Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WWRW: More books about being highly sensitive

A few weeks ago I wrote about the book The Highly Sensitive Person.  I'm certain that I'm an HSP and each of my kids shows signs of being highly sensitive.  Dr. Aron has a questionnaire for parents to determine if their child is highly sensitive.  She also has a book, The Highly Sensitive Child, although I'm still waiting on that one to come in at the library.  In the mean time, I read two other books about highly sensitive children:  Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child by Rosenshein and Raising Your Spirited Child by Kurcinka.


Rosenshein's book is short and to the point.  It is written in a very personal style and speaks from the author's own experience as a school social workers.  She helps to explain differences between being highly sensitive and being ADHD.  Though she has many helpful tips, readers might find her to be a bit outside of mainstream, since she readily accepts the idea of Indigo's, which tends to be considered a pseudoscience term for those with more spiritual powers and I believe refers to the color of one's aura.  I still think the book is worth reading if you have a highly sensitive child because it's quick and to the point while still covering a lot of content. 

However, of the two books, I preferred Kurcinka's because of the depth and volume of material.  It's nearly 500 pages and covers many facets of what it means to be highly sensitive.  She describes the spirited child as, "more intense, persistent, sensitive, perceptive, and uncomfortable with change."  The book starts by explaining that these characteristics are part of your child's innate temperament.  She describes these traits in detail and has scales for each to help you identify where your child falls in the spectrum.  As the book goes on, she devotes a chapter to each of these characteristics and has strategies for dealing with them.  Some of the strategies reminded me of things from the book, How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk, that I reviewed previously.  Again, emphasizing that we give validity and respect to the way a child feels and thinks.  There are also whole chapters devoted to sleep, mealtimes, and getting dressed, which are areas that highly sensitive kids seem to really struggle with.  We're currently struggling with Lucy's sleep, so I jumped first to the chapter on bedtime and night waking.  I was bummed to see that there aren't any quick fixes, but relieved to find that the cry-it-out method doesn't tend to work well for highly sensitive kids - I just couldn't understand why Lucy wasn't ever stopping her crying, but apparently that's just part of her temperament!  Overall this is a great book with so much valuable info - definitely too much to digest all at once, so probably one that I will check out again in a few months!
I also picked up another highly sensitive book for myself - The Highly Sensitive Person in Love, by Aron, the same author of The Highly Sensitive Person.  I was a bit disappointed in this book.  To me, it didn't have the same feel as her original book.  It seemed a bit rambling and all over the place, plus it introduced a few too many new concepts, such as attachment style and sensation seeking.  I also felt she used examples from her own life far too often, which made it more difficult for me to read it as a work of science.  I would say it's not worth the read unless you are an HSP struggling in a relationship with a non-HSP.  

Be sure to check out more great books @  Housewifespice!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Home study and a $150 sock

Yesterday was our second and final home study visit!  Our first visit was just a meet and greet and go over the paperwork, low key kind of meeting.  This one was the more intense interview questions and home safety check.  John is uber organized, so things were pretty smooth sailing with the visit.  The meeting  lasted nearly 2.5 hours with a large portion of the time spent discussing our finances.  She asked us to describe in detail all of our budgeting and money saving tactics that allow us to live off of a doctoral student stipend.  She also asked us a lot about our family and work histories.

There is a bit of a hiccup because we have lived in so many different cities in our lives - John has lived in 7 and I've lived in 8.  Our social worker is pretty sure that we need arrest records and jail checks and child protective services checks from each and every one of the places we have ever lived, but she doesn't know what paperwork we need for those or the procedures to follow.  Not only does she not know, but her boss doesn't know, and her liaison within DCS just quit.  So we're at a bit of a standstill until we learn what we need to do. This is really frustrating because we were hoping to be approved in early summer so that we could potentially have a match before the next school year begins.  That likely won't happen now.

After she left, John and I turned our attention to our broken washing machine. After our hours of talking about saving money, you'd have thought we would try to fix the washer ourselves, especially since I was pretty sure it was a stuck baby sock.  But that thought didn't even cross our minds!  Instead we paid $150 to have someone else pull out the sock from the drain pump.  I'm still working to forgive myself for that slip up!  Ugh!

Monday, April 14, 2014

In the home stretch

We have exactly one week until our final home study visit, which means it's crunch time for completing every last bit of paperwork and house prep.  This morning we checked off one more thing - obtaining our arrest/jail records from the city and county police.  In our case, we don't have any records, so we just needed to go in and have someone sign to verify that.  The county and city police are right next to each other, so it should have been a pretty quick trip.

We started with the county sheriff.  Had to go through metal detectors and a bag search with the whole family!  Up to the records office.  There is a big window overlooking the jail.  I can see what the inmates have in their windows.  It overwhelms me with sadness.  I know, they probably did something to deserve being in there, but why?  Having taught high school in inner-city Cleveland I realize that not everyone gets a fair shot at life.  I have such compassion and sorrow for the injustice in our communities.

Sign on the window says $5 cash only.  Oh no.  We're not cash people (we use credit cards and pay off in full each month because we love the convenience and the 1-5% cash back!).  John has enough in his wallet for this time, but no more for the city police.  There is a gas station close by, so we swing by there.  ATM is broken.  Someone directs us down the street.  We drive and drive and drive, but nothing.  Pull out my phone and pull out a map and discover that there are no ATM's near us, but they are all clumped in the nicer part of downtown.  Of course they are.  Turn around and 10 minutes later we have cash and are on our way back to the city police.

I've been feeling overwhelmed all day (did I mention that Lucy woke up screaming at 5am?), but at this point, I'm about to break down.  We go in to the city police and right there in the lobby is an ATM.  Go figure.  While we were waiting, a police officer brought out some little plastic police badges for the kids.  Blaise threw his on the ground immediately.  Clearly he gets easily overwhelmed, too, just like his mommy!

Finn, however, loves his badge!
Done.  I start crying as soon as we leave.  Feeling better by the time we get home and I make everyone a lunch of popcorn :-)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Quick Takes #17

It's been a month since I've shared the cuteness of my family, so let's get to it!

1.  Lucy likes to snuggle with us in the morning.  Sometimes she is sweet, but more often she repeatedly screams "COVERS!" until she is sufficiently pleased with how we have covered her!


2.  Lucy got her very first ponytail this week, which she was very excited to show off:

If you were wondering about the bright red splotches all over Lucy's face in the preceding pictures, it's hand foot and mouth disease...again.  It actually wasn't that bad this time around.  It looks TERRIBLE but it only really bothered her for a day or two.  

3.  Grandpa and Grandma came to visit last week!  Here is a picture of the kids anxiously awaiting their arrival!


4.  John was gone for two full days at an academic conference.  So how did I survive?  With ice cream!


5.  The kids' favorite thing to do now that the weather is warm is to ride on the tire swing!

They like to sing while doing this, so here is a LOUD video of everyone singing!

6.  Blaise has started climbing trees.  He gets this from his father.  There are rumors that in college John would climb trees with his guitar and sit in the branches and play!


7.  John took Lucy grocery shopping.  She helped :)

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WWRW: Pope Awesome

It's been two whole weeks since I have posted, so I'd like to start off by apologizing for my blogging absence!  I've been keeping quite busy - John was out of town for two days for an academic conference and then my parents visited us for four days.  Thrown in the mix has been all the adoption paperwork that we need to get completed before our next home study visit on April 21!  With all of that, I just haven't had the time or energy to blog or read books!  But the pile of books on my nightstand has become two piles, so I really need to get reading!

About a month ago I asked about recommendations for books on Catholic conversions that weren't liturgy driven and Jessica suggested Cari's book, Pope Awesome.  I had actually wanted to read this book when it first came out, but my library doesn't have it, so I was out of luck.  After Jessica's suggestion, I figured it was worth asking my husband to put in an inter-library loan request through Notre Dame.  So after about three weeks worth of waiting, Nashville Public Library sent me Pope Awesome!


 I started and finished the book this afternoon while the kids played outside in the sunshine (finally!).  It was an enjoyable and quick read.  Quick, not in the sense of simplistic, but quick because it is well written and without slow or boring parts!  I thought Cari did an excellent job of telling the story of her life and how her search for God progressed.  I was able to relate to her journey, how God gently guided her toward His truth.  I especially appreciated that she was not critical toward Protestants as so many books in this genre tend to be.  I never once cringed while reading this and often found myself smiling, laughing, and nodding in agreement.  While the book hasn't fully changed my views of why I'm not Catholic, it has perhaps opened my mind a bit :)

Thanks Cari!  And thanks to Jessica for the suggestion!  Now you should head over to Jessica's becuase she clearly has fabulous recommendations!