I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OCD (child anxiety)

When I last wrote, I expressed my frustration with trying to figure out why it seemed that I was hitting walls while trying to move forward. I likened it to moving through a maze, and bumping into walls several times before realizing I need to turn. And so on.

So here's an update.

I came to the conclusion pretty soon after writing that last entry that I simply need to be focusing inward right now, not outward. My family needs me, and the rest of the world can wait. Here's a brief run-down of what brought me to this conclusion.

My DD, who manages a lot of anxiety at the tender age of six, is experiencing a "peak" right now. Why? Who knows? Does it matter? Maybe. But here it is. She is refusing to go to sleep at night unless I'm in the room. My response, for the last 5 or 6 days, has been to inform her that I would not be staying in the room with her all night, but would do what I've always done. Read her and her brother a bunch of books, sit with them for anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, then go downstairs. She has always gone to sleep during this period of time, and I leave. Suddenly this is not acceptable to her. So I informed her that I would stay with her for about 10-15 minutes after finishing books, then I would go downstairs whether she was awake or not. And I have been. The first couple of nights, I checked on her every 10 minutes. This wasn't working for me, as I'd barely sit down on the couch before I was heading upstairs again. And if I was late..... "Mama!" through the monitor. Yeesh! Not good. I informed her that I would be going for longer periods of time. I have managed 15 minutes. But this girl is going to sleep after 10pm every night. And she insists on getting up when I do, at 6:30 a.m. Needless to say, she's not getting enough sleep, and I am not getting any down time. Ugh!! So then today, I email DD's school to request a book they bought about child anxiety, and to let them know about some other behaviors I'm starting to see. I get an email back from her head teacher saying that while she had been making very good progress up until last week, this week she is refusing to do her work, and is in fact curling up in a ball on the floor. Wow. So I write to inform her that while there is nothing on this end that would precipitate this behavior at school, she has been losing sleep. Her diet is also pretty poor at this time.

So then there are the new behaviors at home. Which are likely due to the loss of sleep, but who knows. She is starting to show obsessive/compulsive traits. At the moment it's all verbal. She has to ask me if she can go to the bathroom. She has to ask me to promise not to go out of the house in the evening when I take my evening "break." She has to ask me the same question when she's going to sleep at night. And now she feels the need to ask if she can eat. Every. Single. Bite.

And I have to say, given some family history, this stuff makes me nervous. A recent visit to the ped. for my son resulted in a conversation about DD, and the name of a psychologist nearby who specializes in this stuff. She, not surprisingly, is not taking new patients, so we are on a waiting list. But I don't want to wait. So after a conversation with a family member who knows someone in the field, I ended up with another recommended person. A psychiatrist. And this one had been recommended by a friend in the field some months back. I actually had a conversation with this person back then, but decided not to follow up with him for a couple of reasons. One is that he is expensive. Really expensive. And he doesn't take insurance. The other reason is that he basically told me on the phone that he would likely just refer us to a social worker anyway, so why don't I send him a list of social workers who take our insurance, and he'll pick one. I didn't. But now we are back to him again. Apparently he is the "best" in the area, according to the family member's friend. So I left him a message today, and we'll see what transpires.

In the meantime, DD needs more sleep. And I guess if that means I commit my evenings to being up there with her for a while, well, it really is a small price to pay. I will need to find more me time during the day, because I need some. And to give up the little bit I have is really not ok. Everyone who works 8 hours is supposed to get one hour for lunch and two shorter breaks. I have my one hour in the evening, and my sometimes evening. And I work ALLLLLLL day, and part of the night.

Ok, life is telling me it's time to get back to it. More soon...

Monday, October 25, 2010


Sometimes I wonder if challenges are placed in front of me for a reason.

I know that many people before me have wondered the same thing. Perhaps those with faith are more familiar with these feelings. I don't know. I am not a religious person, but I have spiritual ideas sometimes.

Perhaps it is like being in a giant maze. When we keep insisting on going down the "wrong" passageway, a wall is put up again and again, blocking us from moving forward, until we realize we have no other choice but to turn, one way or another.

My body hurts from hitting the walls.

My job at the moment is raising my children. And I work on it, day in, and day out, and sometimes during the night. I work hard. I allow myself little room for selfishness. I am trying, really trying, to be a good mother to my children. One has a real anxiety issue. It effects everything we all do, day after day after day. As with any "dis" ability I do my best to help her navigate these waters. And it's not easy. She hits those maze walls so much more often than the rest of us seem to. But she bounces back and tries again. And again. And again. So while I rub my bruises, I try to rub hers. To get in the way so she doesn't hit so often. To help her understand the need to regroup and set out again. And to go easy on herself. Add to that our little guy, who charges ahead in the maze, finds others along the way who want to and are willing to help him navigate his way, panics, and runs back to me and DD. And back, and forth... "Mama do it!" So to all of this bouncing and running and turning around in circles add DH, who jumps in every now and then, attempts to help with something, gets a double dose of Mama-do-it, gets frustrated, and flares up... and you've got the basic foundation of my every day life. It's like a dance. And it's all good. It's what I do!

So I try, like anyone, to find outlets. Things to help me recharge, so that I can go back in the ring with gusto. But for reasons I don't understand, the outlets I choose turn in to maze walls.

I want FRIENDS. This is the most confusing part of my current and recent life that I just don't understand. Don't get me wrong. I have some people. And some who genuinely show an interest in seeing me more than once a month. Ok, one. And that is nice, and I am most grateful. But I want more. I want to be part of the neighborhood bunch. There are a huge amount of families with small kids in the neighborhood, and so many of them are friends. Good friends. Why not me? It's not as if I'm not out there trying. In my capacity. No, I don't go out at night right now. And it's likely I won't for a while. No, I don't have a lot of time away from my children. But true friends don't care, they find time to be with you. I tried for months and months to invite people over for play dates. Every week. Sometimes twice a week. Some tried. But it got to the point where more often than not, no one came. And that depressed me, so I stopped inviting. The other day I took DS to a neighborhood play date, and there was a houseful. A HOUSEFUL. Just like that. Maybe it's because we don't go to the public schools. But that's not enough reason. Maybe it's because I'm shy. Maybemaybemaybe. The result is that I'm not IN.

I have found that my most peaceful time is my one hour a day that I spend alone. And that is not me. Not the happy, well-balanced me. But right now, my recharge time is spent along, in my basement, sewing. And I truly love it. I do. But the genuine me doesn't want an escape. So what's this about?

And I worry. For all the hard work that I feel that I do, day in and day out, I am given more to try to figure out. A relationship that has always come easily, with few bumps, is now much more confusing, painful, and filled with cracks. What does it mean? So I hide in my "work" and hope that things straighten themselves out.

And I worry about my father, who turns 90 in March. I think about him all the time. But to complicate even that, our relationship is odd. Not bad. It's good! He champions me more than anyone else in the world, and I him. But it's odd. And confusing. But he helps me to feel better about myself. Without many words, he just has a way of gently encouraging me to be better to myself. He tells me to be more selfish. Because I'm worth it. That's nice. That's really nice. I need someone to help me feel important. The others, family, are too far away to be involved in my life. I sometimes think, lately, of what it would be like to live near the others. Would I feel better? Probably. Why can't I create that for myself here?

So I feel burdened, and I feel that life is zooming by, and I feel that I'm missing something. And I don't know how to change it. And I wonder what the message is. What am I supposed to be doing? How do I achieve the balance I so badly yearn for? Am I supposed to stop seeking, and turn inward? Find peace in what I have and stop trying for something else? Why do I hurt? Why do I continue to want things I don't have? Isn't what I have good enough? I don't understand.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hills and Valleys (child anxiety)

It is proving to be a challenging week. And it's only Tuesday.

Last week, like any, came with it's ups and downs, but everyone worked hard, and did his and her best. As everyone does, we all faced some challenges, and we all found ways to recharge. My daughter managed this along with the rest of us. She faces life with an undiagnosed anxiety (disorder? condition?) whatever, so her ups are often a little more up than the rest of us, and her downs can be a bit more down. Not a problem, it can just take her a little bit more time and proper conditions to come back to her baseline.

By Friday, we were all ready to be done for the week. DD verbalized that she didn't want to go to school. She said that while she likes school, "I just like you better, Mama." Her way of saying she's pooped and needs to rest. I gently encouraged her to face the day the best she could, try to be in the moment, and go easy on herself. I told her I couldn't wait to come pick her up, and I meant it. The attachment parent in me wanted to keep her home. The anxiety built in to me knows that I needed her to spend some time at school in order for me to recharge. Because I was anxious.

We had planned for a couple of weeks to go to my father's for the weekend. I had decided to go on Saturday, and return on Sunday. This sets my nerves on end in several ways. For one thing, I would be traveling with the kids on my own. I have done so countless times before, but it's always a little anxiety producing. And then there was the packing. I am a lousy packer. I am disorganized by nature, and find the idea of creating a small amount of core items out of a giant mess of a house very intimidating. And I tend to forget something each time, so I worry about that. And I try to do all of that while entertaining a 2-year-old. So I walk in circles all day feeling frustrated. Add to that the fact that DH has been a tense mess and is looking SO forward to us going away, so he can have some recharge time for himself. So when, three days ahead of departure day, I develop a headache (unusual for me) and DD complains of a "thick throat" I start to wonder if we are coming down with something that will necessitate a change of plans. I worry much more about the absolute crushing disappointment DH will display at even the slight suggestion that we MIGHT stay home, than the possible illness itself. Then there is the typical and anticipated transition anxiety that DD experiences with any change in routine. And on top of that, the more recently and most likely short-lasting phase that DS is going through, where he begs me not to take him anywhere. And this is what I was carrying as the week wore on last week.

After about 2.5 days, my headache, which was only minor, and somehow sinus related, went away. DD did not complain about her throat after the one morning. We were on for the trip. Friday I dropped an exhausted (school-exhausted, if you know what I mean) DD off at school, and headed home to pack. DS started in with his statements that he didn't want to go. DH had decided to come home early to help. He helped DS get some things together, and when DD came home, he helped her to pack. I managed the rest.

Saturday morning, and DS is in full-blown toddler-mode. He does NOT want to go! I do no know what to do. DH is starting to get upset. DD is just looking at me saying, "So, are we going?" As DH gets progressively upset and angry, I decide that I am going, come hell or high tantrum, because I'm pissed at DH. I bring all of our stuff to the door, he packs it in the car, and we're ready to head out. I, in a rare moment, express my feelings at DH, and we are now having an argument. Over the roof of the car we agree to talk about things later, and we leave.

Three hours later, the kids and I are in NJ. DS had quickly turned his upset to anticipation (attaboy!) and the kids were happy to be there. My father started the list of "things we could do" and I suggested that maybe our visit was short enough this time that just being there was enough.

We end up outside, playing, which the kids love. This fall they have fallen in love with the idea of jumping in his leaf piles in the front yard. I stand near the road, and watch. Suddenly, my daughter approaches me and says, calmly, that something had poked into her leg. One second later she is screaming. She has realized that she has been stung by a bee, and it's still there. My father materializes at this point, and wipes the bee away. DD is hysterical. I get her inside, and over the coarse of about five minutes, manage to convince her to get her pants off so we can look at the sting. Over the next 30 minutes, with a constant minute of screaming, minute of calm, minute of screaming, minute of calm (repeat) I manage to look up bee stings on my computer and take care of things. We have managed to get upstairs to our bedroom, and after a few minutes, DD informs me that she is hungry. I go downstairs to make sandwiches, and my father comments that the kids don't eat at meals but eat when they want.  The rest of the day is fairly uneventful, though my daughter periodically feels she cannot walk, which means hauling her down narrow spiral stairs.

The next day is a travel day, but I'm not in a big hurry to hit the road. Hubby and I have been checking in with each other. We are just hanging out, and plan to leave after lunch. We end up in the front yard again, with the fabulous piles of leaves. The kids are pretty happy, and I am trying to get up packed up as I'm able. DD starts screaming. Shreaking. She has been stung again. I fly over to her, as done my son. Somewhere in the hysteria, I realize DS is crying, and I wonder if it's sympathy panic. No, he is bent over his hand. He, too, has been stung. As I do my best to grab them, I feel a sting on my temple. I grab them and get us inside. Screaming, hysterical children, and my adrenals are firing whatever they have left to fire. As he did Saturday during the first sting situation, grabbed his medical bag, and put a can of First Aid spray in front of us. I used it. The kids requested to go up to our bedroom, and right away requested sandwiches, just like Saturday. What an interesting reminder that kids crave routine! I made them. DS, as is his nature, was fine once the sting settled down a bit. He sat there watching a DVD with his sandwich. Crisis over. DD, as is her nature, was upset longer, and needed more time and efforts to settle back down. I add to this that I was on the phone with DH when the second stings occurred, and I rather abruptly hung up, surely leaving him very concerned on the other end. So I called him quickly a couple of times during all of this to fill him in and reassure him that all was well in the end.

After a while, we make it back downstairs. DS picks up the First Aid spray, which was sitting on the carpet. I tell him to be careful, that's it's medicine spray, and suggested he not spray it. He's two, and pretty good, but ... more screaming. He had sprayed the stuff directly into his eyes. I grab him and wash his eyes out with water, and hoped like crazy that that was the right thing to do. I wiped his eyes with a cloth, and he settled down right away. Phew.

My stress exhaustion was settling in in a big way now, and I still faced a three hour drive with two kids. By now I just wanted to get us on the road. I suggested to my father that we eat lunch early. He got right to it and made us some food. Now DD, who had pretty much settled down at this point, reminded me that she had really wanted to go on a picnic for lunch. I had zero desire to do anything more than eat and take off, but DD can be very insistent! To her absolute credit, she suggested that perhaps we could set up a table in the living room and have a picnic there. Yes! I could do that! I informed my father, and he set things up. We ate. Add in to all of this that DD is in this phase where most foods are not appealing to her, and she really doesn't eat much at meal times when we aren't at home. She had basically been existing on peanut butter crackers since we got there. Anyhow, I ate. I then packed the car, got the kids in the car, and left.

The ride back was fine. We arrived fried, and happy to be home. DH, to his credit, had bought stuff to make pumpkin pies with the kids. He got DD engaged in that pretty quickly. My much anticipated and desperately needed evening "break" time arrived, and I headed to the basement where my fabulous sewing room exists. I put my attention on a sewing pattern I've been making, and allow myself to disconnect from things for a little while. We eat dinner, relax for a bit, and I take the kids upstairs to bed. DD is still very wired. DS conks out gratefully. DD also falls asleep. I start to get up. She is just barely over on my pillow, and I decide to try to gently remove it, so the kids don't take it over before I come up to bed. Big mistake. DD wakes up, and an anxious DD won't go back to sleep. My dander is up in a big way at this point. I need her to go to sleep!! I am so in need of some time to unwind that I feel desperate. It is not to be. I inform her that I'm going downstairs to tell Papa that I'm staying up there. I go down, make myself a drink (!!!) and head back up. DH, to his credit, comes up too. We read together, and DD finally falls back to sleep. I go to bed, too.

Monday. Ugh. None of us wants to face it. But we all do. What choice do we have? I remind DD on the way to school to take things one minute at a time, and just do the best she can. I remind her that the weekend was not exactly relaxing (!) and that we didn't get time to unwind, so to go easy on herself. Then I remember that I have a dental appt. I inform DS, who of course starts his pleas that we not go. We get there, and DH has met us. DS reaches his arms to me, but I tell him I will meet him afterwards. The visit is fine. In fact I have a pleasant conversation with the hygienist after she compliments my tote bag, which I made. She enjoys crafting, and we chat happily about it all. Then the dentist comes in. He checks my teeth and all that, then out of nowhere starts telling me how important it is to get out without the kids. ??? Where did this come from? I hadn't said a word other than I spend my time chasing my kids around. He looked at me, and said, "You look tired. Take care of yourself." Whoa!

The rest of the day kind of goes. DS was outside on his tricycle about 45 minutes before we had to go pick up DD from school. He asked to go to the end of the road to an area we call the dirt hills. I told him we didn't have time, and he throws a mini-fit, indicating to me that he is ready to nap. I get us in the car and drive. He does not go to sleep. @#$%! I drive and drive and nothing. I finally take us to a nearby store, and we walk around for a while. Then we drive some more, until it's finally time to get DD. Everything is well, and the afternoon/evening goes pretty smoothly. The time for my evening "break" comes around again, and I head downstairs. Within a couple of minutes, I hear DD screaming and crying. My heart sinks. I understand what is happening but it still makes me feel sad. She is tired. Exhausted. She has not had the relaxing weekend she needed to regroup, and she's just reached her limit. She is at the door of the basement insisting that she needs me. DH protects my alone time any way he can, and the tension quickly rises to a fever pitch. After a while, the noise settles down. But I am sad. And tired. And done.

Bed time comes, and DD informs me that she may not be able to sleep again. We talk about it for a bit. But I'm irritated. I can't help it. Her anxiety results in my being kept on a very short leash, and I am quite protective of the little time that I do get to myself. And this new "thing" is compromising some of that. After some while, she does fall asleep. (I sat near the kids this time, NOT between them as usual, and had my pillow out of the way BEFORE DD went to sleep!! I was able to very quietly get myself out of the room. Phew!

Then I get downstairs and DH is in a lousy mood. He is cursing the difficulty he has in putting a lunch together for DD, who is so picky there really is very little she will agree to eat. I agree to do it, and he heads to the couch. I put together a lunch, and after some while, finally land on the couch. DH and I actually get a little time to watch part of movie, and I head to bed.

And so it's Tuesday. Onward we go. DD asks me daily to promise that I won't leave the house during my "break." She asks me nightly to promise that I won't leave the house while she's sleeping. She insists on getting out of bed when I do, even though she is still tired, and could sleep for another half-hour. She usually falls back to sleep on the couch. She asked me this morning if I had any doctor or dentist appointments. And so forth.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, October 18, 2010


On the top of my blog, in my blurb, I mention that I find the world to be abrasive. When they were handing out bumpers, I must have been in the rest room. So things that would not bother most people, or not bother them much, get through to me, and hurt. Now I have lived with me for a long time. When you get bumped enough, you start to hold your hands out to ward off some of the incoming -whatever-. I have developed ways of managing. But I will always be me, and stuff still gets through.

When I started this blog, I began my mission to find ways to feel better. To find natural ways to take care of myself, and my family. And it has been helpful. Really. I am feeling a whole lot better, in general, than I was back then. It's a process.... but I stop and compare every now and then, and I'm much closer to being the balanced me I have been striving for. And there is no finish line. It's a lifestyle, and I'm happy with the direction I am taking. It's not just my physical self (or that of my kids,) it's my mental well-being, my sense of self.

I have always been someone who takes on the mood of the room. I learned a valuable lesson from a smart lady about 10 years ago. She said, "Don't ride the roller coaster." (Perhaps the smart lady will see and recognize this statement!) It applied to the situation at the time, but it has lasted me all this time, and I've said it in my head a thousand times. It means regardless of what is happening around you, take a step back and keep your head. Basically. And it works! If I really put my mind to it, that is.

So here I am in my current situation, applying it as needed. And that means finding ways to make myself happy, even when things are chaotic and less than stellar in my little corner of the world.

So inward I go. I mentally separate myself. Instead of seeking out people who will change my mood for me, I'm finding ways of doing so myself. This may seem obvious to many, maybe even most, but for someone like me, it's work. And it does help. But I have to remind myself to do it. It does not come naturally.

I was going to give examples here, but I keep erasing. I guess this is all I have to say about this for now!

This is not quite the post I wanted it to be, but I'm posting it anyway. Maybe I'll wrap my head around it and formulate some real thoughts, and maybe I won't. Whaddevah.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another One?? (child anxiety)

Ever since I tried nursery school with my son, about a month ago, he has been a different kid. Mind you he went for TWO days, and seemed to enjoy it for quite a while before hitting a wall (figuratively.) He did leave both days crying and upset, but I think that was from being tired and overwhelmed with the length of the class, not the activities or expectations. He did well both days until hitting that proverbial wall. But he views it differently. He says he hates school. And his experience with it has changed his opinion about other things.

Today I had my heart set on taking him to a new program at the Children's Museum. He likes the Children's Museum, and has asked to go there a number of times in the past. But today he did not want to go. In fact, he pleaded with me not to take him. What the?? I think it was the idea that it was a "program." But he has reacted this way to other events as well. We were invited to a neighbor's to play last week. We got all the way to the time we were ready to leave, and that was it. He dug his heels in. He begged me not to take him! I explained that it was just to a neighbor's to play, and we could leave any time we wanted, and he would probably know some of the kids.... nope. He did NOT want to go!

DS was not like this at all before trying school. He has never been shy, and still isn't. He is outgoing, unafraid, and confident. He is like this with adults and kids of all ages. So I don't know what's going on. Of course, kids all go through phases of being more or less shy or worried about separation from parents. That's all normal. I guess I worry about it because of DD's anxiety issues. He is not like that at all. It is very likely, however, that he picks up some cues from her, and that some of his reactions are influenced by her. An example of this is in the evening when I take an hour to myself. This is something that occurs every night, and has been in place since DD was little. It is part of our every day routine. DD goes through phases of accepting my being away for the hour, and phases of being anything BUT ok with it. As a general rule, DS is not disturbed by my brief absence, and takes it very much in his stride. But when DD is in full blown anxiety mode, he becomes upset, too, and goes through brief periods of panic when I am getting ready to leave the room. Keep in mind, I don't leave the house most of the time, I just go downstairs. And about five minutes before the hour is done, both kids are yelling down the stairs.

Anyhow, so at the moment, my leash is short. Even with DD at school for 6.5 hours a day, I still juggle the fallout from the anxiety that we all live as a family. I guess I need to put it in perspective, and writing about it helps me to do that. I can't over react to his age-appropriate anxiety. I have to figure out a good balance between gently encouraging him to be brave and get out for fun programs (that I attend with him) and following his lead with genuinely needing to be home and quiet.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I have been down this road before, and crashed and burned. I need to exercise. There simply isn't an excuse good enough not to, and the benefits are endless. Maybe I need to do what I did years before to help me change my lifestyle a bit. I literally wrote down daily internal and external benefits. And used other motivators. It worked. It really did. So perhaps I can use that again. And maybe using my connections on Facebook would help, too. People motivators. But the main motivator has to be me. So here goes for today.

I exercised for 10 minutes today. For five minutes, I jogged around the house while DS was sleeping. For another five, I walked up and down the stairs. Then I stopped.

Internal benefits:

I got warm pretty fast! I had to shed my fleece, that I had been wearing all day.
My legs got a little sore. Wow, how quickly muscles get weak!
Exercise produces endorphins, and as we head toward S.A.D season, we need all the endorphins we can get.

External benefits:

The cats thought I had lost my marbles, which amused me no end.

I'd love to hear from anyone who needs a boost in this department, too. I am 41 years old and get no regular exercise. I read every day about illnesses and cancers and problems and depression, and many natural, easy, healthy ways to combat them. I can do this. It beats the (possible) alternatives......

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just Stuff

It is that time of year in this area of the world for all of the S.A.D types, like me, to start getting out in the light. Yeah, I get seasonal affective disorder, which for me usually means feeling agitated for no reason, lasting for about a week. I have come to find that if I walk most days for about 15 minutes, I can go the entire season without this weird physical reaction to the lack of outdoor time and light. But I've run into a snag. My children freak out if I leave them. Even if it means going around the stupid block for a walk. So here I sit in the basement of my house, in a room with no windows. Not a good solution to my impending jitters. And it's gonna be a bad one this year, if my instinct is on. I feel it. I have been blue anyway, a result of the stress that comes with being a full time me to a bunch of people and animals, two of whom have anxiety issues of their own. Sigh. So. The trick is to achieve what I need while balancing and managing what they all need, or think they need, too. I did, in fact, get outside today. We had friends over, and spent some time in the back yard. So that counts. Exercise? No. But that will have to be done at another time. hm. Ok, so involve the kids in that, too, somehow. DD would love to go to the YMCA. DS? Not so much. Go without him? Not likely. He's in his own little panic-mode at the moment. Hard to move these days. I feel strongly that taking DS to school for two days had a terrible effect on him, even though I was there in the next room. He hated it. Today at a library program he charged into the fray, as is his style, but after a couple of minutes, looked for me in a mini-panic. He again charged into the situation, but a couple of minutes later needed to check in with me. He was never like this before school. Oh, and he has not attempted the bathroom a single time since school, something he was doing on his own once every couple of days before then. So my needs, whatever they be at any given time, need to be snuck in there with the needs of the others. I can do this.

As I write this, my kids are yelling down to me. They know my "break" ends in the next couple of minutes. I can be in the basement, but not outside.

I'm tired of the things that have brought me some meaning in the last months. I get so excited to list something in my Etsy shop, and become so disappointed when there is little to no interest in what I make. Then I wonder why I bother with it. Because it's fun, in a way. But the let down is not fun. So instead of creating and piling up all these random things that sit in my sewing room collecting dust, I need to refocus my efforts. I love to sew.  But I want to sew for my family. And that's it. Subject to change without notice! But really. Why bother with the rest of it? It's just frustrating.

My break has ended. I need to stop here. I'll post, because I don't know if I'll remember to or want to continue with this mind-stream.

Another mood for another day. Bye.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Guessing Game (parenting)

Something is going on with my little boy. He wouldn't let me go out to dinner last night, even though his grandmother was here, and he is very comfortable with her. He couldn't fall asleep last night. He was up at least an hour later than usual and said he wasn't tired. He finally went to sleep when I went with him. Then he was up before 5 a.m. today. And when a child is off, the entire family is off. What could be going on?

The obvious first thought is illness. Poor goob. It's possible. Seems as if he was fighting something last week. But I guess it is that time of year for all sorts of bugs to come home with DD from school and with DH from work. But he doesn't have any of the usual symptoms, like runny nose. Still possible and most likely.

It could be tension. Could it? I don't know, but I believe that stress plays a bit part in how smoothly the routine goes in life and at home. Two weeks ago I took him to school. He was very excited about it. Too excited. He did great, but after a short time became overwhelmed and too tired to continue. He was encouraged to continue anyway, and he was in total meltdown mode when we left. His second day of school was similar. He did great for about an hour and a half, then was completely done. Once again the pressure was put on him to continue, and that was too much. Another total meltdown as we got ready to leave. After that he didn't want any part of school, even though the majority of the experience was positive. I took him out, making the decision that he simply wasn't ready yet. I was hoping that I got him out before the anxiety became a lasting thing, but I'm not sure I made it. He seems to have a school hang-over, at the tender age of 2. Darn it.

Then sometimes there's a little tension at home. DS had agreed to let us go out last night, but once we were in the car, he became very upset. Grandma grabbed him, and that made things worse. He entered panic mode, which is where he was when I got to him. DH was very frustrated that we couldn't go out, something he looked forward to very much. So he was upset, and felt angry at DS. Then DD, who battles with pretty intense anxiety, waffled about whether she was comfortable with us going out or not. (I honestly thought she would be the one to get in the way of the outing, not DS) So she went back and forth between starting to cry at the prospect of us going out and the prospect of us NOT going out. By the time we were in the driveway, she almost needed us to go out. She had simply gotten her head around that plan, and had worked hard to get herself to that place. And then there's me, monkey in the middle. All the time. I understand DD. I understand DH. I also understand grandma with her gentle urging to go despite the kids' upset. (just not the way I work) And I empathize with DS. I know that there is something wrong, and if all was well, he wouldn't be acting and feeling this way. Instinct says to hug him rather than push him into this situation.

So who knows? Instinct is a strong thing, and I'm following mine. That's all I can do.