Wednesday, December 28, 2016

christmas 2016.

this was remy's face all day christmas eve while we ran errands,
grabbed last minute gifts, and delivered christmas goodies to the neighbors.
christmas eve we also went to family parties, ate so much food, and remy thought
white elephant gifts were actually white elephants.  

remy insisted on writing santa a thank you letter to go with the milk and cookies.
(oats for the reindeer, good idea oma.) 

confession: all of this was for rem. we went a little nuts.
travis and i had fun playing santa. we stayed up til
2am putting together that fire station and watching home alone. 

when we looked at this house before buying it, i
imagined remy looking over the stairs down at christmas morning. 

when we finally said he could go down and see! 

all december, whenever asked what he wanted for christmas,
he said, "a fire station with a roof on it." 

he was really excited to see it. 

he even got so excited, he pulled his pants down. 

exciting moment for travis, watching rem open a basketball.

travis spoiled me. a new gold floor lamp i've been eyeing,
 a maroon blazer, books, climbing gear (see: things around my neck),
the harry potter behind the movie scenes book! etc etc etc. 

i have a small problem with being obsessed with using this
tool i got from the doctor to extract travis's copious amounts of ear wax.
of course i found a fake gift box claiming to be an earwax candle making kit. 

travis truly thought it was real. you can see him clenching
his teeth, trying to figure out how to tell me he is horrified. 

then the relief that floods his face
when he realizes, oh she's not that crazy. 

phew! just jeans! 

my last present. travis wrapped this thing about 15 times.
when i got to the bottom, it was a USB stick.
i'm like... thanks?
he told me to plug it in to the computer and
wha la! all the harry potter books on tape!!!
so thoughtful that man is. 

the after opening carnage. remy was so sweet.
after he opened everything, he said,
 "thank you santa. i wish you a merry christmas." 

quick family self timer shot.
i sure love these humans. 

after our christmas morning, we headed to the fire station for a breathing treatment for me.
somehow my asthma kicked up during the night. the treatment helped a lot, but i didn't
feel great all day sadly. 

but fueled by cinnamon rolls, i survived. here we are with the bodtcher side.
we had a crazy good breakfast, opened presents, and hung out all afternoon.
i even got a nap this year. (thanks for the amazing coffee/espresso maker mom and dad bodtcher!) 

we headed to my parents' for dinner. this is my mom's face when she walked in the room and
discovered that we framed an enormous family picture and put it on the mantle.
(thanks for the jewelry, camping gear, climbing gear, and all the other presents mom and dad!)

i love this guy so much.
it was a great christmas! remy makes life magical.
all the harry potter presents didn't hurt either.

c out. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

becoming a baby therapist.

we interrupt the catching up posts to bring you real life right now.

guys. the last 7 weeks of my life.

holy shit.

i will be swearing plentifully, so either deal or GTFO.

so i started the master of social work program at the university of utah at the end of august. it's been my dream to become a therapist since 2011, and i finally felt ready to apply and get going. i was thrilled and thankful to get in, but as the start date for school came closer, i started freaking out. about a month before, i started having nervous diarrhea and it lasted the whole month and then like 2 weeks into school. again, deal with the intimate details or get out my internet corner.

what was i so nervous about you ask? leaving remy! being a terrible mom and following my own dreams instead of only thinking about my kid every hour of every day.

no, i don't really think that makes a mom terrible. but the guilt? oh it's there. plus, i had just spent the entire summer being with remy 24/7 and it's a great life. exhausting, but so wonderful. and you don't have to write papers when you're a stay home mom. which is a plus.

the night before orientation, i sobbed and sobbed to travis. "i'm not doing this. i'm dropping out. let's just have another baby instead."

travis, always the rational mind, "yeah collette, having a baby won't be any easier and also you probably would see remy less, what with the hospital and vomiting, and remy having to be taken care of by someone other than you."
yes. good point.

i said a prayer the next morning while riding trax to the university. if this is the right choice for me, please show me today at orientation, because i'm not going to do this unless i get some proof.  
orientation was amazing. it felt right, it felt good. with tears streaming down my cheeks, i knew i'd be doing this.

flash forward a few weeks.
i'm in my practice class, the class where we practice doing individual therapy.
my professor, (who is amazing, they are all incredible.) has just asked all of us, "who would be your nightmare client?"
we all pretty much agreed it would be a middle aged white male child molester. probably because i had been loud about describing this hypothetical client's greasy hair and dirty fingernails, the professor picked on me to play out this object lesson.
he pulled a chair right in front of me and started acting like the worst possible client we'd all created.

"hi, i'm here because i have sex with children. i see nothing wrong with it. i do it with my kids, my neighbor's kids, whoever." etc. he just continued on saying the most vile and awful things i've ever heard anyone say. (which is saying a lot, because i've heard donald trump speak.)

meanwhile i'm supposed to be putting together intelligent and empathetic sentences to say back, and instead i've curled into a ball on my chair and ended up just yelling, "fuck you, get out of my office." at my professor/worst case scenario client.
(apparently this is not an effective therapeutic intervention. although it was probably therapeutic for me in that moment.)

this is not an unusual day at school.
because a social worker won't be effective if their own biases get in the way of the people we serve, we do a lot of soul searching and digging deep down to find our own issues and deal with them.
it's painful. it hurts! i get home from school and i'm drained.

but it's also amazing. i love all of my classes so much! i have my practice class to learn to be a therapist, macro class to learn about how larger systems affect our world, human behavior in the social environment to learn about what to look for when assessing clients, like how to know a child is being abused, and DSM to learn all about diagnosing mental illness.
school at the graduate level is a lot harder than i imagined, but it's also been really fun for a nerd like me who loves school and learning in that environment. all my classmates are so smart and for the first time since BYUH, i have a huge group of friends.

also hanging out with other social work students, we don't do small talk. we unintentionally do therapy on each other because we open up and listen to each other. lunches are my favorite when we all talk about real things that matter. we have all laughed and cried together. i couldn't get through these two years without these people.

another thing i love so much about social work is that it's female dominated. for the first time in my life, i'm learning about a profession that was founded by women. most of the scholarly articles we read are written by women. most of the people in my classes are women! i feel so empowered every day at school.

then there's my practicum.
so while I'm in classes, i'm also doing 15 hours a week at my internship. it's at a mental hospital with long term pediatric patients from age 6-12. i've never worked with this age besides teaching them how to rock climb, so i was really nervous at first.
and then i read all of their patient histories and learned of the incredible abuse and trauma they've survived.
and then, after only a couple weeks, my boss was like, okay, we're getting a new patient and he's going to be yours, so you're lead therapist now.
i'm like............. halp!?

i also get to do a 70 hour project at my practicum and i have an excellent idea brewing around in my head. the state of utah doesn't have any services for child sex offenders under the age of 12, so my project is going to be trying to get some sort of funding or help for kids in that situation.

it's been great. i'm learning so much by being thrown in the deep end.
definitely feel like i'm drowning all the time, but in a good way. ?

and travis has stepped in and taken the stay home parent role. of course he has killed it! he has honed in on his cooking skills and blows my socks off. i came home from that first day of school and travis had done a billion loads of laundry, cleaned the entire house, mopped!, and had dinner on the stove.  remy goes to a sitter about one day a week while travis is at work. i have thursdays off and those have become my sanctuaries, days to be with remy all day. i miss him, but i still see him every day and when i'm home, i feel like i'm so much more present with him and appreciating our time together.

the homework load is insane, so just trying to stay on top of that and pretend to be brilliant in class with all the other geniuses. 7 weeks in and i've already written 47 pages of papers. seriously at the end of every day i say to myself, i can't believe you still haven't dropped out. you got this.

yep, that's that.
i'm a baby therapist!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

all his expressions.

when you are a parent, a weird thing happens with your cellphone.
you have a thousand pictures of your kid seemingly doing the exact same thing in the same position, but the pictures aren't the same because your kid is making an infinitesimally small amount of different face in each picture. you love each different expression soooo much, you can't bear to delete any of the pictures. so you have 8000 pictures of him on your phone that all look the same to the layperson.

here are some pictures i took of remy playing in his room in march when he was still wearing a diaper, using a binki to sleep at night, and living in his old room. i can't believe how much he has grown just since then!

if only i could commit to memory each and every facial expression, movement, sound, way he pronounces words at every stage in his life.

it all moves so fast.

when you pretend to be a large bunny and leave candy all over the house that you will continue to find and eat for months after.

this year remy had a bit of a grasp on "The Easter Bunny."
it was awesome!
you know how i obsess over holidays. see; child of a mom who made every holiday the best day ever.
travis was at the station the night before easter, so i played bunny solo. i hid something like 80 eggs and made a basket for rem with a chocolate bunny, a kite, and a few other of his favs. i hid tiny trains in some of the eggs too.

i did a pretty damn good job hiding those eggs, because we kept finding them and finding them until we packed up the house to move.

remy was delighted to wake up and discover that there were candy and presents hidden all over his house.

oh his little diaper bum. 

later that day we went to grandma julie's house for the big cousin easter egg hunt.
here's all the cousins who were big enough to hold a bucket and know what was going on.

his outfit, riiiite?

having a kid old enough to understand holidays is magical.

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