Around Here: Week 39 {2018}

Taking... the kids on a long walk Sunday after taking a walk by myself on Saturday.  I enjoy both, walking with and without the kids.  When I walked on my own, I listened to Jen Hatmaker's podcast with Glennon Doyle, which was SO good and inspiring about using pain to grow.  I had to stop and take so many notes on my walk because I kept having "aha" moments! Love that!
Sunday when I took the kids with me, we stopped and played at the park, and I wrote in my journal, which was equally as lovely.  While I was doing that, and distracted, Carly took off her socks & shoes and played in the puddles left by the sprinklers on the basketball court.  I believe she took off her shoes because last time she jumped in them with her shoes on and was very unhappy with wet shoes & socks... So I could hardly be annoyed with her since she had learned her lesson and took them off this time. Haha!

Decorating... for Halloween just in time for a BBQ at our house Saturday night.  Josh took the twins to his parent's land with him Saturday, so I just had Wyatt & Carly for the day.  So after my walk & podcast listening, we got to work tidying the house, making cupcakes and decorating for fall.  Wyatt and Carly had so much fun looking through all the decorations and reading all the Halloween books we had hidden away in my holiday tote.  I have decided that from here on out, I need to plan a party for the end of September every year because it motivated me to decorate for fall/Halloween even though I am really still mourning the end of summer. (wahhh!)

Convinced... I need to take a break from social media.  The podcast I listened to (link above) talked a bit about it, and I have also not been happy with the amount of reading I've been getting done (read: not enough!)... so I decided it's time to do something about it!  I am planning on doing a whole lot more reading, and am also aiming to blog every day in October! I'm hoping to empty my whole dashboard, which was my goal for August, but I didn't accomplish it. However, instead of feeling like a failure, I am giving myself an extension (hah!) and feeling motivated!

Walking... the boys to school everyday this week except Monday when Jack & Wyatt were home sick.  Jack had a doctor appointment for his back (which has been hurting him for two months at night) and Wyatt was still struggling with asthma symptoms following his recent cold.  Thankfully the doctor gave him a listen as well, and his lungs sounded clear, no pneumonia. Hooray!  He was able to go back to school the rest of the week.  I have been loving our walks in the clear fall air, especially this morning as the breeze made it seem like it was raining leaves.  It was so picturesque!

Playing... at the playground after school each day this week while we waited for Jack to finish Patrol duty.  He helps his fellow students safely cross the street one week each  month, and this week was his week. I am so proud of how responsible he is and how seriously he takes his responsibility.  A bonus this week was how nice the weather was. I had to change into shorts every afternoon before heading back to the school to play.  My summer loving heart was soaring!

Loving... Carly's new winter jammies.  They are HUGE (how is she in 3T already?!?) but so cute and cozy (donuts and kitties and peacocks) I love them! I am also loving how she calls her cup holder a "cup folder" and how she always hugs my legs and tells me I am "the best mama in the whole world." I seriously wish I could just freeze time some days.  She's so precious right now. 

Sad... that Josh is still in pain (mostly in his ear) from the shingles.  He's not in pain on his head anymore, so that's an improvement.  Now we are hoping to start seeing improvement in his face- hoping that some of the paralyzing side effects will start to fade, especially the inability to blink, which is forcing him to use eye drops constantly, poor guy.

Happy... on the other hand, that Logan has now gone THREE WEEKS seizure free!  I am so, so grateful that we (and his doctor) didn't give up and tried another medication.  Three weeks without a seizure has felt like an eternity.  He seems so free and light, and it's amazing the amount of freedom he can have without a seizure constantly on the horizon. 

Watching... This is Us, Unexpected & Teen Mom OG (there are two new cast members- I'm so excited!).

Relieved... that my Monat came in the mail and praying it will do for my hair what it has done for Haverlee (my Monat girl).  I wrote last week that my hair started falling out in droves about two weeks ago, and it had me really freaked out.  My doctor and I are pretty convinced it's from chronic stress from last spring, and that it's done falling out and now I just need to continue my good self care to be sure it doesn't happen again, but in the mean time, I am pumped to be trying a new shampoo line that is meant to help me grow my hair back and at the same time make the hair I have healthier and thicker. I will be sure to keep you posted!

Reading... and finishing Caroline, which was so very good.  If you enjoy Anne of Green Gables or Little House on the Prairie,  you will like Caroline, which is Little House, written from the mother's perspective.  (That said, it's not for children, as it is written for adults).  Since then I started listening to All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin, which has me hooked big time, and I am over halfway through the third and final book in the To All The Boys I've Loved Before trilogy.  It's so good, I am going to be very sad when Lara Jean is no longer part of my daily life!

Compiling... a fall reading stack to combat the sadness that I know will come when I do finish reading about Lara Jean.  I am getting the books I want to read for October and November together and will share them with you during my Blogtober (October blogging).  It's a fabulous list of books and it's making me excited about my break from social media and excited about bad weather (stuck inside on my new couch with a good book? Yes please!), both of which are good things!

Laughing... at this meme:

I'm very laid back.  
I only care about two things:

  • every person on earth & their opinion of me
  • the crushing psychological weight of being alive



Around Here: Week 38 {2018}

Shocked... to find out that Josh has shingles and Bell's Palsy.  It started with some pain in his scalp during a haircut, then a bit of inner ear pain.  Then last Thursday he woke up and the right side of his tongue was numb and couldn't taste food.  Then Saturday morning he woke up in Vancouver (where he had traveled to help his brother, who is moving to our town) and the entire right side of his face was drooping.  I encouraged him to call the advice nurse and she said he needed to get into the ER.  In the ER they put all his symptoms together and figured out that he had shingles (the scalp & ear pain) that lead to Bell's Palsy (the tongue numbness & face drooping).  Basically the entire right side of his face is paralyzed.
Since then, his eye is now unable to close and he has to put eyedrops in constantly to keep it lubricated.  We also have to tape it shut at night so it doesn't dry out.
He's in a ton of pain from the shingles, and the Bell's Palsy is insanely annoying.  He can't taste his food or blink his eyes or smile normally, and the doctor told him it would be at least three weeks (on the short end) but could take up to six months to completely heal.  Luckily the shingles should heal in about two weeks.
In any event, it's going to be a long road, and my heart just hurts for him.

Coping... with this news by crying hysterically in the shower; going on long walks; talking to friends; eating too much candy; drinking soda (which I haven't had in months); eating comfort food; buying books at Goodwill (my favorite splurge); binging on bad TV at naptime and checking things off my to do list.

Happy... that Josh's brother Samuel moved here permanently.  My kids adore their Uncle Samuel and Josh has been happy having him around as well.

Hanging... with my girl Shana and feeling so grateful for her friendship.

Getting... flowers from our neighbor Barb.  They have brightened my bedroom all week.

Enjoying... muffins from my friend Megan.  Carly is also enjoying them.  And by enjoying, I mean telling me, "I have my own mom. I don't want to share yours." Hah!

Encouraging... a friend (and myself) to find 3 blessings per day to slowly find joy again.  Sometimes (often times) life is hard. So hard.  And just remembering each night as you fall asleep, three little things that made you smile or feel grateful can shift your focus from all that is wrong to all that has gone right.

  • Stacks of books
  • Sister laughs
  • Spontaneous hugs

Walking... to school each day, and enjoying it so much.  The fall weather is simply gorgeous, and I love being out in it.

Going... to the doctor for my recent hair loss.  About two weeks ago, I started noticing I was losing more hair than normal.  It sort of came on my radar. Then this week I really noticed I was losing a LOT of hair.  So much that I would venture to say I've lost more than half of my hair since the beginning of September.  It's so upsetting.
I got myself an appointment earlier this week, assuming it was a delayed side effect from one of my medications (I take Topomax for migraines and Prozac for anxiety), but he said that it's not from either of those (which I've been taking since January & April).  He believes my hair loss is from chronic emotional stress, likely from the super stressful spring we had, when Logan was having an increase in seizures and Wyatt was sick back to back to back.

Not reading... enough this week.

Spending... too much time on social media.  Blah. (Accepting tips & tricks for how to spend less time online.  However, I'll be honest- I'm not willing to give it up entirely! #addicted)

Meditating... everyday this week, which is a step in the right direction for my brain, but hopefully next week I can add more reading and less scrolling to my meditating.  I use the Calm app, and I can't say enough good things about it.

Sleeping... through the night twice this week, and feeling amazing on those days.  I seriously love when I wake up and it's 4 or 5am and I'm like, "What?!? I slept all night?!?" It's the BEST!

Loving... the new couch Josh surprised me with.  It's a beautiful sectional from Costco and fits our whole family, and with room to spare.  The kids have all thanked Josh profusely for it, it's so cute!  The cats are big fans (obviously!) and it even makes me kind of excited for winter time and snuggling up for movie night with the fam.

Celebrating... Logan going two weeks seizure-free on his new meds.  We switched him after his last appointment from Lamictal to Tegretol (Carbamazepine).  He takes 200mg 2x a day.  So far, it seems to be working wonders.  I am ridiculously grateful and hopeful that it continues to work for him.

Taking... Wyatt to the doctor this morning when he woke up and blew a 225 after blowing 300's all week.  He became sick practically overnight.  What is just a runny nose, no big deal, for everyone else, settles into Wyatt's lungs and causes him severe distress, requiring an extended round of steroids, in addition to a week's worth of albuterol and budesonide treatments in his nebulizer.  It makes me grateful I enjoyed the break that the summer offered from his Reactive Airway Disease and asthma, and also grateful for all the steps we took to prepare for illness this fall (preventive inhalers, buying a new nebulizer, refilling prescriptions, and getting a new kind of nebulizer breathing apparatus called the Pari).
I am hopeful that with all these steps in place, and the fact that we got him on steroids so quickly this time, he will recover fast and be back to his regular, healthy self ASAP.



Around Here: Week 37 {2018}

Surviving... our first full five day week of school.  It's been busy- Monday I grocery shopped; Tuesday I saw my counselor; Wednesday I got together with my girlfriend; and Thursday I took Wyatt to the sleep doctor.  Finally today I got a break except when halfway to school (we walk) Carly asked, "Where's Wyatt's backpack?" sigh.  So we walked back home to get it & Wyatt was late for school.

Trying... to enjoy the cooler fall weather.  It's clear blue skies still, but there's a crispness to it that definitely wasn't there 2 weeks ago.  (Honestly, though, I just miss summer!!!)

Finishing... After Anna and P.S. I Still Love You.

Reading... Always & Forever Lara Jean (#3 in the To All The Boy I've Loved Before trilogy)  and Caroline on audio.  Caroline is written from the mom's perspective for Little House on the Prairie, and it is so beautiful to listen to.  It reminds me of listening to Anne of Green Gables.  The writing is like poetry.  I am in love with the author's prose.  It's breathtaking.  I highly recommend it.
I also re-read parts of Seizures & Epilepsy in Childhood now that we narrowed Logan's seizures down to Focal seizures (based on his eye movement during his seizures) and I understand more about what's happening in his body now.  I am keeping a calendar for him of when we start & stop meds, see the doctor, and when he has seizures, just so I can keep it all straight, and I tuck them in his Seizures book for safekeeping.  It helps me to control what little I can.
And lastly I am reading a new chapter of "It's a Boy! Understanding Your Son's Development from Birth to Age 18."  I have moved to chapter seven, "Startling Changes", which is for ages 11-13, and is walking me through what to expect with puberty around the bend. (Send help!)

Placing... my hopes on the sleep doctor and October sleep study we have set up for Wyatt.  His tonsils and adenoids are very big for his throat and his breathing is often obstructed, so we're hoping the sleep study will show this and then we can get approved for surgery that will improve his sleep, which will improve his health, which will improve his weight, which will improve his asthma.

Celebrating... as Jack got moved to a classroom that's a much better fit after 2 weeks in a room that's not the right fit for him.  I cannot even express the relief I feel and the weight that's been lifted from my shoulders with this move.  He is so much happier, and therefore, so am I.

Spending... Saturday at Silverwood Theme Park as a family.  The boys got free tickets for reading 600 minutes at school last year and we had a great time!  (I'll have a post coming soon!)  Carly's a little thrill seeker/daredevil and Wyatt and I enjoyed the ice cream. Hah!!!

Sharing... my thoughts & worries with my counselor about Logan, seizures, fifth grade, hormones (Lord help me!), puberty (Save me now!), and my recent stay-at-home mom guilt.  He suggested making a list of worries with my fifth graders each day; taking it a day at a time when it comes to the seizures; meditating daily to reduce tension; and remembering my worth regardless of what society tells me about my value as a stay-at-home mom.  All in all, a very valuable session.

Feeling... sad about my miscarriages as I head into the fall.  I lost that first baby at the tail end of the first trimester in 2014 at the end of October & it's like my body knows it's time to mourn when the weather cools & the nights darken.

Walking... everyday to & from school.  I can feel a total difference in my body & the way my clothes fit & in my energy level.

Going... all week without a seizure!  Logan is adjusting beautifully to Tegretol (his new med) as he started the full dose Friday.  (Heading into week two with fingers crossed!)

Grateful... for friendships here that maintain my sanity.  This week one friend watched Carly so I could go to counseling; another watched her so Josh and I could meet with the principal to get Jack squared away in his new class; and another hung out with me just because she's awesome.  I'm so glad. What blessings.

Ecstatic... that all the kids loved pulled pork this week.  I am so happy to be back to our regularly scheduled eating program now that we're back in school.  Summer eating was fun & easy, but there's something about meal planning and eating healthy that just feels good.

Receiving... flowers & homemade cinnamon swirl bread from the sweetest fellow mama of four who heard I'd been struggling those first weeks of school and wanted to brighten my day.  I honestly opened my door, and promptly burst into tears when I saw her standing there, flowers & bread in hand.
To be thought of that way was just so unexpected and sweet.