Friday, September 30, 2011


It burns, it burns!!!

I am so overwhelmed trying to get and keep my house clean.
Wondering if we really are moving.
Wondering what to do about signing Bear up for basketball.
Wondering how to finish all I need to finish.
Wondering why I am so tired.

So so very very tired.

I keep moving because if I sit still I am sure to fall asleep.
With all that I have to get done, 
there is just no time for falling asleep in the middle of the day...

I've got windows to clean,
floors to mop,
floors to vacuum,
dishes and laundry to keep clean and put away.
I've got to keep my house smelling good and comforting.
I've got to keep all beds made,
all rooms orderly,
all toys picked up and put away.
I've got counters and tables that need to stay clean, clear, and sparkling.
I've got meals to make,
a little girl to take to the bathroom every five minutes.
That same girl I've got to keep from drawing on the walls.

All this because a prospective buyer could show up at any minute wanting to see the house...
And should they show up I want this house to be clean, clear, orderly, and sparkling ;D

Every time I get these things done,
something comes along and undoes it all.
It's so stressful,
it's one step forward,
two steps back,
my destination moving farther and farther away from me.

It's no wonder I feel like just giving up.
But the important thing is that I haven't.

I've been waking up every morning,
and carrying on throughout the whole day.
I'm not only exhausted mentally,
I'm exhausted physically as well.

The fact that I am moving at all can only mean one thing,
the refiners fire has burned me, but I am healing.
Though I know I'll be thrown back into the fire at some point every single day,
I also know that I'll survive and come out stronger.

I just need to take a deep breath, 
take the heat, 
with every intention of surviving it 

There is a reason we were made to not only be injured,
but to also and more importantly
be healed...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doctor, doctor!! C&V repost...

A few years ago I wrote a post on my Carrots and Vinegar blog about going to the doctor.
I was thinking about it last week and had to re-read it and now I just have to post it here...

I am not a big fan of going to the doctor. 
 Don’t get me wrong, 
I think its important to go for yearly exams and blood tests to be sure you are healthy and all. 
 I do not think its important to go to the doctor for 
every single little thing. 
 I won’t go to the doctor if I have a mild cold 
or even a severe one actually. 
 I won’t go to the doctor if I have the flu, 
unless of course I become severely dehydrated 
and its necessary to go to the ER... I don’t die. 
 I won’t go to the doctor for anything less than 
potentially fatal, 
or somewhere along those lines. 
 I recently found an instance where it was necessary. 
 I am not going to go into the details for the visit, 
I just thought that the doctor said something interesting. 
 The doctor was looking at my history and noted out loud that, 
I must be pretty healthy because I hadn’t been in for many appointments in the last few years. 
 I was a bit shocked that that was noticed and brought up. 
 How often do people go in for appointments 
that the doctor would note that they must not be healthy due to the high amount of visits. 
 I wonder, 
had I gone in for a doctor appointment each time I got a sniffle or a sneeze or a little indigestion, 
would the doctor have thought differently of me, 
would the doctor have not taken me seriously? 

When I read it over again I laughed and laughed...
This year alone I have probably been to the doctors office for more health related issues
than I have collectively through out my whole life.
(Not including pre natal appointments)
I'm thinking there is certainly something to learn from nearly weekly doctor visits this year...

...I simply cannot judge others for seeking medical aide when they have a sniffle.
Sometimes a sniffle is annoying enough to be life threatening.
I went in for "pink eye" last week.
I've NEVER gone in for something that little and stupid before,
but in my current state of mind,
there was no way I was going to put up with "pink eye" for longer than I had to.
All good now by the way ;D
And huge plus,
my kids didn't get it.
Huge surprise there,
I usually get it from them!
So my point is,
we all need perspective,
sometimes we can get it from others,
sometimes we don't,
so we are doomed to experience for ourselves.
Learn from others or learn from yourself.
I guess either way it makes life interesting ;D

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hiding places...

My kids love playing hide n'seek.
They beg to play it all of the time!
I can understand that.
When we play hide n'seek no where in the house is off limits.
They can hide in the showers,
they can hide under the beds,
they can hide in the closets,
the cupboards,
under tables,
under chairs,
Fenix's favorite hiding spot,
the linen closet shelf.

Fenix begs to play hide n'seek,
tells me where she is going to hide,
has me help her hide there,
then  insists I go count and then come find her.

Lyon likes to hide in the same spots throughout the same games.
Sometimes it is under a pile of clean laundry,
sometimes it is under a laundry basket,
sometimes it is in the middle of the living room under a blanket.
Lyon likes to tell you where to hide and then come find you.

Bear likes to be the very last one to be found.
He usually succeeds...
He doesn't really like to be the seeker.

I don't blame them for liking this game.
They get to go where they want,
they get to be the boss when it's their turn,
the seeker is always thrilled to find the hider,
and everybody gets a lot of attention.

And who doesn't like to go where they want,
to be the boss,
to have someone thrilled to see them,
to get a lot of attention...

We all ought to play more often ;D

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's like a carousel, up and down, round and round... It's making me feel a little qweezy...

(I put qweezy just for you Em ;)

I have good day's and bad day's...
Some day's are good and bad...
I go from happy and wide eyed in the early morning,
to stressed and overwhelmed in the, a little bit later, early morning,
to agitated and restless in the late morning,
to happy and energetic at lunchtime,
to happy with the urge to cry after lunch time,
to tired and hopeless in the afternoon,
to ornery and irritable by dinner time,
and then ornery, restless, and uncomfortable at bedtime...

The up and downs, ins and outs, are getting disorienting...
I would just like to stay in a good mood all day long.
The others can sneak in as situations that call for them sneak up,
as long as the happy good mood stays first and foremost.

I'm tired of the mood swings,
I'm tired of trying hard to overcome the mood swings,
I'm just plain tired.


We all have our trials,
our cross to bear so to speak.
This may be mine.
At least for now...

It's hard,
it ain't fun,
it's embarrassing,
and heart breaking...

But I'm trying...
I will push forward through the heavy waves of trial and tribulation.

Fortitude is my motto,
and I will let this be a workout that makes me stronger, 
instead of one that injures me or scars me for life...

Especially because though my emotional mind is struggling
my rational mind is growing smarter and stronger every day doing mental pushups.
I talk to myself, argue with myself, and have long conversations with myself everyday...

Lol, is that weird?

Weird or not,
I set out my emotions before myself and talk myself through them rationally.

Bear's friends are waiting for him and he isn't ready yet, 
I am such a bad mom for not getting him ready and out the door sooner...
Everyone else is better at this than I am.

Bear has great friends to ride to school with, 
he's eaten breakfast,
he's got his homework done,
I've packed his lunch and it's ready in his back pack,
he is off to school,
won't be late,
and all is well.
I am a good mom!

My friends think I'm weird and don't like me.

If my friends didn't like me they wouldn't be my friends.
They wouldn't help me out like they do,
they wouldn't be there for me when I need them,
they wouldn't make me feel better when I am feeling bad.
I have GREAT friends and am so blessed to be
surrounded by so many talented and amazing women from which to draw strength.

I am such a weirdo going to the doctor all the time,
everyone in my doctors office thinks I'm a weirdo.
They think I am making stuff up so I can go there,
they hate me there.
They think I'm weird because I get so nervous,
they think I'm stupid.
They wish I would stop showing up.
It's weird for me to like my doctor and his nurse.

I go to the doctors office for legitimate reasons.
I think through each trip very carefully as I know that doctor visits are expensive 
and not to be taken lightly.
I have had a legitimate reason to go to the doctors office each time I've gone,
I did have something wrong with my arm,
my moles really did need to be taken off,
I did need to change medicines,
I have never gone in for no reason!
I have never called for no reason!
I don't enjoy going into the doctors office,
but if I have to go,
like I've needed to,
I'm glad to go to "my" doctors office.
I like their office,
I like their staff,
It's not a bad thing that they know who I am.
It's not a bad thing if they remember me.
It's not a bad thing if they don't.
I am bringing them business,
they make money when I go there,
they are there to help,
and I am seeking help that I need.
And it is okay to get help.
And it's a good thing for me to like my doctor.
To feel like he listens to me,
to not dread going to see him.
I am glad I like his nurse,
I am glad she is nice.
It's okay to like people,
people like to be liked!

People think I'm a bad mom.
People think I post about depression because I want attention.
People think I make this stuff up.
People think I'm stupid.
People hate what I write.
People hate me.

I am a good mom,
I love my children.
I take care of my children.
I trust myself with my children.

I write about what I write about because I NEED to.
I need to sort out my feelings.
I need to not hide my feelings.
It's too hard to go through this alone.
It makes things worse to bottle it all up.
I'd much rather be happy and cheerful all the time.
Writing about my struggles helps me to see the happy and cheerful side of things.
It helps me to feel happier and more cheerful,
even if I'm not always writing about the happy and cheerful,
I'm getting the sad out, and making more room for the happy and cheerful.
I love to be happy and cheerful.
I love jokes.
I would much rather write joking funny posts about the silly things my kids do 
than about sad depressing stuff.
But I want to be honest, and sometimes sadness is what is honest.
Sometimes the joking funny posts are what is honest.
I write what sits foremost in my mind.
I write what I need and want to remember.
I write for me!
The fact that I share what I write with other people doesn't make me weird or stupid.
If other people hate what I write then they don't need to read it.
What "other people" think is not that important.
I like to be liked,
but I can't make people like me.
If they hate me then so be it.
It's sad to be hated,
it's sad to hate.
It's both the haters and the hateds loss.
Who knows what friendship they are missing out on.
We can all learn from each other.
We are all amazing and talented in our own ways.
And that is a good thing.
This gives me good reason to NOT hate others.
It gives me good reason to forgive others.

And should I have not written this post,
I'd probably not be able to form and remember these rational thoughts.
And if I were stupid, 
I wouldn't be capable of half the things I am capable of.

What sorts of emotional things do you think to yourself?
What is the rational way to think about it?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to get kids to take their medicine...

For the last week my daughter has been on an antibiotic.
It has been really difficult to get her to take it as I am sure you can imagine.
Since she wouldn't just voluntarily open her mouth and gulp it down,
we've had to be creative in coming up with ways to get her to take it without spitting it out.

Superman tried calling it "Dora candy".
Fenix hesitated, but did take it.
That only worked once.
I tried calling it "Scooby-doo milk" (the medicine is white)
That only worked once.
I finally resorted to pinning her down and plugging her nose, 
and squirting the medicine into the side of her cheek.
Yes this works,
but it's traumatic for both of us :(

So yesterday I got really sick of struggling with her.
With my smashed bleeding fingers,
my own sore throat, head ache, exhaustion, etc...
I just couldn't fight with her anymore.

I stood with the syringe full of medicine 
looking at her lapping up the boogers that oozed out of her nose.
Your kids do it too, admit it!!!

As I tried to get the medicine in her mouth a bit got onto her mouth.
She stuck out her tongue and licked it off.

"Mmmmmm," I said, "boogy candy!"


Calling the stuff boogy candy got her to smile,
open her mouth and drink the medicine on down.

The kid likes her boogers,
what can I say...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two iPads

It's my own fault really...

Two iPads
Two different shows
Two different apps
Two year old daughter

She managed it,
but I let her...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Simple and busy...

Yesterday was a really good day.
I had plans and I was looking forward to them.
This is a big deal.
Most of the time I am so overwhelmed by the simplest things that I have no interest in doing anything.

I used to take my kids for a walk nearly every single day.
We'd go to the park, play, then walk home.
It was really stressful taking my kids for a walk.
They'd stop at every little weed, rock, or odd piece of garbage, like plastic bits and pieces.
We could never simply walk to the park.
What should have been at most a 15 minute walk always ended up being at least 45 minutes.
I'd usually end up carrying or pushing them all home one way or another...
It was stressful and I always wondered what in the world I'd been thinking trying to take them to the park,
I would do it again the next day.
These were good outings.
No matter how stressed I got,
I new these walks were so good for my kids.
At the end of the day,
I'd survived,
my kids survived,
and I was tired for good reason.

Lately however,
going for a walk is so unbelievably overwhelming I simply haven't been able to bring myself to do it.

Yesterday though,
I made plans to go for a nature walk with my friends.

I'm not going to lie,
it wasn't all flowers and warm fuzzies.
It was really hard!

Lyon kept getting upset and stopping,
he kept telling me he wanted to go home.
Fenix kept kicking me in the back,
she was in a kid holding backpack that I strapped on to carry her in, 
and she kept trying to climb out.
Lyon kept coming up with names for different parts along the path we walked along.
There was grasshopper forest,
spider forest,
wire forest.
We saw horses that my kids called cows.
Lyon insisted he saw a crocodile in the river that ran along the path.

Then my friends kids,
they fretted over the grasshoppers,
ran ahead way to far,
pointed out the corn stalks,
put on a show for us when we stopped for a break at the "stage".

Then we let them play at the "sandy beach".
This tiny little nook of sand right by the river.
The kids built sand cakes,
and sand houses.
And miraculously stayed away from the river for the most part.
They were very entertaining.

Best of all I had my friend there.
We chatted and talked between interruptions from the kids.
We told stories,
and laughed.
It was fun.

The fun outweighed my stress.
So the thought of doing it again does not overwhelm me.
I'm ready to go again.

I know it will be stressful,
but it's a good kind of stress.
I know my heart will be pounding,
but for good reason.
I know that I will be exhausted by the time we are done,
but again for good reason.

Yesterday was full of simple busyness,
full of plans,
and totally worth living :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I don't have a big problem with hoarding, but I am starting to understand how a little problem with hoarding can become a big problem...

My definition of "hoarding": 
(I didn't look it up, I have no idea what it really is....)
Unreasonable anxiety about getting rid of something that you might need tomorrow.  

I mean you just never know when having ten thousand crayons will come in handy...  
Look at MacGyver, he always found a need for the odds and ends that he found and had...
That old piece of pipe he made into a rocket thruster...
That swiss army knife that could do anything...
That compact mirror he made into a periscope so he could drive a bus while on the floor...

I mean anything could be used for anything, right...

I've been trying to clean out and organize my office this week.
I wouldn't go so far as to say I have a problem,
but I have so much stuff.
So much stuff and I can't decide what I really need, and what I really don't.
It's that "hoarding" (my definition)  mind set.
"The second I get rid of it I'll need it!"
And sometimes that really is the case!
But most of the time, that something sits and sits and collects dust,
and is just plain junk in the way.

I literally have a thousand pens, markers, and crayons.
And yet when it comes to getting rid of them,
even though the marker doesn't have a lid and is dried out,
even though the pen hasn't been used in eight years,
even though a few of each color of crayon is plenty,
it just seems so wasteful to get rid of them,
and I might need that many someday...
I mean,
what if I have a thousand people at my house and they all need a pen at the same time!?

Ridiculous right, lol!
But the feelings are real.
The trick is recognizing them.
Thinking them through rationally,
and then taking action to fix the problem.

Rationally I know that I'll never have that many people at my house at the same time.
And if I did and they all needed a pen, well, tough.

Will I ever use all the crayons I have,
or a marker that doesn't work.

It's not being wasteful to get rid of the things I don't need.
It's not being wasteful to through garbage away.
A marker that doesn't work is garbage!

It is being wasteful to buy new crayons every I see them.
I just love the perfect box of brand new crayons.
But do I need them?
Broken crayons work just as well, 
but with less anxiety about them breaking.

So this week I am cleaning out my office and getting rid of all the stuff my family doesn't need.
Anybody need a zip top bag of crayons,
or a few pens, maybe a marker?
I promise I'd only give pens and markers that work.
I can't promise that the crayons won't be broken..........

PS- The actual definition of hoarding that I just looked up:

Definition: Pathological or compulsive hoarding is a specific type of behavior characterized by:
  • acquiring and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear to have little or no value to others (e.g., papers, notes, flyers, newspapers, clothes)
  • severe cluttering of the person's home so that it is no longer able to function as a viable living space
  • significant distress or impairment of work or social life

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Do you know what an anxiety attack is?
I've had a general idea that an anxiety attack is when a person is faced with a stressful situation their body reacts with a fight or flight response when it's not really necessary.
Thus ones body is pumped full of the necessary adrenaline to deal with a fight or flight situation, 
but one is unable to use it because the said situation doesn't warrant it.
This is my understanding of it anyway...

Daily stress is normal.
A fight or flight response to a normal daily stress is not.

Picture if you will a woman sitting in a church meeting.
Sacrament meeting for example.
This woman is surrounded by her family.
Surrounded by friends, and neighbors.
There are speakers speaking to the congregation.
There are songs being sung.
There are children being rough and rowdy with parents trying to keep them quiet.
There are teenagers doodling on their programs.
Other kids playing on their parents phones, ipads, etc...
There are some people asleep.

And of course there are the people trying to listen to the speakers,
some of them successful, some of them not.

When a child breaks lose from their parent and runs up to the front of the chapel,
most of the congregation is watching and thinking it is funny or adorable.
Laughing for the poor parent who has to chase their child down.
When a child starts bawling over one thing or another and their parent has to carry them out of the meeting, most people are understanding about it.  Filled with their own memories of such times, or laughing nicely about the look on the face of the poor parent.
There are some who don't notice at all 
being so wrapped up in their own children or the engrossing talks.
There are (I am sure) very few who are thinking negative things about any one else in the congregation.

And yet there sits this woman.
Worrying that they are.
Her children climbing all over her.
She can't hear anything but the sounds of 
how bad a job she is doing keeping her children reverent and quiet.

She is wearing a dress, and heels, she is trying to stay modest and appropriate.
Cute and put together.
One doesn't wrestle their children down to the floor in the middle of sacrament meeting 
because said child is misbehaving, 
especially if they are wearing a dress and heels!
This woman is small, tired, and weak.
Her children are full of energy and surprisingly strong.

To pick up one of her children,
while staying modest, cute, and put together;
carry said child out of the meeting,
while they struggle,
while she struggles desperately to not trip or have her dress ripped off,
well that is an enormous task.

So for this woman to be sitting in a church meeting while internally having an anxiety attack,
well it's understandable.
For this woman to be dreading the situation entirely is understandable.
She knows what is coming,
she knows its inevitable.
The stress over it is understandable, but not unusual.
Her bodies reaction to the stress however is not normal.

She is trapped, and there is no way out.
She can't focus,
she can't listen to anything,
and yet she tries desperately to keep control of  herself.
She doesn't start screaming and running up and down the aisles
waving her hands over her head in panic.
She also doesn't break out her karate moves,
who would she use them on?
The Bishop. 
No, lol!

She sits still, 
she speaks in whispers,
her heart pounding like she's running a marathon,
breaking out into a cold sweat like someone faced with an angry animal.
She feels lightheaded,
wide eyed,
and overwhelmed.

But she keeps control.
She acts normal.
She smiles.
She try's to listen.
She try's to feel the spirit.

She fights the flight or fight response and uses all her energy doing so.
One minute she is wide awake, the next she is falling asleep in her seat.
After that internal battle, exhaustion is to be expected.

This is anxiety.
It can happen anywhere, anytime, over anything.

You can imagine just how scary anxiety can be 
when you have no idea why your body is reacting the way it is.
Some people think they are dying,
some think they are having a heart attack.
I keep thinking that I am just too stupid to know what to do or how to do anything.
I've been in denial that anxiety could possibly be a problem that I have.
Turns out it is...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reality bites...

When I left the hospital I felt good.
Then I got home...

That's when reality hit.
Everything that I'd missed while I was in the hospital.
Everything I didn't have to worry about when I was in the hospital.
It all came flying right back into my face.

I was blessed to come home to a well tended to
and husband.

I was blessed to have Grandma and Auntie Stephanie there to help ease the blow.
They tended to my children.
Stephanie had tended to them the entire time I was gone.
She is AMAZING!!!!

Now things are basically back to "normal".
Except for weekly doctor and therapy appointments which would make things impossible if I didn't have such an amazingly wonderful Sister in law, Auntie Stephanie who is so willing to 
take care of Lyon and Fenix while I tend to my appointments.

With things back to "normal" I still struggle.
I use the tricks I've learned from my therapist.
I break my tasks down into baby steps.
I step back from life and look at it rationally.
I write down my feelings and figure them out.

But I still struggle.

Life is hard.


If I am going to live my life,
then I have to live my life,
and all that that implies.


Monday, September 12, 2011


I was asked today,
and I am asked this ALL OF THE TIME;

If I had another baby what would his/her name be?

Well I have thought very long and hard about the answer to this question.
Because as you ought to know by now I was supposed to be having another baby in November...
Supposed to be....

I am not going to say we'll never have another baby,
because, well, if nature had it's way we probably would.
So until it is made naturally impossible,
I will try really hard to never say never...

So way back in April I made name plans.

Were we to have a girl her name 
(as far as I had decided, I never got a go ahead from Phil about either name,
 and I changed Fenix's name to Fenix at the last minute 
so I may have just ended up changing my mind....)
would have been:

Robbin Ellen Graves

Robbin naturally.
A bird of course,
and my maiden name, sorta.
Ellen, because that is my middle name.
And well obviously Graves comes next....

Now for a boy it was a little bit more interesting.

Fox Michael Graves

I was certain we were going to have another little boy...
I still see him out of the corner of my eye sometimes...
Is that weird...

 Fox was the only name that ever sounded right to me for another baby boy.
Baby bears, lions, and foxes all are called cubs....
I totally would have needed to have another cub.

Now as I explained along with Bear and Lyon's names,
 with our boys names they are supposed to be subtly funny.

Fox Graves,
as far as I know,
isn't subtly funny.


Michael for a middle name is a story all its own.

I have an uncle Mike.
Phil has an uncle Mike.
I have two sisters who married men named Michael.
They each have a son named after their husbands.
So two nephews named Michael.
Plus I have a cousin named Michael...
(Phil, remind me if I've left anyone out...)
So many Michaels...
This has been something Phil and I have laughed about for years.
We love it!!!

So when we were talking about names,
we joked about naming a boy Michael.

My doctor, who would have delivered our baby, his name is Michael!!!
I laughed and laughed about this,
exclaiming to Phil that we had the perfect opportunity to have a Michael!
We had someone to name him after!
Obviously Michael wouldn't work for a first name,
but a second name, 

It'd be something to smile about every time we called his name.
Subtly funny.
When the kid gets in trouble and you call out his name,
its always the first and middle name when they are in trouble,


I'd smile every time...
and it's hard to be mad when you are smiling...

My mothers tribute to her mother

My mother wrote the following tribute to her mother:

"It should not be that difficult to write a tribute about mother, that is if you are a clever writer. That’s the problem…’s really difficult to put into words the feelings and emotions I want to express. It is easier to procrastinate. But here goes from my heart.
Mom was a singing mother, literally. She sang with the singing mothers in the relief society and she sang at home. She often broke out in little songs and ditties at home and especially on car trips, we would sing to pass the time. She also danced. It wasn’t unusual for her to break out in a little tap dance in the kitchen. Mom said she loved dancing, and dance her whole life. 
She was dancing at the church aerobics class shortly before she died.

Mother was always involved is some business venture, and she was successful. The scripture describing a virtuous woman comes to mind. Mother was a virtuous woman. She worked hard to keep the house a happy place, assisted with the finances with her business ventures; she taught her children the gospel. She served in the church and helped the poor and needy without drawing attention to herself. She was a faithful visiting teacher. I tagged along many times. She was talented and very creative. She sewed, made quilts, arranged flowers, and wrapped beautiful packages with lovely bows. 
She was tender and affectionate.

Mother loved family. 
She was very much in love with dad and always supported him and kept the romance alive. 
She loved her parents and siblings. 
She set an example of valuing family and seeing the best in them. 
With a supportive husband, all our trips usually included visiting relatives. 
 Mother loved and adored her children and grandchildren. 
She was often showing off pictures and talking about their accomplishments. 
There is no doubt she knew about many imperfections about family members, 
but she said very little about that and focused on her love for them. 
I grew up thinking the Sorensons, her family, walked on water, 
but it turns out they were as human as the rests of us. 
She was able to forgive. 
She instilled this love in me.

Mother was talkative, open and friendly. 
She had a good sense of humor and often smiled and laughed. 
She always stayed on a high plane…..never vulgar, never using foul language. 
She always sought after the uplifting, the beautiful. 
Mother was also sober and serious and deep.
My mother instilled in me love and trust for my Heavenly Father and Jesus. 
I knew she had a sound testimony of the gospel. 
I am grateful for her example and teaching. 
This has sustained me my whole life.
She was full of life and did not want to die, 
and she did not taste of the sorrow of death because she died in the Lord, 
she died in peace. 
Her heart was beginning to turn and yearn to be reunited with family and loved ones that had gone on. 

My mom was truly a Queen."

-Cathleen Robbins

That's my Grandmother on the left, me on the right.
Isn't my grandmother gorgeous!!!
I always wanted to look like she did.
I don't.
But if I could just do my hair like hers...

I never knew my grandmother here on this earth.
I am sure we were best buds up in Heaven though, before I was born and after she died.
We probably hung out all the time in the "in between".
I just can't remember it.
I'm glad for the memories of others that let me get to know her a bit better than I could other wise....

127 hours...

One hundred and twenty seven hours.
Have you seen this movie?
I watched it this week.
Yes it is rated "R" and normally I would never watch a movie with such a rating...
But I couldn't resist this one...
I was pretty sure that rating would have more to do with "F" words than anything too terrible to watch.
I don't find hacking off an arm too terrible to watch...
Should that concern me...
 The part of him trying to drink his urine had me gagging, so I must not be that crazy....

So 127 hours was interesting.
It was a horrifying story,
but also strangely uplifting.
I mean if this guy can survive 127 hours with his arm crushed between a rock and a hard place,
what can humans not do?

(Hardly the worst thing humanly imaginable, but bear with me...)

I watched 127 hours completely fascinated by the goings on.
I could relate to the happy "high" and "fly" 
the guy seemed to be going through at the beginning of the movie, 
before he fell and got his arm stuck.
I could relate to the fall while he was mid climb.
I could relate to being stuck for 127 hours (5 days).
I could relate to trying to find a comfortable way to sleep.
I could relate to the lack of water.
I could relate when he broke his arm.
 I could kind of relate when he had to hack off his arm.
I shouldn't be able to, but I know just exactly how hard it can be to cut through your own skin....
Even with a sharp knife...
I could relate to that feeling of relief he seemed to have when he was finally "free".
And now I am relating to the long drop he found himself at and had to repel down.
I can relate to the hike on lonely trails searching for somebody, anybody to help.
I can even relate to him struggling to cry out for help when he finally does see somebody.

I was emotionally exhausted after watching 127 hours.
Did you watch it?
What did you think?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Five day's in the psych ward... Day five...

I woke-up Monday morning wondering what in the world I had been doing the night before.
I remembered bits and pieces,
but was sure it was probably just a dream.

I asked my friend in her thirties about it,
she laughed and told me I was very cute.

"Like someone who had had their first drink and was drunk for the first time."

I believe it.
I was just a bit embarrassed,
but glad my friends didn't talk me into taking my clothes off and running around naked.
They probably could have...

I got showered and dressed and felt better.
It was going to be a good day,
I just knew it.

After meeting with my psychiatrist and therapist I was sure of it.
I was going home.

Having had plenty of time to think ponder and reflect over the long weekend.
I made a lot of personal progress and discoveries.
I thought, and reasoned, and wrote so I'd remember.

On my morning and evening questionaires I answered honestly
My feeling level of 
Anger- 0
Stress- 0
Anxiety- 0
Suicidal- 0

My overall mood:
Looking forward to living

And I was.
Thus there was no reason for me to need to stay at the hospital any longer.

I spent the morning happily playing catch with one of the techs who I'd seen yell at 
the crazy mumbling lady in her forties.
Something no one else had done, and something that they probably needed to.

We tossed the notorious foam football up and down the hall.
Laughing and joking and getting to know each other.
He was really nice.

He was convinced I played football on a powder puff team.
I am that awesome at playing catch with a foam football.

I knew he was marrying one of the other techs.
The girl who let me drink my soda out of a can.
I only knew this because my friend in her thirties had told me, lol!

I kept teasing him about it.
He wondered how on earth I knew.
 I kept coyly telling him that us crazy people knew everything
and that there are no secrets in the psych ward...
This playful banter went back and forth for a while.

 I started to worry that he might think it seemed like I was flirting with him;
which I wasn't at all!
I caught the football and held it for a minute thinking.
I DID NOT want him to think I was flirting so,
I reassured him that I am married,
have been for eight years,
and am madly in love,
with the man of my dreams,
my husband of eight years.
And also that I have three kids,
that I love and adore.

So though this tech was thirty-one,
I concluded that I was in fact older than him.

We went right back to teasing each other again.
While tossing that football.
It was fun!
The most fun I'd had all week end.
I told him so.

If it weren't way too weird I would add him as a Facebook friend.
Just so I could keep teasing him.
Because I'm like that...
I like to tease playfully, I'm never trying to be mean,
 and I'm never trying to flirt!
Unless of course it's my Phil in which case I realize I need to try harder to not be mean,
and spend a LOT more time flirting.
Because I LOVE him and WANT him to know I am flirting.
I love my Super Man!!!


I wasn't sure if Phil would be able to come get me before he finished work.
So I planned on going home that evening during visiting hours.
It was going to be a long wait.
Remember the forlorn woman I'd seen crying and wringing her hands just wanting to go home.
Well I knew how she felt,
but I got lucky and didn't have to wait for very long.

I would leave by lunch time.
When all the paper work was said and done I called Phil and he couldn't wait to come get me.
Superman was there to rescue me with-in minutes.
In fact he had to wait a few minutes for me to get packed up.

 I said goodbye to my friends.
Took one last look around.

And then I nervously walked the maze out of the hospital hand in hand with my Superman.
We walked out into the bright hot sunlight and fresh warm air.
And all I could think was:


But also,


Five day's in the psych ward... Day four, that night...

After Phil left on Sunday night I was given my sleeping pill.
I wanted to see if I would remember anything from that night the next morning.
So I got ready for bed and then went out to the common room where my friend
in her thirties,
and in her twenties,
were hanging out.

From what I can gather;

I sat down next to them,
placed my hands one on each side of my lap,
looked down and told them.

"Someone needs to do something funny so we can see if I remember it tomorrow"
They of course knew I had taken a sleeping pill.

And they were willing to experiment.
I mean we were all crazy being in the psych ward and all,
so why not show it ;)

So the girl in her twenties gets up, goes over to the table, stands up on a chair
and puts one foot up on the table.
Posing as Captain Morgan.

As an LDS girl having never had a drink of beer in my life,
I didn't get it.
Until much later.

Next I stood up and my friends got me to throw the little nerf football at the nurses office window.
I kept throwing and missing.

I was very tipsy.

I think I finally hit the window because a nurse came out and I went and hid behind a chair.
My friends told her I was to blame, but she didn't believe them.
I was far too innocent looking crouched there behind the chair with the look of an angel on my face.
She went back in and I think I went back to throwing the football...
Then I went and gazed in the same window for a very long time.
Just gazing.
Awkwardly innocently watching.

Later the girl in her twenties had the idea to use her blanket to drape over the tables chairs like a tent.
We all three hudled underneath.
I am sure that was a sight for the nurse who came back out and peered down at us three
crazy girls all wearing glasses and hiding under a make shift blanket tent.
The nurse told me I had to go to bed.
She stood me up and marched me to my room.
I didn't want to go, but did, albeit very unsteadily.

I only remember bits and pieces of this,
the rest my friends, the techs, and nurses filled me in on the next morning.
Much to my delight, confusion, and surprise.

So if I am ever outside gardening naked or some other such nonsense,
please don't judge...
I'm probably just a bit loopy.
But don't worry, I've made Superman promise he won't allow that.

Five day's in the psych ward... Day four...

Day four was a Sunday.
I had terrible pain in my belly and for the first time I was grateful to be able to stay in bed most of the morning and afternoon undisturbed.
Except of course when I had to go get my female needs from the tech.
It was so awful having to ask someone for everything I needed.
I imagine this must be what kids feel like.
I couldn't do what I wanted.
I couldn't get what I wanted.
I couldn't go where I wanted,
whenever I wanted.

I was brought food.
I didn't get to choose it.
I was told which clothes I could have and couldn't.
I couldn't tie my own shoes.
(laces aren't aloud for good reason)

Being a mom, I am not used to having almost everything done for me,
or having to ask for the rest of it.

It was really eye opening to experience that.
I HAD  to ask for my things.
And every time I HAD to, 
I worried that the nurse or the tech would get annoyed.
I am sure sometimes they did.
But no one ever let on if they were.
But that didn't stop me from worrying.

It made me wonder how often my kids are scared to ask me for something 
because they worry that I might get annoyed....
Because sometimes I do...

I learned it's best to simply be grateful to have someone to serve.
Even if they don't express how much they appreciate the service,
it's quite possible they don't know how.
Or maybe they don't know they are grateful yet.
But it's there.


Sunday was just such a long day.
After laying in bed,
eating breakfast and lunch,
it was still early afternoon.
Six more hours before Phil would come to visit.
I was counting.

My friend who was in her twenties had gotten really irritable.
Something she blamed on her medication.
The nurse had been hanging out with her trying to keep her busy and calm.
It was working.
I decided to join them.
They sat at the common room table coloring.
I went and sat down next to them.
I asked the girl tech who was also sitting there if I could have one of my soda's.
She went to get it for me and I begged her to bring it in the can instead of pouring it into a cup.
The rule was we weren't aloud to have cans,
but since I was surrounded my the nurse and then the tech and then another male tech
she relented and let me have it.
The male tech protested,
but I promised to drink it fast,
and fast I did drink,
while coloring.

I colored several pictures.
The kind where there are just a bunch of shapes and patterns.
I labeled each of my colorings.

-No twists or curves, just corners to round and obstacles to overcome-
-Tears drop-
-Security blanket-

And finally at long last Phil came bearing gifts.
the good kind.
I was grateful.
I hope I told him so.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Five day's in the psych ward... Day three...

I slept well that night of my birthday.
Thanks to the drugs I was given right before bed finally working for me.

I'd come to find that weekends in the psych ward are very long and very boring.
There aren't activities.

I did go to one session of group though.
This is where everyone who has the privilege,
my friend with the short cropped hair and glasses in her twenties didn't have the privilege,
meets in the therapy/tv room and have a group discussion.
On Saturday we talked about the stages of recovery.
It was really eye opening for me.
I could recognize every stage I'd experienced.
Some more than others, some more than once.
I found that I bounced around these stages.
I learned how to recognize where I was at and how
to take action before I hit "bottom" again.
There are five stages:

Before Bottom-
See a lot of "red flags" not coping, stressed, irritable, poor health, relationship problems, work problems, withdrawal from activities.

Depression, suicidal, refuses medications/treatments, "gives up", loss of job or relationship, hospitalization, desperation.

On the Fence-
Ambivalence about the recovery process, may not be hopeful, doesn't want to give up old ways, might get involved in therapy, might take medications sometimes, contemplating making changes.

Feel committed to the process of recovery, recognizes changes are necessary, takes steps to make changes, good compliance, good follow through, takes medications prescribed.

Life Goes On-
Full acceptance of illness, limitations that poses, and ability to make adaptations, 
understands "meaning to ones's suffering", can see the big picture.

I know that as I recognize where I am at I will take action,
I know I can ask for help,
and I know that I have support of friends, family, my doctor, my therapist, ward members, etc...
And that makes the burden I carry that much "easier".

You don't see a psychiatrist or a therapist on the weekend in the psych ward,
 unless you are brought in on the weekend.
Which one girl was.
This girl was in her thirties.
She was really nice.
She and the girl in her twenties got along really well.
We all did.
Except of course the lady in her fourties who kept mumbling.
She'd come out of her room now and then yelling that she was hungry and wanted food.
She'd beg the techs to get her a soda.
She'd beg me for one of mine.
(I had Phillip bring me some grape soda)
I let her have some of mine,
but she still liked to threaten to kick my ass.

Me and the other girls decided that that lady must be on really heavy medication
and that was to blame for her odd behavior.
Any other explanation was just too sad and disturbing to explore.

We sat around all day.
There was a foam football that I tossed with the girl in her 20's for a while.
And that was pretty much the highlight of the day.
The day passed so slowly.

Phillip came to visit me that afternoon.
I'd been waiting anxiously for him to come.
A tech finally led a man in, I could hear them talking before they came through the door.
It was all I could do to not bound out of my chair and jump into Phil's arms.
It's a good thing I didn't, because when I saw the man who I'd thought was Phil,
I realized it wasn't Phil.
In fact,
very disturbing,
I knew him!
He was someone I'd gone to school with.
Turns out he was the husband of the new girl, the woman in her 30's.
That was weird...

Anyway Phillip came to see me, we sat and talked for a while and then he left,
but came back again that night.
Saturday night.
We sat and watched a movie.
And then all too soon he had to go again.

I was given my sleeping pill and then went and got ready for bed.
are you ready for this ladies:
I started my period!
That was probably the absolute worst thing about being in the psych ward, for me.

There are no secrets in the psych ward.
There are no locks on the bathroom doors.
When you shower, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom,
fart, burp, etc,

When Phil and I were dating
if I ever had to use the bathroom at my tiny apartment,
I always turned the faucet on while I did my business so Phil wouldn't be able to hear.
It's just not the kind of sounds you want to share.

I had to ask a tech every time I needed a tampon.
Every. Single. Time.
Phil wasn't due to come until the following night and thus couldn't bring me any of my own.
So for twenty four hours I had to ask strangers to provide me with my feminine needs.
Luckily enough all the techs during those twenty four hours were female.

So even though I was feeling a little loopy having taken my sleeping pill,
I asked the tech, got what I needed, but wasn't ready to go to sleep yet.
I asked the tech if she could take me back to "the other side" my first side,
so I could pick out a book.

I'd finished the one I already had picked out and they wouldn't let me read the one I brought with me...
It was about a high schooler shooting up his high school,
so it was understanding that they kept it from me.
Not the most positive subject...

I went and picked out a book,
was brought back to my room
where I read for the next little while.

I was really light headed, and finally unable to keep my eyes open any longer I
slipped into a deep grateful sleep.

I woke-up the next morning thinking I had dreamed the night before.
My period, the book...
But when I looked over at the bedside table there sat the book...