Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Autism & More

As I stated in a previous post, much has come to pass since my blog post last year. I am in the process of going from full time status at work to Per diem Pool. Being in the "pool" allows me the flexibility I need to be home during the week to take Liam to school, a requirement of only 40 hours a month of work and more hourly pay. In exchange, I will give up my FT benefits which include (decent and reasonably priced) health insurance and 6 credit hours of tuition paid per semester.

The truth is while I could use the benefits, I NEED the flexibility for Liam. He is in his first year of all day school. We have homework daily, he is involved in an after school program and he will soon be receiving at-home services. 

I feel like lately Autism has been taking over our lives. I applied for a waiver for Liam back in April 2014. We were approved April of this year. My intention was to get him supplemental therapies/help for his ASD diagnosis and essentially set him up the best I can to get the help he needs and to thrive. That process is almost complete. We should begin getting in-home therapy in the next month or so.

In addition, I applied for SSI for him as well, just because you know anything I can do/get to help him I will certainly do. I had an in-person interview to go over income, some basics about Liam etc. Then, we were scheduled for a psych eval by an independent psychologist or the SSI office's choosing. From that evaluation I kind of feel like I was dealt another blow. For the second time (and this time STRONGLY),  a psych clinician has told me that believe Liam may have a dual diagnosis of ASD and ADHD. It was kind of like someone punching me in the stomach. I know it's not the end of the world, but I just feel like I'm barely holding my shit together some days.

I just feel overwhelmed and sad and disappointed that he has yet another thing to deal with. When I  grieved his ASD diagnosis, I had finally gotten to a place where I felt like I could help him cope. Where I could cope. Where I kind of felt like things would be alright. Now I just think "How the fuck can he deal with yet another issue?". Please don't get me wrong and think that I'm looking for a pity party here. I'm certainly not. I just never expected to deal with all this. More importantly, I wanted my child to be "normal" - whatever the hell that means, whatever the hell my vision for that used to be.

Now, I just worry if he will be able to have REAL friends, form great relationships with people, be happy, be successful (whatever that means for him) and thrive in life. How will he do when I'm not around? I'm almost constantly surrounded by worry of things I only barely have control over. Also, as a single mom I feel the worry so much more intensely.

Please feel free to share words of encouragement. I would definitely welcome and appreciate it right now!

Until next time,
- Cicely

Friday, September 4, 2015

2015 & Everything in Between

I can't even begin to sum up the past 9 months that have passed since I blogged. There is way too much for one post. I will say that I am in a better place (mentally) than I was last year. Through reading personal development type books, honing in on my spirituality, learning more about Autism and getting more help for Liam, writing in a journal again and learning more about myself and the things I desire...I am a better woman, mom and person.

Liam just started Kindergarten 3 weeks ago and is loving it so far. The BIG 6 is coming up in about a month! I am still amazed at how he is growing my leaps and bounds. He's 4ft tall now.

I'm obviously still grappling with some things, but I am finding my way. I won't say I'm 100% happy, but I am finding my way and that to me makes all the difference. I pinky promise this won't be my last blog post of the year. <3

- Cicely

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another Try at Regular Blogging - December

Life has been hectic as usual!! My Liam is now 5 years old!!! His birthday was October 16 and we had a great day and some Toy Story themed cake and some ice cream :). I have to apologize for being REALLY lax on blogging. I'm still in school (just taking some online fitness classes) and working FT at the hospital (working OT usually).

The coveted birthday cake ;) All he wanted for his birthday was a Toy Story cake. 

We moved into a new place in mid-September and I'm still working with the BF/Fiance to furnish and get our place set up to how we like it. I'm honestly in kind of a rut lately. Life is kind of stagnant. Modeling is basically non existent and I can't seem to find my happy place like I used to have. I've gained back a significant amount of weight, I'm really unhappy with current job and I'm trying to do all I can to get out of the rut.

A lot in my life has changed so that might be why I am feeling overwhelmed with life and everything else. I honestly don't know. What I do know is that something has to change significantly and soon. On a much brighter note, my ACSM study pack came in (decided to rent and saved 50%) so the studying begins and I plan to take the test sometime in January/February around tax return time. That's one step closer to getting my life back on track.

We spent Thanksgiving in Lincoln County with John's family along with his 2 girls A & K and Liam. It was a great time. It was the first time I've missed Turkey day with my family since I've been back home but it was a nice change.

Work - Picked up a new freelance gig with a skincare company and have been applying like crazy within my hospital to transfer to a new and hopefully better department. In the mean time school starts back in about 6 weeks. I finished the semester strong with an A and a B.

Promise I will update soon! I miss blogging and I miss connecting with my readers.

With love,

Sunday, July 27, 2014

End of July, Oh How Time Flies!

Hey everyone,

WOW! It has been a full 2 months since my last post and again I have let life get in the way of things. I can't even put into writing all the ups and downs I have encountered since my absence, but I've been through a lot. Luckily, I'm STILL standing and I'm working my way to making sense of and sorting through my life again. I've now been at the hospital since March and working FT since May. I'm not in love with it, but it is currently what pays the bills. I'm still freelancing as a makeup artist and am working on a new project to start my own business.

I think every season, I go through a process and grow/change as a person. I have so many goals and so many things I want to see come to fruition in my life, but sometimes (like anyone) I get sidetracked. Nursing school is still a go, but I'm running into the age old dilemma of having enough $ to do the things I need and some things I want and to simply stay afloat. Liam needs a new bed and so do I. I would really like to move out of my current apartment. I'd like to stop working nights and working FT just to have benefits, but I NEED the insurance and so does Liam.

One of the dreams I'm working on setting sail is that of being as personal trainer and Nutrition Coach. I am really passionate about improving my life and health and the wellness and well being of others. As usual, money is my main deterrent and obstacle. But as with any other thing I have done in the past, I WILL find a way to meet my goals.

I honestly feel like your 20s is one of the most challenging decades of your life. I'm 26 years old and feel like I should be so much further. I want to do better and know that I can, but the process seems so slow and drawn out. I want a great and fulfilling career (or 2 or 3), a great husband, another child and to continue to raise my son. I want all of these things and sometimes I just wonder if they are for me. If these things are meant for someone like me?

Enough of harping on negative energy. Let's focus on the fact that I have an amazing 4 soon to be 5 year old son and just the thought of him alone fills my heart with warmth and happiness. I love my son and God knows I stay on the grind because and for him. I PROMISE to get back to some regular writing, if for no other reason than to keep myself sane. As always thanks for being my audience and thanks for the continued support of my blog.

Until again,

Monday, May 12, 2014

Out From Under the Rock

Hey everyone!

I know it has been 4 whole months since my last post and lemme tell ya..much has come to pass in my life since then. There is entirely too much to update on in such a small space, but I will attempt to at least fill you in on the most important aspects. Liam is doing great! He's 4.5 years old now...THAT much closer to the big 5! We took our first trip to the zoo last month with his preschool and we had a blast. He did have a meltdown at the end when it was time to go, but it was an overload for him and I realize that.

I finished my 1st semester of Nursing school and am so much more knowledgeable and so excited about my not-so-far-in-the-future career as a Nurse. That being said, this semester pushed me beyond exhaustion and I'm taking a break until next Spring. So I will resume the program January 2015 and continue from there. I caught Mononucleosis back in February and ended up missing more class than I needed to and didn't finish nearly as strong as I would have liked. After speaking with my professor, we both decided sitting out a semester would be the best bet for my future success in Nursing school.

I have hardly been shooting at all. I just honestly haven't had the time to. I did do a trade shoot with a new photographer in my area last week and I will show you some preview shots :). Photo credit to the lovely and talented Whitney Scheibel Photography :

I also now will be working Full Time night shifts as a Nurse Care Tech at the local university hospital which means I will finally have benefits and health/dental insurance. I'm so excited. Not to mention the steady paycheck is much needed.  Another perk, as a FT employee I get to utilize the tuition assistance program where they will pay up to 6 credits per semester (incl. Summer) which totals to 18 credits of classes per year! I couldn't be happier. 

I'm back in the Kickboxing gym and REALLY trying to work on my lifetime fitness/wellness. Current goal is to get back to my lowest weight at this same time last year. So yeah, that's about 30 lb to lose by the end of the Summer. I'm just trying to be better, feel better and look better. 

That's all I've got for today. It feels good to be back! 


Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Funny how the heart can be deceiving, more than just a couple times..."


I am of the belief that everything in life happens for a reason. Even with that belief at my core, it is still heartbreaking/disappointing and sometimes devastating when something I feel is right goes horribly wrong. I thought I had met the One and not just ANY One, the Right One. Turns out (again), this man wasn't who I believed him to be. Maybe deep down I really am a hopeless romantic. A friend of mine even told me that below the hard exterior (sometimes you have to dig real deep) is a great person and a great woman.

It was a whirlwind romance and it probably happened too fast, but in a short amount of time I began to see the flaws. Not just small things we could overcome, but things like jealousy, acting controlling and being unreasonably angry about things that were so insignificant. I saw those signs and tried to work through them, but I realized it was making me unhappy.

I am not a woman to be controlled or tamed. I'm a free, loving spirit. The man who has my love has it forever if he chooses, but not because he manipulates me and controls me into being his. I honestly thought things could last forever. At the start he made me so happy, he treated me perfectly. Never raising his voice to me, complimenting me daily and always letting me know how he felt about me. He made me feel loved, treasured and wanted. All the things a woman wants to feel when in a mutually exclusive relationship/courtship. 

Then the problems began and I realized it was beyond me. He has issues from his past relationship he still needs to fix and he can't possibly do that with me unless he is REALLY going to make the change. He's not at the point where he really can. It makes me feel even worse because I let him into Liam's life as well as mine. No, I don't believe he would ever cause any harm to Liam, but now I'm letting happen to Liam what I said I never would. I'm letting yet another man walk out of his life (the first being his sperm donor - or sorry biological "father"). It truly hurts me that I let someone into his life just to have them leave or taken away. I called things off because I couldn't take being made to feel like I was always doing something wrong or that  the things I were doing were never good enough...

The other part is that I finally gave my heart away again after 4 long years of trying to heal and repair the damage that had been done. I know it won't be another 4 years, but it WILL be a while before I can put that type of trust in any man ever again. Not to mention at the end of last year I also had a female friend break up with me as well, but that's another story. I'm not depressed about either really, I just want to know when and if EVER I will ever be truly happy giving and receiving passionate, true love from another person that is long lasting, truthful and more than just words tossed around meaninglessly. When will it be my turn? 

I want my family to be complete (by my definition). I want to be married. I want another baby. I want a dog. I want a house and I want my amazing little boy to grow up with a stepfather who loves him with the love he deserves to have. I want so much, but I'm beginning to wonder if those things are even in the cards for me...ever.So here I am ending my last days at 25 single and starting of the 2nd half of my 20s as a soon to be 26 y.o. single mom with a broken heart and a head full of dreams. 

Until again,

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last days of 2013

Hey guys! 

It has been a couple of weeks and some interesting things have happened. John and I had our first major disagreement and didn't really talk for a couple of days, but we sorted it out and now things are better than ever. He is truly a great man and he really makes me feel warm and fuzzy. He is genuine, loving, caring and intelligent. He puts my comfort and feelings in front of his own and he is selfless. 

In other great news...I have been hired by MAC Cosmetics as a freelancer! I wish it had been PT Artist position, but if this is what's in the cards for now, I will surely take it. I feel so humble and so blessed to even have the opportunity. I have left the hospital behind and will now be focusing on freelancing, this blog, developing my makeup biz, modeling and passing my first semester of nursing school. No small order, but something I'm ready for. 

My WLJ will resume starting Monday and I am just looking forward to get back in better shape and FINALLY reaching my goal weight. I see so many good things happening starting now and continuing into 2014 and beyond. I am so blessed to have my health, my son and my family, amazing friends and a great man by my side! If I don't get a chance to write again, Happy New Year's!!!!

Until again,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"You're the Ketchup to My Fries"

image courtesy of pinterest.com

It has been a while since I've had the ability to simply sit down and write, but boy is it on time now! :) I am one final away from this loong, looooong semester ending and my grades will be A,B,B. I am now going to study for my Dosage Calculation test which I have to take January 8. I'm also awaiting news on my clinical since by the time all of my documents were turned in to the Nursing department, EVERY good clinical spot/location was taken. 

My time at the hospital will probably be coming to an end. I gave my 2 weeks notice, but there is an opportunity for me to possibly take a position in the same office my mom works in, but we'll see how that goes. Otherwise, I will still be at Benefit and now working at Lane Bryant as well. I had an interview with MAC for the Fayette Mall store about a week ago and that would be a dream. So fingers are still crossed on that! 

Liam is great! I am working towards getting an official, medical diagnosis for Autism so that we can get ALL the services he needs. I'm applying for any help I can because one of the most effective therapies for him (called ABA) might have to come out of pocket. Out of pocket really means waaaay more than I can afford, but for now there is an option of free, outpatient Parent/Child Interaction Training (PCIT). I have to call the psychologist and try to schedule our first appointment ASAP.

Things with modeling these days are dormant. I won't be shooting til around February/March. There is just so much going on in general. But you guys know me and my mind is still churning. Making it a point to get to NYC for FFFW '14. Hoping to meet up with Liesl, see my friends and shoot a couple of times while there! :)

Down with the swirl hahaha :)

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for...as of December 6 I'm in a relationship with a great man. I hadn't mentioned him on the blog, but we have known each other for a little bit. I like him so much...I even put it on Facebook (which I have never done). His name is John and he makes me so incredibly happy. From the start, we've had an instant connection. And would y'all believe he's from Kentucky? lol We have such a strong connection in such a little bit of time that I'm so surprised by it and by him. I've honestly never met a man who was with me on the same level emotionally, maturity wise and also wanted the same things as me. I told him about Liam and the Autism situation and he still wants to be around. NOT that it should have changed his mind, but dealing with a child with developmental delays can be super stressful. 

He's divorced and has 2 beautiful little girls. He supports my modeling, he tells me how beautiful I am every day, he loves me just the way I am (you know even those things that us girls agonize about). He is kind. He's my friend as well as my boyfriend. I truly enjoy his company. I want him to meet my parents (:-O lol this NEVER happens). There is something so different about what we have. I feel like we're a team. I know it sounds crazy, but THIS is what I've been waiting 25 years for! He is all the things I want in a man: hardworking, honest, intelligent, good looking (at least I think so ;)) emotionally mature, employed (lol yes it's on there), caring, loving and a great dad. On top of those things, he adores me and accepts me for how I am as well (including stubborn and sometimes cranky like when I'm tired). He really cares about how I feel. He makes an effort to be sure I know this and I know how often he thinks about me. I've cried in front of him (no, he didn't make me cry).

 I was always thinking in the back of my mind that I would never find anyone like him and I won't lie, it is slightly terrifying. I don't want to mess this up. What if I'm wrong? What if he messes up? Am I ready for that kind of disappointment again? But this is a chance I have to take. I'd rather risk it and find true love than let fear run me away from one of the best things that could possibly happen to me...Me and John? I can see us hanging tough for the long haul. I mean the long, long haul...dare I say marriage? Like the title of the blog...he's the ketchup to my fries and I'm not letting him go anytime soon :). 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Job, Nursing School and End of the Semester

I have made the decision to quit working at the hospital. Mainly because I hate it lol and it is entirely too stressful to be the type of job it is! My hours fluctuate so much and no time in the near future will there be a chance for a steady PT position (which would consist of two 12 hr days on the weekend), so I just don't think it's worth it anymore. I tried it out, it didn't work and now I can move on. So I'll keep my freelance job at Benefit cosmetics and will now be working PT at Lane Bryant. It's a definite pay cut, but I told them upfront that while I am available 4 days per week, I will NOT be working more than 2. My Nursing class alone will be 14 hours of lab, clinical and lecture. Each component has it's own set of homework. I'm taking an MMA phys ed class just so I can be right at 9 credits for my loan. I know all too well from personal experience that when I work alot my grades suffer tremendously. I can NOT afford to fail out of Nursing school or have to retake classes. I can't and I won't.

I'm basically going to be working to put gas in my car (to work and school) and pay the bare minimum bills. It makes me sad that I won't really have any "extra" money. This will limit activities that me and Liam do and may even cut down on my gym time which Lawd knows I need. It means no more Asos/Forever 21 mini-sprees and REALLY tightening up on my budget and oh yeah, actually making one and sticking to it. The only other good thing about this is rent will remain low, I will qualify for child care assistance again and possibly Medicaid again (even though I'm on Mom's insurance...it's still too much for me to afford for dental work).

Things will get better I know this, but January will be a rough month. Less income and major adjustment. I also still have to buy my scrubs and some other Nursing supplies to be ready for my first day January 14. Mom has loaned me one of her stethoscopes to use until I can afford to buy my own (tax time baby! lol). I'm going to need some new pens, a new planner and a watch (non digital). Orientation is January 8 and early next week I'm going to turn in all my req vaccine info and my $43 background check so that I can FINALLY register for my NUR 114 class! 

Finally, I have 2 final exams and 2 papers left and the semester is over!!! December 11 is the final day for my last paper and I can't wait. This hasn't been a terrible semester, but I sure am glad it's over! My Thanksgiving won't be too eventful because I opted to work at the hospital due to the time and a half. (Whoccould pass that up?!) More updates to follow. 

Until again,

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Struggle: The Movement

A lot of times (and a lot these days especially) I'm not always 100% sure about things. I've had enough people tell me that I inspire them and it FEELS good. It feels like I am actually making a contribution to this world, that I am not just some mass taking up precious space and Oxygen on this Earth. Even though Liam has not been officially diagnosed by a medical professional with Autism...I'm pretty sure he does have it. From the ADOS and ADIR tests at school and about a year of compiling observations and trying different strategies with him...I can at least confirm that the signs of a high functioning autistic child are there.

But I will not let this/these things define him. Above all else he is Liam, my first born and only child and an amazing little specimen of a human. I am now confronted with the task of getting him the help he needs and the therapy/help/support we need as a family to thrive. I have accepted that and I am ok with it. I just want him to be the best Liam he can be. I am the mother of an awesome, intelligent handsome little boy who happens to have Autism.

Then there are days like I have had lately where I feel myself becoming sad, disillusioned, unsure of the next step. Days when I'm just here...not actually present in the things I am doing, but simply floating. I am now tipping the scales with a 30 lb weight gain (yes of the 50 I lost). I have all these amazing plans to help and change the world, to be there for those who need it...How can I do these things when my life sometimes is on the verge of spiraling out of control? When sometimes I eat just to feel better, because it is one of few things I can control? How can I inspire someone to be better when I'm not even being the best version of myself. It's a strange place to be...

I don't define myself by my weight/size, but I do recognize when things are not on track. Whenever something seriously stresses me out, I pack on the pounds. This is not good for my physical or mental well being.

In my dreams/my thoughts/my goals/aspirations I see:

Cicely Carter, RN, NP, CPT and Health Coach (registered nurse, nurse practitioner, certified personal trainer)

Today, Sunday November 17 2013 I feel so far removed from that, I'm not sure how I'll ever get there. I usually don't get this deep, but today it was necessary. I feel like I have let my life spiral out of control...starting today I'm going to fight to get it back. I need balance in my life. Fun/work/personal goals/motherhood (i.e. time with Liam) and I just need some sense of peace and some help.

Help to get myself back on track, help to figure out how the hell I'm going to make it through my first semester of Nursing school and help to do everything I can to make sure Liam thrives...

I am putting these thoughts into the atmosphere and being conscious of what is going on in my life.

I'm asking you guys to keep me in your thoughts, good vibes and prayers if that's your thing...I need it today, I need it right now.