Monthly Archives: December 2015

A New Year. A New Me?

The last couple years have found me struggling to lose weight.  To no avail.  I have exercised.  And exercised.  And exercised.

Nothing has changed.  I have lost a few inches, but they come back lickety split, and no pounds leave.

I have heard before about medications, especially psychiatric meds, causing weight gain.  But I didn’t believe them.  Even when I was told particular meds might get me.  I saw that as an excuse that I wouldn’t need.

I was wrong.  I went off one of my medications, and started another one, and my appetite dropped in half.  Literally.  I went from eating foot long subs and still wanting to eat, to eating half of one and giving the rest to my daughter.  I am seeing this over and over.

The holidays came.  I ate more than I should, but still less than I was, but the pounds haven’t really moved, though there has been some inches lost.

I need more help.  I am doing better, but I can’t quite do this on my own.

I decided to look into a popular program that has worked for me in the past, but couldn’t quite swallow the cost–until I found out my insurance company will pay for  almost all of it!!

So here I am, all signed up and ready to go to my first meeting Monday night!  It will mean a change for me, and by extension my family, but I think it will be good.  We can all eat a little, or a lot, healthier Monday and every day!

Wish me luck!!

Getting My Kids Ready

There is a lot of beauty in homeschooling.  Sleeping in when we need to.  Choosing to spend extra time on topics of interest.  Adjusting curriculum.  That is my favorite.

People often ask me about how I know what curriculum to choose for the girls, or where I get the material I use for teaching.  Well, trust me, there is no shortage of options.  The longer we homeschool, the more I am learning what works for each of the girls and myself.  How do they learn best and how do I teach best and where is the happy medium?  As I learn that, it makes the selection process easier, but in the meantime, I consult other homeschoolers in a variety of states with a wide range of experience in home educating.  I also talk to local schoolers I know and my hubby.  I also read reviews from a variety of sources.  I take all that information and make my selection.  Sometimes it works perfectly, other times I realize we need to adjust.

That’s what happened with history and geography this year.  I chose a book, an atlas, and a wall map.  I was so excited.

Until I had to admit that we all hated it.  Thankfully, it has lessons for all levels of school so I think it will be a fantastic option in a couple years, but for now, it is not a good fit.  So I went back to the drawing board…

My goal in the beginning was to have the girls learn about our state, learn the states of America, and about our presidential/governmental system.

That is still my goal.  But I was puzzling over how to put it all together.  We have done a study on our state, but made little progress on all the states, and very little on the presidents.

But I think I have our new plan.  The girls are enjoying a new iPad game about presidents and we have another one about the states we are going to check out.  There are also some YouTube songs I think we’ll incorporate.  We got a great puzzle of the states from one of our grandmas yesterday and a shower curtain with the USA on it with all the states labeled.  Today I found the final piece of our new plan.  I got a great study on the election process that we are going to work on daily.  It includes books to read, websites to check out, on-line videos, and places for journaling.  It really is a multimedia study.

I am so excited!  I’ll let you know what the girls think after our holiday break!!2015-12-25 08.12.08

The Fog Rolls In

Right now I am writing on here, working on an anthology submission, facebooking, and helping my daughter makes pancakes.  It’s all working together quite easily.

But it won’t soon.  I just took my morning handful of medications.  And soon the fog will roll in.  I will go from easily doing many things, to barely focusing on one thing as I struggle to think and stay awake through the fog.

And my frustration will build, because in moments of clarity, I know I’m not who I used to be.  My brain moves so much slower than it used to.  It is like moving through a mud bog in a fog.

Even my therapist agrees I am on a lot of medications and their goal is to flatten my moods which in turn, slows me down.  So I am at a crawl.  Knowing there were thoughts there that I wanted to express but they are gone.  Or they are fragments of their former selves, no longer having meaning.

But, I know I can’t go without the meds.  I accidentally ran out of one last week because they pharmacy had to order it.  On day two, things were starting to splinter.  I knew no matter how much I wanted to get rid of that medication, it had a job that I needed it to do.

So here I sit, in the fog moving through the mud with a great deal of frustration.

Along the Way

I was reminded today of the many people it has taken to get me and my family as far as we have come as a family.

I am sitting here thinking back how I never thought I would get married or have children.  And here I am, the half crazed lady in the grocery story trying to find Christmas treats for hubby while corralling three kids as we wrap up our homeschooling for 2015.

I got my wishes and dreams for a family starting with getting married in 2006 and then having Caitlyn in 2006, Sue in 2007, and Patrice in 2010.  My world was perfect and beautiful and crashing down around me.  Patrice’s birth brought postpartum depression, psychosis, and anxiety–later to become bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

I will never forget the frantic feelings after Patrice’s birth, the need to be busy, the need to escape.  I remember one friend telling my hubby, let me know when I need to keep Charity busy.  She did just that one night 5 years ago today with cookie decorating for the older girls and I.

Now, I am listening to my three girls work together to decorate a gingerbread house all on their own.  2015-12-18 12.20.14 2015-12-18 12.13.17 2015-12-18 12.13.32 2015-12-18 12.19.45 2015-12-18 12.19.58


Unfortunately the days aren’t perfect, but they are beautifully imperfect.

Thank you to all who have helped us get this far.  Thank you to those who have listened to my moaning, crying, and blubbering both on-line and off.  Thank you for being a safe place when I, and my family, needed it.  You are all so precious.

Merry Christmas from our house 😉 to yours.

Even the “Easy” Ones

I had a therapy appointment Thursday.  I am much better than I was a month ago when I last saw her.  I am terrified the darkness will come back, but for now, it is at bay.  The new medication seems to be helping quite a bit.  My moods are very flat and I am very, very tired.  These two things seem to go hand-in-hand with me doing well.  Even the therapist admitted I am on a lot of medication and it’s goal is to keep everything very flat.

Glad to know I am not imagining the affects of it all when it comes to my mind and body.

I fill out a self assessment for the depression and anxiety at the beginning of each of my appointments with her.  I have to gauge if I have felt certain things not at all, some days, most days, all days.  She then uses this to score the depth of my depression and anxiety.  The higher the score, the worse things are likely to be.

Thursday, I struggled to fill it out.  All of my numbers were low for that day, but that did not reflect some of my seesawing I had done or my fears of the darkness coming back.  It took me longer to fill out the assessment for my good days than it does for the rough ones.

Then we started talking.  I didn’t really see how I had much to say to her.  I had almost canceled the appointment, but knew deep down I needed to go.

Talked, surprise surprise, a great deal about the homeschooling, about Sue’s reading and Caitlyn’s math and hubby’s concerns they weren’t keeping up and my thoughts of wanting to educate my children at the pace THEY are ready to go.  I know both girls can do everything they need to and will in their own time, but I do understand hubby’s concern.  It is hard not to second guess ourselves as we journey along homeschooling.  We want to make sure we are doing our very best for our girls.

The therapist had me stop as she asked, “are you really concerned about Sue’s reading or Caitlyn’s math?”  When I really think, “no, I’m not.”  I know they are very smart girls and can and will do it.  Do I know if I am doing everything perfectly?  I am sure I am not, but I can adjust and address their needs and learning styles.  I can address each of them as the individuals they are.

The other day, hubby was concerned about their math, so he decided to make flashcards and work with them.  My first thought was, “he thinks I am failing, he thinks I am not doing a good enough job.”  Then, I thought, “heck no.  I’m not.  If he wants to help, cool.  I know lots of homeschooling moms that would kill for their hubby to get involved,” so I let him do this thing and I went about my evening.  He found out things are in much better shape than he thought 😉 and I got some time to do my own thing.  Win-win.

My therapist saw this as a huge win!  She, correctly, said I normally find a way to see situations like that as failure on my part or judgement on his part, and this time, I just let it go.  Score one for Charity!!!

It’s been a lot of months since there was a score one for the home team.  It felt good.  It felt weird.  It made my heart pound in my ears.  It made me smile.

Therapy is never exactly easy.  Even the good ones are filled with lots of thoughts, second guessing, and heart pounding.  But it is still nice to walk away with positives and hope that good days and good thoughts can come and just maybe, stay.


What one does, the others must do.  Even when it comes to cookie baking.

Catilyn can now bake almost completely on her own.  She does a great job with very little input from me.  Sue and Patrice want to do it too.  But their skills are at a different level, there is a great deal of fighting, and they are younger, so mama has to be a lot more involved.

And I don’t wanna.  I’ve gotten spoiled.  I’ve gotten lazy.

But here I am.  I’ll expect my mommy of the year award any moment.

Right now Sue is telling Patrice they can’t use the mixer because they are making old fashion cookies and doing it the old fashion way.

Well, okay then.

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And Sue just realized she put in one too many eggs, so I am doing some quick math in my head to try and fix it (okay, not such hard math, but hey, it’s my blog, I can sound as amazing as I want, right?).  My goal is to have her do all the reading and hopefully she’ll start to understand why she needs to read well.

It’s a darn good thing the baking process will kill germs introduced in the mixing process.

And the flour is everywhere.  Yippee, we get to mop when we are done!

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And cookies.

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Shiny Things

Yesterday Caitlyn got one of her big wishes!!!!

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