Sunday, November 15, 2015

Here Come the Holidays

Ready or not, they are barreling down on us at top speed.

Halloween barely behind us, we've started negotiations on our schedule for Thanksgiving with both sets of in-laws, and Christmas is on its heels.

So what is your holiday schedule like? Ours changes every year. Regretfully. I grew up knowing exactly where we were going to be at what time on every holiday. A decade of being together later, and Jason & I still haven't managed to work that out with our families.

Part of it is that we are working schedules with both sets of in-laws / grandparents. Growing up neither of us dealt with that or saw it dealt with. Other than our household, my family only ever went to my mom's extended family. Jason only ever went to his dad's extended family.

We are blessed to have relationships with both sides, but I have to admit it makes for a stressful holiday season! For me anyway, since I'm usually the one trying to work out the schedules for our little household. Trying to keep everyone happy is hard work! And usually doesn't work anyway! LOL!

So what do you do? How do you work out holiday schedules?

Till next time,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Has it been three months already?!?

I can't believe it's been nearly three months since my last post. Life has been a whirlwind.

So how about an update on that situation. The side effects of my meds continued to worsen, so after much discussion with my endocrinologist & my husband we decided to discontinue.

So... what next? I have a metabolic disorder. Left untreated the expectation is my weight will balloon rapidly and I will be diabetic within 5-10 years. With my family history, heart disease & arthritis are already losing battles.

So I can try another cocktail of meds, but the truth is I've been on almost everything available over the past 5 years with moderate results. And no matter what they are there is a risk of side effects, many of them serious. You know when your doctor has you sign a waiver... Even prior to my issues I was struggling with my situation being that I was risking my life with side effects to save my life from the disorder. Is that really much of a trade-off?

I can try a liquid diet, hoping the drastic weight loss will lessen my symptoms. It's not permanent, no part of it is covered by my insurance, costs several thousand dollars, sets a bad eating example for my daughters, and even if it's effective in the weight loss will not actually resolve my condition at all, just lessen symptoms and basically buy me time. For what, I'm not sure.

I can try it on my own again. But considering I have been trying (and failing) to lose weight for the past 28 years, know that I have a metabolic disorder that makes it highly unlikely I will succeed without medical intervention... it seems like a recipe for depression & feeling like a failure.

Or I can have major surgery. My endocrinologist thinks I'm an excellent candidate, for a variety of reasons. The surgery he is recommending is 80% effective at treating my condition, and is permanent in 98-99% of those cases. And is likely covered by insurance. But it's surgery. Risks, and recovery, and what-not. Serious crap. So after much discussion with my doctor and my husband, and a lot of soul-searching on my part, we decided this was probably the way to go, and had a lot of peace about the decision... only to find out that my insurance plan does not cover it. I've been given the estimate that cash payment would be upwards of $13,000. Yikes. Not giving up on it yet, in fact I have my first appointment with the surgery center at the hospital tomorrow for an initial consultation, review of my case, etc. I guess we'll see what they have to say.

So right now, for the past 2 months or so, I've done nothing. No meds. Eating what I want (but not over-eating). I've already gained about 10 lbs, and the past week or so I've noticed the puffiness in my face returning that is one of the hallmarks of my disorder (it's water retention). I know I could make drastic changes to my diet & exercise to slow the gain, but I also know from past experience that it's not going to stop it. So I'm going to be really raw & honest with you right now when I tell you that I'm just trying to enjoy myself, love myself, and not worry about food. I'm trying to learn how to dress my body well, accept myself for who I am, and just enjoy my family and enjoy life. We'll see how my appointment goes tomorrow. Maybe I'll get surprise news about payment or something. Maybe we'll win the lottery, LOL. But other than that I'm going to enjoy the next few months and try not to worry about it. We have birthdays, anniversaries, multiple holidays... I just want to enjoy it, you know?

Well, as always, thanks for checking in!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Slowing Down

Recently I realized that I had had a headache for pretty much four days straight that even Tylenol wasn't really helping. I was also hot all the time. One morning it dawned on me to have Jason (as a registered EMT) check my blood pressure.

It wasn't good.

I had a regularly scheduled checkup with my endocrinologist a few days later, so I embarked on a few days of minor lifestyle changes in an effort to lower my blood pressure. One thing I've identified as a cause of stress in my life is that I feel very out of control, so I took some steps to take back some control.

Honestly, in an ironic twist, since becoming a SAHM I feel like I'm doing what everyone else tells me to do, or wants me to do way more than when I worked outside the home. I feel as though I have very little control over my daily motions. So that clearly needs to change.

One thing is that I decided to take a break from FlyLady. Even though it was a program that I chose to start, the truth is that every day I'm doing what she tells me. And at this point even that seems like too much.

I need to do what I want to do.

I also reduced my social media presence, and am actually surprised at how much that has helped, considering I do feel that I get most of my support community from social media. But it's also a constant barrage of contact to an introvert that needs quiet. Heck, I think the truth is we all need quiet at times.

And I made an effort to get at least six hours of sleep a night, which is a struggle for me. I struggle with insomnia, and tend to find after the kids go to bed as my most productive hours, so often find myself up till all hours of the night (morning). 

So I spent a few days relaxing more, letting my house get back to the crappy house it was before, not going online as much, etc.

The result? At my appointment my BP was still high, but not high enough that my doctor was concerned. What he was concerned about was that my resting pulse rate was extremely high. Even though this would be an uncommon side effect to my meds, it is possible, so we are making some modifications to the dosages for a month to see if there's any change, and I'm continuing some of my temporary lifestyle changes. I do plan on starting FlyLady back up soon, but we'll have to see  how things progress.

The truth is I've been struggling with quite a bit of anxiety and depression over the past few months and I think it finally caught up with me. There has been quite a bit going on behind the scenes, both big & small, that has just been difficult to deal with all at once.

While my numbers may not show it (yet?), I feel better about myself since making these changes. I'm going to continue looking at my life and how I can regain control in certain areas. I think that sense of not having control, whether real or perceived, was a major trigger for me, for the anxiety, the depression, and the stress.

Also - my project is still in the works, but delayed a bit by this. Keep watching for more updates!

So that's my update today. I hope you all are doing well.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Monday, July 6, 2015

FlyLady Update (BabySteps 6 thru 10)

Day 6: dressed & ready, shiny sink, read emails, look at post-its, recognize negative voices, two minute hot spot
- getting pretty good and this dressed & ready thing
- shiny sink actually got done at a decent hour
- read the emails, check
- never did do the post-its
- worked to keep negative voices in check
- okay, right now I feel like my entire house is a hot-spot, so I decided that for now my hot spot clean up will be whatever tidying chore is next on my to-do list. Today it was the entryway (I always start with the entryway, since it's the first place anyone sees when they come in the home). Done.

Day 7: okay, I'm not gonna list everything out every day. Just assume I'm doing all the previous things unless I write something else, plus one new, 'kay?
Today started out pretty rough, and honestly I'm just proud of the fact that I got all of my baby steps done for the day at all. Other than the post-its which I'm not doing. Yet anyway. Jillian woke up at 1am vomiting. I was up with her from 1am-4am and am going on about 3 hours of sleep total.

The new step for the day was to lay out my clothes for tomorrow. Honestly, I need to start doing this for myself. I already lay out Jena's & Jillian's clothes either the night before or first thing in the morning. I lay out Jason's uniforms for him the night before when I remember. But me? I'm usually the one scrambling to get ready at the last minute. So today I took Jillian around with me room to room and we laid out everyone's outfits for tomorrow.
The truth is in my pre-kids days I did this for work or church on a regular basis. I'd pick out my clothes for the next day, iron them if needed, and hang them on my bedroom door, complete with what matching undies I was wearing with them. That seems so long ago... It will do me good to get back into this habit.

Day 8: Split it into a Morning & Evening Routine, and add a two-minute Hotspot to the evening
This was the first day I didn't get everything done. The first day I didn't get my sink shined. A few negative words crept in, like "failed" and "failure", but I worked to get those out of my head. Still, I was bummed.

next day: down for the count with an AWFUL stomach bug. Nothing got done. Nothing.

next day: tried to use what energy I had to do things like catch up on laundry, dishes, sterlizing bottles, etc. So much gets behind in just that one day, plus we were already behind on laundry because of the stomach bug Jillian had a few days earlier, creating an abundance of dirty clothes.

Day 8 (repeat): see above
I decided since this was my first day getting back in the groove, and my last day I didn't complete all the tasks anyway, instead of moving forward with Day 9 items, I'd go back and try Day 8 again. This actually led me to  a question: if these are babysteps to succeeding in the program, are we supposed to move forward if we haven't completed? or should we repeat that day until we do?
I know once you're in the regular FlyLady routine she promotes the idea that you are not behind, just jump in where you are, but since the point of these steps is to work up to that, should we move forward if we haven't achieved them yet? I'm honestly not sure. Either way, I repeated Day 8 today and this time I can say I got it done! Yay me!

Day 9: add a five minute declutter to the morning routine
Well, poop. Did not get the declutter done, did not get the second hot spot done. Ugh. Will repeat again tomorrow.

Day 9 (repeat): see above
Well, today I did get it done. And then some. I am getting a little concerned though. I mean, let's face it, the routine isn't even that much yet, we're not even a third of the way thru the baby steps, and I'm already starting to struggle getting things done. What is my problem?!?

Day 10: add two 15 minute segments - one gathering up all the trash you can find in your house and placing outside, and one relaxing and reading for yourself
Done! I have to admit, it feels pretty good!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

FlyLady Updates (BabySteps 2 thru 5)

Day 2: get dressed & ready and shine your sink.
- getting dressed & ready was easy on this particular day because it happened to fall on a day that Jena had Art Summer Camp, so I had to do it anyway. The challenge will be to do it on days when we aren't going anywhere and the temptation to stay in our pajamas will be strong.
- shining the sink wasn't too bad either. I have to say I was surprised at how much gunk was in there, after only one day! Maybe there's something to this after all!

Day 3: get dressed & ready, shine your sink, explore the FlyLady website (focus on the Launch Pad).
- get dressed & ready, again, easy because Jena had Art Summer Camp.
- shining my sink done as usual
- explore the FlyLady website, with focus on the Launch Pad. For me, this was intimidating. These baby steps almost seem too easy, but after looking at the Launch Pad it's hard for me to imagine being able to do everything on there with any sort of regularity. Heck, it's hard for me to imagine doing everything on there once. Okay... maybe once.  But I guess that's why I'm here. It sounds wonderful. It's easy to see how if I could do those things with regularity my home would be much better taken care of, so there is a tiny part of me that is excited at the prospect that it might possibly happen some day. But mostly it seems impossible at this point. Scary. Never going to happen impossible. I'm glad today was just to explore the website, and not to do it, LOL.

Day 4: get dressed & ready, shine your sink, read your FlyLady message, and put post-its up to help remember these steps, as a beginner to your "Control Journal"
- getting dressed & ready, again, easy peasy because of Jena's Summer Camp
- shining my sink did not get done today. I had just finished sterilizing bottles and was just getting ready to wash dishes when Jason came home from Water Rescue... at 11pm. We talked for a few minutes and went to bed, with a sink full of soaking dishes.
- read the FlyLady message on the website
- I did not put up post-its. Maybe I'll regret it, but so far I don't need help remember steps. If it becomes to much in a day or two I'll start.

I'm mulling the idea of the "Control Journal". I already do much of what is included, just not all in one journal. I have a planner, a chore checklist (for me & Jena), an address book, etc. There are other items I have considered completing someday and never got around to. This may be a good motivation to get them done. But I'm not sure I'm sold on having each item wrapped up together in one large journal. So I will probably eventually complete the Control Journal, but will probably modify it to suit my needs.

I will admit, today I'm struggling a bit with this process. Wondering if I'm doing these BabySteps right.  Mostly because it feels like I'm not doing anything. And even though they don't take up a ton of time, they do take time, time away from doing what household tasks I used to get done, done. Which means right now I'm in this phase where my house is getting worse instead of better. Except my kitchen sink. It looks great. Am I missing something? Did I read it wrong? Am I supposed to be doing the BabySteps plus? Or am I supposed to just trust this process, because BabySteps are supposed to be just that... tiny steps. I don't know. But today I'm frustrated.

Day 5: get dressed & ready, shine your sink, read your post-its, read the FlyLady message, special note about negativity
- with nowhere to go until later today, I kept forgetting to put my shoes on. Other than that, did okay.
- finished the dishes from last night late this morning, so got that sink shined early (for me)
- no post-its to read
- read the FlyLady message. Today's was about decorating.
- note about negativity was well-timed. Perhaps having doubts around day 4-5 is normal.

I admit, even before I checked my babystep for today, I looked ahead, first just a couple of days, then all the way to the end. I've been trying not to peek ahead, and really just take it one day at a time, but I needed reassurance that this really was going to pick up and I was going to get somewhere.

With no Summer Camp to take Jena to today, I have more time this morning to get other chores done. But, we are meeting my parents to lunch, then they are watching the girls while I go to the doctor, then back to their house for a visit probably thru dinnertime. Which means once we leave the house around 12noon I won't be back until nighttime. So I guess I'd better get off here and get cracking!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 1 of Project Home Organization

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to give FlyLady another try. Today I did Babystep 1, Shine Your Sink.

I felt ridiculous.

I'm not gonna lie, with so many other things on my plate, so many other chores and tasks waiting for me, it seemed so silly to spend so much time & energy cleaning out my kitchen sink. I seriously considered skipping this step altogether and going to the second day even, except for two things:

#1 - I kept reminding myself that my own methods have not worked in the past. She is arguably an expert in the field, and has thousands of people who swear by her methods. But I did have to tell myself this multiple times throughout the day.

#2 - something she says on her site. She talks briefly about why such a seemingly small task is first, and part of it is about how if you are coming to her it's because you have struggled with your home probably for years and that means you are probably very beaten down and you need a small victory. And you see, the night before I had laid in bed and cried - no... sobbed - to Jason about how much I felt like a failure because I couldn't do it. I beat myself up daily over it. I feel like a failure as a wife & mother over it. And have for years. I am completely beaten down by the state of my home. She's right. She knows what she's talking about.

And so I did it. My kitchen sink has probably never been cleaner. Maybe not even when we installed it, LOL.

And while it wasn't the only chore I did today, the time I spent doing that, combined with a extra-whiny Jillian, meant that I got a lot less accomplished than I would have liked.

But I'm going to trust the process. I'm asking my husband to trust the process. He knows all too well that my own methods haven't worked either, so I'm asking him to please support me in trying this new way of doing things, even if they don't always make sense to either of us. Because something has to change.

I'm hoping this works. I need this to work. I probably won't post about my progress every day, but I will try to keep you updated on how it goes.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Are ya'll familiar with FlyLady? Well, I heard about her system years ago. Even tried it after I had Jena. It's a method of creating and maintaining a clean & organized home.

I failed the first time I tried it. But looking back, maybe it wasn't the best time for me to try something new. I was struggling with a new baby, problems in my marriage, post partum depression, work, etc, etc, etc. Even though I needed something to help me manage my house, maybe adding a new responsibility in the form of a new process wasn't the best idea at the time. No wonder I failed!

Well, I came across her stuff again recently, and I have to admit that my own methods just aren't working. I figured once I was a SAHM and I had more time in the house, I would be able to manage the home myself.

Boy, was I wrong.

It's not for lack of trying. I cannot express to you how hard I work at it. I try so hard. I've created different schedules, I've gotten up early, stayed up late, worked, worked, worked. I feel horrible because I feel like I never actually play with my kids because all I do is chores. Yet somehow my house is still a disaster and I mostly fix pre-made frozen dinners.

Clearly I am doing something wrong. I just don't know what it is.

I discussed it with my mom, and she told me that when she has known a SAHM that didn't have a clean house, they usually had a hidden time killer they needed to get rid of. She had her own when she was younger: television.

Well, I'm not not saying it's not still a possibility, but I am saying if I have time killer, I haven't found it yet. I've eliminated watching my shows down to feedings or while folding laundry. Didn't help. Social media, and other screen time? Limited that to while on the toilet (don't tell my friends, LOL) or while waiting for Jillian to fall asleep (she's a super-light sleeper and we have a small house, so it's "don't move!" until we know she's down - usually 5 - 10 min). As you already know, I gave up blogging until recently. Still no. I even gave up getting regular sleep and started staying up later and/or getting up earlier (depending on the day's activities) so I could get more done. Nope. So if there's a time killer there, I don't know what it is.

But what is evident is that my methods aren't working, and I need outside help. So I decided to try FlyLady again.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Direction

So I know I haven't been on this blog much lately. It started out unintentional, busy-ness, figuring out my new schedule & life and all. Then it became somewhat intentional.

A little ways in the future I will be starting a new endeavour. Still blogging / writing. Just taking things in a totally new direction.

To that end, I will most likely eventually shut this site down. Not immediately, but eventually. Most likely, but not definitely.

I hope you all will join me on my new journey when it is time. Can't wait to fill you in on more details in the future. I am excited, but nervous at the same time.

Thanks for sticking with me so far!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One Day: What I Do

So a few weeks ago I had someone (who shall remain nameless) come into my home and suggest that it looked like I did "nothing" all day. Essentially meaning my house was a mess.

I'm not gonna lie. It is.

But I do far from nothing. I go, go, go all day every day. I stay up late. I'm exhausted. So, even though I know they'll probably never read this, I thought just for my own edification, I'd track, just for one day, exactly what I do.

Here is what I did on one random Saturday. This did not count the four hours we took to make an impromptu visit to the fire house to visit Jason. So a relatively normal day, minus four hours of a special activity. This only counts what was done at the house.


- washed & dried six loads of laundry
- folded & put away four loads of laundry
- let the dogs out four times
- changed three diapers
- prepared three feedings for Jillian
- prepared a meal or snack for Jena three times
- put a kid to bed three times
- bathed two kids
- fed Jillian twice
- prepared two baths
- checked the refrigerator for spoiled / outdated food
- cleaned out kitty litter
- fixed Jena's hair for the day
- helped Jena clean up a large amount of spilled water
- instructed Jena in homeschool session (approximately 2.5 hours)
- made our bed
- set clothing out for each of us
- sterilized bottles
- stocked diaper bag
- straightened up the entryway
- swept the entryway floor
- tended to a sick child
- tended to the wart on Jena's foot
- washed cloth diapers

- washed cloth diaper inserts
- washed dishes


Maybe I just have unrealistic expectations, but considering I was gone for four hours, and an additional 2.5 hours was spent homeschooling, I think this list indicates someone being pretty productive. Far from someone who did "nothing".

Granted, very little of that had to do with cleaning or organizing my home. But very much of that had to do with taking care of my children's immediate needs, and much of the rest had to do with keeping our household running.

I'm trying to get my house clean & organized. I really am. Quite frankly, I'm completely embarrassed by it. But I'm also not sure what more I can do at this point. I may blog about that later.

Well, that's about all for now. Sorry I haven't blogged much lately.  Lots going on. I'll try to do an update post soon.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Stop Skipping Rocks into the Lake of Fire

I'm tired of this watered down Christianity. I'm tired of being told everyone can just come as they are and be as they are and stay as they are.

Yes, come as you are. Jesus accepts you as you are, wherever you are, however you are, He meets you in your place.

But He does not expect you to stay there.

Come as you are. Don't stay as you are. Don't be as you are. Grow. Change. Repent.

If you don't want to change, don't need to change, don't need a Saviour, then why are you coming? You NEED a Saviour. And as much as He says to come "just as you are" He also tells you to "Go and sin no more".

This doesn't mean that Christians are perfect. No one is expecting perfection. But I also don't believe our Saviour died on the Cross for you to continue to wallow in the mud-pit of your sin. He didn't die for your sin so you could enjoy the temporary satisfaction that comes from living in your sin right now, He died for your sins so you could forego that life, you could break free from your sins, you can experience life more abundantly than you've ever known here on this earth, and then when the time is come you can live with Him forever in Eternity! Can I get a witness?!?

I am sick and tired of hearing my fellow Christians telling people they don't have to change, they can come as they are. It's certainly true if you are addressing a lost person, asking them to meet Jesus, Jesus will meet them where they are no matter what. But for those of us who claim to be in Christ? He has called us to something higher, something more.

I am tired of feeling good. I am bored of being told I'm fine because the person next to me is sinning too, and we're all sinners, and no one is better than anyone else, so I should just be fine with it.

That's right... I'm tired of feeling good. I long to be stretched. Challenged. My God calls me to be better than I was before. Better today than I was yesterday. Better yesterday than I was last year. I am tired of sitting stagnant in the mediocrity of lukewarm Christianity.  I'm not trying to be better than you. I'm trying to be better than me. I'm on my journey.

But I want you to be better too. God has called you to so much more than continuing in a life of sin. God has called you to be so much more and it saddens me to see you content to wallow in your sin and your comfort and your pride, refusing to let go of what you know is keeping you from knowing Him more deeply, simply because it's comfortable, because it feels good.

My Saviour was beaten and scarred, and bled and hung on a cross and died to save us from the pits of Hell! To save us from the burning Lake of Fire! Why do we insist on skipping rocks from its shores?!?

Do you not know from where you have been saved? Do you not realize the eternity you have been rescued from? Do you not know that you are more than you are doing right now? Why do you insist on living your old life? Lay down your sins. Lay them down.

Will it be scary? Maybe. Will it be uncomfortable? Probably. Will you regret it? Never!

I am tired of pretending that I'm okay. I am sick, so I need the Healer. I am broken, so I need made Whole. I am tired, so I need Rest. When we pretend that we are okay, when we trick ourselves into believing that we are okay, we cheat ourselves out of the miraculous Power that God has to transform our lives. We settle for a brand of cheap imitation Christianity instead of the cost of the real thing, for as much as it cost Christ His life, it costs us ours as well. We cannot claim to be in Christ and continue in our old lives day after day. Either we have never truly accepted Christ as our Saviour and Lord, or we are spending each day in torment as we are convicted by the Holy Spirit.

My fellow Christians, I beg of you to examine your life. Are you holding on to sin? Have you convinced yourself that you're okay, when deep down you know you're not? Let us stop playing in the dirt like the children we were and begin living our lives as the men & women that God has called us to be.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2014 Recap

* I originally wrote this in January, but apparently never hit "publish", so here goes*

So a quick recap of 2014:

- Jason's business kicked off it's 2nd season

- my employer announced that it will be closing the Kentucky location within the next 3 years and all jobs will be relocated. Mine specifically is going to Michigan.

- Miss Jillian was born
- Miss Jena graduated from Kindergarten
- my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary

- we made a decision regarding both my job and Jena's education

- after more than 10 years with my employer, I resigned my position

- we began homeschooling Jena

- our family's first trip to Disney World
- a trip to Chicago

- Jason expands his business to include Christmas light installation (residential & commercial)

- holidays (need I say more)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Our Stance on Vaccines

Because why not post on a hot topic and piss some people off, right?

I research each and every vaccine myself. Here's the background:

I was pregnant with Jena and was given the CDC info sheets for the vaccines they want her to get right away. One of them (I think Hepatitis B), had stats that didn't sit right with me for some reason. Took me a while to figure out. Then I realized. They presented some numbers as percentages, some as fractions, and some as raw numbers. Having spent years at my job making various numbers-based presentations to executives, I know this trick well: you present it in whichever format spins your story the best. Any time you see a report, news article, etc. with numbers presented in multiple fashions, it should be a red flag that they are trying to sell you something. And so I began digging. I just wanted to see for myself.

Think back to math class. Probably late elementary school timing. One of the basic rules of comparing numbers is that to do an accurate comparison you have to get them in the same format. This is when you learn to convert fractions to percentages and vice versa. It is literally elementary school level math. And both sides are using it to their advantage on a regular basis.

It was hard for me to find legitimate info at first. The problem being that the vast majority of sites out there are either very pro-get-every-vaccine-exactly-on-schedule or very-don't-trust-any-vaccine-and/or-the-schedule. Which means they're all spinning the numbers one way or another. So I went to the source.

I now pull all of my stats from the CDC, FDA, and WHO sites. I read manufacturers inserts. When I can I read the policies for those vaccines for other 1st world countries. If there is a difference in recommendation, I try to find out why.

I will tell you that some of this information is VERY hard to find. Which is VERY frustrating to me. I get even more flustered when I can find a stat on one vaccine then can't find it on another. It happens. I'm irritated that the wording is different from one to another. For example, sometimes "death" is lumped in with all serious complications. Other times it is its own entry. These inconsistencies and lack of transparency are perhaps the largest red flags to me.

The end result: we do get the majority of vaccines, and on schedule. We skip a few when the data to support it just isn't there.

I am not an "anti-vaxxer". I am not a "pro-vaxxer". I am a question everything kind of person. I am the kind of person who wants to see for herself. I encourage everyone, no matter what side of the issue you are on, is (if you haven't already) to do your own research. Don't be a sheeple (I love that term).

I'm not going to put our decision regarding specific vaccines on this post (although I think for Jena it's been mentioned before). For a long time I've wanted to publish the numbers and information as I pull them for each individual vaccine, so I'm going to make a concerted effort to do so in the future, lay the numbers out for you, and hopefully help my readers make a more informed decision regarding the care of their families, no matter what they decide.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Socialization? Really?

** disclaimer: while we decided that we felt homeschooling was the right decision for our family at this time, I truly believe that there is no one "right" answer for educating your children, and each family must decide for themselves which route is best for their children, be it public school, private school, or homeschooling. They are all equally valid options **

I was recently approached by someone close to me regarding the fact that we are homeschooling Jena. They were asking how she was doing, what was she learning, did she like it. They seemed genuinely impressed at what she was learning, and shocked that she liked "school".


Because all four children in their family, ranging from Kindergarten thru 4th grade, all attending public school, ALL of them hate going to school. Dread it. Can't stand it. Hate school.

They find it odd, they said. Usually you hear of one kid hating school. Or one kid loving school. And most kids somewhere in between. But all four of them HATE it, and they're looking for answers, so they decided to question me about homeschooling.

So, by his own admission, all four of the children in his family absolutely HATE school. I think we can all agree that if you dislike something that much, you probably aren't doing your best work or reaching your full potential either.

In his frustration with their current school situation, he chooses to approach me to ask questions about homeschool. Seems impressed with what she is learning and how she is doing, and especially with the fact that she LIKES school and learning.

So of course let's argue that my daughter's not getting properly socialized {{ head desk }}

He brought it up gently, as if he were genuinely concerned for Jena. I pointed out all the different activities Jena was currently participating in with her peers:

- Sunday School (coed, all 1st graders, includes children of several different racial / ethnic backgrounds)
- Girl Scouts (all girls, K thru 3rd grade, includes girls of several different racial / ethnic backgrounds)
- play group (coed, age 5 thru 10 [with younger siblings in tow], includes children of several different racial / ethnic backgrounds)
- gym class (coed, age 5 thru 10, includes children with autism, sensory issues, etc)
- science class (coed, age 5 thru 10)

While there is some crossover, each group is a different set of kids with which Jena is building relationships.

He told me that was all well & good, but it's no the same as spending all day every day with the same friends who are all these same age as you.

{{blink, blink, blink}}

He's right. Attending five different activities with five different sets of kids, building friendships with kids in a wider age range is not the same as spending six hours a day, five days a week with the exact same kids, who are all in the same grade, approximately the same age.

I attended public school. While we didn't choose it for Jena at this time, we do still believe it is a viable option. But do not preach to me about how it is a great way to socialize your kids.

Besides, I personally am not making education decisions for my children based on their social life. There are plenty of other opportunities for them to make friends and socialize. I don't have to compromise their education to do so.

Your kids hate school. They aren't doing as well as they could because of it. You're impressed with what my homeschooled child is doing academically. And the ONLY argument you can come up with against it is socialization? Really? Sit down.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Today has been hard

I was first awakened at 3:30am.

My husband woke me to kiss me goodbye at 6am as he headed off to work.

At 6:45am my youngest decided it was time to get up for breakfast. My oldest awoke at 7:15am.

By 7:30am the baby was going back down for a nap. Exhausted, I crawled back into bed, only for my other charge to interrupt my attempts at sleep roughly every 5 - 10 minutes with random requests for random stuff.

Baby woke up at 8:30am. Screaming. Not falling back to sleep. She's up.

So far today I have had baby food sneezed on me, I have had snot rubbed on my shoulder. I have stepped in spaghetti sauce and baby food and am not sure how either ended up on the floor.

I have listened to an infant cry and sob and scream for the better part of three hours no matter what I did. Is she getting sick? Is she teething? Growth spurt? All three? Who knows. All I know is she's miserable.

I have told my older daughter 'no' what seems like 50 times already today, because I have to meet the demands of the tiniest in the house, and I wish there were some way to express to her how much I hate telling her 'no' so much. I wish she knew that I hate it almost as much as she does and I would love to do everything she asks. But I can't.

I have cried. I have yelled. I haven't laughed. Not many smiles today.

Today has been hard.

I strapped the baby in the high chair long enough to microwave the 6 year old some lunch and put together some baby food and a bottle for the little one.

I managed to scarf down my own microwaved meal when I finally got the baby to bed over an hour later, after she'd been awake for nearly five hours of crying.

Yesterday I spent the day trying to attend to the issues my oldest has been having lately. It's been rough around here the past few months. Really rough. So I dedicated all of yesterday to her. All of it.

I haven't showered in over 48 hours. Haven't done laundry or dishes or any other household chores in two days. And it shows. Terribly. I just used our last clean bottle. I've re-used our last clean baby spoon. So it's not really clean any more. We haven't even had time to do homeschool in two days. Thank goodness she's ahead in the curriculum. Buys us some leeway.

Today has been hard. And it's just past lunch time.

I am tired. On the verge of tears. Today has been hard.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Here I am!

I'm here! I swear!

I have missed blogging and my blog-friends so much! If you've read me for long you may remember that I used to blog during my lunch break. Well, since leaving that job and becoming a SAHM, I've had a hard time finding a good place for it in my schedule. It seemed that there was always something more important I could (or should) be doing: more housework, more child care, more errands, more, more, more.

But blogging is something I really love and after talking it over with my lovely husband we both agreed that for Pete's sake I can put aside one hour a week for blogging! One hour was my idea. I just thought that I can do something for myself for one hour just once a week and not feel guilty about it, right?

So, as of the new year, I'm back. My plan is to write as much as I can during my one hour weekly session as possible, and schedule out the posts to keep my blog flowing nicely. To start I imagine they will be well-spaced out, but I hope as I get back into the swing of things I'll be back to a daily post in no time.

I'm also planning on using some of that hour to get back to reading some of your lovely blogs that I have neglected during this time as well. I have missed you and I have wondered about you and what was going on and how you were doing. Hopefully all is well with everyone.

If you'd like me to check your blog out, feel free to leave a link in the comments.

I'm so happy to be back and I look forward to both sharing with you and reading what you've shared! Till next time!
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