Wednesday, April 16, 2014

That Old Familiar Feeling

     It started creeping up on me yesterday afternoon...maybe it was because it was so beautiful for so many days and then it got cold and SNOWED.  Seriously, it was 75 degrees on Monday and snowing on Tuesday.  That is just weird.  I got through the day okay, but I didn't sleep all that great and our little guy was screaming with nightmares at 3 am.  Then I woke up with that heavy depressed feeling in my chest, you know, the one that makes you feel like there is literally an elephant sitting on your chest.  I am not sure what is going on.  It is a little soon for PMS related depression, and there is not really anything going on that would be triggering it....so maybe it has to do with the med changes.

It has been over 3 weeks since I stopped taking my other meds completely, so it has been over a month since I have been on the new medication Effexor.  It can take a few weeks for the old stuff to get completely out of my system.  I have actually been feeling good depression wise up until yesterday.  Although sickness has been sailing through this house so it has been kind of hard to determine how I am really feeling.  I had the cold and flu and then about a week later a horrific sinus infection.  My little guy has had an ear infection and my daughter and husband have both had the stomach bug, all within a week and a half of each other.    I saw my doctor last week for my sinus infection and I told her that I think that I am sleeping better but it is kind of hard to tell because nobody was really sleeping with everyone being sick.

Now that I am feeling better a week later, I think that I am sleeping a little better.  With the beautiful weather I have been more active than I have been in months.  I spent days doing a TON of yard work to get the backyard play worthy and we spent the day at my parents on Monday which always includes romps in the woods on Grandpa's special trails.  Everything kind of fizzed to a halt with the weather change yesterday...just when we were starting to enjoy spring!  The kids and I have been collecting fun naturey materials to build a Fairy Kingdom in our backyard.  Now we have to wait for the snow to melt before we can get started on that.  Projects are the best thing for me when I am feeling depressed, and the kids, especially Anne are pretty excited about it.

So I am going to give it some time with the new medication. I am on a pretty low dose right now, so we might just need to up it a little bit.  I have an appointment in June with my Doc, but I can call her anytime in the meantime.  I am going to give it through the weekend before I call though, I want to see if it continues....I am happy to stick with a lower dose if I can function with it.  For now, one day at a time. 

I am really looking forward to Easter with the kids and celebrating the Resurrection!  Our Church is also having a huge community Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday that my kids are excited about, and we have playdates scheduled for the next couple of days.  Anne is on spring break this week, so we are a little off routine, but it has been going pretty well.  The kids have been very well behaved, and my Matthew has been using the potty with great enthusiasm...so maybe no more diapers pretty soon.

I have some fun stuff to write about in the next couple of entries, and I will continue to record my progress.  Life is a Journey!



Monday, March 24, 2014

The Last Day!

So today is the last day that I have to take the generic Wellbutrin.  I am very ready to say good-bye to the intense, wacky dreams and get back into a better sleep pattern.  However the whole situation did not turn out as I had hoped it would.

The plan that my doctor and I decided upon was that I would go back on Cymbalta, the medication that so far I have had the best results and the least amount of side effects.  But my new insurance company requires a pre-authorization for Cymbalta.  We thought it wouldn't be a problem since I have been dealing with side effects now from 3 other different medications.  Well, after a week and a half of waiting I got a call from  my doctor.  She told me that the insurance company denied our request.  They will not approve me taking Cymbalta unless I "try" a medication called Effexor first.

Initially, I was quite upset by this news.  I was very frustrated thinking that I would have to take another medication and suffer with it for who knows how long before I could get approved for the one that I already know works.  My doctor was very reassuring and she told me that Effexor is in the same family as Cymbalta, it has just been around longer which is probably why the insurance company wanted me to try it first.  She told me to take a half dose of the Effexor for a week, and keep taking the Wellbutrin for that first week, and then start taking a full dose of the Effexor and STOP taking the Wellbutrin.

So I filled the prescription, then I did some research and compared the possible side effects of Effexor with Cymbalta.  The possible side effects are virtually identical.  I was relieved to see that Effexor did not list the dreaded "abnormal dreams" or "nightmares" as a possible side effect.  Every thing that I have taken that has listed that as a side effect has been a side effect for me.  Today was the day I have been waiting for, I took my last dose of Wellbutrin this morning.  I am not sure how it will all turn out, but I am hopeful.  At the very least, as long as I can get some better sleep, I think that my outlook will be much better.  For the first time in a long time, I actually took a decent nap yesterday that was not over run with crazy dreams.  This was a great relief because lately even my naps have been tainted with nightmares.  I am definitely ready for this chapter to end.  Spring is coming and I need more energy to get everyone outside in the fresh air.

So in other news....It really seems like my kids are so big all of the sudden.  It is really surreal.  I was watching old videos of them last night and I can't believe how much they have changed.  I am so amazed by how much they can do.  Overnight Anne has turned into this artist, she is suddenly coloring in the lines in coloring books and drawing amazing pictures.  This is the picture that she drew of herself, me, her brother, and her Daddy (from left to right).  She explained to me that this was me being mad that she wasn't picking up.  I think that she captured my "yelly" face very well.  LOL!




Life does feel kind of surreal some days when I look at these kids and see how much they have grown and changed.  Then I stop and think about how much I have grown and changed.  Things are definitely changing in our lives for the better.  Anne is growing more creative and independent and is absolutely blossoming at pre-school and at home.  She is learning things so fast, and I cannot keep up with her imagination.  Matthew is so sweet and loving, and he is suddenly so tall.  His wild side is coming out to balance his serious, focused side.  He likes to jump on the furniture and throw things, which I guess is typical of a two year old boy.  He is also very funny.  He cracks me up every day.  And although he is getting older he has not lost his ability to charm the ladies.

And I am continuing to grow and learn and change as journey along.  There are still many things I know I need to work on but I am also able to see how far I have come. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Still Waiting...

So it has definitely been a while since I have written.  I have kind of been waiting to have something different to say, but....

Well I have been having a hard time since I had to go off the Cymbalta, not so much depression wise, but side effect wise.  As of my last entry we had added generic Wellbutrin to the generic Prozac I was taking in the hopes that it would help with the crazy dreams I have been having.  This is where I stand right now with that.  On both medications my side effects did get worse.  Three of these side effects have had a huge impact on the quality of sleep I have been getting.  The first factor of course is the dreams.  I have always been a crazy dreamer but normally that effect is cyclical.  During some days of the month I have more crazy dreams and wake up more often, and during other points it is usually about two times a night that I wake up.  When I say crazy dreams what I mean is my dreams just get me caught up in these intense and confusing stories that leave me waking up feeling like I just ran a three day marathon.  I wish my brain had a shut off switch but it doesn't.  I have long ago accepted this, but I need to get the dream level back to two wake ups a night instead of every single hour.

So at this point I am completely weaned off the Prozac and am only taking Wellbutrin.  This has been somewhat better, I don't feel as groggy during the day as I did when I was on both medications.  I am still battling the dreams though.  I have to take Benadryl or Tylenol PM to get any improvement in my sleep at all, and even with that I am still waking up every hour and a half to two hours.

Then there are the other side effects impacting my sleep which are extremely annoying night sweats,  and dry mouth.  I am constantly waking up thirsty.

Then there is the non medication side effect of parenthood...there has been a lot of this:
At least three or four times a week this little guy wakes up scared and wants a cuddle.  About half the time he does go back to his own bed, the other half of the time we spend the night with his toeys (Matt's word for toes) digging into one of us and his head digging into the other one.  This has been going on for I don't even know how long now.  This past week he was up in the night for two nights with a bad cold that resulted in an ear infection.  I don't mind getting up when he is sick, but I do wish that whatever keeps waking him up at night would stop.  I am always concerned that my kids are going to inherit the wild dreams that I have and that they will never get decent sleep either.

And there has been a TON of this:

Seriously, will this winter EVER end?  As I write this it is sleeting right now, which is supposed to turn to freezing rain in a few hours and then to snow...I keep telling myself that spring is coming.  I feel bad because we have been so cooped up this winter.  The snow is deep and it has been super cold, so we have been inside most of the time.  Which just makes my kids totally wild and I get a whole lot of this:
I am looking forward to better weather so we can all get out more.  I feel bad for my poor dog, I know he misses walks in the woods way more than the rest of us do.

I am relieved to be feeling less groggy taking just one medication.  It seems to be managing my depression very well, but the extreme lack of quality sleep is definitely affecting my energy and motivation levels.

When I last wrote we were still knee deep in the health insurance drama.  I am pleased to say that this has been resolved and my husband and I are now covered...and the coverage seems to be good (so far).  We just started on our new plan on March 1st.  We had temporary coverage before that.  I am so relieved to be able to just move forward now without that to worry about anymore.  I am so grateful for the my doctor.  She helped me to manage my medications over the phone while we waited for the insurance disaster to be sorted out, which is why I was able to wean off the Prozac.  Our temporary insurance covered the medications.  I finally got to see my doctor last week.  A good friend watched the kiddos so I could really talk to my doctor (kids tend to be a bit distracting in the doctor's office).  It seems that my new insurance should cover Cymbalta, which is what I used to take that worked really well.  However it does require a pre-authorization  from the insurance company.  I have been waiting on this for six days now.  After making some calls today it seems that the Pharmacy was trying to put the prescription through to the wrong insurance company, so I am still waiting.  My doctor was confident that this should get approved because of all the side effects I have been having with the other medications.  So now I am just waiting and praying that my doctor is right and everything will go through.  I am thankful that I have an excellent medical team that will advocate to work this out on my behalf.  Right now there isn't really anything I can do but wait.  Once this does go through, I should be completely off the Wellbutrin in a week and then I should start feeling more like myself again.

My husband pointed out to me that I was tired when I was taking the Cymbalta too.  I did not deny this, I am always tired, but I explained to him that there are LEVELS of tired.  The Cymbalta level of tired is easier to live with.  I would be (and I was tired) when I wasn't taking any medication at all.

If you are new to this depression thing don't be discouraged if the first medication that you take doesn't work well for you.  It can take time to find the right medication and the right dosage to get you to where you need to be.  Don't give up, it does get better.

In the meantime,  I have been working on registering one kid for Kindergarten and one kid for pre-school.  I don't know what I am going to do with myself having two kids in school, even if that will be the case only two mornings a week.  Both of my kids suddenly seem so big to me.  They have both grown so much.  I have been buying new clothes for my daughter every time I turn around.  I have been working on setting some goals and priorities, and figuring out how to get from where I am to where I want to be.  I am happy to say that our general life situation is definitely good right now.  Lots of things have been changing for the better over the last year and a half or so, and it is very exciting to see....although I wish my monkeys would slow down a little bit in the growing up department.  My little guy definitely isn't a baby anymore.  He seems so grown up....if only I could get him to use the potty.  That is not a task I am ready to take on just yet though, unless he wants to do it...in the meantime only this guy has been using the potty:

Keep moving forward!  Don't look back, it can only get better!  And hold on to the things that matter most!  Here I am with my three kids...if you look closely you can see my dog's eyes glowing.  He is a black lab so he tends to blend in with the couch :o)










Friday, January 10, 2014

Season of Hope

'Tis the New Year!  Yes it is officially January 2014.  It was exactly two years ago when my baby boy was five months old that the symptoms of Postpartum Depression really set in.  Now...after coping with these symptoms for two years I am considered to have chronic depression.  New Year's is a fresh start, a new beginning....so I took some time to reflect.

My husband had to work on New Years Eve, so I rang in the new year with this guy:

We watched Marley and Me, which I had never seen before.  It is a great movie to watch with a dog you love....but I will admit mine thought I was a little nuts as I was sobbing through the last hour of the film!  I related to it on many levels.  It beautifully depicts how much a dog IS part of the family, how they change the entire structure of the family, and how their love and loyalty is absolute.  However there were a couple of scenes where I found myself relating to the character of Jenny, the mother in the movie.  (SPOILERS AHEAD-Don't read the next part if you don't want to know about things that happen in the movie).

I was there in the room with the character of Jenny when she had her first ultrasound and found out that her baby had died.  I was with her when she came home and sobbed afterwards.  I also loved how touching it was when Marley, the wild and rambunctious dog, just sat with her with his head on her leg.  Dogs know.  AND I was totally with Jenny after the birth of her second child when she was struggling with postpartum depression.  And she raged at Marley, and I was totally there with her in her rage.  My depression has been very angry from the start....and although I have it much more under control now, there are still days when that anger rears it's head and I have to fight it.  I found her anger so easy to relate to, and I completely understood why she was so out of control.  I look at Moms who seem to be angry much differently now than I used to.

So after I watched this movie, I went to bed, and my husband wasn't home yet, so I took some time to reflect on 2013, and pray about it.  I went over a lot of details in my head.  Triggered by the movie and the fact that my depression has been in the forefront lately, I really started to think about it.  I reflected on it's presence in my life and how I have changed because of it, and I came to a rather startling revelation.  I wouldn't change it.  WOW!  After two years of fighting it, and learning to deal with it, and wishing it would just go away I realized that I wouldn't change a thing.  That sounds kind of funny, doesn't it?

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you" , declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  This is one of my favorite bible verses.  I realized that although these past two years have brought many struggles, they have also brought many blessings.  My son, of course is the biggest one.  If I had not embarked on this journey with depression than I wouldn't have him.  I can't imagine life without him.  His name, Matthew, means Gift of God, and he is one of the greatest gifts that God has given me in my life.  So I will take the depression if it means I get the gift of my boy, my smiling, giggling, dimpled boy!

My journey has brought me many new friends, all of whom are incredible blessings in my life.  It has cost me a few friends too, but in the end, I understand why and harbor no anger about it.  I have definitely learned to deal with my emotions better.  I am learning (every day) to be a more compassionate person and parent.  It has strengthened my faith in God tremendously.  And definitely seeing things so low and so dark has made me much more aware of the light in the world.  I have learned to be grateful for daily blessings and I have learned to rely on God for daily strength in daily battles, and that has made such a difference. 

My depression is part of me, shaping who I am as a person.  My journey, my battle, is not over yet, but I know in the end I will be a better and stronger person because of it.  I am so grateful to be in a place now where I can see the positive impacts it has had on my life.  Someday the depression will no longer be an issue, but it will always be a part of who I am.

On that note, now that the holidays and my period are over, I have been feeling much better the last couple of days.  Maybe I am just less stressed, or maybe the new medications are starting to work better.  I know it can take up to 6 weeks for antidepressants to work to their fullest.  My biggest struggle right now is getting up and moving in the morning.  My meds are making me extra tired and I have not been sleeping well on top of that.  My dreams have been better though, just wild and crazy like I am used to, they haven't been all tied up with my emotions lately.  I am grateful for that.  I am still in health insurance limbo so I had to cancel my latest appointment with my doctor, but hopefully we will have that all sorted out soon and I can get that rescheduled. 

I have really been enjoying my kids lately, this week especially.  And even when we had the stomach bug thrown in the midst, taking down my poor little guy, I was able to enjoy lots of snuggles with him.  I did feel terrible for him though, he was ultra pathetic.  He kept asking me to hold him.


I have had some great conversations with my little girl lately.  I have really been enjoying time with her and reveling in many moments.  That is a big change for me.  I have often felt guilty for just trying to get through the day and not ever seizing any of those little moments.  Something has shifted lately to make this easier for me, so I am soaking it up.  She drew me this the other day, and I LOVE it.  It captures her imaginative personality perfectly.  I don't want her to grow up too fast, but I can't wait to see what amazing things she is going to do with her life.



I am looking ahead in 2014 as a year of hope.  I can clearly see my changed life and that I am a changed person, and I am excited now, because I know that things are only going to get better.  Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ugh! Here comes 2014!

First of all...I hope that all my readers had a wonderful Christmas Season.  The two cherubs pictured above certainly had a magical and wonderful time.  Christmas with a two and four year old is just FUN!  Anne was old enough to remember the previous Christmas and get herself and her brother all excited about this Christmas.  We went from years of it taking all morning to opening presents to having it done in fifteen minutes flat.  It took way longer to get everything out of the packages and put together than it did for the kids to open everything.


How was Christmas for me?  The day itself was perfect and magical....although I was definitely ready for a nap by early afternoon.  The weeks leading up to Christmas had this Mama a little bit stressed.  For a while I was wondering if I could pull the whole thing off.  From handmade Christmas cards to fulfilling the kids' Christmas wishes, to decorating all of the trees (Ours and both sets of grandparents), and making Christmas cookies, I honestly didn't think I could do it.  At one point my husband and I took a step back and decide to divide and conquer and simplify.  And I did pull it off in the end.  I was happy that it was so great for the kids

I am ALWAYS into Christmas in my head.  I love how magical it can be.  I love the REASON for the season and celebrating Jesus' birth.  I love the family togetherness and the giving.  But I will admit, this year I had a tough time getting into Christmas emotionally.  I am grateful for the snapshots of time during the season that I was able to get into it for awhile.  I had times when I could focus on Christmasy tasks and having fun with the kids. 
I had a blast making cookies with them....and I was glad I did it, because at one point I was thinking that I would rather do pretty much anything else than make cookies.  I simplified it by buying Pillsbury sugar cookie dough and frosting.  By the time we were finished there was literally flour and sprinkles EVERYWHERE!  It was well worth it, it ended up being one of the best times I had during the season.

Let's face it, the new medications I am on just aren't cutting it.  I spent part of the weeks before Christmas not feeling well on top of it.  My fingers have been showing signs of arthritis for several months and then suddenly I was feeling pain and cracking in all of my joints.  It was pretty bad for several days and I actually ended up getting tested for Rhuematoid Arthritis.  Thankfully the test was negative and after some time I started feeling much better.  Now aside from my fingers and wrists, the rest of my joints seem to be okay.  I must have just had a virus or something.  It was a bit stressful for a week or so though, thinking that I might have to be dealing with yet another chronic condition. And of course, being in physical pain does not steer one towards warm and happy feelings.  But...we got through it and everything seems to be okay for the time being....accept for the medications not being up to par.  That is really starting to frustrate me. 

We are dealing with health care drama right, trying to get signed up for a new plan.  Being self employed, we had insurance through my husband through the state's insurance for individuals and sole proprietors.  When the new health care laws went into effect, we received a letter from our current insurance provider stating that as of December 31, 2013 our plan will no longer be covering individuals and sole proprietors and that we would have to sign up through the health care exchange.  After weeks of worry and drama it does seem that it will actually work out in our favor, BUT we still haven't been signed up for a new plan yet.  I am praying it will all work out in the end.  We have done everything we can for the moment we are just waiting for approval so we can actually select a plan.  There is a huge backlog of people trying to get signed up so it could take a couple more weeks before we are in the clear.  Through all this I am thankful that my kids are covered by an excellent plan and it is only my husband and I that we need to worry about.  However, we both have health issues, so we need to be covered.  The waiting game is frustrating for sure.

Right after Christmas both the kids and I came down with a cold, so even though the whole joint thing was way better, I was feeling pretty crappy for a few days.  And I was PMSing at the time too, which always wreaks havoc with my mood.  So PMS, plus head cold, plus sick kids, plus feeling depressed does not equal good times.    I spent three days feeling like this:
See me in there?  All I really wanted to do was sleep for a couple of days without anyone to bother me!  But Daddy was working and the kids were always around, so I didn't get much sleep at all.  But...I got through it, again. 

Now it is New Years Eve.  I plan on putting the kids to bed and curling up on the couch and watching Marley and Me with my Puppy Love. My husband will be working, which is fine, there is NO WAY I am staying up until midnight anyway.

So I have been struggling lately for sure.  I have been hoping that the meds would be working better by this point, but they aren't.  I have another Doctor's appointment in two weeks so hopefully we will figure something else out to try.  Even the worst lately has not been as bad as the worst overall, but it is still frustrating because things were fine, until I was forced into a med change that I didn't want, because the stuff that was working was too expensive.  Motivation is hard, especially for stuff that I already don't like doing....like cooking and cleaning the bathroom....and folding endless piles of laundry.  I am letting the kids watch more tv than I should and we have been pretty cooped up, with the head colds and the nasty weather, and my general lack of motivation.  Anne is out of school for almost two weeks which really messes with our routine and also leads to us going out less than we normally would.  I am feeling a little trapped within myself these days.  I am not going to let it beat me though.  Yesterday I actually cleaned the bathroom and the rest of the house and caught up on all the laundry (including the folding and putting away).  Today I went grocery shopping alone and am working on menu planning for the next month or so.  If I have a plan laid out it is a bit easier to deal with the cooking.  I tend to do four or five weeks at a time, because there is no way I would sit down and do it every week.  The plan makes cooking and shopping way easier. 

Tomorrow starts a new year.  I have all sorts of ideas in my head of how I would like aspects of my life to be.  I am going to be working on My Vices Three (see my last entry).  I realize that change needs to come slowly and that I can't put too much pressure on myself.  Especially when I am in the state I am in currently.  There is hope that with our new health care plan that I might be able to go back on my old meds....but I can't count on that, and I won't.  I will figure out how to cope with things as they are.  I will work on setting up more playdates and getting out of the house more often.  Anne goes back to school on Friday and I have some lovely scrapbooking projects that I can work on and a couple of books to read....I also am planning on instituting a game night once a week with my hubby and watching a bit less tv.  That has nothing to do with the new year, just something we were planning on doing once the craziness of the holidays were over.

For now, my dear readers, I wish you all a Blessed and Happy New Year!  May 2014 be better for all of us!




Monday, December 23, 2013

My Vices Three!

    I have had this entry in my head to write for a LONG time....so finally I am writing it...and what better time to post it than the time for New Years Resolutions.  During my struggle with Postpartum Depression there are ALWAYS things that I want to change or that I wish I could do differently.  If I focused on all the things that I want to do or change, like diet and exercise, and things with my kids....well I could write a list that could last all the way through the new year.    So I decided it is best to focus on a few things at a time, and make myself really AWARE of these things and focus on changing those things...and when I have these issues well in hand, I can choose something else to work on.  So I chose my vices three....the issues that have become the most intertwined with my depression, to work on changing, even if the change is slow.

VICE NUMBER ONE:  NAPS!

    I am always tired.  The depression can make me feel more tired and less motivated.  Sleepless nights with kids can make me more tired.  Sleepless nights with my dreams can make me more tired.  My medication can make me more tired.  All of these reasons are very good reasons to take a nap.  And there are times, when my husband is home where a two hour nap upstairs alone in my bed can positively impact my mood for days.  But the bad naps have the opposite effect on my mood.  Any nap I try to take in the afternoon on the couch while home with my kids is a bad nap.  The only good thing about it is the puppy snuggle part.  I get annoyed with the kids for being loud, or not taking naps themselves.  Once I lay down I don't want to get up until I feel like my need for sleep has been satisfied, but it never is.  These attempts at naps put me in a bad place.  A place where I am completely unmotivated to restart my day or to do anything fun with the kids.  They only make me wish for bedtime.  So I am trying to give these up.  I have been doing pretty well with them, while still enjoying an occasional real nap.  Some days the desire does over power me and I fall into the trap though, and I ALWAYS regret it afterwards.  It happened just yesterday in fact.  I find my day goes much better if I find a way to focus my time that does not involve naps.  I try to remind myself of this when I get super tired and the urge to lie down is overwhelming.

VICE NUMBER TWO:  CHOCOLATE

Okay I have a weakness for sweets, especially chocolate.  I NEED it to get through most days.  But I  have no self control when it comes to chocolate and I always eat more than I should.  Last year I got a lecture from my doctor because my cholesterol was too high.  So I did manage to stick to making a few small changes over the past year that actually worked, my cholesterol was down 30 points at my checkup this year and I don't have to go on medication!  YAY!  What it boils down to is self control. When I am feeling really depressed, all I want to do is eat sweet chocolate or chocolate chip cookies.  It makes me feel so much better in that moment.  In the long run, we know it is okay in moderation, but I have real trouble toeing the line between moderation and over indulgence.  I will let you know how this all turns out.  I have been doing well with my after lunch sweets.  I usually can get by with a smallish piece of dark chocolate.  It is the night time that gets me....the most stressful time of day is mid afternoon to kids' bedtime.  After they are in bed, especially on the nights my husband is not home....I eat...mostly too much.  This is my vice, and I have to work on it....for my own good!  But I can't give up chocolate and sweets completely....so the struggle continues.

VICE NUMBER THREE:  FACEBOOK

I love Facebook.  It has been such a lifeline for me, especially during my depression and dealing with my daughter's food allergy.  It has helped me to feel connected with the outside world and given me a way to communicate with cherished friends when I just need to talk.  I can clearly see the benefits it has in my life.  Especially the way it can allow me to share this blog and be a support to other struggling Mamas.  BUT, I am on Facebook way too much....so it comes down to figuring out how to draw a line again and sticking with it.  I am on too much in the evening which affects my marriage and I am on too much during the day which affects my time with my kids.  So I really need to work on this.  I need to come up with a schedule that works, that allows me to get the benefits of Facebook without succumbing to it completely.  I will let you know how this works out.

So my New Years Resolutions are to start attacking my VICES THREE.  It will be a process and a journey....but success here will just bring me closer to the light.  I will let you know how it goes.

Merry Christmas Everyone!  And Happy New Year!  May the season bring you joy and light!

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's NOT About the Wall!



    I have been doing a lot of home improvements lately.  What is that all about?  I feel so stuck in this house so much, and I don't really like where I live as much as I would like to like where I live.  So I try to keep the house looking nice on the inside at least.  The outside desperately needs work too, but I only have so much in me.  Last week I painted the two main rooms of the house, the living room and the dining room.  It was a bit chaotic while that was going on, but I am so glad I did it.  The walls looked so dirty before I painted and the dining room was really dark.  Now it is all a nice, soothing blue sky blue.   My latest project is pictured above.  There is a window in our living room that I have wanted to put stained glass in since we got the house, but we could never afford it.  Finally I realized that I could paint the window to look like stained glass...so that is what I did.   Also during this process I painted the entrance way stairwell into the house.  This is another project I have meant to do for 7 years.  This was a challenging project as the wall was stuccoed 35 or so years ago.  So i had to paint over that.  Painting over stucco is hard...but I got it done.  It is a huge sense of accomplishment to complete these projects and for my house to have a new fresh look.  I am planning on painting my kitchen and bathroom too, but not until well after the holidays.  Now it is time to enjoy Christmas and all the fun Christmas projects.

  I do want to share a little story though.  The very first project I did was in October.  I repainted my office.  The walls in there were a light gray and looking pretty dirty.  I spend so much time in my office I just wanted to lighten things up.  It took way longer to complete this project than I imagined.  It had been over a year since I painted a room and I forgot how long it took to do that.  Last fall I painted two bedrooms and moved the kids around and really worked at redoing the rooms to make them nice for them.  Two things were going on as I was painting my office.  I touched up some areas in my daughter's room and within days she had peeled off all the paint from the spot on the wall that I had just repaired.  In my son's room there is a spot under his window that was completely destroyed last year from water coming in through the window.  Before I moved him into that room, I completely rebuilt the wall under the window and painted the whole room.  Somehow he started peeling the paint off the wall in that area under the window, revealing a new hole and a huge area without paint.  So now I have two areas that need to be repaired and repainted.  It is hard to fix rooms that kids are living in.  So I had these two problems.  I patched them up but haven't repainted them yet.  Instead I painted my office, and within a day of me finishing the painting and putting the room back together, my two year old son got a hold of a pencil and scribbled all over the walls.  (Pencil does not erase off of freshly painted walls).  I was absolutely devastated.  I have never been so mad at my little guy before.  I couldn't look at him.  I went into my office and sat at my desk and cried.  My husband came in.  He said to me these words "I am sorry honey, I understand that it isn't about the wall."  WOW!  What a moment.  I felt so understood.  I was still mad but his words helped.  I went upstairs alone to regroup.  He put the kids in the car and went and bought some marvelous stuff to clean off the wall, and he cleaned it for me.

   I can't tell you how nice it was for him to understand that it wasn't about the wall, that it was about me trying to make the house nice for my family, and to have a nice space for myself, and most importantly, feeling like I have control over a situation, that I can make a plan and follow through and really feel like I accomplish something.  I am so blessed to have an amazing husband that gets that....and who supported me through that bump in the road.  People....the words you say when someone is upset matter, and saying the right words can make all the difference in the world.