Archive for the ‘help me’ Category

(Not) Listening

Okay all…I know I haven’t been blogging much, but boy, I need help!

C is right smack in the middle of his terrible 2’s, and it’s really, truly, terrible. I remember this stage being difficult for E, with a handful of major temper tantrums, and a lot of whining, but this is practically impossible to deal with.

E has always been a rule-follower. He tends to push right to the line, but rarely goes over. C, on the other hand, sprints over the line and jumps off the cliff backwards with his eyes closed.

He doesn’t listen to anything we say. He always says “no” to absolutely anything. He has extreme meltdowns regularly. Time outs don’t work. Positive-reinforcement doesn’t work. Negative-reinforcement doesn’t work. Yelling doesn’t work. Hugging doesn’t work. NOTHING WORKS.

I know my description of his behaviour probably sounds “normal” to everyone who’s had a 2-year-old, but please trust me in that this is completely different than anything I’ve ever seen.

Does anyone have any suggestions – techniques, websites, books, secluded institutes we can ship him off to, anything?

I NEED HELP, especially since summer is coming up and I’ll have both boys at home (ARRGH).


The I Can’t/Won’t Child

One of E’s most frustrating personality traits that has come out more and more in the last year or so is an attitude of “I CAN’T” or he WON’T even try.

It comes out the most during new physical activities like skating and swimming lessons.

I get that not everyone wants to try everything, and he’s never been the type to jump right into new situations and activities. I don’t want to force him to do anything,  but what thing I find particularly frustrating are

1) he gets so excited about new activities beforehand and then breaks down in tears at the first sign of not being able to do it perfectly right off the bat,

2) claiming he can’t do something even though he doesn’t try (or, even more frustrating, when he CAN do it), and

3) breaking down into tears because he tries to do something new, does it, and then I  (gasp!) cheer him on.

It pushes me to the breaking point every times this happens. It is beyond frustrating to me. Why can’t he just TRY? Who cares if he can’t do it perfectly right away? Why does everything have to end in tears? Why can’t he just have fun trying (sometimes he doesn’t and sometimes he loves it and can’t wait to go to the next lesson, but it’s a crapshoot what his attitude will be like the next time)?

Both DH and I are totally flummoxed by this and don’t know what to do. We don’t want him to give up on things so easily, but we don’t want to force him into things either.

What worries me is that he’ll become so afraid to try new things that a) we’re going to start thinking twice about signing him up for classes/lessons or buying him new things (like a bike) because we don’t want him to give up and essentially waste the time and money, and b) I don’t want this attitude to keep him away from so many cool things in life.

Any thoughts or advice from parents who have been there, done that, with this kind of attitude?

2nd Thoughts

and 3rd and 4th…about going to teacher’s college.

I keep wondering if it’s really the best decision to go back to school in the Fall to get a degree to be able to teach at the K-12 level (requirement in Canada to do so).

Yes, I’m excited to do it, and it’s what I’ve wanted to do for many years. It’s really my last chance to go – it’s the last year it’s a one-year program (I am SO not doing 2 years of school, for time and financial reasons), I applied* and got in, we have the financial ability to allow for it, and I feel like the last few years of being in science education & outreach has led up to this.


so many Buts.

The biggest is financial.  It will cost us anywhere from 60-80% of our savings to cover tuition and the difference between DH’s salary and our monthly bills for 8-12 months (the program runs Sept. – May, but could be until the following Sept. to find work (hopefully)). Is it selfish of me to put that kind of financial strain on our family?

The hope is, in the long run, it will be worth it. Teachers here make a very decent salary, with great benefits, and awesome vacation time. As well, of course, as making a different in so many lives! So, if I can find work relatively quickly, it will pay off.

But, what if I don’t find work as a teacher (as many people are finding themselves in that position lately)? Are we just throwing that money down the toilet? Then I’d be back to square-one…no job and less money…and then what?

Maybe, instead, I should just find a job that I’m qualified for right now. No, it probably won’t be a dream job. Perhaps that was something I should have considered a few years back (definitely not happy with some decisions I made), but now the needs of my family should outweigh my career desires. If I got a job, we wouldn’t have to worry about paying for childcare, vacations, or renovations that we’d like to do.

Another But is the timing — School would start in the Fall, and Evan will be starting kindergarten, and Carter will not even be a year old. I feel like I should be there for the kids during these times of transition. I wonder if I should consider staying at home for a few years until both kids are in school full time before pursuing a different career (though I know I’d find a hard time going to school if it’s a 2-year program).

I keep flip flopping back and forth, and don’t know which way to go. Do I take the path I’ve wanted for years, and put us in not-so-great position financially for the (hopefully) short term? Or do I forget about that path, and focus on reality and find suitable work now? Or completely give up on working for now and stay at home to support our children in their early years (which won’t last forever)?

Oh, great blogosphere, what would you do?

*While in the hospital after my stroke…if that doesn’t prove my dedication/desire to do this, I don’t know what does.

Sleep Woes

Holy man, after hitting the jackpot in sleep with Evan, we were spoiled. He slept through the night at about 6 weeks and never stopped. Yes, we’ve had our issues here and there: there was a period where it took a long time to get him to go to sleep at night, or when we had to drive him around for naps – but otherwise, it’s been pretty smooth.

Carter has been a different story, and I am running out of ideas. Here’s a brief history:

– As a newborn he’d wake up every 3 hours to eat (as expected)

– He slept through the night for the first time at about 6 weeks – we thought we’d hit the jackpot again!

– After that he’d sleep through the night probably about 70% of the time. Otherwise, waking up once to take a bottle in the middle of the night.

– At about 4-months, he started sleeping less soundly. He wouldn’t wake up to eat, but we’d have to go into his room multiple times a night to sooth him back to sleep. We chalked this up to the 4-month sleep regression.

– After 2-3 weeks of that, he slept through the night for a couple weeks and it was glorious.

– Then it all went to hell. Going back to sleeping less soundly and us needing to go sooth him back to sleep multiple times a night, like during the regression. This went on for a few weeks.

– Then, he got a bad cold and was absolutely inconsolable 1-2 times per night. At this point, one of us started sleeping with him in the guest room. This helped him sleep a bit better, but still not great.

– About a week ago now, he started to wake up every 3 hours and wanted to eat (the only thing that would calm him down would be to give him a bottle). He would sleep well in between feeds, but only in bed with one of us. We chalked this up to a 6-month growth spurt.

– Now he seems to be cutting back on his night feeding, but he’s still not sleeping soundly, and we are alternating who spends the night in the guest room with him.

I don’t know what to do anymore. We know he’s able to sleep through the night, but it’s been so long that we’re at the end of our ropes. We thought things would get better after the growth spurt, but don’t know if it’s still going on or not. Even though he wants extra milk at night, he refuses to take extra milk during the day instead. He’s also started solids and is clearly ingesting some now. So, we thought this would help too, but it hasn’t seemed too.

This is more of a rant, but if anyone has any advice or suggestions, please let me know. We’ve been trying to avoid the cry-it-out method, but we’re getting to the point where we might want to try sleep training. If anyone has used techniques that worked for you, please let me know that too.

Sleep is like water to survive, and it’s been really tough the last few weeks. With the stroke, fatigue hits me worse than ever. It was so bad about a week ago that I felt like I was spiralling into a depression.


Lately, I’ve been bummed out by how I’ve been choosing to spend my free time in the evenings. Usually I end up watching TV or surfing the web, and then all of a sudden it’s time for bed and I feel like I wasted my time.
There are all sorts of things I imagine myself doing instead: reading, knitting, biking, taking tennis or swimming lessons to improve my abilities, taking a cooking course, starting a couch-to-5k running program, taking up my clarinet again, cleaning, doing things around the house, baking….so many things.
So, why can’t I get off my butt and do these things? I seem to have a never-ending list of excuses: I’m too tired, I just ate, I deserve to “relax”, and I’m not feeling well (headache, stomach ache, or achy neck/shoulders are the usuals) are all the reoccuring favorites. What it comes down to, though, is I just don’t have the motivation to climb out of my lowest energy state. 
Another problem is how I define “relaxing” – for some reason, I think it means to basically turn off, tune out, and dumbly stare at a screen. Then I feel like butt later. When I do something more productive, I always feel so much better. For some reason, though, I just can’t connect that feeling to motivating me later on (this is the same with working out – always feel great after, but that never helps when I have to do it the next time).
Do you find yourself in motivational ruts? How do you get out of them?

Another Poll: Blog Comments

I’ve heard from a few people that they have had difficulty posting comments on my blog. Obviously, this bothers me, since I really like to hear from my readers. I also don’t like the idea that some readers might not feel included. I’m contemplating moving over to another blog host, but first I’d like to see how big of a problem this really is.

So, dear readers, please answer the following poll(s):

How often do you have trouble commenting on this blog?
Every time
most times
some times
never free polls

If you have had trouble posting comments, then:

How much does it bother you?
A lot
More often than not
About half and half
Not most of the time
Not at all free polls

A Losing Battle?

Last time, I posted about how I’m not feelin’ the outreach program I’ve been trying to develop for the last few months.

Micro Dr. O and Cath made some interesting comments:

(MDO) I’d say if you’re already unhappy with the project, then, unfortunately it’s probably not going to get much better.

(Cath) It really does sound like this project is going to make you unhappy either way.

These got me wondering: what has happened in the last few months to make me go from super-excited and gung-ho about this project, to wanting to walk away?

I know exactly what it is: people.

You see, a couple months ago, I met with another person who is creating a similar program at another telescope in Canada. He had all sorts of great ideas, one of which was to put a steering committee together to help me write a business proposal.

At first, I thought this was a great idea – I could bounce ideas off others and the program could benefit from their experiences and unique skill sets. But, as time goes on, I’m not sure if it’s a good way to get things done.

First of all – I’m an introvert. So, I have a huge problem articulating myself in groups. It’s not that I don’t know how to talk…no…it’s more like I let people finish their sentences, or it takes me a few seconds for things to sink in before I want to say my part. Most people, though, are extroverts – they feed off interrupting and talking over each other. So, I tend to get pushed to the background, while everyone else is freely voicing their opinions.

I also have an issue in trying to be “the leader” of the committee. Even though I have ample experience in developing and running outreach programs, I feel looked down upon because I am younger than everyone else on the committee. I don’t think it’s understood that this is my program, and I’ve asked them to be on the committee to help out, not take over.

Adding these two together, I have a hard time “wrangling the troops”. I send out a list of things I want to talk about at a meeting in the hopes people will stick to the topics, but this never happens. We often go off topic, and when I try to get things back on track, it lasts for about five minutes before someone else goes off on another tangent (again, good for extroverts, not so good for introverts).

Lastly (and Cath alluded to this in her comment asking if I can “cut the fat” and get back to basics), all of these people have great ideas….but sometimes it gets out of control. I really want the program to start small and simple, and to grow at a sustainable rate. But, every time I start talking about an event, all of a sudden we’re inviting the local who’s who, hosting a black-tie banquet, or entertaining 300 Scouts from across Ontario.

What it comes down to is I’m not enjoying working with a team. They are wonderful people, have great ideas, and lots of energy…but I just cannot “manage” the meetings the way I would like too. Things are getting totally out of hand, and I just want to scale back and start from the beginning again.

Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this situation? How can I become “the leader” without turning into “the bitch”? How do I get them to understand that their role is “helper” not “taker-over-er”? Part of me wants to disband the whole idea of a steering committee, but I think if I could find a way to make it work, it would really benefit both me and the program.

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