Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Body Autonomy - Enough Said.

Click on the above text to read the whole article. It really is a great article to think about when raising or interacting with children. They are their own people, they are their own beings and deserve our respect, and one of the ways we can do that is by respecting their choices when it comes to their bodies. 

No, my family is not perfect. We still struggle with respect in all forms available - including food choices, But we are working on it. We are trying to be better. It is our goal for our children to feel that we respected them as individuals and allowed them to express their own desires. I hope they feel loved and supported.

Everyone does the best job they can with the information they have. Maybe this will be new information for you. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

DITL: Friday September 25th, 2015

A date with J and a drink with family.

Obligatory morning selfie :)


First I had to drop this guy off at work. I feel like I've been dropping him off for years. I guess it has been over 8 years now!

Then it was off to a doctor's appointment to discuss my fluctuating moods. The photo on the right is one that I have been obsessed with in his office - I'd honestly like to buy it. 

 I returned home to find K and M on the computer playing Minecraft and Craftymama, well, crafting.

I load J into the car, he gives me his serious face, but is really excited at getting to go in "Mii Mii's Car!"

When you are walking with a toddler we must touch everything and look at everything. This wall was not an exception. 

Then it is off to Starbucks for an oat bar for J, a long time favourite, and a coffee for me. A day with a toddler is going to be a long day.  

Then we went off to Value Village to get some winter clothing for the kits. J was fascinated by all the different vehicles he was allowed to hold!

Then we went to Beach Acres. I have done this walk with all the kids. All of them, save for BigR, have gone on my back. I love this trail. It is beautiful and peaceful and oh it just fills my cup. This may be the last time J lets me wrap him :(

Pretty waterfall - you follow this river all the way down....

....to the beach - where you can watch the boats come and go. 

Handsome J climbed this big log to play his cars which he carried down the trail with him. Cars go everywhere! 

Read the bottom of that text...the climb up did suck. J wanted to do it, but often went nugh nighs on the many stairs because he was so tired. However, he wouldn't let me wrap him. Took 20 minutes to walk down and an hour and 10 to walk back up.

Snack time in my car. 

Then it was off to the mall for something to do. I got J a car cart because his little legs were tired from the big hike. He was thrilled - and then even more thrilled when I got him popcorn!

These are the moments I want to remember. His hand won't hold just two of my fingers for too long. 

Then it was off the the library. Though instead of books, J dove into bean bags, and climbed into shelves.

Back to this place to pick Daddy up. This was his face when he saw Daddy's truck. We were very excited.

First we buckled....then we fell asleep.

So of course, upon waking at home he had to nurse. 

While I created dinner. I made my version of some sort of chinese food and the kids loved it! I don't know if I'll ever be able to recreate it! 

Shortly after our late dinner the littles went to bed with kisses and the bigs had their computer turns playing Minecraft and googling Harry Potter things - while the baby watches. 

While I sit with my feet up. Entertaining a toddler out of the house all day is hard work!

To end the day we have some drinks - make some nachos - and watch Greys Anatomy. 

A good day! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Weekend and my Chaos

So we all know I am diagnosed Bipolar II and Borderline Personality Disorder. Through the course I've what I just learned was 18 different medications, 4 forms of therapy, and at least 14 ECT sessions I found balance. That balance became waivered and last week I entered a depression and began hearing voices. I alerted my psychiatrist to this right away and he prescribed some medication which I reluctantly began taking. Two days after starting it the voices went away but mania set in. I was manic for a few days and it was fun, it always is. Then it got out of hand. I took 4mg of ativan in a 2.5 hour time frame and it did little to slow me down. My family needed to sleep so I was taken to the hospital where I was essentially sedated for the next 20 hours. I spent 2 nights in the hospital, from Friday until Sunday and when I told them I was not ready to go home because I still felt agitated and the beginnings of a depression (which is common after a manic episode), and I didn't think that was a good combination - they let me go anyways.

So Sunday, I went to a Nanaimo Free Learners event being held downtown and talked to some people about children's rights to education. That served well to distract me enough from what was coming. But it came. I have entered a depression again. I am working with a therapist and we are getting to the roots of my beliefs about myself - a lot of which originated in childhood. No I wasn't abused or anything in childhood, frankly, I had a pretty good childhood. But I was subject to a lot of negative talk directed towards me by people who were supposed to be my friends and people who were in trusted positions. The messages they sent to me are what I now believe about myself. I now have to work at re-hard wiring my brain so I no longer fall to those apparently faulty notions about myself. That will take work and I am not there yet.

My work is struggling. I have had to take a a few days off and I have not caught up and have not had the motivation to catch up. I am terrified of losing this job like I did at Salvation Botanicals because of my illness. I have been forthcoming with my bosses as well as my coworkers as to what's going on with me, and I am hoping they continue to understand. I am also hoping this passes really really soon.

I have been in some pretty dark places in the last 4 years, and I am scared of going back there. I am scared I'm heading there now - and I know I will if I don't do something. Problem is I don't know what to do. I can only distract myself so much. I can't rely on the medication, which are not completely working. I only see my therapist every two weeks, and the work we do takes time and is slow. I need tools and resources now. I see my psychiatrist on Friday, so there is that. I like him, he has been with my from the beginning. Craftymama and Glassman continue to support me, and I continue to be open with my kids so that they both know I am struggling and can see me working to improve, not giving up - that's an important lesson for them. Of course, I don't give them the scary details, but they do know that my brain thinks differently than theirs, and sometimes I think bad thoughts which make it hard for me to do things, and sometimes I have to go to the hospital to get help. I think that's good for their ages.

So I am hoping not to stay in this mind set for long. I am hoping it just passes or I find something I can do. In the mean time, I am surviving day to day - moment to moment - and sometimes that's all I can do.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fall is Upon Us

So Fall is upon us - though not officially for a few more days I guess. The days have gotten darker and colder and it rains now. Craftymama is in her glory - she loves fall. I am already missing the long summer days. I hate waking up when its still dark. Soon I will leave for work when its dark and leave for home when its dark as well - no daylight for this girl!

K had her birthday:

I have some one on one time with each kid for their birthday and with K we went out for coffee and then to the yarn store - don't worry she got decaf. This is the second time she has gone out for coffee on her birthday, I think I'm gonna have a starbucks addict on my hand. She received lots of doctor and space related things - her two main interests right now. NanaJ was around to show her how to use a stethoscope which was very exciting for her. I can't believe she is 8 now.

What other things are happening? Well, most other kids went back to school and our kids are reaping the benefit of empty parks and swimming pools which is awesome. They went to a science discovery thing today and had a ton of fun. M is even learning how to read, I hear he is doing quite well but he is very quiet about it and I don't want to push him to show off his new skills.

The boys are obsessed with star wars and lego - and M with fighter planes. LittleR is obsessed with me - still.

The activities have started. M is in soccer - one practice and one game a week. He runs way faster than any of the other kids but is lacking in soccer skills so he is timid to touch the ball. BigR got to bring a pocket knife to his Cub meeting because they are going camping this weekend - I am stoked for him, he is going to love it oh so much. K started Brownies and apparently already has a best friend. I still don't know what to do with LittleR - do I have to do anything? Will someone else make this decision for me?

As for the three of us? Glassman is going to be having some days off because work is sporadic - he is writing lots. Craftymama is marketing up a storm for her school and already has people talking about her which is incredible! And me..well...I'm still plugging along. Still working. Same old Same old.

Friday, September 4, 2015

What I Learned From a Tiger

These are not true colours - it is much more neon and bright!
So this is my bathing suit. It's neon rainbow with a tiger face on it. It happened on one foul trip to WalMart. The kids were all really into swimming and really wanted to swim with us, and I didn't have a bathing suit. So Craftymama and I went to WalMart, because it's cheap. She saw this one and dared me to try it on.

Here's the thing. I've gained weight, I know it, everyone who knows me knows it. It makes shopping for clothes a depression inducing adventure. Now, imagine going bathing suit shopping. I looked at my other options, there were no plain black suits - none. I could have two pieces, tankinis, or things with fringe and cut outs. I tried this neon tiger face bathing suit on.

Let me tell you. It looks horrible. It is not suited to my body type, it is high cut where it shouldn't be, and low cut in other awful places. It doesn't make my boobs look good - in fact it pancakes them flat. Did I mention it's also bright and attention grabbing.

I bought it.

I bought it for one main reason at the start: if I was going to look awful in every bathing suit anyways, because I hate my body, then I should just pick the ugliest one for laughs. It's better to laugh than cry right?

Well, the kids absolutely love it. J breaks out in giggles yelling 'kitty' every time he sees it. LittleR loves the rainbow and the other kids just think its funny. It's providing smiles all around. It's also taught me a thing or two....

What I Learned From Wearing a Neon Tiger Bathing Suit:

  • It's okay if people laugh at me.
    • They do. People look at me and I see them giggle. It really is a bright thing, and people just stare and then they laugh to their friends or to themselves. At first I would feign confidence and pretend like I didn't care. Now, I don't care. This bathing suit was cheap, and it makes my kids happy. Why does it matter what other people think of me? I will never see them again. Further, at least I made them smile - it's always a good thing if you can make another person happy if only for a fleeting moment. 
  • It's okay to laugh at yourself.
    • Also very true. I used to laugh at myself because I would just be joking with other people making fun of me, but really I would just be hating myself the whole time. This tiger has taught me to actually laugh at the things I do. Again, it's better to laugh than cry. 
  • Personal growth does not come from hating yourself. 
    • Until very recently I believed that I couldn't improve my mind or my body unless I hated it enough. I believed that I wouldn't be motivated to change unless I was truly disgusted with what I had become. Well, when I first got this suit, and I first put it on - I couldn't have felt worse about myself. It's ugly and it looks like shit on me. It was only after I embraced it and the way I looked in it that I became motivated to change. I am currently wearing it about 3 times a week minimum to go swim lengths at the pool in an effort to lose weight. I wear it proudly. It will be a gloriously happy day and a sad day when this suit is too big for me!
  • Going outside your comfort zone can be exhilarating. 
    • I normally try to hide with my clothes. To blend it, to not stand out. This is the opposite of that. I can't help but stand out. It's kind of fun and exciting to be different and to go against the grain. Normally speaking, someone of my size would wear a plain, probably black, swim suit, with a cover up. It's not normal to see something so bright. I like being different. I have always been proud of being different, and this has given me confidence to be different in my clothing and to not be so hard on myself for what I can and can't wear. (I have since bought a skirt! I never wear skirts!)

One purchase made out of self-hatred and a dare from Craftymama. One purchase has changed my perspective on myself. It's a remarkable and very welcomed thing.

Now let's hope these revelations stick around for a bit and are not forgotten too easily.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2015 Video

Watch this video...the kids are getting so big. Tears and happiness and all sort of emotions. Oh the feels. The goal for Craftymama is to do one of these every year. We need to take more videos of the kids so she has lots of choice. We will never regret taking video or pictures - ever!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Family is Family

My family is growing up, we are changing, we are growing - together. We are creating wonderful family memories, and I am just in love with them all. 

the three of us.

All my boys trying to sword fight - even at the beach! 

The kids enjoying their ice cream cones at the waterfront. 

LittleR took this picture of herself. 

The boy loves to be naked!
Unschooling, the theories and practices, are leaching over into other areas of our parenting and it's been wonderful. The kids no longer have 'bedtimes' per se, instead they have a time in which they have quiet time in their rooms. They are welcome to read books, play lego quietly or talk to their sibling. We did this for a couple of reasons. First, it's their bodies and their sleep schedules and they do need to learn some autonomy. Second, there is nothing anymore that says they need to be up at a specific time so if they want to sleep in they can. Third, everyone's sleep schedules are different. Some people need more, some less, some sleep better in early evening, some are night owls - who are we to impose these on the kids, why shouldn't they be able to figure it out on their own. If, when they are older, they get involved in something that requires them to be up at a certain time then that is when they will learn to do that. Part of unschooling is learning how to do things when you need them or when you are interested in them. I would rather my kids know their own sleep needs then for me to arbitrarily tell them they need to go to bed at a certain time because I say so.

They have been swimming oh so many times this year and their abilities in the water have progressed so much. They have gone to water parks, play grounds, beaches. We have taken them on day trips up island, evening visits to another town because we are able to stay up later for these things. We have had picnics and done so many things. Memories are being created.

The three of us are also doing well. We are communicating better and I am getting used to involving glassman in my mental illness so that a) craftymama doesn't have the whole burden and b) we cna begin to build a relationship on trust. We all share a room now, though that has been the case for a couple of months. Glassman still has a room downstairs with his shit in it that is really just taking up space that we could use for something else. We need to fix that. We are happy :)