Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 1130: The Curse Of The Antibiotic

Can't believe I forgot this (the dangers of getting behind in my posting), but we also had some friends over for dinner last night.  They are a really sweet young family and just down-to-earth, generous people.  HH and I have been wanting to do something for them for a while.  So, we had dinner and HH was able to help them with their taxes a bit.  It was a really nice evening.

Darling A is still taking the antibiotic for last week's diagnosed pneumonia.  It's pretty strong and has caused some very unwanted side effects to her digestive system.  This morning it must have overwhelmed her system completely because when I went to get her from her crib, she was calmly lying in a puddle of vomit.

So sad.  And so gross.

So, I did a bunch of laundry.  Which lead to breaking out the steam vac for the carpet.  Because (I forgot to tell you) we no longer have a dog.  And if I was going to wash dog fur (among other things) off of the bedding, I didn't want it getting all mucked up again from the all fur in the carpet.

(Don't worry, Z is fine.  She hasn't been getting the attention she needs for a while and we found a family that seemed absolutely thrilled to have her and love and dote on her, plus they have another dog.  We miss her, but take comfort in the knowledge that she should be much happier in her new home.  And that we will eventually stop finding dog hairs in and on everything we own.)

An interesting day.  But, it was good to be busy with mindless tasks.  And my house feels much cleaner, which is always nice.

And it was the last day for the cursed antibiotic.  Hallelujah!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 1129: I'm Not The Fun Parent

But, I am the Funny Parent.

First, let me say that today was a much happier day.  We had our moments and I'm still trying to work through the deeper issues, but on the surface, things were good.

I practiced the new parenting tricks I learned last night.  They worked wonders with the toddler group this morning, knocking back tantrums really successfully.

I also practiced the stuff for older kids with Sweet P and Little M.  It basically consists of responding with empathy be restating back to the child your understanding of what they are feeling--judgement free (feelings only, actions might be another story).  It was really nice.

Sweet P really is a sweet girl, but somewhere along the lines, she has gotten really entrenched in passive-aggressive communication.  And I find myself getting sucked in really easily.  And then we have these little negative interactions all day, most days.

Really unpleasant.

But, listening with empathy is the perfect way to stay out of the cycle.  I was really proud of myself.

And then we had this conversation this afternoon:

Sweet P:  Why do you keep on saying things like,  "That must be frustrating," and "That sounds disappointing"?

Me:  Because I'm trying to make sure I understand how you're feeling... Is it bothering you?

Sweet P:  Kind of.

Me:  That must be frustrating.

And we laughed.

And that is one of my favorite parts of having my kids grow up.  Being able to joke around and have them actually get it.  I might not have the spontaneity to decide to gather items from the recycling bin to shoot with the BB gun, but I can make my kids laugh.  And that is just as much fun, for me at at least.

And on a more personal note, I think I'm getting closer to finally being able to deal with the icky stuff.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 1128: Uncharted Territory

That's where I am.  I've felt all of those thoughts and feelings that I experienced yesterday plenty of times, but not like that.  I told my therapist that going there always makes me fall apart for a few days, at least.  But, I still knew it was what needed to happen.  I didn't really realize that I'd be at a total loss for how to put myself back together.

And, as always, sleep has been scarce.  Baby B got me up needing my help and we're sleep training Darling A for the third (yes, THIRD!) time.  Except, that it's not the same way we normally do, she has some serious side effects still from the super strong antibiotic she's on, so I have to keep going in a checking on her.  I wish that helped her, but it only seems to make her more upset.  So, it's sad and stressful and exhausting.

So, on the Deeper Issues front, I'm sort of a wreck.

But, I've had years and years of practice at sweeping it under the rug and faking a happy face until I can sort of forget all of the yucky stuff--at least for a little while.  So, today wasn't totally awful.  In fact, a part of me wonders if delving into the deep yuckiness was really worth it.  But, I know that I need to confront all of the negativity lying there and fully debunk it in order to experience the happiness and peace I had during November and December of last year.

Tonight I went to a meeting at my church and was taught by an awesome friend some tips and strategies on better parenting.  It was good for me to get out (with my sweet Darling A) and I'm optimistic that the tips and strategies will help.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 1127: Going There

I had another appointment today.  Funny how I keep thinking I'm just about done... and then learning that I'm anything but.

I can't remember if I shared it here, or not (sorry for the erratic posting!), but I realized shortly before HH's surgery that I had pretty much gone back to where I began.  So, today's appointment was rough.  When I started going to therapy, I was too guarded to really share the big stuff with my therapist.  And it was okay because we were able to talk about things just enough that he would assign an effective "homework" assignment and then I would do it and still be able to work through things as needed.  And then, I always managed to be "okay" when I had my later appointments.  It's a lot easier for me to talk about stuff when it's int he past tense, i.e., "I was really depressed, but now I'm okay."--so, there is no need to look at me with concern, or try to figure out what to say to help me, or anything else.

But today, I acknowledged to him that I really wasn't okay.  Even though, on some level, I am.  The weekend really helped pick me up from how bad things were last week.  Things are really good between HH and I and having that foundation is always huge.  But, I can tell I'm back to how I was before beginning the therapy which means, I will be fine for a while and then I'll hit a rough patch and all it will take is one thing to send me spiraling back down.  Which is how I've lived for the past several years.

It can be functional, but the progress I made from this therapy showed me that there is more.  That I can have a better life.

So, I opened up a bit today.  The therapist was kind of pleased.  But, we also acknowledged that I really wasn't opening up completely.  There is a level I don't share with anyone.

And that is the level I have to face in order to move forward.

So, that is what I tried to do today.  It always leaves me feeling a little broken when I go there.  And I've never really forced it in the way I did today.  So, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do next.

Right now I just feel kind of crummy.

Ah.  Hooray for the process, right?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 1126: Escape

So, I think we all know things have been a little rough lately.  And I haven't handled it as well as I wanted to.  And then things got worse.

And then some things got better.

But, other things just kept on getting worse.

Subject change:  Some of my friends have been planning a little girls' trip to the big city for a few weeks now.  I sort of toyed with the idea of meeting them for the Saturday shopping, but with all that happened this week wasn't really planning on going any more.

And then Friday, mid-morning (second snow day in a row), I decided that I was severely in need of a break.  HH has gotten significantly more independent and capable of helping with the kids in the past couple of days, so he was very much supportive of this plan.  So, I called to see just how big of a problem I would make by deciding to come at the very last minute.  Friends were, of course, very accommodating and acted like it was no big deal.  So, I hurried to pack and tried to get the house in shape for my absence.  And then Darling A and I left.

It was so much fun.  It was just really great to get away from all of the stress and demands going on at my home.  Although, Darling A tried to make up for it by being a tad extra needy.  Fortunately, she is adored by all of my friends and they were more than happy to help out, even though there were two other adorable babies along for the ride as well.

I set her down with them, so I could change into my swimsuit and found these four hovering over her and loving her when I came back.

Aren't these three sweet?

Anyway, it was just nice to escape for a bit and laugh again.  HH did a great job of taking care of the kids, he cleaned the house, and didn't make me feel guilty for abandoning him so soon after his surgery.

I know I'm not "better", but this certainly helped pull me out of a slump.  And right now, I'll take that.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day 1125: Baby B's Needs

We were supposed to wake up to a crazy snowstorm this morning.  Thankfully, it didn't start until mid-morning.

This was very fortunate for me because it allowed me to run a couple of errands (Target to try and get a few things to help Darling A who is throwing up her antibiotic--apparently, one of the nastiest kinds out there is the one that is most successful at treating pneumonia--and also having super bad diarrhea and diaper rash as a result.  Poor baby can't catch a break!).  I brought Baby B along with me.

Just Baby B.

And that was exactly what he needed.  And has needed for days and days.

He was such a good sweet boy.  And so happy and content to be there with me.  It was really nice.

The snow started while we were still out running some more errands, but we made it home safely.

The rest of the day has been... interesting.  A snow storm, but still with a lot for me to do.

But, in light of yesterday's realization, I took a time out and took advantage of something I can finally do today that I haven't done since Thanksgiving.  I ran.

On the treadmill.  Slow.  And with a lot of intermittent walking (I'm following a program designed for total beginner runners in hopes of not re-injuring myself).  I barely broke a sweat.  Darling A barely lasted through it (thank goodness for Sweet P's help!).  But, I ran.  And my foot didn't hurt at all.

And then I even took a shower after.

The great luxuries of life.

And now, I have a sweet Darling A totally sound asleep on my lap, getting healthier, and reminding me that things are okay.  At least the bare basics are.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 1124: More Lessons

This wasn't necessarily a new lesson, just something that really became a big deal today.

The way I feel about myself is directly related to the amount of time I get to spend taking care of myself.

And right now, that's not much.

Everyone else has so many other needs.  And it just seems easier to meet theirs because they are whining louder than I am.  It doesn't help that the needs of a few of our family members are seriously greater than normal.

So, I'm tired.  And every time I think I can do something for me, someone else needs me.

I know all of you moms can relate.  It's not new, or just isolated to me.  But, it still stinks.

That being said, today wasn't all bad.  Another good friend switched days for the toddler group with me, so instead of having five toddlers at my house this morning, I got to go grocery shopping.

Okay, not the most fun, but still very necessary since we're supposed to have a big snow storm tomorrow.  And eventually, my awesome friends and family will probably stop providing meals for us and I will need to have food to prepare on my own.

And then tonight, HH and I watched a movie and cuddled (as much as you can cuddle with someone post-shoulder surgery).  Not the smartest thing, given that I am so completely exhausted I'm about to collapse, but still it was really nice to just take a break and snuggle for a bit.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 1123: I Learned Two Things Today

Today was a very long day.  Here is the rundown:

Kids to school, baby to Dr. including nasal swab for influenza and blood test for blood count, Baby B to  the home of a wonderful friend who offered to watch him for the morning, HH to physical therapy, phone calls from the Dr. explaining negative on the influenza but way high white blood cell count meaning that she had either a lung infection or a blood infection (ridiculously scary news--I was crying by this point), back to medical plaza for chest x-ray (AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL!!!!), back to the pediatrician to learn that she has pneumonia and wouldn't be needing the additional blood work or the antibiotics injection, shared a huge sigh of relief with HH (because when compared to sepsis, pneumonia seems like a dream infection--especially when it's caught early and doesn't require a stay at the hospital), then to Target for the antibiotics prescription, sad b/c Target pharmacy was closed for lunch, pick up Baby B, library, bank, back to Target, successful prescription pick up, home minutes before Sweet P and Little M arrived home from school, quick snack and violin practice for Sweet P, rush to Dr. appointment for Sweet P (she's fine, it was just a routine thing), pull up to house to pick up Little M, violins, and dinner (thankfully, provided by yet another amazing friend--without whom we probably would not have eaten today) to eat in the car on our way to violin lessons, said lessons (enjoyed a slightly perked up Darling A--she smiled and even talked a little!), home, kids to bed, clean up house (Baby B had gone on a tirade and trashed it since HH couldn't do much to stop him), crash.

But here are the two things I learned:

1.  For all my shortcomings as a mom, I was still able to get Darling A diagnosed with pneumonia, even when at the initial check, everything seemed fine.  

I love our pediatrician (she feels more like a friend) and thankfully, she listened when I explained to her that something was just very off with my little girl, even though she didn't have an ear infection, white throat, or crackling in her lungs, or anything else.  But, she went ahead with further testing because I told her that I knew something was wrong.  She only smiled twice yesterday.  This is a baby who under normal circumstances, I would never even consider counting the smiles of because it is a constant thing.  And when she coughs, she cries and it is such a sad cry and you can just tell she hurts.  And when I move her, she cries and you can just tell she hurts.  So, the pediatrician ordered the tests.  And she told me it was because of what I had said to her.  Otherwise, we would have gone home and the pneumonia would have progressed unchecked.

2.  I've been looking at everything bad piling up on us and seeing it as evidence that I've been abandoned by the Lord.  He knows better than anyone else all that I have going on, why would he let all of these awful things keep happening?  But, in those scary moments of contemplating just how bad things could end up being for Darling A if she had the blood infection, something clicked, although, I didn't really realize just what until later.

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma talks about humility and how much better it is to humble yourself that to have to be compelled to be humbled.  And I realized that maybe all of these things have been happening to give me the opportunity to turn to my loving Heavenly Father for the support I really need to get through it all.

And it took the possibility of losing my baby girl to provide the leveling blow that literally brought me to my knees and finally made me rely on the Lord the way I should have been all along.

Kind of a sobering thought.

I'm not saying that Heavenly Father forced any of what has happened to happen.  I know that things just happen.  I am saying that Heavenly Father didn't intervene when I thought He should have because He knew that the greater lesson would be learned by my experiencing all of this.

And so, for a bit, I had peace and hope.

And then HH and I had a bit of a negative exchange and I'm on such rocky ground right now, that was all it took to crush it all.

Ah, this is a fun process.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 1122: Not Yet As Job

I'm not anywhere close to what Job went through.  But, the past few days have given me a lot more respect for what he endured.

You may have noticed that my posting has become spotty again.  Sometimes I just can't do it.  The past few days have been rough.  And let's be honest, the direction of this blog has become a little vague and lost, so a daily posting is not always going to happen.

The weekend in our home was a bad one.  There is a lot of tension and stress.  Everyone has been cranky.  Darling A is still really sick.  I spend the majority of my waking hours with her in my arms.  Which would be kind of intense all on its own, but then there is HH.  Today he has finally seemed more able to take care of himself, but up until then, I've been his bedside nurse.  And we still have his showers to deal with.  They take about an hour start to finish because we have to do everything quite slowly, so as not to move/hurt his shoulder and also because we have to cover and then change out his bandaids.  It wouldn't be that big of a deal, except that there is very little time that Darling A doesn't require me to hold her.

Baby B is getting increasingly crazy.  Yesterday morning I had to chase him halfway up our street (in a skirt and boots--and remember I'm not supposed to run at all yet, definitely not in high heeled boots!) to get him in the car to get to church.  We were late, in case you were wondering.  So, we got to sit on the front row where everyone could watch me chase him down a few more times and then enjoy him hopping into the aisle at one point to sing (while jumping and shaking his booty), "Heeeeyyyy, sexy lady!  Woop!  Woop!  Heeeeeyyyy, sexy lady!  Woop!  Woop!", because, yes, he got through it twice before I was able to get to him (I had a sick-and-not-wanting-to-be-moved Darling A in my arms, after all).

Don't worry, I can see the humor in that.  But, it just came at I time that I really wasn't in the mood for humor.

I spent all of church trying to find the Spirit, to bring me peace and hope.  Finally, during the third hour, and a great lesson taught by one of my favorite instructors, I began to get a glimmer of it.  I started feeling like things would be okay and that I could find a way to begin again through this whole painful process, in spite of everything going on right now.

And then class ended and I stepped out into the hall to gather up my children and head home, only to be informed that there had been a discovery of head lice in the Primary and that Sweet P had potentially been exposed.

I was speechless.  I still kind of am.  I just... I mean... Really?  Really?  Lice?  Now?  What?

So, I stopped at Walgreens on the way home and picked up the lice shampoo stuff.  I made the kids strip down at the door when we got home and placed all of their clothing in the washer.  Then I gave them all the treatment.  I realize that is not the procedure lined out on the back of the box.  But, I didn't have time to go through every strand of hair and I wasn't taking any chances.

And poor, poor Darling A sat on the floor and cried her little heart out the entire time.

And my heart was not the only thing that broke inside me.

I think at one point we were pretty much all crying.

And then a friend (who was also home treating children for potential lice) called and said she was coming by to pick the kids up for a few hours.  Not typically something we do on Sunday, but she felt this was time for an exception.  I gratefully agreed.

Another friend stopped by with dinner. (Our third free meal for the week)

And our Home Teacher and another friend came by and gave HH a priesthood blessing for the healing of the sick.  And then they gave one to Darling A.  And then they gave me a blessing as well, not for healing, but just for coping.

Just before that, Darling A had actually taken about an hour long nap in her crib, allowing me to help HH with a much needed shower.  It's funny how sitting all day can actually make you feel pretty yucky.

And then the kids were home and we had dinner and tried to be calm.

And then today happened and we started everything all over again.

Fortunately, we seem to have just maintained the status quo for the most part today.  Nothing seriously bad happened (quickly, please, knock on wood!).  Baby B is about to lose his mind maybe, though.  He ran around destroying as much as he possibly could for much of the day.  And my back has taken a turn for the worse.  Carrying around a 22 lb. weight all day for 6 days straight will do that to a person, no matter how adorable the weight is.

Trying to put on a happy face while simultaneously take a nap on the high chair, minutes after waking up.  This was actually last Friday and she's only sitting there because I had to hurry and get breakfast for the kids before school.  Today I only manage to get a smile from her twice.  And if you know her, that is probably the most telling thing about how sick she is.  This girl is always happy and giggling.

Sigh..... Things have to get better, eventually.  Right?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 1121: Still Raining

Or, more accurately, snowing.  But, by some miracle, the walks and driveway are clear.  That's about the only easy thing that happened today.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go into another long detailed post about all the things that were wrong about today.

We'll skip all that and just say I'm totally overwhelmed.  I just had no idea how hard this would be.  And we didn't anticipate Darling A being the sickest she's ever been at the same time.  And everything else that happened today just left me feeling really in over my head and still quite frustrated with my own, self-centered, response to everything.  I feel bad for HH being so dependent on me and having to deal with all of this and I can't even hold it together for him for a day.

I'm also overwhelmed in a good way.  I can't believe how many people have reached out with meals and helping with the kids and to bring us movie rentals, etc.  And for all of the phone calls.  I'm sorry I never picked any of them up.  I just couldn't bring myself to talk to anyone today.  I'm not sure tomorrow will be much better in that regard either.  Making dinner tonight was a complete disaster, so to those who commandeered our dinners for the next few nights, thank you.  It's hard to accept help, especially when I keep feeling like I shouldn't really need it, so it's appreciated to have it forced on me

I'll be honest, today brought me to the brink.  I've been trying ever since I got sick with the flu a month ago to get out of this funk and all of these added challenges just made that seem completely unattainable.  But in just the past two hours, I've received such an outpouring of love and support, I am left wordless.  You've been inspired by your words of support and encouragement and your offers of assistance.  And even the timing of it all.  So, thanks.  I wish there was a bigger word for that, but right now that's all I have.  Just a big heart full of gratitude for such wonderful friends and family.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 1120: When It Rains...

So, this morning started off bright and early.  Instead of my usual peaceful, rejuvenating scripture study going on, however, it involved all of my kiddos wide awake.  Why?

I don't know.

It's not like it was one of those days where I could have really used that quiet, peaceful time, or anything.

But, we made it through the morning rush, then I came home to get the house all in order so that when I brought HH home, he'd see that I can totally handle all of this on my own, so he wouldn't feel bad, or worried.  And then it was time to go get him.

And so on the way, of course, I got two texts.  One from a friend with a sick daughter, needing some help with essential oils.  One from a new friend with an injured son, needing information about urgent care.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to schedule physical therapy appointments for HH and trying to figure out how he is going to ever be able to go back to work and also just how much this is going to affect our daily routine, as I will be driving him back and forth and wondering how I'll be entertaining a toddler and a baby for every 45 minute appointment!

Then came time to actually take him home.  Getting him in the car was challenging enough.  I'd already been concerned about bringing him home, feeling unqualified to take care of him.  We had to make a couple stops on the way home and Darling A was screaming mad after the first.  I had left him in the car with her and Baby B, not thinking through the fact that he could do absolutely nothing for her in the event of a problem.  Partly because she so rarely has a problem with anything.

She's been a little congested and not sleeping great the past few nights and she woke up this morning with a bunch of goo in her eye, so we decided to swing by the chiropractor real quick for a treatment.  She cried a lot, which I always take as an indication of being in need of the treatment.  Then we headed back out and made one last stop at Target to pick up HH's prescriptions.

In between this and then getting home and getting HH settled, I got in touch with my friends and did my best to help, finding the timing of it all really odd.  People never text me needing my help!

And HH needed a lot of help when we first got home.  It's scary taking care of him.  He and I are both paranoid that I'll accidentally hurt him.  I don't know what I'm doing.  I know in a few days, or so, it will all be routine and it won't be so scary and challenging, but right now, it is.

Darling A had cried herself to sleep by the time we got home.  I was thinking maybe her being sick was a blessing in disguise because maybe she'd sleep all day, so I could be a better help to HH.  And maybe to some degree, that was true, but she woke up just as I was finally getting him settled after taking off his brace, shirt, and dressing, replacing bandaids, finding a more suitable shirt, replacing the brace, gathering ice pack, headphones, iphone, drinks, medicines, glasses, and arranging a little station where they all could be within reach for him.  So, I left him to nap and went to take care of her and Baby B.

Eventually, I got both of them down for a nap and headed downstairs to go through email and then maybe relax for a bit.  Only to be summoned back upstairs by HH.  He'd fallen asleep and we'd missed the time for his next dose of pain killers.  Home for just a couple hours and I was already doing a lousy job as his caregiver.

The rest of the day was pretty much back and forth between him and Darling A, who would only sleep in my arms and was quite sad and fussy.  Baby B is getting increasingly frustrated, as is normal for a toddler who's life is all out of whack suddenly.  Little M and Sweet P were troopers, for the most part, thank goodness.  They didn't even complain when I fell asleep during violin practice with a sleeping Darling A on one side of my lap and a sad Baby B on the other side--he had choked on a piece of Valentine's candy, but (thankfully) gagged it back up--gross, but much better than the alternative.

Last night, a fabulous friend brought by dinner for tonight.  At the time, I was mostly just ever so grateful for the sentiment behind it.  I was sure today would be just fine and that I'd have plenty of time to make dinner while everyone napped.  Oh, how grateful I was that I didn't have to add that to my never ending task list today!  It was enough of a challenge just to get it all on the table with a sad Darling A in my arms the whole time.

So, finally, we sat down to dinner and HH and I realized that it was going to be a very miserable night, so we agreed that I needed to take Darling A to urgent care tonight.  So, with great trepidation, I left HH home alone with the other three (I was slightly terrified that Baby B would go in and injure him, so I locked the door to his room on my way out) watching a movie.  They were thrilled.

Turns out Darling A just has acute bronchitis.  Nothing too serious.  But, she had a fever of 102 and was just miserable as could be.  Ah, there goes the gym for the third morning in a row.  And brunch with some friends.

And now, she's fussing again, so I guess it's time for me to stop complaining.

I'm very frustrated with myself.  I wanted to handle this whole situation with grace.  Instead, I've been like an indignant child, stomping my foot and whining, "Why do I always have to do everything?  It's not fair!"  And I'm not sure if being aware of that, but still kind of maintaining that attitude redeems me at all, or only makes it worse.

I know I'm not really doing everything.  I know things could be much worse.  I know I have a lot to be grateful for.  I know things will be much better in a few days.  Maybe even tomorrow.  And I know I'll be okay.  I am okay.  For the most part.  I just want to be totally okay.  Taking care of HH with total kindness and compassion.  I want our home to be peaceful, so he doesn't feel guilty watching me deal with crazy children, while he looks on helpless to jump in and help out.  I don't want to feel ornery and whiny.  And yucky.

HH keeps apologizing and I feel so bad that he feels bad.  I don't want him to!  He was super thoughtful and even ordered flowers to be delivered to me this afternoon.

Oh, well.  Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 1119: The Strong One

HH's surgery was this morning.  He had to be at the surgery place by 5 AM.  We were both on edge last night, so not a lot of sleep happened for either of us.  I dropped him off and then hurried back to our sleeping kiddos.  I briefly thought about going back to bed, but I knew there was no way I'd sleep until the surgery was long over, so I just got ready for the day instead.

I'll skip over the rest of the morning to the point where HH was "awake" and brought back to me.  (Although, I really do feel the need to interject a bit here about Darling A.  She was the talk of the center!  Word spread like wildfire between the nurses and they all took a moment to wander down to our room to check her out and coo and awe over her.  The first thing the surgeon said when he came to tell me the surgery was over and to explain it all was, "I hear you have a really cute baby."  It is so fun being her mama.)

The tear ended up actually being multiple tears and points of concern, so the surgery took longer and HH was pretty distraught as he was coming around from the anesthesia.  I know people get a little nutty at that point, but his was just grumpy and sad.  And it broke my heart.  His fits and pouts brought me to tears on multiple occasions, but I held it in because I knew that wouldn't help him any.  I just tried to be calm and reassuring, but he was so out of it, I don't know that I helped at all.  He oscillated back and forth between being so upset and angry and then just so very sad.  I now know where my boys get their devastating pout from--their daddy!

He would emphatically state, "I just wish I could feel my hand!" (they'd done a general block to numb his entire arm and shoulder.  Unfortunately, there was one spot that didn't take and was still quite painful for him) and the silliness of the statement would have me about ready to burst into laughter, but then his pout would come and he'd look off with the saddest expression and it was all I could do to keep from crying.

We spent the next hour and a half trying to get his pain level down.  I don't know why I said "we".  It's not like there was anything I could do about it.  I tried distracting him with chatter, but it didn't seem to help.  I felt so bad for him and so completely helpless to do anything for him.  He kept apologizing to me and it only made me feel worse because what does he need to be sorry about?!

Finally, the decision was made that he would stay the night, rather than come home with me.  They'd put him on some morphine and that was finally taking the edge of the pain, but he could only have that if he stayed there.

So, they took him to a new room and I left.  And I felt guilty because I couldn't get out of there fast enough.  It was just so miserable being there and seeing him that way and not being able to help in the least.  I picked Baby B up from an awesome friend who had kept him all morning.

And then I came home and just gradually fell apart inside.  I tried to just take a break for a bit while the kids napped, but when Sweet P and Little M got home from school, I realized I was only barely holding it together.  They were pretty bummed when I told them that Daddy wouldn't be coming home until tomorrow.  And I agreed whole heartedly.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was just rough.  I had a few minor breakdowns, but I knew that if I lost it as bad as I felt like losing it, the kids would be totally freaked.  So, when people called about the surgery, I had to just tell everyone that we were doing fine because I knew if I told the truth at all, I would completely fall apart.

I thought I could be the strong one.  I thought I could handle this.  But, I'm pretty much a wreck.  Seeing HH like that just messed me up.  I miss him and I'm worried about him.  I mean, I know he's going to be fine.  And I'm so so so thankful this is just shoulder surgery and not something more serious.  But that feeling of helplessness while he suffered was indescribable.

But, I have to be the strong one.  He needs me to be okay with the drastic changes this is going to make in our home for the next few months.  I don't want him to feel guilty.  I'm glad he had the surgery, so he can get better and regain better quality of life and not be limited by the pain the tears were causing.  And really, I know I can do it.  It's just so much easier to be strong when he's here beside me.  I need two of him.  One that is hurting and recuperating and one that is fine and can hold me so I can fall apart, just a little bit.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 1118: It Is Time

This morning while I was reading my scriptures, I felt very strongly that my time of moping is over.  The message was pretty clear:  I've been given plenty of new tools and it's time I used them and got over this recent slump (I realized later in the morning that I've been in denial about it, but I've pretty much been depressed since shortly after I got sick last month), and got on with my life.  I was justified in having my depression as an excuse in the past, but the message this morning was that that is no longer applicable.  More is expected of me now.

I'll be honest, that felt (still kind of does) pretty overwhelming.  As much as I hate the depression, it's what I'm used to.  It's what I know.  It's what I do.

But, now it's time to learn a new normal and get used to something different.  Something better.  Something more.

And today I have felt a little schizophrenic as I've had this internal battle between the Old Me and the New Me.  I've tried to just will myself to get over this, but with no lasting success.  I was still harboring the guilt of yesterday's missteps.  And I realized this morning that maybe I hadn't gone basic enough when I'd gone back to the beginning of my process.  I'd forgotten that first, crucial step--which is to recognize and believe that I have value.  It's okay that I made some mistakes yesterday.  This is a process.  I don't have to be perfect.  And (hopefully) no one is really expecting me to be.

So, today has been a challenge.  I have no doubt that tomorrow will be one too.  HH is having shoulder surgery.  I'm worried.  I'm worried for him and I'm worried for me.  The recovery promises to be a long one, which will definitely take its toll on both of us.

But, we'll be okay.  It's a process and we're in it together.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Day 1117: Guilt

Today started out well enough.  But, then the older two got home from school and there was a really busy, chaotic, stressful time and Baby B especially was crazy, and I just kind of fell apart.

And I'm really tired of this.

It doesn't help that I'm tired and in pain.  But, I just feel really sensitive.  A few things happened today that I should have been able to just let go, but I can't.  I feel really guilty and inadequate.  All of those negative feelings I thought I'd gotten on top of...

I'm tired of this.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day 1116: Lessons To Repeat

Well, Sundays are back to being stressful days for me.  Did I mention that I now lead the music at church?  This probably wouldn't be as stressful for just about anyone else.  But, I struggle.  And, I guess it's just a problem with my vanity, but deciding what to wear each week has become a really big deal, too.  Without going into it too much, suffice it to say, I was not very nice this morning.

Although, somewhat in my defense (and hopefully, as a way of explanation for my crazy emotions of late), a certain something that has been absent in my life has returned.  Let's just say that one of the added blessings of being a nursing mom has ended.

And I feel that that explains a lot.

But still, I want to take back my Sundays.  And enjoy them again.  And have peace on them again.

The day ended well, at least.  I've been wanting to have our neighbors over for dinner for about a year. We finally did it.  And I think it went really well.  Besides for a whole lot of noise from the kids.  But, it was ours and theirs, so I think they understood.  Except when Sweet P declared she was super bored and after whining about this for an extended time, decided to "fix" her boredom by ignoring her friends and playing chess with Little M.

Ah.  Okay.

Anyway, all in all, a good evening.  I'm so thankful to have nice neighbors!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 1115: Getting Warmer

Today was a fun.

Yoga in the morning, followed by lunch with a good friend (and some shopping--I <3 a="" at="" clearance="" date="" day="" ended="" hen="" hh.="" home.="" nbsp="" nd="" p="" productive="" some="" stuff="" the="" we="" with="">
We were planning on getting a new suit for him, something I've been trying to get him to do for years, but we had a very last minute change of plans.  And on a whim, we ended up going to see a movie after a yummy dinner at Macaroni Grill.  It was "Warm Bodies".  Totally dumb, but very funny (unfortunately, with some bad language).

Kind of a random date for us, but it was really nice to get out and spend some time together.  I'm feeling a lot better.  I think I'm on my way out of this funk.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 1114: Begin At The Beginning

Well, I did it.  I started things over.  Which basically meant reading my journal from the beginning.  And I actually didn't get that far in yet.

I write a lot in my journal.

I know, that's really surprising, huh?

But, I learned (re-learned) a lot.  I was surprised at how many insights I'd already forgotten just since last November.  And it was good.  It helped and I'm feeling much better.

Tonight was Date Night.  Not our typical date night.  This one involved the kids.  HH and Sweet P went to the annual Daddy Daughter Dance and the boys and I stayed home, made beignets, and watched a movie ("Flubber") in our pj's.

It was a lot of fun.  Especially when the boys were giggly about the silly parts of the movie.  I love hearing their laughter.  It was a late night for the kids though.  As evidenced by Baby B's comment about 3/4ths of the way through the movie, "When are we going to go upstairs and go to bed?"  I asked if he wanted to, but he said 'no'.  He kept laying his head down on the couch and then popping back up.  I think he was really tired, but didn't want to miss out.

Cutie Patootie Pie.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 1113: What Happened?

Something happened Tuesday morning.  I'm really not sure what.  I've been feeling a bit on edge lately and HH and I had a phone conversation that was not the best, but it still doesn't make sense.  I just took a steep nose dive way down into the depression.

I've spent the last few days trying to figure out what caused it, so I can combat it and come back out of it.  But, it's just not happening.

It's sad and frustrating.  And yucky.

And I just want to know why!  I mean, with the depression, I always seem to get sad more quickly and to a greater extent that circumstances justify, but there is always a trigger.  Or, several triggers.  I'm not saying my life is anywhere near perfect right now, but given how well I had been doing, I'm just stunned at how bad things are right now.

Although, they've gotten a little better since Tuesday.  Which is nice, because on Tuesday I didn't feel like I could face anyone.  After being so well for so long, it feels a lot harder to fake the happy face, especially with my friends.

And I feel like I know what it's going to take to get back to being well again.  I feel quite strongly that I'm supposed to go back to the beginning and start the whole process over again.  Read through my journal entries and re-trace my steps.

And for some reason, I'm super reluctant to do this.  It feels like going backwards.

But, I guess I've already made the trip backwards and this might be the only way to move forward again.

On the upside, we had Parent Teacher Conferences tonight.  First, was Little M's.  Pretty much good news.  Not to brag, but the kid is really smart.  But, his teacher has run into the same struggle that I have been having with him lately about violin and pretty much every other challenge in his life--he doesn't want to put in the effort.  So many things have come easily for him that he just doesn't even want to deal with the things that don't.  So, I gave her the advice I keep giving myself:  Help him connect the dots.  He has big dreams.  He has to see that this challenge here has to be faced in order for him to get to where he wants to go.  And then I remind him that plenty of things he can do easily now were once hard.  The more you practice and work at something, the easier it gets.

Reading that now, I'm seeing that that is a conversation I need to have with myself as well.

What can I say?  It's good advice.

Then on to Sweet P's.  Wow.  Her teacher loves her.  Which I'm super grateful for.  She recognizes the effort Sweet P puts into every assignment.  And she thinks she's wonderful.  Which, of course, she is.  But, she is terrified of not being wonderful and perfect and smart and all that.  So, the conversation with her teacher was me expressing my concern about Sweet P's fear of failure.  If she misses one word, or one answer, it's kind of crushing for her.  They want to test her for the gifted program.  A couple years ago, I was in shock (and a little bugged) that they hadn't done this yet.  But now, I'm kind of reluctant and worried about it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all concerned about how she'll score on the test.  I'm just worried about what it will do to her perception of what I, her teachers, and everyone else expects from her.

And I don't want her to have the pass-or-fail issues I have.

Ever since she was tiny, she has had this insatiable thirst for learning.  She wanted to know about everything.  She wanted to learn her numbers and her letters, so she could use them to read and learn more.  I just don't want her to get too caught up in getting the "right" answer every time, so that learning becomes stressful and not something she just loves.

All-in-all though, it was a fun evening.  I'm glad there aren't any serious issues, that my kids are doing well, and that they're liked by their teachers.  And I had Darling A with me who just kept giggling at random points during both meetings and melting the hearts of both teachers.

She has that effect on pretty much everyone she meets.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Day 1112: That's Normal

I had another appointment this morning.  It's been about a month.  I was thinking I didn't need to go, but then there were the issues with stress over the weekend and I thought maybe I did need it.

The first bit was kind of weird though.  I would tell him experiences I'd had and how I'd responded (in a way I didn't think was ideal) and he would say, "That's normal."  "Do you know someone who wouldn't have felt that way?" and then there was the nonverbal shoulder shrug with hands in the air.

Okay, maybe I didn't need to go in.

Although, at the end, we did get to some "issues".  Why I'm stressed.  What I'm worried about.  And a lot of it boils down to limitations.

Which is kind of funny given a couple of my recent posts.

I'm sort of an all or nothing kind of girl.  I like to give 100% or 0%.  And I've spent a lot of time over the past several years giving 0% to a lot of the things I would otherwise want to do because I was spending so much of my energy worrying about myself, or feeling the need to conserve my energy just in case I had a meltdown and needed it.

But now, I have more energy to do more things.  And I kind of want to just jump right in (on a couple of occasions, I have), but I'm worried about taking on too much and getting overwhelmed and just winding back up where I started.

Because that sort of thing has happened before.

So, I'm supposed to make a list.  And prioritize.  And then start slowly.  And gradually push outward on the limits.

And it's supposed to be simple.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day 1111: Limited Capacity

Thank goodness we don't have an infinite capacity for everything, right?  Take stress, for example.  I definitely have a limit on how much of that I can handle and still function as the person I want to be.

Today I can feel that I am approaching that limit.  I was snappy and irritable.  And not really the person I want to be.

Not the entire day--just whenever stress hit.  Normally, Sundays are not all that stressful.  But, today seemed like it was.

Fortunately, I got the chance to talk to my dad when I called him for a late "Happy Birthday" wish.  I tried to call him before putting the kids to bed, so they could talk to him, too.  He was unavailable at the time, so they didn't get to talk to him, but they left him a super cute message.  And then they were in bed by the time he called back, so I got to have a real conversation with him for once.  It was really really great.

I love my dad.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day 1110: Get 'Er Done

Bleh.  Today was a productive day, but not the most fun.

We cleaned out the kids' toy room.  Always an enormous undertaking.  We didn't get rid of as much as I'd hoped, but we did find several things the kids have been missing and were pleased to be reunited with.

And then I had a mammoth shopping trip.  The necessity after putting off so much while I wore the boot and then while I was so sick.  Not fun, but it's good to have my stores replenished so I can cook again.

I had a bit of a frustrating experience this morning.  I went to yoga.  I love Saturday yoga, but haven't been in a couple months due to the aforementioned health issues.  It was more than a challenge, to say the least, but I felt so great by the end.  And very happy and at peace, to boot.

Then came time to gather the kids and go home (HH had church basketball, so we were on our own).  First stop was for the younger two.  Baby B was happily building a tower and sweetly said he wanted to finish before we left.  So, I waited patiently while he stacked his blocks together.  But they kept breaking apart and he'd have to start over.  So, I (less patiently) helped out.  They still kept falling apart.  After several minutes I said, "Okay, you're just going to have to build a tower with our blocks at home. These keep breaking and we need to go."

Full.  Blown.  Tantrum.

It was a disaster.

Long story short--I had to drag a screaming Baby B clear across the gym, to the room where the older two were, while also carrying four coats, a diaper bag, a gym bag, and Darling A.  And someone had cranked up the heater and I was SO hot!

And mad.  M.A.D.  Mad mad mad mad mad.

What the heck happened?  I had been so zen just moments before!  How did I lose it so quickly?  I don't know.  But, I'm frustrated with myself.

I slightly recovered a bit when I forced myself to let it go when Baby B did a complete 180 and happily chatted away about the train he could hear whistling--even though I was sorely tempted to just stay mad at him for much much much longer!

Baby Steps, I guess.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 1109: Infinite Capacity

We had some good friends over for lunch today.  It was great for me and Baby B to socialize and have some fun.  Darling A had a friend, too.

But, her friend was not sure how she felt about Darling A stealing her binky.  I love this pic of my beautiful friend and her sweet sweet baby, though!

I also had a bit of an epiphany this morning.  No with a new concept, just a new way of thinking about it.  I already tried to write it in my journal, and I wasn't totally happy with how it came out.  Those of you who speak another language have probably experienced when a certain word or phrase in one language just can't be completely translated into another and maintain its full meaning.  I think it's like that when we are being taught by the Spirit.  We're taught in a language more pure than that with which we speak and so when it comes to putting it down into words, something is lost.  But, I'll share it to the best of my ability.

I was thinking about the incredible amount of joy Darling A has brought into my life, which led to the thought that we would have missed out on so much joy if we'd never had her (because of the challenges caused by pregnancy)--like something would have been lacking in my life.  But, I quickly reminded myself that that didn't feel entirely true.  Before Darling A joined our family, I felt complete joy with my first three children.  And from there, I jumped to the thought that we truly have an infinite capacity for joy.  We can have a moment in life where our joy feels complete, but the truth is--our joy can always be increased.

The purpose of our creation was two-fold--both centered on joy.  The first was to bring joy to our Creator, similar to the way our children bring us joy; and the second was so that we could have joy.  And since Heavenly Father loves us infinitely, He created us with an infinite capacity to have and experience joy.  With that came the infinite capacity for one other interrelated thing--growth.

There is no limit to the amount of joy and growth we are capable of experiencing.  We are only held back by our own thoughts and actions, and the consequences thereof.

Life is full of challenges and obstacles that can appear to contradict what I just said, but these things "give us experience" and without them, we cannot grow, or increase our joy.

We do these things step-by-step.  As I am shaking off the depression that has "held me back" for so many years, the happiness and joy I feel are so much richer because I know what it means to have sorrow.  Hope feels so bright because I know the black darkness that accompanies hopelessness.  And I am so grateful that I am not "stuck" here!  Or, where I was 6 months ago.  But, that I can learn and grow and progress.