Friday, June 27, 2008

Number 952 In A Series of Why God Rocks

So my last post was written on a day when I felt like my skin would pretty much just crawl off my body. I don't know if any of you have ever experienced profound depression (or ANY depression) and/or anxiety. I thought I had. You know, when you're 17 and the boy you like is totally in love with someone way more gorgeous and sparkly than you? Oh yes, I thought I had felt depression. I never really felt like I experienced anxiety, though.

I'll confess: before last year, I had thought that most people that said they were depressed or had anxiety attacks were either drama queens/kings or they were just plain weak and didn't feel like coping. And I deeply apologize to anyone out there that feels like traveling back in time and slapping that me. That me should have been slapped. That me DID get slapped. Trust me. God took care of it for you.

Last year, I understood profound depression and anxiety. Actually, depression I had experienced when my father died 10 days before my 12th birthday. But I didn't fully experience it because my 12 yr old self just squashed it away until I could process the loss and grieve when I was more like...oh...I think I was about 19?

Man, I am ALL over the place with this one.

Suffice to say - 2007 was my introduction to what depression and anxiety could do to you. Separately, they blow. Together, they blow chunks. But being in that arrogant state of mind I was in, I refused to even think of taking meds. Meds were for weak people. Meds were for all those people they showed on Zoloft commercials. At one point, when I was completely non functioning as a member of society, someone gave me a Xanex or something. I was completely blown away at how it settled me, allowed me to gather the scattered pieces in my mind, focus and function.

I went to my doc and tearfully explained my situation. She wondered why I had waited so many months. I explained my arrogance. I am sadly not unique.

So I got my meds. A big ol' bottle. I took them only for emergencies. I think I took about 3 last year. God was rockin' the Saving L.y.n.e.t.t.e thing pretty big time, if you all recall. I was pretty happy that I only needed the few doses.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I was finally out of the cess pool. I was finally seeing the light through the forest trees. I was near the edge of the forest. Relative to the beginning of the big ol' dumb divorce, I felt On Top Of The World. I remember gleefully tossing the remaining meds thinking, "I will never need these again!"

Fast forward again to a few weeks ago. I'm not quite sure what triggered it. I think it was a combination of things, events, weaknesses, stresses. I believe straws and weakened camel backs were involved. But here I was wrestling depression again. When the stresses kept hitting, the anxiety hit, too. Now, when you think you've finished with something really ugly and it shows up again, almost full force? You can get severely derailed. I denied it for a couple of weeks telling my friends I was going through a rough patch or valley and I'd be fine. Which is true. I know God's not going to let me crumble after all he dragged me through. But it wasn't really getting any better.

I was praying things like, " don't even know what for. Just help!" I kept asking God to take the depression and anxiety away. I started reading my bible consistently - pouring through it hoping God would talk to me.

A few days ago, I felt like my skin was going to jump clear off my body again. I was so down, my mother could see it - feel it. I could tell she was worried. I finally admitted to her I was full on depressed and feeling like I was about to implode. I probably needed meds again. I went home to find said meds. Nada. Hmmm. I searched everywhere. Then I remembered tossing them. Hence the last post (which was thankfully much shorter than this rambling tome).

The next day, I got in to see the doc. She wrote me another scrip (two, actually). She told me, "Don't throw these away."

The funny thing was...after I made the doctor's appointment, I thought...good grief. It never even occurred to me to ask God to do what I was hoping the pills would do. I mean, not in those words. So I said, ok God. I need you to do what I want those pills to do. I need you to focus my brain - help me focus. Help me function at work and as a mom. Lift this depression, calm the panic. Please God - be my meds! I still saw the doc. I told God that I want to trust in him only. But I want to have those pills just in case - which is rather like saying I want to lose weight but I'll just make sure I have Lucky Charms in the pantry. But I digress. I asked God to be my guide with the meds. I asked him to let me know when or if to take them. But in the mean time, I would trust him. And all that bible reading? God started showing me stuff. Stuff like all the miracles in Acts & Romans. He started showing me how to increase my faith in Corinthians. I couldn't get enough. He just really started making things pop off the pages. I couldn't wait to read my bible every night. And if you know me? That ain't me.

Man, this all sounds so crazy when I see it in type. It's just not how I've operated. I don't reject all medicine or doctors. Modern medicine saved my life and Pokemon Boy's life. And the lives of quite a few wonderful people in my life. God gave scientists and doctors their gifts. So I'm totally pro-doctor. But I felt like, right now in my walk, I needed to give God a chance. I needed to put my trust in him in a big way.

So here I sit, about 4 days later and the CVS bags are still stapled shut on my bedroom table. I am asking God every day and night to be my equalizer. To keep me from the lows and the panic. I have felt much better for the last two days. Today has been the best one yet. And today I realized that I was still hanging on to the fear. What if I lose my house? What if I lose my job? What if I have to uproot my kids and move to an apartment? I was still clinging to the panic. Normal, yes. But I have to shake that. So today - once again - I have been trying to release it all to God's care. Trust that he's got it. Even if I lose my job and house - he's got my back. Honestly, why should I be freaking out like this? I mean ASIDE from being a normal human being.

That's where I am today. It's a process. I'm working on it. God's working on me. I'm in a 3 day seminar with most of my church this weekend. We are praying HUGE. I'm expecting some big stuff this weekend. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Note To Self:

Don't throw out an almost full bottle of anti-anxiety meds when you're on an emotional high.

You big dolt.

Dear Blogger People With Your Profiles Set to Private,

I am a big fan of anonymity. I really am. But those of you that have set your Blogger profiles to private while insisting on leaving comments asking me to come try your product (not you, pest control dude), yah...I'm thinking anonymity is just cowardice. Those of you that leave me your email addresses in the comments, well, at least you have the cajones to let me contact you.

But here's my thing. I'm just a schmo doing a blog chat thing with my girls (and assorted guys). No, I don't want to do a free trial of your anti-tic stuff because your website won't tell me thing one about any ingredient without me first trying to order it. I'm good. Move on.

Here's a good rule of thumb: leave me heart felt comments like the rest of my friends here. See how that works? Don't leave me adverts. I just delete them. And get annoyed. And that's no fun.


Tourette's Mom

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Addition to My ABC Art Collection!

Last year, when future ex came to get His Things, it left a telling series of gaps in my house. Most notably were those on the walls. My sister likes to point out how this shows that our house was decorated to suit him. Now I had the freedom to decorate to suit me and my boys. And by "me and my boys", I mean me. Because, let's face it, I highly doubt I'll be putting up much Pokemon decor.

When I lamented the myriad blank spaces on my walls, Wanda was the first to offer artistic filling. She sent me a print of her Girl in White Dress painting. I finally framed it a couple of weeks ago and she is hanging in my living room. When I get a functional camera, I will share her glory with you.

A few months ago, one of my other ABCs (Awesome Blogger Chicks) posted a picture post about things she found beautiful. I fell in love with a cow picture she had and asked her how much she'd charge for the digital image. Being that she's one of the Awesome, she just gave it to me. Because, like Wanda, Allie rocks.

Today, I just got my 11x14 print of her cow picture in the mail - I ordered it through Shutterfly. And I have to tell you, I was not hopeful that I would get a good quality print for such a tiny amount of money. I was happily proven wrong. They gave me a wonderful quality print. So now I can't WAIT to take it to the framer's.

Between all you amazing chicks here on my blog and that wonderful little Swedish shop I adore so much, I'm filling up the gaps on my walls.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gotta Love Them Fire Ants

I have a renewed regimen of walking. I've gained about 15 of my 25 divorce diet pounds back. Poo. I knew it would happen but I hate feeling this unhealthy. With the stress of work and the general yick that still hangs on with the whole divorce thing, being overweight ain't helpin' things much.

So last Thursday night, I took the boys walking in the wagon. Nothing better than walking with weights. So towing a 4 and 7 yr old must be good, right? And cheaper than buying those hand weights. And cuter.

Friday, I walked to their school with the wagon to pick them up. Lil' Bro was thrilled and all his classmates were impressed. Pokemon Boy was a bit apprehensive. I'm sure he was wondering what people would think. Let 'em think what they want. When I'm skinny and healthy, I'll be the one still laughing.

So tonight, we wagon'd out to the swings. A short walk for my taste but I have to keep my free walking weights happy. As I stood behind the boys pushing them (great arm workouts, by the way), I felt a bite. Yah. Some fire ant had decided to investigate my foot. As it got under the strap of my sandals, it didn't like getting squished and bit its disapproval. So I packed up the boys and we headed for the little tot lot near our house. I stuck to the sidewalks because it was watering time. I didn't want to get caught lugging a wagon over the grass as some sprinkler decided to start. The boys took a short cut up a hill. I was walking along looking at their cute figures standing on top of the hill, back lit with the setting son. I thought to myself, this is why we moved down here. Good stuff.

As I rounded the corner, both boys came barreling down the hill toward me, each claiming to have won the race. Suddenly, Pokemon Boy started hollering about ants being all over his legs. He had stood in one place the longest - probably right on top of a nest. Lil' Bro, being 4, had kept moving. I dropped the wagon handle and ran over to find little red beasties all over his sneakers socks and lower legs. ARGH! Have you ever tried to get those things off a kid? You have to just start brushing at them. And that pisses them off. I was brushing and slapping while he was freaking out and trying to hop away. I'm sure we entertained a few people from their windows.

It's one of those mommy moments where you suck it up, accept that you have to take some pain and just save your kid. I had to get him to stop hopping around, I had to undo his shoes and peel off his socks. And with each step of this process, I had to keep shoving him forward away from the little pile of ants we had just dumped on the sidewalk. Finally, I got his feat stripped of socks, shoes and ants. He has a bunch of welts in a little line around each leg starting just above the sock line. Poor thing. Amazingly, I didn't get bit on my hands during that whole thing.

I piled the socks & shoes in the wagon and made the boys head home. They went inside while I used a small hand broom to clean the remaining ants off of his socks, shoes and from in the wagon. Those are tenacious little buggers. I stomped every single one. Bite MY kid, will yah?!

So that was our big adventure tonight. I'd rather take those ants on than a bunch of wasps or bees. But Pokemon Boy will probably have some nasty scars from some of those welts. Although, he says they don't hurt all that bad. The few times I've been bitten, it burned like crazy and I got huge welts that lasted for weeks and then scarred. There went my foot modeling career!


Oh...and the ones all over Pokemon Boy were probably like the ones at about the 5:00 position on this picture. Small but still pack a mean punch.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another Friday Night Date

Be jealous. Be very jealous.

Last night, I went to the movies with two of the arguably cutest boys on the planet. I took the boys to see Kung Fu Panda at the theatre that is spitting distance from our house.

It is SO fun to see a movie in the theatre with your kids. It's NOT so fun to see it in a theatre with someone ELSE's kids. Fortunately, God gave me the grace not to strangle said other kids and we enjoyed the movie.

I have to say, this movie totally rocks. Totally safe for all ages, in my opinion. And Jack Black freakin' ROCKS. I don't care if he's live or animated - that man can crack me UP! The movie was a blast and totally worth the total price of over $38 (tickets + candy + water). My dates were worth it.

My sensitive little Pokemon Boy had trouble with one sad scene. Not during the movie but out in the car, afterwards. He has that trouble with all movies that have a sad scene - if the scene is done well - to tug at your heart strings. So he got it cried out and then we went home to bed.

Next week, the boys are asking me to take them to the new Disney-Pixar movie WALL-E. It looks great but I hate seeing movies on opening weekend. I won't brave those kinds of crowds with two little kids. But I will take them because I have more fun seeing a movie with them than with most adults.

My dates ROCK.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sand Table Therapy and Some Old Pix

Sand Table Therapy
Today Pokemon Boy went to his play therapist's. He's been asking to go since future ex moved back to Boston. Today we got him there. ML has a new toy in the arsenal. A sand table. Toward the end of his session, I got to play in the sand table.

I was called in and was told that Pokemon Boy had played out a scene where an ambulance was rushing to help someone. But that ambulance needed an ambulance. The conversation had turned to me being Pokemon Boy's ambulance. And then wondering who might be MY ambulance. Pokemon Boy told ML he figured he and his little brother were my ambulance. So I was brought in to play out that scenario. I was sitting there looking at ML do you want me to go with this???? But I figured he just wanted me to show what I do for survival. So Pokemon Boy handed me my figurine (a svelte little blond doll in a white bride's dress....uh huh...). So Pokemon Boy's figure fell and hurt his foot. My tiny waisted alter ego rushed over to see if it was ok and dole out kisses. Then it was my turn. Pokemon Boy asked me what makes me sad. Loaded question. But rather than answer in a way that would require more in depth counseling for my kid (hahaha), I said, "Well, sometimes work is hard." So dainty bride doll moped around saying how hard work is. Dainty bride doll stopped and prayed asking God to give her motivation and help in focusing on work (which dainty bride doll actually did yesterday). Then ML handed dainty bride doll a dainty wee bible. So dainty bride doll informed the room that, once the kids are in bed, she likes to read the bible.

It was fun. I want a sand table. But I hate vacuuming. But I love sand. Quandary.

What I gleaned from our exercise was that Pokemon Boy needs to understand that saving mommy is not on his shoulders. And also to show that you can take any problem to God. But I think it was more to show him it's not up to him to save his dainty doll-like mother. Or maybe it really taught him that his mom needs to lose weight and get a wedding dress. I'm not sure what he got from it. But he seemed to enjoy it.

I was reading an old post where I mentioned that ML wanted to train me to do some at home therapy with Pokemon Boy. That hasn't happened. I just have not had the gumption yet. Sounds weak. But I'd rather admit my current limits and not fail at something this important. But I work with ML on Pokemon Boy's therapy. Later this week, I will talk to ML about how/if we should start Lil' Bro in any kind of counseling. He begs to see ML. But he really just wants to play with toys. I think Pokemon Boy can discuss the play with ML enough to be productive. I have visions of Lil' Bro running around with all the toy swords and guns totally ignoring any conversation from ML. But we'll see what he suggests.

Some Old Pix
These are two pix I just pulled out of an old envelope. These are my parents. The ones who adopted me. I think both of these pictures were from when they were in high school. So maybe 1950? Not sure. I'll have to ask mom. But I love these pictures. Dad was all ears. Mom's picture says, "To a very wonderful boy" on it. I love it.

Sam Dad

Rose Mom

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

I never posted about Mother's Day. I think we were still rotating illnesses at that point. Our Mother's Day dinner at my house was postponed about 2 weeks, I think. But needless to say, my boys made my day awesome. I had multiple home made cards from Pokemon Boy. I received two ceramic tiles, one painted by each boy. They made these at church. Totally adorable. I have them up on the mantle piece. So my Mother's Day rocked. And we spoiled my mom, too. I even got something for my BigSis because she's the mommy to the cutest dog and cat in the world.

Father's Day was a weird day for me. I started my day by asking God to remove the anger and keeping me from getting all pissy and grumpy. As usual, he came through in spades. I had a few people tell me Happy Father's Day - since I'm both parents most days. I liked that. But listening to the Father's Day spots on KLOVE got to me. They said stuff like, "Because he's the man who holds the whole family together..." I'm sure I wasn't the only one wanting to spit at my radio. But I know they are honoring all the good fathers out there. And it's good to know they are out there. So really, my eye rolling was just between me and God. A snide private joke of sorts.

The actual day was awesome. My church celebrated the baptism of 6 people. Five kids and one adult. That's pretty cool. And since we meet in an elementary school, we don't have our own baptismal. But what we DO have is rockin'! We have a horse trough! Yes. A real one. I don't think it's been used for anything other than baptisms. But I love it! A horse trough in Texas. What else would you use?

I taught the infants on Sunday. Which means I helped them put stickers on their Father's Day framed pictures. Which translates to me and the other two adults basically peeling stickers that were placed over the kids' faces and putting them somewhere else on the frame. Very cute to hand those out to the dads.

After church, we all went outside to the front of the school. The trough was filled and already warm (the triple degree weather was good for something). It was so cool to see these kids baptized by our pastor and their own dads. I was holding Lil' Bro and he kept going, "I don't WANNA do this!!" I think he thought we were all going to take our turn. So I told him he wouldn't do it unless he chose to. Pokemon Boy asked if anyone was going to die doing this - he doesn't put his head under water so I imagine this was rather unsettling for him. Afterwards, we all went inside for cake.

After church, we headed to BigSis's house. She and TallHubby had fixed steak & shrimp on the grill. Mmmmm! Mom had made a squash casserole and peach cobbler. Needless to say, I rolled home.

It was a good day. I had no funk. I had no grumpiness. I have a feeling that had to do with a lot of prayer coverage. From my mom and from my aunt Brenda. Probably a few others, to boot. Thanks to anyone who thought of me and sent up a prayer. It was heard!

I started this whole post with the intent of being brief (ha!) and just sharing the boys' pictures with you. These were the pictures taken the week before at church. Then the teachers had those foam frames that we decorated. Pokemon Boy's picture had everyone laughing. And Lil' Bro's shot is just adorable. Enjoy. And Happy Father's Day to all the dads who really do hold their families together. If you have one, take a moment to thank God.

Pokemon Boy

Lil' Bro

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Still Kickin'

I realized I haven't posted since my "blah" post. I didn't want anyone to worry that I was in the throws of some major life valley. I'm not. I'm fine. I am wrestling with the blah a bit more. I think I am just in a time of dealing with some crap. But mostly work is crazy busy. And I am crazy unmotivated. This is the first time I've sat down at the computer for non work in I don't know how long.

So...boring post. Just to let you know I'm alive and ok. Mostly just really really really wanting to win a lottery or meet a gorgeous Christian guy who has no kids, no crazy ex and is financially stable enough to allow me to stop working a corporate job. I just do not want to work right now. But I'm smart enough to appreciate the fact that I have a good job. So I will ask God to kick my butt into gear.

This post blows. I'm outtie.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Not One Of My Stellar Days

I am having a day. I am having one of those days that come to mind every time someone tells me how amazed they are by my strength, grace or whatever. When they talk to me like the pillar of Single Motherhood and Gracious Divorce, this is the kind of day that immediately pops into my head.

I'm...I dunno. I'm just blah.

I'm exhausted. Probably emotionally more than physically. I seem to have some minor version of the GI bug that Lil' Bro has. He has also been sick off and on for the better part of almost 2 months now. It's just his immune system learning new tricks now that he's been in a real day care since January. With the undertow of stress that has seemed to keep its foot in my door since this whole divorce debacle began in January of 2007, I doubt my immune system has been up to par. So I usually share a lesser version of whatever ills the boys drag home. By itself, it's nothing really. There are so many things in this world that make this like the hangnail of life. And I get that. I know I'm ok in the big picture.

But's wearing on me.

I'm also annoyed. Since my almost ex (tantalizingly close, that final date!) actually physically moved up to Boston, it has been a daily battle to be a God person. Pokemon Boy has requested that his dad call him every night. So either I see his number on my home phone or my cell phone. But every single night, I get to be reminded that, oh yah, my husband moved 2000 miles away to go live with some other chick. Isn't that lovely? Yessiree Bob. Gotta love that. Now, most days, it doesn't get to me. No. Check that. Most days it annoys the snot out of me. But it's the kind of annoyance that you feel for something external - not really directly affecting you. There are those days, however, that it annoys me on a very distinct and personal level.

I am the first person to suggest to anyone having any level of problem to turn it over to God. I have even used mental imagery to mentally ball up said problem, package it and place it at the foot of the cross and ask Jesus to take it. This whole forgiveness I never got how hard it is. I will continue with my daily request that God help me to have true forgiveness for the almost ex. I have told him that it will be one of his greatest miracles when it happens. I honestly have no idea how God will pull this one off.

I guess it's times when there's just constant sickness in the house. And I have to keep working while a sick kid or two is begging for my time. Those days when I have to figure out how to do laundry and load the dishwasher while my stomach feels like I ate a brick and might puke it up any minute. Those days when I see that Pokemon Boy has drawn a Pokemon or alien in the dust on the base of the flat screen TV. Those days when my kitchen counters are cluttered and seem insurmountable. Those days when all I want to do is lay in bed watching movies and doing Sudoku. Those are the days that I really resent being left. Being left to carry it all. Being left to do the hard stuff.

I think the straw that stuck in my craw was when Lil' Bro started crying so hard out of the blue. He finally calmed down to say he missed his dad. So I called his dad and let them talk. Lil' Bro still thinks he has to hand the phone back to me. When he did, almost ex said, "Wow. That was hard." I just said, "Yah. That was hard." I'm sure you don't have to be a clairvoyant to know it was dripping with venomous sarcasm. It was that call that made me want to just scream, oh YES. How HARD this must be for you! How difficult, you poor poor VICTIM!!!

But then, God does give miraculous grace. And he often doses me with it while I'm on the phone with lobotomized dolts. Thank you God, for your perfect timing.

Anyway. This is not one of my stellar days. I thought I'd share it with you guys because, well, I tend to only post when something wonderful or strengthening has happened. OR when my kids are sick. And you might get the impression that I'm this amazing single mom who does everything right and follows all of God's commandments all the time (Kristen and Trish - you guys can stop laughing!).

I know God will pull me out of this funk. When I'm done wallowing in it, I guess. For the moment, though...blah.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My Honda Vomitorium

Now if that title doesn't whet your appetite, I don't know what will!

As I mentioned in my last post, Lil' Bro was sick on Friday. Saturday & Sunday found him rather punky but doing ok. He was more tired than usual. Lighter appetite. But after a day of yarfing, why would I think that strange?

At church, he was normal. He snarfed about 952 pieces of the watermelon (normal). He fought with the pastor's kid in class while trying to "share" the train set (normal). He ran around chasing Pokemon Boy and all the other kids after church (normal). He ate about half a cheeseburger at lunch (pretty normal for being post puke).

Last night, we were driving over to my parents' house for a light dinner. We were almost done with the 7 minute drive when I heard a cough and then the dreaded splattering. Lil' Bro was a font of yick. Four times over in quick succession. All I did was keep saying stuff like, "It's ok buddy - just let it out!" He was asking, "Is it my fault mommy?" So while I faked the total mommy calm, I dialed my mom and informed her of the wonders that were about to be in her driveway.

Mom met me in the driveway with towels, rags and wet washcloths. Have I mentioned that I have the best mom in the world? Pokemon Boy bailed and ran into the house to regale my dad with the horror of "his" ordeal.

Mom and I stripped Lil' Bro, hosed him down, and got him into one of mom's t-shirts. If he hadn't been totally devoid of color, it would have been adorable. Then we spent the better part of the next 40 minutes pulling everything out of the car, hosing it down, wiping things down, spraying things down, etc. It was a study in stomach control. It's the glamor of being a mom and grandma. But it doesn't make it any less gross.

I got Lil' Bro bathed while mom put everything washable in her washing machine. After everything was as clean and dry as humanly possible, I took Lil 'Bro home and got him into bed. Pokemon Boy stayed at my parents' house.

Lil' Bro woke up dry heaving. Mom brought Pokemon Boy home and stayed with Lil' Bro while I took Pokemon Boy to his first day of summer camp.

This is just one in a long string of illnesses for Lil' Bro. I took him to the doc because I don't like long strings of illness. I want it documented and checked. I don't want something awful happening and someone going, "Why didn't you take him to the doctor after the 42nd illness?"

The doc confirmed my thoughts: it's just another virus he's having to deal with. It's his first year in day care and his immune system is having to adjust. Trial by fire, as it were. Pokemon Boy did the same thing back in kindergarten. The doc also confirmed that this virus is highly contagious. Which makes me wish I hadn't brought the Honda Vomitorium and it's passengers to my parents' house last night. *sigh*

It's just another weekend that reminds me that I would not be able to do this whole single-mom thing without God totally hooking me up with a ginormous support system. First on that awesome list is my mom & dad.

Being a mom is all glamor, man. I need to get me a tiara. I want the diamonds to spell out "God Rocks!" Think they'd make me one?