I'll break the silence with a couple pics and brief update. This may be the longest I've been absent from blogland since the inception of this blog nearly four years ago. I have good reasons for being absent, but for the most part they are not ones I'm going to share here. I don't typically share really personal stuff here. Well...except that time I had the tirade about the clogged nipple when I was still nursing my baby boy about two and a half years ago.
At any rate, I'll just say that there have been high levels of stress in our household and so I've had other things on my mind and on my "to do" list. Blogging just didn't rank high enough to take precedence. Still doesn't in the bigger picture of things right now, but I fear that if I don't stay at least semi-connected, I'll end up abandoning this blog for good.
I am about to be done with my work at the group home, which simplifies my life. Originally this was supposed to mean that I would also be working less and be home with my kids and family more, but some other bumps in the road are preventing that. Hopefully it will be short lived and I can regain my vision and commitment for my children and family. Meanwhile, one of my teenage girls at the group home talked me into continuing to see her on alternating weeks until she moves on with her life in three more months and emancipates from state custody. This works in my schedule, and due to the long term therapy relationship I've had with her, I let myself be talked into it. The neat thing about this is that this is a girl with whom I've been in the proverbial paper bag for quite a long time. What I mean is that she has had quite the time with therapy and has been among the most resistant of teenage clients with whom I've ever worked. This is a girl that a year and a half ago could not tolerate therapy to such a degree that she was unable to look at me and would spend the entire session belching and passing gas as an avoidance to doing any real work on anything. When we got the bodily functions under control, she would just get up and run out of the therapy room if we got anywhere near a difficult topic for her. Basically, if there were even a hint of tears or emotion that she could not stuff deep down and which threatened to betray her, she would flee the room as fast as she could. Then there was a period of time in which we took a hiatus from one another because after she fled from sessions so many times I told her that I couldn't commit my time for her unless she committed hers to me. I insisted that I would no longer schedule time for her unless she requested it and committed to sitting through sessions in their entirety. And I required her to have this discussion with me face to face. She couldn't tolerate it, so I held her accountable by scheduling her out of my calendar until she could do so. She eventually came back around and requested my time and committed to sitting through the sessions. This move proved to be excellent therapy, as she has never run from the room since, began making eye contact, and now even tolerates discussing tough topics. She has even begun to tolerate therapeutic confrontations from me. This young woman, who has done everything she could think of to be rid of the therapy experience, upon my notice to her a couple weeks ago that I was leaving my work at her group home, practically begged me to keep coming to see her. This was one of those rare moments that make the work I do with teenagers rewarding. Yes, I would relive the entire past year and a half with her again just to share in that moment of triumph and growth that was demonstrated when she not only did not jump all over the chance to be rid of me and rid of therapy, but when she actually pleaded with me to keep coming to see her.
My work at the clinic is busy, and I enjoy working with more adult clients. As much as I love my work, I love my babies more. I am hopeful to be able to slow my work down soon to be able to focus more on them.
We celebrated fall this weekend with a trip to the pumpkin patch and we carved a jack-o-latern tonight and enjoyed a bonfire with Grandpa and Grandma, which included roasting hog dogs and making s'mores by the fire.
We took a much needed day off from the outside world today and accomplished much around our home. Dear Husband completed his prep work for the wood stove just in time, as they deliver the stove tomorrow. I think we've neglected to take consistent photos of the process. We now have a wall of rock that rises the entire height of the wall to our 9 foot ceiling. The stove will sit in front of it. The closet that we inverted is not yet complete, and I look forward to that project being done as well. Dear Husband walled off the closet from the front entry and opened the back wall up to the utility room where the "new" closet will be. It's actually the same closet; it just opens up on the other side now.
My list of accomplishments for today included completing the skirt I began sewing last night (I really would have preferred to just buy the skirt, but could not find what I was looking for), washing the entire family's bedding, including mattress pads and pillow protectors and blankets, and hanging it all on the clothesline for that fresh outdoors smell, vacuuming the entire main floor of the house and cleaning bathrooms, washing the floor trim (it was embarrassingly dusty!), and scrubbing the north side of the house where the moss had begun to live on the siding. Too bad the brick only covers the front of our house. At least I don't think that moss tends to grow as much on brick. Then, after all these other tasks, I carved the jack-o-latern for the kiddos (which is why I look a bit drab in these pics) and then we enjoyed the bonfire. I am even catching up on this blog and then I have two pairs of pants to hem before I read the Sunday newspaper and go to bed. How's that for getting a few things done? I will enjoy a good night's rest in my freshly washed bedding that smells like country air.
A completely random thing to throw in is that I discovered a small lizard, a skink perhaps, in our basement today as I was sewing my skirt. I didn't know it was dead until I called my husband to come in his tights and cape and save the day. Turns out that one of the kids' toys smashed it against the wall and its tail was severed from it's body. I didn't know that would have killed it, though. I thought if they lost their tails, they just grew them back. It was definitely dead. Dear Son was extremely excited about the whole thing and has been jabbering about it ever since. I'm just glad he didn't beg us to be allowed to hold it!
Here's a pic of Dear Son with Grandpa fishing at the pumpkin farm and a couple pics of the jack-o-latern carving.