Sunday, October 26, 2008

CHELLO!!

I love the way that my baby bro answers the phone...CHELLO! Yes...good things! So I had an experience and for the first time I wrote a "letter to the editor" commenting on my experience...I hope it helped! What do you think? Please PLEASE please leave feedback after reading....(that's where you click on the place where it says X Commnets...the X represents the number of comments that are there now)

Sara
Here is where included my address, but don't want it on the net...
Colorado Springs, CO (zip was here too!)
October 26, 2008

Josue (Joe) Robles, Jr.
Maj. General, USA (Ret.)
President and CEO
USAA
9800 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, TX 78288

Dear Joe:
I am a long-time USAA customer. My parents added me to their USAA account (as an active duty military family that uses your services) when I was 15 years old and got my driving permit. I am writing to tell you about how your company both dropped the ball when I went to you for help and picked it up again an hour and a half later.
I’ve read the ‘about your company’ portion of your website and I know that the company started with the intention of helping people so let me tell you a little about me, your customer.

I am 24 and had 2 kids when I was 17 and 19. I still started on my bachelors program (graduation is in March!) and bought a house when I was 20 years old. I was working a decent job (that I hated) and was able to pay all the bills when the housing market started to dive. My mortgage went up, my bills stayed the same (or went up because I was late paying them because I HAD to pay the mortgage) and I fell behind a few times on my USAA policy. I am, in fact, behind on it now and it’s due to be cancelled.

Then I got laid off. I found a new job within a month and was trying to get my life back on track. Then after two years at this new job and still working towards my degree with the plan being ‘finish the degree and get a great job where you can actually afford all the bills’ mind set I found out that I was expecting my third child. Okay, I’m going to graduate soon, the older kids are both in school now and I can afford to have this little guy. We’re going to make this work! A week before I went on maternity leave in June I found out that my company was going out of business so I had no job to come back to.

Okay, new plan for life…..I can get unemployment while I’m home with the baby, I can search for the right job for me, and maybe someone will hire me without me having completed my degree or perhaps I can start my own business. I’ve been working with that goal and trying to make everything work where my kids still get to have fun and I can still pay my bills.

So, here’s what happened. I have a step sister who is 12 years old. She has the same days off school as my kids (now 5, 6, and 4 months old) and I thought that we could spend some time together on October 17. They all had that day off school, I’m home with the baby anyways and we could do something fun together. I found out that a craft store was selling these “craft pumpkins” that you can actually carve and paint and….whatever really...without the mess of “real” pumpkins. I also found out that the company was having a contest for carving the pumpkins the next day. So I had a plan, we were going to carve pumpkins and enter them into the contest, COOL!

So after having my 4 month old in a sling around my chest and keeping an ADHD 6 year old focused on finding craft supplies and keeping track of a 12 year old and a 5 year old in a large craft store full of “project” possibilities, I have a cart full of stuff, a big purse, and the enthusiasm of a child, for the project we were going to work on!

I get to the car to realize that I LOCKED MY KEYS IN!! Seriously, SERIOUSLY, of course that’s when that happens, I know. I called my hubby first because, he’s my rock! What do I do? I have all these kids and it’s cold outside (I do live in CO and it was one of those super cold autumn days we have) CALL USAA he says! Okay, you’re right; of course USAA will get this taken care of.

Here’s where your company dropped the ball. The representative I called told me I hadn’t elected to have roadside assistance so he couldn’t help me at all (sorry, I didn’t get his name…but I’ve worked at call centers and assume there will be account notes about this) he then went on to suggest that I look in my owners manual because my car is new enough there should be a manufacturer’s warranty….okay that’s great, but my owners manual isn’t something I carry around in my purse…it’s in the glove box of my car…locked in there…with my keys!! I got frustrated because I felt like he wasn’t empathizing with my situation at all, so I just hung up.

I then asked the store for their phone book and called a locksmith listed in the phone book…the ad said “15 minutes, anywhere in town, guaranteed, $19.95” so I thought, PERFECT! We’ve got things to do and I can afford this. I called the company, and as the phone rang, my cell started doing the ‘chirp, chirp, your battery is about to die in the middle of this conversation’ thing. Finally someone answered and I told her my situation. In a robotic way she said, “Uh, okay, I’ll page him” really!?! Why are you not more concerned about me? (Keep in mind, being a good role model for kids is VERY important to me and I don’t want to freak out and react in anger, even if I am feeling that way in order to teach them they can accomplish more with words than with threats).

So I try to wait inside the store where it’s warm, but I already paid for my stuff so I have a cart full of things and walking around a store with a cart full of paid for goods makes people nervous because they think you’re going to steal something. I tried to stand in the door way where it was warm and we could see the car so when the guy showed up, we were ready because even though he has my phone number, my phone is about to die. However, we were in everyone’s way whether they were coming or going.

I decided to go outside with the kids and there is a bench and we’re waiting. Now my son with ADHD can’t sit still. He gets up and starts climbing the trees along the walk way and starts trying to race his brother in front of the store. If you’ve ever been to a craft superstore, they have a “sidewalk sale” going on most of the time. So if you’re imagining this scene, I’m ‘wearing’ a 4 month old baby, we’re all cold, and I’m trying to not get angry and ruin the whole day. In addition to that, we have to keep track of the cart that’s full of all the stuff we bought for our project. I’m also not trying to make a lot of phone calls because if my cell dies then I’m not able to call ANYONE for help if this doesn’t work out.

We decide to go sit by the car just in case the locksmith is in an unmarked car and doesn’t recognize mine (I have a special addition car that looks a lot different than most so the make and model can be confusing). I get every one situated by the car, tell my ADHD son the rules (no going any further than where you can touch the car) and call the locksmith company back. It’s been 30 minutes since my last call and still a no show. When the woman answers the phone, I’m AGAIN trying not to freak out on her and be a good role model. She seems completely indifferent to my situation and what I’m dealing with and answers my complaint with a nonchalant, “I’ll page him again”…click.

SERIOUSLY!?! Ok, well kids, let’s play “riddly-diddly-I-dee-dee, I see something you don’t see and the color of it is Orange” “No, you can’t go climb that tree” “Son, please don’t wander over there” “Of course the locksmith is going to come” “we’ll still get to our project” “I’m sorry you’re so cold” “I’m hungry too ”
If you came with me on that you understand what I was trying to do for my children.

After 30 more minutes of that, a woman emerged from the craft store and saw that we were still standing by the car (she had passed us on the way in). This was the conversation:

Her: are you locked out?

Me: yeah, but I’ve called 2 times and there’s supposed to be a locksmith on the way….although that was an hour ago and he’s still not here…..

Her: well who’s your insurance company? They should have roadside assistance come help you.

Me: USAA, but I already called them, that’s who I called first to help me and he said he couldn’t because I didn’t have roadside assistance.

Her: Are you joking? I can’t believe that! Here, let the kids get into the back of my car to warm up for a minute while I help you.

Me: You’re awesome, thank you!

Her: what’s the plan now?

Me: (see above explanation…I filled her in on the details of what I’d done)

Her: This is ridiculous. Our company is supposed to help you. *pulling out her cell because mine is about to die…dialing USAA…* Yes, this is (missed her name ) and I’m an employee, I’m standing in the parking lot with a member who is locked out of her car with 3 children and a baby and it’s cold and she called for help and wasn’t helped, transfer me to roadside assistance IMMEDIATELY!

I’m thinking…OMIGAUD! This woman is my HERO! She works for my insurance company and is helping me fix this entire situation! She explained what all roadside assistance covers and that it’s not that expensive so I need to add it (I still haven’t gotten to that, but I intend to!) and that USAA can send an inexpensive locksmith that is approved by USAA (i.e. good quality) I’ll just have to pay him directly. This is what the first person I called should have done and failed to do.

I was ready to find a new insurance company because of what happened due to the first person’s “failure to function” but at the same time, thrilled that I was with USAA because this stranger in the parking lot was doing EVERYTHING in her power to help.

Sally, I later found out her name, changed the situation to the point where she not only had USAA sending me another locksmith who was more expensive but guaranteed that he would be there in 30 minutes, but also called the first company that I called and chewed them out for being disrespectful and uncaring towards me in my situation. She actually felt bad that she couldn’t do more and even asked if I had enough money to pay for the locksmith USAA was sending my way; almost like she would have paid it for me just to help me get on my way. She then was so in “I have to help this woman” mode that she felt guilty for leaving me when the locksmith still hadn’t arrived.


Long story-short, your locksmith arrived within 15 minutes (an hour and a half of keeping 4 kids entertained in a parking lot later…) accepted my hug-of-gratitude for saving the day, and was very sympathetic to my situation (Abracadabra Locksmithing in Colorado Springs in case you’re wandering…).

I guess I just wanted to let you know that you almost lost a customer (I know I’m struggling right now, but I really appreciate your company for a lot of things and I feel bad that I fall behind at all) and I also appreciate that your company is there, most of the time, in heart and spirit for people like me. I mean, these are the principles that your company is founded on. I’m glad that Sally was there for me and please, reward her in some way for helping someone in need through a random act of kindness towards a stranger that she didn’t “have” to do.


Please coach the person that I called first. If I had talked to someone like Sally the first time I called then 90% of this situation could have been avoided. I love having USAA on my side and again, I apologize that I struggle with paying promptly but I do want you to know that I appreciate what you do and want you to be my insurance company, my kids insurance company, and maybe, someday, my financial advisors FOR LIFE!!

Thank you for reading.

Sincerely,

Sara (I actually included all my contact info but was weary of that being on the net...)

*Note, I got a call today (10/28)from USAA! The guy that called me let me know that he was from Joe Robles Major General CEO's office and that the woman who helped me is going to be rewarded and that the roadside assistance team is reviewing my account notes for training purposes to help coach the person who dropped the ball in the first place. They also wanted to let me know how much they appreciated me taking the time to write the letter in the first place!! I guess it does pay to write a letter, it's just a lot easier to email one!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Teachers can help you no matter how old you are!!!

So I about a year ago I realized that I was miserable in a lot of things in my life. I found out I was pregnant on Novemeber 1st last year. When I found out that I was bringing another new life into the world I realized that I needed to get my life together. I had to find out how long until I would be graduating (bachelors degree in business with a focus on project management)I had to get myself mentally prepared to stay with my company until I had my degree and could job search more effectively because I could put BACHELOR'S DEGREE COMPLETED on my resume. December 2008. That's when I would be done taking 2 classes at a time. Okay, a little over a year and things will get better for the long term future for my family! I had a plan!

Well, I a week before I went on maternity leave I found out that my company was closing it's doors in colorado and that I was going to be laid off while I was on leave. Okay, time to re-adjust the plan. Well, I'm going to be getting unemployment starting in August and I'm getting to use all my vacation before the layoff so I will get paid until July and I'll have health benefits until August 1st so the baby's birth will be covered. I'll get unemployment until January then I can look for a new job with my degree in hand starting in December and family will fly out to watch me graduate and see me realize my dream of being a college grad, even though I had kids at 17 and 19. I still did it! It's going to be great!!

Well when I got laid off I went and sat down with the dean of my college knowing that I had 6 classes left. I knew I needed a plan to get these classes finished BY DECEMBER! So I went down there and she looked over my paperwork and told me that I actually only had 5 classes left. Great! So I took 1 online from july & august (yeah managerial accounting with a new born isn't really that fun, let me tell you!) next I took Advanced Project Management and Operations Management September and October (the final was yesterday!) so just 2 classes left and I'll have my degree in 8 WEEKS!! Let me tell you HOW freakin' exciting this is!

*************MONKEY WRENCH********************************
you know when you think you got some things finally coming together that there always has to be SOMETHING that goes wrong???? Yeah, here it comes!

My dean called me last week and told me that I actually have 3 classes left......oooooo....so she messed up back in June? Well, okay, not a big deal, I can take 3 classes right now. I mean I'm not working so SURELY I should be able to juggle 3 at a time, I HAVE to graduate, I NEED this degree...OKAY, here we go! Then yesterday my financial aid advisor, Carol, called me and said that I didn't have enough money from student loans to take 3 classes. I have to take 1 class now and then 2 classes NEXT semester (march/april) I was in the dollar store with Eric and the emotion just hit me....I was so sad I started crying and just handed the phone to my husband. HOW CAN THIS BE!?!?!?! What am I going to do? How can I possibly take care of my family NOW????

Panic set in....Then hugs from hubby and some deep breaths, I calmed down.....Problem solver mode set in....Okay, okay, I have to keep it together, how can I make this work? Who will know what to do? Dr. Moses!!! One of my favorite teachers of all time! This woman is one of the smartest most educated women that I know. She has 6 degrees, she's one of the academic deans at my school and she has such a kind spirit while not being afraid to stand up for the people that she loves at the same time! She will help me fix this or find the people who can.

So I called the school and found out that dr. moses wasn't going to be in until 5. Hubby made plans to coach the kids soccer practice in my place and have his Mom come over and watch the baby so I could go talk to her. I calmed down (I mean, there's a plan to deal with the monkey wrench in the other plan so we're good right!?!). Hubby and I finished our shopping, picked up the kids from school and even started a little craft project! Uh-oh, 4:45 and so now I have to go to school to talk to my teacher and Eric is taking the kids to soccer practice. Okay, here we go!

I went down to the school the whole time thinking about how bad this is and how this situation is screwing up my WHOLE LIFE! But trying not to lash out and start screaming at people. I got to the school and SHE WASN'T THERE....so I went in to the office and asked Keenan (co-student and friend) if she was there....now picture how I looked...trying not to cry, shaking....trying not to be furious that she wasn't there...Keenan looks up and sees me....his eyes bug out and he's deciding if he should run or not and looks at me again and goes, uh...kleenex?? (LOL!!! In retrospect of course, at the moment I was just trying to keep it together!) Then Dr. Moses walked in she hugged me and then we went to her office to talk. As the whole story comes pouring out of me she listens and asks questions.

Her: why don't you take out a private loan to cover the rest of the fees so you can take the 3 classes now?

me: because my credit sucks because my mortgage keeps going up and I can't afford my bills and I can't afford to get caught up on anything because Hubby's income is going down with winter hitting and my income is lowered because I'm only getting 60% of my regular pay on unemployment. The goal of getting this degree is to get to where I can get a higher paying job so that when I have more income I can afford to pay ALL the bills.

her: okay, well why is December so important?

me: because my unemployment runs out in January so I have to have a degree by december so I can put "BACHELORS DEGREE" on my resume

her: don't you watch the news?

me: uh, no.....

her: they just extended unemployment for 6 more months. After having it for 6 months you go off of it for 3 weeks and then you can re-file to get 6 more months of unemployement. Now, look at this as a very positive thing! During those 3 weeks you can go file for food stamps, go file for all the programs out there that you usually make too much money to recieve. File for WIC. Oh yeah, what kind of formula do you use for the baby? Enfamil? Oh great my grand daughter just went off formula and I have 14 cans you can HAVE!

me: you are freakin' amazing!!!

Okay so you get the idea....my plan fell apart but now I have a newer BETTER plan in place for my future. I only can take 1 class now, but that's really okay, I can focus on that class and work on other side projects I'm working on. In addition to that its the holidays! I mean who wants to try and juggle 3 intense college courses around thanksgiving and Christmas?? NOT ME! then no classes Jan/Feb that's okay, that's when my unem will run out and I'll have the time to go to the various government agencies to apply for aid because my income will be low because it's winter and Eric won't have been working very much.

March/April is when I'll be able to take the final 2 classes (the whole thing is that all my student loans are government student loans and the restriction on when I could take classes is based on the when the government will disburse my loan to the school) Now the graduation ceremony won't be until June and the 2nd six months of unemployment will run out in the end of July so really It's the same plan just set back a bit. And it's better because in June more people can travel, and more people will be able to come and see me graduate. I can either take 1 class in march/april and one in may/june and juggle even less with the same grad date in mind OR I can start my master's degree in may/june, then when I walk in June so proud of myself for my amazing acheivement of finally getting here, I can also be proud of myself for already starting on the NEXT big acheivement!

Thank you Dr. Moses!!! Thank you Judy! And Thank you Carol!!!

By the Way, I go to Devry University. Not some fancy smancy expensive "ivy league" school.....and I'm PROUD of it!!! I wish we had a mascot! Like...uh...the devry dorks or something!! It could be a cool uber dork with glasses and everything....GO DORKS!!! YES!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Freakin' Amazing

I totally had to find out how long I could survive after I saw this on another blog!

I could survive for 60 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk Beds Pedia



60 seconds, oh yeah, GO ME!

Blogger Sisterhood Love

I found this on one of the other blogs I enjoy reading and even though I have never had one of my blogs "tagged" and the only person that "follows" them is my cousin *thannk you mandaboo* I thought this was a neat idea!

The rules
Here they are:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

We may be running out of weird/random things you don't know about me, so I'll do my best.

1) I have an insane imagination! I love thinking about how things would come to life. I also think way too much about every day things: body language, impressions, thoughts, how am I affecting you? Is this favor in the relm of your comfort? What are you not telling me that's relevant to this situation? How can I help you right now?

2) I like letting people in on my thoughts because I think that you can learn a lot from understanding how other people think. At the same time I try not to get frusterated that not many people actually read my blog, I guess it's the whole "if you build it, they will come" philosophy.

3) I try not to be paranoid about safety. I know there are wackos out there. For some reason some people turn in their mind from loving one another to, "it's my way or I'll kill you" I like to think that those "kind of people" live far away from me and I shouldn't have to worry about it, but I would hate myself if something I said or did on a blog lead one of those psychos to my door. I have to find balance between the two.

4) This is the first election that I've actually RESEARCHED! How stupid is that? I mean all this time I've just kind of gone a long with the politics of my parents but you know what, I don't think that's right anymore. I don't think that McCain is going to bring change to this country. I also know that as much as I want things to get better, that unless a lot of people can expand their horizons and become more open minded that Obama is actually risking his LIFE for this country. Why do people think killing him is going to SOLVE ANYTHING!?!!? Change can be scary, I know, but have some FAITH in your fellow man!

5) I adore my family. By family I mean my darling husband, my wonderful children, my best friends, my in-laws, my parents, my siblings, all the strangers that have come into my life and made it better. All the people that gave me a moment of their time to help when they didn't have to. That's what it's all about people. That's what life is about, random acts of kindness, they can change the world!

6) I am constantly searching for balance. I have to keep track of so much. I need to make sure that while I'm trying to start a business that I don't let the quality time with my kids, my husband, my family (as described above) fall to the side. I have to make sure that I am providing for my family, that life stays fun, and that I never get stuck in a rut. I have to be careful of my addictions (shopping, making love, games, crafts, soccer, to name a few!) and do everything in moderation so that I get more done every day!

7) I HATE cleaning the house. I am going to hire someone to do it for me eventually. Not because I'm lazy but because if I can contribute to some one else's income and get rid of a chore that makes me miserable at the same time, why not?


Now, for the tagging:
I Don't Know Squat: Been Tagged... and stuff
Mir's stuff
Don't know much about Amanda
Mom 101
out of character
aunty e
daring young mom

So....now I'm going to go to all those blogs and show them some LOVE!!

Happy Tuesday all!

(shoot, just remembered that I have to find sheets for Togas by TONIGHT!!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some info you may not know about me.....

It occurred to me that most people reading this who haven’t lived with me don’t know that I have a child with “special needs”. My oldest son, Jeremiah, has severe ADHD, so do I. So does my brother and so does my oldest sons biological father. It’s heavy in the gene pool and was almost inevitable I guess.


So as he was growing up and I was growing up, I mean I was 17 when I had him, so let’s face it we were growing up together I was watching him closely for it. Soon thereafter when he was about 2 we knew that he did. You see, a lot of people falsely believe that ADHD is just a hyperactive child and that it’s not really a disease it’s a bunch of parents getting together to drug their children. That’s not what it is at all. ADHD is a chemical imbalance in the brain.


When you suffer from ADHD you literally don’t think about the consequences of any of your actions. You don’t think about how mean something is going to sound, you don’t think about moving the glass before reaching across the table so it doesn’t spill. All you think about is, I want that thing across the table and I want it right now! GRAB! SPILL! MESS! Oh….well, why did that happen?


It’s taken me so long to work to where I can function and even maintain an adult conversation without losing focus on what the other person was talking about….. it’s not even funny. When I was growing up the environment was very much “don’t do anything that will affect or upset the parental units” So my brothers and I went outside as often as possible and went on grand adventures to keep ourselves entertained and away from the parental units, the yelling, the hitting and the misdirected and misunderstood anger.


My husband’s childhood was much more accommodating. His mother realized that his sister couldn’t have her food touching so she got sectioned plate’s, she realized that my hubby needs a solid 30 min of alone time in the morning before he’s awake. She realized these things and made them happen so they could be happier children.


When I became a parent, needless to say, I wasn’t ready and had no concept of what I was really getting into. I just thought it was about order and discipline, being as that’s how a lot of my childhood was. When Jeremiah was born, I was a 17 year old teenager with a severe cocain addiction that began shortly after I became a mother because I couldn't deal with the stress of having a two month old baby to take care of. I also had an idiot boyfriend who went AWHOL from the navy (yeah, don’t ask me either, I don’t know what I was thinking~~) Now I'm a mature 24 year old mother who no longer partakes in ANY illegal substances. I have 3 boy’s, a husband that adores me almost as much as I adore him, a mortgage, almost a bachelor’s degree, and am on the brink of starting my own business… Coming on this journey my parenting style has dramatically changed.


Pulling away from controlling my children and leaning towards teaching my children has helped Jeremiah blossom. Instead of attitude and “freak outs” we get jokes and laughs! I have to take the time to explain everything to him, to mentally prepare him for change. He has to have a 15 min, a 10 min, and a 5 min warning before we’re going to leave somewhere, before he has to go to bed, before anything is going to change. I have to tell him the plan when I pick him up from school as far as what we’re doing the rest of the day. If he has soccer I have to remind him to do his homework right when he gets home so he can play after soccer.


He has good days and he has bad days, he is on medication (well he was until 4 days ago) that just helps the teensiest bit. I never wanted to “drug” him and only wanted to go the medication route if it helped. IT HELPS! It lowers his intensity just enough to make him pause and think. He still needs plenty of explanations, plenty of information about plans for the day, and that helps too! Like times when he sees the park on the way home from school, he always wants to stop and play immediately and half the time a big fit will ensue if we don’t. Well, if I’ve taken the time that day to explain the plan to him then he understands why stopping at the park can’t happen right then and that I’m not saying “no” to be mean.


Sometimes all the talking about everything is tiring and Daddy is working so hard to learn with me so we’re all talking more, yelling less, and overall getting angry A LOT less! Daddy didn’t grow up with me so he doesn’t know how hard it was to watch my little brother struggle by being made fun of at school, by being called retarded, and weird and stupid because he had to go to special-ed, not because he was dumb but because he COULDN’T learn. I’ve seen it all and I refuse to let Jeremiah go through that.


Words only sting if you feel that it’s a mean word. Look at the African American culture and their use of the “N” word. By using that word amongst themselves they make it much less hurtful to their children if someone called them that in a racist manner. I describe myself joyfully as a dork and encourage Jeremiah to look at it that way. Then at school when another kids says, “you’re such a dork” he doesn’t feel like an absolute looser that needs to just go away because you’re only annoying everyone like I always did. He can think about it in the matter of “yeah I am, and that’s cool!” “I’m okay with it”!


In a dream world no one would use the “r-word” and no one would do anything hurtful. However, I don’t live in a dream world and I can’t always be there to protect my son. A teacher can’t always be there and kids can be so mean. I want Jeremiah to have to tools to survive when I can’t be there.

One of the main things we did with my brother was use the word “retard” in a way that made it so it didn’t have power to hurt him anymore. Instead of saying we had a “blonde moment” when we did something silly and forgetful we said we had a “retard” moment. It was just a moment where something was “an oops” like shoot I forgot about that, dang it, retard moment! Then when kids at school said, you’re such a retard! He was like yep, I had “an oops” moment!


They were trying to hurt him but because we took the power away from that word, it didn’t cause my brother pain. They say ignorance is bliss, and in this case, I agree. It was better for Chris to be blissfully ignorant that the words the kids were throwing around were meant to be hurtful.


Our goal as parents has been to make home the safe place. All the laughter and fun happens here. Here we can tell fart jokes, shake our booties and sing badly at the top of our lungs without fear of judgment. At school we can be silly, when it’s appropriate but when it’s time to listen we close our mouths so we’re not being rude and we open our ears so all the learning can come inside! I want him to be aware of other people’s boundaries so that he doesn’t get made fun of because he can’t see when he’s going too far. When you have ADHD you tend to not notice when you go from funny to obnoxious and overwhelming for other people. I want him to have that insight so the world doesn’t beat him as badly as it did my little brother.


The other thing that is special about Jeremiah is that he shares my previous social anxiety disorder. I say previous because if you look at my post entitled “OMG I finally figured it out”…that was when I finally “cured” myself of that negative horrible way of thinking. Jeremiah is so scared of being embarrassed that he frets over it and gets anxious when he thinks about it.


I know EXACTLY the way that feels. In some ways that makes me the best teacher because if you don’t understand how it feels to almost be paranoid about meeting new people because you’re afraid someone is going to make fun of you then you can’t know what tools to give your child.


Social anxiety disorders are terrifying; once it consumes you it takes years of therapy and soul searching to overcome. Life becomes a very scary place and being high becomes the only way you have fun because it’s the only time your brain slows down enough to where you aren’t analyzing and obsessing over what every one else is thinking about you.


You get to where you feel like people “put up with you” rather than where they ACTUALLY want to spend time with you. You feel like you’re always walking on egg shells because you never know what you’re going to do which will upset someone. As you can probably guess having ADHD and a social anxiety disorder makes life so complicated in your own head. So much more than it has to be. I’ve learned so much about communication recently that it’s really opened a lot of doors. It’s changed the way I feel about life’s possibilities.


Right now, to help Jeremiah on the journey of his life, I’m trying to remain completely open as far as communicating with him. When he tells me something happened at school I ask him what he thought happened. There’s nothing worse than having a social anxiety disorder paired with lack of insight onto why people behave in a certain way. Why did he hit me? Why did she get mad when I said that? I’m trying to help him understand human behavior and that sometimes it’s not anything he did. Sometimes it’s the other persons OWN issues or lack of understanding or someone else is just having a bad day.


Then it becomes a way for him to look at that as a reason for someone’s reaction to what he said or did rather than focusing always on "what did I do to make them react that way? When I yell at him due to a combination of a stressful circumstances, a lot going on, and then he starts arguing on top of that I make sure that I always sit down and explain myself, no matter how embarrassed I am about my behavior. I tell him that I am embarrassed because I couldn’t keep my calm and I tell him that I’m sorry for getting frustrated and that I appreciate his patience while we both grow up.


This process is really for both of us; two like minded people at very different places in our lives exploring the world together. In turn, we share our understanding and knowledge with the rest of the people in our lives that are close to us; him to the young-ins and me to my adult friends and family. He’s an amazing teacher and he’s so SMART!


I don’t know, just some things about my life that I realized that other people don’t know and knowledge is power.

*sigh*

You know, I've been so happy recently and then today I just feel sad. Last night I found out that someone in my family, we'll call her, oh, I dunno, psycho hose beast from hell for starters, blocked her kids cell phones from my phone number so I can't call her children, I can't text her children and neither of her kids knew this. So, when they send me their cute little teeny bopper texts, they think I'm ignoring them but that's only because their mother BLOCKED the phones from eachother. On my phone it shows "text sent" but it never goes through to their phone and their's does the same thing. If I try to call them it rings once and disconnects and their phone does the same thing.

That made me so sad, and sick and frusterated and angry to see, why does she hate me SO much??? I just don't understand. As a parent, when other adults love your kids so much they want to spend time with them, and take them to do things, what could possibly make your response "ignore the request and block the kids cell phones from her"?!?!?! Still trying to sort that one out in my head and trying not to let it hurt my heart.

Then today I read that I inadvertantly hurt another person in my hubby's family whom I've grown to love so much through her blogs and her little stories of her life. I hope I resolved that with the note I left for her but the waiting game stinks! (Apparently some people work and can't be one the internet all day, oh well!).

On top of that I'm trying to get my son the medication he needs. He's been out for 4days. The refill is $157 at Walgreens and $137 at Walmart and there is no generic available. The dr. won't give me samples unless I take Jeremiah in for an appt which costs $130. People have suggested changing his medication but I started researching that today and there are so many scary side effects for a lot of the other types of medications and there's nothing like what he's taking on the market, nothing similar. Everything else is a stimulant and of all the things Miah needs, stimulation isn't one of them. Every idea I come up with all comes down to I JUST CAN'T FREAKIN AFFORD IT. It will be nice when that medicaid decision comes back. I know the kids will be covered and that will relieve a great deal of stress. Until then....patience....I'm trying to keep it together.....



Good news, I'll have my degree in just 10 weeks!!! Can you believe it! I'm overjoyed with that knowledge and the amount of extra time that I'll have is wonderful (until I start my master's degree that is!).

I was reading another blog and read this, "...and that will be even MORE fun because everyone knows the only thing cuter than a little boy dressed up as a spy is a little GIRL dressed up as a spy, and Monkey was mistaken for a girl EVERYWHERE we went this weekend. When I asked him if it bothered him, he said, “Nah. People are silly.” And if I could bottle THAT right there, friends, I’d be rich."

It's so simple. To be as free and joyful as a child. It's just hard to be joyful and accomodating to so many different people in the world. People look at the world through completely differnt eyes. Eyes that see the way they do based on their owners interpretations of the world. I try to pay attention to what I do and what I say (or type!) and how that affects other people because my goal is rarely to be hurtful.

I know reading the "psycho hose beast from hell" might look like that's not my personality but maybe with that person I'm simply wondering that IF she read it (yeah right==>still working on getting rid of my sarcasm but that's going to take a while) she might say SOMETHING or give me SOMETHING to understand why she has such a deep rooted hatred. The only time I get to see her (or the kids) is at family functions and that's not the appropriate time to have an intense discussion (or screaming fight as she may turn it into). I feel like I have no answers and I can't help anything I don't know is wrong and it's frusterating!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

So this week has been a whirlwind of activities! I've been busy networking to have help from people in different industries help me with my new website. I'm SO excited about getting the site up and running!! Right now I have the help and support from friends that specialize in different areas and I'm so excited about how quickly we're all pulling together to make this happen. Sorry if my posting slows down for a bit while I go through this process. I have to focus on finishing my degree and launching this business. I just found out that starting in 2 weeks I'm going to have to juggle 3 classes with everything else instead of just 2. This is because I have set myself the deadline of graduation in December, I'm so excited it's stupid almost!! I guess I just feel like I've fought for this degree tooth and nail. I've done a lot of things I really didn't want to do. I've missed things with my kids (even small things like soccer practice) that are important to me.

My kids are blossoming right now and I'm doing a good job of keeping the balance between launching my business, helping Eric realize his own dreams and spending time with my children and spending time with all of us together. It's been a bit of a new way of thinking but so far so good!!! Like this past weekend, my car needed an oil change. We went and all did it together!! It was great!





Look at us, we were on the creepers UNDER the car! I totally had an Angelina Jolie moment sliding out from under the car, it was awesome!! Oh well, back to work! Take care guys!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

OMG FINALLY!!!

YES!! YES!!! YES!!! the little chuckles and laughs and squeeks and squeals have finallly turned into GIGGLES!!! YEAH!!! Mommy couldn't get the camera fast enough....well I mean i did get the camera fast enough because I have this great video footage, however I tripped over myself trying to get it faster!! I'm such a dork!!
video

Friday, October 3, 2008

except LOVE!!

Parenting is such an interesting experience. I find it interesting to watch other parents who are hands on try to juggle the parenting with the teaching with the discipline and I've realized a few things. If you try to keep up with every freaking fad then you're going to drive yourself crazy and in turn drive your kids crazy because they "can't do ANYTHING" and "everyone else gets to!" I find that I often struggle with balancing my adult fun time with the kid fun time and have even started incorporating them. I mean, my friends have kids and those that don't are just like extra aunts and uncles for my boys. They talk to them, teach them, and provide them with a wider and stronger support base. A lot of my friends have even made it to the kids soccer games this season, all in all it's been pretty exciting!

I've decided that my parenting style is this. Teach my kids about EVERYTHING and teach them MODERATION and how to make their OWN GOOD DECISIONS!!! I'm approaching teaching my kids the same way one would approach a caveman (a VERY smart cave man!!) in that I want to make sure that if someone is angry my kids should understand what made that person angry and that it's okay to be angry but you can't be angry and make everyone else angry around you too. I want them to say, no thanks, I can't have that chocolate bar until I ask my mom. or even, no thanks, I can't have that chocolate bar because I have to eat my dinner first. I want them to understand the reasons a choice is good and the reasons it's bad and to trust in their own decision making skills. I want them to lay off the sugar as much as possible but will find a sugar free ice cream bar or make an exception on special occassions. Those are the things that make special occasions special right!! Getting to do something you usually don't.

I guess in some way the whole "modern mom" concept isn't really fitting with me. I think baby formula is FINE! I don't think artificial sweeteners cause cancer and I don't think that being embarrassed by my kids but not explaining to them how they embarass me is okay. I don't think organic foods are better and in fact, believe it to be more of a marketing gimic. Look at the foods that came out "lower fat" or "no trans fat" well that doesn't mean it's "fat free" that means that one kind of fat has been removed and doesn't make the food healthier.

Maybe part of it is holding on to the "rebel" feelings I had as a teenager and maybe part of it is that I believe in eliminating sugar but not eliminating child hood. Splenda is a safe and healthy alternative so why not?? Sometimes it seems like if you aren't all GUNG HO with each new trend that you're doing something wrong and "permanantly damaging" your children. I know most of the "damage" that was inflicted on me as a child was lack of communication and understanding of human behavior. I came to my own conclusions and most of the time was DEAD WRONG. I want to bless my children with the gift of insight and a thorough understanding and belief in moderation in all things, except LOVE!!

school stuff

Lately there has been a great discussion in my office about the office layout. We have been in the same office for 35 years and have been slaves and worshipers of the cube. Our lease is up at the end of 2009 and we are going to move into a new building.

What our leadership is struggling with is how to foster communication while maintaining privacy. Read the article below and I would be interested in your ideas.

http://money.cnn.com/2006/03/09/magazines/fortune/cubicle_howiwork_fortune/index.htm
Respond


Sara Pfeiffer 2 Oct 08 10:11 AM MST
Lonny-

Loved that article, I found it very interesting (and somewhat amusing!) that the inventor of the cubicle shares my loathing of them!! It's also interesting because I was laid off right before I had my son and so now I'm getting unemployment.

I had worked in a call center (read: CUBICLES!!! AGH!!) and then I was a manager for a payday loan company and now I'm really trying to figure out if I even want to go back into the corporate world or if I want to start my own business. I think after reading that article that a big part of my indecision is that I don't want to be a drone in a cubicle doing the same thing day in and day out. One thing, before reading my thoughts, the cubicles I'm used to are like 7x7 and only maybe 4 or 4 1/2 feet tall. With that in mind, these are my thoughts:

If you have cubicles then you need to not have managers that freak out when they walk by and see two employees standing up and talking to each other. That used to happen all the time and most of the time we were talking about work. It's that whole micro management thing. That manager couldn't trust us to do our jobs (even though he wasn't our direct supervisor and our team was comprised of the top performers in the center). Talk about FRUSTERATING!! Managers also need to be respectful that it is your "office" and allow their employees to decorate their cube as they would be allowed to decorate their own office. It's the employees creative space and if they need pictures of their families and a kitty poster to be creative then management should encourage that.

The other thing about cubicles is that if you want people to feel more like it's their own "office" more than a cubicle is they need to be at least 8 feet high so that people can't just peek their head over the top. This would be beneficial in that you would still have your privacy, you can still go over to someone else's "office" without having the company losing money due to the different rates of depreciation.

At my old call center job, the team leader's (TL) had cubicles that were taller than the employees and where ours were maybe 7x7 and then the TL's were 7x14 so they had more room to move around, spread out projects, keep track of all their items. I think that if more people got cubes like that then it would be more along the lines of what would actually make people happy being at work.

One final thought, people always want the office with a view right? If the office is using cubicles, turn the opening of the cubicle to face the windows so that employees can turn around and take in a good view every once in a while.
Date Modified: 2 Oct 08 10:14 AM MST

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

everyone needs a little frolicking....

Life can be so joyful and so rough all at the same time.....There’s so much to be concerned about right now from food crisis to economy to security to health issues all over the country. Sometimes if I sit down and think about it all it just seams to be overwhelming. I was reading a story from another woman today on her site and I definitely felt for her on the whole medication thing. I got laid off a week before I went on maternity leave thus leaving our family without health insurance. My sons medication costs $157 a month! AGH! That’s a lot more than the $30 co-pay we’d been able to manage.

Then yesterday my hubby wakes up and can’t go to work because he’s coughing up blood *SCARY* he works construction too so if he doesn’t work, we don’t get paid and with the aforementioned lack of insurance all of that together leads to a big problem. I’m sick too, the baby has been sick and both my older boys were sick last week but I was managing the symptoms and keeping a close eye willing to bear the emergency room bill if it came to that but hoping it was just a cold that would pass.

Luckily both older boys bounced back after a few days and the baby is fine. Just Mommy and Daddy are sick now. Well I call my dr. for an appt for hubby (basically we just wanted to make sure it wasn’t strep or something more serious) and they tell me I have $145 balance from the baby’s appt because the insurance company said he wasn’t eligible for coverage (this was from when I had insurance).

The thing is I’ve had this exact same problem with my other son and his dr. appts and it took 3 weeks and about 50 phone calls between the dr. office, the insurance company and myself to get it sorted out so I know the second she says that 2 things: 1)I get to deal with that whole situation all over again and 2)we have to go to a different dr because he needs to be seen TODAY!

SO, we call hubby’s mom and get the number to her dr. We pay $75 to see him and he sees we’re both sick (NOT STREP as it turns out) and then gives Eric a prescription that is like the smallest that he could have written for cough syrup. I’m like, my regular dr. would have just written him a larger prescription and told us to share with a wink, understanding that we can’t afford to pay 2 $75 fees for him to see us both. He’s done that for me when I’m there for the kids he’s gone ahead and given me a prescription for something that I need. I just wish more people could remove head, from rectum and function!!

On top of all of this my dishwasher died on monday and my brakes started making scary noises on sunday...oh yeah can we please have MORE fun now!!! I'm trying to remain positive so I will leave you with this image.




during our garage sale this past weekend (an attempt at making some much-needed extra cash) I found my little brother's too-too (no idea on the spelling of that one!!) and was inspired to put on this wonderful get up and do a little frolicking. I think everyone needs to frolic at least once a week to keep some joy in your life.

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