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!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I've got the blahs.

Usually the blahs last for a few days, then my spirits start to lift again. This is an extended blah. And I'm having trouble moving past it this time.

Now I know me, and when it gets cold, I have to start making myself get outside every day, or I get seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and start to feel nervous, shaky, down.... I know from past winters that if I get out every day for at least 15 minutes, I can go the whole dark season without getting SAD. I don't think this is just SAD. First of all, it's early. It's usually February when I start to get the typical SAD symptoms. Secondly, this blah is a little different. I just feel discouraged. And lonely. And tired. I basically start to look forward to going to bed as soon as I wake up in the morning. That's depression.

So. I am a QMHP. (qualified mental health professional) So I should be able to make a treatment plan for myself. The tough part is sticking to it. But the first step is agreeing there's a problem. (I feel like dog doo) The second is making a plan to do something about it.

Service plan for WF 41 YO presenting with: Depression

Week 1: Get outside every day for a minimum of 15 minutes
              Exercise every other day for a minimum of 10 minutes (aerobic exercise)
              Make a social plan at least 1x/2 week period
              Get 8 hours of sleep every night

The third step is to implement it. Today I informed my family I was going for a walk. The kids ultimately decided they were going with me. After about 20 minutes of them "getting ready" while I waited, we headed out the door. Neither is enthusiastic about such things, but neither wanted to stay home with Papa, so they ended up walking to the end of the street with me. My DD decided to "beat us home" and ran back. Awesome. I ended up carrying my DS, but he walked a good bit of the way. So we all got out. (Hubby too) It's a good start. Maybe I'll set up an incentive chart for myself. Childish, maybe, but it helps me. Maybe the social plan can be my reward.


Monday, November 22, 2010


So this is where my mind has come. Time and time again. So I have been researching......

Today I discovered a school called Calvert, based in Maryland. It is both a physical school and a homeschool curriculum. And it's very interesting. The things that have overwhelmed me about the idea of homeschool are these:

*Much more work for me, when I am already overwhelmed and totally lack "me" time
*How would I know what to teach? And could I teach all that needed to be taught?
*How do I get credit for DD for having done the school year?
*Where do we find a local homeschooling community?
*How do I know if I'm pushing too much, too little (unlikely) or just the right amount (academically)?
*What about DS?

A person with whom I've gotten kind of friendly, also the kids' Kindermusik teacher, homeschools her daughter. I started to chat with her over email. She is very willing to share with me and answer my questions. She pointed me in the direction of a website that answers some of the logistical questions I have, particularly the one about getting credit for doing the work. It explains exactly what you need to do in order to inform the school district of your intention, what they will send you, how you submit an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) (I think they had another term for it, like IPEP or something like that) and how to submit quarterly progress reports. It also reviews testing requirements, and what occurs if progress is not being made. Very, very helpful.

A little more research online brought me to the website of the Calvert School. A great many more questions were answered. This is a school that will send you a complete year-long curriculum for any grade you choose, from preschool through 12th grade. This means a daily lesson plan! Wow! That takes a HUGE amount of anxiety out of the prospect. And after reading a sample lesson plan, the anxiety is down even more. It is likely far less than I would have insisted that DD do, and far more reasonable! I have no clue.

Hubby and I have discussed it a bit. His work day is his work day, not sure he is willing to be flexible with that, but maybe. If I figure it all out and present it to him in a way that looks good.

DS....well, he'd either have to attend a regular preschool, or get homeschooled also. DH does not like the idea of him being homeschooled as well. I would be ok with him attending preschool, but would he? After his two days in nursery school earlier this year, he has acted so traumatized by the whole experience I think it may be challenging........... Anyhow, that will be figured out if this ever becomes a reality.

Anyhow, I have no plans to make the switch at this time. But I am thinking it over, and I feel much better about it all after reading all of this stuff.

And thank you, dear K, for reaching out to me! My far-away friend homeschools, and she is glad she has been doing so. Her child had some difficulties in a traditional school setting, as does mine.

I welcome any thoughts or experiences please!

Down In the Valley...

Monday morning. The only day my daughter has school this week. And she's in hell. She is now saying, with great frequency, that she hates school. In the same vent she stated that "this school is the best" and yet she still hates it. And I hate forcing her to go. Day after day after day. I feel like a giant, walking conflict every morning. And it sucks. And I find myself saying in my head "I hate my life." Over and over. But is that true? No. It's not true. I love my life. No I don't. But I really COULD. I just feel that my bookshelf is toppled on the floor in a giant heap of a mess. And my daughter's is toppled on top of mine. And hubby's has toppled nearby, and is tangling in with ours. And I'm at a loss. I have undiagnosed ADD and when I see a mess, any kind of mess, I walk around in circles baffled as to where to start with cleaning it up. It is true tangibly, and it is true metaphorically. And so. I basically feel unfinished all the time. And my environment, physical and mental/emotional, is cluttered and unkempt.

And I'm the only one who can do something about it. So where to start?

Medication? Nope, I'm nursing.
Help? Whom?
Delegate more? Trying
Find a better situation for DD? Trying!!!
Find some joy for myself? Trying.
Clean my physical environment to help my mental environment? I try and try and try and get nowhere.

Anything else?

My typical day, represented in one 10 minute interval: Take a sip of coffee and set my coffee cup down. Start to walk somewhere, maybe the bathroom. Get distracted by DD, who says "You HAVE to see this!!" Go over to see whatever it is, for the 200th time that day. Speak some dully enthusiastic words to her, and start to head away. DD starts a conversation which draws me part way back. I inform her I"m headed to the bathroom. She asks if she can go too. Of course. I go, and she asks me to stay with her while she goes. Rolling my eyes, I stand near the bathroom door. She wants me to come in the room. Then DS wants to come in. I'm in the hall. DD wants DS to shut the door. She dawdles, and takes several minutes to get down to business. I am processing the fact that we have no one to care for the cats when we're going to be away, and notice that the cat box is, as usual, in need of attention. I then scold DD for playing in the bathroom sink, something that drives me crazy and she has been told endless times. Then the phone is ringing and it's DH. I'm on the phone, so the volume in the house rises exponentially. I walk away from the bathroom so I can hear, and DD is calling me back in urgent tones. Not an emergency, just her anxiety. DS is pulling the toilet paper out in a stream. DH is sounded extremely put-out by having to wait to talk while I redirect the kids. I rush them out of the bathroom, transferring his annoyance on them by being impatient and irritable. I put the tv on, and listen while my DD loudly protests my selection of shows. I walk away from the tv so I can try to hear DH, and trip over the cat, who wants to be fed. Now where did I put my coffee?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

School Evaluation (child anxiety)

I have just returned from my daughter's mid-year school evaluation. The news is this. She is not following through on her work. There are days she does no work at all. She is frequently sitting outside of the classroom and requiring a teacher to lead her into the room. She is a rag doll. Dammit.

I informed them that we have reached out to a local provider, but will be unable to see this person until the end of December. The head of school informed me that we can request services through the school, and that she will initial this process. We need help. She needs help.

I am so discouraged and confused. Her behaviors at home have come almost back to baseline, as she has gotten over a recent cold. She is sleeping well, eating well, and her OCD behaviors are declining. But things are not improving at school. I don't know what to do.

Do I consider homeschooling to keep her on track academically? She will do work with me. Her focus is not always the best, but she is willing enough. At the moment she is basically wiling away the time at school, then doing some reading, and occasionally other work, at home. I said to my husband a few minutes ago that that is an expensive play date! But homeschooling would keep her from being around kids all the time, and from the classes she claims to like, such as music. But having her repeat grades is not going to help this situation at all.

I hope we kind find someone great who can help guide us. So sad.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cycle Complete?

It seems that DD's anxiety cycles, and there seem to be very specific triggers. This past cycle occurred while DD was sick with a bad cold, and seems to be done now.

This morning, DD was calm. All the way through the morning routine. She said her usual stuff, such as "I don't want to go to school today," and "How many days left of school?" and "I wish the day was shorter" (which I agree with) and so on. But the anxiety was not there. The panic. The fear. Not there today. And she ATE. This little girl has not eaten anything for breakfast for a long time now. That wasn't new when she got sick. But it was something I had forgotten about her. That she goes in cycles with appetite, too. That has been true since she was a very little girl. For a week or two, she will eat small amounts, then things switch, and she eats lot more for a couple of weeks. Then it switches back again. So with the end of this cold and this anxiety cycle, her appetite has risen HUGELY. We have been using our new juicer a lot, and while DD is very interested in the juices, she typically does not drink much. This morning we juiced three pears and one carrot, and she drank quite a bit. YES! She also ate some bread with peanut butter that I had put out. Excellent. That does not mean my sweet girl is cured of anxiety, but it means that for right now, she has returned to baseline. Ahhhh.....

Just to throw this in there, I have asked DD not to eat any dairy for one week to see if it makes a difference in the frequent belly aches and gas she complains of. She has been diary-free for only about two full days now (we started Sunday lunch time) but she has not complained at all about stomach discomfort or gas pains so far. She has also been agreeable to taking a probiotic each morning over the last several days.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Sewing Blog

I have started another blog. Yeah, I know. I'm a blogaholic. But this one will actually get a lot of use. Like this one. It's a showcase for the stuff I sew. And I sew nearly every day. It's my salvation. =)

If you're interested, you can check it out here. New Sewing Blog


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Clean Up Time (child anxiety)

Ok, so now that we have our heads around DD's most recent anxiety surge, it is time to help her try to understand what has been going on. She has been through two weeks of not being able to focus on her work very well, and feeling very uncomfortable in her own skin at school. She has been, according to the head of school, coming into school, and sitting by her cubby until she is literally lead by hand into the classroom. To hear DD tell it, she has been physically carried into the classroom. But the head says no, she either verbally requests that she walk into the room, or she takes her by the hand and leads her in. In any event, she has been avoiding the classroom altogether until she is made to go. Ugh. So now she is feeling embarrassed, and is "afraid" to simply do as expected, and walk in the room.

As usual, on the way to school, I tried to pep-talk her into making some better decisions for herself. I reminded her that by continuing to sit aside, she is drawing a lot of extra attention to herself, something she claims she does not want. By walking in to the classroom as expected, she may draw five seconds of attention on herself, and then things will just move on. That five seconds has her paralyzed. I hope she faced it this morning.

The problem is that she is now starting to feel physically better, but she has created quite a situation around herself in the mean time. At school, she has behaved out of the norm, and has caused those around her to react differently to her. At home she has behaved out of the norm, and has caused us to react differently to her also. We are getting back to normal, and are not thrown too much by recent events. (Ok, we were thrown quite a bit, but we're recovering!) At school, this is all new to them, and DD knows it, and feels very, very awkward, now that she's ready for things to return to normal. Only she can do that, and she does not like to be her own motivation! She prefers to be "forced" to move in the "right" direction. This somehow comes more easily to her than making a good decision for herself. Odd. But true.

Anyhow, I attempted to communicate some of this to the head of school by email yesterday. I tried to explain that DD would like to try coming in to the room, but wants to know that no one will say anything to her if she does. Head of school did not understand what I was asking at all, and asked if I wanted her to let DD sit in front of her cubby all day without asking her to come in to the room. NOOOoooooo!!!! Shoot! I was trying to be helpful by letting her know that DD wants to get back to the normal routine, but wants reassurance that no one will make a big deal about it. It can be very hard to communicate meaning and feeling by email. Anyhow, that sucked, but I think after several emails back and forth she semi-understands what I am saying. Not completely, as she plans no to talk with DD but to use picture cards (sighs) but anyhow.................

My fingers are crossed that she got brave this morning and got into that classroom. I told her that she can choose between an entire day of discomfort, or a minute of discomfort this morning, and a normal day. What will she do?

Just an added note, DD is sleeping much better at night these days. She is getting over the cold for one thing, and the white noise of the vaporizer (and the humidity, too) are helping a great deal.

Monday, November 8, 2010


This morning before leaving for DD's school, hubby called. He just wanted to know if the kids were still feeling ill from the cold that has been battering them for a week and a half now. I was in the midst of trying to get a very reluctant DD out the door. I told him I'd call him back.

This morning, DD informed me (many times over) that she was NOT going to school today. I got our things together, but them and my son in the car, and went in to collect her. I slept for a long time last night, so I wasn't feeling the aggravation I often feel, but instead tried to calmly pep-talk her into getting ready to go. Although she had gone upstairs to "hide" she got only as far as the top of the stairs, and didn't resist when I picked her up and carried her to the car. All the way to school I talked with her about doing the best she can and focusing on ten minutes at a time and blahdeblah. She informed me she would not be getting out of the car. High anxiety day. Wow. We got to school, and in the half-minute before one of the teachers came out to meet her and the other kids, she informed me that the teachers might have to carry her in to school today. What? I asked her to explain. Basically, from what I could understand, she had at some point refused to go from point A to point B at school, and she had been told that if she didn't come herself within 3 minutes, she would be carried. She informed me that more like 10 minutes went by, and then she was carried to where she was asked to be. Oh! Ok. What I said to her was that I was getting some idea of why school was suddenly so stressful for her. That there was, in fact, an event that upset her. We didn't have much time to talk about it, but I reminded her that today did not need to be a repeat of that day. She then started to worry about what she would do if she had to use the bathroom. Oh no. This is old stuff from her former school, and NOT good. I reminded her that if she had to go, she would just go. She said she wouldn't be able to. (NOOOooooo!!!) At this point the teacher was there, and we had to move on. I plucked her out of the car, and gave her a hug..... and got back in the car. She walked slowly up the path, as is her thing lately. Off I went.

When DS and I got home, I left a second message for a psychologist I have tried to connect with before. Then I called DH. And something weird happened.

Instead of telling him I was worried and sad and anxious and that DD had a terrible morning, I proceeded to explain her behavior. As we talked, suddenly things started to fall in to place. I don't know why, but somehow, the entire past couple of weeks just made sense. No, we didn't figure out why DD carries all of this anxiety with her, or why it manifests one way sometimes and another way another time. But her recent surge in anxiety symptoms, and her poor coping skills of late make more sense. Now that I move back and take a look at the situation as a whole.

If you picture an "average" person dealing with a terrible cold, you see a person who has a week or two of decreased focus. A period of time where coping skills are a little off because the person feels generally unwell. Things are a little harder to manage. The person may want to sleep more than usual. Stuff like that. Then you take DD and give her a terrible cold. And she experiences everything that the "average" person does. But three times as much. The "average" person starts to feel better, and gradually returns to normal functioning and production. The recovery time is fairly predictable. For DD, the response to this upheaval is much, much stronger, so of course the recovery time is much, much longer. I picture a chart. The "average" person follows line A. When given the terrible cold, this person moves to productivity line C, or an average, predictable amount of decrease in functioning, focus, stress management, increased sleep, etc. DD, and people like her, move to line F, or extreme upheaval in ability to function in a "normal" capacity, practically no ability to focus, very poor stress management abilities, fatigue but inability to recognize the need for extra sleep, which results in a refusal to settle down to sleep at the usual time resulting in a decrease in sleep...you get the picture. And for the "average" person, the recovery from all of this is predictable as well. A little extra TLC, a few days, and normal functioning returns. For those who have traveled to line F, the return takes longer, and is much bumpier. Normal sleep patterns gradually return. Normal stress management comes back in fits and starts. And so on. A silly sort of way to explain all this maybe, but it is really what occurs. And how easily I forget!!

So, while going through this cold, which has lasted now for over 1.5 weeks, she basically shut down at school, faced a very uncomfortable situation at school which required her being physically moved from one place to the other, and created a very uncomfortable situation for herself. So now, as she gradually recovers from the cold and things start to return to normal for her, she has to go and face all of that at school. UGH. Anyone facing that would have a lot of emotion around it, and facing it without being able to justify it and understand it would just be harder.

I am hoping I can help her to understand all of this. I hope that it helps us to be better prepared the next time around. I hope most of all that I can help her to be more forgiving of herself when things become overwhelming, which for anxious people is a far greater challenge than for others. I hope I remember to see the whole picture next time.

White Noise! (child anxiety)

Three nights ago, as I listened to my two kids hack these dry horrible coughs during the night, I vowed to break out the vaporizer the next night. I got it all cleaned up and ready to go. Saturday night I set it up and turned it on. I read to the kids as usual, and waited for my son to fall asleep so I could start the (new) nightly process of listening to my daughter go through her list of statements and questions, then go downstairs. Every night I wait about 15 minutes, then go to "check" on the kids, something my daughter has been insisting on. After a few minutes, it became obvious that neither kid was going to sleep, and I felt my irritation rising. After a couple of minutes I announced that I was going downstairs, and would check on them in 15 minutes. I left, certain that my 3-year-old would follow me down the stairs in less than one minute. I came down, and listened through the monitor. Nothing. Huh? I looked at DH and shrugged my shoulders. Not a peep. Just the whisper that the vaporizer makes. 15 minutes went past, and DH offered to go up to check on them. Both were sound asleep. After the couple of weeks we've been having with nights that seem to get late quickly with at least one and sometimes two restless, anxious kids, I was astounded. I informed DH that if the vaporizer had anything to do with it, we would be running it every night for the rest of time. Sunday night comes, and DS actually falls asleep on my lap during dinner, having missed his nap. (We had a small make-up birthday party for him yesterday, after having to cancel his party last weekend due to illness) I put him on the couch where he slept while we finished up. I went upstairs with DD to get her ready for bed. She complained of being very cold, and I instructed her to get into bed while I went downstairs to collect DS. I set up that beautiful maker of mist..... and headed downstairs. I brought DS up and put him in the bed. I turned to DD to read some books - what?? I whispered her name. Nothing. She was asleep. In the 3 minutes I had been downstairs, this little girl had conked out!!! I was astounded. I turned out the light and tiptoed my way out of there. Yes, a couple of minutes later she realized what had happened and called out. But when I went to tell her what had occurred, she obviously didn't want to back up and start the routine over. She was done. She and I said good night. She did call one more time, for a bathroom break, and that was it. Both children were asleep. Just like that.

Please oh PLEASE let it keep working!!! =)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Breaking Point (child anxiety)

My daughter is upstairs screaming her head off. And I am spending my "break" writing about it. It is impossible to get away from her anxiety problems. We are at a breaking point.

What's new today? Nothing. Why is she freaking out? All I can do is guess. She is frustrated because we all started to go for a walk this morning, and ended up coming right back. First of all, both kids insisted that I go, when I had no desire to. I now have the cold the kids have had for over a week, and I just want to be in. And my hubby enjoys taking them outside. But the won't accept that. So I reluctantly agreed. But it took so damn long to actually be on our way that I set out pissed off. A few meters down the road, both kids are frozen. I agree to go back and get DD's gloves. DS insists on going with me. We get inside, and he wants to stay. DD has also followed me back, but is furious that we don't want to head out again. Hubby agrees to take her, but she rejects this offer. Mind boggling frustration. And this is just one example! Then she has only eaten sugary Gogurt and apple sauce today. So she's hungry and starting to have a sugar meltdown. I slice her a piece of bread and put cream cheese on it. I know, lovely diet. But the girl will hardly eat a thing, so I am happy that she's willing to eat anything non-sugary. Then she wants me to tell her it's ok to eat every. single. bite. And I won't. I agree to tell her it's ok to eat every four bites. And the negotiations begin. She says she won't eat. And I tell her that's fine. Which is not what she wants to hear. And it goes from there. So then I start to help DH clean the house, and we are having a couple of people over later to celebrate DS's birthday. His party had to be canceled last w/e due to his illness. She freaks b/c she doesn't know where I am (I'm upstairs, headed back down.) DH tries to intercede, and she's screaming at this point. He then announces that I am going to go take my break (my weekend morning breaks always end up being closer to afternoon breaks....) She's at the door to the basement screaming and blocking my way. But even within this meltdown she has to get her OCD stuff out: "Tell me if you're going outside, set the time, blahblah."

So here I am, unable to enjoy my time because I am so worried about all of this. I am sick to death of all of this, and the fact that I am so confined that I can't move one inch in either direction without tripping over a child.

And then MIL is coming over today, and she has been in a "helping" mode which is generally anything but. She has all kinds of ideas about how to "manage" DD's issues, and there are times when I'm up for hearing those ideas, and times (like now) when I am not. I hope I can hold my tongue. Her advice on the phone yesterday was to take DD to a play this afternoon. Yeah, right!

Anyhow, I will now try to focus on something else for the rest of "my" time.

This sucks.

A while later, I made myself some bean soup. I decided to feed some to my daughter. She said it was the best bean soup she's ever eaten (she'd had it before, actually.) She ate a ton.... and of course her mood improved dramatically. I did point this out to her. (Gently) I hope she can start to make the connection. Sighs. She has been feeling good ever since.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Frazzle Fried

Please, take me at my ugliest, and add more rocks and boulders to my back and shoulders. Why not?

The other day I had a total temper tantrum. I flipped my lid. I had had enough. It was day's end, and I was sitting in bed waiting, desperately waiting, for my son to fall asleep, so I could go downstairs, enjoy a beer, and get away from it all for a while. But my son would not fall asleep. And this is my routine kid! The other one has simply had to adjust to me leaving the room while she is still awake. It was the straw that broke the camel's back, and I flipped out. I yelled at everyone. I cried. I stomped and stormed. And then after we had all spent a spell downstairs and gone back up again, and my son DID fall asleep, and I tried to leave the room, and my daughter yelled, asking me where I was going.... I flipped again. And again we all ended up downstairs, and again I stomped and stormed and cried. Until I just got too tired. And of course realized what had been true all along. That no one. No one was going to bed until I reset myself and got back into the routine. And so I did. And we all went to bed.

Did it help? Did all of my outpouring change anything? No. It just flattened me for the next day. Although I ended up going to sleep fairly early, I felt as if I hadn't slept at all. Though hubby did decide to come home the next day (I didn't ask) in the morning and spend the day helping out. I guess my volcanic eruption may have indicated I was over the edge! And that was nice. But man did I feel bad. I yelled at everyone. I kept everyone up later than necessary. I carried on like a child. Great job, kiddo! All I got out of it was confirmation that I, too, am coming down with the awful cold that both kids have been dealing with.

Oh yeah, so there's that, too. Last weekend was DS's birthday. Sunday. But Thursday he is, out of nowhere, so sick I am worried. He is feverish, lethargic, vomiting, eating nothing, moaning.... the kid is miserable. I make the decision to cancel his birthday party for Saturday. By day's end, it is obvious that DD is getting it too, so I decide to keep her home from school on Friday. So we all hunkered down, and made the best of it. The weekend came, and hubby was here to help out. Sunday arrived, DS's birthday. Also Halloween. Thank goodness DS didn't really seem to notice or care that the party hadn't happened on Saturday. A small blessing. Sunday we celebrated as a family, giving him gifts throughout the day. He seemed very happy. We geared up for Halloween - not something you skip regardless of illness, earthquake, flood..... DD got her costume together. DS didn't want to wear one. We weren't even sure til the last minute that he would be willing to go trick or treating. But in the end, he was enthusiastic. So out we went. And it was Cold. The kids enjoyed themselves, but after a while first one, then the other, headed for home. Too cold! And DD simply wasn't feeling well enough to do more. And that was fine. The kids enjoyed answering the door for the rest of the evening.

The next morning, two ill kids came downstairs with me at 6:30 a.m. I called DD out of school again. Tuesday she went, though really she could have used the week. She was reluctant. Take a child who has anxiety issues, give her a bad cold, and completely throw her off-schedule, and you've got a picture of DD. Not happy. But she made the best of it. Regardless, illness intensifies anxiety in anyone, and for one for whom anxiety is high in a normal situation...anyhow, she's been needy, intense. But overall, pretty good. But constant. So it was Tuesday night .. and that's where I started this blog post.

Bedtime, no sleeping kids, mama flips out, everyone goes to sleep. (not DH, of course, who stays up very late in order to get his time) Wednesday the kids are up early with me, as usual. Both are ill, tired, and in need of some reassurance. DD is home again. Regardless of my needs, however acute, theirs come first. We hunker down again. Hubby calls early, and informs me of his plan to come home. And he brings food. Nice. Very nice. I have not been able to shop in days and days, and the pickins are getting slim. The day moves along. I have informed the family that I've decided to move half of our family bed (one queen mattress) into DD's room this weekend. Everyone seems ok with that. While I realize I will be playing room-tag for months to come, I need to start the process. DD is so acutely attuned to my every move at the moment, I blink my eyes in the room where she's sleeping and she wakes up. It's time to do something different. It'll be a process, I know. Maybe a lloonngg process. And hubby will very likely continue to sleep in the other room, basically adding to our time apart. (He comes home from work, and 20 min. later I go take my "break." We eat dinner together and spend time together with the kids until about 8:15 p.m., when I take them up to bed, and, most often these days, go to bed myself. He stays up late and gets up and out before we're awake.)

This morning, we're up, and while the kids watch tv, I get us ready to take DD to school. Her ability to cope is coming to an end, and she insists, over and over again, that she's not going to school. I make my best attempt to pep-talk her through, and I get her there. Before getting in the car, she tells me that I'm forcing her to go to school, and she hates me. I know she doesn't hate me, but geesh.

So DS and I are home, and I'm too tired today to even buzz around and get things done in the house. While I don't have the obvious symptoms of cold that my kids do (both kids hacking up a lung this morning =( I'm fighting the bug, too. Popping ears, no energy...

To add to this, I've been trying (unsuccessfully so far) to connect with a professional to help us help DD with her anxiety issues. I have called three providers so far, with no luck. I'll just keep trying...

Ok, I'm drained. Enough for now. Off to drink my water with lemon. =) And for the record, I write all of this stuff not to elicit sympathy but to "dump my bookshelf" so that I can rethink and reorganize. It really does help me to get my head around it all. So if you've come this far, thanks for reading.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tick Tock (child anxiety)

My daughter has started to count. It doesn't come across as obsessive in and of itself. She counts while she waits for things to happen. Like, when she goes to bed at night. I read to her, wait about 10 minutes, and head downstairs. She counts the time until I go to check up on her. Or, if she has to wait her turn on a particular toy. Or stuff like that. She tells me she "counted to 100 3 times" or similar. I try to talk with her about "being in the moment" or trying to think about things that she likes rather than counting. She will complain that certain things take a long time. Sighs. Just another manifestation of her anxiety and difficulty with transitions.

Today I told my son that I would give him a chocolate chip for every time he used the bathroom. (He just turned 3) My daughter wanted to know if she would get a chocolate chip for the same thing. (She's 6) I told her that she needed to work on something that would be challenging to her to earn the chocolate. I told her that each time she takes a bite of food without asking me first, she would earn a chip. She instantly said that she couldn't do that, that she was NOT ok with that! I explained, with the old instant frustration coming up inside, that that is what she would need to do, and that I was asking only that she try. Sighs.

Anyhow, another day, opportunity for me to try to be a more patient, more informed parent and allow my children to teach me what they need. Baby steps.