Posted in Change, Kids, Me

The Year of Change

Some people choose a “word for the year” each new years. I’ve done it myself–last year in fact! (It was Engaged). This year I’m going with the word Change. Because I need to embrace it, although I typically hate it.

Change in parenting, change in my marriage, change in my work status…lots of change in circumstances.

However, I’d also like to embrace some internal change as well, more likely known as growth.

There’s been some serious talks around here lately, between my husband and I, between my sister and I and even between me, myself and I. Conversations about things that need to be addressed, looked at, and yes, changed.

So here we are. 5 1/2 months until graduation, 8 1/2 months until Laura goes to college and let the roller coaster start!

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Posted in Christmas, Me

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

December 20th. 5 sleeps until Christmas Day. ONE DAY left of school and work. I love Christmas and all, but oh, how we as a family need the break from life this year! School is being, well, SCHOOL. Work is, well, WORK. My family is burned out and needs to sleep in, relax and unwind for more than one or two days in a row.

That said, the house is decorated, the tree is up, the presents are all purchased as are the stocking stuffers. I have to make one batch of fudge tonight and another Sunday. We need to wrap presents. So at this point we are at a good place with holiday preparations.

Ethan and I attended church on Sunday, which we haven’t done in months. I was pleased to see a few gals from my Thursday morning Bible Study, and enjoyed the time there. I love being at church. I don’t like GOING there, but I love BEING there, if that makes sense? I’m hoping that 2019 finds us more faithful with church attendance.

As we close out this year, I wanted to say Thank You to my readers and followers. If you had asked me 13 years ago if I would still be blogging I would have probably laughed. Yet here I am. Still posting, still wondering, still parenting, still figuring things out. Thanks for coming along for the ride with me.

Posted in Change, Health, Me

When Did I Become a Drinker?

I grew up in a tee-totalling household. We were Baptists and that was part of it, but my mother’s father was a active alcoholic until his death and that was the larger part of it. I chose, at 21, to try it. My brother cannot drink and be ok, and I didn’t want to end up where he was. But I figured I would be able to tell if I couldn’t handle it. And honestly, that has largely been true.

I chose, on my honeymoon, to actively allow myself to get drunk. I was in DisneyWorld, at a bar that we walked to from our hotel room and I figured it didn’t get more safe than that. I got schnockered on two mixed drinks and HATED it. I couldn’t control my body and felt awful. I thankfully didn’t get a hangover, but that was my one and only time being totally drunk. In the last 20 years or so, I’ve mistaken how much I could have on an empty stomach or how strong a drink was and been a little loopy, but all in all, I’ve been a responsible kind of imbiber.

It helped that I didn’t like it much. Beer? YUCK. Straight liquor? YUCK. Wine? YUCK. Mixed drinks where you can’t taste the alcohol, ok. Then a few years back I discovered moscato and hello! I liked wine! I could have a glass at a social event and fit in! I could go to a winery and actually drink something! I could buy a bottle, keep it in the fridge and enjoy a glass here and there.

And that’s mostly where I’ve been. I really hate the current culture where people joke about how much wine they drink or how hard it is to get through the day until they can get a glass in their hand.

But with all the new research that’s coming out about how there’s really no level of alcohol that is healthy (despite all the crap that the spew about red wine and the heart), I’m finding myself at a place where I think I want to just stop drinking. I read this article today, where the author talks about how she gave up drinking a year ago. It won’t be missed in my side of the family. My sister can’t drink after having chemo. My brother is in recovery and doesn’t drink. My parents still don’t drink. Just my husband and my brother in law do on my side.

So I’m taking a leap of faith and announcing here, officially, that I am no longer a drinker.

Posted in Change, Kids, Me

The Firsts of the Lasts

Having two of my triplets be seniors means there’s not only a lot going on (there’s ALWAYS a lot going on!), but there’s a lot of “last times” as well. The last first day of school. The last first marking period. The last school pictures. The last pediatric dentist appointment. This week was a biggie: Laura’s last IEP. Yes, I got a little verklempt!

Laura’s IEPs used to be short–20-25 minutes–and easy.  But then last year hit and she went downhill so quickly. Instead of just vision support and Orientation and Mobility, she’s now getting counseling and occupational therapy. I’m happy that her school is so caring and supportive. I argued for more OT–every week instead of every other–and they agreed to change it. Hooray for advocating for my daughter!

In news about ME for once, I had a big milestone birthday. Yep. I’m 50! The actual birthday was kind of a letdown between my reaction to a medication and the reaction of one of my teenagers, but I’m looking forward (mostly) to this coming year as I enter this decade of massive change. I’m questioning a lot, wondering a lot, thinking a lot and emoting all over the place (up, down, up, down! I’m like an adolescent!). Here’s to menopause and may it happen SOON!

And here’s to the many lasts that will be happening in the next months. May I face them hopefully and happily and not cry too much.

Posted in Addiction, Family, Health, Kids, Me, Vacation

End of Summer Update

Y’all, I’m sorry. I never mean to disappear over the summer, but it almost always seems to happen.

Looking at a week left until school starts (two seniors, a junior and a sophomore), I’m processing all that has happened over the course of the last 10 weeks. Like the rest of 2018, a lot of it didn’t look like what I had expected. Ethan went to Diller Vacation home, came home and immediately left for a four week program, IDEAL. Laura spent three weeks at Penn State’s Summer Academy. We spent 12 days away from home, 9 of them in Michigan and the others traveling to and from.

That was the expected.

Unexpected, well, that would include a plane ride off the island in Lake Michigan, a transfusion for Catie, a night over in a hotel just the two of us and a plane ride back. (by plane, picture a Cessna, and not a 747!). We still don’t have answers for WHY she is having this bleeding (a period since February except 3 weeks in June). The current course of meds is making it lighter, but has not stopped it. I’m trying to get an appointment at duPont instead of staying at the OB-Gyn’s. While they have been great with me, I’m not thrilled with the level of care with my 15 year old.

Unexpected would also include the death of Ethan’s best friend, the daughter of one of my closest friends. Which, even as I type that, brings tears to my eyes and hurt to my heart. I loved her like a daughter and don’t know how to live life without ever hearing her sweet, soft voice asking for Ethan on the phone. Or to see them, snuggled up on the hammock or a couch, talking and sharing time. If I ever (EVER) tried to picture him actually being romantically involved with someone, it was her. I’m trying to figure out what friendship with her mom will look like when it was our children’s special needs that brought us together. I WILL be her friend. I just don’t want to hurt her.

Unexpected has been my raging-out-of-control addiction. It started before Michigan, so I can’t even blame it on Devon’s death. It certainly helped me avoid grieving, though. And hey, that’s been GREAT. (that facetiousness, people)

Unexpected has been the decision to go forward with another round of SI joint injections on Friday. I’ll be sedated this time around, and have much better expectations of recovery and the pain involved. I flared last time; most likely I’ll flare this time. I have four full days of nothing planned, and then it’s driving the kids back and forth to school. I’ll manage.

Unexpected has been the washer breaking, the hall bath leaking, another spot on the ceiling today that we have NO idea where’s it coming from, and other financial woes. HOWEVER, unexpected has also been a promotion for my husband FINALLY. He’s been working towards this for several years and it’s amazing and wonderful for him to have the recognition that we as his family have thought he deserved. Yay for my husband!

So, yeah. The unexpected has mostly ruled this summer.

Posted in Health, Me

The Change

Those two words deserve to be in capitals. Really. Perimenopause sounds so…unassuming. So not a big deal. The Change, though, sounds much more descriptive, though both are true. I’ve been in perimenopause for maybe two years? Ish? Not sure when it started, although it’s been more than a year. My cycle is still very regular (for me, which equals roughly every 6 weeks). I don’t typically get much in the way of hot flashes, thank goodness. But moodiness? Oh my yes. It’s like I have PMS all the time. And when I actually DO get PMS I’m biting everyone’s head off. And weepiness? It literally just occurred to me yesterday that the weepiness I’ve been dealing with for the past few months might not actually only be about being sad because the kids are getting older and doing so many milestones.

I was reading a book–a novel!–and read a paragraph that was sad.  And found real tears in my eyes. And though to google “perimenopause and weepiness” and BOOM. Hello other people going through it! I haven’t been like this since I was pregnant, which was a long, long time ago. I’m not a cryer by nature, except for videos of soldiers coming home and adult children telling their families they are pregnant. But lately commercials, TV shows, watching my kids…you name it and I’m in tears. Which believe me, makes me feel stupid. Which yeah, I know I need to get over.

I’m just grateful I can put a name to this moodiness and that at some point it will actually be done once I’m in menopause. Right? Or does this actually continue? Readers who have gone through it please comment!

Posted in Kids, Me, Vacation

We Made It

Whew! The hardest academic year–by far!–is finally finished. Bennett and Laura are now seniors (Ahhh!), Ethan is a junior and Catie is a sophomore. While the greater part of me is sad, there’s a tiny part that wonders just what this upcoming year will bring. What will I be typing here next June (through a heavy veil of tears, I’m sure!). What they will experience and feel as they come to the end of high school. I’ll let you know in 12 months–we’ll meet back here, ok? 🙂

In the meantime, we have a small breather of a few weeks for them. Physical therapy for my back continues–some days very well and some days (like today) slowly and painfully. We meet with our lawyer on Monday to start our wills and special needs trust. Trying to made decisions with 60+ years in the future for Ethan is somewhat daunting. I hope and pray that we are able to fund that trust and that it is enough. A few dentist appointments, med checks with the psychiatrist, and bloodwork and endocrinologist–well, there goes June.

Ethan leaves on June 30th for his summer camp, comes back on the 7th and then leaves on the 8th for his 4-week-long summer program for the visually impaired. Then Laura leaves on the 14th for Penn State for her 3-week-long summer program for the visually impaired. They both come back on the 3rd of August and then we leave on the 9th for Michigan. Wheee! There goes the summer!

I’ll do my best to post–I’m not that great over the summer, but I’ll try. I know, I know, “Do or do not, there is no try.” But still, I will.