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.
 

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.

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.

 
 

BeHer 2011 Gratitude Check in

I decided, when I started the year participating in BeHer 2011, that I would check in halfway through the month and then again at the end.
January Gratitude BeHer2011 Check In:

in no particular order:

  1. My husband
  2. Our Children
  3. The food on the table
  4. The heat in our house
  5. Painfully honest friends
  6. My dishwasher
  7. Music to Jam too
  8. Warm Blankets
  9. Successful breastfeeding
  10. Supportive family
  11. Frosting in a can
  12. Ability to read
  13. Ability to write
  14. Bedtime
  15. Hot baths
  16. Headphones

Studying "Feminine Appeal" (Carolyn Mahaney) – new series

Seven Virtues
A couple years ago, a friend sent me a book.  She wrote something sweet in the cover.  She knew it would make me mad (the book, not her note).  It did.  I needed it to make me mad.  I needed to have that talk with God and with myself.  It changed me for the better.
Then all this stuff happened.  Layoff. Move. Pregnancy. Foreclosure Pending. Big stuff to me.
I realized what was important when I read this book the first time.  I lost sight of it again when all this stuff happened.
Starting next Sunday I will be reading it again, and posting about it here.  I would LOVE for a few of my readers to join me.  The first time I read it I didn’t work through the discussion questions and might very well avoid them this time if I’m not held accountable for doing them.
Oh yea… the book 🙂
Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother  by Carolyn Mahaney
It is nine chapters. Nine weeks. If you want to know what chapter stung me the most, you’ll have to join me.

No one respects people who set boundaries

They respect people who ENFORCE those boundaries.

settingboundariesbutton

This goes for your kids, your family, your friends.

After almost jumping off the deep end before Christmas, I found myself in conversations with friends that revolved around me and my situation and how I needed to set boundaries and learn to say no and …and…and…

Funny.  I have boundaries.  Really. Don’t laugh. I have them.  I just bend them, break them, nudge them, and ignore them all too often.  I was actually accused of doing this out of fear someone would stop loving me. 

Ahem, let me make this clear.  I am not afraid anyone will stop loving me.  I am afraid of hurting someone.  I am worried that if I don’t do it or go or talk or be whatever it is I am needed to be at that moment that bad things might happen and I would feel guilty about it.

That the phone call I didn’t answer will be Nana sick, or Momma stuck on the road somewhere.

That if I had just helped you pick out the best item with the best reviews you wouldn’t have been taken advantage of by the electronics guy.

That… insert RIDICULOUS situation here….

I’m also afraid of making someone mad, or disappointed.  You can love someone you are mad at them. 

My goal for this year, since EVERYONE (even those who have enjoyed my “boundary breaking”) seems to be in agreement that it needs to be done, is to ENFORCE my boundaries.

 

My first step is with time wasters.  Mostly the phone.  Second is the interwebs.

I’m going to start with the phone.  I was going to change the message on our voice mail but thanks to a new plan to pay off some big debt this year I might be eliminating that voice mail all together.

(This is where I get to enforce my boundaries without hurting anyone’s feelings)

Hubby and I want to try and pay off two of our big debts in one year.  This is going to be nearly impossible.  But if we buckle down and don’t waste any tax refund we might get we just might make it work.

I’m going to post more about that plan later.  The part that is important here is that we are considering cancelling the home landline and reducing my cell phone from a Blackberry to just a phone…a dumb one.

That will save us about $75 which is pretty significant when you’re trying to pay down a $2400 credit card.

My family HATES to talk to me on my cell phone, ANY cell phone.  They have a hard time hearing me and with kids making noise in the background it is hard to hear them too.  But in an attempt to pay off this debt we really NEED to make these cuts.  This means the calls I do make with family/friends need to be quality calls.  We can always skype or IM if we want to just chit/chat.  At least I don’t have to worry about the noise the kids are making if I’m just typing back and forth.  Somehow it’s easier for me to say “I have to go” when it’s in print and not over  the phone.

Fewer phone conversations means fewer opportunities for me to be asked to help with something that I really don’t have to do.

Now, to figure out how to say “Sorry, that just won’t work for me”.

Game Day at the Schoolhouse


This year I’ve done a few things different.  Planning different. Teaching different. Stressing out differently.
I also scheduled our Christmas break. A LONG one. It will feel great waking up next Monday morning knowing that we are not doing school and it is OKAY.
That makes today our last day of school for 2010.  The girls are excited.  This mom is excited.  I can’t imagine what they are going to do when they find out our last day is going to be “Game Day”.
Last Tuesday, The Homeschool Village held a twitter Christmas party and one of the questions asked was “Do you use games in school?” (or something like that, it’s hard to keep up with parties that rockin’!)  I use fun and games to teach all the time but must admit I have never sat down with my kids and a board game and played with them as a planned part of our schoolwork.  The list of games came pouring in over tweetchat and made a point to pull up the party on Wednesday and start making a list.
Today, Daddy is home from work.  Today, our last day of the school for the year, we are going to play games.  No Wii games (great idea, we just don’t have a game that everyone can play yet).  No computer games.
I think we’ll start with Skip Bo, then UNO, and see if I have any hair left before moving on.
They will be excited.  Once I get the game going, Daddy will be excited. I am the one that struggles with this.  I love games, and I love my kids.  I simply have a hard time enjoying it while bouncing a 20 pounder on one knee and distracting the 2 year old so she won’t move around all the pieces.
Here are a list of games they mentioned at the party:

Non “Board Game” Ideas that were shared:

  • Cooking
  • Counting down until…bedtime, dinnertime, etc.
  • Playing store with coupons, boxes from kitchen, empty containers
  • Dress up, act out stories you have read
  • Minute to Win It! Practice some of the games from the game show!

What games do you play with your kids?  Do you ever do it as part of your planned schoolwork?

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Some of the links here are Amazon affiliate links.  If you were to purchase it, yes, I would get a few cents to go towards our school fund.  This link offered a great description of the product and reviews and I only included them on games I had never heard of before.