Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - vol 68

Thank you Joyce for hosting Wednesday Hodgepodge.
If you'd like to join in the fun, visit Joyce at her Blog .

1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?
It is my best friends birthday. I am taking her out to dinner.

2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?
Hmmm, perhaps when I went from acrylic nails to gel? Seriously though, I think parenting my boys.  They are teenagers and I have to trust that they will make the right decisions.

3. We're one week into the season of Lent...are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How's it going so far?
Giving up housework, laundry, ironing, cooking, changing kitty litter (ok, maybe not the kitty litter).

4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?
A few nights ago if a gas wood stove counts.

5. Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?
Well, I am allergic to seafood and I don't like streak.  So I order pasta!

6. If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?
First one that comes to mind is Cheers. 

7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?
I seriously think I am over stressed so my mind feels like I am having memory loss, but it's really brain overload.  I hate to admit it, but right now my memory is a gnat!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Speaking of gnats... I think the saying goes "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory".

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Zachary

Today 17 years ago, 5:30am my son Zachary Christian was born. 7lbs 20".
 He had dark hair and blue eyes. 
 He was perfect!  

When Zachary was young he liked baseball.  At 11 months he began walking around with a toy bat and ball constantly in his hands. He began playing T-Ball at the age of 4, and played baseball until he was in 7th grade.  His favorite position was shortstop, 2nd base and pitcher.  He was a good player and I was devastated when he decided to stop playing.
In 5th grade Zachary began playing basketball.  He played well but decided to stop playing in 8th grade.  We have a basketball net in our driveway and he plays every day, even when it rains.  Only snow storms stop him from playing.

In 9th grade Zachary tried Lacrosse and Golf.   He only played one season of lacrosse but has continued golf.  Zachary is a good athlete and does well with whatever sport he plays. 

I am very proud of my son for trying different sports.
I am proud of my son for the confidence he shows in himself.
I am proud of my son!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday In My City - Hockey sister

Thank you Unknownmami for hosting Sundays In My City.  Take a peek through her window (and others) to join in sharing the view of your world.

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This is Zoey. She was my first child from my in home child care. Her older brother plays hockey with my son. Zoey is five now and attending Kindergarten.

Her shirt says "I have no life. My brother plays hockey."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Before Bipolar

I was cleaning out my closet and found some old journals. These particular entries show my mental state before I was diagnosed with Bipolar. I am amazed how I described bipolar as "it" without even knowing what it was. The pictures show my rage and depression. I now know that controlling my life and things around me were my way of trying to control the bipolar. I am grateful to the doctor who properly diagnosed me. He saved me!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

When is nudity artful? - For adult eyes only!

When is nudity artful? 
I blurred out a portion of this picture to keep it less offensive.
My husband has been taking photography classes and went on a photo shoot with a nude model.  The photo above is a sample of the pictures he took.  I viewed all the photos he had taken.  Some I thought showed too much and others (where certain body features were covered up) I found tastefully done. 

I got a lot of comments from other women like "Doesn't it bother you that he takes nude photos?
Truthfully, at first it did.  After I saw that the pictures were not pornographic, I felt more comfortable with it. I know he is going to the photo shoots for artistic reasons. 

What are your thoughts about nude photos being taken?
I'd like to hear your opinion.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge-Volume 67

Thank you Joyce for Hosting Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Click HERE to read Joyce's page and others who joined in the fun!

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day...what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?
Humility is not something that comes naturally to most, especially in today's busy competitive society.  People trying to get ahead or make themselves look good is not a humble person.  A humble person is generally quiet, meek and typically not self serving.  This is a good set of attributes but is the opposite of the way most people are living their lives.  
  • Do you take an opportunity to claim credit for things that you are involved in?
  • Do you like to be right and to prove what you know?
  • Maybe you think your job role is more important than the next person or that you are smarter?
  • Are you capable of handling things on your own without help from others?
  • Do you ever brag about things you do or can do?
If you answered YES to ANY of these questions maybe you are not as humble as you think.
There is a difference between being proud of an accomplishment vs. being arrogant or bragging about it.  I think there are many things you can be a proud of and still be humble.  Such as a proud
  • parent of a child.
  • owner of a new car.
  • person who stood up for themselves.
I am personally proud of my children and proud that I stood up for myself against an abusive step-father.

2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?
Believe it or not, I am so OCD about everything having it's proper place and don't have a dumping ground.  My boys try to leave things lay around and I make them put things away where they belong.  My garage isn't as organized as I would like but everything in it does belong in a garage.

3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What's your favorite?
Our family used to own a pop-up camper and would take many vacation trips.  We have taken many different trips but I think the only State Park we've been to is French Creek, which is in our area.  

4. How would you define honor?
My grandfather was a man who deserved to be held in honor.  He served in the Navy during WWII and was stationed on an island near Iwo Jima.   It was an honor to be his granddaughter.  In my eyes he has earned a position of honor and high esteem.  At his memorial service I was able to speak in honor of his life.

5. Angel's food or Devil's food-which cake do you prefer?
Angel food cake when I am feeling sweet and Devil's food cake when I am feeling ornery.

6. What's the most recent road trip you've taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?
Last summers vacation to Naggs Head, NC.  It took us about 11 hours to get there.  If we drove straight through it would take 8 hours.  I like to stop at a few place.  It was nice to stop for lunch and stretch our legs.  Also dinner in a sit down restaurant to get our of the car for awhile is nice too.  Car snacks tend to be pretzels, bananas, crackers, granola bars, water bottles, diet pepsi (for me).

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?
WAIT... the lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips and a banana. And the inspector deemed it UNHEALTY?  And replaced it with Chicken Nuggets????  Really????  
If I was the parents I would raise holy hell! Who is he to deem what is right for that child?  Is there a law stating an inspector can replace a lunch? Isn't he there just to inspect? My blood is boiling just thinking of the audacity of that man!  If the inspector deemed the lunch unhealthy, why didn't he write a letter to the parents?A letter seems reasonable instead of replacing the lunch with something I deem unhealthy!!!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
BIG NEWS: William and Kate got a Cocker Spaniel.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Corbie Dale update

We have had Corbie for almost 3 months.  She has gained some weight and looks very healthy now.  
She loves to chase little mouse toys across the bathroom floor. Whenever I go into the bathroom I have to fix the rugs because Corbie likes to slide into them.  
She likes to sleep on the ottoman in our living room.
She is such a curious kitty. Always climbing on my lap to see what I am doing.
And she loves to chew on the yarn when I am crocheting.  
Isn't she adorable!

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day Tournament


My car pooped

I was traveling the country roads to my friends house late one night.  It is roads I have travelled many times, and yet I made a wrong turn.  I ended up on a dirt and gravel road.  No houses, no lights, no driveways.... only darkness.
I turned around as best I could on the narrow road and only scraped the bushes.  Or so I thought.

I continued on and picked up my friend, Heather. We went shopping and had a great time.  On our way back to the car Heather noticed my tail pipe was clogged with dirt.
We dug into our purses looking for something to get the dirt out with.  All we could find was a pen.
Heather began digging out the dirt.  It must have gone back at least 6 inches.
Finally the dirt all came out....
and it looked like my car had pooped!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Bipolar kinda day

Living with Bipolar can be a daily struggle.  You don't know when you wake up if you will be happy, sad, manic or depressed.

For so long I was dealing with a Roller coaster depression.  I would "crash" into depression, then up into doing fine for a while, then "crash" again — sometimes for a reason, but often for no clear reason at all.  Depression really sucks!  

Photo Credit

Not only did I have depression, but I also had rage.  The doctors delicately called it "irritable episodes".  I'd go through phases in which even I can recognize that my anger is completely out of proportion to the circumstance that started it. I "blow up" over something trivial. I typically experience this as part of "PMS".   That time of the month is bad enough, but to have bipolar exasperate your mood swings… oh baby look out!!!
Photo Credit

At first I respond fairly well to antidepressant medication, but after a while the medications seem to "stop working". The benefits usually last several weeks, often months, and occasionally even years before this occurs.  I always felt "better" but not quite "right".  I've tried many different antidepressants for about 15 years.  

Here's a check list of items I found regarding bipolar disorder.  My answers are in red.
  1. The patient has had repeated episodes of major depression.    YES!
  2. The first episode of major depression occurred before age 25.  It was around 26 when my depression began, after the birth of my second son.
  3. first-degree relative (mother/father, brother/sister, daughter/son) has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  I've seen symptoms in family members, but no one has "officially" been diagnosed except myself.
  4. When not depressed, mood and energy are a bit higher than average, all the time ("hyperthymic personality").  I had mania episodes as a teen / young adult.  But continued to have other "hyperthymic" symptoms: such as impulsive behavior, spending sprees, inappropriate behavior, etc.  Friends would refer to me as "the life of the party".
  5. When depressed, symptoms are "atypical":  extremely low energy and activity; excessive sleep (e.g. more than 10 hours a day); mood is highly reactive to the actions and reactions of others; and (the weakest such sign) appetite is more likely to be increased than decreased.  Some experts think that carbohydrate craving and night eating are variants of this appetite effect.   Right on the money!
  6. Episodes of major depression are brief, e.g. less than 3 months.  With antidepressants, yes.
  7. The patient has had psychosis (loss of contact with reality) during an episode of depression.  Thank God I haven't dealt with this!
  8. The patient has had severe depression after giving birth to a child ("postpartum depression"). Yes.
  9. The patient has had hypomania or mania while taking an antidepressant.  I was the opposite; severe irritability to uncontrolable rage without antidepressants. 
  10. The patient has had loss of response to an antidepressant (sometimes called "Prozac Poop-out"):  it worked well for a while then the depression symptoms came back, usually within a few months.   oh yeah!!!!
  11. Three or more antidepressants have been tried, and none worked.  5 that I can at least remember.

Photo Credit

For more than 15 years, mania and depression were tearing me and my family apart.  My husband would tell me to "shake it off" or "just get up and do something".  It isn't that simple.  Your mind feels cloudy, your body feels heavy, your will is non-exsistent.  It is hard to describe to someone who has not personally dealt with it.

Photo Credit

I finally found a doctor who put me on the right medication. Lamotrigine seems to have changed my moods.  I notice a MAJOR difference. Those around me notice as well.  My family is no longer "walking on eggshells".  I have had no side affects.  This medication has saved my life.  

Photo Credit

I wanted to write this post not to have you feel sorry for me, but for Bipolar awareness.  If you have a loved one who has Bipolar:
  • Learn as much as you can about Bipolar.
  • Listen to what your loved on has to say.
    • Just because someone has bipolar doesn't mean his/her point of view isn't valid.
  • Ask how you can help.
    • Everyday things can be overwhelming to people with bipolar.
  • Encourage treatment.
    • It's key that your loved one stay on his/her medication and gets regular checkups.
  • Do thing together.
    • People who are depressed often pull away from the world.
    • Take a walk, go out to dinner.
    • If he or she resists, don't force the issue. Instead, just ask gently a few days later.
  • Express your own concerns.
    • Your loved one's behavior can have a huge effect on you.  You have the right to talk about it.
    • Do not blame the other person. Don't list all of his/her mistakes.
    • Focus on how the behaviors make you feels.
  • Accept your limits.
    • You cannot single-handedly make your loved on better.
    • You do not have to bear the burden on your own.
    • Take care of yourself.  If you push yourself too far, you will burn out.
  •  Caregiver website.

If you made it this far, many thanks!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

I wish all my friends, family and blogger buddies much love on this Valentine's Day.  I wouldn't be who I am without your love and support.  XO

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kissing Angels

Little Miss and Bubba are two of the children I have in my day care.  
 I have had them since they were both 6 months old.
 Two of my angels.
Happy Valentine's Day!

To see more of the Valentine's Day Party at Aunt Tami's House click HERE.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Fragments

It finally snowed!  Not that much, but enough to make the dogs happy.  My friend Ina from Alaska has gotten inundated with snow this year. Check out her blog here to read all about it.

 Brandon got up in time for school and didn't miss the bus.

I finally got my cars side mirror fixed. Brandon cracked it when he shot a puck. Kinda missed the net.  Instead of getting mad, I just said "You have to work on aiming the puck on the net."

I am getting ready for the Valentines Day party I am having for the wee ones in my day care.  Click on the tab above "Aunt Tami's House" and you can see pictures.

My husband has been working long hours, and I miss him.

Zachary has been struggling with his grades. We took him to a doctor and he was diagnosed with ADD. He has been on a small dose of medication and so far it has worked wonders.  Yesterday I got an email from his teacher - Zach got a 100% on a science quiz!

Ahren has been working for my x-step-father.  It bothers me a lot that my son has contact with that JERK!  In case you don't know the story behind that click here.

I just ordered a really cool bag from Preppy Player.  Check out her blog if you are interested in one. She has plenty to choose from.

For more Friday Fragments visit Half-Past Kissing Time.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

He is SO grounded!

Brandon has been giving us an extremely hard time this year.  He was always a good student with minor issues we had to address with him.  Now he is a freshman in high school and the hormones must be kicking in.  He hasn't taken his grades seriously. His behavior towards teachers has been UNACCEPTABLE!  He shows them a lack of respect.  He even told one teacher to "Chill Out"!  OH YES, he did!   Another teacher gave him detention and he didn't show up for it.  He has been late to school NINE times because he has missed the bus.

Last week he missed the bus and I took away phone, computer and xbox. He still had TV.  Obviously it didn't work because one week later he missed the bus again.  This time I took away phone, computer, xbox and TV.

He is also going to be benched at this weekends hockey games.   I spoke to two of the coaches and they are on board with my decision.  I was glad to have them agree. Brandon is one of the better defensemen on his High School team and I thought he may not like the idea about benching him.  One coach said "working hard off the ice is just as important as working hard on the ice" and is going to talk to Brandon in school today.

Being benched is going to hurt him the worst. He loves hockey!  I am hoping he gets the point and straightens out!

Last night he tried bribing me to get his phone back.

 He is totally bored!