Thursday, November 29, 2012

Busy December

December is a busy month for nearly everyone. there is Hannukah, Kwanza, Christmas , and all the prep necessary for any of these. This year are December becomes even busier. My mother in laws birthday is the day after Christmas, and we have friends getting married on the 21st.

the wedding should be awesome. They're having a  themed costume wedding. The theme is steampunk. Larch is the groomsmen and Johnny is the ring bearer. I am the acting wedding coordinator.

Wedding and Christmas presents side I have plans this year to make myself even busier. I have made a list of 25 Christmas related activities to do starting Saturday and going through Christmas. Some are as simple as cutting paper snowflakes , others require planning initiative like getting a tree and decorating it. And let's not forget the baking.

I hope your December is enjoyable albiet busy, and that you have a happy and peaceful holiday regardless of which you celebrate.

Friday, November 2, 2012

That pretty little boy is my daughter.

Lily's attempt at a one-sided mullet.
Monday morning I had a major melt down. I was tired, my kids weren't listening, it was time to walk out the door and my son couldn't find his shoes. Then he looked down and I saw a little bald patch on the top of his head. "Johnny, did you cut your hair?" I asked. "No, Lily did it," he replied. It took me a second to formulate a reaction. Johnny is 5, Lily is not quite three. "You're two year old sister cut your hair? You LET your TWO year old sister, cut your hair?"

His hair was an easy fix, we buzz his head about one a month anyways. A bald spot on his head at school for one day wouldn't hurt, there wasn't time to fix it right that minute. I threw my hands up and went to dig in the couch cushions for Lily's shoes. The couch was covered in hair. Long hair, darker than my son's. Lots of it.

I took a deep breath. Ok, it was more involuntary and gasp like. I fought tears and I turned around and grabbed my daughter's head. She had cut all the hair on the left side of her head off. Not a little choppy trim job. She had cut her hair almost to the scalp. My baby girl had given herself a half mullet.

Captain Lily waits for Storytime
I wanted to fix it right away, but I wasn't going to let anyone do it. I needed someone who could look at her hair and fix it in the cutest, most feminine, least redneck kind of way. I was taking her to MY hairdresser, not  Great Clips. But she didn't have an appointment open until today.

It actually worked out well. She was a pirate for Halloween and the choppy, messy look was just perfect.

This morning Lily got her professional hair cut. I was all for a pixie cut. Actually, my parents, sister, and husband were all for a pixie cut, I was holding out for a mullet so I could put the back in a ponytail with pink bows so she still looked like a girl when I went to Wal Mart. (Yep, I'm scoring big points on the redneck team today.)  Kim looked at Lily's handy work and we decided an asymmetrical cut would be a little more girly and easy to keep looking nice as long as we keep it trimmed every two to three weeks.
Shot side 
Head on
Long side

Lily still looks like a really pretty boy. Kinda. I guess we will be wearing lots of pink and dresses for a while. My daughter got an edgy haircut before she was three. What can I say, she's more fashion forward than her mom.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What I Learned About Being a Stay at Home Mom from Pintrest.

So, I'm kind of in a Pintrest addiction phase right now. Mostly, I like looking at really cool stuff and really funny stuff. And geeky stuff. But, being a mom and a homemakers, I learn lots of cool useful stuff. I am now going to pass some of that on to you.

1. Roll for bites.  Johnny is always saying "I'm done" after only two bites of dinner. Naturally I reply "Eat your dinner." This is followed by him asking how many more bites. I used to just say 2 or 5 or however old he was. This morning I stumbles on this idea. Keep dice at the table and have your child roll. The number rolled is the number of bites they need to eat before they are excused. Genius!

2. How to close snacks and stuff with the top of a 20oz drink bottle. http://pinterest.com/pin/172825704421656300/ 

3. How to simplify Christmas Gifts for your kids. I know we always say "we are only going to get the kids X number of presents." Never happens. This year, we are getting them 4 each from mom and dad. Something they WANT, something they NEED, something they can WEAR, and something they can READ.

source
4. How to make Candy Corn of the Cob with candy corn cookie dough http://www.instructables.com/id/Candy-Corn-on-the-COB/ .

5. How to make your own to-go cup out of a mason jar. I haven't tried this yet, but my mom did. http://www.fineandfeathered.com/blog/2012/08/diy-mason-jar-to-go-cup.html Punch a hole in the lid, add a washer to protect the straw. To-go cup!

6. How to recondition cast iron pans. This is a life saver for me after camping season, http://www.ibelieveicanfry.com/2010/12/reconditioning-re-seasoning-cast-iron.html

7. Two words: CAMO CUPCAKES. For the men and boys in my life. http://debbiesweets.blogspot.com/2012/01/camouflage-cupcake-sandwiches.html This is actually for Woopie Pies, but I think you could use a cupcake tine instead of a whoopie pie pan and get the same kind of result.

8.How to fix frizzed Barbie or  My Little Pony Hair. A small spray bottle with 2 TBSP of fabric softener, the rest water = "Doll Hairspray." Easy method for smoothing and renewing any doll's hair. 

I also learned:

9. I am a geek and the things I think are funny, my husband doesn't even get.

and

10. Pintrest is a great time wasting tool.

You can find all the stuff I think is cool by following me on Pintrest: http://pintrest.com/realhwnidaho

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

National Dog Week

It's national dog week this week, so I thought that I would provide you a list of 10 famous, real-life dogs.
1.) The dog in the Taco Bell commercials is actually a female chihuahua named Gidget. She also played Bruise's mom in Legally Blonde 2.
2.) The first dog in space was Laika. She was sent into space on Sputnik 2. She is credited as the first animal to enter or bit. Unfortunately, as there was no provision made to return her to earth, she was also the first animal to die in space.
3.) The first canine movie star was named Blair. She appeared in the movie "Rescued by Rover" in 1905. The movie was about an infant kidnapped by an old beggar woman who was returned home by the faithful dog Rover. Prior to this film, Rover was an uncommon name for a dog.
4.) The first cloned dog was an Afghan hound named Snuppy.
5.) The golden retriever in Bush's Baked Beans commercial is played by Paddington.
6.) Balto and Togo where the lead dogs in the 1925 serum run to Nome. Balto, ran the last leg and is there for the most famous. Togo ran the first and most treacherous leg which also was twice the distance. The Iditarod Dog sled race is run as a commemoration of the 1925 serum run.
7.) The Jack Russell Terrier who played wishbone on television wqs named Soccer.
8.) In 1940,Robot, a dog owned by a boy named Simon, discovered cave paintings in Lascaux.
9.) Toto from The Wizard of Oz was played by Terry the Cairn Terrier.
10.) This last dog may or may not be real. I found 2 versions of the story, one occurring in Wales and the other in France. In Wales the dogs name wasthe Gelert and he belonged to a king. In France, he was namedBlair Guinefort, and belonged to a knight. In each story an infant child was left alone with the dog. At the end of the day the cradle was overturned the infant was nowhere to be found there was blood on the mouth of the dog. The dogs owner killed the dog, thinking he had eaten baby, only to hear the baby cry turn over the cradle and find a child alive. In Wales, the king found a dead wolf, in France the night found a dead snake. In both cases, the animal had been killed by the dog in protection of the infant. The story in France, ends with the dog being given sainthood.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I LOVE Fall

Now that we have attended the county fair to watch a demolition derby, and spent the following weekend praying Larch shoots an elk, I have time to blog again. That's just one perk of cooler weather. In honor of the first day off Autumn (it's on Saturday), here are my ten favorite things about Fall. (In no particular order)

1.) It's cooler out, but it's not cold yet. I love summer, but after a month or so of so-hot-that-I-can't-breathe weather, it's nice to need long-sleeves in the morning.

2.) With colder weather comes the ability to turn on my oven. Not that I couldn't turn it on in the summer, it was just so darn hot. So far, I've made 2 batches of pumpkin cookies. Up next : pumpkin bread and apple cinnamon bread.

3.) The many colored leaves of autumn are so beautiful. And when they fall on the ground they're super fun to play in.

4.) HALLOWEEN. I'll be honest, I like candy. But I LOVE dressing up. This year, I am thinking of making my own Red Riding Hood costume. Wish me luck.

5.) Pumpkin spiced lattes!

6.) All my favorite shows come back to television. I watched the season premier of Bones on FOX last night, and next week Castle returns to ABC.

7.) My favorite kind of apples, honeycrisps, will be affordable again.

8.) Sweaters and jeans help hide the extra pounds way better than swimsuits and shorts.
9.) Hunting season begins. Okay, I don't really enjoy being a hunting widow, but it will (hopefully) put meat in the freezer. Also, it makes Larch Happy and a happy man means a happy wife ;)

10.) It is actually dark outside when I put my kids to bed! No more, "I can't sleep, it's still sunshiney."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Having BPD and Professing Faith is HARD!

I decided to Google "Christian BPD" in a search for resources and fellowship with other people who are living with BPD while professing to be Christians. All but two of the hits on the first page of results were wacked out, condemning bullshit.

One site claimed that my whole diagnoses was just an excuse for sin and that if I truly repented I would be cured. HA! The author wrote that my mood swings are "an obvious result of never applying discipline." Like I choose to be so angry I want to (and sometimes do) scream at my kids in a way they cannot understand or really cope with at 2 and 5. The author believes my inability is control the intensity of my emotions is a choice. If it were a choice, I would not be living like this. The author of this site called BPDs "self-indulgent and selfish," and I am sure we appear that way to outsiders and possibly even our family.

Website like this are dangerous. If I did not respect our right to free speech in America I would want these sites taken down. Ok, I do want them taken down, but I know we have the right to say and believe what we want in this county. However, there was nothing helpful, only hurtful. If I didn't know that the Bible proclaims grace and love I would either want to hurt myself or hate God.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds." "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." These are things I have been taught my whole life. These are things I say I believe when I claim to believe the whole Bible. These are things that are hard to reconcile with my BPD, without someone telling me I'm not really sick, I'm just sinful. I AM sinful, but I am also broken.

I guess, for now, I will continue to wrestle with the idea that God made me they way I am intentionally, on my own. I will continue to cry out in the midst of my suffering, knowing that the testing of my faith produces perseverance (the Lord does know that a BPD need perseverance to learn to live with a disorder that so disrupts our lives), even if I can't find a reason to be joyfully when I am so overwhelmed that I lash out at my loved ones, or hide in a corner at a party because I just can't get beyond the walls of my own emptiness. I do know and believe there is a purpose to what God does and what he asks us to endure. And He does not ask me to endure this alone. Not only has he blessed me with a family who supports and cares for me, he has given me possibly the only man other than my father, who loves me enough, and has enough patience to bear with me through this. And more importantly, God, himself, has promised to be with me and to never leave me. So I will cling to the knowledge that I am not alone, and I work through my doubts and my sorrows.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Once Took an Infant to a Midnight Screening, No One Called Me Crazy or Unfit.

Very early this morning 12 people were killed and 59 were injured when a young man decided to open fire on a crowd of people at a midnight showing of the new Batman film. This is heartbreaking, scary, and imcomprehensible.

At four o'clock this morning, it wasn't the house shaking thunder storm that woke me up, it was the words shooting, three month old, and six year old uttered in the same breath by the news anchor on my TV. (I fell asleep watching the news the night before).  My heart ached for the parents of these children.

After much browsing of twitter and many reading of linked articles, my heart was aching even more.  The three month old was treated and released from the hospital. The six year old did not surrvive. And people are lashing out at the parents of these children for parenting decisions they will regret for the rest of their lives.

I read an article on Yahoo! about a mother and her fiance who escaped with her four year old daughter and thier four month old baby. The comments were appaling. People were saying things like "the shooter should have shot them first for taking thier kids to this movie." Another article about the same mother was praising the young man who put himself between the shooter and her children to make sure they got out of the theater. Again, I see comments about her decision, no one praising the self endangerment of the young man (who surrvived but was injured). 

I took my now five year old to a midnight showing when he was around 6 weeks old. (It was one of the Harry Potter films). I was nursing I knew he would sleep through it so long as I got him latched on as soon as he stirred. The decible level didn't even occur to me. Would I have taken him to a midnight showing now? Probably not. And not this movie (he gets nightmares). But the mother of the four year old said he daughter was asleep on her lap when the shooting started. And as for the six year old, maybe that child didn't get nightmares from watching dark movies. It's not our place to judge.

I might not agree with the choices some parents make, but they are the ones raising their kids.

What if they had left these children home without a sitter? That, I think, is far worse.

If the tragedy of lost lives had not occured, no one would have noticed, or probably cared, that these parents took thier young children to see a movie at midnight.  And chances are, if I have another baby I will not take him or her to a midnight showing, mostly because I don't get that excited about films anymore (ok maybe Peter Jackson's the Hobbit will get me that excited). I've done it once, I understand; and I don't think that getting angry over the age of the movie goer is a correct channeling of ones outrage.

Please, be angry at the nutcase who used other human beings for target practice, not the parents who made choices for thier children based on thier own beliefs and ideas of child-rearing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Part Time Single Mom, Full Time Failing Housewife

A couple of months ago, Larch went back to work. After being a framer/sider for the last ten or so years, he is now an apprentice electrician. I changed jobs too. Instead of just being a stay-at-home-mom, I am now a part time single mother. Larch's job takes him half a state away, so for three to four nights a week, it's just me and the kids.

I've learned a few things in the last two and a half months.

1--I do not envy my single parent friends. They do everything I do, plus hold down a job to pay for all the same bills, plus child care. AND they are either perpetually lonely, or they have to fit time into their already busy lives to date. Nope,I do not envy them, I have a whole new respect for them.

2--Sleeping alone sucks. Even though most of the time the kids sleep in bed with me, it's different. Instead of my ice cold feet searching for a warm spot on Larch's side of the bed, I am experiencing Lily's ice cold feet in the small of my back.

3--I cannot eat what my kids eat three times a day.  I need more variety than mac and cheese, corn dogs, chicken nuggets, and peanut butter sandwiches. Did you know that one cup of prepared kraft mac and cheese is around 400 calories! Add a hot dog and you've just used half your daily intake for lunch. EW!

4--Phone calls are not the same as good night kisses.

5--I do not miss grocery shopping with my kids. It takes twice as long to do a weeks worth of household shopping with two children in tow.

Now that I know I don't like being a single stay at home mom, the idea has gotten into Larch's head that I should go back to work part time. HA! I am willing to go, but I can't keep up on the housework being at home full time, I don't know how he expects me to keep a clean house, cook meals, and provide clean clothes if I go back to work. I supposed I could try, but I wouldn't put money on my ability to do both.

P.S. I hope to have something interesting to share next week. We are going on our first camping trip of the season this weekend. Please pray it doesn't rain.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Playing the Part

I've had an interesting week. The weekend saw my son's 5th birthday. And some harsh words that caused emotional pain. Well suffering my pain, I posted to Facebook something I probably should have thought about first. It seems to have caused quite the scandal amongst my family. While using the term "bleed out" to refer to my emotional draining, I seem to have inadvertently put forth that I was contemplating suicide.
This was not and is not the case. I could not see how this was a possible explanation for what I wrote. But when speaking with my husband, he pointed out that I like to play the part of the emotionally disturbed crazy woman.  This is true.  And I may have been playing my part too well. Yes, I have trouble coping with normal emotions. I take things that are said to me and twist them into something painful. I retreat into myself when I feel vulnerable or hurt. I can make stupid ,rash and harmful decisions when I am hurt. But ultimately, I am not as crazy or disturbed as I put forth. My husband said it's a cry for attention. I want to deny this, but it is likely true.
I have decided to stop playing this part. Here on my blog and within the safety of my parents in my husband, I will still deal with the real emotional issues that come with having bpd. However, I am going to stop playing it up and making it the center of my life. My cousin said to me last fall,  you have to define your mental illness, you can't let it define you. Unfortunately, I have been living bpd rather than living with it. I cannot get better if I try to fit the mold of what a crazy person should be. I have to decide to be healthy and then overcome the hurdles and obstacles as I encounter them. This may be the most productive step I have taken forward since starting treatment. Here's to getting better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ten Things Tuesday--Luxury verses Necessity

I had a conversation last week with an old friend about certain things being necessary for life. He doesn't understand how I can be happy and content living hand to mouth most of the year. So here are ten things we can all live without but choose not to, in my opinion anyway.

1.) The internet. My husband and I are both out of school, neither of us work a job where e-mail or internet access is utilized. My children are too small to be using the internet for school. Even if we did need it, the library provides free access. The internet is a luxury. I can absolutely live without it (although writing this blog without it would be difficult.

2.) Cars and Drivers Licenses. People in New York or other major cities might already get this. I live in small town USA though.  I have a number of friends who walk or bus everywhere they need to go. My sister-in-law didn't get her drivers license until she was nearly 30. I can get almost everywhere I want to go on foot or via the bus. The exceptions being my father-in-law's house and my sister-in-law's house.
Carry this in your purse.

3.) Cell Phones. I am old enough to remember when the only phone we had was tied to the wall of our kitchen. My very first phone was connected to the wall next to my bed. If I wasn't home, I couldn't talk. If I wasn't home and needed to make a call, I dropped 25 cents in the payphone. There was no texting. Honestly, sometimes I leave my cellphone at home on purpose to relive those days.

4.)  TV, Netflix, Hulu, etc. Yes, I have TV and yes I love it. However, in the summer time, the TV is lucky to get turned on for 5 hours a week. (That's an hour a day Monday thru Friday) and that's not just because there is nothing on when you don't have satellite or cable. Honestly, at least a part of the childhood obesity epidemic would be cured if kids climbed trees and played in the dirt. And reading requires more imagination.

5.) Canned Foods. Once upon a time, you made everything from scratch or you starved. Anything pre-made is purely for our convenience.

6.) Clothes Dryer. Technically you can live without the washer too, but no one really knows how to wash clothes by hand anymore. Dryers, however, are superfluous. I do have one and I do use it. In the summer, I hang my clothes on a line. My sister-in-law hangs all her clothes from her ceiling all year long.

7.)  Credit Cards. I have never had one and, unless I need to rent a car, I never will.

9.) Microwaves. This falls under the same reasoning as canned food. It's just to make things quick and easy. Leftovers can be heated up on the stove or in the oven. If you need to thaw something, take it out the day before.

10.) Dishwasher. Don't tell my husband I know this, but dishes can be done by hand. Really.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week

I almost couldn't come up with a post this week, then I remembered that it is teacher appreciation week. I'm not in school anymore but I've had some teachers that made a real impact on my life.

If I had to pick one, it would be my teacher in both second and third grade. When it came time to send out graduation invitations, Mrs. Hulteng was the only teacher I mailed one to. I have so many great memories of her class, I don't know where to begin.

I was not an easy student. I have ADHD and my mother and pediatrician both thought it was better for me not to medicate me into submission. I would wander around the back to the classroom, that would be able to quote back word for word the last sentence that was spoken. Mrs. Hulteng always seemed to have patience with me.

Mrs. Hulteng knew my faith was important to me, even though I was only in third grade. When we did biography reports, she suggested Mother Teresa.

I'm still young enough to remember the names of every teacher I've ever had. But Mrs. Hulteng is the teacher 8 am most likely to remember when I have Alzheimer's in my eighties. I'll probably even remember her cat, BK, which stands for Before Kids or Bad Kitty depending on the day.

I love living in North Idaho. Sometimes though, I wish I lived in the Seattle area so my kids could have the same wonderful teacher.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Derby Practice Number One.

Last night I went to my first roller derby practice. I want to say, that I came home sore and exhausted and totally beat. The truth is I got there and anxiety took over.

I knew there would be a lot of women there. I really tried to prepare myself. So when you walk into a room of 30 + people and you only know 1 thing can get ugly. The panic attack I experienced was pretty minor and pretty easy to get over but it shook me pretty good. I did manage to actually skate and work on stops for the first half hour or so. Then I had to stop and just watch because I could not catch my breath. It wasn't because I'm out of shape, although I am. I just got overwhelmed every time I paused and realized how many people were in the room. I didn't leave, I stayed in watched.

I plan to go back next Thursday. I figure maybe if I keep going, and I get to know these ladies, I will be able to function enjoy myself, lose weight, and make friends.

This is something I really want to do. But it scares me. If I look like a fool on my blog I can tell myself no one is reading (even if you are). I can sing karaoke because I know I amexcited good. I can do a number of other things that I enjoy because no one sees me fail. But when I feel like I look stupid here, I know people can see. At 27, I should be over this feeling. But BPD has a nasty grip on my self-image. Feeling as though I have embarressed myself can have disasters affect on my mental state. But I will keep trying, because I know if I can work through this I will have won another battle against my mental illness. The gals are so supportive and so understanding I can't imagine a better place to work through these issues. I mean, come on, falling on purpose is part of practice.

Next week, my goal is to make it an entire hour before my nerves force me off the floor.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Pretty Zygomatic Bones


This is the zygomatic bone. I have pretty ones.This picture is from Grey's Anatomy and therefore in the
public domain, howeverm, here is the
source I found it at

According to Dictionary.com a zygomatic bone is "a bone on each side of the face below the eye, forming the prominence of the cheek." According to my 8th grade crush, I have pretty ones.

I was that scary stalker girl in junior high. At least, some might classify me as such. Our school had only 400 student and that was counting from kindergarten through the senior class. The junior high and high school were in the same building. All but four of the classrooms were located in one small hallway. The size and set up of the school made it easy to know almost everyone's class schedule, if you tried. It also meant that whether or not I may or may not have been lingering outside my crush's classroom door, it always appeared this way. There was only one hallway and my locker was in the middle of it!

This particular girlhood crush was in 10th grade while I struggled through eighth. (I have always like older men. My first ever obsession was Prince William and he's three years my senior.) I have one very clear memory of the boy who thought I possessed lovely cheekbones: the day he told me he didn't like me like that.

This young man sought me out between 6th and 7th period, the last two classes of the day, and took my by the shoulders and looked at me eye to eye. This is important to note. He was already near or over six feet and I hadn't even hit five feet yet. (Today I am only 1/4 inch over 5 feet.) His momma must of have raised him right because he spoke very gently and wanted to make sure that I was going to be okay. He said to me, "I am flattered that you like me, you have very nice cheekbones, but I have a girl friend and I don't like you in that way." I managed not to cry in front of him. I may have cried during band (my last class of the day) and I'm pretty sure I cried on the hour long bus ride home. I KNOW I cried once I was safely in my room. My best friend kept trying to console me, telling me that at least he thought I had pretty cheekbones.

I texted my friend today to ask if she remebered this emotionally tough moment of my early teens. She said "Yes! That was so odd but sweet." Here's to my pretty zygomatic bones! I hope now that I am older they can be called sexy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Y is for Young People Taking Over My Bar

I realize 27 is not that old. However, the bar that I do karaoke at on the weekends, normally has a population old enough to be my parents. This is good for me. They appreciate when I sing older songs, and they're much more fun to hang out with. For me anyway.
Let me explain. Is 6 weeks I have not attended karaoke, the population has gone from 40 + to 21 and 22; my sister-in-law, B, is one of these. But, when I am in a bar surrounded by 21 and 22 year olds, I feel like they are children. In some ways they are.
The crowd of people there now cannot relate to me in the same way someone who is been through my stage of life can. Younger people want to get drunk and have fun; I want to relax and have a moment away from my children.
Also, 21 and 22 year olds who can eat whatever they want, drink whatever they want, and have a size 0 waste it is disheartening. Yes, I have had kids and I should be happy with my body image. Most of the time I am, but every once in awhile it really sucks to not be in a size 4.
Did I mention that it changes the whole energy of the bar. Now I don't feel like I belong. Instead of being the young fresh face, I am now just an older person with nothing to contribute to the party. I'd like to think that at 21 and 22 I realized that people close to or over 30 could be just as much fun as my peers. Actually, I did know that; when I was 21 I was marrying my husband and he was 27.
The change of the age group at my bar will not stop me from going karaoke; I need the night out every once in awhile. I just wish I could have my old friends back. Pun completely intended.

Friday, April 27, 2012

X Words

I read the entire X section of the dictionary. I learned some interesting things

•Xanthine is a chemical compound that aids in the break down of nucleic acid into uric acid. Uric acid is the cause of gout flare ups and is found in urine. Since xanthine comes from the Latin for yellow,I assume it's what causes pee to be yellow. Also, caffeine is derived from xanthine. Maybe that's why caffeine is a diuretic that makes you pee alot. I feel smart.

•The pigment in leaves that makes them yellow and brown in the fall is called xanthophylll.

•A xebec is a small, three-masted Mediterranean sailing ship.

•Xenia, OH is a small industrial town in southwestern Ohio. Population 24,664.
•The study of aliens is xenology. Yep, real thing, though mostly xenology happens in sci-fi movies and books.

•A xenophile is someone attracted to forgien peoples, manners, or cultures. My name is Brea and I am a xenophile. There is something yummy about British and Irish men. 

•A xenopus is an African clawed toad. They were(are?) used as a low-tech test for pregnancy. Apparently, something (Hcg) in a pregnant woman's pee makes them produce eggs.

•The monetary unit of Vietnam is the xu. Useful knowledge for Scrabble.

•The art of making woodcuts or engravings via a relatively primitive method is called xylography.

Now, don't you feel a little smarter?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Weekend in the Country.

Last weekend, we spent the weekend at my sister-in -laws, in the country. We were celebrating her husband's 27th birthday. ( I am exactly 13 days older than he is.)
The boys, there were about 12 of them, spent all day Saturday in a paintball war. L and I stayed in the shade playing Scattergories. After dark, we all met out front for a large bonfire.
JZ decided he wanted a keg for his birthday this year. The keg was kept cool in a steel drum that was originally purposed for lemon juice from concentrate.
Around 10 o'clock at night, after L had gone to bed, the boys decided to have a paintball hunt in the dark. I wanted to participate but Larch talked me out of it. Instead, I was the paintball equivalent of WACs. Okay not really. It was my job to refill ammo and air cans when the guys ran out. It was actually quite exciting.
The next morning, most everyone had gone home. Only family was left. Larch, B and JZ decided they were too tired to havens another war. They declared war on the mud swallows instead. While these birds can be pretty, they really are just pests. They build their nests in your eaves, leaving their crap all over your porch. It is not so easy to hit a mud swallow with a paintball. However, it is not impossible. In the course of 6 hours,the boys took out 2. I think they feel they have invented a new sport.

Add caption

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Voyeurism

Voyeurism is one of those things we freak out about as single women and laugh about in the changing rooms at Wal-Mart. Until you are a victim.

I wasn't video taped or photographed, I was spied on. It was very disturbing.

Last summer, one night when Larch was staying over at a friends house, I woke up to find a stranger at my window.

The window was open, as well as the blinds to let in the cool night air.I don't remember anything specifically waking me up. I just opened my eyes and heard someone at the window. At first, I thought it was Larch, trying to scare me or something. Then, I realized the man outside my window was mumbling in Spanish. In lewd tones.And I could hear him, you know...

I was surprisingly calm. As soon as he took off, I grabbed the 12 gauge and called the cops. Then I freaked out because my husband and my dad both, weren't answering their phones. I turned on all the lights and smoked in the living room. Yep. In the house. I wasn't about to step outside.

I'm fine now, but it took me a few weeks before I would let my husband touch me, and a few more before I could change clothes somewhere other than the bathroom. I honestly wouldn't wish the experience on my worst enemy. And I hope the guy doesn't come back this summer, I've learned to shoot that gun now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ten Things Tuesday -- U is for Um

Ten words that start with U
1. Ukulele
2. Ulcer
3. Unicycle
4. Umbrella
5. Undercurrent

6. Ugly
7. Umpteenth
8. Undulating
9. Union
10. Used
Ha! No un- words and no help from the dictionary. I feel smart. And sort of pathetic.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Till Death Do Us Part

Actual (albeit slightly intoxicated) conversation between my husband and I.
Me: You have short thumbs.
Larch: Long enough to strangle you with.
Me: Not funny.
Larch: They are.
Me: Well, I could cut your nuts off while you sleep.
Larch: Really?
Me: Actually, it would be better to seduce you and then cut off all your junk so you could bleed to death.
Larch: Not before I could kick your ass.
Me: Yeah, but I would be alive. You would bleed to death.
Larch: You might be bleeding to death also.
Me: This is a weird conversation.
**********
I decided later only happily and securely married couples have these kinds of conversations. And then only the really weird couples.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Stain Removal

I often tell my friends and family I am the laundry stain removal queen.  I may be exaggerating a bit, but I'm pretty good at getting stains out of clothes. I have only found one or two stains stubborn enough I had to toss the garment.

I thought today, I might share some tips for getting tough spots out.

First things first; go buy some Borax and some Fels-Naptha. Borax costs four of five dollars and one bar of Fels-Naptha is less than a dollar at Wal-Mart.

Borax is an all natural laundry booster that has been around for 4,000 years. No, really. It's a mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. It works like Oxy-Clean only better.

Fels-Naptha is a 100 year old stain remover and pre-treater. I swear by the stuff.

I add a little Borax to every load, unless I am bleaching our socks and undergarments. I treat every stain with Fels-Naptha.

To treat a stain with Fels-Naptha, get the garment wet and then rub the stain with the bar. Let the item sit for one to three minutes and then launder as usual. Do not use laundry bar soap on soda stains. I don't know why, but I'm not willing to find out.

There are a few stains that can be a bit tricky. I have special tricks for those.

Dry erase marker is a real pain. If you spray it with a main-line pre-treater, the stain will set and be there forever. I've been trying for a year to get dry erase ink out of a pair of pants my son doesn't even fit into anymore. However, Fels-Naptha will take it out in one or two washes. Just don't dry it between washes if it doesn't come out the first time.

Oil and grease stains seem to be rather stubborn also. Pre-treat the stain with a tiny bit of liquid dish soap. Not too much or you will over suds your washer. You can combine the dish soap with Fels-Naptha for extremely difficult grease stains.

Most people assume hair dye will not come out. They are only partially right. Sometimes, hair dye is there for good. I manage to remove stray dye drips by rinsing the spot with water and then spraying liberally with hairspray. If the stain did not come out in the first wash, I try more hair spray and Fels-Naptha. If the stain has lightened considerably by then, I try hair spray and Fels again, or, if they item is white, bleach. If the stain hasn't faded at all by the third wash, it's time to give up.

Finally, blood. Bloodstains are actually very easy to remove. Rinse the spot with 3% hydrogen-peroxide and then launder as usual. You can pre-treat after the peroxide treatment if you wish.

Good luck with your stains.

The Dial Corporation, owner of the Borax and Fels-Naptha's brands did not compensate me in any way, shape, or form for this post. I did not receive money or free product. I honest to goodness use these products in my home everyday. If, however, a representative of the Dial Corporation reads this and would like to compensate me, feel free to shoot me an email.

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Roses


My favorite flowers are Lilies. This is probably because I named my daughter Lily. My daughter is also the reason I have a giant waterlily tattooed on my back, even if it does look like a lotus flower. Once upon a time, however, roses were my absolute favorite.

Gramps, my paternal grandfather, has been growing beautiful roses for as long as I can remember. I'm not just saying that because it's been a long time; I really cannot remember a time in my life when he was not growing roses in  his backyard. 

When we all lived in the Seattle area (the first 11 years of my life), Gramps' entire backyard was a stunning garden. There was a large deck that my dad built over an aggregate patio (this is the same aggregate patio I drug my sister across while "helping" her learn to walk), a small patch of grass, a sparsely wooded area (that grew into thicker woods if you crossed the fence), graveled paths, flowers, and roses.

From the deck, there were two paths to get up into the terraced garden/wooded area. One gently slopped up right in front of the roses. The other started at the top of a very short set of steps by the dog kennels. Star, the mommy German Shorthair, would always bark very loudly walked near the kennel. To a young child, it was very scary and mean sounding. When we took this path, we ran.

The roses were all planted in one large square bed. As a child I was sure Gramps had every color of rose possible. There was even a very light purple that looked almost blue. This one was my favorite. That's probably why I remember it being in the front row, but that may just be where I’ve placed in my mind. I'm old enough now to know that he did not have a large enough lot to grow every possible color.

There were three things my sister and I loved to do in the rose garden: smell the roses, help Gramps cut blooms, and chase the garter snakes. There were two garter snakes that slithered the paths of the garden. Realistically, there were probably more, but we had only ever seen two at once. I blame these snakes for my current desire to own a snake as a pet. Larch keeps telling me no.

Last year for Mother's Day, my children gave me a purple rose bush.  We planted it in the planter box they had made the year before. They should have learned, or at least my husband should have learned, that I cannot keep plants alive. I remember thinking I should call Gramps for advice on keeping the rose alive. I might have called him, but with two kids under 5, I just can't remember. It hasn't sprouted leaves yet this year, but then our maple tree just grew buds this week. I hope it comes back. Perhaps, lilies are not my favorite after all; maybe, I am still in love with roses.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quagmire

These are the words my 4 year old son has informed me start with q:
Quilt, queen, crown and quack.

3 out of 4 ain't bad.

On another note, am I the only one who just realized that Glen Quagmire from Family Guy has the initials GQ like the magazine?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Park Politics

Some people in my town wants to take A large sum of taxpayer dollars to redo the park next to the library where my kids play after story time. This might not be a bad thing, except the plan will
take out thecentrally located boat launch and replace them with a giant water feature, a three level parking garage  a Grand Plaza courtyard to host markets and public art, and a walking path and steps down to the water. Our town is a tourist town built on a lake. It sounds like a great idea to take out the small beach the local's use and move the boat launch into a residential area. Let's let the out of towners with a sense of entitlement take over the beach we visit to get away from them.

They also want to take out the baseball field and put in a green pavilion, with a stage at its south end. a pavilion, Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compatible kids play land, and splash pad.They want to add more open green space, and tennis, pickle ball courts, a bocce ball field and skate park.Oh and an off-leash dog park

Some of these changes would be awesome. An ADA compatible play area for kids with a splash pad, yes please.  A pavillion with a stage, might be nice. A grand plaza would make traffic less confusing on Wednesday's with the farmers market. The  tennis and pickle ball courts, not so much, we have a community center and other parks for that. Let the adults go there, leave my son a place to play ball. The bocce ball field, might appeal to tourists, and some locals. I think horseshoe pits would get more use. And the skate park? We have one on the other side of downtown. I hate to stereotype, but I would rather not have teenaged punks and 20 something slackers hanging out right near the place my kids go to play.

Come of the people in my town are asking for you recall of the mayor and 4 out of 7 city council members. I was at the park in question last night and was shocked by the parents with a sign on their stroller saying decline to sign don't give into the recall. Didn't realize they're playing in the exact spot thier son would not be able to play baseball in 4 or 5 years from now?

In another type of politic's at the park, the other mothers at the park were looking at me something was wrong with me for letting my son play war or zombies. I calmly explained my 4-year-old that you can't play those games at the park because it scares the other mommies. I feel I have the right to mess up my kids however I see fit, don't judge me first-time-mom-who-hovers-so-close-her-kid-can't-go-down-the-slide-becasue-he-might-get-hurt. Lighten up a little. My kids are still alive, even if they have a few scars and bruises.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ten Things Tuesday--O is for Occupational Hazards of Motherhood

1. Your hair, face, and clothes will get covered in bodily fluids, and possibly stuff you can't identify.

2. A Growing Waistline. This can be avoided, but don't ask me how.

3. Fatigue. The sleeplessness does not end when they start sleeping through the night, it just takes a vacation until nightmare season.

4. Inability to Concentrate. My theory is that they ate my brain while I was incubating.

5. You will experience the loss of a sex-life. The libido doesn't die, you just don't have the energy. Or time.

6. Your social life will change. I was gonna say suffer, but it just changes. Your friends are the other moms. You hang out while your kids play at the park. You don't really talk, you just drink your coffee on the same bench.

7. Modesty is not an option. From the moment you step into the delivery room, nothing about your body is safe. Just try to take a shower or go to the bathroom without company. I guess you could lock the door, but then they just scream.

8. Free Time. It does not exist.

9. Lack of Funds. Everything you make will get poured into your children. From diapers, to toys, to new shoes and clothes. And don't forget food.

10. Inexplicable Joy. Even when you are the angriest you have ever been, chances are they will do something to melt your heart and make you love life so much you can't imagine life without them.

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Never Alone

Sometimes, when I get overwhelmed, I feel like no one is on my side. I feel so utterly trapped inside my own head and my own malfunctioning emotions that it seem everyone who cares about me and loves me, hads abandon me.

I know this is not true. My husband, the rest of my family, many of my friends will always be there for me. They care deeply about me and want the best for me. More importantly, I know God will never leave me, even if the world was ending. He loves me more completely than any human possibly can. Knowing this, however, does not stop the desperate feeling of hopelessness.

One of the coping skills I am learning to use through  DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) is to self-soothe when dealing with intense emotions. Since music has always been a huge part of my life, it makes sense to use this as one of my methods for soothing myself.  I have a playlist titled SOOTHE on my phone for just such situations. The first song on the list is Never Alone by BarlowGirl. It reminds me that no matter how alone and abandon I feel, God, at least, is always there. With Him, I am never alone.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Mac and Cheese.

You know you are a mother of preschoolers when you eat one of three things for lunch every day: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets, or mac and cheese.

We eat a lot of mac and cheese in our house. Lily asks for it by name. Johnny wants hot dogs in his. I add either pepper or chili powder to mine, just to make it less bland. We buy the stuff in the blue box, but I also make mac and cheese from scratch on occasion.

When we make the blue box stuff, Johnny wants to help. In fact, he cries if I don't tell him it's time to add the butter, milk, and cheese powder. He wants to pour everything in and stir it all up. When I make the scratch kind, it means my niece is over.

I prefer the taste of the stuff I make with elbow noodles, milk, and melted Velveeta, but I love the speed and ease of making the stuff in the box.

What kind of mac and cheese do you make? How do you make it more palatable for your adult tastes?

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Love Languages

I am a very odd duck. Instead of reading in the winter when it's cold and smart people are curled up inside, I read in the summer. Ninety percent of my reading gets done between April and September. While my family is playing outside or camping or fishing, I am sitting in the sun, reading.

I just finished reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Champan Wednesday night. (Actually it was Thursday morning). I would definitely recommend this book. There are several different versions: there is the original (meant for couples), the men's edition (so that your husband might actually read it,maybe), the Love Languages of Children, of Teenages, for Singles, and about a bazillion others.

The basic concept is that everyone in the whole world expresses love in one of 5 ways. Kind of like if the whole world only spoke English, Russian, Chinese,Arabic, or not some random African Language. There are lots of dialects within the love languages. Most people "hear" love best in one way over the other four. Knowing this, you can better love your spouse by speaking their love language.

Now that you are already confused, lets look at the 5 languages. They are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Gifts, and Physical Touch.

Words of affirmation are spoken. It's saying things to your loved one. Things like, "I love you," or "I'm proud of you," or "you do that really well," or even "you look hot."

Quality Time can be anything from going out to dinner, going on a hike, just sitting and talking or playing board games. The point of quality time is to spend time with your loved one, giving them your full attention and energy.

Acts of Service is doing stuff for people. Most often in marriage, in my opinion anyway, this amounts to doing stuff around the house. Stuff like taking out the garbage, or cooking, or vacuuming. This could also mean getting up to get your mom a glass of ice tea because she prefaced her request with "how much do you love me?" (True story. My mom did that to my sister and I growing up. I tried this with Johnny and he was like "I love you mom, but not if you want me to get you that piece of bread." He's really smart for four years old).

Gifts is sort of obvious. But gifts don't have to be expensive or store bought or even things. Dr. Chapman talked about giving the gift of your presence. This is like when, even though it was a pain and he didn't want to, my husband flew to New Mexico for just under 48 hours to be with me at my family reunion. I wanted him there; it meant a lot to me, and he gifted me his time and his presence.

Physical Touch also seems obvious. This is not, however, just about sex. Physical touch can mean, kisses,  hugs, massages, just touching an arm when you pour his coffee, anything that brings your person in contact with their person in a kind and loving way. This does not including beating your spouse black and blue, unless they like that sort of things, in which case, I really don't want to know.

I am certain Larch's love language is acts of service. He is happiest when the house is clean and dinner is cooked or even if I get up and get him a beer when I don't need anything in the kitchen. I think I speak quality time. My parents think I speak gifts. The assessment at the end of the book say's I'm tied between physical touch and quality time. It is possible to be bilingual. I think my son speaks quality time and my daughter speaks touch. I just started The Five Love Languages of Children this afternoon, so I may change my mind.

I would recommend reading the book. Or at least checking out the website, http://www.5lovelanguages.com/. You can learn the languages, take an assessment, buy the book. It's an easy read and very insightful as to why
marriages start to feel stale and loveless after the honeymoon phase is over.

P.S. Happy Friday the 13th. Maybe my post should have been on luck. ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kindle

I am finally the proud owner of an e-reader. I off buying one because I really enjoy the smell and feel of books. I don't, however, enjoy the bulk and the weight of carrying them around. And when you're reading in the bath, it's hard to keep your fingers dry enough to turn the pages without leaving little watermarks.

I didn't actually buy myself an e-reader; I received my Kindle from my sister, A, for my birthday. I knew it was coming, but not because I am a sneaky present peeker. I was planning to buy myself a Kindle with our tax return, and when I called to ask for my sister's advice (she has had a kindle for a little over a year now) she told me not to buy one. It didn't take a genius to put two and two together; it was only 3 weeks before my birthday. Also, a week before my birthday, she emailed me to ask how important it was that my Kindle could read out loud to me. I didn't even know that was possible.

My Kindle skin. source.
My brother in law, J, and his wife, B, presented me with a $25 gift card for Amazon.com. I was so excited I logged on right then to buy a book (Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter) and a skin for my kindle. (I like to personalize my things.) I also signed up for a free trial of amazon Prime. Prime offers free two-day shipping and access to one book a month from the Amazon readers library.Eighty dollars a year is a great price, it's just not in our budget right now, so I will be cancelling my Prime account after my 30-day free trial is over.

I love my kindle. I can borrow books from my local library and I can borrow from and lend books to other kindle owners. (This is possibly why my sister gave me a Kindle; we read a lot of similar books.) I can also subscribe to a feed from my favorite blogs, but I haven't gotten that part figured out yet. Also, I have very iffy wireless access.

I really love that with the kindle app on my droid smartphone I can sync my devices and read my books even when I leave the kindle at home.My bookmark is in the same spot on my phone and my Kindle. It's great for those moments when you don't plan on being anywhere you have to wait, but lo and behold your child needs stitches and you rush out of the house to the doctor with only your child, your phone and hopefully your ID. Or maybe you just spontaneously decide to take the little ones to the park in the middle of running errands. With the kids, a purse, a diaper bag, a phone and myself to get out the door, my Kindle is not on my list of things I can't leave the house without.

I would totally recommend getting an e-reader. I'm not being paid to say this, I just think they are very cool. I feel very Star Trek reading from an electronic device rather than a paper and ink book. I am 57% through my current book, so if you don't mind, I'm going to go read now.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Jacket

Three out of four members of my family now own camouflage jackets. My husband owns two or three, my son owns one jacket and one fleece pull over and I own a new pink fleece jacket with camo down the sides.   Lily doesn't have her own jacket yet, but she has a camo dress and wears all the camo her older brother has outgrown.I received my jacket as a birthday present from my kids this year.
This is what our closet will look like in 5 or 6 years.
 Larch goes to Black Sheep, our local sportsman's store, a lot. He is in there once a month in winter and spring, and once if not twice a week in summer and during hunting season. We buy a lot of birthday and Christmas present's there. 

A couple months ago, Larch and Johnny came back from a trip to Black Sheep with a whole bag of goodies. They had even picked up a little toy for Lily. I looked at Larch and said, "When I go to the store, I always come back with something for you. When you go to the store everyone gets something except me." I was really only joking. I married an outdoors man and I go camping a lot in the summer, but I am not that girl.  He replied "well, what do you want." So I joked, "I don't know, a pink camo sweatshirt." And that is how my kids decided mom need pink fleece with camo for her birthday.

I've decided that our family pictures with year will be Larch in his hunting gear, Johnny and I in our camo jackets, and Lily in her camo dress. How very redneck.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ten Things Tuesday--Icky Ice Cream

In my research, I realized that the weirdest flavors all come from Japan. I've tried to include some from elsewhere, but the ice cream flavors in Japan are so so ICKY.

Click HERE for Source.
1.) Raw Horseflesh Ice Cream--Japan

2.) Garlic Flavored Dracula Ice Cream (Dracula also makes a  Cool Garlic Mint flavor)--Japan

3.) Squid Ink Ice Cream--Japan

4.) Onion--Venezuela

5.)Cold Sweat Ice Cream, made with milk, sugar, three kinds of peppers and two kinds of hot sauce. You have to read a waiver before you can sample of purchase this flavor. You can read that here and buy some if you are brave.--USA

6.) Sauerkraut Ice Cream, developed at Ohio State University

7.) Squid Ink Ice Cream--Japan

8.) Fried Pork Rind Ice Cream--Venezuela

9.) Indian Curry Ice Cream--Japan

10.) Sardines-in-Brandy Ice Cream--Venezuela

For more highly unusual and really gross sounding ice creams (like raw horseflesh) visit here

 Now that your turned off Ice Cream forever, go whip up some Irish Coffee Ice Cream. Recipe HERE

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hide-Behinds

You know when your walking in the woods and you here that noise behind you and you turn and there is nothing there? Or when you feel like you are being watched and you are not alone? That's a Hide-Behind.

It's a troll like creature that stand about as high as a mans knee. They have long pointy fingers, sharp little teeth and big ears. They wear clothes made of animals skins. They roam the hills and that back woods, away from civilization.  Rumor has it that if you ever see a Hide-Behind, they will kidnap you, much like a fairy if you step in a fairy ring, and you will never be heard from again. It is not known whether they keep their victims as slaves or whether they kill them and eat them.  They are lighting fast, scary quiet, and delightfully vicious.

The next time you are camping, think twice before looking behind you for that sound you thought you heard, or those eyes you swear are watching.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Grandparents

People who have living grandparents are some lucky people. All four of my grandparents are still alive, though my last great grandparent passed away when I was in junior high.  My children spend a good deal of time with my parents, their grandparents, and I know that they will have some wonderful memories to look back on. I have a number of memories of my own grandparents.

When I was in 3rd of 4th grade I was very into Felicity of the American Girls books. I wanted to have a afternoon tea party in a rose garden for my birthday.  Gramps, my paternal grandfather, had a beautiful rose garden in his back yard. The only problem was that roses don't bloom in April outside a greenhouse. I did what any girl would do. I postponed my birthday party for 2 months. We had tea and cake in the backyard by the roses. It was a "formal" party and all of my guests wore their Sunday dresses.  We played blind man's bluff in the front yard, it was very old fashion.

I had this Beauty and the Beast doll,
my sister had Cinderella and Prince Charming.
We both had Robin Hood and Maid Marion
Nana, my paternal grandmother, loved dolls. She collected porcelain dolls and had them all over her house.  She changed their clothes at Christmas as part of her decor.  She loved to take my sister and I to the Rosalie Whyel Doll Musuem in Bellevue. They had more than 300 dolls and toys on display. We always bought Peck-Gandre paper dolls in the gift shop after our visit. Those were some of my favorite paper dolls.  The doll museum closed in March of this year, which means I will never be able to take my own daughter there, but I still get to cherish the memories.

We called my paternal grandparents Grandma and Grandpa. When we were young they moved from the Seattle area to Albuquerque, NM. My sister and I used to spend 4-6 weeks there every summer until we were both past puberty. We would go visit the natural history museum, Old Town, and play Putt Putt Golf. Grandma and Grandpa live in a gated community with a pool. Last September, my grandpa turned 85 and there was a family reunion in celebration. My kids got to stay in the house I lived in a month every summer and play in the same pool. We went and visited the same places and played the same games.

I am older now and am gaining different memories of my grandparents. Memories of Grandpa holding my babies while sleeping in an easy chair, just has he held me and slept. Memories of Nana putting light pink lipstick on my two year old daughter. Gramps reading books to my children at Christmas time. I'm glad my children have 2 and a half sets of grandparents to create memories with.  Grandparents make childhood sweeter.

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Family

I have the most amazing family. I'm talking about my whole family: the family I grew up with, the family I started with my husband, and the family I inherited when I married my husband.

Last Saturday my tooth began to hurt. I knew it was coming, my filling fell out 2 years ago, but we are broke. By  Monday night, Ibuprofen was not longer cutting the pain, even when combined with Excedrin. Tuesday, My parents let me whimper in a corner. Ok, not really, but my mom drove to and from Bible study, they fed me and my kids lunch, and then my Dad came to my house and cleaned it while watching me kids.(He used to bribe me with slurpees to get me to clean my room).  He was really there to watch my kids while I went to the dentist, the cleaning my house part was an amazing extra.  They didn't have to do this, but they love me. And they know I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to pain even though I've delivered two babies with no pain killing drugs.

My husband wasn't being a jerk, he was working out of town. I'm a single mom Monday through Wednesday for the next few months. This is scary for me. I didn't want to go to the dentist at all because it really isn't in the budget. When he called Tuesday night and I told him that I had gone to the dentist and was getting a tooth pulled on Monday, he didn't complain about the money, he just made sure I was ok, the kids were ok, and that I wasn't driving them around while taking my pain killers (the dentist gave me antibiotics and Vicodin for my birthday). I think he wanted to be here to kiss me and make it better. He also knows I'm a wimp.

My inherited family, the people most refer to as in-laws, were helpful too. Well, the ones that knew. Larch's brother, J, his wife, B, and their 3 month old Emmett came by today after my appointment to drop off presents B had bought my kids on her recent trip to Oregon. Lily, received a Curious George book (she loves George) and Johnny got an awesome bomber jacket, the same bomber jacket I wanted to buy him 8 months ago but wouldn't because it was $80. B didn't spend that much, she and her mom and garage salers and thrift store shoppers.  Anyways, when B found out I was getting my tooth pulled on Monday, she told me to call her next week if I need help with the kids while I recover.

Even my kids made life easy. They did't understand why I was in pain, there were not bruises or band aids, but they could tell I was hurting. They went to bed on Tuesday without a fight. They just laid down on the couch and fell asleep. No yelling, no crying, hitting, just sweet sleeping angles.

I am so very blessed to have family who live close. I am doubly blessed that they are so willing to interrupt their lives to make my life just a little easier when it starts to get overwhelming. I would not trade my family for anything; not money, not fame, nothing.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eager for the Easter Bunny

Today, I turn 27. My son cares that it is my birthday for 3 reasons. One: I'm fairly certain he loves me. Two: there will be cake. And three: we are only a few days from Easter and the inevitable visit from the Easter Bunny.

Johnny has been telling me for two weeks everything he wants the Easter Bunny to bring him. He is certain that if I email his list to Mr. Bunny, he will have the best Easter basket ever. He also wants me to ask how he gets into our house. Does he come down the chimney like Santa Clause? And he tells me to ask if Mr. Bunny can hide the eggs outside this year.

I remember when I was still young enough to believe in a giant bunny who hid eggs all over our house. Every year we could count on a number of things in our Easter basket. My sister and I always received a movie (usually with a religious theme, like the TNT movies Jacob and Joseph), a book (also with a Christian bent), a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, some sort of chap stick or lotion, and of course, jelly beans.  When I was 16, just after I obtained my drivers license, I received my favorite Easter Basket: candy, movie, book, and a set of my own keys to my parents Blazer.

The Easter Bunny will indeed arrive to our house in a few days. I can't wait. My kids will eat chocolate eggs and jelly beans for breakfast (saving the black ones for Grandmama). I will wrestle them into fancy clothes for church, where they will play off their sugar high in the nursery and 4-year-old class. I will try to instill in them the idea that Easter is not about eggs and a bunny, but about a savior who died, and an empty tomb. I will try to tie the Easter Bunny to this truth  the way we tie Santa to Jesus' birth. The Easter bunny leaves gifts to celebrate the gift of God's love. Maybe I will tell them that he hides eggs the way the Romans tried to hide Jesus's body behind a stone. Maybe I will tell them that when Mr. Bunny leaves, instead of "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night," he shouts "He is not here, He is risen!"bunny-cross.jpg

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for the Designated Driver

When I was maybe 4 or 5, Mr. Rogers had a commercial on PBS that asked kids to tell their parents not to drink and drive. My parents were and are not drinkers. I think in my 27 years, I've seen my dad drink 7 beers. I've never seen my mom drink that I can remember. Anyways, that night, or maybe the next night, we all got in the car and my dad cracked open a coke. I remember saying "Daddy! Mr. Rogers says not to drink and drive!" I don't remember if my parents laughed, but I know they explained that Mr. Rogers wasn't talking about soda pop.

I am still a big supporter of not drinking and driving. Alcohol is more present in mine and my husband's social lives than it was in my parents. We always make sure to take a cab or have a DD. Ninety percent of the time, I am that DD.

[designated-driver.thumbnail.jpg]There are a couple of reasons I am so often the designated driver. I've been married a little over five years, for two and a half of those I have been either pregnant or nursing. (That's 2 full term pregnancy's and 4 months of nursing each.) Last summer, I started treatment for my BPD and I an not supposed to mix my medications with alcohol. The rest of the time, well, I just don't drink that much. I don't like the feeling of being so tipsy I have no control of my mouth or my faculties.

I used to get really mad when Larch assumed I would be the DD but never asked. Like when I was pregnant. Obviously, I wasn't drinking, but that didn't mean I wanted to be responsible for everyone. Or maybe I just wanted the courtesy of being asked. Also, it feels very lonely being the only sober person in a group.

Last week, I came to the realization that I don't hate it so much anymore. I was the DD and I wasn't even at the bar with the boys. The were are the bar down the street, so they walked to and from our house. When they got home, however, my brothers in law were not in a state to be driving home. J, living the next town over, opted to stay the night and sleep on our couch. B, on the other had, insisted on going home. I was wide awake, even at 2 am, so I offered to drive him home after he ate. (They always come home hungry when they go out.)  As I drove B the 20ish blocks to his house, he really opened up. I know the heart to hearts we have when I drive him home are tainted by his altered state of mind, but I enjoy that he trusts me with thoughts and feeling he won't share with his older brother, my husband.

When I am the DD, I get to keep my family safe and get to know them better than perhaps they want me to. Maybe they should call me the DDSK: designated driver and secret keeper.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ten Things Tuesday--Country Music, Parent style

Ten Country Songs, the toddler years.

1. Red Sippy Cup I thought I was so clever when I came up with this. I did not know someone had already recorded this parody. Actually, I found a number of them. This is my favorite. It's just audio with a radio station logo, but it's funny. You should take a listen.


2. Achey Breaky Back


3. Ring of Diapers


4. (Trike) Riders in the Sky


5. She's in Love with Her Toys


6. Friends in Play Places


7. Jesus, Fix This Meal


8. Strawberry Whine


9. Pool Water


10. El Paci

Monday, April 2, 2012

Borderline Personality Disorder

This is exactly what you will find on my Borderline Personality Disorder page, but this is important to me and seemed an appropriate post for the letter B.


What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness categorized as a personality disorder. Personality disroders are characterized by a consistent pattern of thinking, feeling, and interacting with others and with the world that tends to cause significant problems for the sufferer.(Webmd) BPD specifically is characterized by unstable thoughts and feelings regarding ones self-image and there for thinking, feeling, and behaving ways that greatly effect ones ability to function.

Symptoms
In order to be diagnosed with BPD, patients must exhibit at least 5 of the following signs and symptoms according to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Treatment Revision) definition. Please do not try and diagnose yourself. If you think you may have mental health issues please seek help from a medical professional. They are trained to look for and diagnose problems. So many mental health diagnoses share similar symptoms.

Unstable self-image characterized by drastic and rapid changes in self perceptions, goals, dreams, likes, dislikes and their own value as a person. (For instance, I tend to put myself in rolls. When my brother-in-laws ex-girlfriend offered to make the cake for my sister-in-laws birthday, I lost all sense of worth in terms of my family. That was my job and if someone was better than me or taking that role from me, I felt I have no value.)
Unstable Personal Relationships. This is often caused by idealization and devaluation. People with BPD tend to have black and white thinking. Some days I adore my brother-in-law and can't imagine what life would be like without him around, other days I can't stand him, I think my husband should stop enabling certain behaviors and I can't say on nice thing about him. Apparently, I also do with quite often with my mother-in-law and my own husband. Sometimes I can idealize and devalue them at the same time. On therapist pointed out that I flopped back and forth about my mother-in-law 5 or 6 times in a matter of three sentences.

Unstable Emotions. This is the mood swing part of BPD. Emotions seem to change rapidly and intensely in response to situations and stresses that might seem minor to others. This can include anger, joy, euphoria, anxiety, and depression (including panic attacks). For instance, if my kids track mud in the house, no big deal really, but I may (or may not) fly off the handle and explode as if they have burned down the house. Where normal people have a mechanism in their brain to regulate the intensity of their emotions, individuals with BPD have a broken mechanism that rarely if ever functions correctly. (I also used to have panic attacks in Wal-Mart if I was by myself and there were more than 2 other people in the same aisle as myself.)

Desperate Effort to Avoid Abandonment whether real or imagine. I don't see this in myself much anymore, but I use to. This explains the tendency of a BPD sufferer to become overly clingy and needy or to sabotage a relationship so that they are doing the leaving rather than being rejected.

Significant Impulsivity. This accounts for addictive and self-harming behaviors such as inappropriate sexual behavior, alcoholism, gambling problems, drug use, spending money, eating habits, and driving habits. I like to spend, I used to drink a lot, and I was rather promiscuous before I got married. I also used to dabble in drug use and have been in 5 accidents, 4 of which were my fault.

Recurring Suicidal Thoughts of Behaviors. If you or a loved one are having suicidal thought or engaging in phsycial self-harm, please seek help. Call someone. If you think you have no one call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at1-800-273-8255. I personally don't see this as a problem for myself I have not had a seriously suicidal thought in more than 7 years. However, in October 2011 I did attempt to harm myself in an attempt to manipulate my husband. My thought was that he wouldn't even notice if I seriously hurt myself. We had been fighting it and it was an emotionally driven stupid decisions. I have an ugly little scar to prove it and I regret the choice everyday.

Chronic Feelings of Emptiness. This is hard to describe even though I suffer from this. It's kind of like an ongoing feeling of drifting purposefulness mixed with a void of emotion.

Anger. Inappropriate or intense anger or difficulty managing anger when it occurs. I definitely have this problem. I am genuinely surprised the neighbors have not called the cops for a domestic disturbance. I mostly scream at Larch, but sometimes my kids also.
Transient, stress-related paranoia or severe dissociation (lapses in memory). Um, I'm not sure how to go about explaining this one. I know that I occasionally go into a state of dissociation and while I don't remember clearly, I sort of remember whats going on in my head. However, I don't generally remember what is going on around me or even a conversation I may have been listening to.

BPD is generally treated with psychotherapy and sometimes medication to alleviate symptoms until life skills can be learned to help one cope. There is no cure for BPD and though one may be able to stop therapy after a significant amount of time, any major change or stress might send an individual into relapse.

Resources for more information on BPD
Borderline Personality Disorder Research Foundation
340 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-421-5244
Fax: 212-421-5243
Email: BPDRF.USA@Verizon.net
Web site: http://www.borderlineresearch.org


Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center
New York Presbyterian Hospital -- Westchester Division
21 Bloomingdale Road
White Plains, NY 10605
Phone: 888-694-2273
Email: info@bpdresourcecenter.org
Web site: http://www.bpdresourcecenter.org/index.htm


Borderline Personality Disorder Resources.net
Web site: http://www.bpdresources.net


Borderline Personality Disorder Today
Web site: http://www.borderlinepersonalitytoday.com


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Colonial Place Three
2107 Wilson Boulevard Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-3042
Phone: 1-800-950-NAMI 1-800-950-6264 hotline for help with depression
703-524-7600
Fax: 703-524-9094
TDD: 703-516-7227
Email: info@nami.org
Web site: http://www.nami.org


National Borderline Personality Disorder Resource and Referral Center
888-4-TARA-APD

National Education Alliance for BPD
PO Box 974
Rye, New York 10580
\Web site: http://www.neabpd.org

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: 866-615-6464 toll-free
301-443-4513
Fax: 301-443-4279
TDD: 866-415-8051 toll-free
Email: nimhinfo@nih.gov
Web site: http://www.nimh.nih.gov

May is BPD awareness month. Expect more posts like this next month. I realize it can be a bummer to read about, but this is a very personal issue for me. Breaking the stigma of what mental illness is and educating people on the kind of suffering it causes for those with the disorder and those around them are things that I cannot put off doing, it's too important. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Aunt Flo's World Travels.

A work of fiction.


It was that time of the month again, and I was painting the roses red when Aunt Flo showed up, riding a cotton pony, tugging on the rag she had received when dishonorably discharged from the Uterine Navy, for riding the crimson wave.


She swung open the door and announced, "Miss Scarlett has come home to Tara! Steep some tea sweetheart and lets sit down for some Ladies Time." That meant giving into the curse of listening to all the tales of Aunt Flo's world travels.

In Europe, she had stayed in Germany with friends who called her cranberry woman. She wouldn't go to Denmark because the tomato soup was over cooked, but she loved going to England, even though her hotel always seemed to have Japanses flag flying. Ireland, she said served the best jam rag, whatever that is.

She complains that when in South Africa, granny is stuck in traffic all day, but in Australia they let her put out the flag.

She hadn't ever planned to go to Australia, but she was in China when litte sister came by with her friend little Miss Strawberry from Japan and they talked her into going to a Red Party at Club Mensis during moon time. They got very drunk and thought it would be a good idea to go trolling for vampires in some place warm like the down under.

By the end of Aunt Flo's visit I was  crying the tears of disappointed uterus. She took one look at me, patted my knee and said, "deary, go reboot your system, I'm only gonna be here for a short period."