Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Illnesses suck

Oh my, I am losing my mind. Haven is on a number of meds for her asthma, including two steroids, and therefore I haven't been giving her her ADD meds since I was concerned that all the medications would be too much on her system. She needs to take her anti-seizure meds, plus Tylenol or Motrin for her illness, Prednisone (oral steroid), Xoponex and Pulmicort (inhaled steroid), so adding in another drug this week just seemed mean. This unfortunate side effect is that steroids make you crazy, and without the self control her ADD meds give her, it is like living in the looney bin. Truly I fear I am losing my mind with the randomness and craziness that abounds. Argh.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Never a dull moment

Last week Brittan was home sick on Wednesday. No big deal, sore throat, slight cough, no fever. I watched her the one day and she was back in action on Thursday. Friday Haven was home with the same symptoms. Friday night she woke up and needed a breathing treatment, then another on Saturday, and then she spiked a fever...uh oh. Ryan took her to the ER since she is high risk for complications if she were to contract the flu. Thankfully, the flu test was negative, but poor Haven has a severe lower respiratory infection and her asthma was flaring up badly. When she got there, her oxygen levels were in the 80's, under 95 is bad, so 80's is really, really, bad. They gave her breathing treatments, sent her home with oral steroids and an order to rest. She will be home most of the week being that her immune system is compromised and the flu is going around, it would be devastating if she were to get it now.

So I have three of the four kids home. Ryan will need to work some extra hours today to help out the folks who covered for him Saturday when he missed work, and I am guessing we will have a long, long day. The good part is that I have very little going on beyond housework. My PT school is taking an exam, so I have no prep, and FT school is between classes so I just have some administrative stuff to do. I am hoping to get a little decluttering done today, some laundry and even get the diapers washed and out to dry.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sometimes you need a rainy day

We are having one of those rainy, dreary, cool Saturdays and I am thoroughly enjoying it. The cool weather is such a nice change, and I am hoping it helps kill off the ants that we have been battling. We have had an issue with those little tiny sweet ants this year, usually they show up in Spring, I clean the heck out of wherever they are, and they are gone within a day or two. In the past when they would persist, we would use the Terro liquid ant baits and they would be gone for sure, but we couldn't find them locally this year and we were using other types of baits. Yeah, well they don't work.

Today I broke down and called an exterminator. I scheduled him for a few weeks from now and then promptly ordered the Terro baits online. I want to see if they will do the job and save me a hundred bucks! I am hopeful that they have been the secret to our success in the past since they had 50 five star reviews out of 53 total reviews! If not, the bug guy will be here soon enough to spray poison all over our nice organic world....a drastic step which shows we are desperate:(

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Through the fog

Wow, what a difference a few days make. The anxiety was still pretty bad last night when driving to work, but once I was headed home, it seemed much better. It was better still this morning and I am hoping it will keep improving. The big test will be driving to work tomorrow since driving has become a huge trigger for me. This makes me sad since I have always loved to drive, long trips, country rides, the scenic route, I was always happy to take the wheel, and now it is a struggle to drive even here in town. Sigh.

We are also attacking some key areas of the house and I am SO excited! Ryan is working on some clutter in our room, and in a bit I am going to fold Gray and Teagan's clothes and put them away. The girls and Gray will need to clean their rooms today and I will run a vacuum upstairs to finish getting the job done. The other big task is the master bathroom. I think we will begin redoing it this winter, I just need to figure out if we are tearing out the shower or not. What I want to do is tear out the horrid shower stall, put in a shower pan and tile that area extending it out another foot. Then I want to tile the floor and paint the walls, and add a new mirror. The question will be cost. If we can't do the shower stall, we will be tiling the floor and painting at the very least, and I am deciding on colors now...either a pale olivey sagey green or some shade of orange. Decisions!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Admit Defeat

OK, so I try to keep most things close to the vest on here, but sometimes I feel the need to share. I am very prone to anxiety and have wicked OCD, we all know these things about me. I have tried medications and therapy in the past to "help" and basically was told that I was functionally OCD which was a nice way of saying that I was good crazy. My lifestyle requires a bit of craziness, so I have basically just puttered along.

While pregnant with Teagan, we faced a lot of challenges, some small...like the burst pipe and house flood, some medium, like the mother in law moving in for a short time, and some more major like the heart issues the baby and I faced. I have found that leaving the anxiety behind has been difficult postpartum, so I have begun taking Paxil to help things along. Am I happy about it, no. Do I need it right now, yes. The anxiety has become overwhelming for me, keeping me up at night and making me cranky and short. I started on the 10 mg dose, which is the lowest, but it made me feel sick to my stomach, although it curbed the anxiety. I went off for a few days, and today split the pills into 5 mg doses to see if that cuts the side effects.

Sometimes you just need to admit that you need help, and I hope it is only for a short while, I like my usual functional craziness.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Crisp Breezes

I cannot say how much I have been loving the weather, it is nice and cool and crisp in the morning, and warmer in the afternoons. We have been running upper 70's/lower 80's most days, and if we could settle in the low 70's it would be perfect weather. I love fall, and the last few years we seemed to jump from summer to winter and then back to summer with no real spring or fall weather which was disappointing.

Many of my best memories from growing up are from fall and spring, and the weather here in VA is not as mild as on Long Island. For Ryan and I, the weather is a big player in where we want to end up when we make the next big move.

To celebrate the change of seasons, I have been breaking out the cooler weather foods. Chili is back in the rotation as are a number of soups and stews. I made a pot roast the other day and was happy to have that warm feeling of comfort food in the house. Don't get me wrong, come next summer I will be thrilled to be back out at the grill making fresh foods and keeping the heat out of my kitchen, but for now it is all about warmth and home.

Soon we will go apple picking and canning will begin again Then comes the holidays, winter fires and the cold, dark evenings that make me feel all snuggly and safe....maybe even some snow will show up! I am beginning to feel hopeful again, I am seeing that this bad phase may be ending, and there are opportunities for us in the future. While I would love to pick up and move right now, I know that we can't and I am ok with that. If things go well, we hope to be back in NY in two years, but if not, we will make it work here. I guess this is the adventure part of life.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Long week

It was a long week of good and bad news. We are slowly adapting to the schedule and while the girls are tired by the end of the week, we are feeling more in control. Gray, Teagan and I are also getting used to the quieter days, although poor Gray really misses the girls being home to play with. Preschool starts in a few weeks, so that should help him feel better since he will get to see his friends and play three days a week.

Right now I am anxiously awaiting October for a number of reasons, and will be thankful as we head into fall and winter.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time Management

I never realized how much of my day was spent dealing with the girls....them fighting with each other, with Grayson, complaining, needing things, etc. Since they have been back at school, I now see how I used to get everything done. I have had no trouble getting the chores for the day completed, lunch made for myself and Gray and dinner for the family. I have also had time to relax a little, work, and get some of the bigger tasks underway (there are ample BIG tasks that always need doing). Now keep in mind, I have the younger two at home which includes the 8 week old who nurses every two to three hours and needs to be held or carried a lot and I STILL have more time! Don't get me wrong, I love my girls and I am thrilled to see them when they get home, but they need a lot of attention, apparently more than the two younger kids, and between all four that leaves little time to get tasks accomplished. I am thankful they enjoy school and that things are going well for everyone!

I am trying to make Tuesdays a fun day for Gray and I, at least until preschool starts next month. Tomorrow I promised to take him to lunch and then to the Marine Corp Museum. I think he will have a great time, and if the museum bores him, there is an awesome playground outside that he can visit too. The main concern will be feeding Teagan. I know I will feed her before we leave, then we need to stop and pick up a medication for me and drop off a script for Haven, then we will go to lunch. Before we go into the museum I will need to feed the baby, so that may be a good time to stop at the playground, so he can play and I can nurse, then we will go into the museum. Depending on when we are done, I will see if we have time to run up to Wegman's. I have a big list that I need to fill and we will be almost halfway there, so it may be worth it. Better yet, I should email the list to Ry and have him stop on his way home tomorrow :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I hear you!!!!

I have had a feeling that the universe has been trying to tell us something for awhile, but kept shoving that thought away. We have had a HUGE string of bad luck, and recently the courses I had been asked to write for an extra 7k were canceled which took away some much desired security. I am hoping that my boss finds me a few more classes to write, but we will see, I do know I have a meeting on October 1st which may or may not lead to work.

I also applied for a position with a non-profit. It would be a work from home doing fundraising and might be part or full time. It is an environmental group, so something I am very comfortable with. My concern is that I haven't done traditional fundraising, I have created events and solicited donations for them including some really cool things like an antique train, classic cars, etc...but I am not sure that they will see that the skills translate well. It would be perfect to do that job part time along with my full time gig and the two adjunct classes until the end of the year, then maybe go full time and drop the adjunct work. While two full time jobs seem like a lot, I have no commute and work seven days a week, so it is much more managable. I guess time will tell. If the courses or the other job don't work out, I will keep looking for opportunities. Ryan and I are itching to get out of here, maybe our housing market will keep growing, we gained 20K in value last month, so maybe this summer will be one of great change.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just nothing to say

I have a post sitting there that I started to write but didn't finish. It is basically the same old same old, so today I decided to just post a reminder to all to look around and be thankful for the safety, love and closeness of your friends and families, and know that the families of the 9/11 attacks cannot do the same today. Think of them.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Squishy Tushies

We have had Teagan in the cloth diapers during the day for a few weeks now and I am happy to report it is going very well! She fits into all my fitted diapers and covers and within the group I have a few favorites and will be adding more to my stock. We just broke out the all in one diapers and a few of those fit her as well.

We have only had one or two explosions or leaks, about the same as we would have with disposables, and the washing hasn't been hard at all! I am able to do the diapers every two or three days, there is no stink, and the few diapers that had some staining bleach right out in the sun. The main issue will be in winter when I can't always hang them out to dry, but as long as it is over freezing, they may take a trip out into the sun to bleach then head inside to the fireside to dry.

The diapers are really budget friendly, super easy to use (even the hubby likes them), environmentally friendly and as an added bonus...CUTE!

Let's make a deal

Ryan is in the midst of schedule switchover. The switch is good for us since it means he is home to wrangle the kiddos both days I teach, but the switch really stinks. He worked last Tues-Fri nights, was off last night and then works tonight-Tuesday. Because he works overnight, he slept during the day yesterday and was supposed to stay up all night in his normal schedule and finish swapping the desks in the family room. I woke at 4 am when Grayson wanted to come in my room and I declined and then he and I battled for over an hour. When I came downstairs at 5:30 I saw that the dishes were not finished, the desks not completely swapped and the husband asleep....hmmm.

To be fair, I must admit that he is now working on finishing the desk, and did do the dishes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Busy little bee

I got a lot done today and feel like I may FINALLY be getting on task! This morning I knew I needed to make beef stock, so right after we came down and I fed the kids, I put some short ribs, water and veggies on the stove. The baby was fussy today, so between feedings and holdings, I vacuumed, dusted the family room, did the dishes, switched the laundry and washed the diapers, hung out the diapers, made the stock into beef and barley soup, folded towels, made lunches, baked bread and started a new batch and made my list for the grocery store. I still have a lot of catching up to get this house back in order, but I decided I will attack one room at a time. Tomorrow it is the Living Room since that is my room to sit quietly in or use when I am on the phone, so that will be cleaned and organized. The kitchen is on the agenda for Monday and Tuesday. Since the CSA pick up is Monday, I will lose some time that day, and Tuesday the kids start school, so there will be some hub bub that day as well and there is a lot of organizing needed in the kitchen cabinets. I think if I can approach everything systematically, it will get done and I will feel like everything is back to normal. The baby has pretty regular sleep times starting, so I know I can get a break in the morning to get things done, and then again in the afternoon, although that is usually when I make dinner.

I am very excited to get back to cooking and organizing the house, I feel so much better when we have good solid meals and the house is in order. Maybe this is the light at the end of a long and difficult pregnancy and postpartum period?

It's tough being right

Yesterday I posted about my anxiety and stress, but didn't get too into it. The main source of the stress was my car, which isn't even 4 years old! In July, a week before I had the baby, the kids and I were stranded on a back road with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, this was after a double flat tire incident last November. That flat, along with the other tire in the pair and a new battery cost us nearly 800 bucks in the middle of summer when we don't have my PT income. Since that time, I have had some stress about the car that was getting worse and worse. It was getting to be that I didn't want to drive anywhere, which is odd for me since I really like driving and usually find it calming. Following the lake trip, I began hearing a hum. Wrote it off for a week, then made the husband listen, then when I drove to PT gig on Wednesday it began to worry me more. Everyone basically told me it was nothing, just my anxiety, etc...I even made a mechanic take a ride with me and the four kids on Thursday. On Friday, I fed my baby, took a half a Xanax and set out to drive to PT school...on the way it became clear that there was an issue.

I had been pretty sure for awhile it was a wheel bearing. I made it to work fine, then came back and dropped it at the shop where Emily picked me up with my four kids she had been watching (Thanks Em, you are the best!) Needless to say, within an hour of dropping the car off, it was confirmed, failed wheel bearing. The mechanic indicated it was pretty bad, so I am glad I took it in and didn't wait or push it, it could be very dangerous. So 400 bucks later, the truck is running again and I can be happy and mad that I was right.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Under Pressure

Oh my the stress and anxiety are out of control. Most who know me, know that I have severe OCD and take on probably too much, but thrive on being busy. Being someone who always seeks perfection and has a need to be busy is a double edged sword. While it is great that I can juggle my jobs, home, kids and school even while taking on probably more than anyone should, the flip side is that when it falls apart, it is a huge issue. I have tried medications in the past to help with my anxiety, some did nothing and some worked really well. I was even put on a medication meant to curb my OCD and it was terrible, I couldn't make a list, plan or decision....so not conducive to my life!

My favorite med of choice is Xanax as I can take it only when I need it and it calms my anxiety right down, but I cannot take it while nursing. This leads me to the postpartum issues I am facing right now. I don't get postpartum depression, I get postpartum anxiety. In the past, I was able to work through it on my own, but this time, with so much going on, I just cannot. I am totally fixated on a few key "worries" to the point that I am changing my life to avoid these things, and THAT is a big issue. I feel like the anxiety is a big brick wall keeping me from seeing all the good things and only seeing the bad. Needless to say, I will be seeing my doctor this week to try another medication that will hopefully help me get over this hump.

I hope that anyone who is suffering finds the help they need. I have no problem admitting that I need a medication to help me right now. While the anxiety will eventually go away, I don't want to be miserable the entire time. I am fortunate enough that in my day to day I usually don't need the assistance of medication and do well being my normal crazy self, but also know that many folks do need this help and shouldn't be ashamed or not seek help because they fear what people will think.

I am off to take the kids to Em's and then on to teach a class. I know this will cause me stress and panic, but soon I will have help and will feel better. Anxiety is a terrible thing and takes so much away from my joys in life, I will be happy to see it go.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Badness, sadness and stress

I wish I could put into words my stress, but I can't. I could go on and on about WHAT worries me, but I would guess it is what worries most families, so why go into it all. In addition, I had a hard call with a good friend who I know is struggling and sad and needs to move past some hardships she is going through. I do my best from afar to lend an ear, give advice when asked, and encourage her to live for herself and not allow anyone to skew how she feels about herself. I wish I could afford to fly to where she is, wrap my arms around her, and remind her just how fantastic she is, but time and money just won't allow for it. My heart broke a little today when I heard just how sad she was, and that she doubted for a moment that she is by far one of the best people I have ever had the joy of knowing and calling friend.

I am trying to see the bright side of all these hard things, but it is hard for me. I joked with Ryan the other day saying he was a "glass is half full" person and I am a the "glass is half empty so it will probably fall over and break and make a mess and then what will we do because a new glass is not in the budget this week" person. Guess the positive here is that I know myself pretty well...and the husband got a good laugh at me making fun of myself, which is a rarity.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And we are off.....

It is 3:30 and in two hours I will get in my car and a new school year begins. I have enjoyed my quiet day at home. There is a tasty pot of chili on the stove for Ryan and the big kids, and a loaf of homemade bread is baking in the oven. I have a nice little store of milk, so the baby has a bottle waiting for her tonight while I am out, and just before I leave I will nurse her one more time. My syllabus is ready, my stuff is organized, and I am ready to begin.

Tomorrow I will run errands in the morning with the kiddos. I need to grab Haven's meds for school, we need to replace her Epi-Pens, Benadryl and inhaler each year. I will also pack up the kids supplies to take with us tomorrow evening when we go to meet their teachers, it makes it so much nicer the first day of school to not have to overload the kids with supplies. In addition to their normal stuff, my kids will be taking a small hand sanitizer in their lunch box and will have another one for their desks in an attempt to keep the flu at bay. Usually I prefer the good old fashioned soap and water technique, but at school there is only so much I can control, so this is the next best option.

Now off to switch laundry and begin getting dressed.....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A new year begins

Tomorrow night I head back to PT school and I am approaching it with mixed feelings. I am always unhappy with change and worry and complain leading up to the start, but always leave my first class excited and looking forward to the semester. Fall term is my favorite by far, the schedule is better and the students seem more excited and into the material.

I am, however, a little sad about leaving the kids, especially Teagan. She will be seven weeks tomorrow, and while I know I have it better than most, I will still miss her and the other kids while I am at class. I am also a touch concerned about how she and Ryan will do. She is still really little and wants nothing to do with Daddy right now. I know that within a few weeks they will find a routine for Wednesday nights and Friday afternoons, and for me it will be great to step away a bit, but any change is hard and I don't want to know my baby is at home crying.

Next week the girls head back to school and my FT gig gets underway. Again I approach with mixed emotions, while I will be happy they girls are at school and I will have a bit more time to work and get things done, I will miss them and dread the after school crazies.

I hope everyone is excited as the new school year begins and enjoy seeing their children enter a new year full of excitement, friends and learning. They truly grow up so quickly, the days and years go by far too fast.