The truth is, I have a special needs child. Not many people know what it means to take care of a special needs child. I didn't. I had no clue. Sure I had been around them, had babysat them in my nanny days, but I had not raised a special needs child. This child takes a lot out of me. Seriously, taking care of two ADD/ADHD kids (not counting in the other issues) can take a lot out of you, but add in a mother who was mourning her son and didn't really want to live, and there is a lot of guilt, a lot of stress, and just plain stress. It was a hard year. I think this next year I need to focus more on me, now that I truly can, without having to worry about others' needs and I need to let Dave shoulder more responsibility and both of us need time together and apart, to do things that interest us.
Special needs children are often misunderstood because I think people are not sure how to behave around them or what to say to you about your child. Having people say, "I'll give you a pass because I know how your kids are" or say that they think one is "growing out of it" is hard to hear sometimes. I don't want people to give me a pass because of my kids, I want them to be there when I need to vent, I want them to want to be around my kids and have fun with them, because my kids want to be around them and they want to have fun too. They can't always control how they behave, but they are the most loving, sweetest girls and they will hug you, they will ask you 50 mil questions but they genuinely care and get excited when we see people we know. They will be excited to see the people we know and to meet new people. They will say after we have gone somewhere and seen the people we know, how much fun it was. These girls for all that they have been through, are truly, deeply, loving and affectionate. But they are sometimes hard to raise. I have been posting and reading the blog, Easy To Love, Hard To Raise. I have not read the book,but I have been on the blog to read the posts and on the FB page to read and for support. It's helped a lot, and helped me to understand my ETL (Easy to love) child.
So on to my bucket list for me this coming school year:
*Get back into beading. I like it, it's relaxing and I would like to sell my beads on Etsy. But even if I don't get that started, I will still bead. I came back from my mom's and made a pair of earrings to wear one day and had to wrap the wire for the look I wanted. The wrap came out perfectly (something that takes time to learn and that I had to practice again and again when I started beading again). I was really pleased and it made me want to sit down and bead some more.
*Therapy dog. This is something that is controversial, as we have 3 dogs already, however, I wouldn't have gotten the 3rd dog if the rescue person had not told me she could possibly be a therapy dog (she can't, but she is a therapy dog for LGA, who adores her). I would like to get another Cavalier (and am in talks with a Cavalier breeder who raises therapy dogs) to take to schools as a therapy dog as well as assisted living facilities to brigthen the seniors' days. I have been researching it and LGA could technically have a therapy dog and this is something I would like to do, would make me happy and give me a chance to reconnect with seniors. If I don't do the therapy dog, I will be going to visit seniors, as I am missing that connection in my life and I would like to maybe befriend a senior (or more) to visit. But I would really like to do the therapy dog training and have a therapy dog to take to the schools. I saw a video that I will post below, that shows how a teacher took a Cavalier puppy and raised it to be a therapy dog, then brought it to her class, where the kids read to it and wrote letters to the dog (who had it's own mailbox). There was one boy who never talked at all and you see him reading to the dog on the video. I want to train a dog to do this and one of BGA's former teachers, who moved to a new school, is interested in making this happen once she gets settled in to her new class, maybe in the new year. I rescued our male Cavalier but he is too skittish, our other terrier licks, and the new doggie licks, and does the small dog jumping, all stuff you can't have in a therapy dog. I wish I had known this but I didn't do the research and now I have. So we'll see if this comes to be. I would like it to. But we'll see.
*Reading. I had loved to read before the girls came home but some days leave me more exhausted so I don't really like to read and can't concentrate. I posted about the book I read and I will be doing more reading as the fall and winter approach. I have missed it. I would read maybe one or two books a summer. But I have books on the bookshelf and ones I brought back from my mom's so I need to see what's there and what can be downloaded on to the Kindle cheaply and get to it.
*Exercise. I want to take the dogs out for a walk once school starts. Our neighborhood has gone way down and I really didn't feel extremely safe walking, but one of the parents who I know walks in the am and I know if he's walking, there would be someone else around. I'd like to get a bike so the girls, Dave and I could all go biking. This would be fun and promote exercise in all of us. I have loved to walk and know I could lose that last 20 pounds I need to lose if I start exercising. Walking has always been my choice.
*Time to myself. This one I have always felt guilty of doing. In the beginning I had all kinds of time to myself. But lately, over the last couple of years, Dave has been tired at night and I have felt guilty of asking for time to myself. He needs time to himself also (although he had 18 days to himself while I was gone, so time for him to give me a break, as I have not really had one all summer long) so we need to work on that during the year. We also need to work on time by ourselves. It's kind of hard to explain to people who think you should just be able to make time, that when you are awakened in the night by one daughter having nightmares and one waking a few times a night and very early mornings, it's really hard to have that time to yourselves. I wish that we could get a weekend away or something but I don't think that would happen soon and all we want to do is sleep when we get a weekend away. Seriously, sleep. I didn't understand that before, but I do now. But I must make time to myself if it is a book club, or a class I take or going to the movies, or doing what some moms do, sitting in Starbucks with coffee and a book. I must make time to do this, I really do need it after all that has happened in my life over the last 2 mos, and I won't get the time if I don't ask for it.
*Pampering myself. I'm not into the whole massage/facial/mani/pedi stuff, but I have been missing my acrylic nails. I might have them put back on, although I think it would be hard to bead with them and not sure I am into the 2 week fills. I might get a manicure though, as there is now a nail gal at my hair salon. I already color my hair and will add highlights to my hair in Aug (or so my great stylist says). I enjoy the time with my stylist, she is my former co worker's sister and I have gone to her for almost 8 years now. Growing the hair out again so we'll see what style I get. I'm thinking this:
But not the colors of course.
* Photography. I would really like to get into this, but not sure I have the patience or desire to learn it right now. I'd love an SLR camera and to take a class to learn how to use it. I don't know about apertures and low lights, etc. But I'd like to learn. I'm genuinely interested now. I had an aunt who was good at photography, her daughter is and my uncle are good at taking pics. I'd like to learn how to do it. My brother got into it and I was able to bring some of his desert pics from his time in AZ back with me and saw how good he was at taking pics.
*Cooking. I am getting proficient at cooking, but there is more to learn. I ponder taking a class, but never really seem to sign up for one or start it. I think I just can't seem to want to start. But I have gotten a few good cookbooks, and really like Everyday Food mag, so I have tried recipes that I might like and have a few I now draw on for meals. I would like to really get into baking and cooking. My cousin is a good cook and I'm so glad I can ask her about cooking and talk to her about it, now knowing some stuff and not feel like I really don't know what I am doing. I still have some failures, but not as many and I am starting to see how a meal comes together. I don't think I have the cooking 'vision' that many cooks have, or how to experiment on my own, but I can put a recipe together, and follow it, time the meal to come together at the same time, all things I never really learned from my mother as she never liked cooking or felt confident (even though I can remember some good meals she made and the fun baking we had). I learned on my own, and was able to talk to my mom about the meals I made. Over the last year she asked what I was making and if I'd been cooking and told me and others that she was proud of me. That made me feel really good. It's what has made her passing easier, knowing she was proud of me as a mother. I'd like to involve the girls in cooking too, so I hope to get them involved in the making of the meals, now that I have some under my belt that I can make easily. It was harder before when I was trying to learn the recipe, and it's harder when you have a very small kitchen with two girls excitedly wanting to help out and one gets jealous when the other helps out. But I am going to try to involve them so they can learn sooner than I did. They are already involved at the grocery store and pick the fruits and veg out and bag them. But I think if you are involved in what you cook you are more into eating it.
So there is my small bucket list. I'll report back later if I am able to get any of it done. I might wait to start it, but it is recorded here for all of you to see, so I have held myself semi-accountable. LOL.
Hope you are all enjoying your weekends, it's expected to be a dry, hot, 100 degrees here this weekend. H-O-T!