personally, I cannot tell you how grateful I am, and I promise you that 4.5yr old Z will, one day, truly understand what you did for him.
“It is not enough to prepare our children for the world; we also must prepare the world for our children.”
– Luis J. Rodriguez
Best,

J

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

From Here to There, From There to Here…..

Posted by mbamommy on August 4, 2011

…funny things are everywhere.

I realized yesterday that it was a year ago this week that our migration to Colorado began.  J had just received his job offer and I jumped on a plane and spent 4 days looking at rentals, schools and therapy providers.

Was it really just a year ago?  It feels like a lifetime and a minute all rolled into one.  So much has happened in a year and so much more will happen as we go forward (ugh….I shouldn’t try to be philosophical before I have my coffee in the morning…that was terrible).

I have an analogy I like to use to describe my family’s situation right now.  You know how when you play a slot machine, you pull the the lever (or, I guess these days you just press a button), and the slots spin around and around, slowing down one by one until they line up along the line?  And then you see what you’ve won?  I feel like our life is kind of like that slot machine.  The first slot has stopped spinning….the kids/school situation.  The second one is slowing….J’s job situation.  The third one is still spinning and will need to continue until the other two are in place (me!).

To go in more depth about that, I should give a (semi) brief update on how everyone’s doing.

Z is doing amazingly well.  When we first got here and he started preschool with his IEP and private therapy services, they had to do a lot of interventions to help him regulate his sensory overloads and learn how to play with other kids.  We (J, I, his therapists and the teachers) literally had to teach him how to play.  And, not just the turn-taking stuff that every kid has to learn. We also had to teach him to read expressions, understand the give and take of a conversation and how to be flexible enough to allow other people (adults first and then kids) influence the games they were playing without having a complete meltdown when he wasn’t scripting everything.  In the beginning, the OT would bring him in from recess early and take him to the ‘motor room’ where she had a swing and a dark, quiet corner where he could wind down.  Otherwise, his sensory system completely overloaded with the transition from playground to loud, chaotic bathroom to sitting down in a classroom.  By the end of the year, not only was he a part of every minute of the class, he was helping other kids resolve conflicts and the SpEd team was using games/therapies they usually reserve for kindergarteners because he blew through the more age appropriate stuff!

It wasn’t an easy road in the least.  I spent a lot of my time driving him to and from school and therapy (he spent 10 hrs a week in school and 10 hrs a week in therapy).  But the teams he worked with were all angels…truly seeing my son and his strengths and using those strengths to work through the weaknesses.  One example: Z is obsessed with airplanes.  Has been for as long as I can remember.  So, his school OT created a game where she’d ask him “How is your engine running?  Fast, like an F-16?  Just right, like a Blackhawk? Or slow, like a Bi-plane?”  She used it to help him identify how he was feeling and she altered the traditional usage from Winnie the Pooh (fast like Tigger, just right like Pooh or slow like Eeyore) to something he could relate to.  She made charts for school, home and his private therapy so we could all use it.  He loved it and was able to identify how he was feeling and we could help him regulate from there.

A year ago, Z would scream when we washed his hair during bath.  He HATED getting his hair and face wet and we’d have to take extra precautions not to get water in his face or ears….I think it actually hurt him somehow.  We started swim lessons at the beginning of the summer and for weeks he would cry and get upset whenever his teacher wanted him to put his head under water.  And then…one day…BAM….he was swimming.  Something clicked in that little head of his and now we can’t keep him ABOVE water!  He graduated to the next level of swim school.  He’s extremely strong and can swim a good ways across the pool underwater.  We’re at the pool all weekend, with him jumping in, swimming to us and back to the wall, jumping off our shoulders, playing with older kids…he even ventured into the deep end last weekend!  J and I look at each other sometimes and say, “Is that really our little Z?!”

Before we moved here, I heard horror stories about services available in Colorado.  How the schools weren’t great, how there weren’t experienced service providers, insurance didn’t cover autism related services, etc etc.  I have to say that I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with everyone who’s worked with Z.  They were right about insurance….the situation is abominable….I’ve even thought about getting in touch with Erin Brokovich to see if she could make a difference, but I’ve been a little busy with my own little life so far.

So….Z’s doing so well that we stopped therapy for the summer.  I don’t think we’ll be starting ABA again but we are in the process of getting OT rolling again.  He’s still got some challenges regulating himself (what 4yo doesn’t, right?) and because of his new school environment (more on that in a minute) we think it’s still important to have outside support.

The biggest change (for me, at least) is my relationship with me.  A year ago, he could take me or leave me.  He was ALL about Daddy.  I would have to coerce affection out of him.  For some reason, he just wasn’t interested in hugging and kissing me…or anyone else for that matter…just Daddy.  There were nights when I would go into his room to say goodnight when he and Daddy were reading and J would be close to threatening him with timeout so that he’d give me a hug. I always stopped him before it got to that point, satisfying myself with just blowing him a kiss.  And, I understood what was going on.  But, it still sucked.

He still fights me at every turn.  His logical little brain constantly looks for ways to rationalize his way out of doing his chores or anything else I tell him to do.  He questions everything and refuses to accept a half answer, which I mistakenly try to give him sometimes.  But instead of hitting, scratching, biting, kicking when I say no to him, he (mostly) accepts it.  Pouting and telling me he’s mad at me of course…..but a FAR cry from our arguments of a year ago.  Folks, he TELLS me he’s mad.  Do you understand how HUGE that it?

Anyway, our relationship has changed and evolved into something I treasure.  He asks for me to read books to him at night.  He asks me to cuddle with him.  He comes to me when he’s upset.  He freely gives me hugs and kisses, even sometimes without me asking for them.  He tells me he loves me and squeezes even harder.  Those parents of kiddos on the spectrum that are reading this will understand how unbelievably precious this is.  Those parents of NT kiddos…..please cherish each and every hug, they are a blessing.  I find myself waiting until he lets go to end an embrace because every hug reminds me of when I used to not get them.  And I never want them to stop.  Hopefully now they won’t (at least until high school and I’m a constant embarrassment to him).

OK, so now little S….who’s not so little anymore.  My baby girl.  What can I say about her?  Well….not much without getting teary.  She’s our angel, she’s our diva, she’s the light of our house and she can just as easily bring our home crumbling down around her with her tantrums.  She’s growing a very funny, very sweet, very LARGE personality.  Her teachers all love her and comment on her dramatic way of talking.  She’s all hand gestures and exaggerated facial expressions.  She’s a smart little lady who excels at everything big bro doesn’t: relationships, friends, reading people….street smarts to his book smarts.  She’s a tough little girl who won’t back down to bullying by big bro.  She’s a natural athlete who can throw a ball better than Z.  She’s not afraid of anything and is usually the one leading Z into trying new things (like swimming).  She’s my girly-girl who loves all things pink (including her elephants) but is dirty from head to toe at the end of every day.  She idolizes big bro, is a Daddy’s girl and has an amazing bond with Mommy.  She’s a snuggler and a cuddler and a jokester all in one.  What’s the saying?  “When she’s good she’s very very good.  And when she’s bad she’s terrible.”?  Something like that.  Well, that’s my S.  She’s stubborn, independent and opinionated. (I have NO idea where she gets that). She keeps us on our toes and laughing all the time.  I remember being terrified of having a girl….and now I couldn’t imagine life without her.

So…school.  We’ve decided to send the kids to a language immersion school to learn Mandarin.  They’re in camp at the school this summer and they both LOVE it.  They come home every day with new words, new songs, new friends.  J and I are so far extremely impressed with the school, the community, the education….we’re so excited we found this for our kids.

And, because that first slot has stopped moving, everything else can slowly fall into place.  The kids are in a great spot…they’ve got their groove on.  And it’s so wonderful to see after all we’ve been through.

As for J….well, he’s getting his groove on too.  I’ll write more about his marathon in another post (or, maybe have him write it? hmmm….) but as far as getting involved in the Denver community and finding a good job fit…well, it’s all there.  Now that my gregarious, outgoing husband is out from behind his desk and doing what he was born to do, his career path is bright and solid.  His “thing” this summer is golf and he’s taking full advantage of the Colorado summer to get out on the course and hack away.  Recently, he and I began a workout program called Insanity.  The workout is hard….insane, if you will.  But what’s truly insane is we get up at 5:30am in the morning to do it.  Crazy, right?  But, it’s been fun.  It helps your motivation when the person who’s sleeping next to you is pushing you out of bed when the alarm goes off.  It’s motivating to hear the huffing and puffing and under-your-breath swearing going on right next to you.  It’s an amazing way to wake up and keep your energy going throughout the day.  And, if NOTHING else goes right for the rest of the day, at least you worked out!  J and I end every workout high fiving and fist bumping.  It’s fun to have something new to do together.  And, boy, do we sleep well!

I know I was the driving force behind us moving to CO, but he’s certainly a willing participant.  He drank the kool-ade and we’re both loving living here.

And, finally, me.  Well, my slot is still spinning.  There are a lot of things that still need to be finalized before mine stops.  Things like finally selling our house in NC (we have a contract but it’s contingent on them selling their house).  Things like figuring out whether I want to/need to and can/can not go back to work full time.  And, what will that look like?  Where would I work full time?  Do I  formalize the contract/consulting I’m doing now?  Do I want to?  And, what’s best for my family?  For me?  So many questions.

But, that’s all really ok.  Because, I’m having the time of my life right now.  J and I have dubbed this summer the “Summer of MBA Mommy”.  I’m working part time and the kids are in camp all day.  I’ve got free time to do the things I want to do (yoga, blog, reading, writing, walking, seeing friends) and free time to do the things I need to do.  I’m making some money….not a ton….but not nothing either.  I’ve written before about wanting to Be Present in my life and I will write more about Finding Balance.  I feel that I’ve struck the perfect balance this summer.  Frankly, I feel like I’ve won the lottery.  Freedom during the summer in Colorado?  There’s not much more I could ask for….well, except for someone to buy our buyer’s house so I can stop my obsessive online house hunting and start for real….anyone in the market for a new house in Raleigh?  I know a GREAT one you could buy. 🙂

Because then? JACKPOT.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Fancy meeting you here

Posted by mbamommy on April 6, 2011

Well, hello again!  How have you been?  I’ve missed you.  I’ve been good…actually VERY good.  So good in fact that I completely ignored you. That’s such a girl thing to do, isn’t it?  When you’re down and out, you can’t get enough of your friends and you’ll chat with them til late in the night.  And, they’re always there for you, to listen to you vent with you, cry with you, laugh with you and share with you.  And then?  Things start going well again….you get another boyfriend or another job or another…whatever….and all of a sudden, you’re life is re-focused (or, in my case re- unfocused) and you find yourself thinking “Hmmm……I should really get in touch with my friends.”  But, you’re at a stop light and you don’t have your phone on you.  And you tell yourself you’ll write yourself a note as soon as you get home and then 5 minutes go by and you’re thinking about an entirely new topic until a week goes by and you think “Hmmm…..I should really get I touch with my friends.”

Oh wait…that doesn’t happen to you?  You ALWAYS remember your friends and never leave them hanging?  I bet you probably always have perfect hair and makeup, perfectly behaved children, a beautifully clean house and a wonderful relationship with your family.  Then, yeah, maybe I haven’t missed you as much.

BUT, if you’re like me (and I’m guessing that deep down you actually are), you’ll forgive my absence, welcome me back with open arms, and tell me how exactly you manage to look so gorgeous all the time.

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The Beauty of “Because I Said So”

Posted by mbamommy on July 12, 2010

I used to hate when my parents answer to my pleading and questioning was, “Because I said so.”  It was SO frustrating.  Now that I’m on the flip side, I’m realizing how much power and beauty those 4 little words hold.  Wanna know why?  Because you can’t argue with it.  It’s not logical, you can’t negotiate.  There’s no wiggle room.  It just is.

It reminds me of a saying my high school girlfriends and I had.  We always wanted to use the following break up line on a boy.  I don’t think any of us ever had the guts to do it, but it has as much power and beauty as “Because I Said So”.  And, as much frustration for the receiver.  Here it is:

“I hate you, just deal.”

You can’t argue with it.  It’s not logical, you can’t negotiate.  There’s no wiggle room.  It just is.

What about you?  Any “gems” that can end an argument in 10 words or less?

Posted in ME, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

You Never Get A Second Chance….

Posted by mbamommy on May 12, 2010

To Make Good A First Impression.

Or so the saying goes.

I politely disagree.  Maybe it’s just me, but do you really truly base all your assumptions of a person’s character on that first 5 minutes you meet them?  I don’t.  Frankly, half the time, I’m so overloaded with trying to take everything in about that new person I don’t know what I think.  And, if I do, inevitably I find I’m wrong.

For example, the first time I met JC was during orientation at b-school.  We had just come in from some outdoor team building and everyone was kind of sweaty and gross.  JC in particular.  He sat next to me and we chatted but all I could think of was “Seems ok, but how do I get away from this guy’s sweaty leg?  Gross.”  Granted, the sweaty thing hasn’t changed much but if I hadn’t afforded him the opportunity to make a second first impression, my life would be drastically different right now (and NOT for the better, I assure you).

Another example, when I first met my best friend, I only knew of her through her reputation of being opinionated, loud-mouthed and ‘rough around the edges’.  And, that our mutual acquaintance wasn’t a fan.  But, I decided to give her a chance and come to my own conclusions.  The result?  Yes, she’s opinionated, loud-mouthed and ‘rough around the edges’.  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  She’s also FUN, thoughtful, caring, has a huge heart, is a wonderful wife and mother and the most solid friend I’ve ever had.  So, again, if I had stopped at the first impression, my life would not be as rich.

Oh, and the mutual acquaintance?  Neither of us have spoken to her in years.

What about you?  What do you think?

Posted in ME | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Just For Fun

Posted by mbamommy on July 30, 2009

I wanted to post these two videos because I think they are *hands down* the best two viral videos I’ve ever seen.  I never get tired of watching them.  Enjoy!

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My Favorite Things

Posted by mbamommy on July 29, 2009

A few weeks ago, I read about a blogging contest put out by Triangle TRACKS.  They were asking for people to post blog entries about their favorite things.  Apparently I misread it because I thought they were asking for favorite things about NC in the summer.  Considering I *hate* NC in the summer I decided not to submit anything.  Nor did I want the prize of tickets to see “The Sound of Music” this coming Saturday.

But, it got me thinking about my favorite things.  And, since I’ve been blogging a lot recently about job searches and work/life balance (neither of which are on my list of favorite things) I’ve decided to list mine here.  Note, these are in no particular order.

  • My children’s belly laughs
  • Laughing uncontrollably at absolutely nothing
  • Negative splits
  • The first sip of an amazing vintage
  • Apres ski Fat Tire (in a hot tub)
  • JC’s hugs and strong shoulder
  • That sore muscle feeling the day after a great workout
  • Pizza
  • The smell of Colorado in the summer
  • The small of cut grass and rain
  • Getting lost in an amazing book
  • Sloppy baby kisses
  • Watching my kids master a new skill
  • Walking out of a meeting/presentation knowing I knocked it out of the ballpark
  • Chocolate
  • First snow
  • 2am conversations

And so on. 

Ironically, when I just re-checked the Triangle TRACKS website, I realized that all they really wanted was the above – not NC specific.  Ah well.

Anyone else want to post their list?

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