the first step is admitting…

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In 2013, I was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Just months before my diagnosis, I applied for several jobs – all at once.

For about a day and a half, I had three jobs. THREE jobs. (I was hired at three different places, but didn’t work all three jobs in that day and half.) I was pretty excited!

Before I was able to work as much as I was hoping I would get to, I had to quit two of the jobs. 

I felt like I had the whole world on my shoulders, having been hired at so many different places.

I was newly pregnant with my son Isaac. ( I’m going to stop calling my babies by their blog nicknames. I just don’t think it matters anymore. :-p )

The job that I chose to try to keep was at a Subway. If offered the same job today, I would quickly run away.

Subway requires a massive amount of multi-tasking and an ability to process information at quick speeds. Neither of which am I capable of doing.

Any way, yada yada… in 2014, while pregnant with my daughter, Juliet, I had a data entry job at an insurance agency. Contracted position.

If I could give 2014-Stephanie some advice, I’d tell her… “don’t talk to your co-workers.” … “sit at lunch, alone.” … “just do your d-mn work.”… and … “emotionally prepare for Chloe’s adoption anniversary in October.”

So, it’s 2016… and I can very readily admit which jobs (and housing situations) I can handle and which ones I should run away from – faster than …whatever’s really-really fast.

I’d describe my current situation as OK. It’s not a long-term solution for homelessness and unemployment, but I’m OK. 

I think it’s been a little over a month since I’ve seen Daphne. I think my friends would agree that I’ve done the best I can do to be apart of her life. And that’s all I can really say, right now.

Put the Past in the Past

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I’ve had a bad few days, for various reasons. Today’s my first day back, after taking a break. Sometimes, I need a break from (even) most online socialization. Why? Because I have ultra-sensitive days. Things that someone says or doesn’t say can make me really depressed or really angry.

One of the things I was dealing with was missing Lady Bug a lot. I go back and forth from really missing Lady Bug to knowing that Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame are where they should be. They’re home, with their parents.

When I’m in the mindset of knowing that Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame are where they should be, I also realize that I need to move on, in a sense. Move on from being their birth mother??? Never!

What I mean by “move on” is that I need to put the past in the past, remind myself that I’ve made the right choices for Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame, and continue on with my life – while allowing myself to mourn, in emotionally healthy ways. Image

To say that I’ve completely moved on… that will always be a lie. But I will try.

“Do you get to see your babies?”

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This is another question that I’m asked a lot.

“Do you get to see your children?”

or 

“Do you ever get to see your babies?”

My answer:

“It’s not a matter of ‘get to.'”

Elaboration:

I want to see my babies! Oh, so very much do I want to see them!

I want hold my Lady Bug and kiss her cheeks. I want to play with Legos with her! I want to join her in her favorite activities!

I want to watch my Precious Picklette walk across a room. I want to listen to her assert herself and tell everyone exactly what’s going down! (I wonder who she gets that from…? haha)

I want hold my Sweet Sesame, feed him, and try to make him laugh.

…so, I do want to see my babies, but do I get to? Legally speaking, I can see and be with Precious Picklette. She has not been adopted. She is with her biological father and her stepmother. We all love Precious Picklette. I want her to attach to them as best as possible, before I enter the picture – besides that I do not feel “emotionally” ready to be any type of mother figure to her, right now. Does that sound selfish? I promise you, it isn’t. I will explain all of it to her, someday.

Now, Lady Bug and Sweet Sesame have been legally adopted. Do I get to see them? That’s a confusing question, for me.

I want to see Lady Bug, I do… but I also don’t. I want my Lady Bug to attach to her adoptive parents – which she already has, actually. But I’m scared that she may recognize me and think, “What the crap? Where did you go, these (almost) 2 years?? Where have you been? You’re the one who changed most of my diapers! You’re the one who helped me learn to walk! You’re the one…” etc, etc. …or maybe she would just think, “Hmm, I feel like I know you from somewhere….”

Now, Sweet Sesame… I don’t think seeing him would cause any Earth-shattering hysteria, but I do want him to attach to his parents. I’m  one of his biological parents, but they are his (their) real parents, in my book. I love him and can’t wait to watch him grow up in pictures and videos (both of them), but our time to meet will come.

So, do I get to see my kids? No. Not right now. But it’s not truly a matter of “get to,” because I’ve chosen not to – even if offered the chance.

FYI, don’t offer me a chance. I’d have a meltdown.

Zumba

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The Zumba family is adjusting to their new life. I have chosen to talk to them less, at least for now. But that’s one reason I have this blog. I can express my emotions, show them pictures that I think they’d like, etc.

Here’s one of those pictures…

Lady Bug & Sesame

Paper Ducks

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Tomorrow, I’ll be at 34 weeks pregnant with Sweet-Sesame.

Mr and Mrs Zumba (-what I’ve decided to call the Z’s for this blog site) have already begun “nesting.” I suppose I’ve begun my version of nesting, as well. I’ve begun to think a lot about my after-Sweet-Sesame’s-born future.

Mrs Zumba created a string of paper ducks for Lady-Bug. Each paper duck represents one day of Sweet-Sesame’s remaining pregnancy days. Lady-Bug was curious as to when her “baby brudda” will be arriving. The paper ducks have helped Lady-Bug understand how much longer there is to wait.

…when I started writing this post, I knew I didn’t have much to say. I think I have so much that I’m thinking about that it’s become difficult to sort through it all.

I guess there’s only 43 paper ducks remaining on Lady-Bug’s string now. In 43 days, Sweet-Sesame is due.

 

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.

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.

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.