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Moving to DW

I nearly did this when the TOS change happened, however, I really have to think about things. At anyrate, I've decided it's time to move over to DW. I'm alexeia_drae there as well if anyone wants to keep up who isn't already on there. And after giving it some thought, after backing everything up on DW I will be deleting my journal here.

I've enjoyed my time on LJ and talking, interacting and reading your journals! But between how it seems that with each year less and less people are here and my concerns about Russia right now, yeah. Best of luck to everyone and I hope to see you on DW!
Well, I've not gotten much done free time wise or house work wise, but I have learned a lot. It's interesting because the previous CEUs I'd gotten were demographic stuff or stuff for the boring guidelines for documentation and working with substance use, so this is the first time since I was in grad school that I've taken classes in doing therapy, and it's just so much deeper now that I've been practicing for several years, because now I'm bringing the real world experience to what I'm learning. And it helps, roadblocks I run in to tend to get discussed and frustrations I get tend to be validated as universal among therapists.

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I Found a Waterfall, Online Counseling

Well, my kids are with my parents until late Saturday night. I have a two day training starting tomorrow for CEUs. I'm in this mood I always get where I feel like I have to GET SO MUCH DONE while the kids aren't here, and realizing that for most of the next two days I will be in training and having to temper my expectation. And even if I was just sitting at home, there's only so much I can do, lol.

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I Love Spring, I Hate Easter

Last year the park by my house was getting completely overrun by off road vehicles. They would even charge through the main part of the park, 50 feet away from the playground and in a field where children run around. While they'd stuck to the back trails and disc golf trails for years, ruining them, going through the main park was new and brazen. Even though I'd been calling the city and writing emails that this is a problem and if it keeps up, a kid is going to get run over, nothing much seemed to happen, and eventually I had to stop taking my kids there because I was worried that they would get run over...in a park...where there are no roads.

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Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue DogScent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog by Susannah Charleson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was an interesting look at something I don't know a lot about, the training and work that goes into search and rescue dog work, told from Charleson's memories of getting involved in search and rescue work and eventually training her own search and rescue dog. What stunned me most was that given the sheer number of hours involved each week, the rigorous training, and the emergency phone calls that happen in the middle of the night, these search and rescue dog teams are mostly volunteer and the people who put all of this time and effort into them often have day jobs that they go to after searching all night for a missing person. It made me appreciate their hard work and dedication, though, I would gladly pay a bit more in taxes if we could get these hard working folks a salary.

A lot the book focused on Charleson training her dog, Puzzle, interspersed with memories of search and rescues she had been a part of before she'd gotten Puzzle. I guess I was expecting to hear more about the work she did with Puzzle once she had been trained and less about the process of being trained. Still, the chapters that focused on the search and rescue cases were the most intriguing and eye opening.

We've all seen search and rescue dogs on tv and in the movies, and this give more insight into the methodical nature of the work (it's not just strapping a dog on a leash and saying "find!") and appreciation for the workers, both human and canine, who do it.

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B Has My Curse, G May Have Andy's

Perhaps I spoke too soon about G being typical. After last night I'm really worried she's developing OCD. Andy and I joked about it, but for the most part we just assumed it was typical toddler stuff she would grow out of, but it's getting worse. I've spent the morning contacting everyone I know who works with children and everyone is drawing a blank.

Pretty much spent the night up every two hours with her. G has always been particular about having her hands clean and gets distressed if they are dirty. Nothing unusual about that. However, lately she started spitting on her hands, and then she gets worked up and spits again, and gets even more upset until we get her a washcloth. Last night, she got so worked up she refused the washcloth and had to be taken to the sink, which worked twice. After that she would get so worked up that the sink was not enough and we just tried to distract her as she kept spitting on her hands and then she started to jam her fingers down her throat, gagging herself and even throwing up once.
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Book Review: Alexander Hamilton

Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is undoubtedly the best biography I've read for several years. Like many I was inspired to read this thanks to the musical, and it quickly became apparent to me that Hamilton's life was so interesting and filled with so much drama that every three chapters could have been a complete musical in its own right.

That Hamilton was an interesting man who packed a lot of achievements into his short life and was full of contradictions helps, but Chernow still gets credit for presenting a lot of information and placing it in it's historical context while making it an interesting and compelling read. My only quibble was at times he would sacrifice sequential order of events to tackle them subject by subject, and this was especially noticeable while relating Hamilton's achievements during Washington's first term and the fall out from the Maria Reynolds affair. I like things sequentially, though I can see why he would group it by topic, particularly Washington's first term, because so much was done during that time.

This is a very relevant read, for it dispels myths that the Founding Fathers were infallible geniuses who were in perfect agreements over everything, and gives a historical context to events and schisms still playing out in our nation today. Further, given these trying times, it opens a window at a time when political discourse was even lower than it is now, with congressmen coming to physical blows outside of congress and the Vice President shooting and killing a rival in a duel. We as a nation have fallen, but we are not at rock bottom.

By the time I got about 50 pages towards the end I was reluctant to continue because I did not want it to come, even though history does not change by the action of reading about it. For all intents and purposes, I was engrossed in Hamilton's story. Highly recommend.

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Book Review: Sickened

Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy ChildhoodSickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood by Julie Gregory

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of those books where I feel a bit guilty for not liking it. All said, it was a relief when I finally finished it. I'm not sure if it was massive caregiver fatigue getting in my way as I work with helping people recover from trauma (though that has never happened before) or if it was some fault of the book. That said, Gregory's life was horrifying and because of that I wanted to like this book more than I did, but I didn't. I know some people are challenging the veracity of Gregory's memoir, and I do want to say some things in Gregory's favor. First, children tend to want to see their parents as good people because they see their parents as extensions of themselves, so for Gregory to have gotten to this point where she would write a book about the horrific abuse that she experienced, well, she must have had good reasons. Second, Gregory never claims to have forgotten the abuse or have recovered memories she lost, which are red flags for false memories. So I tend to believe Gregory.

I think I was expecting more of a focus on Manchusen by Proxy, a condition where a caretaker, usually the mother, fakes medical symptoms in her child to get attention. In some ways this book seemed segmented into two stories, visits to the doctor and then the horrific abuse that happened at home. It's told as it unfolds from Gregory's POV at the age she was when going through her ordeals, with little insight on how she looks at it now from an adult's perspective and or education about how what her mother was doing fits the pattern for MBP. And the result was that it felt rather voyeuristic. And at times Gregory seemed so focused on painting a picture of what was happening that it just got confusing, such as when she spliced the word "car battery" into "car batter" and then breaks to describe how her mother wails "REE" that left me confused and re-reading that sentence over and over trying to figure out what a car batter (I even Googled car batter) is and what a ree is until I put it together. I read a lot, and I have never seen something like that before.

If anything it left me with more questions about MBP, though I could easily map out the abusive dynamics of the family as that is very familiar from an academic standpoint. And in the end I felt it was more of a story of a severely dysfunctional family with MPB on the side, rather than tackling MPB front and center. I guess you could argue how to do one without the other, but there it is.

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It's been several days, and I've not heard one apology or explanation from anyone at the Montessori school after making my complaints. I'm not sure if they're just extremely disorganized or, if when they found out that B was autistic they decided to put their worst foot forward given how before they knew when I contacted the higher ranks they responded in 5 minutes. It sounds paranoid, but my entire experience in elementary school is the school claiming I was ADHD and pressuring my mom to put me on medication as if that would somehow magically improve my listening comprehension instead of offering services (and for the record, I am most definitely NOT ADHD, and my mom knew the idea that I was was BS). Really, my experience of junior high and high school were good, but elementary school not so much, and I have a hard time overcoming my skepticism that elementary schools are interested in educating kids rather than making them convenient test takers.

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Yeah, Not Wasting Anymore Time With Them

Before I begin, I value my time. And though I am easy going and let a lot of things roll, having my time wasted is not one of those things. You can't get time back. And I don't believe in an after life, so the time I have is the time I have and I like to maximize my use of it. So let's just say, I was not setting out with good hopes when I went to the Montessori school and was worried about further wasture of my time. But I went.

So I got there, and I was told by the Vice Principal that the office staff would be expecting me and...they weren't. The admin even dismissed the time error and treated me as though I was wasting her time, and I had to pull out the "I spoke to the VP about this" for her to look at the paperwork. Then she asked me about grade placement, and I said that was uncertain.
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