Oh, the poor children

*snicker*
So, I just had my doctor’s appointment. The one where I was supposed to go and ask for a referral for a full evaluation to determine why I have such difficulty with… well… life. With a history of Adult ADHD and Recurrent Situational Depression and OCD I have good reason to wonder if maybe I’m not really that much of a slacker after all. May-be-there is is a logical source for my difficulties.
Duh.
That’s pretty much what he said. The doctor.
He said… duh. Sort of.
I think the very fact that I knew my anxiety level would be so high, and my mom knew it would be high, that she took the time to type up some of the “venting” I had shared with her recently so I wouldn’t get all lost in the “oh crap I have to meet a NEW doctor and I hate doctors and he’s a dude and I hate dude doctors but I hate girl ones too” anxiety and forget impressed him. I think it pointed out just how serious my anxiety is, how serious my frustrations are and how much it is effecting various areas of my life. My husband’s note at the bottom read “She expects too much out of everyone INCLUDING herself.” and “If you swap items on her “schedule” for the day  you might as well just go to bed and start over. She shuts down”
He didn’t question my concerns at all. Of course I have engrained short circuits and chemical issues. The wires are wired differently by inherited traits. I have had two recent pregnancies fairly close together and never came back to my “base line” between them so I’m taking an extra long time finding “base” now.
That’s where we need to start he said. Get me back to base. Base isn’t happy. Base is a place where I am capable of using coping skills.
He also said I had a head start because I have GREAT coping skills, when I’m capable of using them.  Right now, my subconscious has started to just blow chemicals left and right trying to compensate and what I’m feeling is utter chaos in my brain.  My cycling up and down, never quite becoming depressed and never quite becoming full on manic, is shallow but fast. The days of OCD behaviors where I sew anything that will fit under my machine are wonderful but quickly followed by days where I do good to sit in my chair and post sewing ideas on Pinterest. Interruptions to either of my swings is met with anger, harsh tones, or tears.
So, I wait. For him to talk to the psychiatrist. Seems the most commonly used medications to help slow the roll of my … roll are either in a family of medications that I have had issues with before or they can’t be taken while nursing. Effexor, one of the more commonly offered options, creates a slew of side effects in me that go beyond the ones in their reference books. My feet turn purple y’all. I can’t go there.
I wait for the call that he has called something in, something to try, somewhere to start. Then I make the call to schedule counseling because I promised him I would.
We get back to base. We slow the roll so I can pull out my basket of coping skills and start again.
Hubby is getting help now too. He has his own laundry list of issues.He saw the same doctor two days ago.
When Dr. M realized that he was with me he just laughed…. “oh your poor kids” and chuckled a little. Then made me promise to believe them when they say “it’s hard momma”, “I can’t, I don’t understand”, and to take the time to teach them my skills, to show them a better way and to see help and guidance from professionals who can help. Because the genetics didn’t stop with me, or with the Mister. We have four beautiful children, who will have beautiful lives, that will be full and functional because when their parents stopped and acknowledged that there was something “not right” they bit the bullet and asked for help. Even when it was hard, and scary, and they had been told before that it was in their imagination.
Getting leveled out will not fix all that is wrong. It will help me to take the time to learn the skills I’ll need to function more productively, and maybe …..maybe… with a softer tone and bigger smile.
 
**Oh, I almost fell out of my chair when he said my OCD would get worse on the meds before things got better. I mean… I don’t have OCD. People with that wash their hands a bajillion times or open and close the doors right? ummm, He was very kind when he chuckled and then pointed out all the examples I had given him in the previous 15 minutes of me exhibiting OCD behavior. It’s not always about repetition. Sometimes it’s about days on end where the only task I can do is to sew, or clean, or cook, or write, or read… just one thing, non stop, as if my life depended on it. Because sometimes it does feel that way. Sew or die. Write or die. Clean or die. Who knew? **

Squashing the genius within

It would have never crossed my mind to go gather “supplies” from around my house and get creative with them. I never stole momma’s yarn, screwdriver, clothespins and t.p. rolls and ran off into the back yard to act like MacGyver. I don’t really know what would have happened but I’m pretty certain it would have been a bad bad thing. For the longest time my mom and I had separate crayon boxes and coloring books. I wouldn’t dare touch her stuff. I still won’t. Not without explicit permission and sometimes supervision.

As I got older, I started noticing how the kids in school getting awards and accolades were raised in environments that allowed for creative inventing and experimenting. Testing, trying, pushing, creating, risking, succeeding and failing. I was jealous. There was and still is a part of me that thinks of how much “more” I could have been if I had been allowed to explore my world that way.  I know now that there is more to a person’s creativity and success than just living in a more free environment. There are people all over that had nothing to explore or creating with and they still grew to be amazing people.

It is a misconception in my head. Mix it with my regret over all the things I could have done had I been more this or more that and you end up with a mom heck bent on making sure her kids feel free to be, to explore, to create, to test and to dream.

It’s killing me.

They sneak “supplies” out of the house and it gets broken or lost. I can’t tell their clean clothes from the dirty clothes because they dump the hampers to make boats or pulleys or offices. Clotheslines with knots in them strung up in dangerous fashion. Furniture being pulled together, concoctions of various shampoos and lotions in the bathroom, collections of trash to be recycled into some new contraption and towers of dishes (that come crashing down) from emptying the dishwasher because putting them away just wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t balance the coffee mugs 5 high in a leaning tower while walking across a kitchen chair bridge to the cabinet.

I’m tired. They don’t put anything back and they have no concept or concern for respecting other people’s property.

**I made an effort to teach the ‘everything is God’s’ lesson but sadly, it just made their argument stronger…. I can’t say you took MY stuff if it’s all God’s. As an adult I get it, but when arguing with my little geniuses my head wanted to explode**

I don’t want to squash their ideas or hinder their natural learning process but most of this is just wasteful messes. They are illogical and while I should be able to turn it into a lesson I seem to be completely incapable of explaining to them WHY it was a bad idea.

Do you let your kids experiment and explore independently? Do you let them have access to tools and rope and craft supplies and such or do you specify when and how things will get used?

I have spent two days undoing the damage they have done when I could have been, and should have been doing my regular chores. Now it’s all backed up again. Doodlebug just informed me their clothes were put away.

Except for Taderbug’s. Hers were in a pile on the floor where her basket is supposed to be because she’s using her basket as a desk.

Taking the leap..again

If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time you have probably noticed that I jump around, a lot.
I can be extremely gung ho about homeschool revamps one day then be all about cleaning my house the next.
I will admit I am easily distracted by shiny things, flashy lights, sale signs and kids with high pitched squeals or baby fat. I’ve been this way most of my life just not to this extreme. So far, I’ve blamed the kids. The more I have – the more easily distracted I become. Maybe it’s sleep deprivation. Maybe it is something else entirely.
My mom has recently had her ADHD diagnosis reconfirmed. She wanted an unbiased doctor that specialized in evaluations for ALL things (not just ADHD) to do the testing. Smart woman, as he carefully explained in the end how she had been misdiagnosed on a couple of other things! **Totally irks me that doctors would treat her for years for something she didn’t have just because a doctor who specializes in ONE disorder couldn’t step back and see anything other than the one or two symptoms of THAT ONE disorder, ignoring the signs that said “that’s not it”**
Treatment underway, she is now doing great and feeling much better!
I have always been torn between did I inherit it and did I just copy her behavior. This is not the first time I have felt this stressed and desperate about it. Six years ago, I asked for an evaluation. I received my referral and made my appointment. Two weeks before my appointment, Mr. and I had the most horrible moment in our marriage. Words were said that crushed me and it took a LONG time for me to let them go and forgive him. What made it even harder, was walking out of the “results” appointment being told- “There is nothing wrong with you. People would KILL for a profile like yours. You just need to get up off your butt and do what you need to do.”
Yes folks, I paid $300 for that.
The “ADHD” test that was given to me was c.r.a.p.
It was paired with an IQ test.
There was no sit down conversation or question answer session.
No one asked my family to fill out a questionnaire.
My mom has been asking me to get reevaluated. I hate doctors. I hate that I have to find a new doctor (I don’t have one in this town yet), I have to pay $25 to go see him – explain my story- and get a referral, then go pay $50 to MEET another one. I hate that IF they find anything at all I may have to choose between nursing Peanut and being medicated. I hate that IF there is something that could have been helped sooner that I would have wasted all this time struggling and all the impact it has had on my kids.
I hate that they could tell me, once again, that I am just fine. Perfect mental profile. You just need to get off your butt.
On Tuesday, I took our daughter to get a referral because in my gut I just know something is not right. I just instinctively feel that her life right now is more difficult and stressful to her than it needs to be; all I need are the tools to help her.
I bet that’s how my mom feels. She just knows in her gut something is not right and if someone would take the time to listen that it could get better for me.
After Peanut’s first birthday I have an appointment to see the local family doc. Seems the one my husband goes to, the one that I saw one time for a really bad cold, is retiring. I get to meet someone completely new. I will be grateful for health insurance and that all I have to pay is the $25. I will pray for his wisdom and kindness. I will try to imagine that God took Dr. Wolfe away so that I could meet Dr. Martinez because Dr. Martinez is going to be awesome and I will LOVE him (as a doctor!). I will pray that should there be something that needs treatment in the form of medication that Peanut, who loves his cup and eating off of my plate, will decide that he’s a big boy that doesn’t need mommy’s milk anymore – all by himself – so I don’t have to choose.
I’m going to try, one more time, for answers.

What if it was just all gone…

imageI have absolutely no right to be whining right now. I have friends having completely crappy days at this very moment and yet I’m sitting on my couch, eating cheese and crackers, in near tears over this picture.
Honest to goodness, this was JUST taken. This is the better side of the room. Most of it could be tidied up in minutes. No major filth, just clutter. Every where.
I’ve been in three different rooms today trying to organize and switch from winter things to summer things.
I try to get going and then I just stop and wonder …
 
What if it all just went away? What if I didn’t question it and just tossed it? What if I took anything I haven’t worn in a year and put it in a bag? What would happen if all those craft supplies that I NEVER use or make anything with were donated, freecycled, TODAY?
Would my world come to an end?
Would I fail to ever craft again because I had to plan for it and go buy supplies AS NEEDED?
Would my kids become suddenly uneducated because I eliminated the Kindergarten workbook they never used?
I realize I have tubs of tubs for organizing and piles of stuff not in tubs. It is insanity.
It needs to stop.
Today.
Because nothing bad is going to happen if some of this stuff just goes away.

Pearls and heels

I am not a shoe girl. Mainly because I have size 10 wide squared feet that do not fit in anything pretty. NOTHING.
I have tennis shoes.
I have my $10 black ballet flats from the big store.
Last summer, I bought a pair of white $10 ballet flats.
I can’t even wear flip flops because they look rediculous.
Well, I just might have to paint my toenails and apply a little foot lotion because hubby just bought me these!
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Not only were they size 10, and wide, and they fit, without having to wear hose, but they were only $10!!!!
OMG OMG OMG
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I don’t even care that my toes are weird… I have cute shoes.
My friend Jessica B would say “if they are looking at your feet your doing something wrong” so I guess I won’t worry about my toes.
I might have to go back and get the black pair, for Relevant 11. It’s in October, can’t wear white then right?
 
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Seems someone is trying to bogart my new shoes.
*************
I decided yesterday to “break them in” by wearing them for 15 minute increments while I did chores. Better to work them now than to be standing barefoot in church Easter morning.
Um, I like it.
Wearing the heels I mean.
I haven’t worn them in so long that I forgot how pretty they make me feel, even if I am wobbly.
I was enjoying wearing them around the house, clicking across the floor to gather dishes.
Maybe I need to find me a more appropriate pair for around the house, and find my pearls.
They TOTALLY made my cotton muumuu nightgown look hawt.

(Not so) Alone in the Dark

I was a woman possessed and blessed today! My kitchen is CLEAN. I don’t just mean the dishes are done. I mean three bags went in the trash, two went out for freecycle and I have labels on my cabinet so I don’t have to listen to Mr. Daddy Man whine that he can’t find his water jugs. open a cabinet and LOOK INSIDE is apparently DIFFICULT
IMAG0532BEFORE
I know I did a great job when he walked in and asked who’s house this was. I actually predicted that reaction on twitter a few hours earlier!  I tossed old bottles and nipples and sippy cups that were missing pieces. I junked “toss n go” cups well passed their expected life span. I matched up bottles and tops and sippies and valves and what was left was… TOSSED.
IMAG0535AFTER
I got rid of all those cups from Applebee’s and all the sectioned kiddie plates that cause fights at the table. My large collection of Tupperware collapsing bowl-freecycled. Old snacks long forgotten and gone stale….tossed. The set of Playtex converter and caps for my breastpump-freecycled. Window sill cleared to make way for the dandelions and wild daisies, sweet gifts from my girls stuffed into baby food jar vases.
It wasn’t what I had planned on doing today, it just happened. I would feel bad that the kids watched tv almost all day but I don’t. They kept coming in to tell me something new they learned. I heard Taderbug reading to Bubbagirl. Doodlebug spent an hour playing a quite complicated strategy game online. Normally I have to clean while constantly being interrupted by little people fighting over what to watch, what to do, who touched who or “hey mom, I have to pee”.
Not today.
Today they behaved. They shared. They laughed. I got things clean.
(okay, before you get all “she thinks she’s all that” on my.. I did NOT clean my fridge nor did I mop the floors. I ain’t THAT good)
Mr. Daddy Man came home early, we shared some coffee, and I fixed the girls fresh spaghetti noodles to go with the leftover sauce I had frozen from a few weeks ago (total Mom WIN). I had these dinners for two from Schwan’s I was going to cook up for us after the kids ate dinner. It didn’t happen.
The kids ate.
It’s currently 8:05 pm. We have not eaten. He is at karate with Doodlebug. I am at the kitchen table wearing out the battery on my laptop typing this while Peanut plays with my almost-dead phone and the other girls read the Nook in Daddy’s chair. I have two scented candles and one tea light candle and it’s getting dark.
Scented candles to not put off much light. *the more you know*
Somewhere around 6pm, as the girls were heading out to play before karate, there was a loud BOOM and our electricity went out. It seems the transformer that runs just our street thought this particular Tuesday was a fine time to go KaBlooooey!
The neighbor said the electricity doesn’t go out here very often.
They also said that when it does go out, it takes our electric company for-flipping-ever to fix it.
Yea.
So what do you do when there’s no electricity?
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Let there be cake.

I’m not sure what the heck happened to today. I woke up early, happy, and had coffee with Mr. Daddy Man. He had to leave super early for work and I wanted to see him before he left. The two year old woke up and then quickly dozed back off while laying on the couch. Even the baby woke up and then we back to sleep for me. I had almost and entire hour of pure quiet! UNHEARD OF I TELL YOU!
I had lessons ready, dishes washed, laundry going. I let them sleep in a bit. As the babies started to stir I started feeling the day was not going to be what I had planned so I prayed and told God I would give Him the day, I would do what He had planned. Not that I really have a choice, it was more like “okay I’m not going to fight you on it”.
Sitting on my couch now, with two kids asleep and two playing nicely, I can honestly say the day wasn’t that bad. I cut out pieces to two twirly skirts, I made a yummy dinner, hubby came home on time and was able to pick Doodlebug up from violin class. I got a shower all by myself. I had enough gas to get me home (on fumes!) but I made it to violin and to the post off to mail off some cutie things to two of my twitter friends and my sister.
Still, I spent most of the day feeling annoyed at everything. I gave up on school and let them play outside. The neighbor behind us is a single dad, he was trying to mow his grass and his four year old daughter wanted the girls to play. It got out of hand and I ended up fixing lunch for her too (no biggie… Ramen… ) and she started just walking in the house like she lived there. I’m not really upset. She’s FOUR. However, she walked in on my nursing Peanut. I thought she was my kid coming in so I didn’t think to cover up. I just don’t like feeling “invaded”. Apparently for the past few days I’ve been unusually sensitive to people getting near me, sounds, temperature. GAH! Everything has annoyed me.
I hate it. I can’t wrap my head around finishing anything either. I have articles to write. A book to read. A bible study to work on. I had plans to declutter, fold laundry, meal plan. I can’t even cut coupons!
****
We installed a cable box over the weekend- first time in five years that we’ve had cable or satellite.  Mr. Daddy Man returned home from work and getting Doodlebug, plopped down in the recliner and flipped through his 500 channels. My Mommy Helper pointed out that “Cake Boss” was on and I couldn’t resist asking him to watch it. I’ve never seen it before. OMG the cakes that man makes!!
Anywhoooo, after the first episode Mr. Daddy Man started talking about wanting cake. I ignored him. Then I reminded him there were brownies.
He ate the last of the brownies while he watched another episode.
We ate dinner, and he still wanted cake.
So I did what any smart deal making momma would do- I offered the man a deal.
I had my helper there entertaining the kids. I was going to shower- alone. IF the kitchen “magically” became clean before I got out of the shower then I would make cake. That meant unloading the dishwasher- and reloading. That meant finishing feeding the kids and putting away leftovers.
We had cake for desert. Just sayin’.
 

Uh, you forgot a couple things

**another one for my children**
There are moments in your Christian walk when you will feel so overwhelmingly filled with the Holy Spirit. You cup will runneth over and then run over again. Your excitement will be obvious and some might even say you shine a bit brighter.

Matthew 5:6-8 (New King James Version)
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.

Your enthusiasm for sharing your faith and saving power of Jesus Christ will be evident in every conversation you share. Maybe you are a new believer. Maybe you finished a Bible Study at church that renewed and refreshed you.  Whatever happened, the warm full feeling of igniting the fire between yourself and God is an amazing sensation that should be shared with everyone you meet.

When you go and start sharing and talking and quoting please remember these two words:
Grace and Mercy
Yes, you should be telling people of the Saving Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. No, you do NOT need to be in their face telling them daily that they are going to hell. They heard you the first time.
Yes, when asked for your advice on a subject you should share how your faith helped you through a similar time of trouble. No, you should not harp on and on and on and on about how “if you’d just go to church and pray and *insert long tiresome list of things*” then it would all get better. It doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes they are going through a trial that God planned on them going through. Sometimes the outcome HE has planned isn’t as simple as getting their body in a church. Sometimes it is much bigger than that and when you fail to share God’s Word and His Love with Grace and Mercy and instead you preach it from a judgment seat you serve no purpose but to waste your breath.

Psalm 119:105 (New King James Version)
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

If God is the light upon your path, shouldn’t you be the light for someone else? A street light, not an interrogation lamp.
 

Who your family is, is who you want it to be

**for my children**
Today I received an email from my aunt, sharing with me a conversation she had with her daughter at bedtime.  It seems Miss K, who is slightly younger than my Doodlebug, was talking about me and kept referring me as Aunt Lisa. My aunt tried again to explain to K that I was her cousin even though I was much older than her other cousins and that my mom was really her aunt. K stated very clearly that she knew that already. I imagine it sounded a lot like “duuuhhh mom, I know that!” Then she asked if she could just call me “Aunt Lisa” because she likes me that way. My aunt, the woman who I have called my “other mother” for 35 years and still call on Mother’s Day even though she now has a child of her own, she turned to K and said:
“sure Lisa gets to be whatever you want her to be for you…”
I wish I could have hugged her. I know it seems like an insignificant thing but to have her let her daughter take control of the kind of relationship she wants to have with me, or anyone else, is wonderful!
I take my kids to visit family. I use proper “titles”. I teach them to write thank you notes. I assist them in making phone calls. I send pictures and updates. I do my part, as their parent, to make the initial connection available.
The rest is up to them and the other person. If they “click” – great. If not – fine. There comes a time, however, when I have to step back, the connection has been made, the seed planted and it becomes my child’s job to water it (and the other person). This is the moment where my child will learn to feed their own family garden. As they grow, they will learn that some flowers never bloom. Sometimes, you have to plant seeds from other garden’s flowers and take them into your garden, as your family. It’s a tough lesson, but one that must be learned.

Tending your garden of relationships is so hard. It can be heartbreaking. Watering the seedling for years and never seeing growth. That is when God sends the wind, carrying a seed to our garden, becoming our family. The family He has chosen for us even if it’s not “from our garden”. It is so important to me that my kids know that family is more than just the people you were born to, and that sometimes, even if you water it right and feed it and give it sunshine and love – it just won’t grow.

And that’s okay.
Because somewhere you have an “aunt” that isn’t your aunt, a grandma that is really a neighbor, and  a sister that you’ve never met, all growing strong in your family garden.
Make your family, with the seeds God blew your way. Don’t plow the seedlings under, but feed what blooms; and plant your seeds in gardens that will water you.