Your Tired? All Parents are Tired.

Your Tired? All Parents are Tired.

So, I am tired…so utterly tired. I don’t mean sleepy…I mean, exhausted to the core. As  J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” I find myself complaining – a lot. “I’m so tired” I say.  “That’s because you have 3 little boys.” says just about everyone.  I thought perhaps they are right, I mean, sure kinds are very tiring, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was much more than that.

It mostly started after having my third son last spring. My joints and body ached like a 90 year old woman, the tops of my feet burned and ached upon first standing up in the morning, and no matter how much sleep I got, I never really felt refreshed.  I kept getting sinus infection after sinus infection. My mind became very foggy and my long-term issues with anxiety sky-rocketed. I started having anxiety attacks. I felt irritable and extremely overwhelmed. While I used to be excellent at multi-tasking, now I could barely do two things at once. Everyone with kids knows you have to have at least 5 balls in the air at all times to keep up with the littles and all the responsibilities.

I thought the tiredness would go away but as fall approached, I started to feel even worse. I finally went to the doctor and asked him to check everything he could, that I could feel that something wasn’t right with me.

Blood tests showed my thyroid was hyper to the extreme which explained all of the anxiety issues and possibly some of the joint pain.  That was a relief, and an easy adjustment on my thyroid medication. The tests also revealed an extreme high level of EBV antibodies – the highest my doctor said he had seen. I had my blood redrawn a month later and my EBV number of antibodies had doubled. When I asked what it meant, he told me “It means the virus is really kicking your ass.” The doctor diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – which is generally unexplained exhaustion and joint pain.  What helps? Sleep. Rest. We both laughed. With three little boys, there is no such thing.

I immediately googled about CFS when I got home and read a lot about how little is known about it, and that there is no known cure for CFS or EBV.  I also read about how severely it can impact people’s lives – particularly women, some of who even become bedridden. Although I am very thankful I am not bedridden, I feel it is greatly affecting my energy, my ambition, and parenting my three little boys (4, 2, and 9 months).

For now, I am trying to mostly ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist. I try to pretend I’m not exhausted and that this is just how everyone feels with three little boys. Being a mom is my greatest gift in life right now and I’m not going to let anything hinder it.

I have been researching herbal supplements to help fight the EBV virus and I’m hoping that if I can get my body to fight it off, perhaps the CFS will go dormant as well. More to come!

 

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Idealistic Visions

Idealistic Visions

I have been wanting so badly to write down my thoughts and feelings on this time of my life, but it seems life is so busy and tiring right now that I hardly have enough time or energy to put my thoughts onto paper. My dad recently gave me his laptop computer, so I’m hoping it will be a bit easier and faster to be able to type my journal into the computer.

I have been a stay-at-home mother since January 8, 2015. On January 7th, 2015 I lost my job unexpectedly (sort of) and putting our total trust in God that day was a huge turning point in our lives. I had been daydreaming since the day my first son was born of being a stay-at-home mom, rather than a 2-4 hour a day mother. It was never possible…and that day, God suddenly made things possible. We were able to refinance our home to pay off my husband’s student loans – this freed up hundreds of dollars a month. With only one income, health insurance became a few hundred dollars cheaper as well. My husband suddenly got more money in his paycheck ($800 a month they called “Health and Welfare pay”) – which was something new with his company’s new contract. Between all of these things, we decided it was feeling meant to be that I try to stay home for a while.

Two and a half years later…it’s still feeling meant to be. I cannot tell you how much God has provided for us – creating various opportunities for us at just the right time. Somehow, when things seem impossible, we have ended up with enough. Without a shadow of a doubt, I know truly in my heart that with God, all things are possible.

Two and a half years later, I also now can see how naive I was at my thoughts of how things would be staying home and caring for my child (now children). I have never been more physically and mentally exhausted. My heart has also never felt this full and complete.

As I type, my oldest, just put his two-year old brother into a choke-hold and threw him onto the floor and is now in the time-out corner screaming “You stinking Mommy! I don’t love you!” – this job is SO hard. When I used to daydream about staying home – I envisioned my child and I playing outside together, imagining together, reading together, learning together, and doing little crafts together. It was all so idealistic and perfect in my mind. I would have time to a wonderfully clean home and home-made dinners on the table that I never had time to prepare when I was working. I yearned for this image in my mind. Incredible laughs, disappointments and many many tears later – reality has had time to set into my mind…I have started (but am still learning) to drop all of these silly idealistic expectations. Life is so incredibly imperfect – and if you learn to embrace all of it’s unpredictable imperfections – it becomes so much less stressful and enjoyable.

I’m going to end my thoughts here now, as I am running out of space. The mega blocks are now surrounding and towering my laptop computer and the boys are informing me that I’m “in the way”. More later.

THIS is as Good as it Gets.

THIS is as Good as it Gets.

You know…I have heard many times, mostly older folks reminisce about a certain time period in their life (almost always in their past) – they refer to the time as “the best time of my life” or “the happiest time in my life”.  They look back at it fondly, sigh and say that they just didn’t know or appreciate it at the time. There is sometimes regret that they wish they could have savored the time more, not taken it for granted or lived it differently, etc.

I was thinking about this recently and it dawned on me…that I am currently living in the best days of my life. I am sure of this. Wait. Did I just say that?!

I am 36 years old. My dreams of having children came true. My dream of being a stay-at-home mom for a few years came true. Some previous family issues have resolved. Previous family health issues have resolved for now. My marriage is good. My parents are still healthy. There is a lot to look forward to and an excitement in my soul. It is thus far, the happiest time of my life and in all honesty…I can’t even imagine a future time that could top this. Oh sure…you can say, “Well you don’t KNOW what the future will bring.” This is very true. But. I’m sure. There will NEVER be a time as happy as now. As perfect as now. Sure there will be other good times. But. There will never be more dreams, smiles,ambitions, laughter, growing, and memories made…as NOW.

How many people can say that they are living the BEST time of their life NOW? It feels liberating and….terrifying to know. Liberating in the sense that I can be SURE to SAVOR every minute of these years. Record many memories from this time. LIVE and LOVE every day of it. This makes me feel incredibly grateful. Terrifying, because I know I am at the peak and cannot slow time – once I am past these years, I will know the best time is behind me. Knowing it, that THIS is as good as life gets, seems scary.

I can say…with 100% certainty – I am the happiest I have ever been in my life, and the happiest I will ever be in my life. My cup runneth over. I am grateful for this time.

May it go slow and may I not blink.

Homemade Flashcards for Toddlers

Homemade Flashcards for Toddlers

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This is a quick and easy little craft you can do with your toddlers. We used pictures from a garden magazine, but you can use any type of magazine or photos to make flashcards.

Supplies:
– Note Cards
– Old magazine with pictures
– Child safe scissors
– Glue stick
– Sharpie marker
– Mod Podge and paintbrush (optional)

You can have your toddler pick and cut out the photos from the magazine and glue them onto the cards (we used front and back). Use the Sharpie marker to write the picture word and you have some easy educational flashcards and a quick fun art project. You can Mod Podge over the cards to make them last longer.