Sunday, September 30, 2007

Where Did September Go?

The fall has brought more than the changing leaves and cooler weather to our household. Fall has brought a major change to my schedule, one that still has me reeling and my head spinning as I am trying to gain some control over it all.

In July I started working at Wesley Spectrum Services as a Behavior Support Specialist and Mobile Therapist in the Family and Child Development Center. What does that mean? I am a behavior therapist in the wraparound program, over seeing and contributing to therapeutic interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders. When I accepted this position I knew it would be part time, to earn some more money and to stay current in my field (and release some of the stress of having a masters degree in social work and not using it). I thought I would have one or two cases, work a few hours a week and learn a lot.

I also started a tutoring business last year, Reach and Succeed Tutoring, providing services for students in a variety of subjects. All tutoring takes place in my home so that Cooper can be here while I work. I had high hopes for the tutoring, and things went well in my first year. But over the summer I only had one student and wondered every day whether the tutoring was ever going to go anywhere.

Well, here comes September and all of a sudden I find myself with 13 hours worth of cases at Wesley (which means roughly 15 hours of work) and 7 tutoring students for 8 hours per week (one student comes two hours per week) plus prep time. So, I have gone from working a few hours a week to suddenly working between 20 and 25 hours per week.

My how my days have changed!! Thankfully, Cooper goes to the babysitter on Thursday and Friday. Un-thankfully, I now have no days without work, and that includes weekends.

So today I say good-bye to September and the shock to my system it has brought me. I hope that October brings me some calm in this madness and a way to balance my new, much more hectic, schedule.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Beautiful Boy


This is my latest favorite picture of my Coop. He looks like such a big guy, and I see hints of what he is going to look like when he is older.

Quote of the Day

Cooper loves to say "Uh-oh". Most of the time he says it for completely unknown or incorrect reasons. Erik and I have found ourselves saying to him on numerous occasions, "You don't say 'uh-oh' when you throw something on the floor."

This morning Cooper used "uh-oh" perfectly.

The Today Show was on, so I can somewhat feel like I know what is going on in the world, and they were talking about how Bush is going to address the UN today. There was a shot of Bush walking down the stairs off his mighty airplane. Cooper looked at the screen and said, with a slight tone of dread, "uh-oh".

Of course I told him that was a perfect use of one of his favorite words.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What I'm Reading

I recently finished My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult . This is an engaging book that I know will stay with me for many years. Picoult, reportedly inspired by her own experiences with her child, explores the realms of childhood illness, "designer" babies, parent's rights, and the lengths a parent will go to to help her child. I found Picoult's use of varied perspectives particularly gripping as the chapters shift perspective between each of the main characters. Picoult seamlessly moves from the voice of a thirteen year old girl to her 40-ish fire-fighter father to others, and in doing so offers the reader an all knowing perspective with which to form her own opinion on the heart wrenching challenges they all face.

My Sister's Keeper also illuminated, again, how much has changed for me since I became a mom. I know that my reading of this novel would have been drastically different before Cooper came along. I still would have enjoyed it, but pieces would not have been read as deeply as they did with my own perspective as a mother. One of my favorite quotes from this book exemplifies this:

"being a mother is completely different. You want your child to have more than you even did. You want to build a fire underneath her and watch her soar. It's bigger than words." I touch my chest. "And it sill all manages to fit very neatly inside here."

I definitely recommend this book to everyone. Let me know what you think if you do read it or have already done so.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First Day

Today was Cooper's first day of his new Kindermusik class. What a treat to be back with Miss Kathy, his amazing teacher. We took 2 sessions last year and Cooper soaked up every morsel of the time, exploring the instruments, watching the twinkle lights on the ceiling, and dancing to all the songs.

I'm learning that Cooper is an observer by nature, preferring to stay on the edge of the action, and today was no exception. At the beginning of every class, instruments are spread out on the floor for the kids to play with as everyone arrives. Today, Cooper chose to sit in my lap and watch the others play, a happy observer. During class, Cooper let all the other kids get an instrument before him, patiently waiting to get one for himself. I think he likes to soak everything in and study his options before committing himself to anything. (Those of you who know Erik well may have some ideas of where Cooper gets this.) Once he warmed up a bit he decided instead of sitting with me singing the songs, he would rather walk laps around the classroom. From that perspective he could see what everyone else was doing and take it all in.

Here are some pictures of the day, with Cooper playing his new take home instrument, Zig Zig Blocks. He LOVES them!

Before Class

Playing the Zig Zag Blocks


Friday, September 7, 2007

Hiding

Where's Cooper?

I think I see something.....


Here he comes....

There he is!!!!

Time to play with the eggs!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Carpetastrophy

I've been away from this blog for a while, and here is my excuse. A week and a half ago, with every intention of doing a good thing for our home, I rented a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner from Home Depot. I've wanted our carpets cleaned since before we moved in here, and thought if I did it myself I could save some money. Well, I guess I did too good of a job and over soaked our carpets. They took 4 days to dry. I was on the phone with Rug Doctor multiple times a day, and eventually they sent someone out to professionally "clean up" what I did, for free. Thank goodness. Yesterday was the professional day and our carpet looks nice (for 10 year old carpet!). What does this have to do with blogging? Well, our computer is in the family room and we have had very limited access to this room throughout the whole fiasco. But I'm back at it now!

Needless to say, I highly recommend hiring professionals if you need a carpet cleaned...I've learned my lesson!