Thursday, November 10, 2011

Geeked.

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I joined my church choir this fall and damn if I'm not having a blast.  I had forgotten how much fun and how uplifting it is to sing in choir.  Plus, we do a fair amount of gospel music which is just plain fun.  I have to admit too, that as 1 of about 5 or 6 people (out of about 40+) who are under the age of 60, it's kinda fun to be around so many grandmas and grandpas.  They crack me up.

So now, for fun, I live up to my choir geek status and spend a fair amount of time searching out choir performances on you tube ... usually for songs that my choir is practicing.  Right now we are getting ready to perform this one for church on Sunday, I love it.



Monday, November 07, 2011

Spins.

So yeah, did I mention that I've had this dizziness thing going on for a while now?  It kind of sucks. About three weeks ago I woke up and before I even got out of bed I realized the room was spinning.  It was so strange.  After it went away (a few seconds later), I got up and immediately realized that my balance was missing.  I had to grab a wall and hold on for a few seconds.  I spent the day slightly to moderately dizzy... unable to get in to my doctor I left work early and went home to sleep.  The next day it was better, but ever since then, any time I lay down, or lean my head back too much or stand up quickly I get dizzy. I have done a disgusting amount of googling and I'm pretty sure it's vertigo, I am going to see about getting in to the doc soon.  It's getting to be pretty annoying.

Add to that my left eye twitching 24/7 and you can see why I am starting to get a bit tired of it all... If I'm not dizzy, my damn eye is twitching and vice versa.  GAH.

The prompt for today:

Making family time is important to me. How do you balance your children, relationship, and work life?

I think we struggle with balance a lot in our house.  Sadly, Aaron and I and our relationship sort of end up taking a back seat to the kids, work, chores, etc.  Aaron and I operate as a team and we get a lot accomplished, but there are still times where things come out horribly lop sided... where we'll go months without having had a date night or spending any time together.  Recently we started making Sunday nights our 'date night' at home.  During the week we alternate days to pick what to watch on TV... I get odds and he gets evens... this alone has solved so much of the stupid conflict we were having.  We don't watch the same stuff and I would want to watch my cheesy reality show and he would want to watch his BORING car show and we would bicker and one of us would get annoyed and so on and so on.

So we started alternating nights and bam! No more conflict.  So simple.  No more bickering, no more annoyances (regarding the tv anyway) and now on Sunday nights we pick a movie together and watch it together.

As for work, luckily I work a 9-5 and can leave it there for the most part.  Sometimes I bring some of the stress home with me, and sometimes I work overtime, but it really isn't bad.  The only thing I would change is if I could work earlier hours since I have to be up early anyway. 

anyhoo, that's all for me tonight.

I just started the book 'The Help' today and I can't put it down!  It's got me hooked, I highly recommend it.

655679289103_0_ALB Asa. Good Lord I miss that cat.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

7 years

Aaron and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary today... with a trip to Fry's and Taco Time for dinner!  :)  We had our date night.  Today was spent hanging out, doing household stuff, and playing trouble with the boys.  By the way, remind me to tell you later about the pain that is board games with a 5 and 6 year old.  At least today there was less yelling. By us.  Gah.

Anyway,  because I refuse to post current pictures of myself right now (hello, heifer)... how about a look back at some wedding pictures.

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the bridal party ... how things change... the flower girls are now teenagers who live far, far, away and I miss them dearly.  The ring bearers are 12 and 14.  One of the groomsmen has been divorced and remarried since then, another groomsman has gotten married and had two babies... in fact... since this photo, there have been NINE babies born to this group.  One of the groomsmen and a bridesmaid are now dating, two of the bridesmaids are ass faced dicks who I know longer associate with... and one of them is my cousin, go figure. 
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7 years. wow.  Can't wait to see what the next 7 hold in store for us. ;)  And the hundred after that.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

using a writing prompt...

Ok, I got nothin' for today, so I'll use the NaBloPoMo prompt...
"When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?"

a computer... I had no idea how little I actually wrote with a pen... but I sat down to write in my journal (which hadn't been written in in well over a year) and damn. After a paragraph my hand began to hurt! WTF. I used to write page upon page of journaling in cursive, now I can't do more than a paragraph? Damn.

Well, that's it. Hey how about an old pic of me with short hair. I kind of want to do that again.

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Friday, November 04, 2011

ugh.

I am taking Nolan back to the doctor next week... I want him OFF the Addera11.  He was on 10 mg for about a year, then in August we moved him back to 5mg in the morning, 5 in the afternoon (sometimes he only takes a half though) as he really does remarkably in school, it's the non school portion of his day that he struggles.

Anyway, I was diagnosed with ADHD earlier this summer... I took Adderall for a month or so, and realized that Adderall + me = BITCHFACE.  Seriously.  I would be fine and then I could feel the dark cloud sort of coming over me... it was uncontrollable and I would be ready to take someone's head off for no reason.  It was AWFUL.  (Add in that I was off my depression meds and I was an angry, depressed MESS.  But that is an entry for another day.)

After I stopped taking it, (I now take Wellbutrin for both the ADHD and the depression) I noticed how Nolan would change from being his happy go lucky (albeit WILD) self to being somewhat serious and more prone to snappishness and grudges... and occasionally lashing out.  I took him to the doc a few weeks ago, wanting him OFF of stimulants, but he talked me into adding a different med at night and seeing how that affected things.  As is per usual, I fell for it (what IS IT with doctors' offices and me forgetting to hold my ground?!) and I had him take it for a few days.  Then I thought 'fuck that.' and stopped.  I didn't want to add a medicine, I want him off the medicine that makes him a cranky little beast. 

As a test to see if I was right, I took him off all meds for a few days last week and what do you know.  Yes, he was hard to handle because he was wily and all over the place, but not once did I have to get on him about his attitude, the way he was speaking to me, for talking back etc.  It was amazing.  That was all I needed to arm myself with, so when we go back this week I can take a firmer stance as I now *KNOW* that I am right.

The thought that for the last 2 years he has been scolded and yelled at and punished time and time again for his nasty attitude... and the fact that it was the medicine making him that way kills me.  KILLS.ME.  He is such a good boy, and a sweet boy.  He deserves to be happy, above all, he deserves to be happy.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Why I have trouble blogging.

I used to keep a blog/journal and updated it regularly... in fact, if you are reading this now, you likely read that one before.  After having kids, it fell a bit by the wayside... mostly after they hit the later toddler/little boy stages as life just became super busy, and then we were dealing with some behavioral issues (adhd) with Nolan... and I didn't *want* to write about it.  I didn't want to publish forever on the internet how difficult of a time we were having and the like.  After a while, it became more of a hassle to update than I wanted it to be (confession: it still is a bit of a hassle) so I just stopped.

I also work in criminal justice, specifically in a Sexually Violent Predator division... where I am part of a unit that helps civilly commit these monsters to a medical facility where they can receive treatment and work towards rehabilitation.  (she said with a straight face.)

I'm talking cases like where a ped0phi1e will pause the television on a show or commercial that has a child on screen... fully clothed, completely non-sexual... but he'll pause it and linger.  Said ped0phi1e also writes to charities and schools and programs asking for brochures (which they unwittingly send to him) as the brochures often have pictures of children on them.  You can imagine what the pictures are for. 

I've also seen a manual written by a ped0phi1e on how to achieve adu1t/chi1d 1ove (yes, I'm deliberately using numbers as I don't want those search terms to bring this page up), and I'm talking disturbingly explicit... how to earn trust, how to broach the relationship, how to consummate the relationship... disgusting. Offensive. Terrifying.  The photos used in the 'manual' were all innocent photos of children taken from 0rkut... which if you remember a while back, people were stealing photos from flickr and posting them on 0rkut for general consumption... looking at those photos made me sick... thinking that some parent shared a photo of their little one and it ended up in publication like that... it's completely fucked up.

Anyway, so I have a hard time wrestling with putting the kids out there... I know that it's always a risk, but I can't hide them away from everyone all the time... at least by blogging I have an outlet and I've made some wonderful friends and connections by blogging... so I am trying to reconcile it, as if I can keep myself still blogging, what a gift it will be for the boys to read about their childhoods and family life when they are grown. 

Which brings me to the other part of this... I don't want them to read back and think that I hated being a mom... because that is so totally not the case.  But I want to vent, and be honest and sometimes the honest stuff isn't pretty.  This is the biggest thing I think... and it's something I'm still not sure about, but I guess I'll just play it by ear. 

Anyway.  That's why I haven't blogged much in the past few years.

I leave you with a picture of me and my best friend Holly... this was 1998ish I believe... on a hell trip to Vancouver with her psycho ex-roommate.
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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

ahh, that's better.

I was initially planning on updating this blog every day for nanoblomo or whatever it is called. But then I got acrylic nails put on 2 weeks ago and last week they were really screwing with my ability to type as I had them put on a bit long.

And yes, acrylics. I wore fake nails for about 3 years before I had kids, and man do I miss them. They make me feel pretty and they are a respectable length... and it gives me an hour to myself every other week to get a fill and have some me time. Though I have to say, I really don't enjoy the whole process in and of itself.

Anyway, because I haven't updated every day ... I'll remedy that by backdating a few short posts to get caught up.  So we'll pretend this was written on 11/1 and not 11/6.

now I leave you with one of my most favoritest pictures of my sissy when she was little.


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Monday, October 31, 2011

A pirate and a policeman

Halloween... thank God it's done. For whatever reason it just seemed exhausting this year. But the boys looked great and had a good time, well... minus the last 10 minutes or so and the drive home from the trunk or treat on Saturday. I think Nolan was tired and maybe the meds were making him super cranky. He went from having fun and being happy to cranky and bothered and annoyed and mouthy. It was pretty awesome. That would be him below in the costume parade. You can see how he was just done.











and from last night when we met up at my parent's to trick or treat with cousins:


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I sure love these little nerds

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cutest cupcake EVAR!!!!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Medication Dance

Ok... bear with me, I'm going to go through some history here... Nolan was diagnosed with ADHD in September of 2009. His presenting symptoms being issues with impulse control and hyperactivity. (You can also have a focusing problem with ADHD but at 4 years old I didn't notice that as much as the others.) He was like a live wire... a pinball unable to stop. He was happy and joyful for the most part (some fits etc) but was unable to sit still ... could not follow directions to save his soul and was just really really hard to try and parent. Constantly into stuff he shouldn't be (when he definitely knew better)... being waaaayyy to aggressive with his brother, other kids, the cats... not always on purpose etc. Being in public with him was a full fledged nightmare. He'd run off, skip around shrieking at the top of his lungs, throw stuff, knock stuff off the shelves. AWFUL.

Anyhoo. He was put on Focalin... the change was immediate. He was calmer and able to follow directions... he didn't run laps around the living room screaming at the top of lungs anymore. But he was also sullen, teary, angry and withdrawn. He was not my boy.

He was switched to 5 mg of Adderall extended release and we saw an immediate improvement in his mood. He was still controlled, but not so withdrawn or sullen. He still had some mood swings, but overall it was eons better than before. July of 2010 he was switched to 10 mg of the same medicine. We didn't feel like the 5 mg was cutting it anymore.

He started school that fall - Kindergarten. I was so worried how he would handle it. SO. WORRIED. But he did great. Focusing was definitely not an issue... in fact, his teacher voiced to me several times that she would like to see him unmedicated since he was so quiet and reserved in class. There were a few times he went to school unmedicated and she saw no difference. But the minute he would get home it was balls to the wall craziness. I couldn't believe the difference.

Towards the end of the school year... that would be June of this year we went through a really REALLY rough patch. He started lashing out at us and at his brother... violent angry outbursts. Fits that would last the better part of an hour. Screaming so loud I was afraid people were thinking we were skinning him alive... it was awful. We immediately got him into counseling - once a week.

During this time I had been diagnosed with ADHD as well. I was put on Adderall as well since it seemed to work well with Nolan the doctor theorized that I would probably do fine with it.

I took 10 mg at first and then 20mg and then back to 10 and then I quit taking it. I had the basic side effects of loss of appetite and crazy energy. I also would have these pretty awesome moments of intense rage where I hated everyone... and wanted to rip people's faces off. It was tolerable at first but then I was just feeling angry and bitchy all the time.

In August the counselor suggested moving Nolan back to 5mg... in the studies that she had both me and Nolan's teacher fill out in June my answers scored him being impulsive and hyperactive (shocker!) and his teacher scored him as being depressed and withdrawn. She thought perhaps he was being over medicated.

So we did switch back and he did do better. It got a bit touchy when school started and he backslid with the lashing out a bit (but not nearly as bad as it had been when school let out.) He was prescribed 5 mg of extended release to be taken in the morning and 5 mg immediate release for the afternoon. I haven't had the school start giving it to him in the afternoon yet, but he gets it on the weekend. He still has lots of moments of being a bit wild and unable to chill, but if we can get him into an activity he does much better. I don't know if it's that he's matured or what but he definitely seems able to focus even when not medicated and not in school, but it does take quite a bit of parental involvement to get him there. He also shows a lot of remorse when he's behaved inappropriately and will apologize profusely. But I am still finding him to be cranky and moody and sometimes downright rude when on the meds.

So with all this in mind, these are the conclusions I've come to.

1. Perhaps it's time to switch meds. After my experience with Adderall I really do think it's affecting his mood negatively. Maybe it's time to try a non-stimulant.

2. I'm tired of yelling at my child because he's either out of control with hyperness or he's got a shitty attitude. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground with this... one extreme or another, maybe a nonstimulant will help that.

3. He is a good boy. A sweet boy. I don't want his childhood to be riddled with memories of being yelled at, being repremanded, being punished. (at least, no more so than a typical kid.)

4. I don't understand why he is completely able to be in control at school... and then have it go completely out the window once he gets home.

5. At 6 years old the pediatrician said 5mg is an extremely low dose, especially for a kid who has been medicated for 2 years. This to me is telling that he is probably more capable of controlling himself than we give him credit for. Or maybe I'm wrong and I'm setting him up for failure. Or maybe I'm right and we're drugging him unnecessarily and turning him from my nice sweet boy to my sweet boy with awful mood swings.

At this point I just think it's at the very least worth a discussion. I'd love any thoughts or experiences on this topic... I feel kind of lost sometimes figuring this out.

Photos below are from when we went to the zoo with my friend Heather and her family A MONTH AGO. GAH. I mean to be better about updating!

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Friday, September 16, 2011

*sigh*

Seth turns five on the 25th. And I'm really not happy about it. I'm just having a hard time accepting that our babies aren't babies anymore. I mean I know they haven't been babies for a long time... but five. damn.

Expect a few more photo heavy posts over the next few days....

grinny mc cheesey

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Mr. warm-up

awww he has my heart

giving his dada loves

my favorite shot of the day



my little sweetie pie

hug brudda

sad

Monday, September 05, 2011

How can one condo hold so much shit?

So yeah, on Thursday night we had a notice on our door that there was going to be a condo-wide garage sale on Saturday. When the topic had initially come up a few months ago I didn't pay much attention, as we are usually booked to the hilt on the weekends, and I didn't think we'd have time for a garage sale. This weekend, however, we were mostly free. So we spent a good 5-6 hours Friday night gathering items and pricing them. As a result I was able to really get in there and gut the boys' room of broken toys, and then set aside a bunch to sell at the garage sale. The amount of crap they have even after I did all that is disgusting. Spoiled much?

Anyway, we made about $23 from the garage sale, and I think most of it came from the crackhead in the complex next to ours. Wheeler and dealer she was, and aired out her dirty laundry in the process. She was annoying at best, and probably walked away with 20 bucks worth of stuff that she might've paid 5 or 6 dollars for. But really, we had made the deal that anything that we put out for the sale would NOT be coming back upstairs. So it was better than nothing, that's for sure. We still donated a ton of stuff to the used store, and then this morning when I cleaned out the boys' closet and purged the too small items, we have another big garbage sack to go up there.

On Sunday, we spent the day at Woodland Park Zoo with one of my oldest friends - Heather and her family. We had a blast, and followed up the long day on our feet in the hot sun by cooling off at a wading pool nearby.


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Nolan, Julia, and Seth in the dinosaur exhibit at the zoo.

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The only purpose I have for posting this pic, is that as I was picking some out to upload I kept doing a double take. That dinosaur looks like he has a cowboy hat on. After about the 5th double take, I was so annoyed with myself I had to share.

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Oh man, the amount of begging and pleading I had to do to get these children to pose in front of the dinosaur. I can't blame them... they were totally scared of them and my reassurances didn't do much. Seth was convinced it was going to walk over and spray water like the other dinos we had just seen. (The spraying water, not the walking... none of them walked.)


The kids totally climbed up there without being forced and what's funny is about a year and a half ago we went to a children's museum and Nolan wanted no part in the group picture and was such a PILL about it.
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witness:

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aaahhh the good ol' days. Luckily he's much more cooperative these days.

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The zoo maps were a hit among the older three (Shane, who is 2 didn't have the obsession that the older ones did.) They kept trying to figure out where we were, what we still wanted to see etc. We started referring to them as the navigators.

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Right before I took this, Seth kept saying "can I hold your hand Joooolllliiuh?" It was really sweet.


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So serious here.

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Why yes, that is 2 6 year olds and an almost 5 year old in a double stroller. What can I say, it's a huge zoo, they have little legs. I am also weak to whining, so I rented one right off the bat and it held our bags of lunches/loot. Then after they had been walking for 3 hours or so I relented and let them rest. Slavedriver that I am.

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Still Navigating.

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