Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sprinting to Keep Up

Let's start this post by mentioning how much I hate running. 

The out-of-breath-ness, the sore muscles, the cold, dry mountain air burning your throat, the feelings of hatred towards your obviously out-of-shape body that has yet to get any muscle back from the birth it went through the year before (just me? Okay.)

Pretty much, my little mantra for life is
I only run if I'm being chased by a bear.
Which is always followed by,
And so far, that has yet to happen.

Anyway, I also hate the feeling that I've been running.

I think I have 26 different lists and thought processes going on in my head right now.

Not. Even. Kidding.

A blessing of an anxiety disorder is that you can think and talk and multitask really fast. 

The curse is that it all stresses you out as if it were finals week every week.

Oh, and look at that. It actually is finals week! 
Eh, actually I can't complain. Mine really aren't bad this semester, so I'm pretty much just waiting out some tests and working on one dinky paper. And Mitch is off this semester. So we have it easy compared to some of our friends!

What was hard today, though, was going to my Helping Relationship class. It was supposed to be all about communicating within families using the same techniques counselors use. Which it was, for the first quarter. Loved that. Now we're onto "Marriage Therapists' Crash Course", which is brutal because it's not what I want to do as a career. Plus, it's a science, so every inflection in your voice or wave of your hand means a billion things. Today I had a really embarrassing experience:

We were supposed to tag team as a whole class, taking turns being marriage counselors for a fake couple with a fake problem. We've spent the last two weeks watching and analyzing every second of a professional doing this, and we were supposed to follow her lead and handle the problem like she would. I was the 3rd person to go, and my anxiety was through the roof. I tried every stinking technique my counselor taught me; I was focusing on breathing, thinking about how it wouldn't be any big deal to fail my turn completely, etc. Well, I'm in the "on-deck" seat, just trying not to lose it. Then the teacher, who is interrupting people left and right, correcting them somewhat harshly, randomly says, "did you know that when people tell you about a traumatic experience, they are actually re-living every emotion of it!?" We all kind of said yes, and I said, "yes!!" kind of loud. He looked at me, then moved on. All of a sudden, the flashbacks started. Then ended. Then he was motioning me to tag in and counsel this couple. Crap! I didn't hear anything they were saying! I embarrassingly asked them to repeat what they had just said. Ugh. I could feel my face just burning. I was trying so, sooo hard to hold back tears. I couldn't cry in class! Ugh!! I asked a couple of what I thought were good questions. Our teacher immediately said, "nope, no, don't ask that. THAT question will only create THIS problem and blah, blah, blah...ask this." So then I asked that. Then he corrected my tone. Then my posture. Then my facial expressions. UGH!!! I finally said, "Bro _______ (he's a great teacher who will remain nameless), can I be done?" He said, "nope, you're in the hot seat until you get this right." I said, at the end of my rope, "I'm sorry, I need to be done."

(anyone who knows me, knows that this much confrontation takes a TON!)

And, halfway through the apology, I lost it. I said to the class, as to not look like a blubbering fool, "Look, I just finished up counseling for my anxiety and I just can't handle this pressure. I just can't do this, I'm done."

UGGHHH! I felt like such an idiot! Ya know when something like that happens and half the emotion is because of the problem and the other half is out of embarrassment? Yuck. He apologized profusely and said, "oh I'm so, so sorry, this is too much for you. You can take a seat."
(He has worked with me for a couple of sessions and knows the whole therapy is a perk of having teachers that are all psychologists!)

He came and apologized after class, but I hated all the pity looks I got from classmates until then. At least it's over, and our class has all gotten to know each other very well this semester, and we all have a high level of trust.

Now all I want to do is leave the stress I think about inside my house and go outside to run around and play with Nathan. And take fun pictures. Maybe where he's smiling and the bokeh effect on the grass behind him makes it look not-so-dead. Ahh, love it all.

Too bad it's been in the single digits every day, with weathermen saying it's been "too cold to snow". 
Psh. Cause that makes sense.

(lol, just being facetious, I know it's science and all.)

Still weird that it's December and we don't have any.

And also Nathan is still scared of grass, or being put down in grass, so I don't know that he'll ever play in our newly-acquired backyard!
(yet one more perk of the new place I have yet to take pictures of and post!)
Here are the last pictures we took. Well, my favorites. I know I've shared them already, but a mother can never brag about her babies too much, and grandparents can't ever look at enough pictures, right? 

This is what fear looks like, in case you were wondering.

You abandoned me!!

Oh wait. Not so bad. Sorry.

"Ada!?" (It means "anything that he is pointing to at the moment")

Okay, I'm done! Pick me up!

I can't get enough of the pictures of my boys...LOOOVE them!!

This is what my face looks like the majority of the day...comforting a scared Nathan. Poor boy.

Nathan is 13 months old as of December 2nd (his daddy's 25th bday!)

He says, "mama", "dada", and everything he points to is "ada!?" (And then he wants you to name it.) 
He loves to see doggies. Pictures of doggies, stuffed doggies (from a safe distance), real doggies (which he's surprisingly less afraid of than the stuffed ones!), etc. He races through Brown Bear, Brown Bear to get to the page with the white doggie. Santa is actually bringing him a "puppy party" movie...we're all excited to see how he likes it!

Nathan loves his riding on or pushing his train toy, along with anything else that rolls. He has just figured out how to make two cars crash together, and loves when you add sound effects.

Nathan is a quiet little boy, until he feels comfortable in the situation, then he's as feisty as they come. He wants to be a toddler so bad, but hasn't quite figured out the tantrum part yet. We love that, but I think he feels like he just loses a lot. Maybe one day (in the distant future, hopefully!) he'll figure out that he can fight back. Not saying he'll win, but maybe one day he'll try!

We have to be careful to acknowledge good behaviors with Nathan, or all he hears is a day full of "Nathan, no!" He responds very well to a stern voice and removal from the situation if necessary. We try very hard not to reward negative actions through any form of positive reinforcement, which includes giving him attention.
(I have a class all about the Learning Theory, which incorporates theories from scientists and researchers like Baumrind, Vygotsky, etc. I wish I had a good article to site, but I don't! Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox. I love this stuff.)

 Nathan is learning more and more. He loves pat-a-cake (with either his hands or feet), playing hide-and-seek with daddy, and being read to or played with. When asked (about 20 times) he will show you his hands and his feet ("toesies"). 

 Nathan has 2.5 teeth at the moment. His second bottom tooth, tooth #3, is trying so hard to gain some height, but at this point the whole top is showing, still flat against his gum. We see more and more of his top tooth every week, and love his teeth-y grin! His second top tooth is very close to breaking through.

Nathan will sleep for 12 hours straight at night, from 8 pm to 8 am. We love having our nights free to do homework, blog, watch tv shows or movies, play on Facebook or Pinterest, etc. We are definitely night owls, which makes 8 am come quite early. 
We usually take turns getting up and the other gets up around 9ish. We are salvaging this while we can, because next semester, we have 9 am classes on alternating days, and 9:00 church. At least it's a pretty steady routine!

Well, didn't mean for that to be a Nathan update, but it did help me to de-stress! Woo hoo!

Merry upcoming Christmas! I'm so excited for it, I feel like it's already here!
PS--watch out for your porcelain nativity on the coffee table and presents under the trees, in-laws! Only a handful of days until we get there and they will all be destroyed if Nathan gets to them! :o)


  1. i LOVE reading your blog! it makes me feel better, and helps me cry when I need to but can't find a reason to. i totally cried while reading about your experience in class. so sad! im glad its over for you!! and i love the pictures!!! and the captions, i luaghed at the one that said "oh wait. not so bad. sorry." i cant wait to get out there and hang otu with you guys!!!!

  2. What a horrible experience! I thought those things only happened in movies. I'm sorry Alaina. I love reading about growing Nathan though. Its so fun that he's just over a year ahead of Madeline. I feel like I'm getting ready for all the new discoveries she'll make and all the changes she's going to be making. She's already growing up so fast! I can't believe she'll be walking and "talking" in a year!

  3. I'm so sorry Alaina. I am horrible at confrontations with teachers or really anyone in general. The only people I feel comfortable confronting are students I taught, Ava, and my husband. My husband has actually had to force me to talk to teachers about specific problems or has talked to them himself. This just reminds me of the day I had to video record myself teaching my first graders for my midterm for senior practicum and in the middle of the recording I start throwing up (morning sickness). The kids didn't know what to do. It was bad. Then my teacher is supposed to watch and critique to help me. It was one of the most horrible lessons I'd ever taught. I sure didn't want her watching. It was so embarrassing. I hate getting up in front of people and being critiqued. That was the most nerve racking thing for me when student teaching. I teach so much better when nobody is watching. On another note, Ava's started throwing tantrums. :( Just wait Nathan will be learning soon.

  4. that third picture is the cutest!
    I am really proud of you, you're a tough woman. Keep it up! love ya


I'd love to hear from you! :o)