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Archive for the tag “life”

Permission to Suck

I had a bit of a revelation today. An epiphany of sorts. Or maybe life just slapped me in the face and told me to quit being stupid.

See, back in February or March, I had some bloodwork done that showed I had several severe vitamin deficiencies–iron being the worst. In fact, my iron is so low, my doctor was shocked I was even moving around. It’s the kind of anemia where you do blood transfusions instead of taking a pill once a day.

Suddenly all of these symptoms–the fatigue, the cold hands, headaches, depression, etc–all made sense. I finally had a diagnosis to latch on to. An explanation for why all of my mood stabilizers and antidepressants stopped working. A reason for the bone-shattering, life-destroying exhaustion I feel from the moment I wake up until I crawl back into bed.

But then I ran into a problem. I can’t take iron pills. They make me violently ill after a few days, and at the amount of iron I need, I just can’t do it. My doctor said I’d probably need infusions which would be done at the hospital, but before we could even set that up, we lost our insurance.

So here I am, hanging in limbo, barely able to function. My brain feels foggy on good days and like it’s slowly dissolving into goo on bad days. Getting out of bed is sometimes so exhausting that by the time I go to the bathroom, I’m ready to just climb back in and sleep the rest of the day. I rarely make it through a day without a nap because I physically can’t stay awake. I can’t take care of my family. I can barely take care of myself.

But I keep trying. I get up every day with plans to do the stuff I always did before. Clean the kitchen, make some coffee, get some writing in, laundry and going for a walk. And nine times out of ten, I end up disappointed in myself because I can’t do it. I end up sitting in front of the computer and nothing gets done because I can’t clear the fog in my head or I end up with a massive headache.

That’s what this last week has been like. It started well last week–I walked two days in a row and got a bunch of writing done–and then BAM! all that energy was gone. But I still had these lists of things to do–blog posts, prepping for NaNo, editing Heaven, adding to Uncalled For, writing stories for Girl Genius week–but I didn’t do any of them. The more I didn’t do the things on the list, the more stressed I got. Then the anxiety set in (which I think is causing an ulcer) and the guilt.

The breaking point was earlier today. I needed some black embroidery floss for a project. I have like every color under the rainbow (literally, I bought one of each color twenty years ago) but no black. I decided to run to Walmart, but I barely trust myself to drive in town, let alone the twelve or so miles to Walmart, so my husband offered to drive me.

We picked up a few groceries, and lucky me, there was exactly one black embroidery floss left. Score! On the way home, I’m telling him about the exhaustion and all the trouble I’m having getting stuff done for the week and being overwhelmed so he lets me order pizza so I don’t have to make lunch. Then we’re unpacking the bags and no embroidery floss. It’s not listed on the receipt either which means the cashier missed it when she checked us out.

I just lost it. I was so fatigued at that point, I was having trouble walking straight or thinking clearly. And I used what little energy I’d had that day to go to Walmart for one thing, and I didn’t get that thing. It was too much. I broke down into tears.

Later, after I had my pizza and was trying to calm my racing thoughts so I could actually nap, it hit me. Why am I even doing all of this? Why am I stressing myself out over stories and blog posts and projects? It’s not like I have to do these things for a job. I mean, I guess people that read my fanfic will be disappointed if I don’t update, but all of the pressure is internal.

It’s me making lists and plans like I did before I got sick and expecting to finish my goals like I’m well. What the fuck is up with that? It’s insane.

I’ll say it again… I’m sick. Like mega sick. Anemia isn’t something to scoff at. My doctor was literally amazed I could walk and cook dinner and do anything because my numbers were so low. I should be dead. But here I am, stressing about finishing goals I set when I was feeling better.

So, I’ve given myself permission to suck. I’ve used that phrase before when writing rough drafts. It took many years to learn the lesson (first drafts don’t have to be perfect, you know), and now, I need to transfer that to my life. It’s okay to suck. So, I haven’t updated Heaven in nearly year. So, I’m behind on Uncalled For. So, I couldn’t keep up with my prompt-a-day I wanted to do this month. And NaNo is most likely going to be a flop. In the grand scheme of my life, does any of that matter? Not really. Those things are important to me, but my health should be more important.

So, until we get our insurance back (hopefully in a few months after my husband has his surgery and finally gets back to work), and I can get treatment for the anemia, I have permission to be as sucky as I need. If all I have the energy for is watching Red vs Blue then that’s what I’ll do. If I have enough to go Pokemon hunting, I’ll do that and not feel guilty because I also didn’t do the dishes. I’ll attempt NaNo like I do every year, but I’m not going to be disappointed when I only manage a few thousand words because that’s a lot when I’m this sick.

Why is self-care always the hardest?


As if my life isn’t stressful enough, my husband brought home a puppy twelve days ago. A puppy!


I am not a dog person. At all. And we already have four cats. As much as I love cats, they’re already driving me nuts wanting in and out of my room all hours of the night. Especially Bellamy since his injury–he just likes to let me know how unhappy he is that we won’t let him outside anymore.

Now we have a dog. And guess who gets to take care of her?

Read more…

On Hold

Posts are going to be on hold for the week, including new chapters of Heaven Can’t Wait.

Thursday morning, our cat, Bellamy, came home broken and covered in blood. The vet put his injuries down to blunt force trauma probably from a car, but it looks like someone could have kicked him in the face. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that.

His face is a mess. And he has a seeping wound on his chest that she thinks might have been older and abscessed. Whatever happened to him Thursday, ruptured it. It’s pretty bad, and I feel awful that no one noticed this wound. There were no signs that he was hurt besides a limp on that side.

He’s going back today for more x-rays on his face to see if his jaw is broken. He won’t eat or drink even though it’s obvious he’s hungry. He’ll run to the bowl but change his mind once he’s there.

I haven’t been able to concentrate the last couple days so there hasn’t been any writing. I think I’m taking the next two weeks off. Hopefully, but then, Bellamy will be better and I’ll catch up on chapters of Heaven Can’t Wait.

My poor baby when he was about a year old last summer. You almost can’t recognize him–his face is so swelled up and broken.


And bonus… when he was a kitten.

story of my life

ME: Wow, look at the time; I should really get to bed. I’ll just check one thing on [insert any social media here].


ME: Goddammit.

Every fucking night.

life lessons for kids: laundry

I used to enjoy laundry.  Well, not enjoy, but I didn’t hate it.  When the kids were babies it was a nice break from their chaos.  I would sneak down to the basement and the thumping of the dryer or the whooshing of the washer would drown out the noise from upstairs (when the kids weren’t sitting at the top of the stairs asking when I was coming up).

But as the years have gone by and the kids clothes have gotten bigger and, therefore, the amount of clothes have grown and the amount of space said clothes take up has grown the chore has become…well, a chore.  I dread laundry.  Not because of the actual doing it but because it seems to be never ending.  The kids bring it down and I start it.  It all smells like pee because I have 2 bedwetters.  I get most of it done only to find out they did’t bring all the clothes down in the first place or because in the 3 days it took me to wash and dry it all they mad a whole other load to wash.

The constant changing of outfits has become a real annoyance.  With 4 kids, changing 3 or 4 times a day and throwing the used clothes in the hamper (whether dirty or not) creates a ton of laundry at the end of the week.  And since they throw their wet, peed clothes on top everything has to be washed whether it was dirty when it went in the hamper or not.

This ended yesterday.  I had left the basket of clean clothes in the basement because I was just tired of cleaning up and went on strike.  Since the kids didn’t feel like putting the clothes away they have been digging through the basket for clean clothes every day, in the process throwing them all over the dirty basement floor.  Then they would walk on them on their way out the basement door, my son threw his wet clothes on top of them, wet towels, bathing suits, etc.

I reached my breaking point yesterday morning and marched my 9yo daughter down the stairs and said SHE was doing the laundry.  She wasn’t very happy about this because she bucks any kind of chores.  So I explained how to set the washer and where to get the soap.  Then she helped me load it as I explained how to distribute the clothes to keep the weight even.  She grumbled through the whole thing and kept saying, “but I only have to wash MY clothes, right?”

While that was washing I brought up their basket and set the kids to folding.  I showed them how to fold shirts for the hundredth time.  My 9yo refused to help so we left her stuff in a pile on the floor.  My 7yo and 6yo kids folded and put away all their clothes and it all went rather smoothly.

When the wash was done I took my 9yo down to show her how to load the dryer.  I had to find an old milk crate for her to stand on to reach into the washer.  Even with that she could just barely reach the bottom.  With each scoop of wet clothes she had to jump off the crate and walk over to the dryer to throw them in.  There was a lot of clothes in the washer and half way through she was whining her back hurt and she didn’t want to do it any more.  Kids are so funny.

So she got the dryer loaded and I explained about the lint trap and how to set the dryer.  When that was started I had her load up the washer with her 3yo sister’s clothes.  My 6yo helped with that then she finally set to folding her clean clothes.

Later that night I remembered the laundry and told her to go take the clean clothes out of the dryer and put them in a basket and take the wet clothes and put them in.  She grumbled about hating laundry but went to do it with the help of the 6yo.  An hour later they were cleaning up from dinner and she was whining she didn’t want to sweep or scrub tables so down to the basement she went to empty the dryer.  I wasn’t down there when she loaded it up last but all the clothes were dry so she did it right and her brother carried up the basket.

So, laundry done, and none of it by me.  YAY!  I just have to fold my 3yo’s clothes.

From now on the kids are doing their own laundry.  Next they learn to load the dishwasher.


So I’m supposed to write about some of the great memories I have of May 2009.  I just can’t do it.  No matter what I think about, no matter how well the rest of the month is going, no matter how nice the weather has been or how quiet my Mother’s Day was it is all overshadowed by May 2, 2009.  The day I miscarried our 5th child in the bathroom at the ER.  I was 12 weeks and anticipating a new baby in November 2009.  Instead I’m just trying to get my life back to normal and not think about what I lost.

Fun times…not.  It’s just one of those events that eclipses everything else.

What Part of Spring Am I?

For the FOBTY at Sweet Shoppe Designs.

You Are Chirping Birds

You are a very caring person. You especially feel for innocent beings, like animals and children.

You are keyed in to the world and very peaceful. You believe that everyone is connected.

You remain focused and in the moment. You are not easily distracted.

You have a good memory, especially for things that you hear. You listen carefully.

I found this quite funny.  The first 2 paragraphs are pretty close to how I am.  But on another funny notes I was told a few months back on my mom’s site that I’m an awful, uncaring, cruel person for not caring about a missing child.  I was told if I didn’t care about this one child then I just cared about nothing.  Whatever.  I’ve always had a problem taking everything to heart.  I care so much about every little thing that I’ve had to learn to let some of it go.  Sure I felt bad for the kid that died.  It was sad but there wasn’t anything I could do about it and she had no personal connection to me.
The 2nd part is just funny as hell.  Not easily distracted?  Hardly.  I have ADD and if I can stay focused on 1 thing for more then 10 minutes I’m happy.  And the memory thing…I wish.  I usually can’t even remember what I was doing just hours earlier.  As me what we had for lunch the day before…probably couldn’t tell you.  My mind is gone.
I like the picture of the little birdie, though.  I’m so glad it’s spring.

we need a new dishwasher

So, it’s been an interesting week. Ok, not really but we had some things happen.
I came very close to strangling my 8yo on Friday (not literally). Instead I sent her away for the weekend so the rest of us could relax. She is a pain in the butt.

My 6yo lost another tooth on Friday night. That’s her 5th tooth. Now she’s missing both top teeth and one on the bottom. By this age her older sister had only lost 1 tooth and her brother had lost 2. Funny thing is she started losing teeth a lot earlier then either of them (she was only 5 1/2 when her first tooth fell out last summer) but she was the latest teether of them all. She didn’t get her first tooth until after she turned 1.

My son learned to tie his shoes the other day. This is a big accomplishment for him. He has some serious issues with perfectionism and when he can’t figure something out right away he considers it a lost cause, that he’s too stupid to learn it and it’s pointless to try again. He’s 7.

On Monday, the kids bought new shoes and the sneakers we found for him had laces. He cried and cried that he would not wear them at all because he can’t tie (his school shoes have laces but I usually double knot them because his teacher won’t tie them for him any more). So that night I tried to show him for the hundredth time and he just wasn’t getting the 2 bunny ear method, which is usually easier for kids to learn (it’s how my 8yo learned when she was 6).

I could see where he was having trouble so I suggested he try the regular way with just one loop. He sat in my lap and we did it together a couple times and then, BAM, he got it. He’s now tying his sneakers on his own but needs more practice to get them tight. He can’t seem to do his school shoes yet because the laces are shorter and thinner but he’ll figure it out. I’m so proud.

And then we get to the dishwasher. I did dishes over the weekend but had been putting off doing the rest so they’ve been piling up for a few days. Lesson learned…do them right away.

My dad loaded up the dishwasher yesterday only to find it wasn’t working. This dishwasher is at least 35 years old (we’ve had it for about 19 years) so it’s seen better days but it has served us well. With 7 people in the house we NEED a dishwasher. I can not go back to hand washing. But as it is I now have every single bowl in the house in the sink, half the silverware and about a dozen small cups (I swear I’m tossing all but 1 for each kid) plus several pots and pans. Grrr. It’s going to take me all freaking day to do the dishes.

My dad is going to pull the dishwasher out and see if it is an easy fix. He’s repaired the thing more times then I can count. But most likely we will be getting a new dishwasher.

That’s nice and all. I would love a new dishwasher that doesn’t make it sound like giants are invading down the street but it’s like $600 (not including delivery and warranty) that my dad doesn’t have. We get our income taxes back at the end of the week but I know he’s already going to tell us he doesn’t want the money for it. He’s just like that.

But, whatever. It’s his money, his retirement, his life.

So, lost tooth, near strangling, learned to tie shoes, need a new dishwasher. Fun week.

New scrapbooking CTs

It’s been a crazy few weeks around here.  I’ve got my computer running well enough to use PSE again but only by taking the side off of the case and blowing a fan directly onto the graphics card.  Hubby has now said I can get a new computer with our tax return (YAY!).  I configured one through Costco.com and it has everything I want.  Our return should be in our account on the 20th (next Friday…would have been here already but I ran into an issue with Turbo Tax and it never actually filed back in January, grrrr) and then I can order it and it will take a week to build and then however long to ship it so I should have a new computer some time in March and for about $800.

Anyway, because of my computer issues I lost my one CT job with Laura Burger.  I just couldn’t keep up with the commenting requirement because, at the time, I was only able to get on for an hour or less and then my computer would overheat and it would take hours to cool off and I couldn’t run PSE at all.  So I quit that CT after only working officially for a few days.

But I had already applied to a couple others before I had the our hour issue.  I had just figured out the open case with the fan trick and had literally just quit working for Laura when I heard back from Valorie Brown that I made her team.  Wow!  I was squealing with glee at that point.  Then later that day (this was Sunday) I heard back from another designer that I made her team, too.  Double WOW!

So far I’m loving both groups.  Neither have the crazy commenting requirements of Laura that I just can’t keep up with because of my crazy life so they work well for me.  I’ve worked with Val’s stuff a lot.  I’ve been shopping at The Funky Playground for awhile (their $1 Thursdays rock) so I have a lot of her kits already.  I had never even heard of my other designer but I checked her stuff out and loved it so thought I would apply.

So now I’m on 3 teams all thanks to Shen at creashens for offering me my first CT job and introducing me to the world of creative teams.  Thanks Shen.

I actually have one other application out there.  I applied to Bren Boone.  I had told myself no new CTs since I just got two new ones and I’m still trying to work out a daily schedule (and I HATE schedules) to fit all my stuff into 24 hours but I couldn’t pass it up.  She’s another designer I had never heard of and I said so in the application and she actually wrote me back thanking me for my honesty (I said I had no clue why I would be good for her team since I had never heard of her…I really hate answering those questions) and that I made her laugh.  I’ll hear back from her by the end of the week I guess (the call is over on Friday I think).

My knee and shoulder are both finally feeling better so I’m also trying to get back into my exercise routine so hopefully I’ll have more energy again and that means more cleaning (good for the house, bad for my scrapping time).

Next month should be interesting.  The kids start spring classes at the park.  I’m not quite sure which ones they are taking but all 4 kids will be involved now.  I think, though, most of the classes Nora would take don’t start until May so that will be some relief but May will be crazy with her taking classes along with the last month of school and the other kids classes.

Brenna has gymnastics tonight.  Next week is their “gym show” so they have rehersal Wednesday night and then performances on Thursday and Friday nights.  All 3 older kids are in this (Brenna has 2 classes so gets to be out there twice).

other stuff

Besides being injured and recovering from a little cold (that left me unable to breathe for almost a week) I’ve had so many computer problems my head is swimming.
I thought I could fix them but the more I’ve looked into it the more I realize my computer is a lost cause. I could fix it but it would mean replacing almost every single component. The CPU looks like it is still good (although I now have a replacement for it) but the motherboard is having issues or at the least is out of date (and discontinued). The heatsink on the graphics card (which they also don’t make any more) is loose so the GPU is overheating. The fans are refusing to kick into high gear to keep the inside of the case cool. I can’t really replace the GPU because my power supply is only 300w and most cards need something more powerful.
The only way I’m able to even use the computer is to take the side off of the case and blow my window fan directly onto the GPU. That keeps it cool enough to run PSE and play on the internet.

So it looks like some of our income tax return will go towards a new computer. I discovered Costco lets you order online and customize your own computer (like Gateway used to do). The one I figured up was an HP (because that’s what they had). It will have a duo core processor at 2.9mhtz (that’s pretty much what I have now) with 3 gigs of memory (I have 2 now), a 650 gig hard drive (or maybe up to 750…I have 500 right now and no where near close to being filled up), a nice 512mb graphics card (mine is 256 but that is shared with the ram), TV tuner (which I have now but never use), lightscribe DVD recorder (I have just a regular DVD recorder and an extra DVD rom that I could add into the new case).

So the one I’m looking at isn’t super high end but since the one I have now, before it went on the fritz, ran everything I needed just fine with what it had I see no reason to go bankrupt trying to get top of the line.

I was going to do 4 gigs of RAM but that meant upgrading to Vista 64bit but none of my games or programs will run on it (like PSE7 which I HAVE to have) so what’s the point. 2 gigs of RAM has been working just fine for me so far so 3 should be fine. The most graphic intensive game I play is Sims 2 and it runs (or did before the computer died) just fine on my system now (only slight lag when it changes from day to night).

In all the system I’m getting will cost $780. I’ll keep the peripherals I have now even though my 2yo scratched the hell out of my flat panel monitor. It looks crappy but works for now. The speakers are new and I like my keyboard. All I need is to get a new graphics tablet. I long since lost the pen to mine.

I’m just waiting for the government to send us our money. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my old computer. I think I’m going to scavenge the extra DVD player and put it in the new computer. Maybe I’ll donate the rest.

I’ll just be happy to get a fully working computer back. I’ve been running on bare minimums since the end of November.

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