Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stressful Past Month

From the last time I posted, the stress levels have quadrupled (probably more). I've broken out, which I haven't experienced since high school. I've lost weight, which I don't necessarily mind. I'm six pounds away from my goal weight. If I could find the time to tone up, I would feel great. I've been having nightmares. Basically, I've been a mess.

What began stressing me was having to take the GRE, which I took yesterday. I was suppose to be in school this spring semester. I had gone to talk to the head of the department I'll be going to school at to find out more about the program I'm interested in, which is a Master's in Urban Education with an ESL certification. Since, I'm going back to the school where I have an undergraduate degree from, I was kind of hoping they would not make me take the GRE. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

Since there wasn't enough time to take the GRE and get accepted into the program for the spring, she told me to apply to the certification program and whenever I'm ready to take the GRE I could and then apply to the Master's program. What's ridiculous is the difference between the certification program and the Master's program is six credits. Can you believe that? Anyway, I applied to the certification program and got accepted. I figured that at anytime I could take the GRE. So, I'll take my time with it and really prepare for it. I've taken it once in the past and did horrible. So, I wanted to have enough time to get ready for it.

I applied for financial aid and got rejected, which I didn't understand why. Well, I went back to the head of the department and she informed me that since the certification is not a "degree" program that financial aid is not available. She said that I could either pay out of pocket or take out a private loan, none of which are an option for me. I don't want to take out a private loan right now and I'm not getting rid of any money I have saved up with the way the economy is going. So, I cried and cried on my way home from school, which I must of looked ridiculous because I was on the bus and everyone was staring at me.

This was happening around the holidays. Once they were over and I was able to get my sh*t together, I decided that the only way I would be able to go back to school is if I took that damn GRE. I signed up for it as late as possible. The deadline to apply for the fall is April 1st. So, March 21st was doomsday for me. I bought my GRE test practice book and started pounding the studying. I didn't concentrate on the math part because I'm not good at it and a month and half of studying math wasn't going to help me much, but I worked really hard on the vocabulary. While there was down time at work, I would study and if I got any time at home, I studied (that didn't happen very often).

Yesterday was doomsday. I took the grueling exam and found it to be a bit easier than the material I was using to study, except of course for the math. All the studying paid off and I did decent. It wouldn't get me into Columbia or NYU, but it was more than what I need to get into the program at my school. So by the end of today, I will apply to the Master's program and financial aid. If I get accepted or not is no longer up to me. I did my part.

If I were to tell you that taking GRE was the only thing causing stress in my life, I would be lying. On March 14th, I took Will for his regular check up. Let's just say I left the office feeling like the worst mother ever. I'll start off with his weight. When I took him back in December, he was weighing 24lbs. Back then, the doctor had told me that he had gained too much weight. He went from being in the 25th percentile to the 50th. So, she had to told me to make sure that it didn't jump to the 75th percentile. Fast forward to his check up now and he lost 4 ounces and is down between the 10th and 25th percentile. I told her that he just had a stomach virus and that's probably the reason why he's lost weight. I told her that I got the same thing and lost 9lbs. But because of this, she wants to see him at 21 months instead of his 2nd birthday. She wants to make sure he's gaining weight.

I get that she has to check out the weight loss, but I was annoyed. It's four ounces. I don't stop my son from eating. He eats snacks all day long and drinks 16 ounces of milk. If I'm having dinner and he wants to eat off my plate even after he ate, I let him. He's eating real food like chicken or beef with rice and beans. He loves his cookies, ice cream, and cinnamon raisin bread. Trust me, he's eating.

On to the next thing that really made me feel like a loser and it's the more serious of the two. She asked me how many words he speaks. I told her that I wasn't sure off the top of my head, but it was around 15 words. She looked at me and said that he should be speaking 20 to 50. My heart dropped. I told her some of the words he says like he asks for water by saying "agua". So she told me that probably the reason for this is because he's bilingual and might not know what language to use. She also asked me if he did puzzles, which he hasn't. I have one puzzle for him, but Louie had chewed one of the pieces. So, I've had it put away.

Needless to say, I left the office feeling awful. How could I have dropped the ball on Will? How could I have not noticed that he's not speaking as much as he should? How could I? It's my fault. There are several things going on here and these aren't valid excuses, but it's what's going on. I get up at 5:30am, drop Will off at my parents' by 7, and finally pick him up around 6:00 to 6:30pm. I get home around 6:45 to 7:00pm and right away I start making dinner. Dan doesn't get home until after 7 and he helps me finish dinner off. We eat around 8-8:30 and then it's time for Will to go to sleep. I don't interact enough with him. He plays around me or just hangs out watching me. On the weekends, I play with him, but you know how that goes. There are tons of errands to run and tons of cleaning to do.

Since that doctor's visit, Dan and I have adjusted how we work things when we get home and I also had a long talk with my parents. I told them that he can't watch too much tv and to make sure that they label everything when they speak to him. I don't care that it's in Spanish. I just want him to speak more. I also told my mom not to anticipate his needs so much, to let him ask for stuff. The doctor thinks that's another reason for his lack of talking. We know what he wants so he doesn't find the need to let us know verbally. When we get home at night, I still start dinner, but the minute Dan gets home, he gets on with it and I sit down with Will to play. We play with the puzzles, blocks, and read books. I manage to eat a bit and then I try to give him milk (oh yeah, she wants him to stop drinking milk from a bottle, so I've been battling with him to drink milk from a sippy cup). I read to him some more and he finally goes down to sleep.

Dan and I decided that just in case there's something else going on with his lack of talking, that we would have him evaluated. If there's some developmental delay, then we'll be able to get on it immediately and help him out. Dan called Early Intervention and we're waiting to set up the appointment. We also, along with my mother, think that maybe we should put him in a daycare for a day or two that way he gets to interact with other kids. My mother says that as much as we play and teach him, he needs other kids around him. Dan and I need to figure out how to work this because money is really tight with us. My job is not secure at all. I've also been looking for like Saturday classes in my area like a Mommy and me, but my county seems to be lacking those kinds of classes.

Wow, sorry for this long post, but that's what's been going on. Let's see how this turns out. I'm hoping for the better. It's not the end of the world if he's a little behind. I just want him not to fall so behind that he has trouble around his peers. If there's more to his lack of talking, then I want him to have all the possible resources around to ensure that he's helped. I'm mad at myself for letting this go on without noticing. Well, it's a lesson learned. I'll keep you posted.