Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some clarification on Obsessive Thoughts

I have several people email me about worry and anxiety because they too sometimes get worked up about imagining a loved one dying. So, I wanted to clarify. I think a lot of us have these thoughts, but the guideline is usually how they are effecting your life.

For me the OCD part is that I feel the compulsion to focus on various horrible things happening to my family as a way of warding horrible things off. For me the obsession is making God realize that I deserve to have my children and to keep him from taking them from me. The compulsion then is to really feel the experience so that then I won't have to actually experience it. I will spend the entire night or a weeks' worth of nights experiencing say, the van going off the bridge over the Mississippi River on our way to Chowder's parents' house over and over. I panic about how to save everyone. I see their faces as they plea for my help. I watch the fear in the ones I can't get to as they drown. I swim to shore with the chosen child/ren. I plan funerals. I live with the guilt. I replay it all over and over and over. I will go a week with no sleep. I will grieve and grieve a loss that has not even happened. But, this is my way of convincing God that he doesn't need to take one of my children from me, that I can get the lessons and deserve the blessings. This compulsion keeps us safe.

Since I am on my meds, I think "this is what it would be like if Chowder dies" but I don't replay the death. I don't slip into that place of uselessness because of the obsession. Does that make sense?

So, I think the occasional worry and anxiety is just part and parcel of loving someone. But, if it is beyond that and interfering with your ability to function, than I think you should definitely talk to someone about it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

not so good at this solo parenting thing

I need to remember that Ladybug is like a bad fart, silent but deadly.

While I was up changing Sweeting's diaper, I left Ladybug in the family room. By the time I had come back downstairs, she had downed half a bottle of Hershey's syrup. I found her sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor nursing it like a baby bottle.

I went upstairs for a few minutes while I disciplined Porkchop and came downstairs to find Ladybug had made them pretty! meaning written all over herself and Sweeting with green permanent marker.

I went upstairs during Ladybug and Sweeting's naptime to throw in some laundry and found the nursery's door open. Ladybug was in Sweeting's crib and had covered them both in Post-it notes.

Monday, April 27, 2009


What a week I've left behind and what a few weeks I have ahead of me. I didn't get as much done last week as I wanted, but I did turn in several homework assignments and got some Spring cleaning done. It was great for the kids to be able to be outside pretty much all week. The weather was beautiful! And I spent some time doing stuff with them that I need to do more of.


I have been working on my new website and hope to have it up sometime in the next week. It won't be the most seamless transition because I have never done anything like this. Hopefully it will all come together.


Chowder has gone to Iowa for 3 weeks. He is doing some sort of training thingamajig for family ministry. Today was our first full day without him. We did a good job and held it together all day. But's almost midnight and I have no one to snuggle in with. I started taking my OCD medication last week anticipating the anxiety. I was taking a 1/4 dose. But last night I upped it to a 1/2 dose. I'm feeling pretty well, though my morbid thoughts still get stuck. Like when Ladybug came in this morning looking for him and she cried the most quiet, pitiful cry, would not let me hold her and she climbed back into her crib to weep softly all by herself. And I couldn't get the "What if" thoughts out of my head. The "this is what it would be like if he died" thoughts. And then I began to weep softly all by myself.

The other thing is that I really miss him. I like him quite a bit and he always makes his presence known, so there is an obvious "Chowder Vacuum." We have set up video chat on our computers and text several times a day. I know it's so hard at the beginning, but soon it will be over and he will be home. with me. where he belongs.


Humphrey is having some sort of gastrointestinal issues, right now. Let me tell you, a 160 lb dog can really stink a place up. Plus every couple of hours he starts whining because he needs to go out. I'm hoping that will not be the case all night long.


That possible move I was writing about a few weeks ago? It is still in the process, but look at this...

It certainly sweetens the pot. 1890's farmhouse on 12 1/2 acres 5bd 2ba 2900 sq ft. I am suddenly pining for wide open spaces.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

National Turn Off Your Screen Week April 20-26

I'll be tuned out and accomplishing things. I have spring cleaning to get sprung and rose bushes to be planted and homework to catch up on and Porkchop needs to get training wheels removed and I need to get some meals in the freezer. Chowder will be leaving me for three weeks (!) for a family ministry training program and I want to be prepared. (better stock up on the Vodka) I'll leave you with a couple Ladybug videos...

Friday, April 17, 2009

My favorite pictures from this week

These are from this morning before school. Ladybug wanted to tell Porkchop a secret. teehee.

This is my Queen Mum. Ain't she purty?

This is Humphrey. He got in the act with Photobooth! Don't you just want to give him a big hug?!

This is bath time. It took Chowder, Skaterboy, and me to get him in the bathtub. He went for the passive resistance maneuver. very effective.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Random Parenting Conundrums

Issue 1: 17 yr old ds. As I've said before, Skaterboy is a really good kid. No trouble. No drugs. No drinking that I know of, though probably an occasional drink, but nothing that has been an issue. He hangs out with his "band" and plays ear splitting metal on his guitar, but he is very good at it. Our issues with him are complete lack of motivation (other than music). He has failed yet another year of high school. He should be a senior next year but he will be a sophomore. His school sucks. The school district is the worst. And there is real danger there, though the kids really like Skaterboy and he kind of skates above it all.

I have actually encouraged him to drop out and get his GED. The high school thing isn't working and even if he suddenly decided to hunker down and do his work he would graduate just before his 21st birthday. Instead he has a new plan. It's a GOOD plan. I stand behind the plan. He will get his GED this summer and then start community college in the fall. Go for two years and then transfer to an art school to finish his degree. Good. solid. plan. He'll be ahead of the game instead of behind it and hopefully in a different learning environment he will feel some motivation. (pleasepleaseplease) But plans don't enact themselves...

oh. and when dealing with teenagery phone issues, I found pictures on his phone that were sent to him (not totally nude) but down a girl's shirt. He tells me its not his current girlfriend but puzzle pieces start to fall into place and I realize that this relationship he is in now is much more serious than others and on a whole new level. And he is either having sex already or on the verge. Even though he tells me it's not. I buy him a box of condoms and he tells me she is on the pill. I explain he has to use both. I have explained for years why he should wait, but if he hasn't, he hasn't. There's nothing I can do about it.

Issue #2: My darling son The Meatball 6 yrs old. My friend adopted a 5yr old boy from Ethiopia last summer and he has been in Meatball and Jellybean's class this year. Tilahun is the superhero of the class. All I hear all day long is how great Tilahun is and all the things that Tilahun can do. (thrills me to no end!) So, Meatball is talking with his brother about their best friends and then
Meatball: "I'm going to marry Tilahun."
Porkchop: "ummm...Evan and I are best friends but I'm not going to marry him."
Meatball: "No I'm serious. I'm going to marry him and I'm going to be his wife. But, do NOT tell anyone because they will laugh at me."

This was the day after the tragic story of the 11 yr old who hung himself after anti-gay bullying in school. So it hit me pretty hard. Of course this conversation does not mean Meatball is gay. But, there have been some other indicators, as well. who knows? But, it just hurt my heart. IF he is gay, I can't imagine a better environment for him to be in. His school is very liberal when it comes to social issues and diversity, my block has 4 gay couples on it who adore my kids and vice versa (including my next door neighbors who have been together 19 years and we will probably leave the kids with if we died) How could he still be so fearful? It makes me sad.

Issue #3: Porkchop 5 yrs old. I went to that Sensory Issues seminar and it was very informative and helped me understand some of the "quirks" about my kids. But, Porkchop drives me batty because he has to constantly lick things. I know! It's so freaky! And GROSS! I've been trying to get to the motivation, is this an oral sensory issue? or has he inherited OCD from me? or is it Pica? He licks cars, tables, doorknobs you name it. It's all very subtle, he has learned to hide it already. His teachers didn't even notice until I ask them about it, and then they started paying attention and they saw it. It's on my list of things to discuss with his doctor at his next check up. blech!

It's so hard for me because I can't control ANY of it. I love these kids so much but I can't control how the world will react to them and how it can hurt them when they are different. Only the sex thing is really weighing on me, and probably will until he is married. The rest we just try to love and laugh and pray about. Anyone with any insights?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In him was life....

So many times when I hear about the birth, life, and death of Jesus, it always surrounded by the significance of what the Son of God's presence has meant for humankind. Don't get me wrong. I am a Christian and obviously for me, the significance is profound. But I feel like so many times we stop there. I love to set my spirit a little further out to see the bigger picture.

One of my favorite meditations to do is to "float" up and out to get a picture of all of creation. To imagine how the incarnation would have been felt and experienced by bird and beast and plant and earth. "Even the stones will cry out!" Wasn't all of creation consecrated at that moment in time? The sun, the moon, the stars? At Christmastime we tend to leave the ox and the donkey and the sheep in the background of the creche scene. Sometimes we get sentimental children's stories that have a mouse trying to come up with a gift for the baby, supposedly portraying metaphorically the child herself and how the littlest gift we have if given with our dearest heart is enough for the Messiah. But, why wouldn't the mouse give a gift. Am I really to believe that all of creation wasn't effected by their Creator God stepping down to live in the creation? that the sheep were unaffected by the heavenly host? that the first small cry of the Creator born into the presence of the ox and donkey didn't make them quake?

It is the same for me this Easter. I do not picture the moment of Resurrection as a "lightning bolt" scenario. God had already shown in another cave in Bethlehem that that wasn't his style. I picture it like the first breath of his first birth. That small intake of breath conquering fear and death. That didn't just reverberate throughout all humankind by its saving power, but also like the theoretic flap of a butterfly wing, the whole of God's creation was sent into a chaos of hope and life.