Thursday, October 25, 2012

I don't want to be in charge

It snowed today.  It was beautiful.  I'm sad because my camera is in the car and the snow had melted by noon so no pictures.  And then it snowed and melted again.  Just a typical October in Utah.  At least Halloween will be warm.
I spent most of the day getting ready for the Primary Program Sunday.  Programs are like moving.  No matter how early you start packing, there's always things you forgot so you're scrambling at the end.  Craziness!

You guys, I don't mean to complain, except that I do...because this week has really sucked.  I keep telling myself to be grateful that we don't have to spend $300/mo on drugs and some family has offered to help, but then things on the car break (electrical so it still runs), we get the bills from the doctor, things going wrong with the boy's upcoming baptism, and tonight Jack broke a tooth biting a pair of scissors.  He broke another tooth last month while trying to break apart some Lego's.  They aren't cheap to fix so I told him if he ever did it again I'd have the dentist pull the tooth.  I was dead serious at the time.  I've spent way too much money on those teeth to have him breaking them.

So now I have to have his tooth pulled.

And I really don't want his tooth to get pulled.  The orthodontist might pull it next summer, but we don't know yet.  So he'll have a hole for more than a year.  It's the canine on the right.
I want to be merciful, I really do, but I think having a hole in his mouth would be a fantastic reminder to never put anything hard in there.  And I want to be consistent with my threats and punishments.  Or am I going to regret it every time I see him smile or look at pictures.
Or will I be proud that I stuck to my guns so my kids know I'm serious about consequences.

I'm stuck on this one.  I don't have an "oh well" apart from, "oh well, we'll just call the dentist."  I'm tired of oh wells.  I've worn them out this last week.

Someone else be the parent.  Please?

Do you ever think bad things happen because something really awesome is going to happen?  It's pretty awesome when people offer to help you, I'm not ungrateful.  Tired, but very grateful.  But I'm tired enough that I was thinking more like lost stock market funds worth $200,000 awesome....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Things My Therapist Told Me

#1. "No one is listening.... until you make a mistake"
Today I found out I goofed something in Primary.  Well, someone else goofed, but I didn't catch it after 4 months.  So it's my goof.  And now I look dumb to the new bishop.  The #1 thing I hate is looking stupid.  My therapist told me to embrace those times I did look bad and remember them as a way to feel empathy for others and not hold them up to such high standards.  If I was perfect, God would have to take me and I don't want to leave yet, so I have to mess up. :)

#2.  "You're not tense.  Just terribly, terribly alert."
Sometimes it seems like on hard days you notice every little tiny bad detail. Of everything. And it all compounds into a giant ball of chaotic madness that you are sure will literally cause you're brain to explode.  Write it down. Write it all down.  Every little detail, just get it out of your brain and save yourself the hemorrhage.

#3.  "I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once."
I got my scope bill today.  I have to have another scope after Thanksgiving and I have a CT scan I owe on.  I wont talk numbers, because it's still less than those meds would have been, but enough to be too much.  The bottom line: handmade Christmas.  Tumbleweed spent the last 2 days with fevers between 101 and 104.  I have 10398 things to do before the primary program on Sunday.  And my house still has not recovered from me painting it.  Mostly these medical bills are impossible!  I still can't figure out why I'm not freaking out.

I think I'm in denial.

No.  Just thinking, "Oh well. We wont spend money for Christmas."  Yay it works!  Actually, I can see so many ways we've been blessed with ways to save money in the past few months.  I can see now that it isn't so my kids can take gymnastics, but for us to still be able to feed ourselves.  I feel bad for my kids, but I know they'll get some nice things from other family member (EDIT: they'll get nice things from us too!  They just wont cost money!).  I also know that this isn't permanent.  I'm mostly annoyed that my rental property ate up ALL of our savings this year.  But I know people who are unemployed.  So I'm still feeling grateful we're able to have a rental.

Now, I need ideas.  What is your favorite handmade gift?

Oh, and you guys, stop letting me look at bills after 6pm.  I may not be panicking, but I haven't solved insomnia yet. kthnx!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Some Thoughts on Anxiety

Some of you asked about my anxiety.  Short answer: copious amounts of therapy.
Long answer below:
I don't care to give out too many personal details, but I will include as much as I feel comfortable with.  I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder about 6 years ago shortly after a miscarriage.  I started getting panic attacks about social situations or even leaving the house at all.  My heart would feel like it was being squeezed and I felt paralyzed a lot of the time.  So I went to my doctor and got some zoloft and also went to therapy.
I cannot recommend therapy enough.  If I could afford it, I would go all the time.  Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit for you.  I haven't liked all my therapists.  Anyway, after 4 months of intense weekly therapy, I stopped having panic attacks, I was able to go back to church, and my marriage stayed intact.  I wish I could go into detail about what worked, but it was a lot of being honest with myself about myself and forgiving and just general self acceptance.
Fast forward to second baby.  I went back on Zoloft for post-partum depression, but started having situational anxiety. It was mostly me not being able to handle stress. I would freak out a lot when I felt stressed out.  It started getting worse 2 years ago, especially when I was made cubmaster.  I don't know what it is about Pack Meeting, but I simply couldn't handle it.  I had to get Xanax just to get through them.  As my husband puts it, "You were a wreck."  So last year I went back to therapy. My therapist gave me a lot of coping skills. Someday I'll have to find my notes of everything she said.  The main thing was accepting that I am NOT, in fact, an easy going, happy go lucky girl.
No.  I permanently have my panties in a bunch and have ridiculously high expectations of everything.  Being in denial of that only made myself and everyone else miserable.  Once I accepted that about myself, I was able to lower my expectations.  Irony.
My new mantra became, "oh well."  I practiced that a lot.  We forgot the flags for the pledge!  Oh well, we'll use one of our shirts with a flag.  Some didn't bring treats?  Oh well, we wont have them.
I would practice worst case scenarios.  What if I forgot the scout awards??  Well, worst case scenario: I deeply offend someone and manage to get released and never be put in charge of anything again.  At worst we offend so many people we eventually move.  Fine.  Then no one in the new area will know what a horrible cubmaster I was.
So I had a LOT of practice with this kind of stuff and eventually stopped freaking out so much.  I still didn't like pack meeting though.
Money has always been touchy.  I can really panic about money.  But last year I made friends with some people who had lost $200,000 on a house due to the real estate crash.  I couldn't believe it.  How were they coping!? 200,000!!!  Gone!!??  He was going back to school and they were renting a small apartment (with older teenagers) and it was fine.  Oh well.  Guess we'll have to do something else.
When the pharmacist told me how much my medication would cost I cried.  I tried calling my doctor and seeing what else I could do (nothing cheaper).  Normally I would have sat in my room or in the shower going ballistic with sobbing or doing something destructive. Maybe that was too personal.  Oh well. See!!  I did it again!  But instead of doing that I looked at our budget.  I looked at jobs online.  I looked for manufacturer coupons.  Oh well.  If we don't treat it, it will only get worse.  Maybe we'll have to sell the piano. Oh well.  (that was hard.  I love my piano)
So that's what worked for me.  I recommend therapy for anyone who suffers with anxiety or depression.  Sometimes you need medication, but sometimes you can get to the heart of what's really bothering you and that can lead to healing.  My prayers and sympathy are with anyone struggling with mental illness.  It's a very tough road and what works for me may not work for you.  But hang in there.  It's worth it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Answered Prayers

Today my prayers were answered fifty fold. We spent much of the night discussing how we would pay for my medicine.  This morning I decided to shop around and see if we could save $20 or so.  I decided to check with my insurance to see if they had any ideas.  They referred me to their pharmacy in SLC that does their mail order drugs.  I called and was told they have an out of pocket cap of $150 for a 90 day supply!!  I almost swore in shock but caught myself, afraid they'd hang up on me and I'd be lost.  So instead of  $1800 I'll be spending $300!  Relief doesn't begin to describe it.  I dare to hope that I can be free of pain now.  Now it may seem like the answer was there all along, but I truly feel like God led me to the answer I needed.
Yesterday was despondency.  Today is hope.  Tomorrow is chocolate.
Also, I have to mention how proud I am of myself. Years ago I would have been in a panicky anxious mess. I cried a lot yesterday, but not even a small panic attack.  Only my husband really knows how huge that is.  So with ridiculous amounts of therapy and plenty of drugs, there's hope for anxiety. :)
A few weeks ago I saw a conversation on a blog (I can't remember whose) about trials. Someone suggested that the idea that God wont give us anything we can't handle doesn't seem true.  One commenter said (wisely) that it was true. God will give us things we can't handle. But He wont give us anything we can't handle without His help.  I am finding this statement to be more and more true for me as time goes on.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Scope

Well, I had my bladder scope today.  I would love to say, "well, that was an experience I hope I never have to have again!", but I have to have another in a month....so oh well.
My doctor is really nice so that helped.  Most of my bladder looked fine (and weird!!!, but cool!), but right where it connects to my urethra is was all red and splotchy.  Unfortunately this is also where the scope was hanging out so every time it touched the bladder wall I yelped in pain.  But that didn't happen too much.  The worst part was the potassium solution he put in my bladder. This is the test they use to confirm Interstitial Cystitis.  If you don't have it, it feels like water.  If you do it hurts like hell.  Literally like salt on an open wound.  Luckily he emptied it after I yelled, "Holy Mother of Pearl!" (like my primary president swearing there?  I'm trying.) so it didn't last long.
So basically he said it's like the lining on that part of my bladder is gone and every time my bladder gets urine in it (ummm all the time), the acids are further damaging the lining.  The good news, it's early stage and he thinks he can cure it in 6 months with a drug called Elmiron-think of it like pepto bismol for the bladder.  The bad news: Elmiron is crazy expensive.  WITH insurance I'm looking at $300 a month.  yeah...we don't have that.
So I don't know what we'll do. Unfortunately, because of this condition I have to pee all the time and can't really go out and get a part time job.  Igloo is thinking of getting another one, but I worry about his health from working that much.  Maybe we just credit card things until we get our tax returns.  You know, the tax returns that were supposed to go toward fixing some things on the car.
To say I feel guilty (and cynical) is an understatement.   I know if it was any one else in the family I would tell them not to worry and we'll deal with it and it isn't their fault. Why doesn't it work when I tell myself that?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chickens, Laptops, and Paint

I didn't write anything last week because it was fall break.  And I wanted to paint!!  I have been soooo sick of the brown.  And I finally found a color I like at ReStore.  I can get 5 gallons of paint there for $30 so I have a hard time getting paint anywhere else, even if I could get perfect matches there.
I went in expecting to get something bright and colorful and came out with something the color of mint ice cream.  It's the color of the base of orange tulips and I fell in love with it.
It looks very grey here.  It's much lighter than this.
I have been pinning picture from a website called Design Seeds for months and planned to keep the tan paint and go with something like this:


I still love that one, but my favorite was the lady bug.
I have brown tiles and didn't think I'd be able to pull it off, but I'm doing it anyway!  So there!!

So that's what my living room is turning into.  The lighter color makes a HUGE difference.  I've been in denial about small homes and light paint color, but now I'm a believer.  Now my problem is finding the right curtains.  I was going to go with redish orange, but it ends up looking like an old lady lives here.  So we'll see what I can find.

Completely switching gears now.  One of my chickens has been soooo sick.  We've had Fortune and Glory for a little over a year now.  Fortune hasn't been laying well all summer.   We figured we were lied to about their age and maybe we were.  Her last egg was VERY brittle and I got worried when I checked the coop Sunday and found her away from all the other chickens looking very listless.  I found what looked like yolk under the roost.  Her vent was pulsing like she was trying to lay or poop and she had diarrhea/egg all over her abdomen.  She looked positively miserable and wouldn't eat or drink.  Her eyes were swollen and her comb had fallen over.  When an egg breaks inside a chicken it is often fatal as it can cause infection and internal bleeding.  We didn't expect her to make it through the night, but she did!  Monday she was even worse.  She could barely walk and spent most of the day lying on the ground.
I spent lots of time on backyardchickens.com seeing what could be done for her.  Her poop had become bright green at this point which they said was from not eating.  I bathed her and kept her clean so flies would leave her alone and we held her and tried to feed her some favorite foods. She finally ate some Quaker cereal Jack gave her and had a little water.  After that she was standing and I gave her a plump, juicy tomato and she practically attacked it!  The morning she has been out grazing with the other girls and while she is still slow, her eyes are bright and her comb is standing up.  We're feeling very hopeful she'll make a full recovery!

We opted for a second laptop (switching gears again) instead of a tablet and I'm glad we did.  Munchkin has preschool online, Jack has latin, typing, and spelling, and I have to submit school work and do primary stuff and check the all important facebook.  One computer is no longer enough.  So we got an open box Asus at Best Buy yesterday for $40 off (yay!!).  They still haven't called us to pick it up yet.  Also, Igloo doesn't have his new smart phone.  So we're feeling annoyed with technology distributors right now.
I'm still a little in shock about just going out and buying a computer, and I'm trying to remind myself the school will reimburse us.  It's still weird though.

Hee Haws

I kept meaning to post last week about our trip to Hee Haw farms.
But I didn't.
So now you get two posts in one day.  The rest of you do it too, don't deny it.
Last Monday we went on a homeschool field trip to Hee Haw farms.  The kids pet goats and pigs and ponies, picked pumpkins, and we went for a hay ride.  The coolest part was that a sow had just gone into labor and had given birth to 5 piglets and we got to watch the 6th be born!!  It grossed out Jack and intrigued Munchkin.  Made for a good science lesson about mammals.

new piglets!!!

My little animal lover
Petting area.  Pigs, goats, and sheep
I love how Tumbleweed is too small here.


This girl was like the goat whisperer.  It was cool and a little creepy.
This is SO Jack.  He's so serious!
Munchkin would only do silly faces.
Tumbleweed was just happy to be among pumpkins.

Giant pumpkins!!!
Playing in the corn box.
The kids LOVE the corn box, which is basically a sand box filled with corn.  It's a lot of fun.  Last year we went to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point as well, but didn't have nearly as much fun and paid almost 3 times as much.  We plan on making Hee Haws an annual tradition.  Later this week we'll head to pumpkinland at Vineyard gardens in Orem.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tablets

With the home school program we're in, we get money to buy supplies for school.  I have $175 left over and need to spend it soon.  So we've been debating between a refurbished laptop, a laser printer, or a tablet (probably a Nexus).
The thing is...why do I need a tablet?  I mean, we have some old ipods my brother in law gave us so get how cool apps are and everything, but isn't a tablet just like a really big smart phone?  Or is there more to it?
Someone enlighten me.
I like computers.  They may not get apps, but they have dvd drives.

Exciting things to know:
2 of our new chickens (previously known as "the chicks") have started laying!!  AND my husband ordered a smart phone!!  That's HUGE for our family.  He may even send a text now!!11!!one!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Visiting Teaching Treats for General Conference

Confession: I have not been a very good visiting teacher since I become the primary president.  I know, you're all shocked.  Me too.
But luckily for my ladies, when I miss them, they get chocolate instead.
And since General Conference is coming up, I decided I wanted to give them something; a little something to snack on always helps me feel the spirit more.  So I made these:

The contents include a can of Pringles, a bottle of Smart Water, Reeces Piece's, and m&m's.  I also attached a little message to each treat (except the Pringles.  I just like Pringles.)  I also gave those with young kids some conference coloring pages from sugardoodle.net.  I love sugardoodle.
Now, please keep in mind that I have zero photoshop skills, and in fact I don't even own photoshop, so this is my mspaint product.  But feel free to use/improve.  Or not.  You can also feel free to tell me that I am NOT clever and should never try to do cutesy things like this.  But honestly, since I don't ever create cutesy things, I'm feeling rather proud of these. :)
My favorite.

My son likes this one.  The homophone-incorrect spelling thing is bugging me though.

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to do for a drink.  But these were on sale. 

Okay, now be honest.  What do you think?  Anyone else do things like this at conference time?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

late night blogging

Tumbleweed fell asleep early so now guess who gets to be up were with at midnight?  Girls night!!!
(I'm trying to be super positive right now)
So, what the heck.  I'll blog.
Henry died.  He got moldy and I had to throw him away.  Anyone else find it ironic that my yeast died from a fungus?  So I think I'm going to spend money this time and buy a start from an actual company.
My chicks STILL are not laying.  I finally took my 2 older hens out and have put them in solitary confinement.  They were just plain mean and pecking everyone.  Plus they're molting right now and just need to be by themselves.  Meanwhile, I have zero eggs coming in.  And I have now become an egg snob so store bought eggs just wont do.
We bought a water softener.  I wanted it for the appliances and my husband wanted it for his and Munchkin's skin.  Wow!  I didn't expect much, but not only is her hair easier to comb, but eczema?  what eczema?  It's practically gone.  I still need to see how winter is, but for now she can eat wheat again!!  hooray!

Maybe it's just in my head and I don't say it or blog it (I'm not sure), but sometimes I feel like all I do is complain about my kids.  Not sleeping, not cleaning, not doing school....  But today I feel like bragging about my kids.  Today was a kid braggy kind of day.  After all, isn't that what we mommy bloggers do?  They're geniuses, you know.  All of them.
Tumbleweed is probably my smartest kid.  I asked if she would like mashed potatoes tonight and she said, "why of course, Mother, I would.  Thank you."  What 2 year old talks like that!!?  She's got the alphabet and sounds down already.  Not unheard of, I know, but it's the earliest for any of my kids.  Must be the lack of sleep.
Munchkin lives in an imaginary world and is always telling stories about what happened there.  Tonight I told her it was time to go to bed and she was telling me about how she had to get one of her pets dressed (I think it was a bird) so it could go find food.  "He's nocturnal, you know."  And then because she thinks I'm a simpleton she explained to me what nocturnal meant.  I'm serious about that, by the way.  My four year old talks down to me all the time because she thinks I don't know things.
Jack started a unit on fractions today.  We were supposed to do a review of what we learned last year before he did his workbook but he wanted to do it without me.  I forgot he didn't have a workbook assignment though and there he was, adding fractions and putting them in simplest form (tomorrows lesson) without even being taught how!
See!  Geniuses.  All of 'em.  They get it from Igloo.  If I was a genius my fungus wouldn't die.  /bitter