Saturday, March 30, 2013

5 Minute Memoir: Blessings

Tomorrow my mother-in-law is hosting dinner for the whole extended family in our area.  She is always willing to host, plan, cook, and clean up for these big events, and I sure do appreciate it.

I have two children with birthdays next week.  My preemie will turn 13, and my oldest daughter will turn 17.  As cliche as it sounds, it is hard to believe.

I had my husband by my side on this beautiful spring day while we hid dozens of Easter eggs for our children to find.  Two months ago he was just coming out of the post-surgery fog after having open heart surgery.  I remember feeling very alone at the time.  I am thankful that he is recovering so well.

7 of our kids hunted high and low through the yard to find eggs.  It was so nice that even my almost-17-year-old wanted to participate.  I am already thinking of ideas for a grown-up egg hunt for future years.  :)

My husband and I got to go out to buy some special cupcakes, some area rugs, and a few other items today.  We ended up stopping by my mom's house.  I am so thankful that she and her husband now live close enough for us to see them often and share support through all that life brings.  With new children, multiple surgeries, chemo, car accidents, and many other things going on between both households, support and comfort of family is a blessing.

Friday, March 29, 2013

5 Minute Memoir: Attitude

So I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about mindset and attitude lately.

Several things in my life can feel quite overwhelming, scary, and frustrating.  When I find myself getting upset and feeling down about it, I am reminded of the ideas presented in the book The Power of Now.  Is anything happening right now that is a problem?  Typically the answer is no.  Nothing is happening right now that is bad.  Most of what I am feeling upset by is the what-ifs.  I don't know what will happen in the future.  Some difficult stuff has happened in the past and maybe it will happen again.  Maybe it will be worse next time!  

When I feed those negative voices they grow in strength and soon they are strong enough to pull me down into a funk.

Mission:  To feed positive voices.  To starve negative voices.  To be more present and less worried about things that have happened in the past or might (or might not) happen in the future.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

5 Minute Memoir

Good things today:

1.  I actually read a book for pleasure today.  As so often happens, I randomly plucked a book off of my shelf and got into it, and serendipitously found that it addressed some of what's happening in my own life.  The message I got was a confirmation that I am not alone in feeling conflicted about some of the things in my life, that putting words to them is not shameful, and that feelings can grow and change.

2.  This children played well together today and were less clingy than some recent days.  It was a helpful respite from recent family dynamics.

Bad things today:

1.  My husband had made a crock pot full of soup beans a few days ago.  He forgot to put them away, so then they sat out.  His disposal method?  Set the crock of old beans on the deck.  Where the dogs would eat it.  And then they would vomit.  Repeatedly.  In the house.  And there were children waking up who didn't know what was going on, who would see the dogs by the back door and would let them back in, and then they would barf again.

And did I mention that we were out of paper towels?

This was not a nice way to start the day.  Though it is very nice that I now have several children who are old enough to clean up dog barf without assistance.

2.  One kid peed their bed last night, which resulted in quite a bit of laundry.  This kiddo needs to not only be reminded to pee before bedtime, but you actually have to stand outside the bathroom door to listen to be sure he actually goes.  Good times!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Radio silence ends.

In November we added two children to our family.

In January my husband had open heart surgery.

I am going to try writing for 5 minutes at a time, to get some stuff written down and see what happens.

I may only get around to doing it this once.

I have now wasted one minute of my 5.  So here are some random things I have to say:

Adding children to the family has been harder than expected.  I also did not expect to have this experience reveal so many areas of my character that need improvement.

Has it been a good thing?  Yes and no.  I don't know.  I think it's too early to tell.  It is hard.  Sometimes I think it is too hard.  Sometimes I think it is mostly hard in my mind, where I feel the burden of wondering where this will lead/what will happen/have we made the right choices/will everything be ok?

In reality, days go by and everything is ok.  

Compounding the experience of adjusting to new children with special needs while also having a husband with major surgery and a l-o-n-g recovery time certainly has multiplied the stress level way, way high.  I keep trying to encourage myself that we have been through an awful lot of wacky, stressful, intense stuff in the past 4+ months, so nothing is expected to have been easy.  It'll get better.  Or at least I hope so.

Time's up.