Just stop right there.

That’s what my body said to me last Tuesday morning.

The dogs started whining and barking. I tried to fling my feet off the side of the bed and sit up.

I still can not tell you what I did in the days before that morning that would cause that pain.

I bullied through on Tuesday, took my oldest to work, took the girls to play rehearsal, and attempted cooking and some light cleaning.

On Wednesday, I laid in bed. Rest would fix it, right?

On Thursday, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I had tried everything. Ice, heat, baths, oils, Motrin, Aleve, rest, walking (slowly).

I headed in to the local walk-in clinic and gave in to my need for medical intervention.

I was sent home with glorified ibuprofen and predisone, along with a stack of printed exercises for me to do in a few weeks.

The doctor said I strained my lower lumbar. Whatever.

Maybe I did, but I have no idea how it happened. The most I had done in days was to walk around our property. I didn’t fall, or slip, or jump, or anything even remotely physical.

It would seem, however, that after a certain age, if your body wakes you up and screams “STOP LADY AND SIT YOUR BUTT DOWN!” you should probably listen. It’s been almost a week and I’m still not 100% yet.

I’m up, and I did manage to tackle the dishes and some laundry. I am enlisting help from smaller people. They were dragging their feet but have finally figured out they are only getting food and clean undies if they get up and help.

Does your house fall apart a little when mom is down for the count? Tell me I’m not the only one!


A new mom’s visit to the ER

It’s been 16 years since that awful Saturday morning. We laugh at it now. It’s one of those stories that my daughter loves to hear me tell. Because that day, her mother lost her cool on a stranger, and her mother rarely ever loses her cool on a stranger.

Doodlebug was close to her first birthday, when I realized that she and I were bored with each other. I had left my job to stay home with her and while I LOVED being home with her, I was struggling with feeling like that was enough of a contribution to our family. I missed the challenge of the workplace. I missed talking to grownups. Doodlebug, even at her tiny age, was starting to act bored with her little life at home with me.

My previous boss had emailed me that there was an opening in the accounting department and offered it to me. My Mr. and I talked it over, we found an amazing babysitter, and I took the job. Doodlebug would be cared for by her dad’s best friend’s mother. A sweet lady that cared for several children in her home. A sweet lady that had been caring for children in her home for YEARS. No worries.

The first Monday through Friday went wonderfully. Everyone was enjoying themselves. I was around grown ups doing grown up things. Doodlebug had other little people to play with and she loved Ms. Kathy.

Saturday morning, I woke up and stumbled out of bed to make coffee. While it brewed, I scooped up my Doodlebug and laid her on the living room floor to change her diaper.

It was blood red. Not poop, at least not all poop. It was runny, almost watery, and BLOOD RED.

I tried not to panic, I woke up her dad. I called my mom. I called his mom. I cleaned and wiped her bottom and looked for an injury but couldn’t find one.

What could have caused this?

We waited for another diaper change, and it was still red!

Y’all, I freaked out. All I could think was that someone had done something terrible to my kid and she was bleeding profusely and it had to be in internal thing because I couldn’t find any injury and OH MY GOODNESS DID SOMEONE DO SOMETHING INAPPROPRIATE WITH MY BABY!!!

We took her to the ER, an hour west of our house. His parents followed us. My best friend and her husband followed us. My mother and my step-dad drove from four hours away and met us at the ER. There we were, all of us, sitting in the emergency room, freaked out over Doodlebug’s bloody diaper.

Doodlebug was happily running around the room, right as rain, making all the other patients laugh.

Hours passed.

A lady came in, IN LABOR, and I growled at a nurse about my baby still not being seen by anyone.

A gunshot victim came in and I growled at a nurse about my baby still not being seen.

Some teenager that had done something stupid on a skateboard and sprained their wrist came in and was walked immediately back to the rooms and I LOST MY EVER LOVIN’ MIND!

I went to the counter, and lost it on a nurse.

“My baby is bleeding out of her nidgy bits and you are gonna see that kid with a boo boo on his arm over HER???  What is wrong with you people!!”

Meanwhile, my kid is wobbling around walking from one person to the next and stealing goldfish from her dad.

The very patient, very compassionate, nurse (and I don’t know how she held it together with me screaming at her) waved another nurse over and whispered something in her ear. She handed her my daughters paperwork and we were invited to the back rooms.


She asked me what my daughter had been eating and drinking.

“I don’t know for sure. I just returned to work and she’s been with a sitter this week, so I don’t know what she’s had.”

She asked me to undress her. So I did.

She looked down at the water red goo in the diaper.

She grabbed a little piece of paper and laid it on the red goo.

“Mrs. Baldwin, I’m happy to tell you that this isn’t blood in your daughter’s diaper. It’s red dye. She’s fine, but I’d find out what she’s been eating or drinking. She’s fine, I promise.”

I balled. Relieved. Embarrassed. I definitely didn’t want to walk out into the waiting room to tell all our family that they wasted a Saturday over food dye.

“It’s a common thing for parents to bring their kids in in a panic. That’s why we didn’t rush her in. She was playing and didn’t seem to be in any pain. I am sorry that it took so long though.”

I asked her to send in my husband while I redressed our daughter.

I sent him out to tell our family first. I just couldn’t bear it.


We now enter side effect land.

Last week the doctor FINALLY got back to me and called me in some medicine. I won’t name the names for fear of inviting the Sir Spam-a-lot Bots to blast my comments with offers; let’s just say I have two for anxiety and they work nicely.
One of them is one you take every day and they say it takes a month or longer to start working. Bull hockey. Maybe to take full effect but I’ve never had any med not have an effect right away. We’re not quite a week into this new process and while I feel better, my house looks better and my kids seem happier. I have also started feeling the side effects. History shows that if there is a bizarre side effect I will have it. It never fails. I am prepared this time. I did my research. I know what might be coming and I also know that if I hang in there it might pass.
I’m slower. Not slow, just slower. Mostly because I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off multitasking like a maniac and doing a crappy job over all. Now, I’m doing one thing at a time. Breathing. Making progress. Slowly.
I’m yawning. A LOT. If you’re visiting with me and I can’t stop yawning please don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s me.
I’m nauseous.  It’s not severe. A handful of sunflower seeds seem to help but it is annoying and appears to be worse if I go outside (in the heat). Not good for my social life with my neighbors.
Food? Who needs food? My appetite is down. I barely finished my dinner and didn’t snack at all afterwards!
It will all pass, or ease up, or I’ll get used to it. Because none of it is so bad that it would make me choose to go back to growling all day.
I have spent four days creating a school room, playing on the floor, rolling balls, dancing, laughing, tickling, reading, coloring, and loving. I missed it and I am blessed that I have friends who supported me in my effort to get help.
And, thank you God for sending Dr. M my way…. while we hit a little bump in our road together, he took HOURS to talk to me before prescribing something, and taking time to get it right.

Wet t shirts


So I’m the supercool mom on the block today because we the sky fell and dropped alligator raindrops on us I let the girls keep playing. Outside. In the rivers and puddles.

Until I realized that the 9 year old was wearing her white tank top. More specifically, a boys white undershirt that she wears as a tank top. Ahem. Little girls don’t wear white tshirts in the rain.

She giggled when I called her up to the porch to put on another shirt. Then she realized Lil T Man across the street could see her bewbs. Oh. Em. Gee. Mom.

As you can see, she’s wearing pink now.

Blogging from my Android….probably from the bathroom.

Get out of my kitchen!!

I’ve been loafing a bit this morning. It was a late night for me since I stay up until hubby has to go to work. Then the kids woke me up a lot and I was up early with Lil Man. Three cups of coffee later, Mr. B woke up and we embarked on a two hour Deadliest Catch viewing before he wandered off to mow the grass. I had tweeted a bit, eaten a bit, and folded a load of laundry. The kids had eaten, found drinks, been sent outside, come inside, was sent outside, came inside, was sent back outside (you see a pattern here?).
I walked into the kitchen, listening to Lil Man beat on the front door because he wants to go outside with Daddy, and that is when my head exploded.
I don’t get it. I never ever ever ever would have dug through my momma’s cabinets looking for something without permission. I certainly would have never ever ever gone on a hunt for a different type of glass/mug/plate/etc. when there were already ones, at my level, that served the same purpose. But now, on top of the dishes to be washed and extra groceries that need to be put away I know have odd water bottles, coffee to go mugs, special glasses, and all my kitchen chairs are strewn around the floor. There is cereal everywhere, boxes left out and groceries scattered. If I had done this as a kid….wait, I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE THIS….  EVER!
I feel like the only room with any hope of staying in one piece is the room I’m in at the time. I need a clone.
I need seven of them. Stat.


The plum hasn’t exactly faded to pink like the hairdresser had hoped. Tomorrow I have the option to go in and have the purple lightened and pink added. Haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do yet.
Today started off rough, in my head mostly but still rough. Hubby is tending to the kids so I can blog soak in a hot bath. I’m trying to focus on the little big things I accomplished today. I sorted the humungous pile of papers and bills that had been taking over my desk and the shelves. I finished cutting coupons and got them sorted and ready to go in my new binder (which arrived this afternoon from Amazon). I touched base with people on some loose ends and managed to pull together another dinner without potatoes, pasta, or rice. I may have even done some laundry and dishes.
I’ve managed to check off more things on my “non-daily stuff I have to do” list in the past two days than I have done in the past two months. They were little things, but they were the things that trip me up and make me feel useless.
The water is mighty fine, but I hear my baby crying because they won’t let him come find me. Better wash my purple hair. They’ll never believe I was just “taking a quick bath” if I still stink.
Blogging from my Android….probably from the bathroom.

Late night clickity clack

Up late with the Mr.
He came home a day early but still had to get up and work from 11:30 to 1:30am.  So I waited up for him to wake from his power nap. Here we sit, in our chairs, clicking away on the keys of our respective laptops. The house is quiet, tv turned down low.
I just spent a half an hour checking out Pinterest for cool craft ideas and homeschool inspirations. Wow. Just wow. So many creative people in our world!
I have so many ideas for school next year. I feel, at this very moment, so motivated to plan better and do better for my kids. I have little patience though and I can’t buy the curriculum I want to use yet. In a week or so I can afford to pick up another piece. Then it’s back to saving up for the big chunk. I need to sell off my old stuff but I can’t seem to get my act together to list it anywhere. Maybe after the holiday weekend.
I see blog posts about these easy craft ideas and I want to be that mom. When it comes time to actually DO something I bail on my kids almost every time. I buy the supplies but never prep them. I’ve even hinted that we were going to do something fun, but then allow them to forget about it so I don’t have to take the blame for it not happening.
I love to have the plans, work the plans, the prep, the design, the laying it out, the anticipation of it all.
The execution always trips me up. I’m so used to it not going exactly as I planned it and me getting upset  that I just don’t do it.
People have always said how I was a “go with the flow” kind of person. A flexible mom.
I am so very not that mom. At all.

Not enough

I should have made the stitch straighter, I rush too much
I should have made the other party favors, they were cooler
I should have baked that cake better, I’ve lost my touch
I need to wake up earlier, make myself more presentable
I need to cook dinner earlier, my family deserves more
I need to clean the house better, make it more pleasurable to live in
Do my hair, add some blush, stop wearing yoga pants
Get off the phone, iron his shirts, play ball with the kids
Send birthday cards on time, remember to get the oil changed
Be the good guy, host the party, keep the mold out of the bathroom
I should do, I need to do, I could do so much more.
I want so much to be all the things that I’m not enough of…

If I didn't have…

Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like if I didn’t have Mr. B.
Not because I don’t want him!! I do want him. I love him. Everyday I know more and more that God made him just for me.
It’s just that sometimes I wonder how my issues would have played out if I hadn’t had the distraction of a husband, the interruption of children, and the chaos that comes with a family.
I have never lived alone in my life. Ever. In college I shared dorm rooms with roommates. Then I rented a house off campus with four other individuals. I did not get along with them at all. It was during this time that I met Mr. B. We met, and in less time than it takes to gestate a human baby we were married.
I do not know what it is like to not have to share your space, to not be able delegate the chores, or what it would feel like to have things stay where you left them.
Would I be neater? Would the total control over what comes in and out of my house lead to less stuff? or more?
Would I have stayed focused on my career? Would I have tried a second time to pass the CPA exam?
Would I have still failed miserably at the career positions I fought so hard to earn?
I’d like to think that my life would still be hard. Still a mental struggle every day.
I’d like to think that in exchange for my own space, my own time, and my own peace and quiet that I gained confidence, security, and deeper understanding of love. I have found a position better than any job in the accounting department. I am needed in ways that no corporation could have ever needed me.
Even with my difficulties and “quirks” that make living with me a challenge, I am loved, by my kids, my husband, and first and foremost by my God.
I will let my mind wander, and ponder what might have been; because when it returns home it is always happy to be here, in this version of my life.

Fish burps, low rise toddler britches, and being okay with not being okay.

I hid most of the weekend. The yard sale was almost a disaster. Then we had unexpected guests. Then we had a cookout with the neighbors which inevitably led to overtired very dirty kids and jovial beer drinking men talking too loud about tools, trucks and fire works.

I woke up Sunday morning and decided that I was going to be okay. I was finding it very liberating to have a doctor tell me that I wasn’t just lazy, or tired, or the mother of a few too many kids. It wasn’t just depression, or stress, or my childhood, or some other disorder that they read off of my family history sheet.

I’m not bad, I’m just wired different. It’s okay. It’s not an excuse to behave badly but it does explain my bad behavior. Now that I know, I can seek out new ways to learn how to cope, how to function.

My options for medicinal assistance are slim because I’m still nursing. So I pulled out my Fish Oil capsules, went to the store for my Sunday coupons before I could forget, and set about intentionally focusing on spending time with my husband. He rarely gets my attention, and it’s never undivided.

It was a great day. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good. We laughed. We had dinner at the table. It didn’t taste good, but no one complained. Even our non-eating Bubbagirl sat in her chair and tried a few raisins. He read them a bed time story and tucked them in, spending a few extra minutes since he knew he’d be gone most of the week.

Today, the girls willing helped to tidy things up before our Mommy Helper arrived. I tidied our bedroom, which like my husband rarely sees my attention. I helped tidy their bedroom. I gathered dirty laundry and tidied the living room. I vacuumed and moved the chairs to make room for the sofa bed; the girls reward for helping was getting to take out the sofa bed while Daddy was gone. I sewed. It was another day taking the Fish Oil and I’m starting to really believe the reports that is somehow helps with OCPD and ADHD. Things didn’t go my way, but I stayed calmer than usual. I finished tasks. I worked logically. I still became bummed when I repacked my “for sale” items I had made and set out at the yard sale. It will take more than Fish Oil for me to really think my stuff is worth selling to anyone. I did manage to refrain from shutting down my Artfire store, which was my plan when I started to get down about the whole thing.

Sewing Bubbagirl’s new pants upside down didn’t help any either…talk about feeling like a doofus!  I managed to laugh, focused on what I did successfully sew today and set it all down until tomorrow.

I’ve had my chocolate, the kids are asleep, and I think I’m going curl up on my hubby’s pillow and watch something on tv that he would probably watch. I’ll pretend he’s laying in bed behind me, watching with me and I’ll fall asleep dreaming of the days ahead as we start our journey together to get our family healthy.