anxiety & a little bit of love

The last few days I have been feeling kind of blah. I'm not sure what to attribute this to entirely, but I have some ideas. For starters, we didn't have much of a weekend because Josh spent all day Saturday and Sunday working on submitting his work for the Alaska classes he had to take to renew his teaching license in Alaska.  While we are both relieved to have that crossed off his to-do list, it meant we started Monday still feeling like we needed a weekend!

Also, as I mentioned in the previous post, Logan hasn't been feeling well. This is the nastiest cold I've seen in a while. He is so congested and just plain miserable. It's so sad!

While the twins have been feeling cooped up (we haven't been outside in days) and Josh has been working his tail off working on his classes, Wyatt has been testing the depths of my patience.  He was finally (after ten days) going to sleep without his binky, then the last three nights, he's screaming again.  

And during the day, if I say "No" or "Not right now", particularly about reading to him, he screams at the top of his lungs. Actually screaming seems to be his preferred activity. He screams all the time. About anything.  So Josh and I had a powwow and decided that he needed consistent consequences for his incessant screaming.  We have begun Timer Timeouts. He gets one minute timeouts, then he has to apologize.

He will come to me when the timer beeps and say, "Sorry, mommy."  When I ask why he was in timeout, he will answer, "Picause."  So I remind him he's in trouble for screaming and that screaming is all done.  It is especially frustrating to me because he has such an extensive vocabulary, I know that he has the ability to verbalize what he wants or needs.

We have also been dealing with lots of tantrums because of Baby Einstein.  That's all he wants to do, is watch Baby Einstein. He asks for it probably fifty times a day. He used to get to watch one a day, sometimes two a day.  Now I have decided to eliminate it all together because he would rather do that than play.  

The Baby Einstein detox has been ugly.  He screams and cries, tantrums and melts down at every turn.  And the twins aren't helping.  Any time he cries they ask if he wants to watch it. I have had to remind them (over and over) not to say those words because all it does is make him upset.

I am hopeful that after a week of no Baby Einstein, he will stop asking for it, and that will stop the subsequent tantrums when I say no.  It's like all of a sudden my baby turned into a big kid, and disciplining him (plus the other two) is exhausting.

In addition to no weekend and issues with the kids (sickness, discipline, cabin fever), I have been struggling with anxiety.  I can't fall asleep at night, and just now, as I typed that last sentence, my heart started pounding in my throat, and I feel like I can't take a deep breath.

I am worried about so many things, it's starting to weigh on me.  I am worried about our debt, the cost of plane tickets, finding a place to stay in Vancouver, getting our house here in Alaska ready for our departure, who will replace the staff we are losing this year next year, and even when or if we should have another baby.  It's like once "worry" is set free in my brain, every single tiny thing I have been thinking about comes to the forefront to join the anxiety party.

Another thing on my mind is my weight.
It has crept up, up, up on the scale. 
To more than I weighed before I got here last January.

180 pounds to be exact. And it's killing me that just last summer I was down to 153.  The real issue is that I eat my emotions.  That, and food is one of the few things I look forward to here.

Last night I confided in both my mom and Josh's sister Julie about how I was feeling, and their kind words have buoyed me up from the depths of my despair.  

My mom said, "Honey, don't worry about your weight. You are so strong and healthy and beautiful. Love your body."

And Julie said, "You have children, a husband, parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, a sister in law and friends that love you and think you're a gorgeous, amazing, funny, sweet person at 155 or 180, but I know how hard it is to see that truth when society is constantly telling us we're worthless unless we're a six or less."

She is so right.

Then last night I read an article in Self magazine about a girl who lived her life avoiding situations because of her weight. And I don't want to be that girl. But to be honest about it, I often spend a great deal of time in social situations wondering how I look and if people are taking me seriously even though I am fat.

Last night as we fell asleep, Josh had his arm wrapped tight around me. He loves me. I am so lucky that he loves me. And this morning when I came downstairs after my shower, Wyatt curled up in my lap to hear a story. He loves me. My role as wife and mother has nothing to do with my size, and everything to do with my heart.

My job is to get to a healthy place where instead of eating my emotions, I am feeling them.  So that is my goal. No crazy diet, no insane workout plan, just a decision to pay attention to my core and see why I am wanting to eat when I am not, in fact, hungry.

And so today I feel better. I feel loved. I feel less alone. I feel able to battle this demon of mine (food) and I feel able to separate how I look (fat) from who I am (a good person.)

It's a start.
 And yesterday, just when we needed it most, two surprise care packages came.  One from what I assume is a blog follower, Karen, and the other from the boys' Nanny.  It had a stuffed "Cubby" character for Wyatt, and a set of Jake & The Neverland Pirates for each of the twins.  Wyatt loves his Cubby, and the twins are loving playing with Tick Tock croc this morning.

 From Karen there was a bag FULL of cuties, which the twins promptly ripped open and began eating, much to my delight, as well as stamp sets and books, butter (!) and a rainbow set of pens for a certain mommy!  

We are so lucky to have such faithful followers who ship us "pick-me-ups" that never fail to arrive when we need them most.

Thank you, Karen!
We ended Monday night with moose stir fry (much like beef stir fry, but more Alaskan) and lots of stories at bedtime.  I gave Logan a bath all by his lonesome to help him breathe better for bed, and then spent some one on one time with him, while Josh had the other two upstairs.

It was really nice to end such an emotional day on a positive note, 
focused on the family instead of existing only inside my crazy mind.

Hoping the rest of the week gets better from here.


Amos said...

All I can say is ((hugs)) You are a very strong woman, wife, and mother and you can get through these hurdles! I too am dealing with a screamer right now, and its just HARD. Keep truckin through, the nighttime cuddles at the end if the day make all the hair pulling & steam coming out of the ears worth it. Also you have mentioned a lot about your living situation this summer, I don't want to be out of place but I was just wondering if staying at your inlaws for the summer is do-able again?

Rox said...

Shelly, it makes me sad that you think of yourself as fat! I have never thought of you in that light. In fact, because I'm taller than you I always think of you as little. My big, little sister! Please start exercising positive self-talk. Even if it starts just pointing out one positive for every negative you see. I've been practicing this because of my skin (I hoped magically after 25 my acne would disappear?) and it's helping. Also, Mom told me, "No one looks at you, as much as you." And Dr. Phil has said, "You know yourself better than anyone else, if you don't like YOU, how will anyone else?" I love those quotes.

As for the anxiety, it's a waste of time! GOD WILL PROVIDE. The debt will diminish, you will have a place to stay, God will lay it on your heart when/if it's time for another baby, and I'm sure if you ask Josh to take care of getting plane tickets, he will. I keep learning over and over that my worries and stress are so pointless, because it ALWAYS works out. Look back at your life, look at all the times you were scared but God was there, with a bigger (better) plan. It's not for us to worry about it.

I love you sooo much!

And the box of cuties made me CRACK up! What a thoughtful package since you just posted about how much the boys loved them!

Emily said...

“Things work out, it isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out, don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in him, if we will pray to him, if we will live worthy of his blessings, he will hear our prayers." Gordon B. Hinckley

The Studers said...

hi Shelly!
Don't be crazy - you are beautiful and a wonderful mom. Worrying about something like a number is a waste of time. Plus, it's been winter, everyone gets a free pass!

Have you seen this yet? I keep remind myself of it when I start feeling self-conscious or less than perfect. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-tate/mom-pictures-with-kids_b_1926073.html

Also, I recently read a quote from Miranda Lambert that she said to her husband, "Dude, why didn't you tell me I got fat?" and her husband (Blake Shelton) told her, "It's not my job to tell you you got fat. It's my job to tell you that you're beautiful."

We are both lucky to have husbands like Blake Shelton that truly love us because they believe we are beautiful more than anything else.

Hammacks - You and Me Plus Three said...

My 2 cents. Recently I have lost 60 pounds, its been work but the break through.... "Why am I eating, am I TRULY hungry or am I eating because I am bored/sad/etc." Just answer it, then eat accordingly.
You are a FANTASTIC mom! I did hide behind my weight and it took my social skills somewhat. Dont let a number on the scale steal that! I let it steal mine for years and that is not ok. Josh loves you - through thick and thin! Those kids dont care what you look like, and I can attest to that. Kids dont see that..... Like I said I lost 60 pounds and Shelby one day said "hmp, you have lost a little weight." She doesnt care. She sees her mom. Those boys just see you!

Debt, we are taking the finacial peace university classes with Dave Ramsey. You are can get his books. The budget is hard core but makes a lot of sense and could help you out. Roxanne is right, God will provide, just give it all to Him! Chin you girl, you are doing a jam up job! Rock your mommy roll!

Karen Hochstrasser said...

I am glad you liked the package. I work with your dad. He is always showing me your blog. I love it. It is now saved to my favorites. You are such and amayzing person and mom. I hope to be as good of a mom as you someday when we are blessed with little ones.