The Brain Gets Stuck

You know what is hard about blogging?  When you want to write, but your brain is stuck on something you are not quite ready to talk about.  Of course, anytime you decide to write, that is all your brain can think about.

It is annoying.  And can keep me from writing for days.

But not today.  I have two stories to tell–one horribly embarrassing and one that I found so cute and encouraging.

We’ll start with my embarrassment.  Actually, scratch that, we’ll start with the cute, stick with chronological order…

The girls and I had to go to an appointment today.  Patrice asked where we were going.  Caitlyn says, “we’re going to the doctor.”  “Why??” queries Patrice.  “Because you need shots,” my ever so helpful Caitlyn says.

“No I don’t, I had three last time we went!!’

She gotcha there Caitlyn.

On we drive.

As we are getting out of the car at the doctor office, Patrice says, “when you get a shot they say it hurts for a second, but it doesn’t.  It hurts for 2 seconds!!  So last time I got shots, it hurt for 6 seconds!!”

Now we have been going at multiplication with the older girls hard and heavy lately so I say to her, “did you use multiplication to figure that you?”  “Sure mommy, whatever that is!!”  “Did you times it Patrice?”  “No, I added it on my fingers like this!!”

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(Yes, I made her recreate on her pudgy little fingers counting out how her shots hurt for 6 seconds.)

I watched her count and I saw cuteness and hope–hope that THIS kid, unlike the other two, will get multiplication easily when it is her turn!

We finish the appointment and head home.  I unlock the front door and drop a few things in the house, then head out for a few more things thinking, I can grab them before I run to the bathroom.  I leave the keys in the front door and my phone on the kitchen table.  The storm door latches behind me as I head to the car.  And STAYS latched no matter how hard I push when I am done in the car.  Stays firmly latched.  It won’t budge.

Caitlyn swears she didn’t but I absolutely know she laughed at me as I stood there desperately trying to open the door before it was too late.  “Go to the neighbors, go to the neighbors mommy.”

“It’s. too. late.”

So then we start looking for a way in…the back door  was firmly locked.  As were all the windows.  The girls kept working on that angle as I wrestled with the storm door.  There was no getting the door open, but, in case you were wondering, the top pane of glass comes out of our storm door.  And is now sitting safely in the house.

Hubby can put it back in.

I am kind of over this day.

Over and out.

Exercise Antidepressants

All to the Glory of God–that is why I blog and share my story so openly.  I want others to know it is possible to live and parent well with mental illness.  This, by necessity, causes my posts to be brutally honest, and that is not always pretty.
I have always endeavored to live by the verse 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

I take a handful of medications, including antidepressants, a couple times a day to keep the Bipolar Disorder at bay.  It works, but not alone.  Taking medication is not all I do to stay healthy.

Staying healthy is truly a full-time job for me.  It requires prayer, doctor appointments, talking to others to keep me grounded, using a vast array of skills to control anxiety, essential oils, staying away from triggering situations, and exercise.

Exercise is a huge part of it.  There is no denying that, but just like the medication can’t fix me without other tools, neither can exercise.

That brings me to a radio commercial that drives.me.crazy.  In this commercial the person announces  how working out 3 times a week is the equivalent of an antidepressant, so to sign up for that yoga class and get sweaty.

Yeah, no.  Exercise will never equal an antidepressant for people who need to be on an antidepressant.  It just won’t.  And insinuating, or flat out saying, that it will is just irresponsible.

There is a stigma around mental illness.  There is a stigma around taking medications for  mental illness.  It helps no one to say they just need to do some yoga and get nice and sweaty.

This time of year can be hard for a lot of people.  There are natural triggers, like the lack of sunlight due to shorter days, there are social triggers, such as family stressors.  It can be a rough time.  And what people need right now is honesty.

Honesty sometimes means saying the hard things, like, “have you considered talking to your doctor about some options to help you?”  That’s not easy to say.  It’s not exactly easy to hear, but, that…that is love.

 

Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue

Today, my middle one turns 9.

She is sweet.

She is spunky (why did you punch your sister last night?)

She is smart.

She is confident.

She is all that and so much more!

Happy Birthday!

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Our Gobble Greeting

A Little More Grown Up

The year I turned 9, my mom and dad took my downtown to get my ears pierced.  I hadn’t asked yet, but my mom figured it was coming and headed it off at the pass.  After the first ear, they offered to let me come back another time to get the second ear done.  I don’t know if that was their standard procedure with kids or I winced really bad, what I do remember is my mom leaning over and whispering in my ear, “you better get that second one done now.  Your dad is NOT going to want to come back a second time.”  Now, in their defense, the ear piercing place was a 45-minute drive one-way from our house.

I got that second ear pierced that night.

Last year, I found myself with a 9-year-old daughter begging to get her ears pierced.  I also found myself looking at her and saying, “if we go, you better get both done because I do NOT want to go back a second time”…and the ear piercing place is only about 15 minutes from our house.

Caitlyn got them both done that day.  And impatiently waited 8 weeks to be able to take her starter earrings out.

Today found me with an almost 9-year-old (Monday) sitting in the same chair to get her ears pierced.  2016-11-23 16.12.16

There was no need to remind her I wasn’t coming back a second time to get the second ear pierced.  I’ve never seen anyone so excited to have pain inflicted on their head!

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And in the last year, things have changed.  Due to upgrades in the cleaning solution they give you, she only has to keep in her starter earrings for 3 weeks, rather than 8.  Here’s hoping she gets some earrings for Christmas 😉

There is a Flock of Turkeys in my House

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I set the girls with a project to do today in preparation for Thanksgiving

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and the 23 people my SIL will host at her house.

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To make these into 23 turkeys!!

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Caitlyn kept tally of all the parts and pieces the girls needed to cut out to make our cute little buddies and they all assembled the little gobblers!

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Memories Fond Memories

Memories come up when you least expect them.  Sometimes it is nice to just hang on to them.

Today had a few of those moments.

My Caitlyn is 10 and growing like a weed. She only has about an inch to go before she is my height.  She is perfect and beautiful, I just can’t believe how tall she is.  When she was 9 months old one doctor diagnosed her with failure to thrive.  I’d say we have that issue licked 😉  Today she found a jacket shirt she liked at the store and decided to use some money she had saved from her birthday to buy it.  The size she chose?  a women’s medium.  Now, it is big on her, as daddy pointed out when I was lamenting her growing up too quickly, but still, she is comfortable in a women’s medium.  I am in a women’s medium–it’s not loose on me, but it fits.

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I remember like it was yesterday, holding a friend’s new baby and whispering to the baby, “my hubby  and I are hoping to have a baby like you some day.”  A little over a week later we found out Caitlyn was coming.

Another friend brought home a new baby this weekend.  Chatting with her got me thinking about that first night home with Caitlyn.  She had slept so well in the hospital.  Nobody warned me they don’t sleep the first night home.  I remember being blurry-eyed from sleep, not knowing what to do for my new bundle.  Finally I decided to sing her a song I have been singing my whole like.  I knew the words, but could not come up with the tune to save my life…so I made one up!

Little Day in a Big Way

Two days ago, it was 70 degrees.  Today it was 33 degrees.  That’s Michigan in a nutshell.

It comes with the territory, but that doesn’t make the first few days any easier.  Our winter coats were actually all ready to go, but when it came time to get ready for church…my typical clothing choices were not in line with the thermometer.  The hunt was on.

I really wanted to wear dress slacks, but nothing I had in my closet would fit.  I’ve hated the clothing size I am in so much that I refused to get any church pants that fit me.

I started tossing all of my slacks on the bed, but for some reason I thought I would try them–a size smaller than I have worn in 5 years, but heck, what have I got to lose?

And guess what, those suckers FIT.

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Then Patrice had to join me.

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I haven’t lost weight in months, but apparently the exercise I have been doing is paying off regardless.  So, after church today, I headed out for a run.

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I actually had two shirts on and a headband over my ears.  Running in the cold is more mental than anything.  It is cold for about the first 3/4 of a mile and then it is no biggy.  There were some gusts of wind that reminded me this wasn’t an easy fall run, but overall, 33 degrees is actually nice for running.

I ran about 3.25  miles but I just couldn’t stop there.  I walked around the church while the girls were in Bible Club.  That got me to 21,000 steps and just over 9 miles.  And I still couldn’t stop.  Once we got home I hit the treadmill to get to 10 miles and 25,000 steps for the day.

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It has been a great exercise day.  My legs are tired right now, but I can’t wait to see how much I can do tomorrow.

Nothing like a smaller size to motivate somebody to get back at it!!

 

Love Our Library

Yesterday, I chatted about reading.  It seems only appropriate that I gush on our library.  They have great kids programs, the librarians are all friendly.  It really is a great place.  We are there at least once a week.

Last week Patrice got her library card.

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Today she used it for the first time.

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Sue also got to have fun at the library today.  She got to read to Taylor (the dog).

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Next week we are headed there to have fun with puzzles.  We signed up for that program quite a while ago and Patrice has been driving me a little crazy asking when it is!  Hurry up Tuesday!

From there we headed to drop off our Operation Christmas Child boxes, then to our first Christmas craft show of the year.  I’d show you what we got, but it’s a Christmas present, so you’ll just have to wonder 🙂

Now to see what tomorrow brings!

All Those Words

Homeschooling, for me, brings a lot of joy and a lot of stress.  I mean, come on, it is now my responsibility to get them to learn all the things.  With reading being at the very core of all the things.

Teaching this skill, is not really a straight line type of thing.  It is very much one step forward, a thousand steps back.

Caitlyn came from the public school with a great grasp on reading.  She was driven and learning.

Sue, not so much.  She had learned none of the fundamentals or sight words in kindergarten and had no desire to learn any of it.  We worked and worked.  I tried everything.  You might even remember, that I dyed my hair to get her to read a Fancy Fancy book.

Wow.

I worked year after year to get her to read.  And now, in fourth grade, I think it has finally clicked.

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As she says, “I can read mommy’s texts now!”

Patrice has been my next one to teach how to read.  Honestly, I love to read.  I have been reading since I was very young.  I really thought teaching my girls how to read would be my favorite part of homeschooling.  It is not.

Teaching her how to read is tedious and tests all my patience.  Telling her 1,000 times what the e does the a (makes it say its name) or how to say th together is not as fun as I dreamed it would be.

But the gratification when she gets it?  Priceless.  When we first started learning to read, she refused to read any boring words, which was about half of the English language.  It was not fun, but all the sudden, one day–it clicked and she wanted to read.  She was excited about getting through the pages of her books.

I’ve been flying high ever since.

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Helping her sound out want or out is still not a joyride, but we are both having a lot more fun!