Archive for the ‘Life With Twins’ Category

Stuck in Molasses Swamp

20170718_Candy Land Spread Out

I’ve been in a stuck in a swamp of major Bipolar depression for nearly three months now.  When I first felt myself falling in, I reached out to my counselor, with whom I had fallen out of contact.  I patiently awaited my psychiatrist appointment, which wasn’t until in mid-July.  My counselor didn’t want me to wait until then, however, suggesting that I “get evaluated” at a mental health institution.  That was NOT going to happen.  I have a “fear of commitment,” especially considering what happened the last time I was there.  Anyway, I saw my Psychiatrist a few days ago and she adjusted my medication quite a bit.  Of course, it’s too early to have taken effect but I am hopeful.

Everyone has ups and downs in their lives.  It is just so much more extreme for people with Bipolar disorder.  But God promises to be there every step of the way, even when our burden gets too heavy for us to bear.  Of all the symptoms a depressed person experiences, “hopelessness” has not been one of them for me.  Hope is the one thing I have been able to hold on to, to get me through this valley.  It’s a “Footprints” in the sand sort of situation:

Footprints in the Sand

If you’re unfamiliar with this poem, it’s worth the read!

 

The twins’ birthday was at the end of June, I now have two threes!

20170701_Birthday Blowout - Brooks

Though they bring me lots of joy, they are about three handfuls nowadays, stretching borders and testing limits.  I have implemented a “Stop Light” behavioral system.  Each morning they start out on green and if they stay on green they get a reward at the end of the day.  But if they misbehave, they get a warning and move to yellow, then red, then it’s Time Out.  If their behavior improves, they can move back down the color chart.  Bella often ends the day on green, but Brooks (my rough-&-tumble, all-boy, mischief maker) is usually up at the top on red.

20170718_Stop light Chart - Right thing to do

But the other night, they both ended their day on green and as a reward, I offered to play a special game with them.  I pulled out “Candy Land” and explained how to play.  They were so excited at first, but Brooks quickly became bored with the board game (pun intended) and wandered off to play something else on his own.  Bella and I continued and she got “Queen Frostine” rather quickly, which put her way ahead of me, which made me happy because I wanted her to win the game her first time playing.  But then I drew “Princess Lolly,” then got double blues which put me ahead of her.  She was cool about it, though.  As we both approached “Gloppy at Molasses Swamp” I warned her, jokingly, “Now don’t draw a red, don’t draw a red card, if you do, you’ll get stuck until you get another red card!”  The tension built as we both got closer and closer to the red game piece with the black dot on it, when low and behold, she got a purple, just past the red.  And low and behold, I drew a red and got stuck in “Molasses Swamp.”

20170718_Molasses swamp

As Bella got closer and closer to the end of the game, and I kept drawing cards that weren’t red, she started to get visibly concerned.  Finally, when she was just two colors away from winning, she took her pawn’s hand and used it to grab my pawn’s hand and pulled mine up with hers.  “I saved you, mommy, Now we both winneded!” she exclaimed as she put both pieces on “Candy Castle.”

Tears welled up in my eyes as I tried my best not to cry.  Little moments like that do save me.  In those moments no one loses.  And even the smallest of victories count.  We can’t always save ourselves but God can use others to pull us out of the swamp.

(Mica 9, Hope 8, Brooks & Bella 3, Asher 2, Audrey 5 mo)

Double Talk Quote: “Oh my gosh, I never seen that in the world!” – Brooks 6/17 (in awe at Mica’s super-long Chinese noodle)

Bible Verse: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Word that has Lost its Meaning:  stuck

Relatable Lyrics:  “Quiet you with my Love” By Rebecca St. James

“Come to Me, all who are weary
And take My yoke upon you
My burden is easy and light

Lay your head down on My shoulders
Be still my child, rest a while

And I’ll quiet you with My love
Rejoice over you with My song”

Looking Forward, Advice from Successful Bloggers & Another Award!

So much has occurred since my last post, I can’t wait to write all about it! As previously mentioned, I just need time, direction, energy, and motivation; seems so simple, doesn’t it? Anyway, I (me, this bipolar mommy), actually built up the nerve to take the four kids (ages 2, 2, 7, and 8) plus Amor, Grandma, sister Sarah and my also two-year-old nephew, Asher on a BIG family vacation, and it was quite an adventure, to say the least! There will be more on that to come.

In my last blog post, I implored my readers for feedback and promised a meet-and-greet for my next post, this post.  Specifically, I asked for more advice for novice (or even established) bloggers.  I got one resounding response, which was also my number one piece of advice:  Be Yourself!  I’d like to thank the following bloggers for taking the time to read and comment:

The above blogs are Super Awesome so I encourage you to check them out!

Now, here’s an award for YOU, dear readers of Super Mom Mentality aka, SuperMommyOfTwins.com, for those of you who like awards.  You deserve this one.  This “Super Blogger Reader Award” has but one requirement, that is that you continue to do what you already do: read and write!  You are Super!  So here’s to you to copy and paste if you so desire:

SuperBlogger Reader Award

Triple Talk Quote: “Me and Brooksie and Asher are twins!”  – Bella (especially funny because she rarely calls Brooks her twin.  She calls him her “friend” or “brother,” for example, she’ll say,  “Me and my friend, Brooks went to the Science Center.” or “I shared my crackers with brother.”)

Bible Verse: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33

Term that has Lost its meaning: on time

Relatable Lyrics: “Time” by Hootie and the Blowfish

“Time, the past has come and gone
The future’s far away
Now only lasts for one second, one second…

…I don’t know where I’m goin’
I think I’m out of my mind
Thinking about time.”

Beautiful Imperfections

Right now, life is messy.  Right now, life is hectic and full.

  • Potty training two-year-olds is no easy feat.  
  • There are never-ending crumbs under the kitchen table no matter how often I sweep.mess4
  • Toys, clothes or shoes litter the floors of nearly every room in my home.mess2
  • My eight-year-old daughter refuses to do her homework.20170118_grumpy-morning-mica
  • My husband requires way more attention than I’m able to give him.me-and-amor
  • I fell off my diet 10 times this week.

mommy-mirror-selfie-cut

Life is a mess.  But it’s such a beautiful mess.  One day, I’ll look back on these days and laugh and cry at the same time, remembering how incredibly blessed I am.

Maybe when they’re teenagers, maybe when they’re grown, I’ll remember these moments of our lives and I’ll see:

  • The same pride in the twins eyes when they receive their high school diplomas as they have right now when they make it to the bathroom in time,twins-and-micaela-playing
  • A clean kitchen and remember how much fun we used to have around that table,micaela-kitchen-table-in-the-backgroundbrooks-and-bella-kitchen-table-fun
  • A pristine, robot-vacuumed floor and pray for grandchildren soon,
    robot-vacuum-cleaner

    By that time everyone, even I, will have a Roomba!

     

  • The creativity of a beautiful young woman of God, who sees the values in free time and enjoying life,20170117_mommy-belle-and-micaela-beautiful
  • Amor and I dating again, getting to know each other all over again for who we are at that time,me-and-amor1
  • In the mirror, a wise, beautiful and soulful reflection,mommy-belle-profile-picture

Sometimes the messiest moments in life are the most perfect of all.

(Written Jan 15, 2017 – Twins 2, Mica 8, Hope 7, Rain NB)

Double Talk Quote: Me to Brooks:  “What do you have in your mouth?”  Brooks to Me:  “umm…cookies.”  Me to Brooks:  “Where did you get them?”  Brooks to Me:  “umm…my mouth.”

Bible Verse: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

Word that has Lost its meaning: perfectionism

Relatable Lyrics:  “All Of Me” by John Legend

“How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every mood

‘Cause all of me Loves all of you….All your perfect imperfections”

The Road to El Dorado

the-road-to-el-doradao1

I remember falling asleep as daddy described the house we’d live in one day.  The one he’d build for us when we got rich. He cheekily called our little, run-down trailer “Camelot.”

I grew up financially poor, but rich in spirit.  We lived in the woods in a trailer on my grandfather’s land.  It was a beautiful place to grow up, down a dirt road with a meadow out front, plenty of trees to climb and a pond to fish in, and old tobacco barns and “pack houses” to play in.  [  Some pictures show the beautiful solitude yet vacancy of care for the land. ]

home1 home - headquarters tree home7

(Camelot)

My family inherited a portion of the land I grew up on last year, after having waited over 10 years.  We’ve long since moved away and made a life elsewhere.  It would be unfeasible for us to return to Camelot to live, so we had to sell it.  It was bittersweet for me because I have such fond memories of the past, yet such high hopes for the future.  By selling, we could finally afford a home with more space than we had  (since the twins’ arrival, we had been bursting at the rims).  We knew these little ones weren’t getting any little-er.

Living in the city was so convenient.  However, I want my kids to grow up knowing what it’s like to breathe fresh air, plant gardens, and play outside until dusk, catching fireflies without fear of pedophiles or snoops of nosy neighbors who get upset if the grass grows a little too high or feel our fun-filled yard is an eyesore.

After over a year of searching, we’ve finally found our own little “Promised Land,” a nice bit of land with a house that fits us. It has a modest, two-story house with an upstairs suite just for grandma and an adequate downstairs living area that’s just big enough for our crew.  I cheekily called our humble abode “El Dorado” (Spanish for “The Golden One” or a fictitious City of Gold).

Since the twins were born, I’ve felt, I’ve believed, I’ve known, that I can’t look back.  Not anymore.  I have to let go of the things of the past in order to focus these precious moments and our future.  So daddy never bought us a mansion (nor did he buy me that Jaguar he promised me if I graduated college), but, with significant help from my mother, my heavenly father has provided what we needed right here on earth and I have no doubt that there is a huge mansion waiting for us all up in heaven; daddy’s waiting to meet us there at the top.

(El Dorado)

(Written October 2016 – Twins 2 years old, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Quotes:

“Can I have a slip of yours drink?” – Bella

“Thank you” – Me, “I welcome” – Brooks

Bible Verse:   “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” Proverbs 13:22

Term that has Lost its meaning:  Overly Sentimental

Relatable Lyrics:  “Your Song” by Elton John

“It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we (all) could live”

4. An Evening Adventure

It was still Thursday, June 2, 2016

mud twins

An Evening Adventure:

I was out or low on all but cereal so I decided not to forfeit the voucher, opting instead to venture out to the grocery store.  I rarely take the twins shopping with me if I’m going WIC shopping – way too stressful.  I also didn’t look forward to rush-hour traffic or the crowded store at 5:20pm, but I decided to look at it as an adventure.  I loaded everyone up, but again, Bella objected to me strapping her in.  “I do it, Bella do it!”  I stood there and waited to let her try until finally she said, “Halp, mommy, halp Bella do it!”  So I helped her do it then I got in the car and buckled up.

Out of nowhere it started to pour rain.  I felt anxiety brewing along with the storm.  I looked back at the kids.  “Maybe we should ask daddy to go to the store after he gets home,” I tried to convince them, and myself.  “Aww, I really wanna go!” Mica begged.  On the way, I prayed to God, “Please don’t let this be a disaster.”  The rest of the way I talked to the children about “doing the right thing” and “having good behavior” and listening to and obeying mommy.”

The rain had let up a bit by the time we got to the store but the ground was wet so I carried a baby on each hip and told Mica to hold onto my bookbag as we crossed the parking lot.  Inside, there were no double seated carts so I put brooks in the front (where he’d be less likely to cause any trouble) and Bella in the back of the cart (she’s slightly more advanced in following directions, such as “stay seated”).  I found almost all the items I needed surprisingly quickly.  I just had to get cereal.

Oh, the cereal isle.  You know the cereal isle with kids.  I’ve read the WIC directory thoroughly so I know what’s allowed and what isn’t so I knew exactly what to look for.  But there was a display case that looked quite yummy to Brooksie.  He reached for one box.

It was like watching dominoes in slow motion and I whispered my prayer again:  “Please don’t let this be a disaster, Please don’t let this be a disaster, please don’t let this be a disaster,” as at least 10 boxes crashed into one another and down to the floor.  Mid-fall, I felt the cart move as Bella tried to stand up to catch the falling cereal boxes.  I grabbed her.  There was a lady calmly walking by from the other direction.  I don’t know if she heard me praying, was just a thoughtful and kind person, or was an angel in disguise, but she picked up the boxes with a smile while I held my hyper twins at bay.  Bless her, Lord.

As usual, there were issues at the register, but the manager knew that what I had was allowed, so he over-rode any of the blocks.  He asked if I needed help out to the car.  Yes, please.  By this time it was raining cats and dogs, so I asked the clerk if she’d stay with my groceries while I strapped the kids in and then drive up to put the bags in the car.  We all got drenched getting back in.  And Bella, oh Bella.  I stood there in the rain for a few seconds (I was soaked anyway).  Knowing she couldn’t strap herself and standing in the pouring rain, I strapped her in, much to her screaming objections.  I pulled up to get the groceries and low-and-behold, the rain stopped.

We came home and  I threw together a quick meal and we wound down by watching a movie together.  Amor came home and I was spent!  After he got settled in, I went to my room, leaving bedtime rituals to him.  I took my meds, laid down and turned on the TV.  Mica came in.  She wanted to cuddle.  How could I say no?  I couldn’t.  I told her to go get her “Alex” chapter book from the series I’ve been reading to her.  The words on the last page of the chapter started to get blurry and run together but somehow I made it to the end before drifting off to sleep.

I’d be lying if I said that our life isn’t usually this adventurous.  I never know what the day will bring.  Sometimes, the truth is stranger than fiction.  And sometimes this Bipolar mom feels like she’s either on candid camera, or should have her own reality show, because, boy, would it be entertaining.

Double Talk Quote: “I can’t wear my bathing suit because it still has 5 minutes left in the microwave” – Mica, meant to say washing machine

Bible Verse:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Word that has Lost its meaning: easy

Relatable Lyrics: “Nobody Told Me” by John Lennon

“Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed — most peculiar, mama”

3. An Afternoon Adventure

It was Thursday, June 2, 2016

playing

An Afternoon Adventure:

It was 12pm and the girls were complaining they hadn’t had lunch.  They wanted Taco Bell, which was out of the way of going back home, but I knew a short cut.  We were near my old neighborhood so we took some back roads and the girls got to see two places I used to live, that I often tell them stories about.  They liked that.

The food was hot and messy so I told them to wait to eat until we got home.  Bella was asleep by the time we got there.  I put her to bed and fed the other three.  Hope didn’t seem to be hurting anymore.  She asked for seconds and drank two cups of milk.  After that, the girls went to play while I put Brooks down for a nap.  Just as he dozed off, Bella popped up and we snuck out the room.  Around that same time, Tia arrived, only to seal herself in front of the bathroom mirror to apply makeup.  Tia’s boyfriend showed up around 2:30 but had to wait for Tia to finish getting ready, beautifying herself to go to the pediatrician’s office.  I made casual conversation about their newly announced pregnancy and his new car.  Hope complained that she didn’t need to go to the doctor anymore.  Her ear was all better now and she asked me for more milk.  I poured the last of it in a to-go cup for her as they rushed out the door at about 3:30pm.  I absent-mindedly set the empty carton down, as I held Bella, who’d  been upset when Tia’s boyfriend picked her up her against her will.  Brooks had also woken up amidst all the commotion and I fed him a late lunch and then we all three played for a while.

It was 5pm.  Time to clean the kitchen and start dinner.  As I threw the empty milk carton away, I realized, that was the last of the milk.  “Oh well, We’ll survive ’till tomorrow,” I reasoned to myself, but then it dawned on me:  Today is the 2nd.  “I think I have a WIC voucher that expires today.”  Sure enough, I did.  Use it or lose it.

WIC is short for Women, Infants, and Children.  It is a government program that provides vouchers for very particular food items such as milk, bread, juice, cereal, and eggs.  WIC shopping is not easy.  There may be only five items on the list, but it is very specific about brand and quantities.  If you don’t get exactly what the grocery store scanner passes, the clerk calls the manager, they spend 10 minutes searching for the item in a WIC catalog before either overriding the system or explaining to you why the item you picked out doesn’t meet the WIC criteria.  All this while you have other people with carts full of groceries in line behind you growing impatient and three wiggly kids in front on you begging for the candy gazing at them right at their eye levels.  I am extremely appreciative for the WIC program. I just wish it were a little easier to do.  Or a lot easier…

2. A Mid-day Adventure

It was Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bella car seat cute

A Mid-Day Adventure:

I am very familiar with Hope’s bus schedule and pick-up / drop-off locations, but I’ve only ever actually taken her to school once.  Maybe it was on the next street down.  Nope.  I have a dumb phone, no GPS, so I decided to run back by the house which was just a few streets down.  I ran inside and looked up her school’s location while simultaneously using the bathroom.  The school was just past where I’d been looking.  I grabbed the babies’ shoes and a box of cereal for the kids’ snack (there were juice boxes in the car), and off we went again.

When we finally arrived at Hope’s school, we saw stairs, many stairs, so I nixed the stroller idea and quickly put their little shoes on them.  I asked the only person I saw, a maintenance worker, where the office was.  He pointed me toward a doubtful direction, “I think you can get there through here.”  Holding a tiny hand in each of mine, the twins, Mica and I traversed the stairway and sure enough, the doors were locked.  So we walked around to another stairwell.  This one had a doorbell.  Thank goodness, we’d made it to the office.  “I’m here to pick up my niece, Hope.”  “Oh, I should have told you on the phone, we have two offices.  She’s at the other one on the other end of the campus.  If you get back in your car…”  I stopped her there.  I wasn’t about to go strap everyone back in just to drive to the other side of the building, especially since Bella’s been showing increasing independence, pitching a fit if she can’t strap herself in (and bless her heart, and all our hearts, she just can’t do it yet).  “Can we walk through here?”  I knew there were End Of Grade tests being taken but at this point, we were all pretty exhausted and I figured the chances of us bothering the test-takers were small, since I saw a group of students walking down the hall.  “Okay” the lady replied and pulled a child from the line of students and instructed her to show us the way.

After walking three sets of halls we came to yet another stairwell and this time had to go down.  Brooks decided it would be fun to jump the steps two-by-two while Bella’s dainty little steps kept her high as I tried to balance the two.  It was a good thing I had Mica with me to help hold their hands or we probably would have tumbled down the three flights!  (In reality, I would have had to carry them.)   We rounded the last corner to the  office to find Hope waking up from a nap.  She smiled.  I explained the mix-up to the attendance officer who scolded me for picking Mica up early from her school despite her not being sick.  “Ugh.  First of all, lady, you don’t know what kind of day I’ve had, and it’s only 11:30am.  Second of all, I didn’t know Mica wasn’t sick until after she was checked out and in the car.  Third, If I didn’t take her with me then, I may not be able to pick her up later, in case I have to give Hope and Tia a ride to her doctor, who is in the next town over. And fourth, and finally, she’s helping me with the babies while I pick Hope up, so stay out of my business and stop judging me!” Ok, I didn’t say that out loud, but it was what I was thinking as I took a good brow-beating.

Getting back to the car was a little easier.  We went out the doors and around the building to the parking lot.  Hope and Mica helped me hold the twins’ hands in the parking lot.  As predicted, Miss Bella wanted to buckle herself in, so I let her try while I fastened Brooks’ seatbelt.  I gave Hope some Tylenol and a drink and made sure everyone had a snack and juice.  This calmed Bella enough to let me strap her in with little fuss.

On the way to pick up Tia, I had a feeling she wouldn’t be ready.  I wondered if she’d even made an appointment yet.  I told her a year ago to transfer Hope to a doctor here in town and she still hasn’t done it.  Her doctor is 30 minutes away!  So I called to check on her status.  Sure enough, she hadn’t even showered and told me to take Hope to my house.  Tia’s boyfriend gets off of work at 2pm, he’d pick her up then and they were going to try to take her to a new doctor here in town.  I was relieved I wouldn’t have to drive to the next town with all four kids and wait at the doctors’ office with a bunch of sick kids…

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