Thursday, September 24, 2009

Honestly Honest

One of my favorite bloggers, MckMama, recently blogged about how she has decided to take back control of her blog. Hallelujah!! That, despite the slashing of pristine acrylic nails upon her character (my words, not hers) and the unfathomable gnashing of rotten teeth (again, my eloquent words, not hers) that spew nasty, hurtful words towards her, her family and her readers, she will continue to be honest on her blog even if others continue to use her honesty as fodder to further their pathetic cause.

It is, with all due respect, her blog.

Personally, I think they should go back to worrying about their own lives (maybe remove the crumbs from the bottom of their toaster, or something.) and stop putting so much energy into trying to destroy someone else's. Buy hey, that's just my opinion and nobody has to agree with me. Even though you should. Because, I'm right.


MckMama's post got me thinking about my own writing and my own honesty. Before I started Semi-Organized Mom, I was positive that I really wanted to share creative ways to organize, recipes, parenting and even marital issues. When thinking about my own blog and deciding what I wanted to blog about, I guess I wasn't very honest with myself. Yes, I'm truly Semi-Organized, a wife, a mother of five, a professed FeisMom (proud of it!), a chronic organizer, and I am a Christian. However, I also fight a daily battle with PTSD, depression and an eating disorder. I have many reasons to be depressed, but I have 10x as many to be Joyful and yet, Joy is one of the hardest things for me to experience.


Within the past two weeks I've felt extremely overwhelmed. My anxiety levels went through the roof. I've had suicidal "wonders" and then would burst into tears because I could never kill myself. First, my kids would miss me and my husband would be left alone. Not only that, but my mom...I could never leave her. How selfish of me.

Then I'd say, "But I'm tired of not being selfish. I have no one to talk to (not even my husband because he's stressed out, too and we'll just end up in a fight), no one to cry on, no one to vent to. No one." The cyle of loneliness would go around so many times I couldn't take it anymore.

Then, in some ironic twist of fate, I would just recover.

Like that.

Fakefully (is that a word?) cheerful for the world because I didn't want to deal with any more pain. Nor did I want to deal with one of my biggest pet peeve's...fake sympathy. If there is one thing that I despise more in this world, it's fake sympathy. Gag! Seriously, take it somewhere else, because I can see right through it all. I'm rather good at reading body language. You see, I am a CODA (child of deaf adult). Both of my parents were profoundly deaf. I grew up in the deaf community where people signed to communicate and their body language said everything. I can read people like a book. Better than a book... because it's visual. Despite being extremely good at reading people (voice, body language, demeanor), I suck (for lack of a better word at 1 AM) at being observant of what goes on around me. I "check out" mentally when things get rough. It's a terrible coping mechanism and yet, I really believe that it's how I've learned to cope/manage that has kept the anxiety attacks from taking my life.

Maybe I'm so busy reading people (and protecting myself) that I fail to see other things that are important. Maybe growing up so differently makes me unlikeable. Maybe people don't understand why I am different. Maybe it bugs them. I don't know. I see their emotions because I read them. I want to help and usually they get it out (via me). It can be trivial or traumatic, but I've given them an outlet. Someone to mull it over with or just feel like someone really cared enough to ask the REAL questions.

So, I spent many hours these past two weeks crying over things I really have no control over. I cried because I didn't have any true close friends and then became angry because "who were they to treat me this way?! They used to call me all the time to vent, complain, cry, whine or just gab away. We would go places together, spend time together, call each other...laugh. Now they've made new friends and shut me out...completely! Did they get what they wanted and now they don't need my friendship anymore? No matter that maybe I needed someone to ask me the deep questions. No matter. I changed what I was doing to be there for them and then, when I'm the one suffering, where are they? Do they even call to see how I am doing? Knowing that my, "Yeah, things are great." comment was just what they wanted to hear, now they could get it off their guilty conscious and move on because...."at least they asked." Do they even wonder why I haven't called to chat with them? Am I just that good at hiding my pain?


Is that really friendship?

Quickly, I change from being hurt to angry and then from angry to negative. "They probably are glad I do not call them. What did I do to them? What's wrong with me? Am I really that bad of a friend? I've been nothing but nice and helpful and friendly and I just keep getting spat upon. I'm sick of being a friend, being ignored and being treated as less than by people who, frankly, don't deserve my friendship. Who would/could really be my friend? I'm really not likeable."

Yep, that was/is me. All manic and stuff, but the emotion is still real. The thoughts are still real. The feelings are still....raw. And real. I'm not just imagining it all in my head, because, it's real. I'm finally just dealing with it the best way I know how. Cry, get mad, negative self-talk, stuff it away........and the cycle goes on and on and on.

Don't get me wrong, my suicidal wonders weren't about being friendless. They were about feeling hopeless in my marriage, parenting, all relationships, being a homemaker, etc. The only thing that has kept me from becoming completly unglued is the fact that I have a job. A good job, that helps people. I get to make people HAPPY! I help people, they say "Thank You" and I'm done. Sometimes they beg me to take a bag of garden tomatoes (which I love!!), but always it's a "Thank You!" Well, except for today, but that's okay because it's rare that someone is not appreciative of our service when they need it the most. Simple. Heartwarming. No excess expectations on either part, no hurt feelings, just a sense of giving and being appreciated. My job is amazing and I am grateful that I get to help many people each week.

In the past two weeks I made a huge mistake. I abruptly stopped taking 60mg of Cymbalta without doing any research on the side effects. Stupid me. This is where the suicidal wonders came in. I debate going back on the meds. My husband and my children really need me to take them and I feel like a much more calm wife/mommy when I do. My PTSD is controlled, my anxiety attacks are almost non-existant and well, I feel "normal". What I hate about taking the meds is that it allows me to disagree with something, but not truly stand up for what I know is right. Before, I'd really debate the issues and try to come to some sort of agreement. Maybe I was extreme in my behavior, but my points were vaild and (believe me) duly noted. On Cymbalta, I still put up a debate, but I easily retreat into my shell because the anxiety isn't there to keep it going.

Does that make any sense?

Ultimately, I want to live. I want to experience Joy and true Happiness along with all the other normal hurts and pains of life. I want to embrace them and trust God. I know that God has and will continue to use my hurts for His glory, I've seen it! God has taken some of my darkest moments of my life (the ones that caused the PTSD) and made beauty from ashes. I cling to those times, hopes, goals and praises when I calm down enough to remember them. I pray that, as I open up (and stop hiding), I'll be able to experience the joy God meant for me.

Why should I only focus on one aspect of my life, when there are so many diamonds emeralds waiting to be found!

Basically, what I'm trying to say, is that I will still write about organizing, Irish Dance, teenagers and being a mom of 5, but I will also write about the other things I am. A struggling survivor of terrible abuse, constant fear, engulfing shame and controlling addiction. A survivor who, after loads of therapy, still cannot seem to see the beauty until it's pointed out to me.

Regardless, I'm still a survivor! And I'm here!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Organize & Simplify -CD's

If you're like me, you have a plethora of CD's that you really don't use anymore.

Right? Right.

Maybe it's because you don't like the artist anymore, only like three songs on it, or maybe because you've already uploaded the album to your iTunes account and downloaded it to your iPod.

All of the above applied to me and it was high time I did something about it. A couple weeks ago I hauled out our dusty file box full of compact disc's so that I could upload our (once favorite) albums to our iTunes account.

This isn't even a speck of the discs we had.

In the dusty file box was an empty case that I had purchased many years ago and decided to finally use. Disc by disc I would remove the insert and throw away the plastic case (including the back insert). After I uploaded each disc I would decide if I wanted to throw it away or keep it in the new case.

It was very time consuming uploading all the discs, but worth it to finally simplify a file box of compact discs into one zippered case.

CD Storage Options:

If you do not want to get rid of the plastic cases you can purchase cardboard CD boxes to hold your collection. I've searched for inexpensive and attractive containers, but these seem to be the best option.

Happy Organizing!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Twins on versed = Hilarious!

A week ago, tomorrow, the twins had double tonsillectomies. They've done most everything together since conception, why not surgery, too? They're healing well and have been able to manage the pain. It's still hard to swallow and they talk funny, but they might just head back to school sometime this week. We'll see.

Brenden Pre-Op
"Look at my cool booties!"

"Be sure to tie a double knot!"

Brenden went into surgery first, so he was the first to come out of the drugs. They gave both boys versed and ended up having to give Brenden Narcan, after they put him under, to reverse the sedation. He was having difficulty breathing and keeping his heart rate up with so much sedation. The nurse called him a "light weight". They ended up giving Braden a smaller dose of versed due to Brenden's reaction.

After surgery...still loopy.

Braden was so nervous I didn't get any before photos of him. He has a pretty severe case of needlephobia and after they took Brenden away, we spent a long time trying to explain everything. He ended up getting the IV before going in to surgery and was very proud of himself that he did everything, "Just like Brenden." I was proud of him, too.

After surgery, they wheeled Braden into the recovery area where Brenden already was and placed their beds side by side. Braden woke up enough to tap Brenden and said, "Brenden, I need to tell you something. I need to tell you something. Brenden....I love you." He reached his hand through the side bars and they held hands. Awww. Brenden, coming out of it, held his hand and didn't complain. I can only imagine how connected these two are. I'll have to remember this moment the next time they are trying to kill each other.

Brenden had us cracking up in pre-op. I was laughing so hard I actually pee'd my pants. A teeny-tiny bit. Having five children doesn't help ones bladder control and deep gut laughing doesn't help either. Seriously, I was rolling. Both Rob and I were. The nurses were even laughing (a little), but I guess they see people like this all the time. We, luckily, haven't witnessed our teenage boys "high" and I hope we never do. The doctors came in and told us we were having too much fun. Hehehe. I wish I would have recorded everything that day. It would have made great YouTube fodder. Don't take my word on it though, you decide.

I don't like to disappoint my readers, and in keeping with my amazing ability to embarass my children, I present to you.....

Brenden (after surgery) still recovering from versed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight years later....

Patriot Day means so much to our family. It's a day we honor and remember. It's a day we pray and reflect. It's a day we remember the thousands of innocent victims who died (and the loved ones they left behind) on September 11, 2001.

The passengers and crew of American Airlines Flight 11, which hit the North Tower at 8:46 a.m.:

The passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 175, which hit the South Tower at 9:02 a.m.:

The thousands of people in the World Trade Center's and those on the ground. I can't imagine the terror, panic, and suffering these individuals endured.

The passengers and crew of American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon at 9:38 a.m.:

The passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93, which dove into a Pennyslvania field at 10:06 a.m.:

The brave police officers and firefighter's who risked their lives and to those who lost their lives (even in the days after) trying to save others:

Our family will never forget!

When my 10 year old daughter asked me how many people died on 9/11, I knew it was close to three thousand, but I wanted to have a more definate answer. I found it and would like to share it with you.

Number of 9/11 Deaths

At least 2,985 people died in the September 11, 2001, attacks, including:

  • 19 terrorists
  • 2,966 victims [2,998 as of Spring 2009]

All but 13 people died on that day. The remaining 13 later died of their wounds. One person has died since the attacks, of lung cancer. It is suspected to have been caused by all the debris from the Twin Towers.

There were 266 people on the four planes:

  • American Airlines Flight 11 (crashed into the WTC): 92 (including five terrorists)
  • United Airlines Flight 175 (crashed into the WTC): 65 (including five terrorists)
  • American Airlines Flight 77 (crashed into the Pentagon): 64 (including five terrorists)
  • United Flight 93 (downed in Shanksville, PA): 45 (including four terrorists)

There were 2,595 people in the World Trade Center and near it, including:

  • 343 NYFD firefighters and paramedics
  • 23 NYPD police officers
  • 37 Port Authority police officers
  • 1,402 people in Tower 1
  • 614 people in Tower 2
  • 658 people at one company, Cantor Fitzgerald
  • 1,762 New York residents
  • 674 New Jersey residents
  • 1 NYFD firefighter killed by a man jumping off the top floors of the Twin Towers

There were 125 civilians and military personnel at the Pentagon.

1,609 people lost a spouse or partner on 9/11. More than 3,051 children lost parents.

While it was mostly Americans who were killed in this horrific attack, there were also 327 foreign nationals. Here is the breakdown, according to country:

Argentina: 4 Australia: 11 Bangladesh: 6 Belarus: 1 Belgium: 1 Bermuda: 1 Brazil: 3 Canada: 27 Chile: 2 China: 4 Cote d'Ivoire: 1 Colombia: 17 Democratic Republic of the Congo: 2 Dominican Republic: 1 El Salvador: 1 Ecuador: 3 France: 1 Germany: 11 Ghana: 2 Guyana: 3 Haiti: 2 Honduras: 1 India: 1 Indonesia: 1 Ireland: 6 Israel: 5 Italy: 4 Jamaica: 16 Japan: 26 Jordan: 2 Lebanon: 3 Lithuania: 1 Malaysia: 7 Mexico: 16 Moldova: 1 Netherlands: 1 New Zealand: 2 Nigeria: 1 Panama: 2 Peru: 5 Philippines: 16 Portugal: 3 Poland: 1 Russia: 1 South Africa: 2 South Korea: 28 Spain: 1 Sweden: 1 Taiwan: 1 Ukraine: 1 Uzbekistan: 1 United Kingdom: 67 Venezuela: 1

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home-spun Labor Day Fun

I have never been, and never will be, a night person. Once I am asleep it will take an actual fire alarm to wake me up and last night was no exception. It shouldn't surprise anyone that I didn't know Caleb had vomited twice during the night, Rob had also vomited (while cleaning up after Caleb), Caleb was in bed with us and was in the middle of vomiting (for the third or fourth time) when I finally woke up enough to realize that my child was sick. Rob didn't wake me because he knows I can't handle it. We both would have been sick and that would not be good.

Rob woke me up about 8:40 so that I could take my mom and Nana to the airport. Caleb had a fever so, after I dropped them off, I stopped at Wally World to buy some chewable Tylenol, popsicles, Chicken Noodle soup and Gatorade.

Rob and Caleb have been snuggled in bed watching movies and playing Xbox all day. They stopped long enough to eat some soup. Caleb still has a fever, but hasn't been sick since early this morning.

The other kids have pretty much entertained each other while I finished some Crawford work and my time sheet. They were being so good that I decided (before they became bored and started killing a sibling or two) it was time to put them to work making Mini Bagel Pizza's for dinner and the freezer. It was a mixed reaction. The older boys weren't thrilled that I was making them do a pre-school project, but they all did a great job.

Feverish Caleb (eating chicken soup) watching his siblings create his future snacks.

The kids and hubby thought the homemade pizza sauce was yummy! Why I was so afraid to make my own sauce and pizza is beyond me. I can't wait to start saving money on something we eat often!!

Mini Bagel Pizza's

1 bag of Mini-Bagels cut in half (I use the ones from Cost-co)
Cheese (we used Italian blend and Mild Cheddar)
Olives (ours were whole and the kids did the slicing)
**Use your favorite toppings, leftover's, etc.**

Pizza Sauce

1 can (28 oz) Tomato Puree
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoon's garlic powder
1-1.5 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine all ingredients into large bowl and whisk until blended. Taste and add more seasonings as needed.

Spoon sauce on to bagel, add toppings and bake for 10-15 minutes in a 350* oven.

You can also microwave these, but I wouldn't. The bagel may be edible and chewy for a few minutes, but it will soon be too chewy.

Freezing Mini Bagel Pizza's: After the kids created all the mini-pizza's I put them on cookie sheets lined with freezer paper and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes - 1 hour. Cut wax paper (or freezer paper) into squares and alternate bagel/paper/bagel/paper for bulk storage or indivudally wrap each bagel. Toss them into a freezer Zip-Lock bag or other preferred container for freezer storage.

You'll probably want to bake the frozen bagels at 400* until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Now that the kitchen is clean, the clan is fed and my sickies are resting, I am off to prepare for our busy day tomorrow, which includes, a double tonsilectomy, loads of laundry and the possibility of more vomiting children.