Sunday, June 29, 2014

Starting Over

I need to start blogging again.

It's been a rough year.  I have had major clinical depression most of my life, but it has been under control with medication.  The depression gradually, insidiously started taking control of my life again about seven months ago.  It actually got to the point where DH and my mom took me to the ER for fear that I would harm myself.  Yeah, it was bad.  As always, I could function really well at work (I'm teaching at a preschool now), but at home, all I wanted to do was sleep.  Sleep was my escape.  And I wanted to escape pretty much whenever I was not teaching. 

So I started therapy again.  And got a psychiatrist to adjust my meds - he actually added another one to what I was already taking.  In case I ever questioned if depression is a chemical thing, I do not questions it any more.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy was new to me, but it definitely helped.  However the biggest thing that helped was that new medication.  Within a few days of starting it, the weight began lifting off my shoulders.

Know this song?  "I can see clearly now the rain is gone . . ."  That's what it feels like. 

I can function again.
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back on the Menu Planning Train


Meatless Monday: Tilapia Baked in Couscous served with brocolli 

Tilapia Baked in Couscous

Tuesday: Beef Stir Fry with onions and string beans
The beef was already cooked and frozen in some kind of sauce (I forget what kind), so I'll just be cooking up the veggies and adding the defrosted beef.  I'll be sure to set some of the beef (with the mystery sauce washed off) and string beans aside for Twin A, who does not like sauces or food that is mixed up.

Wednesday: Tuna Noodle Casserole
Easy Peasy!  Make boxed mac and cheese, stir in tuna and peas. 

Thursday: London Broil served with rice and sugar snap pea

Friday:  Shabbat dinner at my parents

Saturday: Mish Mash Leftoverpalooza

Sunday: Dinner at my in-laws'
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Friday, March 08, 2013


I think I am ready to admit it now:  I'm an addict.

And if I knew of a twelve-step program that could help me, I would willingly seek out the next available meeting.

I'm addicted to sleep.

I'm not saying this to be funny, or to commiserate with other tired moms out there.  I know all of us would love to take a nap, or are tired from being woken up during the night one too many times.  But once I started thinking about my need for sleep like an addiction, it really fits.

To test my theory, I copied, pasted, and edited the ten warning signs of alcoholism:

Do you ever sleep after telling yourself you won't?
All the time.  I always start the day with the best of intentions, telling myself I won't lay down to take a nap, but sooner or later I do.

Does your sleeping worry your family?
Oh yeah!
Do you sleep when you feel angry or sad?
Sleeping is my main form of escape.  If I'm angry, but especially if I'm sad, I curl up under the covers and go to sleep.
Have you ever felt you should cut down on your sleeping?
Every day that I am home from work or it's the weekend and I have the opportunity to sleep, I do.  I feel I should cut down on my sleeping every day.
Do you get headaches or have hang-overs after sleeping?
Not really.  Finally, one question I can say no to!  Though I do often wake up with my kidneys hurting so much because I was too tired to get out of bed and pee.
Does your sleeping ever make you late for work?
Yes.  I can convince myself of anything in order to hit the snooze alarm or reset the alarm so I can sleep just a little bit more. 
Have people annoyed you by criticizing your sleeping?
Some of the biggest fights DH and I have had are about my sleeping.
Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your sleeping?
Every day.

Do you ever forget what you did while you were sleeping?
Obviously not.  Woohoo, another question I can say no to.  That makes two!  However I do almost always forget about everything I have planned when trying to get more sleep. And I do forget everything that I promise the kids or DH in order to be able to sleep for five more minutes. 
Have you ever gone to sleep first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover? Not to "steady (my) nerves or get rid of a hangover" but I often go back to sleep first thing in the morning.  Sometimes I wake up, stretch, and then just go back to sleep, and sometimes I get myself a bowl of cereal first before I go back to sleep.

There.  I've answered every question.  And I return to the original website to check out what my responses mean with a feeling of dread, and my fears are confirmed when I read, "If you answer even one of these questions with a 'yes,' you may be an alcoholic."  Or, in my case, a sleep addict.

And just like a food addict who struggles because food is one of those things you can't live without, I can't go cold turkey to break my addiction to sleep.  But sheer will power is not cutting it.

I don't know what to do about this.  I thought when I got diagnosed with Narcolepsy so many years ago I would be able to stay awake and alert for longer periods of time, but it's just not happening.  But I do know that admitting the problem is the first step in solving it, so that's what I'm doing:

I am Miss Mommy, and I am addicted to sleep.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Life is Crazy - What Else is New?

I can't believe it's December already and I haven't written since September.  Bad Blogger, bad, bad, bad.  I am hanging my head in shame.

And . . .now it's Hanukkah. (Okay, okay, when I started writing this post, it really WAS still Chanuka.  I'm keeping the original language for the integrity of the piece.  Yeah, the integrity, man!)

Happy Hanukkah!
Money has been extremely tight (that's a post or two for another time), so we had to be very creative this year for gifts.  Here is my take on having an extremely frugal Hanukkah:

We have a fairly strange Hanukah tradition that has developed over time.  One night of Hanukka the kids will each get a new pair of pajamas.  This year I found each of them a pair for under $5 at one of the local Goodwill stores - SCORE!  Our tradition is that whichever night the kids get their new pair of pajamas they rush upstairs to put them on while I make hot chocolate for all of us.  As soon as they are changed we all hop in the car to go look at Christmas lights.  Yes, I told you it was a strange Hannukkah tradition, but it works for us!

The second night of Hanukkah fell on a Sunday this year.  Most Sundays we go to my in-laws for dinner, and this Sunday was no different, which meant we celebrated Chanukkah in front of their Christmas tree.  My ILs got around our plea to cut down on the number of gifts they shower on the kids for Christmas by getting them each a present for Chanukah, which means we do NOT need to buy them a present for the night.  Win!

Since DH and I are both teachers, we have another tradition that one night of Hanukah the gift will always be a new book for each child.  This year DH bought the books at his school's book fair, which meant not only were the prices discounted, the profits of the fair went to his school's library.  Win/win!

On the fourth night of Hanukkah (anyone else hearing the music of the "Twelve Nights of Christmas" in their head?) we gave the kids make your own sundaes.  We wrapped up a different topping for each child to unwrap and then pulled out the ice cream, whipped cream, bowls, and spoons.

On the fifth night of Chanukkah (" true love gave to me...") we gave the kids a gift I made myself (I'm so crafty, I know.)  This year, with me subbing most days, I knew there would be days that the kids would get home five to ten minutes before either DH or I got home.  In September we gave the kids house keys.  For Hanukkah I made them personalized key chains.  I bought thin wooden circles at a local craft store (22 cents each) in which I drilled a hole through at the top (go me with my power tools!).  After painting each circle a different color, I modge-podged words and pictures that I had cut out from magazines onto each key chain. 

Twin A (my video game lover) got a picture of Sonic on one side and words like "clever" and "funny" on the other side.  Twin B (currently obsessed with professional wrestling) received a key chain with a personalized paper wrestling championship belt buckle on the one side and the logo of the WWE along with other words that describe him on the other side.  The Princess' key chain had her name (with the letters cut out from various magazines) on the one side and then a ton of great descriptive words on the other.  I also had to buy key rings and metal clasps for this gift (approximately $3) and some more Modge Podge because I was out (around $6 - but I will be using that bottle for many other crafts, too). 

Wood circles = 22 cents/each

Key rings/clasps = $1/each

Amount of Modge Podge used for each = approximately $1/each

I would love to end this section by writing, "The look on the kids' faces when they saw their personalized key chains and realized how much time and effort went into making such a special gift = priceless," but in reality the kids looked at both sides of their key chain for about fifteen seconds each, commented on a couple parts, and then had to be reminded to thank me.

I am going to tell myself that they will appreciate this gift more as they get older.  Yeah.  They will.  I'll just hang on to that idea.

For this night, the kids each received the gift of one-on-one time with the parent of their choice, going or doing whatever they wanted (within monetary reason) some time over winter break.  Hopefully this will not be more expensive than I am anticipating.


The seventh night of Hanukkah fell on Shabbat (Friday night).  This is when my whole extended family gets together to celebrate Hannukkah.  My parents and my sister buy presents for the kids, so DH and I are off the hook for that night.  This year the adults did a pollyanna among ourselves for the first time, which was WONDERFUL!!!

DH and I had talked about getting the kids a "big" gift for the last night of Chanukkah, but it turns out his definition of a "big" gift meant a "BIG GIFT" where my definition had really meant "big gift," and since he's the one who did the shopping for it, I lost out.  So much for any money we saved being frugal for the other nights.

Bah, humbug.

P.S. Bonus points to anyone who noticed who many different spellings of Hanukkah I used when writing this post.  Record your answer in the comments section along with any frugal gifts YOU have given your own kids.

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Saturday, September 01, 2012

Almost Back to School Time . . .

              . . . and I can't wait!

Summertime is fabulous, but this one kind of sucked.

We got to play with adorable
cats like this when volunteering
for P.A.L.S - how great is that?! 
First The Princess had what looked like a teeny tiny bug bite.  It didn't really hurt her, but it was oozing just a tiny bit and we were about to volunteer for P.A.L.S. , so I cleaned it and put a band-aid on it.  In the morning, when I took the band-aid off, it was totally disgusting.  There was no doubt in my mind it was infected due to the swelling and amount of pus, and after attempting to care for it at home, I finally took her to the doctor who told us that it was probably MRSA, an antibiotic resistant type of staph infection.  The lab test which came back a few days later confirmed it.  We treated her with Bactrim and she got better.

Then DH got a little cut on the Tragus part of his ear (see diagram on the left).  It also became infected with MRSA.  We knew that because it swelled and swelled and swelled - never would have thought that part of the ear could possibly get that big.  He was hospitalized for a week for IV antibiotics and eventually surgery to drain the infection.  He was discharged and home for about ten days before spiking a fever and getting readmitted for another week for even more antibiotics.
And then I discovered a tiny but extremely painful bump on the top of my head.  Yep, it was MRSA.  And oh my gosh did it hurt!  After a few days of antibiotics and lots of time lounging around in the bathtub (hey, the doctor told me to apply warm compresses as often as possible - hot baths qualified), my head started to feel better, just in time for Twin B to point out painful red spot on his thigh.  We took one look and knew what it was.  At the hospital we discovered two other infected areas on his body.  Twin B was hospitalized for a week for IV antibiotics.
The Princess and Twin A were at my sister's house while we were with Twin B in the ER.  When I went to pick them up, my sister pointed out a red spot on The Princess's chest.  Oh, come ON!!  I turned around and took her back to the ER.  Because she has always had such sensitive skin and eczema, she apparently had a number of raw spots on her body.  As we started examining her in the ER, we found a total of seven spots on her infected with MRSA.  Back on antibiotics she went.
I'm not gonna lie; MRSA is a pain in the butt to get rid of once more than one family member has it.  We have bleached every surface, doorknob, and handle in the house.  We have bleached all of our sheets, pillowcases, towels, and washclothes.  We have each put medicine up our noses (at the suggestion of the infectious disease doctor) twice a day for a week.  We have washed our bodies in a special hospital cleanser for ten days.
But as much of a problem dealing with the infections was, dealing with people's reactions was worse.  There is so much misinformation out there about MRSA.  My kids and I were kicked out of camp.  People wouldn't come inside our house.  Some of my daughter's friends wouldn't let her play with them.  When on vacation with my extended family, it was decided that we were only allowed to use one particular bathroom in the beach house.  I feel I am an expert on MRSA now, but even when I have tried educating people with information from the CDC (and supply links for more detailed information), people were scared and simply stayed away.
So I'm thrilled to declare the Summer of MRSA is nearly over.  Bring on school, with its early mornings, temper tantrums, packing daily lunches, homework struggles, behavior issues, and all. 
It's got to be better than this past summer.
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Monday, April 23, 2012

DH is NOT 40. Yet.

Milestone birthdays and me do not seem to mix very well.  When I turned 30, my twin boys had both recently come home from the NICU.  We had the extended family come over, as is traditional in my family, and a cake (I think), but most of the evening was spent passing my beautiful boys around and ooing and aaahing over them.  Sleep deprivation and new mom hormones combined, and the evening was a blur.

Earlier this month I turned 40.  Not only was it the second night of Passover (which normally would have been spent participating in the Second Night Seder at my synagogue) but I was sick.  Apparently now that I had pneumonia in October, every head cold has the potential of settling in my lungs and becoming pneumonia all over again.  I worked hard (a lot of rest, liquids, decongestants, antibiotics, and two different inhalers) and I did NOT end up in the hospital again, but it still took me a good two weeks to get over.  I didn't even get a cake this year, and only my mom (who stopped by on the day of my birthday to bring me a present from both my parents but stayed well at the other end of the couch to avoid getting what I had) sang me "Happy Birthday."

Around that time, DH (who is a full year younger than me) started talking about inviting a few friends over to celebrate his birthday which is at the end of this month.  He assured me that he would take care of everything.  He also told me that this was going to be a "I'm not yet 40" party (nice, isn't he.)  Fast forward to this weekend.  I asked him to make me a list of everyone he had invited and show me who has said they are coming.  The list of RSVPs is already well over twenty!  When I asked him if he was planning to barbecue, he infomred me that he thought "we" would just do a whole bunch of appetizers like "we" do for New Year's Eve.  Of course, that is the royal we.

So this week, in addition to everything else I need to do, I will be compiling a list of appetizers, shopping for the ingrediants, and then making anything I can make ahead of time.  I will post recipes after I have finished compiling them.

And after his "I'm not 40!" party is over, I am going to start planning my do-over 40th birthday party.  Because I so have it coming to me!
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

13 Things I SHOULD Be Doing Instead of This

  1. Transferring the laundry into the dryer
  2. Washing the dishes in the sink
  3. Turning on the dishwasher (yes, we have that many dishes that the dishwasher is full AND the sink is filled with dishes)
  4. Clearing off the dining room table so the kids can do their homework
  5. Finishing yet another in the never-ending pile of papers I must write to reactivate my teaching certification
  6. Sorting through the mountain of papers that seem to multiply overnight
  7. Fixing the cover on the loveseat
  8. Vacuuming the living room
  9. Cleaning the bathroom
  10. Making my bed
  11. Sorting the laundry to put another load in
  12. Going through the kids' clothes to pull out the heavy winter stuff and the stuff that is too small (both of which the boys keep trying to wear)
  13. Cleaning up from my Jackson Pollock-inspired driveway painting I did with the two boys I teach three afternoons a week
Hmmm...maybe I should turn off the computer?

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