Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer blahs

Oh, summer.  Will we ever get along?  Probably not.

It's been a while.  At first it was because I was super busy.  Then it was because I was super blah.

My Random Balls of Happiness project kind of exploded for a minute, but has calmed down since.  I'm just letting it take its own course.  It's been really interesting to see the people I connect with on Instagram, and the other projects that are out there.  There's such a huge community of people trying to spread happiness and find and point out the beauty in the world.  It's amazing.

Even though my Happy Balls are kind of like therapy for me, and I've been feeling really good for a while, the clouds rolled in not too long ago.  I had hoped it was a PMS thing, and my therapist and psychiatrist think it could be hormonal, but I'm definitely struggling.  The psychiatrist is adjusting my medications and my therapist suggested that I keep track of my moods to see if it is related to my hormones in any way.  I really need more than 2 highlighters because I should have more than "happy" and "sad", but it's more like "good" and "bad" and I'm writing what's actually going on.  I HATE adjusting my Topamax dosage.  Good grief that stuff messes me up for a few days when I have to increase it.

The psychiatrist also gave me Lorazepam, which honestly scares the crap out of me because it's addictive.  It's prescribed to be taken as needed, and I've only taken it once since she prescribed it. I know people abuse the stuff, and I don't know how it makes people feel when they don't have anxiety/depression, but it just made me feel calm again and eventually I fell asleep.  Like I said, the stuff makes me nervous (ironic, an anti-anxiety medication making you anxious) because I don't want to be dependent on anything.  I've never even liked strong pain killers.  Plus, it's not often I have the luxury of being able to just knock myself out to cope with not being able to deal with life.  You know what I mean?  I have kids that need to be attended to, a job that I have to work.  It's not easy to schedule a nervous breakdown.  Trust me, I've been postponing mine for years now.

I'm actually having a good day so far.  It's not even 7am, but you know, I actually have a positive outlook on the day instead of feeling like finding the nearest cave and moving in.  Hopefully I can have a nice long yellow streak on the calendar.  PMS isn't supposed to hit for another week at any rate, anyway.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Black Jelly Bean

Saturday, Olivia went to spend the night with a friend, so we took advantage of the lack of pickiness and went to eat Chinese food.

Except Isabelle thought that meant we were going to the hibachi grill and was pouty.  I love Japanese food as much as the next guy, but it's expensive.  She got over it and ordered soup and was mildly disturbed by the "giant weeds" in it. LOL

After dinner, we took a walk at The Old Mill.  It was crowded with people trying to take pictures, which isn't unusual because it's a popular photography spot.  We dropped a few Random Balls of Happiness off.  There was a bride taking pictures and Isabelle tried to catch up with her to give her one of the balls, but didn't make it to her before she left.  Which, as it turns out was actually kind of serendipitous...

The ball Isabelle had was the gray ball at the top.  When we didn't make it back across the lake before the bride left, we found a tree and hung the ball.  I worried a bit about that ball because it was gray and a little dull.  It wasn't all bright and noticeable like most of my balls.  I worried that no one would find it.

Sunday, I got a message on Instagram from a lady asking me if she could buy some balls.  I didn't know her and she didn't mention knowing anyone in common, so I asked if she had found one of my balls.  She found the little gray ball at The Old Mill!  She's travelling to NY in a few weeks and wants to take some RBOH with her.

I'm pretty excited at how all of this is going.  I have lots of ideas brewing for it.


Monday, the girls ran into the house to tell me they had found a kitten.  

This is never-ending, you guys....  we have some stray magnet, and I need to dig it up and get rid of it.

I refused to even listen to them.  I was just shy of plugging my ears and "la la la" -ing

Finally I look.

It was the smallest, scrawniest black kitten I've ever seen.  Dirty and starving.  Dang it.

So we cleaned it up.  It was pathetic.  Scratched up, crusty, scabby.  Skin and bones.  Fed it some canned food.  Bundled it up and kept it warm.  I told the girls it had to go straight to the shelter, though.  

I called the shelter and they pretty much said it'd die there.  I know that making you feel like crap is part of the game because they don't want to take in any animals, but they did have a point.   The cat needed more care than they had time for.  So I felt too guilty and ended up taking it to the vet instead.

Black Jelly Bean is  about 5 weeks old.  Malnourished, but otherwise looks OK.  We're syringe feeding him for a few days until he starts eating on his own.  I still want to find another home for him, we really have way too many animals already.  But at least he has a chance now.  Just need to find another sucker... I mean softy.... like me.  =)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Milestone: First graduation

I was always a bit disappointed that the girls never went to a school that did Kindergarten graduations.  I think it's adorable.  But they didn't.  So Olivia's Elementary graduation this past Friday was our first official "graduation" ceremony.

I honestly can't believe that I have a child entering Middle School next year.  And as I was looking at all the kids on the stage Friday night, not a single one of them looked old enough to be going into Middle School.  Babies, I tell you.  All little babies.

But My little Livi has made it.... from the first day of Kindergarten through fifth grade.

Oh, my goodness, her cheeks.  She had the best cheeks when she was little.  I really miss those chubby cheeks.

Mr. Bill acted like he didn't understand the point of Elementary graduation ceremonies, but I think he was proud all the same.  He at least managed one of his rare smiles for a picture.  Trust me, that's a HUGE deal.

I'm probably 200% more terrified of Middle School than Olivia is.  I'm just really not ready to see my little baby bird start spreading her wings, but I guess that's really not up to me, is it?

So Olivia.....

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Week Off


So, I took a little time off of work.  It was wonderful.  So needed.  I really wish I didn't have to go back to work, but bills have to be paid.  Stupid bills.

My main goal was a lot of time alone.  While I did battle a little guilt and feeling selfish about that, it was absolutely necessary. You can't possibly imagine how theraputic hours of solitude is to me.  I couldn't take a Monday through Friday off because of other vacations previously scheduled, and I think it would have been even better if I had because there was a 3 day chunk of family in the middle of my solitude, but it was still very refreshing.  I feel so much better.

Thursday, I dropped the kids off at school (an unfortunate deal I make with the hubs when I am off work, it's torture) and went for a walk.  I had packed up my Happy Ball supplies and sat by the river and crocheted.  I made a fun rainbow Happy Ball and left it on a statue by the Two Rivers Bridge.

I went to the yarn shop nearby and bought some yarn that I just adore.  I gave the shop owner a Happy Ball.  To be honest, I don't really remember much else about the day..... it seemed to slip by too fast.  Poof, it was time for the girls to be out of school.

Friday was Bill Day.

I went to get my hair trimmed and then spent the day with that guy.  We had lunch together and were pretty bored, really.  We just wandered the mall.  We had a good time, we just were pretty aimless.

The weekend was our average weekend.

Monday I had planned on doing some heavy cleaning around the house after taking a long walk.  I dropped the kids off at school and took my walk.  It started raining on my last mile.  I got home, changed, and crawled into bed with Bill to warm up because I was chilled to the bone.  I woke up at 1:30p.m.

Needless to say, there wasn't much heavy cleaning going on.

Tuesday I did the cleaning.  I really hate cleaning, but it needed to be done.  Blah.

I did make a lot of Happy Balls along the way.

This isn't all of them because the girls stole quite a few to take to school along the way and I gave a few away.  I need to mail off a few batches.  I have a list of 5 or 6 people still who want some.

Yesterday was my last day off, so I decided to spend it out on my own again.  I took the girls to school and it was too early to really do much, so I went home and napped with Bill for just a little bit.  I got up and went to IHOP and had a late breakfast.  Then I went and watched Mother's Day.  I have never been to see a movie by myself.  I like not having to worry about what someone else wants to see.  Of course, there really wasn't anything playing I really cared about seeing.  The movie wasn't bad, though.  After that I went back to the yarn shop, again....

The shop owner had my Happy Ball on display on the knitting needle rack =).  Of course, I had to get more yarn because I have a problem (who doesn't LOL) and I had an hour to kill before having to pick up the girls so I sat and crocheted.  There were 4 other ladies there knitting and eating lunch.  They were all very nice.  I finished 2 balls and gave them to 2 of the ladies when I left.

After I got the girls, I had to go to the library because I needed to pick up the third season of Doctor Who (I'm just now watching these.... the season finales are killing me each time people.  How do you do this?)  We had left a Happy Ball there about a month ago and one of the librarians found it and posted it on Instagram.  It was actually the first time someone used the hashtag #randomballofhappiness on Instagram besides me and my friends.  Well, she was at the library and recognized Zoe from a picture I posted.

She looked at me and asked, "Do you knit or crochet?"

"I crochet."

"Do you crochet little balls?"


"Do you crochet little balls of happiness?"

"Yes.  Yes, I do."

She was so excited.  She said they were so tickled to have been yarn bombed and she couldn't wait to tell one of the other librarians that she had ran into me.  I felt almost famous or something.


I have an idea brewing with these little balls for Father's Day.  It's in the cooking stage.  And I"m going to post the pattern for the balls for anyone who wants it in a few days when I get the time.  So look for that.....

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dear Sally

Sally, I wanted to respond to your comment on my last blog and since you post anonymously, if I reply to it, you wouldn't receive any notification.  I hope you don't mind me doing it publicly.

I have to admit, I was shocked at first.  Not because I thought you were wrong for what you said.  Because I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said.  But because I guess I try not to show things like that a lot and didn't realize I let that much of it show.

I've never been all that strict as far as discipline goes, but this past year things have definitely spun out of control.  So many things have spun out of control over the past year.  I needed help long before I sought it, and it's going to take me a very long time and it's going to take a lot of hard work and probably a lot of frustration and tears along the way but I will regain control.

I take full responsibility for how they act.... I know I should lay some of it on my husband, but with our work schedules, he's really not around much (which is a big problem in and of itself, but not one that will be resolved any time soon).  There have been many days that the absolute best I could give was my physical presence.  I've not been mentally or emotionally available so much lately to be a good mother.  I was just a body sitting in a chair, if they were lucky... sometimes I'd be laying in bed.  There were many times they'd get what they wanted just so that I didn't have to fight because there wasn't any fight in me.  And Today Me, looking back, feels AWFUL about that.  I don't want my kids to remember that about me.

My husband..... I have many mixed feelings where he is concerned.  He might go to counselling if I gave him an ultimatum, but he would never go willingly.  He's an ass, and when I'm in a good mood, I'll call him out on it and he thinks it's all in fun. When I'm not in a good mood, he doesn't understand why I don't find it funny anymore. I don't know if he just doesn't know when to draw the line or what.  I don't want to make excuses for him though.  Like I said.. mixed feelings.

And finally, rest assured.... I'm not taking this medication trying to lose weight. Losing weight is not really even something I'm worried about right at the moment.  If I do lose weight taking this, great, but I'm far more concerned with getting my physical and emotional health back on track right now.  I think my melt down the other day was due to hormones, not the medication.  Sodas taste awful and I have noticed I really don't crave sugar, which is actually a blessing because it's made it so much easier to avoid snacking at night and my fasting blood sugars have been beautiful.  But ultimately, the hope is that it will even out my moods.  Anything else is just a bonus.

I really appreciate your concern, and I assure you that I am taking care of me.  =)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Life's Like a Jump Rope

I'm not really good at jumping rope, by the way.

I saw the psychiatrist Monday and she put me on a medication that gives me a headache.  You would think I'd keep it at bay with Advil, but I'm just really tired of taking pills, so I suffer through it most of the day like an idiot.

She made this drug sound like the holy grail.  It'll make you lose weight!  You'll lose interest in drinking soda!  You'll stop craving carbs and sugar!  All while it levels out your moods.

Let me just say, the weeks leading up to this appointment... I had been in really good spirits.  Since my primary care doctor upped my Effexor, life was good.

I started the new med, had a meltdown and have had a headache ever since.

And my therapist has fallen off the face of the earth or something.  We had an appointment Tuesday and she texted me that she was sick and asked if we could reschedule for today or Friday.  I said either day was fine and I haven't heard a peep since.


I'm not trying to blame the new meds on the meltdown.... yet.  I mean, I had only had one pill.  I do know from other people who have taken it that headaches are a common side effect, but I need to hold out judgement on the meltdown.  Could be PMS, it is that time.

I was loading the dishwasher and had 2 spoons.  I knew there were no spoons in the drawer, and all I found in the kitchen to wash were 2 spoons.  TWO.  I asked the girls to look around for spoons because obviously they have somehow scattered spoons across the house and they were all like "meh, whatever." and all of a sudden I felt like I was on a tight rope and there was no way I could balance on it.  I was going to fall one way or another.  On one side was anger.  Really ugly anger.  On the other side was crying.  Stupid, unreasonable crying.  These stupid spoons were tipping me over and I needed to choose while I had the ability to choose, so I chose crying.

I cried over the fact that we only have two spoons and my kids couldn't care less.

I stayed in my room for a while until I could straighten myself up.  I got the kids to go to bed, where they sent me back over the edge again and I went back to my room.  I came back out and they were in their rooms and I went to the living room.  I have a table by my recliner where I keep my crochet projects.  There's a little basket that had my alpaca yarn in it and the girls had knocked it over.  I started picking up the yarn and couldn't find the green yarn.  It just hurt my feelings so badly that they would knock over this basket and lose my alpaca yarn that was a gift that I just sat down right in the middle of the floor and sobbed.  It seems so unreasonable to me now.....  it always does after the fact.  Isabelle wasn't asleep, and she came out and sat next to me, rubbing my back and hugging me.  I worked really hard to stop.  I don't like my kids seeing me like that.  I really don't and that's why I'm trying to hard to get better.  It kills me.  But I don't know what to do.

So, I'm hoping this drug helps.  And I'm hoping my therapist calls me back soon. Because I feel a little tangled up in my jump rope right about now.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Balls update

It's been almost a month since I started making and leaving my Random Balls of Happiness.  I honestly had no intention to make this a "thing" when I started.  It was just something to do to bring something positive into an otherwise dismal day for me.

But a few people asked me to send them one.  And I didn't want to just send them one, I wanted to send them extra, to leave about themselves.

I've sent out 3 boxes of 6 to my sister in S. Carolina, a friend in Chicago, and Bill's cousin in upstate NY.  I still have 4 more people waiting on their own boxes.

My sister suggested I tag them with a hashtag to see if I could "track" them.  So I have put #randomballofhappiness on all of them since my initial batch and shortly after that, set up an Instagram account for them @randomballofhappiness.

I searched and searched for the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, but didn't see anything.  That's OK, because I was really happy doing it regardless.  Then, this past Thursday, the girls grabbed a ball each while we went out to run errands.  Zoe left her ball at the library and one of the librarians uploaded the picture to Instagram.  I was so excited!  I knew for certain that someone had found it!

And then Sunday the girls and I had a little picnic by the river and they left one on a tree in front of where we parked.  Shortly after we left, I got an Instagram notice that @randomballofhappiness had been tagged in a post.  Someone found the ball!

This has been so much fun, you guys!  I've even had my sister-in-law and one of you dear readers offer to make some to spread even more happiness.  It makes me feel so good to know that something I've done makes someone else happy.  I've lost count of how many I've made so far... and I don't intend to stop any time soon.  I'll just keep making my little happy balls as long as they bring me joy.


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