Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Major Anxiety

I have terrible anxiety.  Having anxiety is a horrible form of mental torture.  I worry about my children a lot.  If my baby gets sick, I literally start to shake.  I start to feel sick to my stomach.  I have these physical signs of my anxiety and it is no fun.  I worry about what is actually wrong with her, since she can't tell me.  It is so much better when they are old enough to tell me this or that hurts.

My husband doesn't have anxiety.  I have tried talking to him about this.  He just tells me I overreact to everything.  He tells me that I just shouldn't worry about things.  I wish it were that easy.  I have joked with him that if someone could take his blood and analyze it, the perfect anti-anxiety drug could be made.   I am not saying this to bad mouth, I am actually envious.  I wish I could live day-to-day life without worrying about what might happen.  Does this make any sense?

I hope that my children get my husband's lack of anxiety.  I sometimes can see some anxiety in my oldest son.  He worries when his little brother runs ahead of us, and he will chase him down and tell him not to do that.  I worry about that too.  I often tell him not to run ahead because a car could back out and not see him or he could run into the street.  I usually have the baby in her baby carrier so it is hard to chase him down.  He will usually walk beside me, unless we are out with the older children on a walk.

I am tired so I am going to call it a night.  Hope it has been a great day for everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

One Bad Idea

I had the brilliant stupid idea that we should all move out west.  On paper, it all looked good.  We would all move to Nevada.  It would be nicer out there, the sun would shine more and it wouldn't get as cold.  There would be jobs for everyone... there were engineering jobs for one of my brothers, there were casinos for my other brother and my husband (they had both worked at a casino in NY), and it was close to dear relatives.  I could find a job quickly doing data entry, I always had.  It is something I am good at.  My parents are retired, so they wouldn't need to work.  They would be close to family and we could all hang out together, but on the other side of the country.

As it has turned out, I now have 2 brothers in Washington, a brother still in New York, a sister that lives with me here and a sister in Wyoming.  My parents are still in New York also.  Me and my brilliant stupid idea, has my family spread out all over the country.  Now, when someone is hurting, we are not a few blocks away, where we can go and surround someone and give them all the love they need, and then some.  Instead, we are several hours, or days, away from each other.  It makes it quite impossible to be there for each other when needed. 

My husband was all over the idea of moving away from New York.  He didn't like some of the laws, he didn't like his job and the neighbors we shared a wall with made life complicated when it came to sleeping.  I don't think there will ever be a way that I can convince him to move back to New York, especially since we have bought a house. 

Knowing that a sibling of mine is hurting is absolutely killing me.  Knowing that a couple of years ago we lived less than a mile away, pangs me more.  It is some inhumane form of torture to be stuck here and there is nothing I can do, except to pray.  People that love you are not supposed to hurt you, at least that is what I would like to believe. 

I am thankful for each member of my family.   I wish we lived much closer, like we used to.  I hope one day we can live close again.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Clubs = Bullying... Apparently

Yesterday, I got a call from my childrens' school.  I didn't really think anything of it, since it is the day before a long weekend.  I generally get calls that tell me that they don't have school on Monday, or whatever day it may be.  I played the message, but this time, it wasn't an automated message, so I had to listen closer.  It was a voice telling me that my daughter had gotten in trouble at lunch time and issued a citation.  I am still not sure what a citation means, but she got one.   I returned the call and left a voicemail.  About an hour later I got a phone call back.

During the time between getting the voicemail on my phone and me returning the call, I questioned my children.  They both looked at each other, then at me in a state of shock when I asked what they did at lunchtime.  I knew this was not going to be good.  They said they took ketchup from the cafeteria and squirted it in the snow.  They weren't the only ones involved.  One of the girls was saying it was blood.  I was mortified, thinking that could lead to expulsion.   I was thankful my children didn't go along with that train of thought.

The school had all the children involved, 5 girls and 1 boy, write statements about what was going on.  My daughter, being the aspiring writer that she is, wrote a long statement apparently.  She put it all on paper, didn't hold anything back.  First of all, I don't like the idea that the school had them write a statement without consulting the parents, or at least this parent, first.  I don't think that children should be made to implicate themselves, anymore than adults should.  That being said, it happened, and I can't change it now.

Before the school called me back, I got these details from my children.  They took ketchup from the cafeteria, sprayed it in the snow.  My daughter had to go to the bathroom, one of the girls that was doing ketchup squirting went to the bathroom to, and squirted it on the walls, and put it under the seats.  I asked her why she was in the bathroom with the girl, my daughter said she really had to go.  I guess that is a good enough reason to be in there.

When I talked to the school, I learned that my daughter and the other four girls were issued these citations.  They will have to read an excerpt from a book that discusses bullying and write what they learned from it.  This will take place in the office during first recess.  During second recess, they will get to hangout with the school counselor.  This will take place Tuesday through Thursday, as long as they finish the book excerpt and the essay.

I was told that my daughter was the leader of the club.  That certainly doesn't surprise me, she was a born leader.  She loves the spotlight.  She is my opposite when it comes to those things.  I prefer to be in the back of the room and not noticed.

She wrote in her statement that it was the "Ketchup Taking Club."  Clubs in school, I learned yesterday, are a form of bullying.  This is because not everyone is included.  I guess it was disturbing to the administrator that my daughter wrote that one of the girls brought another one out to spray ketchup without permission.  My daughter explained to me that she just wanted to know the name of people in the club.  I think, personally, that the school should be thankful that she didn't open up the club to the whole school because they would have been out a lot of ketchup and there would have been a big mess outside.

I am not in anyway condoning the activity of my daughter and my son.  He didn't get cited because in his statement he wrote, "I have no idea why I was doing this."  He doesn't like to write.  It might have kept him out of trouble.

 I am just thinking back to the day when I was in elementary school.  We would make up little clubs.  I think it is just something that children do.  Am I wrong?  The administrator told me that she could have a club, but it has to go through the proper channels, and allow everyone.  I don't think the "Ketchup Taking Club" will ever be approved. 

Another problem, which is not good, was by them taking the ketchup from the cafeteria, they were stealing.  I guess they figured since it was supplied, it was theirs to take.  They are not in trouble for that, since they didn't understand that, but they do now.

I explained to my children that I was often the child that was left out.  I further explained that I expect them to be a friend to everyone.  I would have really liked it if people would have said, "Hey, do you want to come play with us?"  I asked the children to make sure to be the person that includes everyone, regardless of how they look or talk.  Everyone needs a friend, and it can change someone's life.  I hope they have learned from this experience.  I know that I did.  I would have never equated clubs with bullying.  Bullying is no good and I let my children know that. 

I just hope that this incident doesn't follow them through school.  I hate the whole idea of the "school record."  I will have to find out.  My children are good children, they just made a bad decision. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I started getting Valentine's Day gifts yesterday.  My husband had flowers delivered to me.  They are beautiful.  I am not sure what kind they are, I know they are not roses or tulips.  They look more like yellow and purple daisies (if that is possible).

Today, while my husband was bringing my older two children to school, I put his gift on the bed.  It was a Valentine and a package of Dark Chocolate Mounds and Andes Candies.  I enjoy both, and I know he does too.

When I got home from bringing my son to preschool, he thanked me for the gifts.  He then gave me my second gift... a bag of Dark Chocolate Bliss candy.  Good stuff!  He knows I'm a big fan of dark chocolate, and I dropped the hint about the Bliss a week ago.  It was on sale at one of the stores.

We don't go out on Valentine's Day, never have.  The restaurants are too busy.  We will likely go out a week from Saturday, since my sister will be going out of town this weekend.  She is the person that watches the children when we go out.

My children got Valentines at school, and most of them included candy.  I don't remember that kind of Valentine when I was younger.  They love Valentines Day.  It is a fun day, lots of sweets.  

Valentine's Day was not always a fun day for me.  It used to come and go without any acknowledgement.  There was times that I wish it didn't even exist.  People would get flowers and chocolate; I would wish there was someone that even felt somewhat propelled in the direction to acknowledge my existence on that day.  It is wonderful to have that person in my life now.  My problem was that he lived across the country from me... he was in California, I was in New York.

I am so thankful for my husband and my children.  They make me feel special.   I am blessed to have them as my Valentines. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The First Time Holding My Children

I don't know of a single parent that isn't amazed at how quickly their children grow up.  I am one of those parents.  I can remember holding my oldest son for the first time... I can remember holding each of them for the first time.  I held my oldest for the first time in the NICU.  He wasn't breathing at birth.  Thankfully, I gave birth in a hospital with a NICU attached to the C-section room.  When he was born, he didn't cry, due to the fact that he wasn't breathing.  They delivered him and ran to another room.  I knew something was wrong because I had watched enough "A Baby Story" shows to know they will show you your baby if nothing is wrong.  I got to see him after they stapled me up and started bringing me back to my room.  My husband was holding him, and I started to cry, and told him I was his mommy.  My husband then returned him to the NICU nurses. 

It was several hours after giving birth that I was wheeled down to the NICU.  While I was holding him, I couldn't get over how tiny he was.  As I was holding him, one of the alarms starting going off.  It was the worse feeling in my life.  The monitor showed he had flat-lined.  Thankfully, the wire had come unattached.   I was so thankful for all the nurses that took such good care of him for the four days he was in there.

I remember the first time I had to change his diaper, I felt like such a novice.  I had changed my siblings diapers, and the diapers of children I watched, but after seeing how efficiently the NICU nurses could do it, I knew I had a long way to go.

When my daughter was born, I was scared to death that something was going to go wrong.  I still had my wonderful midwife, Karen McBride.  The birth went absolutely perfectly.  She was a scheduled c-section, because of the complications leading to my first c-section.  She didn't wait until the scheduled day, she came six days early.  I had worked the night before I gave birth, I went home early since I was having contractions.

She cried at her birth, which made me cry.  I didn't get to hear my firstborn cry at his birth.   I had to wait to hold her also, but not as long.  I remember they brought her in to me, and they had attached a little bow to her head.  I took a good look at her and couldn't believe how much she looked like her little big brother.  He was only 13 months and 13 days old.  The first time he saw her, he got the biggest smile on his face.  I believe he remembered her from the pre-existence.

Someone (one of my brother-in-law's ex-girlfriends) came to visit me that evening, and asked me if I hated needing to wait to see what color the baby's eyes are.  I told her I knew they were blue, she said I couldn't know that.  I assured her that I had seen them, and they are blue.  She told me that babies do not open their eyes for a few days.  I was wishing I was dreaming, but I wasn't.  I assured her that human babies open their eyes at birth, puppies and kittens do not.

My five year-old was born back east in NY.  He was the only child I didn't have my midwife for.  I was blessed to find Dr Chauhdry.  He was a very caring doctor.  By the time I was pregnant with my son back east, I had been through a few doctors with really bad bedside manners.  When I met Dr. Chauhdry, I assured him that I knew I was overweight, and that I didn't want him to tell me that I was.  After laying that groundwork, we were good to go.  I don't think he would have ever told me I was, but after the doctors before him, I didn't want to take the chance.  I will never understand why doctors think they have to tell someone they are overweight.  We know it...  That is just my rambling after seeing the news on Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey.  Some people are just rude...

Anyway, my five year-old came 6 days before his scheduled c-section also.  I was excited that he was going to be born before Christmas.  The room the c-section was done there was about 1/4 the size, or less, of the rooms my older children were born in.  I was quite shocked that they had to maneuver in such a small room.  I was so concerned because there wasn't a NICU at the hospital.  Thankfully, we didn't need one.

 I once again didn't get to hold the baby right away.  My whole body was itching shortly after birth.  I didn't know if I was allergic to something or what, but it was terrible.  I now know that it was the Pemphigoid Gestationis, but I wouldn't be diagnosed until I moved back to Utah.

I learned later that my blood pressure would drop so low that they couldn't let me have the baby due to needing to monitor me.  There were times that they would tell me to breathe, when I thought it was obvious that I was.  I guess it wasn't as obvious as I thought.  I got to hold him a few hours after he was born.  He was my biggest baby yet.  I couldn't believe how big he seemed, at a whole 7 lbs 8 oz.  He latched on quickly.  He was hungry.  Right after his birth, he sneezed seven times in a row.  It was funny. 

When my baby was born, she was also a scheduled c-section, after doing an amniocentesis to make sure her lungs were developed, she didn't seem to want to come out.  It seemed to me that she had hooked her little feet under my rib cage and wasn't about ready to budge.  I could feel the pressure of my midwife pushing on my upper stomach, by my higher ribs.  The table was moving while they were trying to get her out.  She cried at birth.  It is amazing how you look forward to that cry, since you didn't hear it at the first birth.

After they got me sewed back together, they brought me to my room.  My husband got to carry the baby to the room.  I was a bit nervous he would drop her, I don't know why since he had never dropped any of our babies.  For the record, he didn't.

My sister and my children were all in the room waiting for us.  They all held her.  I don't remember who held her first.  I do know she is my first baby that I didn't have to wait to hold.  She was so tiny.  I did know how much she weighed, but no one knew how long she was.  My husband wasn't in the room when they measured her.   She was 6 pounds, 3 ounces.  So, when a nurse finally told me that she was 21 inches long, I couldn't believe it.  At that weight, I thought she would look like a string bean.  The nurse was mistaken, she was 18 1/2 inches.  She was a tiny little thing.  She was swimming in the newborn clothing. 

I am so blessed to have had four healthy, wonderful children.  I have been blessed to have my husband by my side during all of their births.  He has held my hand as I have gone through major surgeries to have the children.  I think it is wonderful that they allow the husband to be in the room while they do a c-section.

After the birth of my first child, they didn't let him in the room right away.  When they asked him if he wanted to go, he looked at me.  I told him to go.  I wanted the baby to have a parent with him.  By the time our last baby was born, he just got up and went. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Getting Older...

My kids are 9, 8, 5 and 1 (16 months).  It is hard to believe that my baby is 1!  It is hard to believe my oldest is 9 and will soon be in the double digits.  They truly amaze me!  They get along so well, when they want to.  They make me smile, knowing the age difference, and how well they get along with their younger siblings. 

My one year-old likes to hang out with me during the day, but once her siblings return from school, she prefers to be with them.  I used to be the best thing in the world to her.  She seems to hold her sister and brothers in that regard now.  

My children make me smile much more often than not.  They try to be a friend to everyone.  They make me proud when I see how they treat others.  Today was designated as #BeAFriend day in Utah.  They invited a friend over after school that they hadn't seen in a while.  I made a batch of brownies while they were at school so they could bring them to another friend.

I can tell I am getting older.  I have pains that I have always hoped would subside but it seems at times that they are just getting worse.  I have been in two car accidents in my life, one someone backed into a vehicle I was exiting, the other someone rear ended my vehicle.  Both ended up messing up my back, and one screwed up my left shoulder.  Some days those injuries really bother me.  Today, on my run, the shoulder injury really started throbbing.  I try to move it around to ease the pain, but it doesn't seem to work.

My husband will be 38 at the end of the month.  I married him when he was 26, I was 27.  He hasn't really changed in the last (almost) twelve years that I've known him.  I don't think he has gained more than 3 to 5 pounds.  He still works out whenever he can.  We don't have a gym membership so it mostly consists of push-ups, sit-ups, and going on walks.

I am thankful that we are all getting older.  It sure beats the alternative :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Snow is Melting

I am happy to report that our snow in the front yard is not as deep as it was last week.  I am not a fan of snow now, nor do I ever expect to be.  I have had people question why I would move from Western New York to Utah if I hated snow.  I did it because my midwife, Karen McBride, is awesome.  If I hadn't been pregnant when we made this move, there would be no way I would be living in Utah right now.  She delivered my first two children and then my last baby.  My third child was born in Western New York, and thankfully, I was blessed to find a wonderful doctor there also.

My children have enjoyed being able to play outside again.  There is still snow, but it is warm enough that they can be outside and not suffer frostbite in a number of minutes.  The melting snow makes me very happy.  I think it will take about another week of temperatures above freezing for it to completely go away.   I am not sure that will be happening anytime soon.

My sister and her family visited us this weekend.  It was wonderful to see them again.  I am thankful that I have a sister that lives with me.  I always look forward to having family visit.  It seems like so long between visits.