No, I didn’t go back to middle school. My son started 6th grade a couple of weeks ago, and I tell ya what it’s a heck of an adjustment for both of us.  There are so many classes to keep track of compared to last year, so many papers, so many activities, and then his Tae Kwon Do on top of it all.

I applaud you mothers who work full-time, go to school yourself, and still pull this off.  I’m only employed part-time and I feel like it’s a struggle to keep up.

So my son has mild ADHD, which of course had me worrying about how he would adjust. Perhaps he’s made the adjustment better than I have. Perhaps changing classes every 45 minutes is what he is more suited for doing. There’s no need to focus for too long on anything. His brain gets to switch gears frequently throughout the day. It helps that his school is pretty awesome. They have a homework list available right on their website which the kid and I go over every day before we leave the school parking lot. The decision was made for him to be driven to school and picked up after so that he is less likely to forget something important. So far, it’s been worth it.

Now comes the first school dance of the year. The first school dance of his life. My first school dance as a mother. I’m not prepared for this. He’s talking about girls and wanting to wear body spray! My little boy is a small man now. Surely this happened overnight, right?

He sure does look good in yellow.

Did I mention how I’m not ready for this?

I promised this year that I would do better. With his heavier work load, I feel like I’m even more obligated (I don’t mean that in a bad way) to be there for him every day. So when he’s sitting at the table doing homework, I’m sitting right there with him. I go over his planner with him every single day. We set goals every week. We practice his spelling tests together every week. I can even check his grades online now, so we are doing that regularly, too. We also invested in a nice zipper binder for him to carry all day; he says it really does help him stay organized.

How did you and your child adjust to middle school? Do you have any tips or advice to help me or other parents who are making this transition?

I have not blogged in a rather long time. Call it writer’s block, I’m too embarrassed to talk about my [lack of] weight loss, I don’t know what to say, I have too much to say and don’t know where to start. Call it whatever you want, procrastination. Time to get over it.

In a nutshell: I haven’t lost weight, we got a third dog, and my son started 6th grade. Work is good. Home is good. Marriage is good. The dogs are good. The boy is better than he’s been in a long, long time. I don’t think I can recall a time in my life where I’ve been happier.

My life has been challenging. It’s never really just been easy. It’s not been terrible either, but there’s always one thing or another. Here’s the highly condensed version.  Grew up with alcoholism all around me, got picked on and teased all the way through school, married a closet alcoholic and dealt with him for far too long, and then struggled through the financial and emotional burden of being a single mom for several years. Yeah. Things were never easy. Then I had a great guy who didn’t want to be a dad. That was pretty heartbreaking. He changed his mind but then struggled with a long term commitment. Then the ex took off and broke the kid. Finally got married to that great guy. Still had a lot of financial struggles. Then the ex came back and threw everything out of alignment. Then the Great Guy adopted the kid [very expensive]. A year after that the ex took off again and threw everything even further out of alignment for the kid. Then I royally hurt my back [no surgery required, but lots of chiropractic and physical therapy]. Then the kid made some tough choices. The end of his 5th grade was very tough for him, both emotionally and academically. Mom worried.

Then the good. A lot of the financial problems began to resolve. The boy started smiling more. Yoga helped my back. The boy worried less. He played more. I felt good. Hubs & I actually went on a short vacation. The summer went on and things kept improving. Then I worried about the boy starting 6th grade. Now over a week into it, the boy is doing exceptionally well. And he’s still happy. Happier than we’ve seen him in a long time. His sadness, anxiety, and worry are gone. He’s.. a pretty normal 6th grade boy.

And life is Just Good. Is everything perfect? Nah. Still a few loose ends to tie up with the financials. But there’s no more worry about making ends meet. House is a little small for three people and three dogs. Wouldn’t mind an upgrade. But the house we have is nice. Comfortable. In good repair. Carpet is a little.. meh.. Did I mention three dogs? Oh well. My heart is happy and content. And I did get a shiny new car for my birthday. My old car was becoming its very own financial burden! So that is resolved. Now I don’t need to worry about my car starting anymore. That’s really nice. And then I was asked to be in a wedding in England. That was very flattering and exciting, but presented its own stack of worries. Paying for three passports and three plane tickets.. that’s pretty expensive! But it’s all taken care of now. Plane tickets are purchased, and passports should be here soon.

I really can’t say that I’ve ever been happier on an overall sustained level than I am right now. I am so blessed. Now, at the age of 32, I finally feel like my struggles are over. I’ve always been grateful, knowing things always could have been worse for me. I’m sure many of my readers have had more difficult times, so don’t misunderstand me. There is also no fooling, I know things won’t always be great.  There will be more struggles ahead, I’m sure. But right now, there are virtually none, which is the least amount I can remember in my life. And it is Wonderful. And I am Happy.

Those of you who just started following my blog don’t know a lot about me.  For you to fully comprehend this post, I must give you some background information.  First, I am a mom.  Second, I am actually on my 2nd marriage.  My son is from my first marriage.  First husband is a severe alcoholic.

On January 14th, one of my journeys is coming to a close.  Almost a year ago we began a process to eliminate the “step” from this household.  My husband and I began the paperwork for him to adopt my son.  The Final Hearing is slated for January 14th and we couldn’t be more excited!  Even my son is thrilled.  In fact, he’s the one who asked for the adoption without knowing what it’s called.  He refers to my husband as “Dad”, while he refers to my ex by his first name, if that tells you anything about the situation.

My husband truly is a wonderful father.  He is an amazing man with a huge heart.  He has dramatically changed my life in ways that he cannot imagine.  He is, quite literally, making my dreams come true.  I can confidently say that he is also making OUR son’s dreams come true as well.

This ordeal, and my ex, have been a huge source of stress in my life over the last year.  I am very excited for this chapter to come to a close while another one begins.  This new chapter is going to be an amazing one.  I just know it.  Am I ready for 2010?  YES!!!!

It will be a beautiful and happy new year in this household.

I’m Christian.  I celebrate Christmas.  I’m going to talk about that now.

Christmas this year was a tad on the stressful side for a reason I cannot discuss, however everything worked out in the end.  Thank God.  No really, thank you God.  Aside from that bit of stress, my Christmas was amazing.  Mostly.

Our Christmas really starts on Christmas Eve at my Mom’s house.  There is a soup she makes just once a year and the occasion is Christmas Eve.  It’s a chicken soup with veggies and dumplings in it.  Outstanding.  We had a really nice evening and then the father of a little girl I used to babysit stopped by to visit my Mom and Step-Dad.  It was a real treat to see him after too many years.  He really hasn’t changed a bit.  :)

Christmas morning I made cinnamon rolls, we (my husband, son and I) opened our cards and gifts.  There were some amazing gifts and some thoughtful ones.  We laughed and smiled and we were just so happy, celebrating the spirit of the holiday.  I am so grateful for what I have.  A nice home.  A very sweet, well-behaved child.  A wonderful, caring, concerned husband who is also thoughtful.  And my dog, of course.  Kona.  She’s great too.

After our little family festivity, my Dad comes over!  We saved a roll for him and exchanged yet more cards and gifts.  I had created a CD with photos from the past year for my father.  On a side note, he called me today with laughter on his voice and thanked me for that CD.  He’d been going through the photos and enjoying some good laughs.  My son whooping my brother on MarioKart in April (and taunting and trash talking his uncle no less!), my son laying on a turtle statue at the zoo, my dog in a Santa hat.  He was really enjoying that gift and that meant the world to me.  Also my brother and his wonderful wife (whom I will call my “sister”) gave us a call while Dad was here.  We all got to chat with one another and that was great.

After we left home, we headed back over to my Mom’s.  Aside from Chad having an awful headache, we were all having a great time there.  Dinner was great.  Everyone was very happy.  Cards were sweet.  Prayer was good.  Again, so much for which to be grateful.  Really.

My arch nemesis haunted me, though.  Food.  Oh wonderful, scrumptious, delicious, mouth watering, flavorful food.  Oh it was so good.  It still is.  We have too much here.  Ah well.  It’s always been a big part of my holidays, I cannot tell a lie.  Food is not THE part of the holidays, but definitely a contributing factor.  But you know what?  I’m not really worried about it.  Since March of 2009 I have lost 20 pounds.  Maybe it’s only 18 or 17 now, ha!  But I am not worried.  I know that whatever I may have gained over Christmas, I can lose again this week and next.  But it’s the next 10 pounds I am worried about..  I should be hitting a plateau soon.  I like to think that it won’t happen to me, but I am not so naive.  We’ll see what happens.

Here’s hoping that your holidays, whatever you celebrate, were full of happiness, togetherness, and joy.  Here’s hoping that you controlled what you put in your mouth better than I did.  ;)