Saturday, August 31, 2013

What is UP with me?

The last couple of months I have been in a major funk. I can't put my finger on the cause. It's hot outside. Money is tight. Sending the kids to school has introduced new stressors (mostly having to do with Bree's homework and Mason's misbehaving during after-school soccer).

I also had major headaches going on. When I told my allergist last month that I didn't feel like the allergy shots were helping--I still had sinus headaches all the time--he started asking me detailed questions about the headaches. Then he said, "I think you have chronic migraines." What?! He told me to stop the daily pain relievers I'd been taking, since they were probably causing rebound headaches. I made an appointment with a neurologist, who was amazing, and who confirmed that I was having migraines on a daily basis. I struggled with a bunch of emotions: relief at finally having an accurate diagnosis for the headaches that had been plaguing me for YEARS. Regret that I had been suffering blindly for so long. And worry for the future, because there is no "cure" for migraines. I started taking preventative medication daily, along with some vitamins and supplements that were supposed to help. After a couple days on the new regimen, I experienced a headache-free day for the first time in a long time. And the relief continued. I still have occasional headaches, but I can recognize when one is starting, and usually I can pinpoint the cause, and do things to stop it before it becomes full-blown. And I have a prescription pain reliever to use if I need to (I've only had to use it twice). My life has changed for the better.

The days seem to fly by, and I don't feel like I get anything done. I spend my quiet afternoon hours vegetating or reading. I'm telling myself that I'm still recovering from recent and/or daily stress.

I have hardly taken any photos, but that doesn't mean that things haven't been happening. I've been pretty busy between school, church responsibilities, exercising, getting together with new friends, and managing doctor appointments and therapy.

Last week got pretty hairy. We needed to make an appointment for the minivan to fix a small oil leak (thankfully we have a full protection plan for it). Then we got a recall notice in the mail. Something about the powertrain control module, which sounded important, so we made the appointment. I had been stressing about having to drive both vehicles all the way to the dealer so Chad didn't have to wait there all day (and the cost of gas). Then we realized that the van's protection plan includes a free rental car. Blessing #1.

Then on Thursday, our air conditioning was struggling to cool the house properly. We sweated as the temp inside got up to 91 degrees. It cooled off enough that evening so that we could sleep, but I called my cousin who works on A/C first thing in the morning. He came right over, and by the time I came home from my Relief Society presidency meeting, the house was delightfully cool. And my cousin only charged us his cost for the freon, which saved us a literal boatload of money. Blessing #2.

In the midst of the A/C disaster, I was opening the mail, and discovered that the therapy that Lincoln had FINALLY started receiving since our move, would no longer be covered. I was angry because we were required to pay for any services after July 1st, but we were just now receiving the notice at the end of August. And I was devastated because Lincoln had finally started to make verbal progress thanks to his new amazing therapist, and now we had to decide how much, if any, therapy we could afford. I have enough mommy guilt as it is, without having to wonder if only we had gotten Lincoln more therapy, maybe he would be able to ______. We have since been given the means to provide Lincoln with the therapy he needs, and it's huge burden off my mind. Blessing #3.

So amid the trials and tears, I could clearly see our blessings. We have struggled with illness and injury and stress, but in the end we are happy and healthy and very blessed.

And I managed to take a few photos, it seems.

Proof that Lincoln continues to discover new abilities.

Completion of Goal #1: Organize my recipe binder (That dessert section needs to be divided into sub-categories!). I love that this goal is done. Baking is one of my favorite things to do, and I love being able to find my recipes easier. And I have made cookie pizza, cream cheese bars, and two different types of doughnuts now, as a result. So...this could, in fact, be a bad thing.

The kids have taken on more chore responsibility. And Lincoln loves to get in on the action. The dishes may no longer be clean, or in the proper drawer, but he feels so important to be helping out.

Bree is enjoying school, though she admits it's a lot of work, and not as fun as she thought it would be. But it's getting better now that she's a little more used to the routine and the pace. Mason seems to be thriving in half-day kindergarten. He learns so quickly when he applies himself, and he comes home every day with more things to tell us. They both enjoy soccer, and they are getting amazing exercise, even if it is unreasonably hot outside. Mason had some issues with bothering other kids and/or not paying attention. After an incident with biting, and another with throwing rocks (it's a miracle they didn't kick him out!), we decided it was time to cut him off from any media that is remotely violent. No more video games period. No Pokemon or Avatar cartoons. We're sticking with PBS and Barney re-runs. And things have been so much better, not just in soccer, but at home too.

Lincoln is finally starting to say a few more words along with his signs, which are getting more recognizable. Ever since Lincoln met his new therapist a couple weeks ago, he is trying to repeat more things verbally. The cutest thing he's doing is pointing his fingers and saying, "Go, go!" And last night he was successfully feeding himself his chili with a spoon. It's a big deal.

Whew! It's been quite a month. I'm ready to turn to a new page on my calendar. It's a fresh start. I can pretend that the weather will cool down and begin to feel like fall in September (...Baah hah ha! That's a good one.). We look forward to Chad working on day shift soon, and will have to adapt to a new schedule again. With every shift in our lives, it takes me a little time to settle into a groove. Luckily Chad and the kids are very forgiving, and I've found great friends here to rely on. 

Here's to the near future being funk free.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Such a Blessing

There was a period in my not too distant past when it seemed that I was constantly pregnant, or nursing, taking care of an infant, or planning for the next one. For now, however, I am enjoying the newest member of our family in a different way. I get to hold and cuddle and smell him, then return him to his mama. It's the best.

His baby blessing was Sunday. His long legs stuck out a good 5 inches past his white pantsuit. Adorable.

My brother is a proud dad. And it was a special day.


Monday, August 19, 2013

A Much-Needed Makeover

The table and chairs in our kitchen were hand-me-downs. I always wished we could afford a beautiful wood table and chairs. But guess what? Wood tables get scratched and dented. Wood chairs get creaky and wobbly. Our kitchen set? We have used and abused it. And the laminate table-top? Crayon marks and stains come right off. The steel chairs are super sturdy--no wobbling there. The white vinyl cushions--well...that's a different story.

For one, they are no longer white. And no amount of scrubbing at this point will help.

Second, they have battle wounds. The kids' weapons of choice? Fondue forks and pencils.

A makeover was long overdue. So I finally attacked the chairs with a screwdriver.

*Disturbing content warning: Naked skeleton image


Step one was easy. Next up was a good scrubbing. Then I was supposed to spray on a fresh coat of white paint. But it was really hot outside. And the next day was humid, and, you know, humidity is paint's enemy. Plus, I'm lazy. But I have the spray paint, so I really intend to do it at some point.

Next up: the cushions. I labeled the front and back pieces of the chair back, to help me remember how they would go back together.

Then began the TEDIOUS process of removing about 3 million staples to get the old vinyl off. I used the old pieces as a pattern to cut my new oilcloth fabric (purchased from Oilcloth Addict on Etsy). The seat cushion required me to sew one seam. Then it was time to staple my new fabric on (this is an amazing hand workout--that staple gun isn't messing around).

I reattached the cushions to the skeleton, and broke into a wide smile at the result.

The chair used to remind me of an outdated restaurant. Now it's retro and unique. I love it.

One chair down, five more to go!
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