Posts tagged ‘S. Michelle Ward Mendoza’

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”

What To Do When…

 20170505_Super Brooks Sleeping

When so much is going on around you that you just can’t respond…

When you feel like you’re in the center of a hurricane…

When you force yourself out of bed just long enough to throw lunch together for your babes…

When your hands are shaking so hard you can barely type…

When you don’t even have the energy to change the sheets from the pee-pee accident that your little one made in the bed last night; the very bed you can’t get out of, just covered up with a towel….

When there’s nothing on TV; at least nothing you could possibly focus on…

When you don’t know the day or date without looking it up on your phone or computer for the 3rd time today…

When you look at your to-do list and freeze…

When you can’t laugh…

When you can’t cry…

When you don’t even care that they’re getting into your jewelry or makeup or other breakable / messy things…

When you don’t care that there’s rice sprinkled all over the living room furniture…

When one of them asks you for help and you say, “in just a few minutes, baby.  Mommy’s resting…”

When you lost your confidence overnight…

When you read a journal entry from just last week and can’t relate nor do you even remember writing it…

When you can’t think in complete sentences…

 

Double Talk Quote: “Mommy, mommy, look what I can do!” – Brooks  (Jumps from on top of desk to bed as I try to type this), “uh-huh, that’s nice, son.”

Bible Verse: “I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Psalms 121:1-2

Word that has Lost its meaning:  awake

Relatable Lyrics:  “Everybody’s Changing” by Keane

“So little time
Try to understand that I’m
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same.”

Morning Prayer

20170415_Sunset Beach Morning Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for a good day today!  Help me to rejoice and be glad in it.  Your word says to put on the full armor of God so that I can stand against the tricks of the devil.  I put on the Helmet of Salvation, the Buckle of Truth, the Feet of the Gospel of Peace, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shield of Faith, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Satan has no authority over me.  I use your Word to combat any fiery dart Satan tries to throw my way this day.  I break any curse, any chain, any stronghold the Devil would try to use against me, in the name of Jesus.  I pray that no weapon that is formed against me shall prosper, that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, for greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world.  I am more than a conqueror through Christ, I have the mind of Christ and am a joint heir with Christ, for I am your beloved child.  I reject, demolish and destroy any argument or any thought that comes against the knowledge of God.  Help me to bring each and every thought, no matter how small, into the captivity and obedience of Christ.  Let me not be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewal of my mind that in testing I can prove your perfect will in me.  Show me how to delight myself in you and ordain each step I take today. Show me where to go, what to do, when to speak, and what to say.  I want to do things Your way and be in line with Your will for my life.  For Your plans are greater than my plans and Your thoughts greater than my thoughts.  How wonderful are your thoughts and plans for me; plans to give me a hope and a future.  I trust in that.  I put my hope and faith completely in You.  According to your Word, faith the size of a mustard seed is sufficient to move any mountain that is in my path.  Help me, Father, to practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Help me to give to You, cheerfully and to serve others selflessly, for in serving others, I am serving and bringing glory to You.  Help me to always remain in your presence, Lord and to pray continually.  Make my life a living prayer, Holy and acceptable, that honors You.  I thank you, I praise you, I worship you, and I love you, Father God, my provider, my Lord, and King.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

20170413_4 earthquakers sea ocean beach

Double Talk Quote: “Thank you, Lord for your…many, many blessings” – Grandaddy Joe

Bible Verse: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” Jeremiah 29:12

Word that has Lost its meaning: Lost

Relatable Lyrics:  10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – Matt Redman

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
Oh my soul, worship his holy name
Sing like never before, Oh my soul
I’ll worship your holy name

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”

Snow & Rain and Big Ideas

It’s the last day out of school for the big girls due to the snow.  The night before last, the low was 1 degree.  Tomorrow’s high is predicted to be 66 degrees!  Talk about a dichotomy of days!  

nc-weather-meme1

But the real story here is that during this snow “storm,” Tia had her baby!  The new addition to the family’s name is Rain and she’s mighty cute and from what I can tell so far, a good sleeper too.  She weighed in at a healthy 8lbs, 12oz.  Her mother’s recovering well overall but will need some extra support over the next few days, weeks, months, maybe years.  As we know all too well, it takes a village.   

grace-and-audry-hospital

I’d like to say thanks to my good friend, Cheree, for the suggestion of making a memory Jar.  She guided it to me via Facebook last year, and I loved the idea.  Whenever you have a noteworthy day, you write a small message and put it into the jar, then open it on New Year’s Eve and remember the great moments from throughout the year.  Unfortunately, I never got around to making one and before I knew it, 2016 had come and gone without one.  Now I want to also say thanks to “What…Cookies Again?” for motivating me to actually make one this year.  Here’s a picture of our jar, it’s not as Pinterest-worthy as Cookies’ Picture, but hey, I’ve started a Joy Jar!

joy-jar-2017

I didn’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  (Bipolar Disorder has a way of disrupting those anyway.)  But I do believe God has big plans for me this year.  I feel led to become a small group leader at our church.  I also plan to pursue “Think Big, Be Big” more this year – making prototypes and searching for connections for publication.  

All that while juggling these two big girls, two two-year-olds twins, and my new niece may be a challenge.  But I’m optimistic.  I won’t overload myself.  Bipolar disorder also requires flexibility in case of melt-down moments, but I am not my disorder and I won’t let it dictate my life.  God has big plans for me.  Always has, always will.  This year, this year is going to be big.

Double Talk Quote:  “Mommy, can you draw a rectagon?” – Bella

Bible Verse:   “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

Term that has Lost its meaning:  New Year’s Resolution

Relatable Lyrics:   instead: “Revolution” by The Beatles

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

Dichotomy of Days

christmas-tree-2016-dichotomy

Joy then Grief
Excitement then Dread
Laughter then Tears
Celebration then Mourning
Lights then Candles
Feast then Fast
Forced forgetfulness then Flood of memories
Laughter then Tears
Elation then Depression
Embracing Christmas spirit then Remembering spirit passed
Focused on a birth then Focused on a death

grave-yard-cemetary-dichotomy

Context:  “…Christmas time is already bittersweet.  Daddy died at 4 am on  December 26, 2010.  With each passing year, I’ve worked very hard to separate, in my mind, Christmas from the day after Christmas.  Christmas is a time to celebrate, to recognize God’s greatest gift to us.  I pour everything I have into making it spectacular for my children.  Seeing them excited and happy fills me with so much joy.  The day after Christmas is a time of mourning.  I spend time with my family, listening to daddy’s songs and reading his comics.  I laugh and cry.  I remember.  I love.  I grieve what was lost.  I try not to think of what might have been.” – Written 12/2015

 

MIA

I’ve been “Missing In Action” for a while here in the blogosphere.  But I have been plenty present in reality land.  Packing and unpacking, playing with little ones, and making time for family, have been a struggle with the move but one I can handle with a little help from my…meds (ugh).

But there were times when I was MIA in real life.  It was 2006 – I call it my missing year because I remember very little from that time period.  I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in late 2005 and put on a litany of medications:  One after another in an attempt to see which one(s) would work for me.  I’d try one which would take up to 6 weeks to kick in and then when it didn’t work, I’d have to wait another few weeks to wean off it to try the next.  My sleep pattern was as crazy as ever.  I’d be up for days, just like before when I was unmedicated, except then, the medications made me zone out.  I can’t account for my days or my daze.

That’s when Mia took over.  In paranoia and sporadic breaks from reality, my alter-ego formed.  Mrs. Mia Wallace is a fictional character from the movie, Pulp Fiction.  Whatever made me relate to a heroin snorting, drug dealer’s wife, I have no idea.  But Mia Wallace became the name I’d use when meeting new people, getting credit for new accounts, buying and selling on eBay, or even filling out job applications.  I know this because after coming out of my “state of mental obscurity”,  I saw the havoc she had wreaked on my life.

p15684_p_v8_ac

I distinctly remember in early 2007 looking into a mirror.  I hadn’t slept in almost a week.  In my mind, the mirror was cracked – shattered just like me, just like the skin & bones reflection I saw, just like Mia.  I was missing something and I just couldn’t take being her anymore.  As I stared in the mirror, I cried and cried.  I cried out to God, begging him, please help me to change.  And He granted me a renewed strength.  Instead of crashing, as usual, I knew I had to first override Mia.  I got to a doctor’s office that very day and insisted on a medication that would make me sleep, that I could take regularly at night to finally get stable.  It took a lot of convincing to not get committed that day.  But that night I slept, and the next night too.  It took a few weeks but Mia slowly faded away.

I recently ordered my credit report. Mia Wallace’s name is still associated with my social security number.  I guess a part of her will always be with me.

Double Talk Quote: “God’s way is perfect.”  2 Sam-e-lonians 22:31 – Hope, trying to say Second Samuel 22:31

Bible Verse:  “And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.” Ezekiel 25:17

Word that has Earned its meaning: Subconscious

Relatable Lyrics:  “Flowers on the Wall” by the Statler Brothers

“I keep hearin’ you’re concerned about my happiness
But all that thought you’re givin’ me is conscience I guess
If I was walkin’ in your shoes, I wouldn’t worry none
While you ‘n’ your friends are worried about me I’m havin’ lots of fun
Countin’ flowers on the wall
That don’t bother me at all
Playin’ solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one…

mia

KISS – Keep It Simple & Silly

Twins on wheels

I am a twin mom, a mom of multiples, a mom of many.  I also have bipolar disorder and Anxiety issues.  There are moments, that I know other moms share, when I want to scream and pull my hair out.  But instead, I KISS myself.

When life is coming at me too hard, too fast, and too strong, and I feel that stress building I (try to) remind myself “Keep It Simple & Silly” (Adapted from the slogan “Keep It Simple, Stupid” I won’t speak stupidity over myself or my kids, regardless of the not-so-smart things we sometimes do). And instead of calling myself “Silly” I try to keep the situation from becoming too serious, because, let’s face it, in the scope of eternity, it probably is silly.

Here are a few easy mom things that can simplify your life and make things a little less hectic (I plan to write a future article with even more helpful tricks, but these relate to keeping things simple during potentially stressful moments.):

1. Invest some time in getting organized.  Get in the habit of putting things back exactly where they belong or you’ll lose your head (along with your keys, cell phone, remote control, diaper bag, etc).

2. For moms with young kids, keep your main diaper bag in the car and only carry around a basics bag when you go places. (Mine has 2 diapers for each baby, a few wipes, 1 juice box per child, and maybe 1 small toy per babe that only comes out with that bag).  Try to keep your basics bag small enough to fit in a bigger purse or small backpack so you only have to carry around one bag for everyone!

3. Have dinner figured out by 10 a.m.  This will help you remember to thaw out anything that needs it and you’ll avoid any evening scrounge sessions.

4.  When you feel like yelling, take a deep breath and whisper instead.  It may take a few tries for your kids to catch on that when you whisper you mean business, but it’s a technique worth trying.  You’d be surprised, even my husband knows I’m serious when I whisper.

5.  Pick your battles.  For example, little one wants to wear her butterfly wings to the store and refuses to put on her socks and shoes.  Make a deal – let her keep the wings but insist on shoes.  Some things just aren’t worth the fit.

6. Finally, KISS your precious little ones – Keep It Simple & Silly – enjoy the ride and don’t get too stressed. Focus on what’s right, not what’s going wrong.  Sometimes that hard to do in the heat of the moment. But ask yourself this:  ten years from now, will this really matter?  The answer is probably “no.”  What will matter is the relationship you have with your children and how they remember you growing up.  You want their childhood experience as well as your parenting experience to be positive ones.

Micaela and Grace

(Twins 2, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Story:  I was explaining how to play football when my phone fell.  Mica laughs hysterically, “You dropped your cell phone while charging!” (play on words – I was literally charging)

Bible Verse: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21

Term that had Lost its meaning: date night

Relatable Lyrics:  “Sing” by The Carpenters

“Twins are So Much Easier Than a Singleton…”

silly selfie 4 - cute twins mommy belle

Excuse me?  Huh?  What?  Are you serious?  Do my ears deceive me?  How do you figure? Did you really just say that?  The questions raced through my brain.  Unfortunately, our conversation was abruptly interrupted (betcha can’t guess how) and I didn’t get a chance to ask the veteran mom-of-twins any of these questions before we had to leave.

Right after my babes were born, I asked a fellow mom-of-twins, whose boys were nine years old, if she had any wisdom or advice for me.  She bluntly told me that she didn’t remember anything from the first two years due to the stress, lack of sleep, and chaos that having two babies at one time brings.  She was the first of many mom-of-twins to tell me that the first two years are a blur.

I wondered if the veteran mom who made the title comment had contracted the ever-so-prevalent fugue state illness, known as “Mommy Brain.”  Earlier in our conversation, she mentioned that her twins were in kindergarten.  I’ve heard that by this age twins “entertain themselves,” (although moms have to be more vigilant of competitiveness and more attentive to conflict intervention / resolution).  Maybe over the past three years she, too had forgotten the first few years.  Or maybe she just had easy babies.   Or Maybe she’s just a better mom than me.  Or maybe she finds it easier because she doesn’t have Bipolar disorder.  So many maybes…

I’ve been a mom to a “singleton.”  It wasn’t easy.  It wasn’t that she was disobedient or misbehaved, or out of hand.  Being a mom is a lot of work. (You’ve read the Mommy Resume!)  As I’ve written before, “here’s my equation:  Double that (2 year old twins) + 8-year-old daughter + marital challenges + financial difficulties + changing environment (baby Asher leaving, 7-year old Hope becoming like a 4th child to me) + Bipolar disorder & anxiety issues = “’God I need your help’”

So the veteran mom is a SuperMom for sure, as are many of my other friends and acquaintances who have multiples or multiple children.  Just because I’m not as confident or centered doesn’t mean I’m not a SuperMommy too!  And here’s why:

Because God helps me get through day by day, minute by minute.  Regardless of whether they are taking turns napping, throwing food across the table at one another, having meltdowns, or pulling their diapers off and running away from me.  I have the patience to deal with whatever comes my way, simply because God works through me daily and I feel privileged to have the above equation.  

God gave me a lot of responsibilities because he wanted to show himself through me.  He wants to be glorified in me.  If I had had a singleton instead of twins, then maybe I wouldn’t have felt the need to lean on Him so much.  And with this great responsibility comes great joy.

And if anyone ever tells you that “Twins are So Much Easier Than a Singleton,” you have my permission to tell them that it has been scientifically proven that that simply is not true!  (You have the archives of my blog as evidence to back it up.)

Double Talk Quote:  Me to Bella, who was throwing a fit “What’s the big problem here?”  “Dada!”  (I still don’t know the details but he did something to make her raging mad!)

Bible Verse: “…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48

Word that had Lost its meaning (there for a minute): confidence

Relatable Lyrics:  My own personal lyrics to DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win”

All I Do is Twin!

All I do is twin twin twin no matter what
Got laundry on my mind I can never get it done
And every time I step up in the buildin’
Everybody hands go up
And they stay there
And they say yeah
And they stay there
Up down, up down, up down
‘Cause all I do is twin twin twin
And if you goin’ in put your hands in the air
Make ’em stay there

I never go no where
But they saying Mommy’s back…
My hands go up and down like babies’ booty’s go…
Y’all better count me in
Got empty bank accounts, accountants count me zip…
Cause all I do, all I, all I, all I
All I do is…Twin!

Money Shot - My Earthquakers - Micaela and twins1

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