Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Photo of the "new" office

New Office

I'm spending the day in my new office--getting ready for the new school year.  I've taken a few weeks off to lick my wounds after giving up my old job, driving the boys to campus for camp, driving back home, and then driving back to campus again to pick them up.  Camp on campus was a great plan when I was planning to be working there every day.  When that plan was scrapped, I discovered the beauty of my own home during the day--empty--completely empty.  

I know I'm having a bout of depression when that just sounds like the absolute best thing in the whole wide world.  My house--empty.  

I'm trying to jump start my entry back into more "normal"  life by visiting the office for the afternoon.  The more I get done in the office NOW the less I'll need to do later, after the boys are back in school--when I won't have to drive to campus every day...  Hmm.... This is the last week of camp.   Do you think I might have figured this one out a bit sooner?  

I've taken a photo with my phone of the office--and I'll post it when I get home.  It will make this a much nicer post.  Every blog post needs a nice photo.  

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Met with Alex's Dr.

We met with Alex's Psychologist yesterday.  He assured us that Alex was not showing signs of ODD, since the behavior was confined to home-and pretty much all directed at me.   While the Dr. tried to not make me sound like the worst parent ever, he thinks Alex is bored since he is home with me all morning every day.   I have a bit of a hard time buying that--for reasons I won't get into here--but I guess it is good news.  Unfortunately, I don't really believe the Dr.  I think it may be time to shop for a new Dr.  for Alex--we can use the excuse that we want someone closer to home...

Friday, July 25, 2008


So, I followed the link on Sarah's blog to take a personality test.  I like how the results make everything sound positive.  In my current frame of mind, I expected the test to come back saying--"Find a mental health provider, FAST!!!"  

I've done several of these personality tests over the past few years as part of a program I participated in at work.  They are interesting and fun.  My favorite was one that showed I knew myself--that I had a good "self-concept." As part of this "leadership training program" we had to meet with a professional from human resources to get the results of that particular test.   She asked what I thought my strengths and weaknesses were, and then laughed as she revealed that my verbal answers matched the results of the multiple choice test I'd taken earlier perfectly.   She had been very careful to start the session with a long explanation about how although the tests can be useful, the process is not perfect and that one needs to take the results with a grain of salt.  I guess some of my colleagues had complained about the results of the test--didn't like what they revealed and were almost nasty about it.

Here are my results on this one:

You Are An ISTJ

The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.

You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knitting.

Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.

Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.

In love, you are loyal and honest. If you commit yourself to someone, then you're fully committed.

For you, love is something that happens naturally. And you don't need romantic gestures to feel loved.

At work, you remember details well and are happy to take on any responsibility.

You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

How you see yourself: Decisive, stable, and dependable

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, conservative, and egotistical

This test says I "never do anything crazy"????   Really????   It says I see myself as "stable"???  Not right now!  Labels me a "duty fulfiller?"  Maybe that is why I feel so overwhelmed ...  

As part of my plan to cope with Alex, I've called a sitter for Sunday.  I need to be sure I take time for myself.  Get away from duty fulfillment for a few hours.   It probably won't hurt if I spend some of that time with Dave.  


Thursday, July 24, 2008


Alex continues to challenge us. I finally read up on the internet about Oppositional Defiant Disorder. That's my boy. The statistics surrounding the disorder are pretty grim. However, maybe we will be one of the lucky families where the child eventually outgrows the symptoms. He is a classic case. He has the birth history, genetic disposition, moved around as a child, including being adopted by us at three. I found a checklist online for what to do. See links below. We have been doing about 75% of the items on the list pretty consistently. One item on the list that I have NOT done very well, since giving up the full-time 12 month job, is "Take TIme for Yourself." Especially the past week. He has been unable to go to camp or swimming because he has terrible diarrhea... So, he has been with me all day almost every day. Dave had him yesterday afternoon, and he came home again today and took him to the office for a few hours to give me a break... I'm already fragile because I gave up that job. Now I'm more fragile because I'm dealing with dear Alex.

FYI-- The episode today that put me over the edge... He took the mail and tore it up. Spread it on the yard, and even put some of it into the "swamp." The swamp is a wetland area on our property that is kind of disgusting, brackish water, not clean at all. Nothing like fishing half of an envelope from the insurance company with the words "Important information about your insurance policy" on the front from brackish, disgusting water to make the day a bit brighter.

Well, Alex is with Dave, and Joseph's tutor just arrived, so I'm out of here for a few hours. Hopefully, Dave can cope.


Monday, July 21, 2008


I need to blog about a variety of topics:

The hellish past 24 hours:
Both Alex and Joseph have acted out and made the past day one I both want to forget and want to remember. I want to forget because it hasn't been fun, but I want to remember so I have perspective--most of the rest of our days look pretty good when set side by side with the past 24.

The sweet notes Joseph brought home from school:
On the last day of school in June Joseph brought home a stack of notes written by his classmates in fourth grade. They will make you cry. I knew we had done the right thing when we moved, but this is the tangible, I can touch it and read it and scan it so you all can see it too proof that we did the right thing when we moved!

Jen's amazing gift:
Dave's niece Jen is being a surrogate mother for her sister's sister-in-law. Did you follow that? The story is on shaferbaby.blogspot.com. She is carrying twins and is now on bed rest for the next 7 to 9 weeks. She is giving a huge gift--and I know the parents to be are grateful.

So, look for these posts sometime. But not today.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Alex's 10th Birthday

I made a big effort this year to make Alex's birthday special. I found a lot of things at target he liked (which is not hard to do!).

I went through the store looking for things Alex would want, not things I want him to want, or that I want him to have. There is a big difference between those two sets of things. It is hard for me to let Alex be Alex. I want him to be something he just isn't. I think I put more pressure on Alex because I know Joseph is Joseph, no matter what. I need to let Alex be Alex as well. Mommy lessons are hard.

Because I'm not working full time this summer (see previous blog entry) I was able to put together a birthday party for Alex. We invited both family and friends--10 kids and various adults-- I think it went well. Alex was pretty wound up, and had a few times when he had to run off to his room to have a short tantrum. But, all things considered, he did well. He was disappointed at the last minute when two of the neighbor boys couldn't come to the party, but as soon as other kids started to arrive he was fine. Dave arranged the big surprise of the day--a visit from Brutus Buckeye! Alex was very excited, as were most of the adults! I think the adults may have been even a bit more thrilled with the chance to meet Brutus than the kids. Even Grandma wanted her photo taken with Brutus.

The photos of grandma are too funny!

Everyone had a great time even though it was hot, humid, and rained on and off all day! We somehow managed the party between storms.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Five min after signing "I'm hungry," Joseph serves himself a small snack. I'm blogging from my phone. It is hard to write much, but easy to do from almost anywhere.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ready for game

Joseph is looking good. I'm learning to send blog entries from my phone... Should help put more photos up here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm back

Well--I loved my new administrative job for the first 10 months. Then the director resigned. I was the "Associate Director." The man they chose to replace the director as a two-year interim director is not a nice man. He gave me endless grief--He was condescending, distrustful, demanding, and downright deceitful. So, I resigned. So, now I'm back to my 9 month teaching position. Thank goodness for tenure. Looking forward to a year with no committee or service responsibilities. Trying to get geared up for some academic research after my brief hiatus in adminitrivia.

I suspect that my tolerance for BS has been lowered by my children. I suspect that ten years ago I might have tried to "tough it out" "make it work" "get through it." But today, given life at home, I don't have the patience for childish behavior in the workplace. I deal with enough of it at home.

I'm sad. Like I say, I loved that job. Dave summarized the situation very well. He says I'm task oriented. I get the job done. But, I'm not able to deal with home stress and do the work, if I have to put up with "people related work stress."

So, one thing I missed over the past year was my blog.

I'll try to start up my blogging habit again--perhaps that will make me less sad.