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One of the best programs available! My son has difficulty staying overnight at people's houses. He even gets himself so worked up he ends up vomiting and thus the late night phone call to go and pick him up. By applying the principles, we decided to have a wake-over instead of a sleepover.

Casey Caterpillar: Today I Feel.

So, I sent him with flashlights, books, crayons, etc The other parent even made a bet of who could stay awake the longest. My son won! After learning from Lynn and Reid about the principles for dealing with anxiety, I felt empowered to immediately begin applying them with students in my second grade classroom.

Although I still consider anxiety a serious issue, it no longer seems that complicated or overwhelming to address. I was so excited and knew the principles were working when one of my students remarked, "My Worry is not as loud today! As a parent that suffers from anxiety, I am fearful of raising anxious children. I read this book to understand anxiety from a child's perspective and to learn tactics to raise courageous children that know how to handle anxiety. What I really like is that the book is written for children in a playful manner that they can relate to, yet at the same time it helps parents too.

What better way to approach a child's anxiety than for parents and children to use and understand the same strategies? I have young children and am glad to have read this book at this point in their lives I highly recommend it - anxious or not. Helping children understand their anxiety and explicitly how to heal is the gift of this wonderful book. The authors' use of metaphor and analogy is elegant and brilliant. It is a much needed addition to the field that has too long relied on drugs with serious potential side-effects and analytic talk therapies that have proven to be largely ineffective with children.

Giving anxious children the gift of being able to take action themselves that will quickly and significantly produce results produces an immediate sense of relief for them and their parents. I have used these methods with children and adolescents and experienced what seemed like miraculous results. Thank you Reid and Lynn! As a middle school-level tutor, I'm constantly meeting children and teens who suffer with anxiety -- and I now have the perfect book to recommend to kids and their parents. Kids often feel that adults are talking 'at' them, so I love that the book is written from Casey's year-old point of view.

Plus it's light, humorous, FREEing, at times downright silly. My students would love to hear that they can talk TO their worry and that it's ok and perfectly natural to feel uncomfortable in class or to worry about a midterm. And parents need this most of all I could see my year-old self picking this up and getting sucked in with Casey's adventures. If I could get away with assigning this as homework, I absolutely would.

This book is an excellent contribution to the available literature on anxiety and worry for youth. The book is artfully written using a teenage narrator, Casey. Through the use of storytelling, metaphor and humor, Casey will keep young readers engaged and interested. It had a 7ltr V8 engine with a sports mode!!! Damn that was fun to drive in the mountains!! PS — I did eventually see my bears on the very last day in Canada in the least expected places!! I was happy!! Mariska would end up having the best competition of her life!!

At the time I had just received my accreditation as an International Powerlifting referee. Having said that, there was a moment in time at the competition that I honestly thought Mariska was going to literally die!! She dropped from 51kgs to Sorry Biscuit, but it was the first time I saw Mariska with skinny calves. Now anyone who knows my wife knows she is as strong as hell and has calves to match her strong legs.

But at weigh in her calves actually looked anorexic and I was so worried about her. I was busy refereeing and I was panicking about her health. I actually told her coach on several occasions to withdraw her from the comp and if he was not going to then I would!! We eventually agreed that she could participate but if her 1st squat went pear shaped we would withdraw her.

Mariska opened with a low weight but it looked both wobbly and doubtful. I was expecting to see her lifts closed off but instead a far bigger lift number appeared. I went straight back and her coach and I had a few dozen words — not friendly. She lifted her 2nd squat and it was even stronger and more confident than the first. Mariska pulled a I recall dropping my Nikon camera and running to the back and as she came off the platform lifting her straight off her feet!

I was so proud of her. Fortunately someone had saved my camera when I tossed it aside to run and embrace my world champ! We had such fun in Canada. I actually started to believe that I would make it through my transition. We eventually flew back to SA. I did not pitch for my destined end it all appointment on the Tuesday 30th June I honestly thought that with Mariska at my back and with my 4 colleagues at work I could actually survive my transition.

So as the countdown timer hit zero, I did not follow through on my commitment to end it all. Unfortunately, little did I know that the final date of the 30th June would become the least of my problems in the months to come. On returning to the office, I was bombarded with feedback on how the divide in the OD team had increased. This would be the start of significant trauma and stress for months to come and would eventually lead to ripping the heart of out a good team of people by a few weak links.

But more about this in my next blog. At this stage, I wish I knew that the remaining 6 months of and the first 3 months of would be a living hell. I would also learn that God does have your back and will never ever let you face a challenge alone or ill equipped. I would learn that I am stronger than I believe and that God will always provide the resources be it people or other things when you need it. Interestingly enough, my faith, my talking to God and my believes would falter but would strengthen and come back stronger each time over the next few months.

God loves everyone. God is the only one who can judge us and no human alive irrespective whether you are a priest or a pastor or a cis gendered person has the right or ability to judge whether what I am doing in my transition is right or wrong.

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I cannot believe time has flown so quickly this year!! I realised a few days ago that it is over a year since I met with Casey Blake for the first time and as of today, I am 13 days away from having the most difficult conversation of my life!! Without you all and the awesome support from everyone out there who sent me messages of encouragement, support, love and inspiration, I probably would not be here today and I definitely would NOT have achieved what I have so far.

Thank You!! April would see the start of a transition journey that I thought would never ever happen. Casey had my back, Mariska, the love of my life, my best friend, my soul mate, my everything in the whole world had my back. I proceeded to make an appointment with Dr Elna Rudolph from My Sexual Health for the consultation around whether it was safe for me to start hormone therapy. I remember in Jan preparing to fight to convince Casey Blake I was transgender — I never had to prove or fight for Casey to believe me. I told Casey my honest story and she did what she does best and saw the evidence as presented.

Now I had to face the person who stood between me and estrogen — Dr Rudolph. I remember the two sessions just before the 16th April when I had my appointment with Dr Rudolph where I kept asking Casey what if Dr Rudolph declines my hormone therapy. Eventually the 16th April arrived. Terrified out of my mind, I proceeded to drive to Bryanston to meet with the Dr who stood between me and my estrogen. I arrived almost an hour early for my appointment. I sat in my Fortuner thinking that I have faced so much over the last 45 years. I survived so much and fought so hard and I have always hit a barrier somewhere.

I finally had hope that I managed to get my therapists approval to proceed. I had two people who believed in me. Would I make it 3 on this day or would I hit yet another brick wall. I remember thinking that actually it does not really matter what happens I suppose.

Because if Dr Rudolph did decline my hormone treatment, I only had 73 days left anyway before I either sorted the pain or ended it. Something I never shared with anyone is that I love using the Apple app called T-Zero which is an awesome timing app and I had set a countdown timer to when the pain would finally end. So in essence, it did matter a great deal as to what happened on this day but at the same time it also did not matter.

Besides meeting with Dr Rudolph, I also had an appointment straight afterwards with Pamela Dybala who would finally help me get rid of my facial hair!! What an amazingly big day for me!! Eventually its 15mins before my appointment. I enter the building. I was armed with my IPad, paperwork, notes and anything I could think of that I could use to convince Dr Rudolph as to why she needed to give me a script for estrogen. I enter the reception area and advise the receptionist that I am here to see Dr Rudolph. She asks me to take a seat. I sit there wondering what the 4 people behind the reception area must think I am here for.

Do they know I am transgender and here for hormones or do they think I have some other sexual dysfunction. As I write this I think what a dumbass I was thinking these stupid things but at least it kept my mind busy. I am sitting there freaking out.

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I think to myself that Dr Rudolph is a doctor and she is bound to run late — almost to the minute, the door opens and Dr Elna Rudolph walks out with a big welcoming caring smile all over her face and she calls Roxy! For a split second I wonder who behind the reception desk has the same name I dream of owning one day. But she walks past the reception to me still smiling. My mouth is totally dry and I great her in the best dry mouth voice I could muster. Expecting the usual Dr — patient position which is on either side of the consulting desk, Dr Rudolph leads me to some couches to the right of her office and we sit down.

The process starts, I am ready to convince this Dr that she has to give me estrogen. She introduces herself and says she has read Casey Blakes referral letter. We start chatting, Dr Rudolph asks a few questions. Mostly around my childhood, my sexual preferences, orientation etc and a whole lot of personal stuff. But the one thing that I had never built up was a defense mechanism against blond women — they always intimidated me.

I find myself sitting in front of a blond Dr who is one of a very few qualified sexologist asking me questions about my sexual preferences — normally I would be blood red in the face and so embarrassed I would be hiding in the corner. I felt intimidated for about the first 3 minutes of meeting Dr Rudolph, but her demeanor was so loving and caring that being asked all these personal questions seemed like we were discussing which vineyard produced the best bottle of red wine over the past 40 years.

Then suddenly out of the blue she says that she is happy with my blood tests and everything is looking positive. She suggests we start with a 25mg estrogen patch and some hormone blockers to get my testosterone levels down. I nod like an idiot, not really comprehending what she was actually saying. We discuss what other meds I am currently on and Dr Rudolph hands me a printed script. I thank her and she goes back into her office. I shoot to the other side of the reception desk, I am about 8 mins late for my appointment with Pamela Dybala.

Not a single thing in my mind twigs what has just happened.


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I meet with Pamela who proceeds to explain to me how electrolysis works and the impact of hormones etc. She explains that she works closely with Dr Rudolph and my electrolysis is done in close conjunction with my estrogen levels and my testosterone levels. I got this, Pamela sticks a needle into each pore on my face, zaps the hair and the removes it — got it. Added to this Pamela uses numbing cream — got it. So we book a 4 hr slot for a future date — how bad can it be to have a needle stuck into each pore of your face and have a short burst of electricity kill the hair??

I leave the Bryanston offices, still not comprehending what had actually just happened. I shoot off to the closest Clicks pharmacy — just in case Dr Rudolph withdraws her script she has just given to me!! I deliberately avoid going to our usual pharmacy as I did not want Mariska to be embarrassed when she would go to get her medication in future. Not realising that no matter how great this day was, I would run into my first discrimination experience at the same time. I leave Click eventually red faced but I have my estrogen patches and my hormone blockers. I get home and sit in my study with these two boxes that I have fought and waited for most of my life.

Mariska comes home and I share every detail with her as to what had taken place. I am dying to try out the first patch on my arm but in the same breath I realise what a massive decision this is for me and for Mariska. I sit on the bed and we talk and I explain to Mariska what this means. I explain what this means and the effect it will have.

Together we apply the first ever estrogen patch after fighting for 43 years to my arm. So my journey begins. I must say I wish someone had told me on this day what I would be facing over the months to come. It would not have changed my decision, but it would have helped me prepare better. I would over time come to realise that the transgender and medical community spoke often of the impact of hormones and how this will affect you.

But a massive gap I realised would become evident to me in the months to come was how to deal with receiving unconditional love and support, how to deal with discrimination and rejection, how to transition in and outside of work etc. I would also realise the extent of the legal changes my decision to transition would involve. But for now, I was so extremely happy. My intention was to do a quarterly blog discussion but I realise that from April onwards, each month is a chapter in itself.

So while you read about my month of April and the start of my journey, I will start working on May I spent a great deal of time in the Kgalagadi reminiscing on a year that was ! I spent two days driving to the Kgalagadi to get there and I had such precious time in the car with my wife and we chatted a great deal but we also had periods of silence, but comfortable silence.

Time I am sure we both used to let our minds wonder and think back on what we had been through and survived. Fortunately for me my butt was dead after the first kms or so, for about 9 days of driving, I felt nothing in my butt it was so numb this was awesome as I had an new estrogen implant done 8 days before leaving. On numerous evenings we just sat and stared into the darkness, me with a glass of wine and Mariska with a warm glass of Sprite Zero ice lasted 30 seconds, so not much was ever really cold, cool yes, but not cold.

I spent many evenings and days driving in the park admiring the scenery, the animals and thinking. Mariska and I had been through so much in We survived things that so many thought we would fail at. Our love for each other was very strong at the start of , but by the end of , Mariska had become someone I would go to war with any day and trust her to have my back without any reservations!!

I read a post this week, a trans female disclosed to her wife that she was transgender. She reported 3 days later that her wife cannot accept her and they are getting divorced. Mariska — you remain my living angel, soul mate and wing girl!! Thank you for all your love and support!! You are literally 1 in a trillion!! So the week that has just passed was my 1 year anniversary since I met the most awesome therapist in the world!! I had two previous therapist and neither helped.

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This was my third and final attempt and I had very specific criteria that had to be met when I searched for my last therapist ever. I found the name Casey Blake and after my usual thorough research she passed with flying colours. I started stalking Casey Blake from the 8th Jan to get an appointment. I grabbed the 16th Jan and the appointment was made. I did not at that point in time realise the journey that laid ahead for me, let alone those around. The 16th Jan arrived and I met with Casey Blake at 10am the morning.

I was conflicted the week leading up to the appointment as I had been here before, twice to be exact, and the previous psychologist did not know enough and the psychiatrist did not listen and did not believe me. How was I going to make Casey believe me. What was I going to do differently to convince her that I was transgender and that I was tired of hiding and fighting. I needed help now or in six months I would no longer need to worry. I prepared my arguments, I had my stats and figures, I prepared how I was going to open the discussion, prepared my evidence and my closing statements.

I needed to convince this complete stranger of something that was not accepted by most people and I was desperate for help. Needless to say, all my preparation and fears were for nothing. I met Casey for the first time on the 16th Jan and at that point in time, I did not realise the profound impact that she would have on my life.

Casey asked what she could help me with and without any hesitation, I went straight into telling her about who I believed I was and that I was transgender, I was desperate and we essentially had six months to get this sorted. I was scared and I knew given the chance I would put up every defense mechanism I had to protect myself.

Handwriting letter formation: Curly caterpillar letter family

So I politely asked Casey to not take any nonsense from me and if she felt I was not being open and honest to call me on it. This she has done. Month one, Casey spent listening and getting to know me. Making sure that what I was sharing and how I felt correlated and checking that my emotional states aligned with what I believed in my heart was true. Jan and Feb were rough months for me. I was baring my soul and desperately trying to get Casey to believe what I was saying to her, which I never had any doubt that she did not believe me.

She was supportive, firm and caring. Between disclosing to Casey, my work environment being a challenge, my emotions being all over the place and the fact that I was preparing myself for what I believed would be the final outcome of this 6 month journey. I say 6 months because I really did not believe Casey and I would be able to resolve or make enough progress to prevent me from executing my end June plan. I had accepted the fact that everyone who found out would reject me outright.

I had accepted the fact that when I told Mariska, she would divorce me. I had separated myself from all my friends and family as far as possible. I had prepared wills, I had made final arrangements and documented these as my last wishes. I updated systems at work in terms of benefits, payouts etc. I then started preparing the final arrangements for the 28th June The most ironic thing for me was that I had applied for a new gun license in and the gun shop had messed everything up so badly that I eventually went to another shop to purchase my dream handgun, a Sig Sauer P the same as the navy seals carry.

The ironic part was that after waiting 16 months for this weapon it was approved and I received it the 1st week in Jan I spent a fortune on the most destructive ammunition I could find — 25 rounds cost R Atleast it would be quick. Everything was in place. Slowly Casey started picking at loose threads in my defense mechanisms and she never ever let up. If I blocked it, she changed tactic and picked at another until we got to mid-March. It was ironic for me as well that all 3 of my therapists tried to get me to give up my guns, that never happened.

But Casey did keep a very close eye on me and on occasions when I was in a really bad space I saw her twice a week to ensure I was still on track. By the end of Feb, I had managed to convince Casey adequately of the fact that I was a trans female and that it had become clear that the only way for me to fix what I was dealing with was to transition from male to female. Something I had fought against for 36 years.

I acknowledged the fact that I had finally lost a battle I could never have won. Here, Athens facility volunteers along with our contract partner Sherwin-Williams helped feed 86 families at the Food Bank mobile pantry last week! This is a monthly team project that we support to provide basic needs in our community. Next volunteer event is June 21!

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Michael, one of our WBL high school students, accepted and signed his job offer letter this week to join Athens Caterpillar fulltime! Congratulations on your achievements Michael and welcome to the team! Congratulations are in order for Michael Barry, who was not only awarded a Great Promise Partnership graduation cord and certificate but also was named Work Bas Michael plans to sign on as a full-time welder at Caterpillar following his graduation.

Caterpillar workforcedevelopment eastjacksoncomprehensivehighschool jacksoncountyschools jobready workbasedlearning. Our recently published Annual Report and Sustainability Report illustrate how! May is hand safety month! Here, Athens team members play corn hole toss with a twist - pot holders are on their hands! A simple bandage, wrap or brace due to an injury can impact the way you live, work and play! What will you do to be safer today? Today is our on-site mobile Red Cross Blood Drive. Thank you for the great turn out and helping to save lives in our community! Thank you for making it a fun and safe day - we love our Caterpillar family!

Share your photos in the comments. Cody's FFA project was based on his work experience at Caterpillar. These awards have qualified him to compete in the National awards coming up later this year. We are proud of you - congratulations Cody!