Posts tagged ‘Twins’

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”

Advertisements

Claiming Victory

20170524_Pink Lily

I made the drive home from church.  Making it there to serve in itself was a miracle.  I probably shouldn’t have driven home but it was the only place I wanted to be.  So I took some medicine and took deep breaths the whole way home.  See, in the parking lot as I was leaving, I felt a panic attack coming on.  I’ve been struggling with bipolar depression lately.  The deep, daunting, paranoia-filled affliction has encompassed me, debilitated me, and encumbered me from doing the simplest things, such as taking a shower or washing dishes, to my most important job, mommying.

Anytime I start to think big, I feel like Satan rallies his demonic troops and launches a full-blown attack against me.  Some might think I’m paranoid.  But this is backed by the Bible (which is my test to see if I’m being paranoid).  And this is Biblical:  Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  I’ve got some big things coming up.  At the beginning of last month, I started actively pursuing a way to get my “Think Big and Be Big” scriptural affirmation cards off the ground.  I also got the idea to start a topical small group for writers at my church.

It’s so hard to claim victory in the midst of despair.  I know God has won the war for my soul but that doesn’t mean I don’t get wounded in battle.  But it’s the little victories that lead back to the path of stability.

The other day I was too weary to get out of bed.  I had to ask my mother to keep the kids.  After sleeping for over 19 hours straight, I woke up, and prayed my simple prayer, once again, “God, please help me.”  Then, I got up and cleaned my daughter’s disaster of a room, which took about three hours of concentrated effort.  The twins came in and climbed on everything and wanted to get into big sissy’s stuff and play (which of course, I took some time to do).  Cleaning and spending time with my little ones… It was a small victory, but a victory none-the-less.

Throughout this depressive episode, I’ve tried to get out and do things even if I didn’t feel like it.  I dragged myself to a few play-dates and tried not to isolate myself, which is what I usually do, claiming that I’m sick.  I am sick but “depressed” is a more accurate description.  I hate claiming that over myself.  I’ve been deeply depressed for nearly a month now, but I’ve got some important milestones coming up that I pray will help pull me out.

I seriously considered canceling that writer’s small group, which is set to begin this Thursday (and I’m supposed to be the “leader”).  Me, in my condition, leading a small group of any kind will be, well, another miracle.  But God wouldn’t let me let go of that idea so I know that with His help and guidance, I can do it.

So I have to claim victory, not defeat!  Regardless of how I feel, I know that God’s got me and He has His purpose and plans to build me up and NOT let me down!  I believe that.  I put all my hope in that.  I have faith that He will pull me through this storm.  I claim victory now, Lord.  I have the victory in Jesus.

Double Talk Quote: “Mommy, I’ll sing a song to you so you’ll feel better.” – Bella 5/17/17

Bible Verse: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

Word that has Lost its Meaning:  defeated

Relatable Lyrics:  Victory In Jesus – the classic hymn

AND THEN I CRIED
“DEAR JESUS,
COME AND HEAL
MY BROKEN SPIRIT”
AND SOMEHOW JESUS
CAME AND BROUGHT
TO ME THE VICTORY!

20170526_funny big red chair - 5 earthquakers, Audrey

Bella (2), Baby “Rain” (4 months), Mica (9), Brooks (2), and “Hope” (8)

 

Bless your heart, little “Rain”, I know how you feel!

*Note:  Sorry if this was a “rambling” post.  At least right now, I’m able to think in full sentences!

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

Baby Blues

Baby Blues

da da da da dum…
da da da da dum…
da da da da dum, de dum, de dum, de dum, de dum, da da dum…
da da da da dum…

I woke up from naptime,
I was ready to play,
Mommy was alone, Daddy wasn’t home, he had to work all day,

Now I got the play time,
The play-time baby blues (bl-ues),
Yeah, the Mommy she’s real cool,
But sometimes she just won’t do.

da da da da dum…

I woke up at midnight,
Look what someone did,
Encaged and enraged, shocked and dismayed, they made me sleep in my crib,

Now I got the midnight,
The midnight baby blues (bl-ues),
So I cried to my Mommy (come pick me up),
I wanna cuddle with you.

da da da da dum…

I woke up this morning,
I was ready for food,
Looked over to find Mommy by my side with a yum-yum filled boob,

Now I got some yum-yums,
To cure my baby blues (bl-ues),
Yeah, the yum-yums good for my tum-tums (give me some)
To cure my baby blues.

Yeah, I had the baby (baby)
I had the baby blues (bl-ues),
I had the little-baby-‘bout-to-make-my-mommy-go-insane-y blues, blues.

(Written Dec 2008)

 

2014 Newborn twin grin

Twin Grin – Bella and Brooks

Micaela baby and mommy

Mommy and Baby Mica

 

 

 

Warning:  Yum-Yum (breast-feeding) Photo ahead:

 

 

 

breast-feeding twins 23 months 1

23 months (almost at the 2-year marker)!

 

Midnight Medication Mixup

Morning Mommy 3

Sleep is the key to my sanity.  If I can regulate sleep, it’s easier to regulate my moods as well.

I have medication that I take at night and I have medication I take in the morning; and never the tween shall meet.  Except they did last night.  Instead of my usual regimen of Ambien, Abilify, and Lamictal, I skipped the first two, opting to take 1/2 of  a Seroquel instead (my doctor is okay with me doing this on occasion).  I had felt a bit of hypomania coming on so I wanted a good night’s rest and Seroquel usually does the trick.  I also knew I didn’t have a busy day coming up so I could rest if it made me a bit drowsy.

But…A cat pressed his way through the door, which was pulled-to but apparently not closed and the hallway light was on.   I woke up in a haze, barely able to see.  The piercing light was coming from the same direction of the clock and I could have sworn that hallway light was the break of dawn.  I could have sworn the time said 6 am, not 2 am.  So I swallowed my pills thinking I’d snooze for a few minutes before I had to wake up Mica to get ready for school.  I was at the apex of a very intricately narrated “movie” dream, when suddenly I was jolted awake.  The meds had kicked in and it was time to get on with the day.

Except…it was 2:30 am.

I’ve been working a lot on immigration case work for my husband lately, so I had plenty to do to occupy my time.  But I worried I’d run out of energy mid-day and be out-of-sorts when the twins (and older girls) needed me the most.  Fortunately, I was able to direct my hypomania into my work during those early morning hours, and even throughout the day, going to the grocery store before anyone in the household was even away, preparing breakfast, cleaning house, and playing hopscotch, painting with the twins and cooking and having a picknick supper outside.  The most trouble I had was lying still when the babes were ready to cuddle.

It’s 8:55pm now.  I’m starting to get tired.  Not sleepy, though.  Just tired.  I’ll take my night meds and rest again and maybe tomorrow will be…just as good.

(written 6/1/2016, Twins 23 months, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Quote: “It was a surprise!” – Tia (Hope’s mom) announcing her new pregnancy.  Why am I not surprised?  Congrats to me! (jk – kinda)

Bible Verse: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Matthew 6:34

Term that has lost its meaning: creep-o-cat

Relatable Lyrics:   “I Did My Best” by Soul Asylum

“I was waiting for a chain reaction
With a missing link…
…I was tired of being tired
I could not get no rest
So I kept sleepwalking and talking in my sleep
Yes I did my best”

 

Perseverance

perserverance - Brooks

I’ve wanted to bury my head in the sand and hope all my “challenges” just fade away on their own.  Unfortunately, I don’t live in an episode of “Sanford and Son” where mail can just be put back in the mailbox without consequence.  I have to be an adult and deal with my problems.

Sanford and Son

We attend Daystar church, which has an excellent Kid’s ministry.  Each month the elementary age students take home “God Time” cards, which are children’s devotionals that correspond with what they’re teaching at church.  Their theme this month is “Perseverance: refusing to give up when life gets hard.”  Each morning this past week, while doing the devotions with Mica, the cards seemed to be ministering as much, if not more, to me than to her.

When I feel this overwhelmed, I’m reminded of Joshua crossing the Jordan river.  He asked God to make a way and God told him to send the ark of the covenant (where the Lord dwelled) first and to just start walking.  With each small step Joshua’s tribes took, the river slowly dried up until he and all the Israelites were safely on the other side.

jordan-crossing

Google Images – eyeofprophecy

Small steps.  I have to put God first and just take small steps and walk out into the water and trust that He will make a way for me.

(April 5-12, 2016 – Twins 21 months, Mica 8, Hope 6)

Double Talk Story: I made my to-do list and after having marked off a couple of items with my highlighter, I felt better, invigorated, like I’d accomplished something.  I walked out the room for just a few minutes and returned to see that nearly the entire list had been accomplished by a babe (if only)!

To-Do List

Brooks helps Mommy with her To-Do List!

Bible Verse:  Joshua 3: 14-17

Term which meaning I dread:  Tax Season

Relatable Lyrics:  Shackles” by Mary Mary

“Everything that could go wrong, All went wrong at one time
So much pressure fell on me, I thought I was gon lose my mind
But I know you wanna see, If I will hold on through these trials…

…You broke the chains now I can lift my hands, And I’m gonna praise you”

Tag Cloud