Friday, February 19, 2016

The one about anxiety and a toy purge...

The girl child's current method of separating the Rational from the Irrational is to remove the physical source of her anxiety, if applicable.  For example...she brought one of her American Girl dolls (hand-me-down, not purchased) down to us late one night because it was scaring her. A few nights later, Curious George joined the doll. Huge steps from the screaming and hours of talking her down!

Tomorrow? We will be conducting a full purge of dolls, including Barbies.

But not the stuffed animals, because those only fart and snore.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I should probably sum up...

Almost an entire year of dead least blog wise. Certainly not dead air in real life. Far from it!

It was a year filled with adventure, new things, old things, comfort stretching things, lovely things, and hard things.

Both kiddos finished up challenging school years on high notes. Summer shenanigans were well deserved!

The summer was spent teaching our children how to cook, how to work the washing machine...

The girl's room underwent a complete make-over. I only teared up for the first bit--painting over the mural I had previously painted...

There was a week spent between a massive water park and an even more massive amusement park. Both kiddos rode their first roller coasters! The boy hit the height limit on every single one--so he rode every single one. Multiple times. Never have I been more grateful for friends who love roller coasters so he never rode alone!

Comic Con came to our city once again...this time we attended as Time Lords and their TARDIS. I had an epic run-in (my face colliding with his chest epicness) with John Schneider. Twice. My inner 15-year-old was all a twitter.

I was able to accompany himself to the annual Scary Guy convention in Colorado Springs. I fell in love with the mountains. I didn't think I could love any mountain as much as my Kilimanjaro, but I did truly fall in love...

Quiet moments...

New ocean adventures...

Someone turned double digits...

Someone else blew out eight candles...

The boy was suspended for two days due to a knee-jerk reaction from school administrators. Once the whole, un-edited story was in, the suspension was overturned. But not without eggy faces and lost trust.  And a renewed knowledge that We are our children's greatest advocates.

Epic costumes were created. Lights on the helmet provided by our very own wiring expert...

Kiddos got to meet one of their favorite internet people.  And they baked her cookies...

The girl spent six months as the face of juvenile arthritis, rounding out her year as the National Arthritis Foundation's 2015 Jingle Bell Run's youth honoree...

Helix T. Bombdog retired. And is enjoying his brand new life as a family doggie.  As are we all!

17 years of weddedness was celebrated. Quietly, and not in the hospital! Because, for while there, it looked like we might be doing just that.

I soaked in our unseasonably warm Christmas. Ahhh....

44 years of my own life on this planet was celebrated by three generations watching The Force Awakens. And a gluten free brownie cake created by my mom and my daughter...

And, for the first time in 13 years, New Year's Eve with my love. At home, with our children, but still together.

Then we survived the 100 year storm...Jonas 2016!

So now, my lovelies...onwards.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Waiting. Breathing.

Kyleigh has a new favorite movie--Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium. We were watching it again tonight and there's a part in it where Mr. Magorium and Molly (his assistant) change all of the clocks in a clock shop to just before 12...

Mr. Magorium: 37 seconds.
Molly: Great. Well done. Now we wait.
Mr. Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.

Decisions have been made. Forward steps put into motion. But now there's Waiting.  And what do we do in the Waiting? We can wait. Or we can breath. Pulse. Regenerate. Create. I'm choosing to breath.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Should haves...and plugging back in...

There's a video currently going around social media--a large black board set up in New York City asking people to write their Biggest Regrets. At the end of the video they focus on how so many regrets include "Not". The motivational conclusion being, don't let your passion/dreams not followed being your ending story. Cue moving, rising music.

But here's the thing. My regrets aren't my Nots. My regrets are my Should Haves. I should have been more Kind. I should have been more Particular. I should have thought that one through just a little more. I should have listened, and followed through when a friend needed a friend. But I remember those Should Haves. And I stand on them, grow from them. Become a Better Person because of them.

Our little family is facing Big Change. Change that is way ahead of schedule. I'm not prepared for this. I'm completely fine with change. I happen to thrive in the chaos. What I'm not fine with is the Unsettlement of the Unknown. Because I don't even know where to start with that.

I've recently started gathering with a very small, close group of amazing women. Coming together once a month to talk, to encourage, to build up, and to support. Earlier this week we were talking about the things we're Waiting for, and what do we do in the Waiting.

I have just enough British in my upbringing that has trained me to lace up my boots and Carry On. Because in the midst of the Waiting? Life continues. Children still need to get to school in the morning. I have an employer who still assumes I'll show up every day. Groceries still need to be purchased. Lunches made. Life carries on. Oddly enough.

Earlier in December, Himself was in the hospital for a week recovering from surgery. Before heading out to spend the morning with him, I found myself at the grocery store. I had to check to make sure the store was open that early--because I'd never had reason to be there at that time, and I didn't know. My mom called to check on me, asking if I was at the hospital. I told her I was wandering around the grocery store. Because we were out of milk. Because, somehow, in the midst of our chaos, life was Carrying On.

A sweet friend sat with me this weekend and just talked. We talked about her stuff. And we talked about my stuff. Most of our friendship has been based on the fact that our boys are besties. Sometimes we dig deeper. This was one of those times. She listened. Then she said that maybe this was my chance to do things I always wanted to do. Change jobs. Be More. She knows some of my past. Bits. But I explained that I was already doing exactly what I wanted to do. I was what I wanted to Be when I grew up. And she looked kind of shocked. How could I not want More?

From the outside, it may look like I'm just biding my time. Waiting until the kids are more independent. But I'm not. No, my one job isn't perfect. But I enjoy it. Sure, I have co-workers I avoid. I shut my classroom door to close off everyone else. But I love my kiddos. The thing about being a preschool teacher is, I can clock out. And I get to be home with my own children when they're home. And I have creativity and energy left for my other jobs where I get to Create and Do. I'm content. I'm right where I want to Be. And, more importantly, I'm right where I know I'm supposed to Be. This is who I am.

But it's getting all shaken up. And everything may stay the same, or nothing may stay the same. I have no idea and that is what's tying my insides up in knots.

I should have had a back up plan.

And also? I should have kept up with writing. But in the past year? Life carried on. I'm determined to do better with documenting it.

Friday, February 20, 2015

On paper...

Braved the ice, snow, and near zero temperature this morning for another MRI on the ol' cantankerous ankle. Filling out the personal information sheet before hand I checked the blocks for tattoos, body piercings, and worked around metalworks and metal shavings.

I gotta tell ya...on paper? I'm pretty badass.

And my sleep anywhere superpower kicked in and I had a nice little 20 minute cat nap.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Slogging through...

Tonight, there are multiple tabs open on the laptop. All waiting for me to click on and read through the daunting information contained.  Medical journals, blogs, research, help. Some are referrals, some I managed to find on my own.  Right now it feels like I'm gasping for air. And these are my oxygen mask.

Increasingly, it's become obvious that our daughter's anxiety is far greater than "Oh, she's just shy," or "She's such a little worrier." And it's become equally obvious that we are unequipped to deal with it on our own.

This week has been one of the more trying ones on the books so far.  Morning, afternoon, and night time meltdowns. Then, we finally figure out that there have been bathroom accidents while at school and she hasn't told anyone. Not full wetting of clothes, but enough to cause discomfort and further her anxiety throughout the day.

Classmates mocking her for the gap caused by her missing two top teeth. Something she was so joyful over. Now her 1st grade yearbook picture has her with a half smile so the gap won't show.

She was, just this week, notified she was identified for the gifted program due to her high aptitude in math.  She's crazy smart! The middle of the week, she came home in tears.

They were making fun of me because I'm smart. They said it was stupid to like math.

Oh, sweet girl. I didn't realize it was possible for the mean kids to continue breaking my heart this far out of elementary school.

A few months ago the tears were because she wore her beloved Spiderman shirt.

They kept saying girls can't like Spiderman.

That one, at least, had a happy outcome. She's made the best of friends with another girl in her class who loves Batman.

She no longer wears her favorite winter hat because there are children who knock it off of her on the playground.

I know we cannot be the only family left teaching kindness.  But there are days when it certainly feels like it.

I don't want to go to school! What if I have another bad day?

But what if you have an amazing day?

It doesn't go that way for me.

Last night when she was adamant about not going to her dance class, I felt myself slowly accepting that her anxiety levels are above the normal for a wee 7 year old girl. Even a high spirited, crazy brilliant one.

Some of her stories, once we talked them over with her teacher, end up being built up in her anxious mind to more than they are in reality. Others? Her's is the true account. The first, however, gives us a clearer picture of the power of her anxiety. And her own powerlessness to not let it control her.

So, I find myself reaching out to experts and other knowledgeable sources. Sorting through my own anxiety issues, I'm poorly equipped to help her. Even now, however, I'm hesitant to talk to anyone about my own fears for my daughter. Fearful of the lack of concern. Fearful of the eyerolls and lack of support.

She'll grow out of it. Stop hovering. Every child goes through stuff. 

But she's not every child. She's my child.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Carrying on...

A dear friend, one who has been around to see a fairly large chunk of this journey we're on unfold, stopped by yesterday. We stay in decent contact, but we actually hadn't seen each other in several months. Schedules. Lives. It is what it is.

She was ever so sweet not to mention how very tired I looked. Though I could read it in her eyes. She asked how we were.

We're all right.

All things considered?

Yeah. All things considered.

In the past this is where a well meaning acquaintance would opine that in the Grand Scheme Big Picture of Things, we were really quite well off.  Attempt to show me a little perspective.  The thing is, I have a rather healthy perspective. Yes, there are families sorting through far worse circumstances than us. There are also families sailing right disease, no disabilities, no anything that robs them of their sleep.

A Wise Person once wrote that telling someone they shouldn't be discouraged because there are people in far worse circumstances is like telling someone they can't be joyful because there are people far more happy than they. This is our Hard. This is the path we are walking, living, breathing. Yes, someone else is dealing with something far worse but that their Hard, their path.

But the truth is, no matter how healthy my perspective, the bags under the eyes remain.