3.27.2017

Living with Lizards

I have found the last few months that living with my anxiety has been quite tolerable.  It still comes and goes, but it doesn't scare me the way it did before.  When it rears its ugly head, I've been reminding myself what my favorite counselor taught me.  "You have to think of your anxiety as a lizard to live with, not as a dragon to slay."

I tell myself, "You're feeling anxious.  You're worried.  And that's okay."  Then I carry on as though my anxiety weren't there.  I remember to move slowly, at a normal pace and to stay occupied so the thoughts don't take over.  

I try to step back and watch my thoughts (mostly they're actually worries, like "What if Logan's medication doesn't stop his seizures," or "How will we afford the roof the house will need soon?") and see the thoughts like leaves flowing gently down the river.  I watch them come and go and try not to let them seize control of my brain.

This week I'm hoping to add daily meditation (using the Calm app) to my anxiety tool box.  What tricks do you use to combat panic attacks, worry & anxiety?

***

3.25.2017

Hey. Can you talk?

 My best conversations with my sister start with, "Hey. Can you talk?" 

{feeling the twins kick}
The phone rings, one of us answers and what follows that question (sometimes, often times, accompanied by tears) is usually our deepest, most raw, most intimate and beautiful conversations.  Our most inspiring talks start this way.

A disagreement with our husbands, heartache on behalf of our children, a fear of moving forward, a fear of standing still, wanting to be seen, wanting to be heard... We've covered it all.  

Pregnancies, parenting, promises...
all shared on the phone, heart to heart, sister to sister.

I found out she was pregnant on the phone, she found out I miscarried on the phone.  I heard she was getting Annie on the phone, and she heard Josh got a job in Washington state on the phone.  Our news, good and bad; our lives, ups and downs, have been shared on the phone.

Today is my sister's birthday.  

Happy birthday, little sister. 
I am so glad you were born.  

And I'll always be here, to answer your calls that start with, "Hey. Can you talk?"

***

3.24.2017

Around Here: Week 12



















Reading... The Gift of an Ordinary Day after finishing Believing God and all the other books I was in. It feels nice to be reading one book at a nice, leisurely pace.

Worrying... about Logan and his seizure meds' side effects.  He's tired and nauseous and dizzy.  I remember Josh feeling the same way when he started seizure medicine, and it got better with time, so I'm trying to feel patient... but it's hard on my heart.

Still... doing treatments for Wyatt for his Reactive Airway, and hoping that his cough will be completely gone soon.  On the plus side, while we were at the doctor getting a wart burned off his hand (he was so brave!), the doctor listened to his lungs and said they sound alright and he is on the road to healing!

Taking... my kids to the dentist.  They are all cavity free- hooray!  The twins love the dentist's office because they have xbox's and they get to play Minecraft while they wait. Ha! Wyatt loves it cause they have an epic prize box.

Exploring... a new park last weekend with my family.  I am really proud of us for finding new things to love about where we live and for trying really hard to "bloom where we're planted."

Sleeping... 8 hours last night! I can't believe it. Carly slept 10:30-6:30am and this mama is so glad!

Walking... to school again now that the weather has warmed up a bit.  The boys love it and so do I!

Wishing... I could get my eating under control. I just want to eat all.the.things.  My self control and willpower is nil.  I could really use some advice about what works for you if you have any.

Wondering... if Carly is ready to transition to one nap a day. I find that two naps is really cramping our style lately. (I can't ever run errands and I can't do the things I want/need around the house because they're loud and she's asleep.)  By this age, all three of our other kids had transitioned to one nap. For sure by summer she has to be down to one nap because I can hardly keep the boys quiet for two days on the weekend for her twice daily naps. I certainly won't be able to (nor do I want to) keep them hushed all summer long!

Meditating on this...

"There is eternal influence 
and power in motherhood."
-Julie B. Beck

***

3.18.2017

Around Here: Week 11

{Late nights with Wyatt}

{Nursing my rainbow baby}

{New garage door!}

{Her new favorite friend, Scentsy Lambie}

{Fav creamer, new Dollar Tree mug (!) & Walmart dish towel}

{13 months of sass!}

{Baby hair cuts = More baby neck}

{The dab.  All day, err day with third graders}

{The elusive Easter Baby!}
{Mama finally got a hair cut, too!}

 Healing... colds & coughs slowly but surely.  Wyatt was finally back at school yesterday after missing three days!  It's been a lot of long nights around here, doing nebulizer treatments & blowing noses.

Adjusting... slowly to Logan's seizure medication.  He'll do half a pill for a week, a whole pill for a week and then finish at a pill & a half twice a day, which is where he'll stay.  So far he's complained only of being a little tired and some nausea. Hoping that his body keeps adjusting.

Playing... basketball.  Well, the boys are playing basketball anyway. And lots of it!

Loving... spring weather with blue skies!

Opening... our garage door with the touch of a button. Voila!

Finishing... Britt-Marie Was Here, Inside the O'Briens, and The Precious One.

Reading... The Lies We Believe & Believing God.  It feels good to be down to two books after reading so many the last few weeks.

Spring cleaning... the house!  I was suddenly motivated to clean & organize Wednesday and I'm so glad I did.

Getting... a haircut, as promised.  I'm loving how healthy it feels, but to be honest, it's taking some time to figure out how to do it so it looks how I want it to.

Missing... having a monthly meal plan.  I never made one up for March and am regretting it every night when the kids expect me to feed them again. ;)

Noticing... that as I look for the good, I see more good.  I love my house more, my kids more, my life more.  Everything is sweeter since I began my gratitude challenge.

Not allowing... myself to start another book until the last two on my bedside table are done!  It was fun to have so many books going at once, but I did find myself feeling quite scattered.  I think one or two at a time is more reasonable than six at a time, which is what I had for some time last week.

Enjoying... posting my 21 days of gratitude daily.  It's a fun challenge to wake up exhausted, bleary eyed after being up all night with sick kids and be forced to look for the good.

Feeling... more like myself this week.  Less grouchy/angry.  I'm so glad I made a plan to change last week and that those changes are having the desired effect.

Loving... listening to my first audio book.  This is a game changer! If you haven't tried it, you must! Suddenly you're dying to grocery shop on Saturday morning and to fold those four baskets of laundry.  Anything to listen for just ten more minutes!

Also loving... the hand towels I picked up for $1.88 each at Walmart. #itsthesmallthings

***

3.14.2017

Reading 2017 Update

On my last Around Here, I forgot to write about what I'm currently reading.  Then I thought, well, I'll just have to do a reading update.  I have been a reading fool in 2017.  Some of this I attribute to my yearly goal of 24 books, and some of it is because I have made reading a priority.

So far this year I have read eleven books 
(soon to be fifteen-- I have 4 books that I'm over halfway through). 
I am reading lots of books on my Kindle, some purchased and some checked out from the library via Overdrive. I subscribed to BookBub, which tells me when there are books I'd be interested in on sale on Amazon Kindle.  Many times the books are between $0.99 & $2.99.  I've gotten some great books.

I am reading when I'm nursing and before bed, and many times while Josh and I watch TV in the evenings.  It's like I can't get enough. 

2017 Books I've Read:
(Bonus! Every single one of those books is on sale right now on Amazon!)

Kids Books:

March Books To Finish:
The Precious One
Inside The O'Briens
Lies We Believe
Believing God
1000 Essential Modern Poems
Auschwitz

More reading:
Up Next for March:
The Paris Wife
The Children's Act
Stone Fox

April Reading:
Uninvited
Women, Food & God
The Gift of An Ordinary Day
Happier At Home

On The Shelf To Read:
America's First Daughter
Marcelo In The Real World
Eleanor & Park
How to Fall in Love
Iron & Silk
Waiting to Surface
Don't Let Me Go
Deep Down True
Casting Off
Three Junes
Snow Falling on Cedars
Bent Road
The Rocks
Tuesdays with Morrie
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Blue Bistro
Terilingua Teacher
The Rainbow Comes and Goes

Freakanomics
Boys Should Be Boys
Mindsight
Brain Rules
Lies My Teacher Told Me
Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings
The Broken Way
Brave New World
Lord of the Flies

What are you reading?
What's on your shelf?
Please share!

3.10.2017

Around Here: Week 10









Getting... my feet back under me after three weeks of sickness, sleep deprivation & worry over the kids and then Josh.  At the end of the three weeks, toward the beginning of this week, I got sick, too.  Like really under the weather.  So I took it easy in hopes I would be well by the time Logan's neurology appointment rolled around Thursday.  Thankfully it worked and I was better by Wednesday afternoon.
Part of taking it easy meant I didn't walk the kids to their classroom each day. Instead I challenged Wyatt to let me do Parent Drop off.  He was nervous, and there were some tears while we talked about it, but when it came to actually being dropped off, he nailed it! I am so proud of him!

Accepting... that Logan has epilepsy.  He had an EEG and neurology appointment yesterday and was diagnosed.  After a normal EEG in November, his second showed some abnormalities.  So we will start him on medication and monitor for any further seizures.  If he can go two years seizure free, the doctor will consider taking him off meds.  Many times children can outgrow seizures, so that is our hope for Logan.

Enjoying... my parents quick visit.  They came up Wednesday so that they could stay with Wyatt & Jack while Josh and I (along with Carly) ventured to the neurologist in Spokane early Thursday morning.

Grateful... that my mom organized my house while I was gone Thursday.  She put down contact paper in my laundry room, organized my tupperware cupboard (hallelujah!), cleaned my microwave, and tidied my pantry.  Every time I open a cupboard or closet I am gasping at how lovely it looks after her magic touch. Thanks mom!!!

Buying... new pillows for the twins & switching out their bedding for some fresh hand-me-overs (ha!) from their cousins.  The new, sleek bedspreads make their room like 5x tidier and all crisp for spring.

Loving... the cross stitch my sweet friend Betsy gifted me.  Can you believe her handiwork? Every detail is beautiful.  From the pink bow in Carly's hair to the colors of our kitties, it is perfection.  Get yours here!

Rejoicing... in the blue skies today and the promise of a brighter tomorrow after days of grey.

Looking forward... to our new garage door being put in next week!  The timing could not be more perfect as we are going to start walking to and from school again now that the snow is gone!

Noticing... I have been very, very grouchy every morning this week.  I hate it.

Reading... this post about gratitude online at Hey Sigmund.

and Committing... to writing  down three things every morning that I am grateful for, before I even get out of bed.

***



Next Week's Goals:
{Operation: Cheer up}
Workout everyday
Go to bed on time
Be grateful
Take time for me (being deliberate about where I spend my time) 
Get a haircut this weekend 

3.08.2017

The Neurologist

Tomorrow Josh and I will take Logan to the neurologist.  First he will have an EEG, and then we will have an appointment with the doctor.  I am hoping for an answer as to why he is having these seizures, but I am also aware that answers are hard to come by when it comes to the brain.  His first EEG was normal, no irregularities.  And since his second seizure, we've seen no unusual behavior.  

I was thinking yesterday about how seizures have not been in the forefront of my mind the last month, and how I'm so grateful for that. I am grateful that he hasn't had another seizure.  Honestly, I am just grateful for normal.

So for tomorrow I feel peace, ready to hear what the neurologist thinks, and ask him my list of questions, which, as you can imagine, is pretty long. I am curious if his epilepsy is related to Josh's epilepsy, if the doctor thinks we need medication and what, if any, restrictions he wants placed on Logan.  Can he swim? Can he climb?  I also want to know how his seizures impact Jack.  Is he more likely to have them now?

Anyway, I promise to report back what we hear. 
If you think of us tomorrow, send a prayer for clear results & a good first meeting with the doctor. 

Thank you all!
muah!

***

3.07.2017

Random: 988

These are all the pictures in our computer that are numbered 988.  I was searching for a recent #988 and typed it into the search engine and was instantly overwhelmed by all these sweet, sweet memories.

Josh and baby Wyatt on his tablet in our living room in Alaska

Wyatt, the ring bearer, and cousin Gisele, the flower girl, practicing for a wedding summer 2015

Viking Wyatt in our kitchen in Marshall, Alaska, plus a blanket cape of course!

The twins with me, summer 2013, at the water park in Moses Lake.

View from the air in Alaska

Fresh baby Carly

Our girl!

Josh & Wyatt in the hotel on one of our many trips to central Washington while house hunting last year.  Love those two buddies.

Josh, holding a sleeping Wyatt, with two of his coworkers from Marshall Alaska, Isaac & Peter.  I loved those guys, and I love that Wyatt passed out in a gym full of people & noise.

The twins enjoying the annual Thanksgiving luncheon at the school in Marshall Alaska, wearing their traditional kuspuks.

Josh's coworker and good friend Joe, as well as Wyatt, on one of the caravan planes from Marshall to Bethel, Alaska.

This little wayback playback of old memories was so much fun.

***