Month: August 2015

Migraines Suck.

Damn I hate migraines.

I hate that they interfere in peoples lives, and truly shut down aspects of their lives while they visit.

Yep, in case it wasn’t crystal clear.  Got another one, yesterday.

Walking into a lovely little restaurant for lunch with my sister in laws while on an overnight trip away….kaleidoscope eyes to look through at my delicious lunch. Dull and nasty feeling the rest of the day, headache started last night, didn’t feel like waiting until today which would match normal protocol.

Odd, the last two migraines I’ve gotten (both in the current month), have happened before 12:00 noon, which is a shift from my ‘norm’.  Usually my migraines come in the afternoon.  Going to tweak my smoothie time from between 2-3 pm to about 10 am and see if that makes any difference.  And I know, 2 in one month, still very manageable, and pales in comparison to the two per week I was getting last August.  But when you get to celebrate over 200 days migraine free, as much as I’ll keep my positive outlook, it still SUCKS.

outoforder  Too bad that’s not realistic!  🙂

Migraines suck.

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For the love of dogs…

Since it’s National Dog Day, I thought I’d repost this that I wrote back in January about the love for dogs. Hug your dog today! 🙂

You can't argue with crazy

I’ve had dogs on and off all my life.  But my relationship with dogs didn’t really begin until I was 18 years old.  My good friend/roommate and I lied on the paperwork at the pound to get little black lab mix puppy sisters.  And then became life with my girl Vanessa, and her puppy sister, Jordan.

V1 copy

Looking back, getting Vanessa was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  She was my best friend.  She was with me always.  She taught me a lot about responsibility.  She joined me on long weekend drives for hours.  Sometimes we ended up at the beach, other times, we just cruised and listened to music.  We went for walks, we watched TV together, we did pretty much everything together, and she went many places, and took many trips with me.

When I was in college, she was part of the family of my…

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Part 3: Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.

I was planning on publishing this in a couple of days, a recap of a conversation with my kids from last week.  But today, I subbed at my youngest’s elementary school, and participated in an ‘Active Shooter Drill’.  Laying flat, listening to the alarm, having administration bang on the doors to check that they are locked, all while meeting the eyes of little ones who some are nervous, some are still chatty, it’s hard to not get a little emotional that this is our reality.  I likened it to military, where God forbid anything like this ever happens for real, kids and staff would go on auto pilot and do what they have practiced, and practiced well.  So, I thought today was appropriate for the following post.

The actual conversation in the car after I picked up my children from school:

My 4th grade daughter:  We have a new way to act if we are on the playground for the stranger drill.

Me: Oh?

4th grader:  Ya, you don’t lay on the ground anymore, you run zig zag around the playground, or to the school to see if a class is open.  It makes it harder for someone to shoot you.

Me: Um, ok.

4th grader:  And someone asked a silly question, they asked what if the bad guy broke the window in the door and then just reached in and opened the door?

Me: Oh, I don’t think you need to worry about..

10th grader son interrupts:  Oh, that can totally happen, he could break the window with his gun and then just come in and start shooting then.

Me (in cold sweats, and clearly the only one in the car uncomfortable with the conversation):  Stop this conversation now please!

4th grader (totally nonchalant, with absolutely no emotion):  I totally think the old way was better.  You just lay down.

Me (calming down a bit thinking that I liked the old way too)

4th grader:  Because then you’re laying down and they just shoot you and it’s over.

Me:  Ok, that is it, no more of this talk, I can’t do it.

10th grade son and 7th grade daughter:  Snickering.

Me to my 10th grader:  Do you have drills?

10th grader:  Um, no.  Maybe we had a fire one last year?

What is going on?!!!

All 3 of my kids are in the car, chatting away like we’re talking about a recent movie seen, or what type of toppings they would order on frozen yogurt, and with each sentence stated by one of my kids in their calm, matter of fact voice, this is me:

And I could not make up this next part if I tried…  Playing outside later that night, my 9 year old says ‘hey mom, this is how we are supposed to run if there is a stranger on campus drill at school.’  And she proceeded to run across the grass, pretty much having fun, in a zig zag pattern.  She then wanted me to try.  As I had to almost laugh that I was going to run the ‘stranger zig zag pattern’, I rationalized that I was playing with my kid, so that’s good right?  After my zig zag debut, my 9 year old gave me a look like ‘ya, you’re a goner if it ever happens.’  So, I lost in the game of zig zag pattern stranger running?  I have no words…

Maybe it’s good that they are so matter of fact with all of this.  But it blows my mind still.  Again, glad that there are procedures in place to make our kids safe, and so thankful for my kids schools and their teachers.  But I have to almost laugh at the panic it creates in me, while my 3 kids are in an almost zen place when discussing this topic.

In case you missed it, here is why this post is labeled as number 3:

  1. Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb (1)
  2. Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb (2)

Let it go, the King is dead. You’re 200+ days of no migraines is gone.

The number 205 seems to have now taken on a ‘glory days’ effect in my mind.

Problem is, I want it back.  I want to go over 200 days between migraines again.

And I don’t believe I’m going to lie down and settle for less.

There are times that I laugh when I hear my husband or others talk about their sports glory days.  And how is it that they can remember specific plays in great detail from 20+ years ago?

Will that be me?  Day 200 when I blogged about that celebratory day, will I remember that day with great details?  I just may.  Because I most certainly will remember walking into stupid Raley’s for stupid dinner stuff and getting a stupid migraine.  Dumb grocery store.  And I will certainly remember the nail salon, and most recently, a whopper migraine in Michael’s.  All stopping me from getting back on track to 200+ days migraine free.

I have to keep my glory days in the front of my mind though.  It happened once, it can happen again right?  And still, I can’t be too miffed about having broken my 200+ day migraine free streak.  Because the fact is, I’ve only had 6 migraines in one year and 16 days.  That may be some glory days there in itself, second only to my 200+ day streak.

Onward.

Still faithful to my anti-migraine potion, because 6 migraines in 381 days, I can glorify that!

3 tough questions my kids asked me over the weekend.

  1. Is Santa real?  (9 year old)
  2. How did Robin Williams die?  (9 year old)
  3. What exactly is cancer?  (12 year old)

Amazingly, of these three questions, number 1 was the easiest and most direct to answer.

stephantom_santa_hat_clip_art_22346

She had asked me the ‘Is Santa real?’ question earlier in the week when everything was crazy busy and I was able to Jedi mind trick her with ‘let’s talk about that when we have time to really have a good talk.’  Then, a few days later, she cornered me in the backyard as I was watering the plants.  She just needed to know.  No emotion, just needed affirmation.  We talked, she was cool, and on she went to ride her Ripstick in the front yard.  Three kids, three different reactions to that question.  My 15 year old still has never asked me that question.  My 12 year old was extremely emotional during our conversation.  And I think I need to investigate why my husband has been away for a night when this question has been asked….

Question number 2 happened in the car while driving with all three of my kids.  This question I did not answer as directly as question number 1.  The movie ‘RV’ is our family go to movie.  All five of us love it, and consistently laugh each time we watch it (which is usually at least twice a year).

We, as many did, felt that we almost knew Robin Williams personally, so our family was very sad when he died.  Why my youngest wondered how he died while driving in the car yesterday, I do not know.  I wasn’t sure how honest I needed to be about his death, which isn’t really something I know too much about anyways.  We instead talked about that he had been married, and had adult children.  They were amazed when I told them I thought he was about 60 when he died (turns out he was 63).  My son said ‘but how did he look about 40 then?’  One thing I did say was that I had read that he had been sad at times during his life and making people laugh probably made him feel good.  I have talked to my kids about suicide, and learned to use language such as ‘you matter’, and ‘moments pass’ due to a mother’s extremely heartbreaking true story which has allowed me to learn how to help educate my kids http://amasongraceproject.com/about-the-project/.  And although suicide is something I have talked about with my kids, I wasn’t confident in going there and using that term yesterday with the Robin Williams talk.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s something I will revisit.

Question 3 happened out of the blue in the kitchen.  I tried to explain cancer as it happens in a persons body the best I could.  I tried to ‘answer only what is asked’ as I have in the past.  The follow up questions were ‘does it hurt?’  Then specifically about breast cancer and how ‘sometimes women just get them cut off?’

It’s these types of conversations that make me feel like such an amateur in this parenting thing.  But, I just keep doing my best at being honest while trying to keep in mind the maturity level of my kids.  Having Google implanted in my brain so I can reference it in the middle of these talks seems like a good idea to me.

A day in my (not so) glorious migraine life.

My most recent migraine included Caillou, Michael’s Craft Store, Jay Z, ‘Dances with Wolves’, and See’s Candy to name a few…all in a day of my (not so) glorious migraine life:

‘Oh my god, I’m going to throw up right here.’ Is what I thought in my mind for about 30 seconds in the aisle of Michaels.

Disclaimer:  This post may or may not contain some swear words in it.  Although,the probability for them is high.  Consider that your warning if you’re easily offended…

About 7 minutes prior to having the urge to vomit, I had walked into Michaels to shop for work and to look at frames.  Silly Rabbit, you can’t look at items like frames that have glass in them under the full lights of a retail store.  Rookie move.  Full kaleidoscope migraine eyes set in within the first two minutes in the store.

I did not end up vomiting in Michaels.

Way to keep it classy migraine.

I did however stay in Michaels, wandering up and down every single aisle putting more and more crap in my cart waiting for my kaleidoscope eyes to clear up for over 40 minutes.

By the time I got to the check out, I had to tell her I wasn’t buying about 5 items that I had placed in the cart.  I have no idea what the hell I was looking at, or why I put those things in my cart.  Obviously my eyes weren’t seeing the objects too well!

My husband kept texting me during my 45+ minute visit to Michaels, and wanted to know if I was going to go home and relax. At that point, the worst for day 1 of 2 of my migraine had already passed, I could see again.  Day 2 is when there is no way I would have gone on to the mall and Old Navy as I did, because that is the day for the headache that feels like someone has hit you over the head with a frying pan each and every time you stand from a sitting position.  And don’t ever lean over to tie your shoes or anything.  Having your head below your waist, you may as well just call it a day right there.

So, on to the mall and Old Navy.  Because for some reason, my children still do not have enough shirts for school.  Not too sure where those disappear to.

Even though I clearly wasn’t there to shop for myself, I found a couple of things to try on, and went to the dressing room.  There was a parent with a small child in the fitting room next to me watching a show on a device of some sort.

And then I heard it.  It was Caillou.  “Are you f*#cking kidding me right now that I have to listen to Cailou?” was what I think I said inside my head and not out loud.

I heard enough to know that Caillou in his atrocious voice was scared of the dark, and his dad said that he’d get him a music box to play for when he’s scared.

I found this shaky video, but that doesn’t matter, just listen in horror to the voice:

And that was when I reconfirmed what my sister in law stated a few months ago that I laughed ridiculously about:  Caillou is a little bitch.  Agreed.

On to a department store to get Adidas or Nike t-shirts for my son, I saw this sign and it intrigued me:

Image 3

I’ve mentioned before that my 2 day migraine events leave me in a sort of foggy, dull feeling.  Thankfully, I was able to reach out of that fog and realize that my enjoyment of Jay-Z music may not transfer to my son’s preference in clothing.

As I was walking through the mall on the way towards my car, I was welcomed with loving arms by this:

Image 1

I love See’s.  I’ve proclaimed my love in the past for See’s officially here.  Migraine trigger or no trigger, I’m having See’s.

California Brittle, I love you.

Image 2

I finished off my outing by picking up a Papa Murphy’s Pizza for dinner, only to be accompanied by the delicious cinnamon dessert pizza.  Because let’s face it, I was already gone.  Might as well throw in another possible trigger that I’ve read about in the past, pepperoni.  I was at the point of just needing things that made me feel good, because day 2 of my migraine life is going to be straight crap.

As I drove to pick up my 3 kids at 3 different schools, on came “Stairway to Heaven”, by Led Zeppelin.  It’s like the migraine gods were looking down on me.  This was the perfect song to hear.  And thankfully, it ended before a child got into the car and asked me to change the channel.

Amazingly, we didn’t have anywhere to be after I picked them up from school.  So, the kids and I finished off the day watching the rest of ‘Dances with Wolves’, as I watched them act out ‘tatonka’ on all fours walking around with a pillow on their backs.

Tatanka

That was my day with a migraine.  Day 2 will bring pain, which is a different challenge than today’s navigating while not being able to see, and dealing with an overall dullness of my brain.

Today was a good day.

Although, not in the cool Ice Cube way in which I referenced it.  More in the ‘this could have been much worse than it was, at least I got See’s’ way.

Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.

Today, day 3 of the new school year, I experienced my first real ‘lock down’ of a school my child was inside of. There were no children walking out of the school during pick up time, which was strange. My friend who’s daughter I drive home along with mine texted me to ask if there was a lock down at their school. What? As a matter of fact, there were 4 police cars down the road I was parked on. I called the police department after it had been 10 minutes since my daughter and her friend should have been in the car, and they stated that the lock down had just lifted. The lock down was due to police activity near the school. I am very thankful for the quick and proper response the school gave, yet it was still unnerving to say the least. As every day, I am thankful for the schools my children attend, and the wonderful teachers that are with them each day. Still wish this wasn’t their reality though…

You can't argue with crazy

On the way home in the car just now, my 3rd grader talked for 15 minutes about the lock out drill they had at school today.  She said they have a new code word, and that today, one of her friends was in the bathroom when the drill (so, so, thankful it was a drill) occurred.  If you’re in the bathroom, she told me, you stand up on the toilet and stay quiet.  There’s a whole different protocol if you are outside on the playground, or in the hallways.  She must have said 9 times how sorry she was for the friend who was in the bathroom when the drill happened.

Ok, a couple of things:

  1. I am numb that this is our reality.
  2. My freshman son asked why in the world they have those drills, I explained they have to be prepared, because this type of thing has happened…

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It’s all going to be ok, Back to School edition…

I find myself telling my kids as they are getting older things that my friends and I have been telling each other for years.  As they are facing challenges and disappointments that come with an increasing age, I have found myself giving them the tools of ‘it will be better in 5 minutes’, and ‘the first day is the hardest, it will get a bit easier every day after.’

As my middle child went to middle school for her intro half day last week, she was nervous of course.  My words to her were, ‘focus on 12:08 when the school day is over, at that time, it will no longer be new, and no longer be as scary.’

And after the conversations with my children are done, I then start telling myself the same things.  Man, this worrying about your kids thing just gets harder and harder with some of the things growing older presents.

There were times in my life that I couldn’t see around the moment I was in in order to see the possibilities of the future.  And only through living life have I learned, that it really is better in 5 minutes, and the second day is usually easier than the first.

So, I will continue to tell my kids, and I mean it when I say ‘it will all be ok, I promise.’

As school starts tomorrow, and I look into my crystal ball and see myself waking up repeatedly throughout tonights sleep, I will tell myself as I often do in the middle of the night ‘everything is ok’ and allow myself to go back to sleep.

I hope the little things I say (mantras?) that help me move on and not get too tripped up on things actually help my kids rather than make me resemble Bob Wiley more and more.  They humor me at least making me feel as though they do help!  🙂

With the first day of school comes the enjoyment of a routine (and a quiet house), which will only too soon be replaced with  missing the kids and wishing for summer to return quickly!

Here’s to a safe school year, and strength to all of the wonderful teachers that spend each day teaching our kids!