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!

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.

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!

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!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chocolate Surprise!

There is nothing better than Chocolate from Germany.  It is SOOO much better than any chocolate from America.  I am fortunate enough to have a very, very kind and generous friend who lives in Germany.  She mailed me a box of yummy chocolate!
Heart shaped Milk Chocolate

Say it with Chocolate

I could smell it's chocolate scent before I even tasted it.

OMG! I have died and went to heaven!!!

Thank you Linda for spoiling me! You are the BEST!

If you want to check out Linda's blog click here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Party

It has become a tradition to host a super bowl party at our house.  
Todd starts the party off by having a pre-game poker party.  
Zachary beat seven men and won $90.00! 
I tend to over do it with the food because I am always afraid I wont have enough.  I had so many left overs. This is my left-over spread!
We topped off the evening with a Super Bowl theme cake from Costco.
I'm neither a Giants nor Patriots fan. So I didn't care who won. 
I enjoyed the Madonna 1/2 time show and some of the commercials.

I hope those who watched enjoyed the game!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hacienda Michoacana

A new Mexican Restaurant opened in my neck of the woods. My family and two other couples decided to try it last night.  There are few mexican restaurants in the area so this one was packed with new patrons.   The atmosphere was wonderful, bright colors, festive music, very courteous staff and GREAT food!

We will definitely be coming back to this restaurant!!