post election redux

Friday, January 6, 2017

The election was a while ago and I had hoped that calmer heads would prevail.  Sadly, that has happened.

I am still worried and feeling insecure. Will my insurance be changed and caps/limits be imposed which can cause me to be die?

Yesterday, the Senate voted to repeal the ACA- the thing that had saved my life.

While I currently I have insurance via a municipality- until the ACA it had a limit attached to it.

I worry for my kids. I worry for people who have been marginalized- who very well may be facing further marginalization.

What now? What next? I will fight for the rights of those people who are facing marginalization.
I will speak up when I see in justice. I raise my children to speak out against injustice.  I will raise my children to call out racism and hate.

Hate has no home here.  My house, my home is a place for inclusion. It is a place for love. Never hate.

She has a temper on her!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

This could have been written about me as a child- but I am writing about my Peas, and I need help.

Peas has really big intense feelings, no matter what they are they are intense. Happy is euphoric, sad is the depths of despair.

This is all well and good until we get to anger and frustration- when it manifests as rage.

The angry takes over and she gets stuck in a rage circle. It spirals and spirals out of control with no way to slow down the inertia or change the direction.  It just has to burn itself out. Which can take a long time (like over an hour long time).

While the tantrums are frustrating and hard to deal with the bigger issue is when she lashes out at her siblings or me.  She throws things, breaks things, hits siblings and me.  This does not happen anywhere but at home, anywhere else I hear what an angel she is; and really she can be, most of the time she is.

Peas is getting bigger and is now big enough to do some actual damage to things or people, so it is imperative we find a solution.

One issue specifically that we struggle with is leaving for school.  If she can't find her shoes (there is a black hole of shoes in our house, I swear- its the only way we could lose so many shoes.) or the particular shoes that she wants to wear, It becomes a Chernobyl level meltdown. There can be kicking, hitting, biting, throwing, any number of things, and talking to her just makes it worse.  It just has to burn itself out.

To protect the other kids, and herself, we put her in her room. If I am sick or recovering from a surgery, I cannot fight with her to get her into her room, because she strong.  And I am at a loss.

Once she has calmed down she feels horrible and is so sorry, embarrassed, and totally apologetic.
I just don't know how to get her to the calm stage faster, with less out of control behavior, and to not act out.

I can completely empathize because I sometimes my feelings are overwhelming too, but I  can't reason with her.  It doesn't work.

Do you have any ideas? What can I do to help the rage spiral.  I hate that is such a struggle for her.

voting for a future

Friday, October 28, 2016

I voted the other day.  Something mundane right? Four years ago I got goosebumps voting for the first black president. I was surreal. It was something I was proud to do.  That night I watched the returns on the edge of my seat, anxious, excited... and he won.  I cried.

Four years later I voted again for Obama, The thrill had not worn off. I cast my ballot for a man- who less than 100 years ago would have been banned from eating with me. Yes- this was thrilling, but we have so so much further to go.

This year, I cast my ballot for a woman.  A person who less than 100 years ago- wouldn't have been allowed to vote. I voted for all the women who have gone before me to allow me to have an education.  Who have allowed me to have an identity outside of marriage, who have ensured my right to have or not have a baby, for those who ensured that I can demand equal treatment.  They may not be here to vote.  But I am.

I'm here to vote for my children.  For someone who will work to protect the environment- so they have a world to inherit, for someone who will protect their right to healthcare, who will (hopefully) work to ensure safety for refugees.

I voted. All I can do is hope and pray- that others vote, that she wins, and that she stands by her word.

For my right to vote- I am incredibly thankful- and will exercise this right that so many fought so hard for.

I keep forgetting this....

Sunday, October 2, 2016

I used to be good at updating when anything happened... maybe not everyday but weekly.... and well- I forgot.

The kids are great. They are always great. Well-- ok not always, but a lot of the time they are great.

Princess is growing up--- and this is not ok. She was my baby- the little preemie who brought me back down.

Stinky is actually starting to smell now that he is 10.

Peas? is Peas. Enough said.  Seriously though- I worry about her. A lot. I see so much of me in her- that I want to grab her and say "its alright.  Even if things don't go the way you want--- it is alright they'll turn out in the end.

Pixie is in school full time and she is smarter than I care to admit. She figures things out so quickly watching her brain work is amazing.

LittleDude is not so little anymore.  Totally potty trained-- day and night *I swear he has only had 2 overnight accidents- no, don't know how that happened just did.

I'm here. Learning. Trying.. and not always succeeding.

Feelings are hard for me, I feel so disconnected from them- at least my feelings--- other people? I feel their feelings deeply.

I keep meaning to write...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

But then I get busy (busy? with 5 kids? never!).

First: I have been physically healthy for a few months.  I am learning to take time to rest, pace myself, and I have seen a few docs who have been amazing.

Its storming here. Again.  Its been so hot and humid it almost cant help but storm in the late afternoon.

I find myself reflecting on fun memories from my childhood that I want to write about as how they relate to parenting my own children, but of course, at the moment they escape me-- like on the tip of tongue.

Our house had a big front porch when I was a kid.  I LOVED that porch.  We found my cat on that porch, we made forts on the porch, we just sat and talked- just watching the world go by.  But, as the porch faced west, we especially enjoyed watching the weather roll in.

I recall having my mom braid my hair, practicing spelling words, watching the storm.  Once it was down-pouring absolute torrential down-down pour and I wanted my cat, Miss Meow.  Miss Meow was a feral cat that who adopted us.  She and I had a particularly close bond.  I could sit on the front porch and literally "Meow" for her and she would come from where ever she was in the neighborhood. Of course, that was if she felt like it.  For me, she usually did- unless it was raining.  What cat likes getting wet? This time, I called the cat and she came running... meowing back as she ran as if she was saying "I'm coming!"

This is a silly, insignificant memory but it reminds me of my cat- whom I loved and still do love dearly.  I miss her often and tell the kids all of the funny cat stuff she did.

Another weather related memory involves my bedroom.  I get nervous during storms. Always have.  But every night my mom and I would read a book sometimes a classic sometimes something silly. It was time we spent together.  I think she enjoyed sharing some of her favorite childhood books with me that way.  Our house was an old house.  It had tons of windows.  One wall of my room was windows.  I did not appreciate it as much as I should have. Frequently we would open all of the windows in the summer for a nice breeze (my dad hated air conditioning) so it was a good thing our house had so many windows. Regardless, it was hot.... the air was thick, my mom sat in a chair near my bed, and I recall looking out the window and seeing lightening. I said "ma, I see lightening" and she replied half asleep "Its just heat lightening" and then she told me a story from when she was a child.

Obviously, I couldn't just whip out an iphone and see if heat lightening was a thing or not.... it was  a good enough explanation for me- and I went to sleep.

I have been fascinated with the weather, and used to watch the weather channel, but I never looked up "heat lightening" I like the explanation, and even if it is not scientifically accurate, it was enough to calm my nerves, and that is pretty darn hard to do- even now.

My mom and I had a rough relationship through my teen years- and 20s... heck most of my life there have been challenges, but instead of focusing on the crappy stuff- I consciously think about these memories. The ones that- even for a moment I felt loved and good enough to deserve her love.  

To the Mat

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I love a good workout.  I love to feel my muscles work, stretch, and bend.

Sometimes, especially, after being sick or otherwise recovering, pole can be a little too much.

In these times I lean on yoga- this time my love affair seems different.  It started in January- and it was fling-y.  Committing to a mat and practice was asking a lot. My feelings slowly changed from a time filler to a deep love.

Now I treasure my mat time.  I look forward all day to class- get fussy if I miss a class.

Yoga is a workout for my mind- but it is a deeper workout for my mind and spirit.  Learning to feel connection, feeling the sensations of whatever I am doing and surrendering to it.

I am not giving up my pole time- I am just adding mat time too it.  

Septic Shock

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I get sick more than the average person.  It is expected for me at this point.  My kidney hates me and it gets infected the way preschoolers get colds. This time was worse though.  This time was scary.  This time I was a little too close to dying.

The Saturday before Easter- I got up- I was in the middle of an asthma flare so I took those meds in addition to my morning meds and then went on with the morning getting the kids ready to go to B's family for an early Easter.

Like a lightening bolt it hit me: I was cold, shaking, sweating, pain, and just sick.

No matter what I did I could not get warm.  I thought it was just an infection but soon I was proved wrong. After vomiting and taking a nap, when I tried to go downstairs I couldn't figure out how to move my hand down the banister.  I couldn't figure out how to go down the stairs.  My brain and my body had a bad connection and it felt like I was moving through jello.

Thank goodness my sister was able to babysit for us, B had to go to the firehouse, and I needed to go to the ER. 

I drove myself to the ER- and that was a shitty idea.  I saw there were dozens of people waiting to get seen and I figured it would be a long wait. 

The triage nurse came and checked me over- my temp was 103, my heart rate too fast, and blood pressure way too low. No waiting for me.

In the ER it was determined that I had septic shock.  A life threatening reaction to an overwhelming infection.  Despite 3 bags of fluid, my blood pressure would not normalize.  Slowly my oxygen saturation started to fall- I was put on oxygen.

My labs showed my kidney was struggling, my liver was struggling and my circulatory system was begging to collapse.

I understood none of this- all I knew was it hurt, and I did not feel good.

Shortly, I was moved to the Intensive Care Unit and pressors were given to get my blood pressure up.

The ICU doc told me in no uncertain terms how sick I was.  I was still in a fog so I had B talk to him. 

Slowly, with the pressors, the antibiotics, and other meds, I started to feel better.  After a few days I was able to maintain my blood pressure without pressors and I was sent to a regular floor. Where again, my doctors made sure I knew that I had had a very very close call.

I had a PICC line placed and am getting antibiotics via IV at home.

More than 50% of people with septic shock die.  Once you have septic shock you are more likely to experience it again.  It can take 18 months to fully recover from this.

So I am very thankful that the doctors and nurses at the hospital caught how sick I was, I didn't- I thought it was just a regular infection,

I took these pictures, but I don't remember taking all of them.