Friday, August 31, 2012

when you go thru a learning spell in life

you have to document it.  you know, this is my place.  this little blog here is my space that i have been completely me in.  i don't punctuate, capitalize or always use proper english protocol too often because i loose the excitement of my story telling ways if i have to take time to think about miss smith from third grade and how she would have wanted me to do it.  putting pictures up would be helpful, and sometimes i do, but it mostly intimidates me.  this space has been all about words for me.  it has given some creative voice to that dominant right side brain of mine (left handedness rules!).

this leads me to acknowledge the immense happiness the relationships i have gained thru blogging have brought me. i have loved getting to know how the other side lives, even if it is seemingly ordinary and mundane.

this recent challenge i have been given has no doubt been hard, but the overwhelming kindness i have received has been so incredibly humbling.  like that day when emily ballard showed up at my house with boxes full of costco happiness. it had been so long since i had trekked to costco and she knew just what to buy. and then she swooped in and took my kids for hours on end. hours on end.  the strange part about all of this is that very rarely have i been able to lay down to get relief.  having a panic attack in bed is an oxymoron,  aching bones hurt when you lay on them, and heart flutters/palpitations get worse when you lay down. so, i was quite mystified as to what i should do while emily had my kids.  scott ended up being home (a rare night) and for a few hours we talked and were still.  we connected and talked about how hard this has been and how we are going to get thru it.

or how about when my friends, the ebbert's, decided to visit me for an entire day on their vacation where they had mounds of family to fit in and we got their whole first day plus a date night.  we were greeted with a box full of sunshine and rainbows she put together for me. it included all kinds of brightly colored treats and a sweet note. their time with us helped me forget about the fact that i had had a migraine that morning and had to miss ella's first soccer game. i was able to glean from their goodness for a whole day and know that i am going to be okay.  all is not lost.

or that time my mother took time out of her incredibly packed life to take my kids for me for the night.  she took them to the park, to get slurpees, and to do all kinds of other grandma activities. she gave them that attention and love i have had to work harder to do the past few months.

or when my friend saren was at my house the other night and took me aside, looked me in the eye and told me that she had been worried about me and really praying for me. it was so deeply sincere and kind and i could feel that concern and compassion from her.

or when my cousin kalee drove all the way from provo with three little kids to visit me for the day.  and how she didn't judge me when i pulled out a take and bake pizza for lunch. she talked to me all day and helped me relive our wonderful memories at yale that we shared together. and when she heard how much my little grayce loved to cooked, she sent her a cookbook in the mail that detailed 101 things to do with a cake mix. (our waistlines will never be the same!)

or that time when i opened my mailbox, and my friend kate sent me a family fun night box.  it was filled with beautifully packaged ice cream sundae toppings, a sweet note, and a movie to watch as a family. because that was an over the top thoughtful thing to do for someone you have come to know better thru blogging, especially when she lives clear across the country. and we had a family fun night. let me tell you.  and the whole time, i thought about how someone's deliberate kindness made that night a little more special.  knowing that somebody took the time realize that when you are in survival mode, family fun nights are a little trickier to come by.

or the time when my cousin billie jean (i have always longed for a name that MJ sang about) in london sent me a sweet message about feeling better and how i have been in her prayers.  she then proceeded to remind me of the long line of females in our family that have suffered for generations with thyroid dysfunction, migraines, blood disease, anxiety, auto immune disorders, and arthritis.  i think of my dad's grandma who was in bed for 18 years with thyroid disorders, migraines, and arthritis.  i was overwhelmed with that thought today.  18 years.  modern medicine has come so far, as has the age of information.  at my fingertips i can research all kinds of things and pray for guidance that i can know what to do to be a functioning mother again.  and thru finding a few things and sharing that info, get overwhelming emails from others saying that they have been on the same path and think this might help them as well.

at the end of the day, i have come to realize with this and so many other things in life, that a very kind and loving heavenly father drives that car of life if we let him.  sometimes i try to backseat drive.  i try to do everything to control the situation and to control the outcome.  the truth is, i can twist myself up in knots trying to control my life, that action heeds no progress.  the progress is achieved when i  take my proper seat in the car, realizing that i can't control a lot of things or feel guilty about them ( i often times try to convince myself that i did something or ate something to cause my health problems). i have to realize that even if i try to grab the wheel when i see that car of life going somewhere i don't like, it won't change the course, it will only change the ride i take.  and you know, i want a good ride.  i want a ride where i can enjoy where i travel, and what i see out my window. i don't want to become obsessed that the inside of the car is less than appealing or old, but that the car is taking me where i need to be with a really amazing driver and some pretty amazing stops and passengers along the way.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

my heart hurts

when school starts.  we work so darn hard to build those summer relationships and then poof - all gone! school starts and our time together is reduced and turned into routine and balance. i sure love summer nights looking at stars, and lazy mornings with cartoons and late bowls of cereal . it's all necessary but so sad.

today ella started kindergarten.  she was thrilled and i was that parent holding back the tears.  she has needed me so much that i was just resigned to being her sidekick for life.  it was a startling thought that the county wanted her for a few hours everyday and there was nothing i could do about it.  sigh.  she was thrilled to walk into that classroom and had the displeasure of lugging me behind.  she could have gone in by herself and been fine.

there was a sparkle in her eye that was so confident and so ready. she is ready.  it's what i keep repeating today every time those tears welled up.

also, while all things random might as well come up - i think this article changed my health.  i am not joking one ounce. and it actually started with this article i found on pinterest that lead me to it.  i have been diligent about researching every single darn aspect of thyroid dysfunction as i am pretty convinced that this and some hormonal issues have been my problem.  i have found great success with the magnesium oil.  it is itchy at first, but my heart flutters, palpitations, and chest pains were gone the first few applications.  also, i was having at least one panic attack each day (over nothing, just suddenly feeling like i couldn't breath and crazy nervous), those dissipated the first few days i started using it.  i use the magnesium powder throughout the day in a huge cup of water that i sip on.  i have found i have to really, really dilute mine. i can now wait 3-4 hours in between meals and have been able to keep a steady weight. my metabolism had gone into overtime and i was eating enough for my entire family all before breakfast and losing weight. it was disturbing on many levels.
the best part of this find is the amazing sleep.  i was sleeping for 7-8 hours but waking up every half hour or so.  since i started using all of these, i am sleeping a solid 6-8 hours and wide awake when i do come to.  i experimented with scott, having him take a drink before bed of the powder.  the nights we didn't use it, he tossed and turned all night.  i think i just may have convinced my western medicine husband of something alternative, maybe......only maybe.  also, i have been using this supplement as i have had migraines weekly since they put the nexplanon rod in my arm.  i have still been having weekly migraines, but the endurance has been cut in half.  like saturday for instance, ella had an early soccer game.  half-way thru getting ready i noticed that i couldn't see myself in the mirror anymore.  pretty soon the black lights came on and i was running for a fiorocet to lessen the blow.  in about 45 minutes my vision was back and the head pain was gone.  i only suffered migraine hangover for a few hours.  no slurred speech, numb limbs or porcelin throne worshipping.
 i thought i would pass on this info as something that has helped me get back to "a new normal".  i have grocery shopped without a day to recover for almost a month, been able to keep up with a normal cleaning schedule and make dinner more consistently.  this is progress and i am feeling like i might almost be up for a trip to my favorite city this fall.  my fingers are crossed, nyc baby!

Friday, August 10, 2012

my retirement plan

as i have mentioned here previously, my 3rd child has had an official status change from hella to ella.  once we eliminated milk and a few other things from her diet, her fussiness has changed substantially.  we have made some other good strides in the health department with her and feel like things are getting under control. (no morning vomit sessions since march, this is a record for us) anyway.   it has been like watching a summer blockbuster as her impulse control has gotten so much better.  we have seen this person emerge and i'm telling you what, i have no need to invest in anything but her for retirement.

she has discovered the joy of earning a dollar.  her favorite thing to do is jobs.  i was not paying up to her standards and soon she flew the coop on any extra job i could offer her and took to the streets.  well, the sidewalks really. and if i was being truly honest, it started with doors.  she took to the neighbors doors.  selling.  selling anything she could pack in to the old red wagon i rescued from my grandparents house.  at first it was rocks gently bathed in fresh picked grass.  she had to learn her selling points quick and also, her negotiating skills.  for the month of june, she trudged up and down the cul-de-sac with her wagon of rocks and grass, pointing out all of the strong points a rock has to offer.  when asked how much it cost she would reply for free or for a quarter.

after many a jar full of quarters, she took to pictures.  drawing all day long, getting her inventory volumes up high enough to cover the refrigerators of the whole neighborhood.  after this venture, i had to squash the door to door solicitation.  you can sell from the sidewalk only was the newly implemented strategy.  i personally was hoping the city wasn't driving by too often because for sure they would make us get a home business license.  apparently she is hard to resist.

my kids jumped on the duct tape bandwagon. quick, fast.  and the flower duct tape pen soon consumed summer days and the selling took over summer nights.  orders were placed and soon there was a wait list for the duct tape inventory. ella took her sisters lead and became the head salesman.  while grayce bustled away making the "flowers" ella took to yelling in the streets, peddling the inventory.

her voice is something not to be missed.  as in it's impossible to miss the demand in her voice.  one evening some good women came to visit and wish me happy birthday thoughts.  the visit was soon interrupted by a voice outside.  "for your motha, for your fatha, for your sista.  buy a ring now!" over and over at the top of her large lungs were things shouted with enthusiasm.  the yelling grew so loud, the visit came to a halt and we all had tears running down our faces we were laughing so hard.  she was all alone out there, an umbrella over her head and a nifty red table just her size with all of her prized inventory before her, and a small chair to rest her bones on.  after the shouting continued for the better part of an hour, soon we had a line of cars waiting for a duct tape flower.  she had quarters coming out her ears.

in between each venture, we had to set rules and boundaries.  five dollars for a rock probably won't heed much income dear, you need to have reasonable prices. so she decided to have a line set when asked about pricing - for free or for a dollar.  that has become her price.  for anything.  for the rings she made out of toilet paper last week, the duct tape "puppet" she made to sell, and the strange looking weapons she made from duct tape that she claimed were jewelry ( i swear they were "brass knuckles" duct tape style).

we headed to the utah favorite bear lake for a week of relaxation at a fabulous beach house one of scott's colleagues generously offered us.  once we hit the beach and she saw the swarms of people on the beach, she was so sad we hadn't brought duct tape, lemonade or anything to sell.  look at all the people she was exclaiming.  what a missed opportunity!! i told her we were on a vacation, we didn't need to work, there was plenty of that at home.

a few days in to our vacation, she took to the beach looking for valuable shells.  she was on that beach from morning to evening.  quickly making friends with the neighbors and everyone parked around our beach station.  she was scouring for big shells, lizards, anything to make a buck.  one day i was helping her in the bathroom when she took note of some lovely seashells on the back of the toilet.  think pottery barn, urban outfitters, z gallerie for this beach house, unreal.  something you would see on tv but never dream of being able to stay in.  she caressed and obsessed over these shells, wondering if they had gathered those from the beach.  on our drive home, a horrified older sister made an accusation that made these experienced parents laugh silly.  "ella,  you did NOT find that shell on the beach!!!"  the shell had been neatly tucked away in her pocket, her pining heart now satisfied.  she had a shell the size of her hand, and oh what money that would bring!!!  now of course we laughed when she wasn't looking so she knew the serious nature of thievery. when she was told she needed to go up with dad to his office and take the shell back and apologize, a bit of an anxiety attack came on.  she turned red and couldn't breath, she was screaming and pleading protest. gratefully, this was not our first child with an unattainable expectation level hanging over her head and we were able to compromise. she would let dad take the shell to work with him, and she would write her very best i'm sorry card and promise to never commit acts of theft ever again.

she is so determined.  her life is a blur, she wakes up with plans, goes to bed with plans.  the world is right in her little palm.  she was at primary children's the other day (for her stomach) and the dr. was asking her about herself and her family.  the conversation was beyond hilarious.  she had no idea the ages of her siblings or when their birthdays were, no idea what they liked to do and frankly, it took prodding for her to tell dr. patel their names.  and it hit me - here is my retirement plan.  this is what a successful CEO must have.  crazy drive with the whatever it takes to fire and hire people, the focus to get things done, and the energy that three healthy people have, but not a care in the world about people's details that don't concern her!