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"When I grow up, I wanna be famous...MTV, diggin' on me..."

I have had this song stuck in my head all day, I have no idea why- maybe because I saw that one of the Pussycat Doll's is going to be on Dancing With the Stars. Who knows? Anyway, that song is on repeat inside of my head and it's driving me nuts!

That said, I can't help but think back to what I wanted to be when I grew up. As a very young kid, I wanted to be a scientist, and there was a phase when I wanted to be the first female Philadelphia Phillie! I was a weird kid. I always like to sing though, and from the age of 10 until about the age of 16 or so, I wanted to be this:

And you can quit laughing! Back in the day, Debbie Gibson was pretty cool! Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but when you're 11 and you dream about being a singer, someone who write all of her own songs and plays the piano and is famous for doing so and only a few years older then you is the coolest person in the world! I used to try my own hand at songwriting (and if you read this blog and know my style of writing, you'll know that the idea of me songwriting- especially as a tween- is hilarious!) knew all the dance moves to the Electric Youth video, and would dream of my future stardom! Of course, I quickly figured out that this, perhaps, was not the path for me. I still love to sing and perform, but true stardom was never in the cards! ;-)

Then for a while I considered journalism. I always loved the write and had a modicum of talent for it. I dreamed of covering sports, of all things! I was always a sports fan and as a writer, loved the drama and human-interest aspect of sports and athleticism! What I didn't love was the realization that this is another profession that is extremely hard to break into and be successful at. I wanted my dream career, but I wanted to eat, too!!

That said, I must not have been too serious about the wanting to eat thing, because what I finally ended up going with- and sticking with- was social work. It's what I majored in in college. I finally realized that the thing that made me the most happy was helping people. It's still been a weave-y road for me. After graduation, I volunteered at Camp Heartland, worked at Archway Programs with learning disabled students, moved on to Cooper where I worked in HIV research, and then went on to be a nanny. Now, here I am, a 30-something mama, and still have never worked in what I would consider to be my career. I have had a string of jobs where I think I have made a small difference, and right now, I have the best and most amazing job in the world (PJ's mama!). But isn't it weird- here I am, a grown up, and I never did what I wanted to do when I grew up. Yup, weird.

It's all okay though. I have been paying my own bills since I was 17 (with a few helpful banking contributions from my parents/Mom-Mom until I was 23 or so!). I have been happy at all of my jobs. I have made a difference in the lives of a very few people, but that's enough! I stumbled upon a job after graduation and in that, stumbled upon the love of my life, the person who married me and created PJ, my best bit of work yet, if I do say so myself! Life's been weird, but it's also been pretty good. And maybe that's just how it's supposed to be when I grew up.



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{ of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
PJ was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his second birthday. Pete and I had already utilized an e…