Monday, January 26, 2015

School, grades, now, and the future

So, last week I did grades for Mister Man and Miss M.

Phew! I'm glad I don't have a class of 20. Or, a high school teacher juggling 180 students!

It's hard work. For the most part, the kids are doing well. And while I could brag about a lot of things, I won't. I'll just say that for the most part, homeschooling works and works well for us.

Lest you think this is a post about where I tell you how you should homeschool too or else your children will be irrevocable messed up, relax. I don't think that. I don't think homeschooling is for everyone, nor do I think not homeschooling is bad.

This fall, my oldest daughter entered high school.

It was a time of anxiety and worry and excitement and fretting and wondering about all the good things that would come her way because of this. And that was just how I was feeling.

There was a lot on my mind with her going to school. Naturally, if it went really poorly, it would have proven that I had not prepared her enough and maybe the younger two should be enrolled ASAP. And naturally, if she did well, it would mean she was a bright student who was able to transition well.

She transitioned just fine. There was nothing to worry about. So there were a few small bumps along the way, but who doesn't have a few small bumps? And it's good. She has a semester of high school under her belt. She is an eighth of a way through her high school years, and I can't foresee any issues that we might have. Of course this doesn't protect us from something happening, but so far, things are good. And I'll take that!

Of course, that leaves me at home with 2 of the kids. And most days, we get through our work, and it's going well. But they see their sister going to school and they realize that it's not so scary. Because things that are new or different can sometimes seem scary.

And now Miss M (6th grade) is talking about maybe going in for middle school. Which means in a few years, it might just be me at home with one of the kids.

Of course, even if the oldest had been homeschooled for high school, she would eventually graduate and move on in life. And the second would follow a few years later. And it would be just me at home with one of the kids.

But there is a part of me that is still sad about that thought. Of course, it will happen. And when we reach that year, I think it will be my last year of homeschooling. Which means my now 3rd grader might enter school at 6th grade. And it will be a good time for him to enter - the last year in the elementary school, time to adjust before transitioning to middle school and all that entails.

And entering at 8th grade for the middle child will be perfect for her ... she wants to just do sports teams for 7th grade and then go in full time for 8th. And it will allow her to dip her toe in the waters, meet more kids, make more friendships, and then add in the academics the next year. Which is the perfect way to do it for her.

Just as entering in 9th grade is perfect for my oldest. Because of the move, it made no sense to go in sooner since a new school district was on the horizon.

Each child, on their own path, that is so similar, and yet different in ways that make it (at this moment) perfect for him and her.

And while I know it's perfect for them. And I know it will bring them a lot of great opportunities and experiences and a good education, I'm not sure how this will all be for me.

I'm trying to not worry about it. After all, it's two, three, maybe four or more (if things change) years away. It seems silly to fret about it now. And maybe this is the perfect path for me and I just can't see it yet.

Of course, this is about so much more than me. This is about them. What is best for the oldest, for Miss M and Mister Man. That is the bigger picture. My picture is but a piece of it and I'm going to remember that the best that I can.

I'm going to be happy for them, and help them through changes and new things, I will help them when they need it and smile as they leave in the morning, even if inside I'm crying "No! Stay home with me please!"

And for now, I'm going to keep working on things at home with the 2 who are still here. And I'm going to continue to hug my oldest and tell her to have a good day at school each morning. This is our current perfect. I'm embracing the here and now and (mostly) not wanting the past or worrying about the future!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hair


Despite my post from earlier this week, things haven't been all doom and gloom around here.

In fact, there is a lot of laughter and fun around these parts as well.

Anyway, a big topic around these parts this week is hair.

Earlier this week, I decided I wanted to rag curl my hair. I'm so over my frizzy hair, but I don't want to sit and curl it everyday - plus, I don't think the heat over and over is necessarily a good thing. So, these rag curls seemed like a good option.

Plus hair and I have a long history. I haven't always appreciated my hair. I haven't always had hair. Then it came back different than how it was before and I wasn't so keen about that either. But now it's got length, it's pretty healthy, and I mostly like it. Minus the frizz.

So, I cut some fabric up and rolled up some curls.

The first attempt was messy and not good. They kept falling out so I ended up, within an hour, rerolling them (with the tip to roll them up around a pencil to get a good roll. Okay. I used a knitting needle. Because it's what I had. It worked! lol!) Wrapping the hair around something made for a much better roll. Then I wrapped it all up in a head scarf and sported a huge bow on my head ;-)

The next morning I woke up and my hair was still damp. I had places to go so I couldn't mess with it too much. I blew dry what I could, unrolled, and pulled my fingers through. It didn't look too bad. And I thought, I'm really onto something here.

That night I rerolled it (with less damp hair). And the next morning my hair was still damp. Not as bad, but damp. So I blew dry it as much as I could. Then I unrolled the curls and thanks to not having morning plans, I then didn't touch it. After a few hours, I quickly ran my fingers through it and I was in love. Just to test the curls, I left my hair as it was and the next morning woke up, brushed it, and it still had some curl in it (just not as much). I'm so excited about this.

I will definitely be rag curling my hair quite a bit in the future. I can roll it in about 20 minutes right now, and I think once I get the hang of it better I can get it done even faster. Not a lot of time to get some hair that I'm just in love with!

Note: I used this tutorial and this tutorial to get the rag curls I liked. I roll them on the looser side (like the first tutorial) because I didn't want too tight curls plus I wanted to make sure everything would dry as much as it could!

Second Note: This is about 3 years of growth from when I was bald. I've only had 3 cuts since it started coming back in, and they were essentially trims. I've been told I have fast growing hair!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's January

I'm not sure why every January I am surprised I am feeling so blue, when I pretty much feel blue every January.

I'd like to blame the winter. Or maybe it's the post-holiday let down. Or maybe it's one year ending and being nervous about a new year starting. Or maybe it's just life in general.

This January, everything is magnified more than usual.

Frankly, I'm surprised that I haven't killed anyone yet. Or that my family hasn't killed me yet. (and no, we are not really on the verge of anyone killing anyone).

Because, let's be honest. Lately, I've been a huge witch.

It's getting better. Because I am trying SO SO SO hard to get better. But it's so hard.

Sometimes I have these mood swings and I just can't control them. I know that sounds like an excuse, but it's true. I've said it before, I'm on medicine that screws with my moods and hormones and sometimes it is just. too. much.

So I snap.

I'm also adjusting my sleep cycle. Have you ever done this? Or tried to do this? If you have, maybe it affected your moods too. It is definitely affecting mine.

We are doing this medically, with medicine. It will be great in the long term. In the short term, it sucks.

Just to summarize, some of the side effects are:
  • feeling sad or empty
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • irritability
  • loss of interest or pleasure
The other prescription I'm on has these side effects:
  • mental/mood changes (e.g., depression)
  • irritability
And if you look at signs of iron deficiency anemia, it lists
  • irritability
Then just for fun, throw in some PMS.

Seriously, sometimes I wonder how I'm even EVER able to just smile and be happy. Because everything is making me crabby, depressed, upset, anxious, and just feeling completely and utterly worn out.

Sigh.

I'm not trying to make excuses. But this is where I am. This is where I sit.

And I'm trying so hard. So very hard.

I'm trying to not yell. To not take things personally. To not freak out when things go a little bit wrong.

But I've always been high strung and anxious. And I've dealt with depression before all of this.

It is not easy.

It makes me a very unlikable person sometimes.

I always know it's pretty bad when even I don't want to be with myself.

So I end up crying. I end up feeling like crap. I end up alienating myself from my family because I'm so darn awful. And I get stuck in my own head.

And my family rallies around me, once again, and I feel better and lighter. And I get determined to not go back down that hole again. And I don't. For a while. But it will circle back around, unfortunately.

I just have to hope I get some time. And some space. And that my family doesn't give up on me next time it happens, or the time after that, or the time after that.

That some day they can look back and know that, despite my many, many mistakes, I am doing the best that I can each day.

And that someday I can look back and know that, despite my many, many mistakes, I am doing the best that I can each day. And find some peace in that.


Friday, January 09, 2015

Brrr.

If you live just about anywhere in the Us right now, you have probably spent much of this week being cold.

I too, have spent most of the week being cold.

Okay, that's a lie. I've been freezing. And two pairs of socks, a shirt and sweater combo, a blanket or two and a scarf around the neck is not always enough to keep me not freezing.

I am very, very, very sensitive to cold. I am annoyingly sensitive to the cold.

And you know what? I'm over people telling me to get over winter.

I live in the midwest.

Yes, we get winter every. single. year.

Yes, it gets cold every. single. year.

No, it is never a surprise.

But you know what? It still sucks.

I'm iron deficient, which makes me sensitive to the cold, even more than I have always been.

The cold aggravates my muscles that have been cut open multiple times and already hurt most of the time. They hurt more when they are cold. They spasm more when they are cold. And the cold affects my range of motion.

My joints get stuck in the cold: a result of leftover chemo side effects and a side effect of a current medicine I'm on.

That's just me.

Other friends also struggle to stay warm when it's cold because of medical things. Cold affects lots of joints. It inflames neuropathy. Etc, etc, etc.

The cold sucks and can aggravate a lot of other things already going on with people.

And you know what? I didn't know all of this when I decided to stay in the midwest, where I was born and raised, by the rest of my family, and my husband's family. So, the advice to just "Move someplace warmer!" isn't actually helpful.

Know what else? I don't think I need to even have to have a medical reason to complain about the cold. I see people complain about things every day. When people complain about their job, I don't just say flippantly "At least you have a job," or "Just get a new job."

I listen. I nod my head along. I offer hugs (real and virtual). I don't complain about you complaining about things: whether they happen every year or not.

If I want to complain a few moments about the cold, just let me. I'll let you get out your complaints too. I promise.

Monday, January 05, 2015

2015 Goals

In years past I've set resolutions.

I've picked words to guide my year.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Because sometimes I'm more motivated and sometimes I'm not. And sometimes things happen that change plans.

And yet, this year, I'm ready to go again. So I've set a few goals for the year. We'll see how it goes. I want these goals to be fun, help me grow, etc. So if they become a burden, then I shall re-evaluate.

1. Make a granny square every weekday of 2015 - yes, I said every weekday. The weekend will be a break or a time to catch up should I need it.

2. Read 40 books, with 30 of them being from the Rory Gilmore Reading List

3. Organize three years worth of digital pictures - bonus if I can get through more, but I'll be happy with just three years. Basically this means I delete the bad ones, tag faces, tag locations and leave any stories behind the picture if it needs to be

4. Organize scrapbooking items/keepsakes - I have boxes of scrapbooking things and of keepsakes. I need to get things organized and in proper boxes. I also need to weed through things and probably get rid of things. When we moved, this part of looking through things was just too daunting, so all of these boxes were just stacked and moved. It's time to delve in. Since there is no move this upcoming year and a lot of other things were done before the move, I should be able to focus on this.

5. Finish a train embroidery project - I've been working on this for too long. It's time to finish! Of course, once it's finished, I have other projects waiting in the wings ready to be worked on too. But, for now, I'll focus on this one and call it a day.

6. Make money from my knitting - I don't know how this will work or if it will. But I'd love to bring in an income, even a tiny one. And I love to knit so it seems like a good fit? We'll see.

7. On the blogging side of things, it's to blog twice a week. I feel like that should be doable, though I don't always average that. Though I want to make sure I'm not blogging nothing just to get a post up.

8. Also related to blogging, I need to be a better commenter on other blogs. I love getting comments. I assume others do as well. So I shall try to spread the love better and make sure I'm not just writing here, but reading other blogs as well.

8 goals. It may not seem like much, but there it is! I'm ready to go and tackle things. I've got quite a few plans in place to get things done. I've got the month of January done in my bullet journal and most of February done as well. Many of these goals are in the book already - nothing will get done in month one, but I should make some good progress in January. And hopefully in December I can come back to this list and say yep, finished that; yep, finished that; oh, cross that one off too!

What about you? Have you set any goals or resolutions or picked a word (or a few) to help guide your 2015? Share!