3 Tips For Your Hiatus From Blogging or Work.

 

3 Tips

It’s been a crazy month, and while I have missed writing, I do NOT feel guilty. This is amazing for me, since I’m the one who feels guilty for feeling guilty and making someone else feel bad because of it (This happens more than I care to talk about… lol). I don’t feel guilty because this is one of the reasons I write. I love to write, to get my thoughts, ideas, experiences and the like out in the open, and I like that it works on MY time-frame.

The past 3 weeks have been scary and humbling, and ultimately eye-opening. We are in a bit of a waiting period while we wait on word from “But Dad’s” recent bronchoscopy. I’m feeling like I’m able to get back into the swing of things now, and I am thankful for that.  I think we all go through our hard times, our struggles and such, and I am happy to be able to share some of the details and some of what has (and hasn’t) worked.

Here are my 3 tips on getting the most out of your blogging/working hiatus.

  1. Take a Break. Usually if you are taking a hiatus from blogging or other work in general, there is a personal reason. It could be medical, or family related, or something similar, whatever the reason, take some time off. Maybe a week, maybe a day or 2, but take the time you need until you feel ready to think about working again. Yes, that was a mouthful, but seriously, there is no reason to try to work on something when you can’t concentrate on it, take the time you need.
  2. Do Some Research. While we were going through the several Dr appointments and a surgery and all that these last 3 weeks, I took about a week off, I did nothing blog related. Then, once I had taken the time to process the “new normal” of fitting in more Appointments and having less time to write, I started reading blog posts and even an eBook on writing. I wanted to come back into this with a fresh mind, and be able to rock out some posts.
  3. Make a Plan. I had one of those A-ha moments during all of this and I am super excited to be working on a new project that will (hopefully) be out later on this year. I will be working simultaneously on this new project while rocking out some blog posts this summer, and I already have a pretty decent plan in place to do so.

Sometimes, we go through seasons in life where we just really need to take a break and concentrate on higher priorities. By following these steps, I got the most out of the break and am ready to take on the world (or at least my little corner on the blogosphere) once more.

Do you have any tips for taking a break from work during life’s storms???

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Birth Story: The Oldest

I realized I never actually wrote my birth stories for the blog. I’m starting with the oldest, and soon I’ll follow up with the youngest’s birth story.

***Disclaimer: This post contains vivid and somewhat scary visualizations, if you are a sensitive soul, or pregnant with your first, you may want to wait and read my youngest’s Birth Story, which is much more pleasant. You have been warned 😉 ****

Our Oldest's Birth Story

“It isn’t supposed to be like this. This is supposed to be the happiest time of my life, WHY am I so devestated???” It isn’t hard for me to think back to the very first day my oldest little one came into the world. I was terrified. I had NEVER had surgery, She was the reason for my first (and many more after that) blood being taken. I didn’t know what to expect, and further more, everything after they took me down for the C-Section is burned in my memory in hazy cloud-like thoughts.

We were told she would be big, REALLY big. “I’m guessing she will be every bit of 10 pounds at birth” I heard the horrifying number echo in my brain, “There is NO WAY I am pushing out a 10 pound baby” I thought. They pushed for a scheduled C-Section, then, she ended up staying breech the rest of the pregnancy, anyway.

I was okay with the idea of a C-Section, I felt like it was the safest way with “But Dad” and I being so very different in size, I was worried. What if I tear, what if she gets stuck, what if we end up having to do a C-Section anyway. This will be just an easier way of doing this, and in the end, our little girl will be here, safe and sound, and I’ll heal.

There is something about the unknown that strikes fear into just about everyone. The day arrived, and they prepped me for surgery. I was scared, but determined to be positive. The took me down to surgery and when they wheeled me in… we waited. I HATE WAITING. But, when there is something really important you are waiting on… it takes even longer and is even harder. I was beside myself with emotions, and panic began to set in as “But Dad” was ushered out of the room and I was brought into the OR by myself.

I remember them giving me the epidural, and I asked them to “Let me know when you check me” so I knew I wasn’t going to feel anything. I felt the epidural work slowly up my left side, and even slower down the right. I panicked, I felt like a ton of bricks was sitting on my chest, and I was terrified. The anesthesiologist asked if they had checked me and could bring “But Dad” back in. “Oh, yeah, we already have her open, go get him”

Those words… I tripped on my breath, “they never told me they were checking me, never asked if I felt anything, how do they know I’m not going to feel something in a different area?” I thought.

“But Dad” came in a sat next to my head. He was already in his own state of mental torment from being made to wait so long to come in. He never showed it though, he sat by my side trying to keep my mind off of everything that was going on.

“…She’s almost out” I waited to hear a cry… I waited… and waited… and waited. I held what little breath I could manage, praying, pleading to hear a cry. “Here she comes…” WAIT, WHAT???  She isn’t even out yet… what is taking so long??? I saw them pull her out and about 45 seconds later there was a cry.

“Ma’am, we’re going to give you something to help calm you down” they gave me a shot of nerve medication and I started to go into a coherent, but super relaxed state. “She’s 5 pounds 9 ounces” Wait, what???  I fought through the meds… She was supposed to be 10 pounds easy. “But Dad” went with our oldest to the nursery as I laid there, in an uneasy but physically relaxed state.

They finished putting me back together and took me to recovery. I wanted my baby, I wanted my family, instead I got nurses who were busy, talking about their plans for that weekend while I laid there unable to talk, unable to communicate, but still able to miss my family.

Recovery took forever, and I finally got to go back up to my room. They wheeled me past the nursery where they were finishing up the newborn exam. I got to see her in all her perfection. I was happy, but I was out of it.

They brought her into me within a few minutes of getting me settled, and began to try to help me with breast feeding. My tiny little baby was hooked up to a heart monitor since she had 1 heart deceleration and they wanted to monitor it. I was hooked up to cords, she was hooked up to cords, and as I frantically tried to make sense of the whole breast feeding thing, the heart monitor would beep when I’d get hung up on something, causing me to panic. After a couple of tries, I asked to have formula brought in. She needed to eat, to gain weight, and I just couldn’t handle all the stress. “But Dad” fed her, her first bottle, and… as they say… The rest is History.

Our Oldest's Birth Story

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Parenting a Different Child: Finding a Bond You Never Thought You Could Have

Parenting a Different Child: Finding a Bond You Never knew You Could Have

Before I became a mom, I thought I had it all figured out. It was going to be so much fun, playing, and cuddling, and spending time with my kids. Then, I had one issue after another follow me into the craziness that was our oldest’s newborn days. She was breech, I had a panic attack on the operating table, she was low birth weight, I was zinging on nerve meds and breast feeding never worked.

I spent time pumping and feeding my baby, but, if I’m honest, I was jealous of “But Dad” and his bond with our precious little girl. As time went on, I still couldn’t find a way to bond. My oldest is different than me, in A LOT of ways. I was parenting a different child.

I spent quite a while, trying to “figure out” what was wrong. She isn’t into “girly” things, she doesn’t like to play dress up or tea party or any girly games (unless it’s her dinosaurs having a tea party). I was putting my daughter in a box, and trying to force her to fit how I thought she should.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it is awesome that she loves dinosaurs and dragons and spaceships (I myself wanted to be an astronaut for a while growing up). I just missed getting to BOND with her over the girly things… the things I know more about.

As time has continued to go on, I realize she is not as emotional as I am, and very much more logical. I’m not equip to deal with that. My personality test even said I’m 100% feeling. I write this with a bitter-sweet thought in my heart. My oldest is an AMAZING, strong willed, thinking, smarty pants, who is going to rule the world one day… and I am struggling to connect with her.

Knowing that she is different from me is MORE than half the battle though. I used to see her as a child who was “different” and someone who need help to be “fixed” and made “better”. Now I see her for her amazing brain, the way she is so logical about things, and the fact that things like emotion don’t make sense to her is really because emotion is NOT logic.

My husband and I know there are still going to be difficulties along the way. We know it may even be a long road to help her as she tries to navigate a world that can be so deeply run by emotions and social settings. However, I also know, she is JUST FINE the way she is. She is exactly who the world needs her to be, and it is my privilege to raise her into a great leader one day.

I finally jumped in and got her a dinosaur excavating egg for Easter. I thought she would get to excited and mess it up. I was only half right. She was sooo excited, but still worked at being very careful. The look of pure joy on her face is exactly what I’ve been missing from her. I’m so thankful I decided to get her that egg. Hopefully this is the start of a great relationship finally.

Have you ever had problems bonding with your child??? How did you overcome those problems??? How did you get through in the meantime???

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The Parenting Trap: Why I Don’t “Subscribe” to a Parenting Method

Why I Don't Subscribe to "Parenting Methods"

So this may just be one of my most anticipated posts yet. For those who have read my blog for a while, you know we face challenges while parenting our very different children. Those who are new here, well hopefully you pop through our posts on parenting to get an idea of what we are all about.

First, I want to come right out and say it. I now own 4 books about parenting. Some of you are thinking… “Only 4 books?” While others are clearly thinking “It took you 4 books to find the right one” The answer is YES.  I have been searching blogs, and books for about 2 years now, trying to find the right “system” that will help us parent our children effectively. I wanted it outlined, explained, and then examples given so I know how to do this right. I was asking for blood from a turnip.

Like everything, I have to try the hard way first. I go out, buy a system or book and pour myself unrelentingly into the words I read as if it held the cure to world peace- or at least toddler battles. I would take notes, get excited, make a plan and attempt to get “But Dad” on board (This usually ends in him being frustrated I am AGAIN changing the rules). I poured everything I was into the “System du jour” only to find I was left disappointed and frustrated when *Gasp* This “Fool-proof” system for a “Normal” child didn’t work with my totally NOT “Normal” kids.  What the heck is Normal or Typical anyway???  (I know there are lots of ACTUAL meanings for these words, but, that’s not what we are talking about in this post)

I finally bought ANOTHER new book, last weekend. I was excited because it had come so highly recommended by A LOT of people. As I started reading through the book, I could feel the excitement level rising in me. This made sense, I finally found it, I was onto something. THEN, I realized the main component went against one of “But Dad” and I’s basic rules to parent by. I was crushed and cried myself to sleep that night feeling defeated and frustrated.

The next morning, I went back to reading the book, I’m not sure WHY, but I did. As I began reading this time, I realized that just because ONE of the main ideas in the book wasn’t going to work, it didn’t mean NONE of it was going to work. Further more, it didn’t mean I couldn’t adapt the technique to fit our rules of parenting. I began to wonder how much of the ideas in the other books I could find and start working on as well.

I’m not saying that in 1 weeks time, we’ve got it all together, because we don’t. What I am saying, now that I can separate the stuff that works from the stuff that doesn’t work in our parenting, I’m able to relax more and have more fun. I’m not stuck on rigid ideas and banging my head against a wall that was clearly written to work for someone else’s kid, just not my kids.

I don’t subscribe to a “Parenting Method”, I take bits and pieces from each and create the one that is right for my family. It’s challenging, but if it works, we roll with it.

Do you find certain “Parenting Methods” work for you, or have you created your own???

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Parenting Rules: Our Outlook On What It Means To Be A Parent

Our "Rules" for Parenting
Our “Rules” for Parenting

I think before they have kids, people tend to think about to great stuff. The picnics, family outings, vacations, and time spent at home laughing and enjoying each other’s company. What we don’t think about (or at least as much about) is the structure, the rules, the responsibility. Then, you see those 2 lines on the test, and you realize, your life is about to change, FOREVER.

Wether it’s your first child, or your 7th, one thing is certain, with each child life changes. “But Dad” and I have had many a talks about parenting and the responsibilities we now have for these 2 little lives that have been entrusted to us. While we aren’t always on the same page when it comes to parenting techniques or methods, we have 1 very common ground, “What it means to be a parent”.

For us, Being a Parent Means:

  • I am NOT your friend. I am here to teach you how to live and be a productive member of society.
  • Right now, I am ultimately responsible for the things you do, I plan to teach you to be responsible for yourself.
  • We will make mistakes. There will be sorries, and we will move on, and we will LEARN from those mistakes and become better together.
  • You will be given freedom as we see you are responsible enough to handle it, you may think this is unfair, but it’s the responsible thing to do.
  • I value your feelings, however, there are some things that are NOT negotiable. You will think this is unfair, life is not fair.
  • I am here to protect you, provide for you, and teach you until you are old enough to start doing these things on your own.

This is a rough list, but very much the basic principals “But Dad” and I share about parenting. Our techniques or approach may be different, but when all is said and done, these are our goals for being parents.

What are your “Parenting Rules”???

 

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Just an Update. Life is CRAZY.

An Update on our crazy life.

This is one of those, posts I’ve been avoiding for a while now. It’s not necessarily a “bad” post, just a tiring post. It’s the kind of post that is usually interesting to read (I love reading updates on the blogger friends I follow) but, to write it, to format the swirl of words that swish around in my head, well, it’s daunting to say the least.

So it’s been a while since we have talked about real life, and I feel like there is so much going on. I’m going to be all over the place, since instead of going in chronological order, I’m just going to finish out each of our stories 1 at a time.

“But Dad”

“But Dad” has had some stuff going on health wise. We have been dealing with High blood pressure, and now he will be starting Physical Therapy for pain he has been living with most if not all of his adult life. We are also getting a sleep study done to confirm his sleep apnea and get his very own C-Pap machine. He jokes about how he hadn’t seen a doctor since he was in school (for ADD meds) and now he finally sees one and is immediately loaded up with pills and 3 other doctors. Moral of that story Take Care of Yourself While You Are Young

We also had a bout which included an ambulance ride, the Emergency Room, His family doctor and then Urgent Care. We started out thinking it was a broken rib or his gallbladder, they ruled those out, called it Pleurisy and sent him on his way. We had a follow up with the family doctor where things were looking good, only to relapse and then find out through Urgent Care that he actually has pneumonia. It’s been a crazy 3 weeks or so for us dealing with all of this. (I’ll be making a post about the importance of having emergency info ready sometime later this month).

“The Oldest”

I’m not exactly sure if I have mentioned this before, however, we have started the oldest in feeding therapy. This is interesting, and particularly rough for me at times, as it goes against a lot of how I was raised. We are noticing some improvements though, so I’ll take it, and deal with my inability to handle change on my own time, not hers.

We have also been looking into some behavior therapy options. If I’m completely honest, the older she gets, the harder I find it to justify her actions and reactions. We are starting some new parenting techniques and I will be posting about those soon as well. All in all she is doing well in preschool, and proving to be an extremely smart little girl. I’m proud of how far she has come, and am looking forward to the days we can get the emotional and social stuff figured out.

“The Youngest”

Our youngest is doing extremely well in speech therapy and she is blossoming into a little girl with a great spirit. She is picking up on emotions and empathy so quickly, and just like a sponge absorbs everything going on around her. She loves her “Tsum tsums” and is wanting to learn ballet.

She will be starting preschool in September. I’m excited and a little sad, our baby isn’t really a baby anymore (even though she will ALWAYS be my baby). I’m excited to watch her unfold into this little person with a big heart and even bigger emotions. I’m proud of her for continuing to grow and blossom even in the midst of all the attention being on her sister.

Then, there’s ME:

So, I think any moms out there know, when so much stuff is going on, we tend to forget about ourselves and get wrapped up in making sure everyone has what they need, when they need it. We have 2 weekly therapy sessions (1 for each child), 2 monthly parent teaching session (again 1 for each child), Preschool 3 days a week, and now “But Dad” will be in physical therapy twice a week for at least 6 weeks if not longer.

Some days I feel as if my head won’t stop spinning. It is CRAZY, and while I love my family and would do anything for them, I have days I just want to be left alone. After much thought and dealing with some really painful emotions, I have decided that I am going to start going back to counseling, and possibly back on meds if I can find meds that regulate me the right way.

It’s so hard, living with Bipolar for years and never knowing it, over the top emotions are what I am used to. I am finding it very difficult to give up feeling those strong emotions, however, I realize it really is what is best under our current circumstances.

So, now that THAT is out of the way, on to happier thoughts. I’m preparing to send in some posts to some big name sites *Stay tuned for the results on that* I am also still working on putting together a book of stories from people who either have, or deal with family that have mental illnesses and children with developmental delays.

All in all, it is safe to say that life is crazy, and mixed up, and at times even downright over whelming, but, we’re still here, still doing what we do, and bringing you all the ideas as to how we manage with so much craziness.

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