Today I celebrate life, but my heart is heavy.

Today is my youngest son’s birthday. I rejoice in this day. I go out of my way every year to make my kids feel extra special on their birthdays. No matter how much money we have, what is stressing me, or what is going on in our lives. I decorate our table with party ware, hang birthday banners, either cook their favorite breakfast or surprise them with donuts. I give them a couple of gifts and sing Happy Birthday. Every year. It isn’t much but they love it.

I love their innocence. I want to keep that magic alive for them as long as possible.

We had had a rough couple of birthdays for this little guy. Money has been tight in years past, dad was working out of state, Pop Pop died the week prior. Even through these difficult times I put on a happy face and wrap him up in all my love.

That blind innocence gets harder to keep alive each year. At school not too long ago, they had a gun safety course. One day this month they have drill for what to do if there is a shooting at their school. My sweet little innocent (now) seven year old came home asking if we have guns in the house and what he should do if he found one. It broke my heart that he has that on his mind and heart. In light of recent events, I am even more sad.

It breaks my heart that my kids are growing up in a world where we have to have safety drills for a school shooter. Or a  world where we have to worry about little kids getting the family gun, bringing it to school, and accidentally shooting a classmate. We live in a world where people stalk mothers in parking lots and grocery stores trying to steal their children away to sell them to the highest bidder. A world where people go to night clubs, festivals, and concerts and open fire or set off bombs on people just trying to have a good time. Our world has gone to hell in a handbasket.

This world is the one my children are growing up in. I fear for them every single day. Each birthday signifies one step closer to when they are thrust out into this big bad world all on their own.

For now though, there is nothing I can do but love them and hold them a little longer, hug them a little tighter. Most of all, I can appreciate the moments I have with them.

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Stress and my depression..

Stress is a trigger for me. When I stress out my depression symptoms come out. I am always stressed. I do not handle stress very well either.

It is super stressful being a mom. Whether we work away from home or stay home. It is hard. I stay at home. While all four of mine are in school this year I have still found it hard. This back to school season has had it’s added stressor for me. I had surgery right as the kids started school. I was basically out of commission for almost a month and dependent on my mother and husband. Our routines were shot. I was sleeping even less than usual. I missed a major milestone with my youngest.

Add to that we had the threat of hurricane Harvey upon us. We were stuck inside for almost a week with worries of whether or not we would feel it’s wrath.

So, on top of my usual stay at home mom and wife stress I had all of that added in. May I remind you, stress and I don’t get along well. When I am stressed, I freak out over every little thing. My perfectionism comes out. My anger issues abound. I get snappy and stay cranky. I have trouble sleeping. I get sad. I sometimes start to feel hopeless. I feel like an utter failure. Try as I might to not, I end up taking some of my stress out on the kids. I yell. I fuss more. I snap whenever they do anything “wrong”. It isn’t fair to them. I know it isn’t their faults but I can’t help it. I react before I have a chance to think, because I am just so tired from constantly being stressed out and stuck inside my head.

My depression tells me what a failure I am at everything. It can’t let go of the fact I am not perfect. It constantly badgers me for not having the house spotless. It makes me feel guilty for needing to rest. It tells me I am worthless. It tells me I am a horrible mother and my kids deserve so much better than what they received. It tells me my husband deserves a better wife. One who isn’t crazy. A wife who can keep the house spotless and care for the children and have a four course meal prepared every night. My depression tells me I am a crappy friend and a bad daughter.

Some days it takes everything I have just to get out if my bed. I can feel the stress and despair and all these random emotions deep in my bones. It feels like they could break at any given moment from all the weight that is on my body. Everything feels heavy. So heavy.

I haven’t fallen back into that darkness lately but it is a scary place I have been before. I use everything I have to not get to that place. Some days are harder than others. When the stress and the weight of everything seems like too much.

I am lucky. My husband has started picking up on the cues. He sees the toll the stress of life has taken on me. He has started to notice when my outbursts become more frequent. He is able to recognize when everything is too much and I internalize yet again. While I hate his pestering in the moment I am thankful he is here to help pull me away from that dark place. I don’t appreciate him enough.

The last week I was thrown back into taking care of my family on my own again since my surgery. I haven’t handled that transition with the grace i intended to. The stress of doing everything on my own again got the better of me. The past couple of days have been a little rough. I have been snappy and cranky.

Today started out pretty well though. My goal for today is to do better than yesterday. As is my goal for every day.

Surgery, an Eclipse, and Hurricanes… Oh my!

August turned out to be an eventful month for us. The kids went back to school, I ended up in the hospital, we survived the Eclipse without going blind, and rode out the hurricane in our house.

Back to school for the big boys went off without a hitch. We got them dropped off for the first day with no tears. The day was off to a great start. My mom, baby girl, and I decided to hang out together until it was time for the boys to get out of school. Well, my body had other plans. I got incredibly sick and was in so much pain, I ended up in the hospital. Four hours in the emergency room, I finally received pain meds and a diagnosis. It was my gallbladder. It wasn’t doing so well and was making some of my other organs not fair so well either. I ended up with an infected gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. Also, my gallbladder was full of stones. So my four hours in the ER turned into four days in the hospital. We had to get the infections under control before I could have my surgery to remove the gallbladder. My surgery day ended up on the day my sweet girl started Pre-K!

Thursday came and I was still in the hospital waiting to have my surgery so my mom got to be the one to get Princess Diva ready for her very first day of school. She got to bring her into her first classroom, to leave her with her first teacher, and her first school classroom of new little friends. I am still sad I missed out but we got lots of pictures to document the day. Miss Princess Diva rocked her first day of school too! She had a fabulous day and didn’t cry at all. She has had awesome days since, as well.

I came home that Friday and the kids were great with me. They all understood I was hurting and to take it easy. That Monday we had the eclipse. Which was pretty uneventful for us because we didn’t really get to see much of it from my spot in the world. So we survived the eclipse unscathed to have another threat lurking.

Ole Hurricane Harvey was beckoning. We spent a week unsure of where he was headed and trying to figure out what we should do. It is very stressful during Hurricane season especially when there is possibility of them making landfall near your home. It is basically a waiting game until right when it hits because they are so unpredictable. The kids ended up being out of school for three days and we were stuck inside for the duration. Luckily, we survived the Hurricane unscathed as well. Surrounding areas received some damage but my little spot only had some tree limbs fall.

Suffice it to say, I am so glad August is done. I know the weather threats aren’t finished just yet but hopefully we make it through without anymore this season.

In the mean time, I am enjoying the cool front headed in and the cooler, more Fall like weather it brings, as we return to normalcy after an eventful month.

Today is my birthday..just so you know.

Today is my day. The day I celebrate my age advancement. The day I celebrate myself. The day I celebrate when I graced the world with my presence.

I have always loved my birthday. It was the one day absolutely everything was about me. I loved that as a child. I loved the attention and of course cake and presents. Even as a young adult I still loved my day. It was my second favorite day if the entire year, only second to Christmas.

That is until I became a mom. My oldest was born just a little over a month before my birthday and I have never celebrated the same since. I also don’t love that I am getting older. The birthdays still in my twenties were a little more exciting than the ones that began my thirties. In my twenties, my friends and I still got together and went out. The last few years we haven’t.

I also spent a good part of the last few years depressed around my birthday. It has most likely been a mixture of feeling my age and all the stress of having young children. The stress itself keeps me on the borderline of having my depression rear it’s ugly head. I have also felt burnt out the past few years. I have been stuck in a rut and bored with the monotony of raising babies. I have spent nearly half my life as a mother. I began to lose myself in all this and in turn began to hate anything that reminded me of yesteryear. My birthday, a day to celebrate me, a day I once looked forward to six months out of the year, had become a day of sadness and despair.

I decided at the beginning of this year to be better. I want to be happier. I want to have more good days. I want to look on the bright side of things instead of living in that comfortable darkness I have called home for so long. I decided to embrace getting older and everything it means. Therfore, Isis have actually been excited about this year’s birthday. I didn’t have anything big planned but I knew I didn’t want to sulk about it this year. I guess my brighter self through this year has been noticeable. My best friend surprised me with a movie night for my birthday and my kids threw me a party. Well, the party was just us at home and they used things around the house to decorate but the thought really touched my heart. They were so excited about it and that I didn’t downplay my birthday this year like I have previously.  I let them celebrate me and be happy about it.

And It has been a good day. He had a slight bump in the morning where things were looking rough but I tried my best to work calmly through it and not let it get to me and ruin my day. Normally, those bumps can throw off my entire day. Try as I might I can’t always pull myself up and out of that downward spiral. I’m glad today stayed as a good day.

So, Happy Birthday to me! The thirties aren’t as bad as they seem. Even though I am a third of the way to forty now.

 

He tried a food!

This is so huge!
SO STINKING HUGE!

Mr. K has had food aversion since he was a toddler. He has never been very willing to try much new stuff that didn’t fit directly into the bread or chicken nugget group. He has added and lost a few things he will eat over the years and cycled back on a couple, but for the most part, he only has three foods he eats regularly. Biscuits. Cinnamon rolls. Tyson dinosaur chicken nuggets.

This kid who has only had a handful of foods he could even look at, who gags at the smell of most everything, and who can hardly even sit at the same table with these different foods tried rice and gravy! 

He sat down with the plate in front of him and stared. He picked up a morsel of rice and placed it on his tongue. I told him not to overthink it because he would just psyche himself out. He took a bite and quickly spit it back out. He took another bite and actually chewed before spitting it back out. He took a third bite and, again, chewed before spitting it back out. I know he wanted to like it. He tried so hard, he just couldn’t bring himself to. Still, he tried one of the foods he hasn’t eaten since he was a year old. He tried, and that is what matters.

It took everything in me not to cry while watching him take this huge step. I am so incredibly proud of this little man. He has made claims that he would like to start trying new things. He did attempt to take a bite of a banana not too long ago. It went a bit worse than this.

Looks like he and I need to take a trip to the store to let him look and feel different things and see what he wants to try next!

Almost time to say goodbye to Summer…

We have actually had a relatively great summer together, the kids and I. Sure, they have fought and drove me crazy. I have lost my cool. There has been some yelling and crying. By me and the kids. But we survived.

I can tell it is the ending of summer vacation though. Everyone is stir crazy and tired of each other. The anxiety levels are up. We are all becoming short tempered with each other. We need a break from our summer break.

It is hard when you are mostly stuck inside with each other all day. It has been way too hot to really do much outside for long periods of time. We don’t have a pool or a good water hose to do any water play. The parks around here aren’t very shady. Our little city doesn’t offer much entertainment wise for families either. Normally they would have spent a good bit of the summer at their grandma’s house but she has a houseguest that is keeping the kids from being able to go over. They didn’t get to go swimming at their other grandma’s apartment complex because that pool has been broken all summer.

We did get that little prehistoric adventure and had a couple birthday parties sprinkled in over the last couple months. Overall though, it has been a slow, boring summer.

I wish there were more kids in our neighborhood and that neighbors were all friendly with each other out here. When I was growing up I knew and played with everyone down my street. I was surrounded my family and cousins though. Built in friends there. I feel bad we don’t know any of our neighbors down the road. Even so, Only one has any school age children. At least the bus only stops at one other house down the road besides out next door neighbor.

So they have me and they have each other. That is about it. So together we have been. Inside playing games and watching way too much television.

At least when school starts again they will get to see different faces every day.