Evaluations / Children’s Nicknames

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Ow, ow, ow! …to these Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having. I’ve actually been experiencing fewer of them, since increasing my water intake… but still, ow! – when they do happen.

Any way, let me tell you what I’m so excited to blog about! In 9 days, I will have my “neuropsychological evaluation!”

I also have a vocational evaluation in a little over 2 weeks. They’ll be testing my abilities, interests, and personality – discovering what type of job best suits me.

If I felt like making noise, I’d probably do my happy scream right now …but I’m kind of sleepy today.

Yesterday, I hit the 33-week mark of my pregnancy.

Somehow, that reminded me that I want to go through all of my blog’s posts and edit my children’s names. I’ve been reading other blogs and realized that moms seem to make up nicknames for their kids – just for their blogs. Good idea, peoples!

My 3 year old daughter’s nickname will be… Lady-Bug

My 1 year old daughter’s nickname will be… Precious-Picklette

My son’s nickname will be… Sweet-Sesame

( ( ( ( Nicknames are subject to change, in the event(s) of specific personality traits being revealed. ) ) ) ) – but I’ll keep the nickname changing to a minimum. I promise.

Disclaimer: (some) people, like me, who have Asperger’s syndrome rarely use pet names, so – honestly – coming up with my kids’ permanent (blog) nicknames will be a matter of observation… of what my kids’ loved ones say about them.

Hugs / Asperger’s

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I’m going to try to describe what hugs feel like to me. Hugs feel suffocating. Hugs feel like an invasion of my personal space. Hugs feel like an invasion of my boundaries. Hugs feel like I’m being forced to express an emotion that I may not (at that moment) have. Please, please – don’t hug me unless I verbally tell you that it’s okay to hug me. You motioning for a hug and me internally sighing because I feel obligated to hug you is NOT me giving my actual permission.

It’s not only feeling suffocated that I hate. It’s the fact that it’s apparently socially acceptable to hug someone without warning and/or having a person’s permission, beforehand. That’s not acceptable, in my book – and if I weren’t always trying so hard to fit in, I’d probably push you away and tell you off for hugging me without asking!

Another blogger’s thoughts: 

“If you have Aspergers you probably don’t like hugs, you might even have a fear of hugs. This is pretty normal for people with Autism, HFA, PDD NOS, and of course Aspergers. For some reason most people on the spectrum dislike hugs. It probably has to do with disliking touch– all I can say is hugs are an odd human ritual exposing people to illnesses.”

” If you think about it, hugs are fueled with emotion, something NTs are good at expressing, but us Aspies aren’t good at.”

http://aspergerssearch.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/people-with-asperger-syndrome-do-not-like-hugs/

My Favorite Adoption Songs

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First, my two absolute favorites:

1) See You Again; sung by Carrie Underwood

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…you are the stars to me,
You are the light I follow.”

“You are my tomorrow.”

“Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I know
I will see you again, oh
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me.”

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

2) Everything To Me; sung by Mark Shultz

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…you had dreams for me
And wanted the best for me
And you made the only choice you could that night

And you gave life to me
A brand new world to see
Like playing baseball in the yard with dad at night
Mom reading Goodnight Moon
And praying in my room
So if you worry if your choice was right
When you gave me up
Oh you gave everything to me.

“…you gave life to me
A chance to find my dreams
And the chance to fall in love.”

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

3) You’ll Be In My Heart; sung by Phil Collins

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“I will protect you
from all around you
I will be here.

Don’t you cry
For one so small,
you seem so strong.

“This bond between us
Can’t be broken.”

“From this day on,
Now and forever more
Oh, you’ll be in my heart.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

4) I Loved Her First; sung by Heartland

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl.”

“But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me.”

“…it’s still hard to give her away.

“And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

THIS IS THE SONG THAT I SANG TO / FOR LADY-BUG (my eldest daughter), WHILE I WAS PREGNANT WITH HER:

5) You’re Gonna Be; sung by Reba McEntire

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You’re gonna be.

We just have to believe things work out like they should.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

 THIS IS A SONG I SUNG TO LADY-BUG (my eldest daughter), AFTER SHE WAS BORN:

6) Best Of Intentions; sung by Travis Tritt

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“Never could build you a castle
Even though you’re the queen of my heart
But I’ve had the best of intentions from the start.

Please tell me you will remember
No matter how much I do wrong
That I had the best of intentions all along.

“…I promised you things
I always thought we’d do
But my best-laid plans
Slipped right through my hands
To show my love for you.

“So here I am asking forgiveness
And praying that you’ll understand.

Though you deserve so much better
You won’t find devotion more true.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

THIS IS A SONG THAT I SUNG, AFTER THE ADOPTION – – – AFTER A LONG TIME OF TRYING TO DENY HOW MUCH I WAS HURTING:

7) Anymore; sung by Travis Tritt

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

I can’t hold the hurt inside, keep the pain out of my eyes anymore
My tears no longer waiting, my resistance ain’t that strong
My mind keeps recreating a life with you alone.”

“‘Cause there’s no one else I swear that holds a candle anywhere next to you.

My Birth Plan – thoughts

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There have been times and there are still times that I have been and I still am a people pleaser.  I try to be one, any way.

I’ve given birth 2 other times. Lady-Bug (2010) and Precious-Picklette (2012), but neither of those times did I know that anyone would raise my child – except me.  So, my birth plan was simple.  “Hey, y’all. Get the baby out and remind me to breathe!” …basically.

Choosing who would be in the room for the deliveries wasn’t difficult. Choosing who would hold my baby, besides me, wasn’t something I thought about. I didn’t feel protective of who held my baby first (within basic reason), after me.

I have one friend who’s given birth and then placed her baby in an adoptive family… only one friend who knows (even close) what I’m feeling, right now. I’ve actually never met her in person! We were introduced by a person that we both know of. It’s difficult to not want her there for the delivery. Without her there, I think I would feel alone.

I have another friend who may be able to attend. She was there, at Precious-Picklette’s delivery. I think she understands that this delivery is very much different than Lady-Bug or Precious-Picklette’s. This friend is a mother, so she understands the basic emotions of childbirth, but not of adoption… not of knowing that you won’t see the baby you’re giving birth to (except in pictures) for more than a decade. Almost 2 decades!

In light of these inevitable emotions, I’m writing my birth plan and informing my doctor of my wishes. My doctor will know what I want. And before the delivery, the nurses will know what I want. Pretty much, they’ll know that I don’t know what I want!

No one is allowed to presume to know my wishes. I may have told one person one thing and then another person another thing. – because choosing how to handle the labor, delivery, and handling of my son (Sweet-Sesame)… well, those are very sensitive topics for me.

I may discuss options with the people who are invited to be in the delivery room, but the final decision (details of who, what, where) will be made last minute.

Today’s Appointments (9/24)

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Today has been kind of an important day for me.

Earlier today, I had my first official appointment with my vocational counselor. We went over my work history and my history of school / college attendance. My vocational counselor and I also worked through the initial paperwork.

Basic summary of what transpired:

– my vocational counselor will be requesting my therapist’s notes. There can’t be very many notes, since I’ve only been seeing my therapist since early July.

– my vocational counselor will be asking a mental health clinic for their notes, as well.

– I will have a career assessment, very soon. This assessment will assess 😛 … my interests, skills, and personality, in search of the type of job that, hopefully, best suits me.

– I will, also, have an evaluation in about 3 weeks. A neuro-psychologist will run the evaluation, deciding whether or not I’m on the Autism Spectrum. My vocational counselor told me that this neuro-psychologist’s reputation is that of being very detail-oriented. Honestly, I’m most excited about this – out of everything. 🙂

*** Most adults (who have Asperger’s) who went un-diagnosed throughout their childhood are often self-diagnosed. Some of these adults don’t mind not having an official diagnosis. This is usually because they’re so sure they’re on the Autism Spectrum that they feel no need for an official confirmation.

It is sometimes very difficult to find a professional who will evaluate an adult for being (or not being) on the Autism Spectrum, especially if your piggy bank is mostly empty.

***Because I have the opportunity for an official diagnosis, I am jumping at the opportunity. Not only will I feel extremely validated, I will receive the help I need to become an active part of society. 🙂

My second appointment was with my therapist. I was 14 minutes late, due to my vocational counselor needing more time to finish the paperwork.

Therapy is therapy. You didn’t think I was going to tell you all about my therapy appointment, did you? Confidential! 

BWAP; Week 1: Who I Am

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I found this “52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose” list on another mom blog:

http://www.frommrstomama.com )  (Thank you! 🙂 )

Week 1: Who I Am

I find myself fidgeting as I try to begin this post. So, the basic question is: “Who Am I?”

Bona Fide Birth Mother. I was born and raised in south Texas, USA.

My Dad raised me. My grandparents (my Dad’s parents) helped.

My Mom didn’t raise me. She had visitation rights and for a while, my sister (who’s 18 months older than me) and I visited my Mom every Wednesday.

Me and my sister got along – sometimes. It was kind of “hit or miss.” The reason seemed to be that I am (and always have been) very outspoken of anything I deem a fact. My opinions, too, of course. I don’t think my blunt honesty ever had big fans (people who enjoyed it), in my younger years. Now, as adults, me and my sister are capable of getting along a little more, but not for long periods of time.

As a child, besides my honesty… I also had a temper. I’ve learned to control my temper, for the most part. I remember not, at all, being a nice sister, at times. When my sister tried to report my bad behavior to a parent, they didn’t always believe her. I’ve asked my sister about this, since becoming an adult. She says that she doesn’t remember any of it.

At the age of 18, I attended Texas Bible Institute. It was a 9 month course. I stayed for 3 months. My black and white / rigid thinking came into play when it was insinuated that for me to prove my salvation, I would need to speak in tongues. Maybe this isn’t apart of the TBI doctrine, but someone on campus (at that time) seemed to believe that. I couldn’t stay, due to this unbiblical teaching. Never mind that I was rooming with 4 other girls in a 500 square foot room. All of it being added up, there’s no way I could have ever survived an entire 9 months there.

A lot happened between the age of 18 and 24, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post!

At the age of 24, I gave birth to my daughter, Lady-Bug. It took me close to 6 months before I felt a mother-daughter bond with her. That was probably half due to post-partum emotional issues and half due to Asperger’s Syndrome. That’s all I can figure out.

At the age of 27, I gave birth to my daughter, Precious-Picklette. Not much time passed (about 2 months) before I had a mental breakdown / emotional meltdown. Lady-Bug was adopted by the Z’s and Precious-Picklettes father took over raising Precious-Picklette.

Also at the age of 27, I became pregnant with my son (Sweet-Sesame) – whom I’m 32 weeks pregnant with, at the moment.

There’s a very quick snapshot of my “life’s story.” 

I like lasagna. Some days, I love it… but today, it sounds too heavy.

I like ranch dressing on (almost) anything.

My favorite color is lavender.

I’m 5’7″.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome.

…okay, ’til next time.

Me, at 22 years old.

Me, at 22 years old.

Reusable Bag Discount!

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I am so excited to say…

I found a way  for TargetGiant Food storesLowe’s Foods, and Whole Foods Market shoppers to save money.

( – amount of savings dependent on how many items you purchase, at one time – )

I found this information online, via http://voices.yahoo.com/ –

– – Target: – – 

I checked Target’s corporate site and they still offer this discount (5 cents per reusable bag used). There is no limit on the number of bags used, as long as the bag’s / bags’ space is being used in an average way. Meaning, you cannot put one item in one bag – unless the item is large and requires using the (whole) space of one bag. 

“Each time a guest buys something at our stores, we offer a 5-cent discount for each reusable bag they use.” 

– https://corporate.target.com/corporate-responsibility/environment/sustainable-living –

I cannot find anything, anywhere stating that you have to use a Target brand reusable bag to receive the discount.

“Since the launch of the reusable bag program in November 2009, Target guests have brought hundreds of millions of their own bags into Target stores, saving millions of dollars.”

– http://abullseyeview.com/target-earth-day-reusable-bag-giveaway/ –

– – Giant Food stores: – – 

Giant Food stores offer a five cent discount for each (of your own) shopping bags you use. The bag’s material does not make a difference. Bring your paper bags, plastic bags, or reusable bags.

“All Giant stores sell reusable bags for .99 and insulated bags for $1.99. In addition, we deduct five cents from each customer’s total shopping bill for any shopping bag they bring from home for packaging their groceries – whether it’s a paper, plastic or reusable bag.”

– https://www.giantfood.com/about_us/community/environment/index.htm –

– – Lowe’s Foods – –

Lowe’s Foods gives a 5 cent discount for each reusable bag you use. There is a limit of 20 bags.

“We provide $0.05 in fresh rewards for each reusable bag used during a shopping trip. Your order will be credited $0.05 for each reusable bag used (Limit of 20 bags).”

– http://www.lowesfoods.com/index.cfm/freshrewards/frequently-asked-questions/ –

– – Whole Foods Market – – 

Honestly, Whole Foods Market’s site information confused me. (I couldn’t figure out if the discount is for reusable bags or any type of bag that you bring.) I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Please be more specific, when informing me of your discount offers! Thank you!

“Reusing shopping bags significantly reduces both emissions and waste. All Whole Foods Market stores offer at least a nickel-per-bag refund to encourage you!”

– http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/environmental-stewardship/doing-green-thing –

So, I checked another site… (but it’s not an especially recent article).  – – – because the Whole Foods official site still holds the basic information for this discount, I’m pretty sure that this discount is still being given.

“Though reusable bags will remain available for purchase, Whole Foods will encourage shoppers to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) with a five to ten (depending on the store) cent “reusable-bag refund” at checkout – …”

– http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olivia-zaleski/watch-olivia-zaleski-talk_b_96522.html –

(So, it is reusable bags – only – that receive this discount.)

– – – Now that we’re all aware of this discount, it’s time to start asking other stores (unless your most-used grocery store is on this list) if they offer this kind of discount! – – –

Really, I would suggest checking your grocery store’s website or calling corporate headquarters for the information. Reliable sources are a must!

I have a friend who had to show an employee the store’s (refund) policy.