Thursday, October 31, 2013

Over The Edge

I knew it within a few seconds of waking up this morning.

I'm officially depressed.

I've been wondering if maybe I was tumbling down the slippery slope these past few weeks.

I've been grasping whatever handholds I could.  Trying to fix my admittedly bad attitudes towards certain circumstances.  Trying to focus on the good, enjoy the season, love my family, focus on how wonderful God is.

But this morning I went over the edge.

Immediately on waking I noticed that I was uncharecteristically fuzzy headed.  Not your normal, I-haven't-had-my-coffee-yet fuzziness.  But an unreal, hardening cement sort of sludge.
Coffee didn't help.
It made it worse.
 I also wasted considerable time talking to myself about pregnancies past.
 Never a good sign.
 I neglected husband and children, locking myself in my room to compulsively read every single blog post about all my past pregnancies.
Looking worse and worse.
I was also feeling flushed and feverish.  Last year I battled a mysterious "fever" that (in hindsight) also co-incided with my worst depression.
The last few months though, I have finally achieved a consistent, normal temperature.
Today it's 100.1

I do have a parachute, however.  Time for me to deploy it.

The first thing I did was google "sugar and depression"  I have definitely fallen off the sugar-free wagon.  Could this be the cause?

Here is the link I found: Why Sugar Is Dangerous To Depression

So, starting now, this moment, I am cutting off all sugar.  Tomorrow I will go to WalMart and stock up on Nectresse, sugar free candy, ice cream and chocolate syrup.  I will also stock up on more fruit, veggies, yogurt and nuts to snack on.  I will avoid aspartame.  I will also begin exercising more.  Really, I will!

I hope this works.  Last time it took me nearly a year to recognize the connection between sugar and my depressing muddleheadedness.  I hope and pray this can be reversed much more quickly this time.

Stay tuned for updates.  I'm way too scared to take anti depressants.  Particularly while pregnant.  Sam-e might be an option, but I'd rather tough it out until Reindeer gets here.  Only 3 months to go!  And I'm seriously considering placental encapsulation.
Just kidding!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

For The Beauty

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies:
Christ our God, to Thee we raise 
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
Sun and moon and stars of light:
Christ our God, to Thee we raise 
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, 
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild:
Christ our God, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy Church that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Off'ring up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love:
Christ our God, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Christian Henry Bateman 1813-1889

Go outside.

Look at the perfect blue skies, the amber trees.  Hear the last of the tree frogs and crickets.

Sing this song.

Then try to go back in and be gloomy.

I dare you.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Life Day

I declare today, October 24th a celebration of Life: Past, Present and Future.

Past- Two years ago today, Elle left our dreams and entered our arms.  Life hasn't been the same since.  Happy Birthday, Boo!

This is also the anniversary of the day God spared my life, again.  Which leads to remembrances of that September day 3 years ago when a little life left us all too soon.  And I nearly followed.  Which reminds me of the three other babies we never got to hold.  Which reminds me of my dad, who only held one grand baby.  His birthday is coming up.

For the lives lived and loved in the Past, I am grateful

Present-  There are so many wonderful people in my life right now.  I want to be present today.  Purposefully living and loving every minute with the people that surround me right now.

What I read in The Screwtape Letters today seemed especially appropriate:

"The humans live in time, but our Enemy (from a devil's point of view, Christ) destines them to eternity.  He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself and .to that point of time which they call the Present.  For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.  Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them.  He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present- either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure."

That means inhaling the fluffy golden curls of my two year old.
Making pancakes, without panicking.
Sitting in the fall sunshine.
Playing a pre-school game with my pre-schooler.
Not worrying about the Future.

Future-  My tap dancing Reindeer reminds me to celebrate the hope of Future Life.
Her life, (which really is Present).
My life, which is hid in Christ so that whether I live or die, I am hid in Christ.
The foundation of future generations, which is being laid now.
Eternal Life, with Christ

In a twist of irony, here I am, sitting at the computer, dressed in a "lively" red and white polka dot blouse with pearl earrings, blogging about life, while my kids pound on a locked bedroom door.  Time to get out there and actually live it!

P.S.  This is the song I want at my funeral!

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, Opening to the sun above,
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day.

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flowery meadow flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain, Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the Joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o'er us, Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life, 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Autumn Greeting

This is the poem we will learn next week.  I can't wait!

An Autumn Greeting

"Come," said the Wind to the Leaves one day.
"Come over the meadow and we will play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold.
For summer is gone and the days grow cold."

Genesis  8:22 reminds us of God's faithfulness, global warming notwithstanding.
"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat , and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

Grab a cup of apple cider, a good book, some wiggly kids  and a snuggly blanket.  It's Fall!!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why I Love Sick Days

Admittedly, we were super blessed through the Zombie Apocalypse Stomach Virus.  It just happened to strike on Friday night, leaving the entire days of Saturday and Sunday for recovery.  It doesn't always work out this way, I know.  Also, my husband was able to be home and help.  I recall a time not so long ago, when Rob was spending the summer in New York for an internship.  If anything had happened at that time, I would have been on my own.

Which is why I moved in with my mommy.

Anyways, Sunday turned out to be a very healing and restful day for me.  Throughout the day I jotted down reasons why Sick Days can be awesome:

1. It's a chance to hit the Reset button.  Have you ever noticed that illness seems to happen when we have been stretched to the maximum?  Sometimes it's the only way we're ever going to get a break.  And it purges our system and gives us a chance to start over with healthier foods.  Or not!

2. I am free to clear the schedule, no pressure to get anything done.  People become amazingly accommodating when the forceful ejection of partially dissolved foods is involved.

3. No need to wrangle with the kids over cleaning their plates.  No guilt over throwing half eaten bowls out.  I am NOT going save germ laden leftovers or risk cross contamination by getting plates mixed up.

4. I can write myself a RX to do yoga.

5. Or just take a nap.

6. Plenty of time to read!

7. I definitely have more gratitude that this is not a chronic, wasting illness.  And a renewed sense of how fragile our good health really is.  Chances are, we will all face a major illness at some time or another.  We'll definitely all die.  Time to commit to living well and for the glory of God while we can.

8. Cleaning when and how I want actually feels good.  Candles don't hurt, either.

9. It's OK to let the kids watch TV!

10. I can view the food I do chose to eat as medicine.  Rice pudding is known for it's curative powers.

Rice Pudding

Steam 1 cup dry rice in 2 cups salted, boiling water for 15 minutes.
Whisk two eggs and a cup (or a little more) of milk, add to rice with small amounts of sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Heat and stir until thick and creamy.  Eat.  Feel pampered.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse

Little did I know when last I posted, that the Zombie Apocalypse of stomach viruses was around the corner...

Friday began innocently enough.  I checked off the last of our list for the school week.  Picked up videos at the library.  Dashed into Dollar Tree for last minute baby shower gifts.  Dinner was simple, sliced ham in the crockpot, homemade scalloped potatoes, sauteed green beans and dinner rolls helped along by a cupcake mix.  (I'd share the recipe, but I forgot to copy it out of the now-returned library book)

For some reason I went into Elle's room in the middle of my dinner prep.  Maybe it was because she was suspiciously quiet...  She was just standing there, staring off into space.  "Are you feeling OK?", I queried.  As she turned to me, the room began to take on the eerie quality of a horror movie.  In slow motion she opened her mouth...

...and began to spew...

..."Noooooo!"... legs were stuck in concrete...

...couldn't. get. her. to. the. bathroom. quick. enough.

Then everything was happening all at once.  I stripped her clothes, deposited her in the tub, washed my hands, scrubbed the floors, scrubbed her, scrubbed me, returned to cooking dinner.  It happened again.  And again.

Now I'm beginning to feel sick.

Finally, dinner is ready.  I sure didn't want to eat it.  I sat the Baby Belle on an unzipped sleeping bag in the living room to watch (what else) Winnie the Pooh, and guard her, bowl in hand.  Evidently puking toddlers dislike bowls being shoved in their face.  Who knew?

Hours later, things seemed to be calming down, Elle drifted in and out of a troubled sleep.  I am also drifting in and out on the couch while the rest of the family watches "The Man Who Knew Too Much".

And then I knew.  I'm sick too.

As I wrangle with my stomach's inner turmoil at the foot of the toilet, Elle toddles into the bathroom.  As I lose my heroic struggle, so does she.  Right on my leg.

I am soooo glad Robert was right there to help.

The next 10 hours fade into a filmy haze where trashcans float and retch-ed sounds echo from every room in the house.  For Cy, Dee and Alvin all succumb in rapid succession.

Poor Rob.  He was kept hopping from one scene of misery to the next.  Cy and Dee shared a trashcan.  Alvin, notoriously bad at aiming, was banished to a sleeping bag on the kitchen tile.   Elle was left to her own devices, the theory being that she had nothing left to give and a little dry heave on the sheets was *not* an emergency at this point.  We were in full triage mode.

 And I was sick every 10-15 minutes.  Until about 9:45.  A.M.

By this time it was clear that I was going to need a little more help than 7 Up or pedialyte.  My pulse was around 150.  I was having contractions every time I got sick.  And I had a fever.  Time to call in the cavalry!

My sister, Joanna came over and took me to Urgent Care (a great alternative to the Emergency Room)  I got 3 bags of  IV fluids and 3 hours of rest.  During which we watched the OU-Texas game.  Which nearly made me sick again.

Once arrived back home, it was clear Robert had heroically spent the whole day cleaning up.  I love him so much!!!!  We all rested and sipped Gatorade and nibbled on a few crackers.

 And watched Winnie the Pooh.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Obligatory What-We-Are-Doing-In-School Post

It would seem that the stomach bug has struck again.  This time it's Alvin.  He was complaining about a stomach ache last night after church.  I thought that he just wanted to get out of cleaning his room, so he got scant sympathy from me.
 Until he vomited all over the carpet.
 Every 30 minutes.
 For the next 10 hours.

Today, I am definitely dragging my tail feathers.  So much for my carefully crafted school routine!  But, that's OK.  That's why I home-school.  Even though I am feeling queasy myself, we were still able to do simplified versions of Math, History and English.

And let's not forget the quintessential Winnie the Pooh video.  It's not a sick day without our favorite bear stuffed with fluff. 

And now, because I've put it off long enough, I will go ahead and write about our regular school day routine.  I'm doing this now mainly because I am avoiding folding the aftermath of last nights laundry.  All 43 loads.

Without further ado...


10:00  Begin the day with prayer and Bible reading at the kitchen table.  We skip this part at our own peril.  I need all the Divine help I can get.  It only makes sense to seek His guidance before the day falls apart.  

The Bible reading morphs into our Morning Meeting.  This usually lasts 30-40 minutes.  It's easy to skip, but there is a lot of important work going on here.  First, we review our math facts with flash cards.  I hated this when I was a student.  Doing it as a teacher isn't much more fun.  But it really does make a difference in the boys speed and retention of their facts.  Next, we turn out attention to the large dry erase board that dominates one end of our dining room.  It's so large it blocks the view entirely from our 3 bay windows.  That actually might be a plus, though...  At the top I have written out the date. Ex; Thursday, October 10th, 2013  10-10-13  Day 17.  I have the older boys copy the date into their notebooks.  We then count out change to represent how many days of school we have had so far.  Alvin counts in pennies.  Cy and Dee try to find how many different ways our number can be represented.  We'll probably start making change before long.  Below the dates I have written out our poem and Scripture verse for the week.  We read these together and maybe discuss them a little or any interesting words that might be there.  Story It has a great collection of classic children's poems.  Robert Louis Stevenson and Emily Dickinson, the whole nine yards!  Here is an example of what we used the first week of school.

At the Seaside
~Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup,
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


How to cut your little boys hair:

1. Put it off as long as you can

2. Round them all up while they are still half asleep and in p.j's/underwear

3. Run a bath for little sister (this will keep her out of the fallen hair. We hope)

4. Set up the tall bar stool next to the tub and in front of the large mirror.  Little boys love to see themselves in the mirror.

5. Set out the WalMart-special-color-coded-a-monkey-could-do-this* clipper set, being careful not to drop and break the special comb clippy thingies, again!    *so called because it usually looks like a monkey did do it...

6. Place the youngest victim, er, client on the stool.  Threaten with loss of ears and other assorted appendages.  Let him pick the length of clip guard.

7. Switch to your preferred length when he's not looking.

8. Shave a mohawk, just for fun.

9. Even it all out, once he's finished grinning in the mirror.

10. Dump in the tub with little sister.  Toss hairy underwear in the washer.

11. Repeat steps 6-10 until you run out of shaggy boys.

12. Sweep up hair, rinse out tub, wash every other surface, shake and wash rugs, sweep once more and mop.

13. Repeat step one indefinitely

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Change of Plans

I had my day all planned out.  The logistics were impeccable, right down to the post I planned to write later this evening.  A fun recipe featuring baked potatoes and The Scarlet Pimpernel...  But I digress.

The itinerary looked something like this:

Start school promptly at 10
Lunch at 12
Leave by 1 so that I can:
Go to the bank and library,
Dr office 1:50
Get glasses adjusted
Go to the State Fair!

I made it as far as the bank.  And was promptly arrested by gagging noises in the back seat.  Elle is sick.  And she refused the trash can I shoved under her face.


I rescheduled with the Dr.  My second cancellation in a week.  At least I can see his P A tomorrow.  But I do miss Dr Silver!

I went by the library and returned my un-recheckable video and grabbed some Sick Day movies.  Winnie the Pooh, Wishbone, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Reading Rainbow and a Nova special about a volcano threatening a city in Africa.

I ran into Walgreens and stocked up on milk, eggs, frozen pizza and theater candy.  The poor kids just had corn dogs and funnel cakes and cheese on a stick yanked away from them.  It's the least I can do...

Except now Elle is crying, pointing to the Skittles and saying "Candy, cute!  I like it!"  She doesn't seem very interested in the crackers.

So, God stepped in and re-scheduled the day for me.  Time for me to go enjoy some unexpected snuggle time.


p.s. I'll try to post about baked potatoes later.  Try to contain your excitement