Archive for August, 2008

Daydreaming of projects

I know, I know. This blog would be so much better with pictures. Maybe with pictures it would advance past the boring-avoid-at-all-costs level. Sorry bout that. I truly DO have lots of wonderful ideas for posts… complete with pretty pictures to look at… the problem comes in the execution of said ideas. In part because of the vast array of health oddities that have befallen me in the last year and a half. Basically I have no energy or clarity to even think most of the time, and only just enough to THINK about doing stuff the rest of the time… not enough to actually do.

I really hope this will change soon, and so… (as I always seem to do)… and daydream about what I’ll do when I feel up to it. My list of “want-to-dos” is HUGE. Think Santa’s Nice list from the movie The Santa Clause. Totally that long.

Since I’m not there yet, I guess I’ll continue the old, boring ‘format’ for now. At least today I have a sorta kinda funny (or two) that relates.

The first one-

I saw my doc again Wednesday. He wasn’t as frustrated with me this time. I think mostly cuz Mom once again went with and this time she piped up and said a whole lot. Stuff about symptoms I’d had in the last few weeks and stuff about how paranoia is the name of the game for me. How I’m scared to tell him anything for fear he’ll quit believing me or seeing me. (Actually the comment I’d made was closer to “He’s about 3mo past due for no longer believing me”… I started seeing him in June, you do the math.)

Anyhow. I’ve been having a real rough couple of weeks and so he decided to change my meds all up. I’m now on Zithromax (more about that later) and Flagyl, and 2, count them TWO anti-depressants. Oy vey! While Mom was writing down the instructions on how much and when and when to increase and so forth (cause I could never remember otherwise), doc had me stand up to do the whole stand-with-your-eyes-closed test. “Did you just tip?” he asked as I stood up out of the chair. Ummm, that would be a yes. (I’ve been WAY off-balance the last couple of weeks.)

I barely got my eyes closed when he decided that was enough… on to the grab-my-fingers-as-hard-as-you-can test. Flunked that one again, of course. “Still weak” he said. He doesn’t know it but I would have flunked that test 15 years ago! lol I commented that after last month’s visit my mom discovered (and declared) that my son had the same strength I did. (The more amazing thing is my daughter has way more! but I didn’t think of that at the time.) The funny is my doc’s response to that. He said “I bet your son likes that. He can arm wrestle Mom.”

Ok. Maybe you just had to be there, but I thought it was pretty funny. My doc also told me I was a real piece of work at this visit. I’m not sure how to take that. =/

The second funny I have for you deals with a new Olympic sport. Last night I stretched a little sitting here at the computer and when I was through I had a couple of muscles start twitching. Now the twitching is nothing new. I have dozens and dozens of muscle twitches all over all day long. I’ve even had my tongue twitch! This was a new thing, though. Synchronized muscle twitching. I had a twitch in each buttock in matching areas! Never had synchronized twitches before. It should totally be an Olympian event, I could so TOTALLY compete! LOL

On the ‘plan’ for this coming week??

Well, if I can manage to grab enough ‘feel ok’ time, I want to get started on Matthew’s western shirt. He was so excited to learn Mom could make western shirts with real honest-to-goodness pearl snaps! He picked out the fabric he wanted and is just giddy with anticipation. Me? Not so much. I can’t help it! I love making the western shirts, I do, but see, the thing is I kinda have in mind that they will look like… oh I don’t know… a western shirt?!?! when they are done. Not like something you’d see Bozo wearing. The fabric he picked out is a little bold and a little Oriental. Not exactly your typical western shirt fare. Ah well.

Also I’d like to get a t-shirt appliqued for Meagan to wear with her favorite pair of (new) culottes. Bright, bold lime green with frogs. She wants a shirt with one of each of the different frogs on it.

After that I want to get the DVD racks wrapped in denim and hung.

Then there are the pillows out of bandanas to make. And the curtains for the kitchen, laundry room, and linen closet. And then there’s the 3 different quilts I have started that I need to be working on…

Of course, chances of me getting even the first one done this coming week are slim. Still. I can dream.

First Day of School

It’s done. The kids are BOTH in some other school than our own Bullfrogs and Butterflies Learning Center. I have to say I hate that. I know, I know. I should be happy for them, blahblah. And ok, I am… a little… or at least I’m TRYING to be. Truth is…

I want to homeschool! I love teaching them and am going to miss it something fierce. I already missed teaching my girl. Meagan didn’t and doesn’t miss it, of course, but I did. She doesn’t care a fig newton who teaches her or what her curriculum is like or what she learns or anything along those lines. All she cares about is whether or not she is surrounded by PEOPLE! She absolutely thrives on being surrounded by people. She has been (naturally) just beyond ecstatic for the new year to start. No more stuck with only one or two playmates!! WOOHOO! She made cupcakes for the whole school for lunch today. She “can’t wait!” to meet the new kids and to spend all day with her friends.

Matthew and I? Not so much. We pretty much shut down around people. Stammer, stutter, tense up horribly, and anxiety levels blast through the roof. The anxiety truly is just unbelievable. It’s worse than awful.

I hated that I’d passed on the “super shyness gene” to either of my kids, but I had expected it. It always flabbergasted me that Meagan was SO outgoing, SO fearless, SO comfortable around other people. It’s always been this way, this extreme social anxiety for Matthew and me and extreme social butterfly for Meagan…it’s just weird. It has gotten a teensy bit better for me now that I’m an adult, but not a whole lot, and there are still times when it is more than intense. For Matthew, though, it *seems* to be letting up some… with the outlook of STAYING that way.

I can not believe I just wrote that! I never thought I’d see the day. Honestly. His anxiety has always been much worse than mine, and that’s saying something, so I am truly shocked that I can write that. It’s true though.

The anxiety (we know now) stems from the borrelia, bartonella, and other bacterial infections. Matthew started antibiotic treatment right at one month ago. Two weeks ago he went to a 3hr/day daycamp at the library and loved it. He was fairly nervous and scared about it before going, but he went without hanging on to me (or Dad since he took him) and he ended up loving it. I suspected the antibiotics helped some, but it seemed so ‘out there’ and so I wasn’t really sure.

This, which was so much bigger since he knew that not only was it ALL DAY as opposed to 3hr, but was ALL YEAR as opposed to one week, and also full of tons of rules and lots of big kids and so forth and so on… well, he was a “little bit nervous” last night, but also “excited”. His words.

He walked in, deposited his bags and cowboy hat (he has to stay out of the sun because of the antibiotics he’s on), then went to his desk. I saw him standing there and he looked ok, and so I started to just walk out and go on home, but he hadn’t said anything to me yet. Something niggled not quite right, so I didn’t dare just leave him without checking on him, so I signaled him out of the classroom real quick and asked if he wanted a hug. Sure enough, he hid behind me and almost broke down.

But only almost! Not DID! “I’m scared” he said. I told him he’d be fine, reminded him of his bible verse about being courageous, and walked him back to his seat. The problem all of a sudden turned out to be simple seating arrangements. He apparently thought his sister would be sitting beside him and instead she is on the opposite side of the room.

Once I got him back to his spot, I turned around and walked out.

I expected he would hang on to me and cause a scene. I expected I’d have to pry him off me, crying. I expected to have to fight him to even get into the car so we could leave the house this morning, to tell the truth. There wasn’t ANY of that, though.

Two months ago there would have been.

Two months ago it would have been a HUGE ordeal. Fighting, kicking, screaming getting him to the car. He would’ve been hurling “I hate you”s, “I won’t go”s, and “I’ll just run off”s the whole way. At the school he would have sat in the van and refused to get out of the seat. I would’ve had to haul his stuff in, then come back out and physically pry him out of the seat and half drag/half carry him inside. I would’ve had to take him off to a corner or a side room or something to try and threaten him with spanking, as under-my-breath as I could, to get him to walk in there and sit down and then realize (very late to class by this point) that that is just NOT going to ever happen, and so half drag/half carry him in to his seat myself. He would’ve been clinging to me. Holding so tight and fast that depositing him on the chair was impossible. I’d would’ve discovered that quick enough when I pried his fingers off one at a time and tried to get them to STAY off.

Then I’d finally catch a break in the arm-clinging and manage to slip free of his grasp and start for the door. I might even have made it all the way to the door, but then he would’ve all of a sudden been in front of me, arms tucked in, hands clinging to me in front of him, trying to burrow his head into my stomach, and press his body into mine in an effort to hide from the dozen or more pair of eyes watching us.

And then the process would start all over again.

Probably I would’ve ended up sitting with him, alternately threatening (and then the actual spanking, of course), lecturing, consoling, encouraging (yes, I’ve tried each of these in massive amounts!) in the bathroom or the lunchroom or somewhere else hopefully out-of-earshot of the rest of the class who were TRYING to have school.

That is EXACTLY the way it would’ve happened two months ago. How can I be so sure of exactly? Easy… the scenario played itself out time and time again over the years. Sunday school class, vacation bible school (incl. this summer… only I was too sick to mess with trying to fight him so I just didn’t even bother trying this year, his anxiety was high enough just in anticipation that I was going to make him go, it was evident that actually trying it would be disastrous), various extracurricular daycamps and/or sports, various ‘playdates’ and family get-togethers, sometimes even with well-known situations like going on an outing with his dad.

It’s never been the ‘being away from mom’ that bothers him so much as it’s been the ‘being around large groups of people, especially if they’re unknown’. He’s never had a problem spending the whole day off playing in the neighborhood. Most days he wasn’t supposed to be doing his schoolwork, he was off playing. Not home. Away from me. NO problem.

The problems have always come in when there are groups of others involved. A small handful of well-known friends (three or four…maybe five at most) and he’s ok. More than that, or strangers, or WORSE… BOTH… and the crippling anxiety attacked.

You can imagine why I was more than a little concerned about the possibility of putting him in public school. *shudder*

Starting school, even in a private school with only about a dozen students, is was a situation perfectly engineered to set the anxiety monster loose.

There is NO doubt in my mind that without the antibiotics this would have been the case. It’s ALWAYS been the case. And now it looks like it’s not. =)

I’m not going to say he is ALL better, completely cured, though, cause that’s not true, either. It will take a long time for that, but absolutely the antibiotics are responsible for getting him to the point that he COULD go off to school today.

Antibiotics.

Just wanted that to sink in. NOT anti-anxiety meds (though those are not completely ruled out as an option… we’ll be discussing those and other meds at a consult with the doc the 8th). The kid needed simple antibiotics. All these years of literally disabling anxiety and all he needed was antibiotics. It blows the mind!

Excuse me while I go back to my no-more-homeschool-pity-party now. =(

Want JOY?

The secret to having JOY is love. Here it is:

J = Love Jesus
O = Love Others
Y = Love Yourself

The bible says the greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might. You START by loving the Lord Jesus.

The bible says the second greatest commandment is like unto the first… love thy neighbor as yourself. Add to loving Jesus- loving others… but don’t forget yourself. Loving yourself above or before Jesus or others is wrong… but to not love yourself at all is wrong too. If you leave out loving any of these (including yourself), you will not have JOY. You would have Oy, or Jy, or Jo… but not JOY.

Likewise, if you love any of these out of order, you will not have Joy. If you put yourself first, you are loving yourself more than others and more than Jesus. This is breaking a commandment and would give you Yjo or Yoj. Neither of which is JOY. If you put others consistently before yourself, you’re on the right track, but if they are before Jesus, you’re still mixed up and without JOY. You’d have instead, Ojy or Oyj.

Nope. There is no other way to get JOY. You have to have love for the right people and in the right order and amount. That is…

1. Love Jesus first. More than anyone else (yourself included!). Put Jesus first in ALL you do. Period.

2. Then love others. More than yourself. Think of others before yourself. (Think: polite, courteous, etc.) Go out of your way to help others; go the extra mile.

3. Then love yourself. Do not neglect yourself. Some people go too far with loving themselves, getting all puffed up with pride and putting themselves ahead of everyone else including God, even though they may not set out to do so intentionally. Others, though, go too far the other way and think so little of themselves that they completely neglect caring for themselves. They come to despise and loathe their own selves…their own body and mind. This won’t bring you JOY either. Don’t neglect yourself; take care of your body and mind. Yes!, put Jesus and others first, but don’t leave off the caring and loving of yourself completely or you will be left with either Jo (almost right) or Oj (nowhere near right).

To recap: The secret to having JOY is in having LOVE for the right people in the right amounts and order. That is:

J = Love Jesus
O = Love Others
Y = Love Yourself

Bible references: Matthew 22:35-39, John 15:10-11

(see I Corinthians 13 for more details on what exactly love -charity- is, it will give you ideas on HOW to love)

New Boots

Mike and Matt just walked out the door. My honey is going after the mint chocolate chip ice cream he forgot to pick up for me last night and Matt tagged along because he wants to wear his suit to church tonight.

Matt has a thing for suits and ties. He likes them. A lot. He hasn’t been able to wear them in quite awhile because his boots wore out and I couldn’t even find dress shoes to fit. He found a pair of (I think UGLY!) boots at a store in town that he likes, though, and now he has talked his Dad into taking him to pick them up. They were on clearance, so for his sake, I do hope they are still there.

I really hope they are. It’s all he’s talked about since Friday when he spotted them. He is so excited to wear them with his suit and tie tonight to church! Please, Lord, let them still be there in his size.

Matthew’s new boots

UPDATE: Yes! The boots were still there. Here is a pic of them and my yummilicious ice cream. Notice I had already started enjoying the ice cream when I thought to take a pic. The fabric in the background? My current sewing project… 6 new pairs of culottes for gymclass for Meagan. I got them mostly finished today. They just lack elastic and hemming.

A mess of stuff, but not the house!

You know it’s been too long since your last post when the WordPress log-in thingy does not automatically let you in, but instead pops up with your user name and password prefilled and a little unchecked box that says “Remember Me”. I totally think that was WordPress’ way of saying “hey! What’s up with the no-posting?! Hello?! Remember me… your blog?! You know, the one YOU wanted to start. Hello? Hello?! Remember me??”

Yeah, so it’s been awhile, and I can’t even say that it’s because I’ve been oh-so busy. Well, I guess I could, but then I would be lying through my teeth. No, the lack of posting is a combination of being a little busy, a little feel-like-death-warmed-over, and a little trying-to-avoid-all-forms-of-reality. (I find it’s easier that way… just don’t think about stuff. Unfortunately for me this does not always work. Actually it rarely does, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I’m nothing if not persistent!!)

So, about this end of an era thing…

Yeah. It sucks more than a little, I’ll be honest. I don’t even like to think about it, and it has nothing to do with ‘letting go’ of the baby, either, so don’t go there. (That’s where most people seem to go when they realize I’m not exactly ‘ok’ with Matt going to the private school.) I am SOOOOOOOOO looking forward to the time away from my precious baby!!! Oh my lands you have no idea!! I know that sounds horrid, but really it’s BEEN horrid the last couple of years and I NEED a break from him, oh PLEASE! So yeah, it’s so not ‘letting go’ of the ‘baby’. Nope. It’s letting go of the homeschooling life/dream. That’s what is crushing me. I can’t stand it.

Every time I look at school supplies, teacher supplies, new workbooks, catalogs for teacher resource materials or homeschool curricula, or anything that might vaguely resemble a ‘teaching the minds of young children’ slant… I want to scream and kick and wail and gnash my teeth and cry and cry and cry. =(

Enough of that, though. I do have a few other things to mention. Like….

My house is clean again! (Well, ok, the bedrooms are in progress and the pantry…well, let’s just not talk about the pantry, shall we?) But on the whole, my house is clean again! I’d done ok with keeping it picked up and clean after the folks stuff got sorted out and we did the initial clearing out and cleaning up, until about March when the fatigue and aches just got to be too much for me. Since then stuff had been piling up and getting worse and worse and the kids’ pitching in was a no-go. Not that I didn’t try… it just didn’t work. *sigh*

My grandmother called early last week, though, and wanted to know if I’d be home Fri around noon, and if so could my mom and her bunch come over, as she and PawPaw would be coming through town around then and they’d like to stop in. Sure! I told her. And then Mom called me and said “Do you need some help cleaning?” and I said back to her “AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You are so funny to ask that! That was a stupid question! You saw my house two days ago… you tell me!” haha

So come over she did, and help me clean she did, and visit we did on Friday. Granted, it cost me. Friday night I was in so much pain! UGG! I popped 2 pain pills then went and writhed in bed for about 4hr while the very worst of it passed. Saturday I slept all day. No really. All day. Sunday was church and by that point I’d mostly recovered. I did nap Sun. afternoon, and my head was killing me Sunday night (TWO rounds of 2 pain pills and I still couldn’t sleep Sun. night.).

Yesterday we did some more prep for Operation Start-to-School. We took Matt to the uniform store and sized and purchased him 2 pairs of pants, 2 short sleeve shirts, and 2 long sleeve shirts. He actually could use more than that obviously, but we are el cheapo private school folk. We can’t even afford this, let alone a complete weeks’ worth (which would have been another 3 pairs of pants, and another s/s and another l/s, since they only wear the blue uniform-store shirts 3 days a week and plain white WalMart button-ups the other days). Meagan has the same line-up… 2 jumpers, 2 s/s and 2 l/s. It’s not an ideal set-up since the jumpers and pants either have to be worn twice or be washed mid-week, but it’s what we can do.

From the uniform store, we went to a nearby boot store (HUGE place) to see about finding a pair of cowboy boots for Matt to wear to church. He LOVES wearing suits and ties to church, but has not in several months because he has no appropriate footwear. I’ve looked everywhere and haven’t found a thing in his size. Granted everywhere is pretty much our local WalMart and one time a Payless when we were out of town, but still… He really prefers boots to dress shoes, but I haven’t even found dress shoes to fit, so he’s been wearing jeans, t-shirts, and tennis to church. Oh the horror, I know. He doesn’t like it anymore than me, actually I think he probably is MORE bothered than I am by it, but oh well.

Anyway, this huge boot store was supposed to have massive amounts of boots to pick from…and they do… if you are a full-grown adult with a FULL-grown wallet. Oh my stars!! They had about 4 styles in his size and he liked none of them. Also? They all were too narrow for his feet. Thankfully there was a pair at a local high-falutin’ drugstore-cowboy kind of joint on clearance that he liked AND that fit decent. They are not the black I was looking for, though. Instead they are a chocolate brown lower, with a mustard gold top. Personally I think they look like sick baby poop. Blech! Matt loves them, though, and has been buggin me all day to go get them for him.

Unfortunately I could not do that because he picked today to throw another all out tizzy massive meltdown of epic proportions. Screaming and hitting and biting and growling ensued. I ended up having to sit with him on my lap, one leg wrapped on top of his lap and one hand on each arm trying to keep them still in order for him to be able to get calmed down. Mike called the dr, because even though I have a consult set up for the 8th, I don’t know at what point we QUIT the waiting and just take him in to be admitted. Seriously he gets that bad with these rages or whatever they are. True, this is the first in a couple of months (I totally think the lackadaisacal no-pressure/stress summer is to thank for the brief reprieve…), but we all got lucky in that today I was not hurting super bad or super weak or whatever. Most days I would not have been able to physically restrain the kid because on most days he is far stronger than me. If that had been the case today, Mike would have been wholloped on the head with a metal pipe and I would’ve been bit up pretty good.

So the official word from the dr was… can’t do anything till the consult. FINE, but could you answer the whole question of what to do in the meantime?! I mean we totally got lucky today that I could hold him still, most days I can’t! What do we do when he goes all berserk like this and I can’t help Mike… or worse… Mike is at work. I sorta-kinda got the answer to that in a roundabout way… dr told Mike that if we think he is going to harm someone, take him to the childrens hospital an hour away.

Ok, so at least we have a plan… sorta. I mean by the time we got to the hospital I know he’d be calmed down, these tirades don’t typically last for hours once he’s restrained (which he would be in a car seat…), but then there’s the question of HOW in the beegeebees do we get him in the car and strapped down when he’s like this? We’re doing good if we can keep him in the house and semi-confined to one room. If we have to try to move him, he’s liable to take off into the street without looking (he’s done it before) or maybe climb the roof (again, done it before), if we lose our grasp of him which is not that difficult to do considering all the writhing and kicking and pulling and squirming the kid does.

And what if he pulls this kind of thing at school?

Sad thing is, just before this tirade, I totally thought I saw improvement in the whole moodiness thing. First there was the library daycamp thing a couple of weeks ago, of course. That was a huge sign of progress. Then this morning he had been out playing and when he came in and told me who he’d been with, I told him he needed to stay inside now since #1 he wasn’t supposed to be playing with this kid and #2 he wasn’t supposed to be in the sun. Ordinarily this would have provoked a massive meltdown. Yelling and screaming at me that he hates me, he hates his life, it’s not fair, he can play with whoever he wants, yadda yadda. Instead, this morning he took the disappointment very well and calmly said ok, and then asked if he could go to another friend’s house and go in and play video games instead. (Ok playmate, and out of sun) I agreed and off he went, no fuss, no fighting at all. I was shocked! I thought between the daycamp thing and this… surely the antibiotics were hitting the target and helping with the moods/behavior/pysch.

And then the meltdown. *sigh*

I guess it’s still possible the meds ARE working. After all, this was his first major meltdown in a couple of months, and it is about one month into treatment, so probably due for some herxing/cycling about now, too.

On another note (kid)… Meagan got back up out of bed around 11pm tonight and came looking for the thermometer. I asked her if she felt like she had a fever, and she said she did. Thermometer read 97.3. This is becoming quite the familiar scene around here… Feeling feverish? Your temp must be low! Matt did this a couple of days ago and his temp was 96.1!! Mine comes up anywhere from 96.4 to 97.6 when I feel feverish. Thing is we’ll really feel feverish on the outside too. Like Mike will put his hand or lips to my head and tell me yup, I probably have fever, but then we check it and it’s so low! Weird!

Mixed News. The end of an era?

Such a bag of mixed news today. Could explain why my feelings are mixed. Or maybe it’s mixed feelings and that’s what makes it mixed news.

The big where-are-the-kids-schooling question has been answered. Mike decided it would be best for everyone if I took a break from homeschooling this year and the kids went to our church’s school. He called today to set things up. Praise the Lord Meagan still has a scholarship, so we will only have to come up with tuition for Matthew.

I definitely have mixed feelings. Of course, Meagan loves the school up there, so she is ecstatic. No mixed feelings for her! LOL Matthew? Yeah, he’s just as mixed up as me, though for different reasons.

Don’t get me wrong… there is nothing WRONG with our church school. Good school, good environment, good teachers, good curriculum, good extracurricular activities, etc. Nothing wrong with it at all. I just don’t like giving up homeschooling EITHER kid… not that I’m losing THEM, just losing the opportunity to teach them. I really enjoy the homeschooling (that is, the way I like to/was homeschooling a few years ago… the last couple of years I have been unable to homeschool to my standards). It stung a little last year when I lost one student, but I definitely saw the special opportunities it opened up for one-on-one teaching. This year it just downright hurts.

It’s not the difference in the kids, either, although there is a difference in how each kid views this change. Meagan, of course, is thrilled to continue on in the private school. Matthew, on the other hand, is less than thrilled. He’s apprehensive at best, and terrified at worst. He has a lot of concerns about going, not the least of which is all the PEOPLE. (He is also not exactly excited about the loss of textbooks and the gaining of small workbooks… the kid likes to READ, and he’s loved reading his schoolbooks.)

The reason this year is so hard on me, is not because I’m losing Matthew this time as opposed to Meagan, it’s because I’m losing ALL students as opposed to just one. I don’t favor one kid over the other, though I’m sure to strangers it probably appears that way because of the difference in the kids’ personalities (Matthew is mega-clingy and sticks to me like glue, Meagan is super-independent and can hardly be seen with me for more than a second before she takes off to do her own thing.)

Homeschooling is all I know. It’s been my ‘thing’, my job for 10 years. It’s been my life. I don’t mean that homeschooling has been more important to me than anything else and that nothing else holds any meaning whatsoever, I just mean that homeschooling… or at least the way I like to homeschool… is a lifestyle. It’s not just what we do did during school hours, it is was the way we live d.

I’m not going to lie and say I’m excited, or that I’m even happy about this. I will say that I gave the decision over to Mike, and I will stand by what he chose. I will even do so without complaining (too much…at least… I’ll TRY not to complain!). I can’t promise I will do this without a couple of bucketfuls of tears over what I’m losing.

No, it’s not the end of the world, and yes there are even aspects of this change I AM looking forward to… like Matthew learning to pray in front of others (they take turns asking the blessing at lunch). I just feel like in the last year everything I knew, everything I did, everything I was able to contribute has been slowly but surely taken away from me. This… the homeschooling… was the biggest contribution to my family and to the world and certainly to the Lord that I was making. It was and IS the only thing I knew how to do even remotely well enough to be considered a *good* thing… and now that’s gone.

With no longer being able to homeschool even, I feel like a complete and total failure in every regard. I mean I knew I was failing at the raising of the kids in terms of discipline and making them feel loved and accepted and so forth, but at least I was training their minds academically decently. I might suck at handling sibling squabbles or chores or hurt feelings or spiritual questions, but at least I could teach them how to use a dictionary or how to do long division. I might not know what to do or how to do it when it came to the “parenting” part of raising these two, but at least I could see how they each learn differently… what they have difficulty with, what they excel in, how they think, etc… and was able to fine-tune the curriculum and teaching methodology to suit their individual needs.

Proverbs 22:6 has SO much meaning to me… so many layers. I believe that each child’s training needs to be individually tailored in every way… that is tailored based on the way the learn, their personality, their spiritual gifts, their talents, their weaknesses, their strengths, their physical, mental, and emotional help… just completely and 100% tailored for them. Train up a child in the way they should go… (pronoun choice and emphasis mine to illustrate what I mean by individualizing everything). This is what I’ve tried to do, and while the private school is a good school and the teachers are good and the curriculum is good… they can’t tailor every little thing the way I can here at home. Not because I am so much better at doing so, just that they have to use ONE curriculum, ONE schedule, and they have several kids. It is perfectly understandable that there has to be some level of standardization amongst the class… whereas here at home I only had two kids to ‘tailor’ for and a vast array of curriculum and schedule options. (Plus, I had the added bonus ‘leg-up’ of knowing each child very personally from the time they were born. lol)

Now it’s someone else’s job. I don’t doubt that they can DO the job, that’s not my problem. My problem is… the teaching was the only job I felt like I could do even a little bit ‘well’. It’s like… my academics… my knowledge… my brain was all I had to give the kids, and now that that is gone…

It just hurts so much.

And also? What in the world am I supposed to occupy my time with now?? I mean, sure, I can crochet, sew, read, learn, etc, but do you have any idea how GUILTY I will feel doing things I enjoy but have no benefit for anyone aside from my own pleasure instead of doing something else I enjoy but that actually BENEFITS the kids (i.e. Homeschooling)?!!

I hate this.

Kids and the things they do and wear!

This post is going to have a little bit of everything, and a lot of nothing. haha I just wanted to throw out a few different things and instead of a bunch of little posts, I’ll do it all in one.

I got Meagan’s denim cowgirl swirly skirt finished finally. Somehow she managed to pooch her tummy out enough while I was trying the elastic on for fit (twice!) that the skirt now falls down to the top of her hips because the waist is so loose. It’s a pretty long skirt to begin with (it’ll be great for winter with a pair of tights underneath… nice and warm), so it looks like she should be able to wear it for a couple or three years.

This past week brought us a first. It’s one of those “developmental milestones”. One of those “growing up moments”. The kind people make scrapbook pages about, although admittedly it is one that typically happens as a toddler, and I don’t HAVE any toddlers…

Last weekend Meagan got a call from a friend of hers, inviting her to go to a daycamp the local library was having. It was going to be from 9-3pm, M-F, so bring a sack lunch, we were told. Mike decided that since it was quite possible Matthew would be GOING to school this year (man do I hate giving up the homeschooling!), it would be a good thing for Matt to go to the daycamp as a way to get used to being off ‘by himself’. So when Mike took Meagan to sign up, he signed Matthew up too.

Well, of course the rest of the weekend he was more than a little anxious, and definitely not pleased with the situation. We went ‘lunch-sack shopping’ Sunday afternoon to get goodies for lunches, and he did enjoy planning what he would pack/take.

Monday morning was liable to be disastrous, though. I told Mike ahead of time that I should stay home and he should take the kids and drop them off, because I figured that would lessen the chance of a knock-down, kickin-screamin, pry-him-off-a-parent fight. So I stayed home and waited for the report of horrible crying and fighting…

It didn’t come!!!

Mike said that Matthew went in and sat down next to his sister (all weekend he had been on her case making sure she knew she had to sit with him and not leave him alone at ANY time…) at a table to one side of the door, while the teacher was at a table on the other side.

No kicking!

No screaming!

No clinging!

No tears!

We got a phone call at noon from Meagan to say “whoops! It’s only till noon, can you come pick us up?” When I got there I found BOTH kids happy and excited and trying to tell me all about their day and what they were going to be doing for the week. The kids had all been put into groups, and while mine were both together (whew!), there was one other kid with them… a girl, even… and Matt was ok with it! He was not only resolved to having to go back the next day, he was EAGER!

Told you it was scrapbook worthy! The kid’s 9.5y and he just went to his first no-mom (or dad or grandma or uncle, etc) activity/event! AND he did it without any histrionics! And it wasn’t even just a quick 30min thing, either. He went in thinking he wouldn’t get to go home for 6hr!

I know he hasn’t been on his antibiotics long, but I can’t help but wonder/think that they had to have played a part. I tried to get him to go to VBS just a month or so ago and the anxiety/fear that caused was WAY more than what he had with the daycamp. In fact, it was such that he didn’t go… at all. He was hysterical just thinking I was going to make him go, there was no way I could have gotten him deposited in his class without a massive meltdown (that would, of course, have been very distracting to everyone else not to mention embarrassing for Matt and me).

Another clue that the meds might be helping some of his mood/anxiety/psych/whatever stuff came last night. He had been playing a video game online and was getting really frustrated. He’d done the same thing the day before and it quickly devolved into a massive frustration meltdown of yelling, hitting, slamming, stewing, etc and I had to ban him from the video games the rest of the day. He did get off the computer, but the meltdown effects carried on the rest of the day and into the night. It didn’t get better until he fell asleep. Anyway. Last night he was getting frustrated and so I told him, “You need to chill out. You’re getting all worked up again, and then I’ll have to pull you off again…”

He replied, “I know. That game was too frustrating. That’s why I’m going to a different site.”

I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped just a little. He not only recognized the frustration, but came up with -and instituted- a solution on his own before I’d said anything to him! He was already loading up a different game when I came through with my warning. Never. NEVER before has that happened. Not once, despite the 5 billion times the exact same situation, with the exact same outcome, occurred.

On another topic… I think I may end up taking Meagan to a GI before too long. She had a tummy virus back in Jan that had he puking every hour for several hours. It only lasted a day or so, but ever since she’s complained of feeling like she is going to puke a LOT. Like every day. She says it is mostly when she eats. She also says her tummy feels full a lot, and then she says she is hungry when she lays down. (????) Last night we each made our own pizza for dinner and they were all cooked one, then the next in the oven. Meagan’s was cooked first. She let it cool while Matt’s cooked, then started eating when I put Mike’s in the oven. She complained about the pepperoni making her feel like throwing up, so I told her not to eat them, then.

My pizza was last in the oven (since I’m the cook… you know how it is…) I had to keep reminding both kids to EAT!! and get ready for bed. Matthew was playing a video game (NOT the frustrating one…haha), and Meagan was just avoiding eating. I let my pizza cool for about 5min, and then settled in with my food and my handful of pills to watch Everybody Loves Raymond. Meagan had still only eaten about half of a piece of pizza… 30min after starting. I told her again to hurry up and eat (and then told Matt again to get off the computer and do the same). Meagan told me, then, “I am! I have to eat it slow or it hurts my stomach.”

Umm… ok? She ate slow, all right. Another HOUR and she had about another half piece eaten. (She basically left the very bottom of the crust of both pieces.) I sent her to bed at that point. She put the other 2 pieces of her pizza in the fridge (I think). I don’t know what is going on in her gut, but this is getting ridiculus!

With Meagan’s skirt done, the next project(s) I have coming up is a stack of culottes for her for P.E. (provided she gets to go to the church school again this year), and get this… a western shirt for Matthew for his un-birthday! It won’t be the first western shirt I’ve made, but it’ll certainly be the teeniest. I made a couple for my stepdad when I first started sewing back in high school. He barely ever wore them because they were “too special”. I’ve warned him a million times since then that since I made them to be WORN, if he didn’t wear them, he wasn’t getting anymore. haha It’s been 15 years and he has not gotten another yet. I wonder if he’s figured out I really meant it yet or not. haha

This is also going to be the wildest western shirt I’ve made. The two I made in high school were not sedate, but this one! Oy vey!! Matthew picked a black fabric with BRIGHT blue flame pattern, and then for the yoke he picked a black fabric with BRIGHT red flames…and gold Chinese dragons! He wants me to put one dragon on each yoke! What a combination for a cowboy shirt, huh? HAHA The pattern calls for something like 1/4 of a yard for the yoke… I bought 1 full yard since he wants a dragon centered on each side. I’m going to have to do some creative pattern placement, I think. haha

Little man was so shocked to learn that Mom could make cowboy shirts and even put those fancy-shmancy pearl snaps on them! HAHA So cute! I went ahead and bought myself the pliers for putting them on, too. I just used a hammer to put the snaps on before, but if I know my son, this will definitely not be the last cowboy shirt I make, so I figured why not? Do it right this time. haha


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