A Happy Holiday

Despite all of the struggles leading up to the holiday, the actual day was a success! B1 and I ended up back in the ER Christmas Eve so all of our plans to spend time with the family kind of got pushed back. B1 wasn’t really an emergency case but when I got to the urgent care the wait was going to be 4+ hours, and my issue was a little bit more than urgent. SO… off we went, both of us to the ER.

I was having chest pain/pressure after starting my meds (which are turning out to be WONDERFUL btw) so with all of my other recent heart related fiascos my doctor recommended I be checked out. Apparently B1 and I got a round of food poisoning from sharing some bad lemonade and/or the stomach virus had one final punch before it died. My stomach was swollen pushing on everything else creating the pressure, which lead to muscle spasm and pain. We were both pretty miserable Christmas Eve, and a lot of B1’s discomfort carried over into Christmas Day, but all seems to be on the mend now.

Despite the exhaustion/discomfort B1 tried to enjoy the gift opening festivities. Little and B2 has a blast. They are always into my weights and gym equipment so I found them Little versions to play with, and this year was the first year Little was really interested in Santa. We had been talking about Santa for a while, but she never really dropped any hints as to what she wanted until December 22nd. She wasn’t very specific, just a “flute”, and the only reason we knew that she wanted a flute is because someone asked her what Santa was bringing and she excitedly exclaimed: “A flute!” SO started the mad dash to find her a “flute” that would be of acceptable Santa quality.

She had been flipping through the Target catalogue for a few weeks during her nap time so I hopped online and found the first acceptable toy “flute” I could find. It’s actually a really nice wooden recorder, and not having any specifics I decided to get her a pink one with an owl decal on it. Just to make sure Santa was bringing the right gift, I sat down with her and showed her a picture of the recorder. It was the right “flute”, but she wanted a blue one. This is December 23rd. It’s a miracle the thing arrived on time in the first place, and now it’s the wrong color. I talked about Santa maybe making it a pink one because she likes pink so much, but she was very insistent on it being a blue one. She was supremely concerned that Santa wouldn’t bring her the right color of flute, even though she apparently asked him for one at some point that I wasn’t aware of, or knew what she was asking for when she wrote her letter and didn’t actually mention it to me. lol.

So I 911 make a call to my sister who is thankfully pretty art inclined. She found the right color blue paint, and added some glitter for flair. After all of our ER escapades, we didn’t even arrive at my parents house until after 6pm on Christmas Eve, and then we were all pretty exhausted. At some point between 9pm and 6am my sister managed to hand paint this recorder the perfect shade of sparkly blue. Because it was such a last minute thing, we didn’t have anything to wrap it in, and they decided to toss it into her stocking.

She opened the rest of her gifts and while she enjoyed them, she was pretty disappointed/mad that Santa forgot her flute. You could see her tiny little Christmas Soul being crushed with every box she opened that wasn’t a flute, and then… she got to her stocking. She tossed everything else aside and jumped up and down for a good five minutes going: “A FLUTE!! A BLUE FLUTE!! This is just what I wanted and Santa brought it!! He didn’t forget!! This is such a Happy Christmas!!”

Oh, it was the absolute best thing ever. I’m so glad we were able to get it, and get it the right color in time. My Little is very skeptical of the whole Santa thing. I don’t think she really believes it, but she’s doing her best to play along. She’s already asked me why we have to shop for Christmas presents if Santa brings them. lol. I got around that one by saying that Santa only brought presents to children, and adults had to buy presents for each other. She sort of accepted that reasoning. lol. I mean she’s 4. She has to enjoy the Santa magic for a little while, at least a few years.

Christmas Surprise!

The kids and I weren’t planning on doing anything/going anywhere for Christmas since we’re technically contagious until Christmas Eve, but at the last minute my family is all like: “you can’t be alone on Christmas! Come here! Ppppppshaw contagion ” Plus with the whole anxiety melt down thing last Sunday, they’re a little worried about me. 

So we’re heading over there on Christmas Eve and probably staying most of the day on Christmas Day. Which is going to be really awesome for Little. She’s been having some behavioral trouble here recently and I think a lot of it was because she was missing out on our usual Christmas fun. We didn’t have a tree, we don’t have a fireplace at the apartment (how is Santa going to get in Mama?) and she was concerned that her letter did not get put in the mailbox. 

After my stint in the ER, my sister picked up Little (hand foot and mouth be damned) and took her to decorate the tree and drop her Santa Letter in the mailbox. She already seems to be feeling a million times better behavioral wise, which is a good thing because I don’t think I could handle any more preschooler destruction even though I understand why she’s having trouble. 

My other sister took the boys for the afternoon giving me some much needed rest time. Now my stress level is back to the usual migraine, annoyance, sleep all the sleep stage which is better than feeling like my heart is going to explode so… I think after my appointment later today I’ll be okay. I mean, I know I’ll be okay eventually. I know exactly what’s happening, I just can’t control it right now. There is entirely too much shit happening in my life and all of the healthy non medical intervention coping mechanisms simply  aren’t cutting it. 

This phase of life will pass, things will eventually settle down, and I’ll be back to normal. Right now the fight is just taking a lot more out of me than usual. I’m still fighting though. Tenacious Irish heritage comes in handy every once and a while lol. 

Short Circuit

22 years I’ve been able to manage my PTSD related anxiety in various ways without medication. Self medicating or prescribed medication. That 22 years ended over the weekend with my third trip to the ER for a panic attack that just would not quit. Two hours my brain was stuck on DEFCON FIVE PANIC MODE, before I finally broke down and headed in and spent another three hours going through all the usual battery of tests when one shows up feeling short of breath, anxious, and speaking of heart issues. After that they determined what I already knew, it was a panic attack, they administered some hardcore sedative (which took another two hours to metabolise and actually work) and I went on my way, with a prescription and an appointment to see a local doctor on Thursday for a more thorough evaluation.

Yep. 2016 destroyed all of the healthy coping mechanisms I’d had in place and now here we are resorting to meds. Which isn’t anything to be ashamed of. They created these medications to help people in need, I definitely have a need for them, I just have an aversion to all things medical after being a guinea pig in the early 90’s for all sorts of experimental allergy treatments. Mom trying so badly to “fix” me so I wouldn’t continue to be a nusance not feeling well and wanting her attention. More of that childhood trauma I’ve been avoiding in recent therapy sessions… ANYWAY…

So I’m not thrilled going down this path, but I’m definitely tired of ninja like panic attacks sending me to the ER. If it’s not my heart, and they can’t seem to find an infection even though my white blood cell count is elevated, it has to be my broken brain throwing all of my other bodily symptoms out of whack. I mean, there’s really nothing else it could be at this point. So… to off to a psychiatrist I go, instead of my beloved therapist. Which really isn’t fair to the counseling profession. 

I was making huge strides forward in my recovery, everything was going so well; then we sold our house, moved, I was assaulted and broke my hand; then everything else just totally went to SHIT. It feels like everyone who ever took advantage of me saw me stumble after my broken hand and said: “oooooh look she’s vulnerable! ATTACK!” So I’ve been busy fighting them off one by one, the political circus that was the US election, the results of that election, raising three kids by myself, being away from my Hubs and my friends. Really, it’s pretty impressive that I’ve been able to keep it together this long without a lot of help. 

At least I got an appointment before the end of the year, before the holidays even so hopefully with this new direction for my continued care 2017 will be a much better year. 

Shimmering Shenanigans

So I wanted to start out the tradition of baking Christmas Cookies with Little this year since a lot of our other traditions went by the wayside being in transition. I added cookie sheets, some gel decorating icing, and cookie dough to our grocery order and didn’t think too much of it. I ordered some really cool shimmering gel icing. It’s basically edible glitter in gel icing, and looked REALLY COOL in the package and online on the picture. I’m thinking, snow flakes, hearts, wreaths, etc. on these cookies. 

I cheated and didn’t make the dough from scratch but dealing with a preschooler and trying to keep track of two toddlers I needed to make the whole process as quick as possible. Everything went really well until we got to the decorating part. Little got into the icing while the cookies were cooling and wasted most of it, which resulted in very shimmery dining room carpet, and an extended nap time/time out. We worked through all of that and finally got to the decorating part, and that is when I realized I made a horrible mistake with my icing choice. 

That’s shimmering white gel icing, and it certainly does not look like any sort of substance that I’d personally want on a cookie. I wasn’t really paying attention when Little was applying the icing until I went to take a picture and then I totally lost it laughing. She looked at me half offended that I was laughing at her cookies, which she was so proud of decorating. But I managed to play it off saying that I was so happy with how well she decorated them, I had to laugh. She accepted my explanation, and continued beaming with pride as she chowed down on her prize.

I tried to eat one, but I couldn’t do it. More information that no one ever needed to know about Kelli: shimmering white gel things make me gag with the force of a thousand suns. I don’t know why, I’ve just always had the worst aversion. It was like a Jim Carrey over-acting gag extravaganza as I managed to take one bite for Little who was anxiously awaiting my approval, but I had to spit it out when she wasn’t looking.

Thankfully after a few hours in the fridge the icing lost its obscene pallor and started to look like actual icing. Lol. I’m just glad Little is still young and innocent, or that could have been really awkward really quick. I sent Hubs a picture and he just replied laughing, listing off obscene names for my cookies and teasing me about my aversion. Which was a nice change since we haven’t really joked or laughed together in almost a month. We talk all the time, but it’s just been gloomy with everyone being sick and the holidays being in a funk and… yeah. It’s just been gloomy. 

At least my great Christmas Cookie Fail brightened our spirits a little bit. 

Patchwork Top Ten

It’s that time of year again! 2016 is finally drawing to a close. We all made it, even if barely so. I wanted to do something new this year and highlight my most popular posts of 2016, but as I sat down and started going through my most popular posts I realized a better title would have been: Ten Ways Kelli Pissed Off the World in 2016. Lol. It seems my most inflammatory posts are my most popular so… not going down those roads again. At least not all ten of them. I do have a few things I want to highlight, and I’ll get around to them later.

In this post, I’m going to highlight the top ten songs that have persisted in my ever changing sound track for 2016. I am a Spotify fan girl, since the days before premium subscriptions were a thing, and it was invite only lol. Every week on Monday Spotify releases a new playlist based on my listening patterns, the majority of the artists and songs featured here I’d never heard of until they showed up on my list one Monday afternoon, and yet they all seem to be so incredibly fitting for everything that’s happened in my life this year.

Number 10 on our list:

This is fitting as I really broke free of participating in many of the manipulative games I’d been roped into over the years. I finally set my foot down a lot of places and stood firm in my boundaries.

Number 9:

That is my Littlest Little, B2’s favorite song at the moment. He gets very excited, starts clapping and squealing with delight any time it shuffles in. Must have been all the Skinny Puppy he heard in utero…. lol. At least it’s instumental, and won’t be an issue until he learns how to read.
Number 8:

Hmm… what to say about this one.  I feel like it’s illustrating the defining line between confidence and arrogance. Arrogance is where you feel the need to manipulate the way things are to feel better about yourself. Confidence is knowing your place in life and not needing to embellish to feel secure in who you are. Y’know? That’s what I took from it anyway.

 

Number 7:

This one… kind of hits on a lot of personal issues I’ve been dealing with, that haven’t made it here to the blogosphere. That’s really all I can say about that one. VAGUE POSTING IS VAGUE.

Number 6:

This one is a good one. It really highlights my own internal struggle I’ve been dealing with at this phase of my recovery. Setting up my own boundaries feels like I’m becoming the very monsters who made me, by cutting people off and not allowing them to express their emotions. It feels incredibly selfish and somewhat abusive to treat people that way, even though my motivations are to protect myself from toxic behavior, something about it just feels wrong. It’s going against the grain of everything I’ve ever been told by my abusers and I feel slightly vulnerable honestly. I’m still searching for the balance between the two.

Number 5:

This one, I was mad at Hubs those few months when our marriage was in limbo. I needed him, and he was freaking out because I needed him throwing off the usual dynamics of our relationship. I’m the stronger one, and I always have been. When I faulter and struggle with myself he doesn’t know what to do, and everyone kind of suffers. We’re getting better at communicating what we need without explosive confrontations, and helping each other emotionally. This year was just a rough one.

 

Number 4:

Another one for Hubs! This one, which was played quite a bit more than that last one to bump up to number 4, is what I listen to when I really miss him and wish he was here with me. Physically as the song implies, but also mentally and emotionally. He’s my Hubs. I don’t say it as much as I probably should, but I don’t know what I would do without him. Living apart for these few months has been a real eye opener. I took him and his impact on my life for granted when we were together 24/7.

 

Number 3:

This is my Little’s favorite song. She requests it every time we get in the car and turn on the radio, which is probably why it’s made it all the way up to number 3 on my list lol. She calls it “The Hand One” and she dances and claps along. She could also listen to it on repeat for hours, which she has a few times actually lol.

 

Number 2:

Mmmm…. this song seems much more profound as this year draws to a close. I found it at the beginning of the year when I knew tensions were going to explode on a few lingering issues that have been skirting my recovery process. I don’t know how I knew, but I could sense it. Maybe it’s the hyper vigilance that comes with PTSD, maybe it’s part of being considered an Indigo, maybe it was just a random gut feeling, or maybe there really is a Devine being out there controlling the universe. I just knew 2016 was going to be wrought with difficulties and challenges. I tried my best to ignore/avoid them, but it seems like I was meant to railroad my way into them anyway. Nothing has turned out worse than I anticipated so that’s a blessing anyway. Lots of sirens in my life this year though lol. Lots and lots!

 

Number 1:

lol!! Of course this is my number one song of 2016. Ten Ways Kelli Pissed Off the World. *takes bow*

THE DAY IT COMES TO AN END

There are days like this, and I feel like they begin to grow closer in number for me personally. Today? Not one of those days, but I share the sentiment regardless. Good read, check it out!

She listens with more than her ears

If I had to choose a “benefit” of enduring traumatic experiences and suffering from PTSD, it would have to be the hyper vigilance, and the way it connects you on a deeper level to the world around you. Just like the author describes in this beautiful post. None of it is ever fun, but it does afford a deeper appreciation for the subtle eccentricities of the universe. Go check out the post!

Untangled

She listens with more than her ears.

The light from her soul

and the joy in her heart

illuminate the world around her.

Silently saying a prayer, she feels

the comfortable beat of her heart

as she flows to the music within.

alexis-rose©Alexis Rose, image: pixabay

front-cover-biz-card-final

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

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Amazon Adventures

No, as much as I’d love to say I’d snuck away on a secret trip back to Brasil, the adventures I’m referring to now are of the online shopping variety. 

The cold caught me by surprise this year. I hadn’t had a chance to look for winter coats for the Twins before it got much too cold to take them out in their hoodies. Like crazy, below zero wind chill temperatures that no one should be out in really, least of all toddlers. So I decided to do something I never do, and order coats and boots online. I went to Amazon, picked out the items I liked, read through the reviews for sizing information and did all of the necessary things one does before ordering clothes online. 

The reviews all stated that the items ran true to size so I selected 18 months figuring that they would need a little room to grow as the winter was just getting started. I paid extra for express shipping and the items arrived within two days. This is what we got:


Yes, that’s my 4 year old, size 6 wearing daughter comfortably wearing an “18 month, true to size” coat. The 18 month boots I ordered? Compared to a size 9 kid shoes. They didn’t even send me the same size boots, even though I ordered the same size boots!! My boys now have coats and boots for AT LEAST two seasons, which I guess isn’t really a problem persay, aside from them swimming in giant coats this year. I hope the car seat buckle safely fits around them or we’ll just have to buy more this year and save these for next season. 

It would be one thing if I just ordered them on a whim without checking through the reviews first, but after I made sure to check the sizing information I’m just annoyed. The items themselves are excellent quality for the price. They will be great coats once my Littles catch up to them anyway lol. Ugh… online ordering is convienent in someways, and in others not so much. At least they have SOMETHING warmer than hoodies. Even if they have to rock the hobo look for a while. They’ll definitely be bundled! 

When the Going Gets Tough… Christmas Got You Down This Year?

*applause* my thoughts exactly, this year! It seems the entire universe is in a funk. Give this a read. It’ll put a little spark back into your step.

Kim Berube: Next Level Grow

babychristmasWhat is there to be joyful about? 

Money is tight.
Things are expensive.
I’m stressed to the max.
Kids have been sick.
The weather is shit.
I’m not done my shopping.
I have something to attend every night this week.
My kids have a hockey tournament again this weekend.
I’m not finished shopping and I don’t have any idea how I’m going to feed people through the holidays once I finish the shopping.
(*See Money is tight, above.)
And on top of that, it’s our turn to spend Christmas with the inlaws. 

Is Christmas feeling extra hard this year?
Has money or gift stress got you down?
Are you (and your credit cards) maxed out?
Will you have any time in your schedule for quiet time this holiday season?

Here are a few coping strategies that just might work for you.

Alcohdrunk-christmasol

Retreat into a bottle. Unscrew multiple lids and drink…

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Phone Trap


Blargh… I hate making important phone calls. I’m one of those people who, oddly, is much more comfortable just going to the office or meeting someone directly when it’s an important business matter. I mean I can call people I’m close to, friends and family and such. But calling customer service for anything is like stomach drop out of the bottom of my toes terrifying. I especially hate voicemails… like I psych myself up to finally call and talk to someone; then to get blind sided by a *beep* leave a message it’s like my brain short circuits and I become a babbling fool. 

Which I know is the total opposite from most people who would rather do important slightly confrontational things on the phone. Hell before I had caller ID I wouldn’t even answer the phone for some weird reason. I’ll open the front door to any stranger standing there, but if it’s a phone call? Nope. That is a primarily personal phone thing though. When I was working I didn’t have any issues answering the business phone, which was weird since most of the time the person on the other end of the business phone was an angry customer… 

I don’t know… all I know is that I’ve been putting off an important phone call for almost a week because my brain won’t cooperate and calm the eff down whenever I try to dial the number. We’re coming up on the Christmas Holiday and I’m running out of time, but for whatever weird panic inducing reason I can’t hit send. I’ve gotten as far as dialing the number into my phone but then it just doesn’t go any further. 

I haven’t had an issue with phone calls in a really long time, so this is weird. It’s obviously a manifestation of all the other stress going on in my life right now, but it sure is inconvenient. :/