Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Thursday, July 30, 2020

10 days

10 days. That is all I had. 10 days where I felt normal. Where I had a life again. I remember sweeping the floor, tidying the kitchen on day 8 and the joy I experienced at being able to do such a small task and not needing to lay down afterwards. 

The herbs started working right away. I did scale it back a lot from what I posted in my PDF (taking less of each herb) because I ended up taking too much too fast. I didn't make a new pdf I just ended up writing over top of the numbers with new drop ratios. 

But on day 11 everything changed. My symptoms all came back.

Here are my symptoms:

1) gut bloating
2) headache (front forehead mostly)
3) extreme fatigue
4) on and off sore throat
5) feel weak
6) blurry vision
7) extreme light and touch sensitivity
8) brain fog

Many of these symptoms slowly came on since my miscarriage on in early May. (I've always had glut bloating and light and touch sensitivity)

I am devastated. 10 days of normal and now I am back to having to lay down after lunch and almost unable to get up. And I still don't know what is wrong with me. Do I have lyme (still on herbs) or EBV? Or maybe ME/CFS?  My plan is to finish out the lyme herbs (30 days) and take a two week break. After two weeks I will do a parasite cleanse, then another break and do the herbs for chronic fatigue mentioned in Healing Lyme. After that, I hope I am okay. I don't know. I can only hope and pray.

Anyway. The lyme herbs are not cheap. I know I've said this before. We had about $500 of herbs already, but I spent about $300 more on other ones I needed/ doubles for after I used them. I also bought some that I ended up not being able to take (tryptophan, nattokinase). I had to stop the nattokinase because it lowered my blood pressure too much. It says it does this, but I was hoping it wouldn't. On it my bp is measuring around 80/56. I also backed off on the cats claw as it also can lower your blood pressure. And I decided not to take the tryptophan yet as I read more about it and it can mess with your sleep and I need sleep.

But something else happened. My husband developed a bulls eye rash randomly one day! We never even saw a tick, but he did have some bug bites. The rash was around a bug bite, on his knee. The picture isn't really good--the rash was actually a lot darker. He is starting with 2 weeks of doxycycline and will move to herbs if that does not work.

July has been rough. Not only does he now have lyme, but he had to work all weekend! We didn't even get a break. This is tough and now that my symptoms are back, I am having a hard time clinging to hope. Please continue to pray for me and our family.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

covid-19 vlogs (Week 16)

The Governor of Va has stated he plans to keep VA perpetually in phase 3 until September?! I have no words. Or any time to think about it because I have chronic fatigue and I need health to function. This week begins my search in earnest to heal my chronic fatigue. After trying a few things and a doctor visit, its time to pull out the...lyme herbs? Yes, I'm starting there. I explain more in the videos.

Also, we ended week 16 of safer-at-home with a nice, safe, sparkler celebration for the forth of July. Because All Countries Matter. 

See you next week!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Why is adulating so hard? (with pictures)

Why is adulating so hard?

Today, I wanted to spray the grass between our stones. It looks like this. 

It's because we installed them wrong (there is supposed to be sand below them) but we did it all ourselves and didn't know any better, so grass grows under them. One day we will move them all, put sand down like you are supposed to, and place them back, but that day is not this day. Last summer we sprayed them with a mixture of salt, water, and soap so the weeds died. This summer between my miscarriages and chronic fatigue, we have done nothing to keep them from growing, and thus...the problem. The problem that we caused in the first place by doing it ourselves.

Self sabotage is the theme of 2020. Or is it just my 30s? Besides the stones, our garden also needs help. It is completely overgrown with weeds. We need to rototiller and cover it. In one corner of the garden a tree is growing, I kid you not. And why is it so overgrown and unmanageable? Why, you ask, has it become a massive job instead of an easy one? Well, we didn't take care of it because of the thousands of other things in our life crowded “fix garden” out of our heads causing the afterthought and thus also the aforementioned problem.

After feeling sorry for myself for thirty minutes, I sat down to make a list of all the big chores that need to get done this year. My list was an thinly veiled attempt to micromanage my anxiety at the growing number of problems that need our attention. (This is not the order we should do them in. I am not that fancy.)

  1. new siding for house

  2. paint bathroom

  3. buy/ assemble bunk-bed for kids room

  4. buy/ assemble 2 closets for living room

  5. paint main room

  6. fix garden (remove walls, rototiller, new dirt, cover)

  7. finish shed

  8. replace carpet in spare room

  9. hang window cover

  10. rocks to driveway?

our house walls are still two colors of white.

After compiling said list, I then had a panic attack followed by a mid-life crisis. Why does something always need to be done??? And why is is a bazillion dollars to hire someone to do it for you?!

Also, do you know how many of the things I know how to do on this list? Possibly three of them, maybe four of them. Poor Brian always is saddled with a disproportionate amount of the heavy labor. For one, I never did anything with my hands growing up while he knows how to do all these things? For two, I also never learned it in school. (Brian did learn some of this in school) They should teach painting and carpentry in sixth form because most people will own a home one day and need to know how to hang a shelf. And, I could use manual labor-type skills a lot more than trying to figure out “how many apples Clarence has in his truck in Africa while going 40 kilometers a mile down a dirt road with a Cheetah chasing him” skills. Poor Brian also has the least amount of free time in our family due to working 50 hours a week yet has to do 90% of the manual labor.

When I try to think about myself “finishing a shed” I literally don't even know where to begin so...it's not like I can add a lifetimes worth of DIY with my non-existent dad (I was raised by a single mom for most of my life) in one afternoon. I envy Brian his knowledge sometime.

Even if I lack many skills, I can learn. I learned how to hang a shelf last weekend only to find out the shelf we had was not made correctly and would not work. Back to goodwill it goes. What a waste of my time, I guess. But I did learn how to find studs. It is just so frustrating to try and do something only to have it not work, like the weed-spraying story I was telling you about above that I never finished. I made the mixture (Two parts water, one part salt, and soap) but THE SPRAYER WOULDN'T WORK. So I dumped it all out on the weeds in frustration. Husband came down stairs to tell me I put too much salt, that the sprayer I was using needed four parts water to one part salt. Ugh. I felt like giving up but instead I am complaining on the internet so people can laugh with me. Or at me. I won't know, so go ahead. I spent an hour of my life making that stuff (you have to boil the water so the salt will mix) all to have it not work.

I cried.

Is life a joke?

Sometimes I feel like I really am a hamster running on my little wheel inside my cage going nowhere, fast.

Anyway I'm going to take a break and pray we get something done this year. I know I have a lot to be grateful for and I love our home, but there is so much to be done and I don't know how to do it. 

I need to pray for my attitude because it's in a frustrated place today.

Why did we have to buy a fixer-upper? I need a time machine. Or maybe why did we buy a fixer upper and 8 years later STILL NOT HAVE IT FIXED?? omg.

Is adulating just a painstaking roulette wheel of fixing problems you yourself caused in the first place??

Unfortunately there isn't a cure for stupidity. Help.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 15)

I didn't actually talk about Covid in the two vlogs that I managed to film this week--but we are still in phase two in Virginia. Yet instead of emotional turmoil, I feel hopeful, and a lot less scared. It looks like phase three is just a week away per the governor, and schools are making their opening announcements. Also, we are able to go back to our local kid's museum (Amazement Square)! It's been a long 15 weeks but slowly, slowly things are going back to normal in my state. The numbers are not high here and are continuing on a downward trend. My chronic fatigue is better this week and I was able to do a lot of fun things with the kids (we went to the river twice, amazement square, and other things!) 

This was one of the best weeks since my miscarriage in May.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

What I've Learned this Season (Covid19, BLM, Lyme)

A friend of mine asked me today what this season had taught me. And wow, I have learned a lot. I've learned God is all you have when your health abandons you. I mean, I knew God was everything and all I could rely on before—but now I've experienced it on a very uncomfortable level. Good health, even with my autoimmune issues, is a privilege and I'm so grateful to have a functioning body again. I hope I shall have one for a long while.

I've learned that people are extremely diverse, and I am not talking about skin color. Covid and the hysteria of masked-vs-nomask, the stress of reopening and all the new rules is a horrible thing to watch unfold on Facebook. I'm definitely homeschooling even though I'd already decided to do so a long time ago. I'm now like 600x more interested in my kindergartner NOT WEARING A MASK ALL DAY. A five year old does not need to worry about how many feet he is from his classmate while he learns.

But the drama. Oh, the drama. I am going to stay out of it from here on out. I wear a mask, when I can, and I don't when I can't and I am the same sinful person on the inside no matter what virtue I happen to be signaling at the grocery store.

The race stuff is just horrible to see. It is so sad to see people still being hurt and shamed over the color of their skin in 2020. But the hilarious part of it all is seeing all the white people scrambling around trying to let everyone know how non-racist they are. Their facebooks scream LOOK AT ME OVER HERE WHITE LADY NOT BEING RACIST LOOK AT ALL THE BLACK-POSITIVE POSTS I AM MAKING EVEN THOUGH I NEVER SHARED A SINGLE BLACK RELATED ITEM IN MY WHOLE LIFE.

It's getting old. Sharing a post on Facebook does very little. But maybe they're doing things in real life too. I just spent two weeks on my couch, so I clearly shouldn't talk.

The world won't change until we do. And even then it's still going to be a corrupt cesspool where our politicians visit islands to rape children. The last four presidents we have elected have been absolutely corrupt from the sex and rape scandals of Bill Clinton to Trump, whose policies I actually like but who has a mouth like a high school prick and has said things about women I won't even dare repeat here. Is this really the best we can do, America? Where are all the decent young men and women I was promised in poli sci. My grandfather Robert could run the nation better and he won't insult all of womankind in the process, but I guess he isn't famous enough. Like, can we please have a candidate with good morals AND good politics? Is this too much to ask?

I've learned that my kids are always getting older and it sucks but it's also wonderful. I'm getting older too, and I like that part at least right now. My husband is also old but he tries to jump around like he's a 13 year old boy with a new skateboard and scare me half the time. Like just sit down Brian please remember you are 35 and work in a cubicle. I love you anyway.

And yup, that mostly sums up the past 14 weeks of 2020. Miscarriage sucks; I still don't understand the stock market...and why has the price of food skyrocketed?! Someone wake me up and tell me its 1999 and I can color in my Lisa Frank notebook with my gel pens.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 14)

This was a hard week. One of the hardest since my miscarriage. My chronic fatigue was out of control. So bad that I went to the doctor and submitted to blood work. I didn't film much in my incapacitated state, but what I did capture I have shared with you below. Stay safe and cling to Jesus, dear friends.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Reuben Preschool Graduation!

Happy end of my first year of quasi-homeschooling and Reuben's first year of school! Congratulations beautiful Reuben, you turn five in just a few short weeks and you are so smart and wonderful. Here are a look at some of our favorite preschool projects:

We finished the Alphabet Sticker book!! He did a great job. 

He's also done some handwriting (uppercase only) and simple math games I made. We have learned names of some flowers and memorized a handful of bible verses and read through two children's bibles. A great year and some amazing memories. I love you Reuben! Happy graduation! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 13)

This week I will call "adventures in chronic fatigue". It was bad. I was sleepy almost all of the time. I pushed through. I did a lot of resting and also alpine-climb style parented. I stayed off Facebook and Instagram for my mental health, and I tried to remain active in my community. God is still good even when the world feels divisive and crazy.

This week my hot yoga gym opened back up! Huzzah! I am excited to sweat again. We also went to Goodwill for the first time since Covid!!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

more musing (EBV?)

Now that I have had a little bit of time to research, read and pour over my symptoms, I don't think I have lyme. I DO think I have either EBV or walking pneumonia. Luckily, the herbs for lyme are similar to those for EBV and WP.

Right now I am on day five of herbs. I felt a lot better day one and two, but on day three when I added skullcap, I started feeling worse again. I might be dosing my herbs too fast, so I am toning it back and reducing my intake (I'll up it later if needed?). I am also experiencing horrible abdominal bloating, which can be a sign of gut die-off or intestinal worms, or gas, or an issue with salt retention. I am hopeful the bloating diminishes as I scale back on the herbs. I joined a lyme group on Facebook, and while my protocol takes one week to get on the full doses of herbs, many are saying they took a month to ramp up. 

I did have some joint pain, but after researching I started taking nattokinase in the morning and this has eliminated that pain. 

Right now I am not going back to the doctor. I'm on about $500 worth of herbs and hopeful it will help. The only way we were able to afford this right now is that I owned many of the herbs already from when Brian had lyme last year. Our total cost so far this year has been around $200. 

I have dark moments where I feel I am never going to get better but I have good days too, and I am praying. This is a season, I hope. I want to get better. I want to enjoy life again.

This past weekend I was able to go hiking. It was a good day, a day of fun!! I had to lay down the rest of the day after hiking, but it was worth it. Both kids enjoyed being out and seeing a waterfall. It was Reuben's preschool graduation present. He starts Kindergarten in August, and my hope is still to homeschool him. In order to school him, I must get better. 

Please, please pray for me and our family as we all battle this illness. The amount of time I have had to devote to myself since my May miscarriage has been astronomically disproportionate to the time my family needs me. Many days I have been unable to cook or even to get out of bed. My husband has been working from home (if he had not been, I would not have been able to survive) and basically taking care of the kids while managing his zoom calls and office work. The TV has been on a lot. I had buckets of guilt over it but I am setting myself free. I am sick. Something is wrong, and I am, with the grace of God, hopefully going to find out what is wrong and get better so I can care again for my family. 

On top of all the herbs, I am also still trying to stay active by doing hot yoga and walking. The hot yoga is for detoxing. Sweating is amazing. It's hard to exercise when I am dealing with chronic fatigue. Sometimes it is the only thing I do all day. But I do it because I believe it is integral to my health. Hot yoga costs $100 a month. Batting a chronic and debilitating illness isn't cheap.

Here goes nothing. 2020 health crisis, I hope you go back into Pandora's box. And stay there.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

adventures in I Am Still Sick

Doctor Results:

Everything came back normal, as I said in my last post. I was so sure that my blood work would give me the answers I needed that I was horribly disappointed. Actually, it was a punch in the gut. Every time I convince myself to do blood work (a triggering experience for me) I am always "fine" and slapped with a mental health disorder. I mean, I guess it makes a sort of sense from the doctor standpoint-- the blood work shows nothing abnormal, must be all in her head. But it is NOT in my head. I am not depressed (the diagnoses I was given via phone with an prescription to Lexapro). I am not even sad. I am TIRED all the time and have headaches. By the time my blood work came back, I was experiencing body aches and low grade fevers with reoccurring sore throat. This is not depression, at least not for me.

My husband mentioned it might be lyme disease, as it sounded like a lot of "flu like symptoms" with fatigue, but I brushed him off. He had lyme in August of last year. He caught his super early and did a herbal protocol with antibiotics. I did have a tick bite--but it was three weeks AFTER all this "tired" feeling started, and I wasn't convinced.

But I needed to do something, and Lexapro is not the anwser. Even though I felt better for a week, the next two were awful. So, I decided to try the lyme protocol. It couldn't hurt, right? If nothing changed--if I didn't get any better, I could stop and go back to the doctor. And we already have all the herbs. At this time (last week) I was basically a non functional adult. I had headaches all day, woke up tired, brain fog, bloating, no energy. Sensory issues galore (light hurt, being touched was panic-inducing, my sons voice sounded like he was screaming at me) In short, it was awful. I was struggling so much to complete basic tasks and I couldn't parent at all. Honestly,  I gave up hope every day but I was still looking for answers in my good moments (and I have another thing to try if this protocol doesn't work).

I poured over Healing Lyme again for an hour or two, trying to understand what I was supposed to do again, because this book is not written for the layman who has no herbal science background--and came up with a protocol for myself that I started immediately, that night.

The next day I woke up without a headache for the first time in eight weeks. Let me say that again. The next. Day. I woke up. WITH NO HEADACHE!

I thought that maybe my miscarriage allowed hidden lyme to reemerge. Or maybe latent EBV, and the herbs I was on was helping me fight that. Or maybe it had been fatigue and postpartum for the first four weeks but I developed lyme at the tick bite? I don't know, and I probably never will.

Whatever it is, the the herbs are WORKING. The first full day I did have a "herx" reaction after lunch but I had energy after dinner FOR THE FIRST TIME IN EIGHT WEEKS. Like I did not collapse from exhaustion. I was able to clean things, put away dishes, and enjoy myself. I didn't have to lay down for three hours because I was so tired I couldn't move. My brain was less foggy. I felt good in my own skin.

Maybe I wasn't detailed enough in what was happening last time (because I had a few comments that said that was exactly what depression was like for them) but I am NOT DEPRESSED. I mean it. I know when I am depressed. I'm really in tune with myself. Obviously, I am not going to be right 100% of the time, but to be depressed you have to be sad. I am not sad. I am experiencing sensory issues, like Reuben making noise sounds 600x louder, and people touching me is overwhelming. I am so tired I can't do things. But I am not sad. It's something wrong with my body and its not just affecting my serotonin. Maybe other people have only physical manifestations of depression, but I do not. I have zero emotional depression and thus I know I have something WRONG with me physically, not mentally. It isn't something an SSRI could fix, this is something attacking me. I'm probably not making sense, but I know I am not depressed. If this was depression, the lyme protocol would do nothing to help.

I hope I can be okay one day. I'm going to do try and do the lyme protocol for 30 days and take 7 days after that to slowly come off the herbs. I hope this works and I will be okay, because if not I will probably have to return to the doctor for more bloodwork and invasive tests only to be told I am fine again in all likelihood.

I really like my doctor. But I still affirm that I know my body best and that doctors should listen to patients who spend all their lives in their bodies, and know what is going on. Listen to us. I asked on the phone what the next step was. I wanted more blood work, more tests. I was told I had depression and to try Lexapro first before anything--a drug I didn't want and knew I didn't need.

Lyme herbs don't cure depression.

My brain is waking back up and I am getting my life back and it feels so good. I had honestly accepted the fact that I was probably dying. I'm glad to be feeling 90% normal.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Covid-19 Vlog (Week 12)

Becky practically would wear nothing else but what you see in the above picture this whole week! By the way, its not even clothes. Well I guess sort of it is--its an old nightgown I had when I was 18 months. Becky is two, it doesn't fit her very well, and it wasn't in her closet. It was in the doll clothes that go with her dolls. But she won't. Take. It. Off. Oh well! She's cute, and only two once, right? 

Three things happened this week of note: one, Virginia's cases are low enough to enter phase two of reopening!! This is great! We are on our way to returning back to work, and things becoming more "normal". I am pleased. Two, we had a lot of wonderful peaceful protests against racism (and a few scary acts of violence, but nothing major). I am praying for our country, and for my state.

I also had some freaky health issues this week (an migraine, some eye issues) and I will be having a check up next week due to this. Definitely an added stresses to our week. 

I love you all and will see you next week with more vlogs. Praise God for blessings and for his salvation!!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 11)

I feel like the whole world has changed this week. From our state requiring masks to be worn inside businesses, to the race issues where a black man was murdered by police (and riots in several cities). Yet my babies are cute, we eat good food, God is good, even in the midst of turmoil, sin, strife and murder. 

And, is it week 11 already? I feel the Covid situation has stretched itself into infinity. What I thought would only last a week or two has lasted eleven! I will keep going. We will keep trying to be safe as a family, though I have a extreme dislike of the media lately. I didn't trust them before this, but I trust them even less now. I pray the media starts reporting the truth. 

Around week 8, things started reopening here and I felt really positive. Now, at week 11, things have changed and I don't feel hopeful. But I am still praying, and God is still good.

Monday, June 22, 2020

It finally happened (and a health update)

Well. Five years. Five years of nursing a baby to sleep, being woken up at all hours of the night. Five years of thinking it would never end, even when people told me it was a season. I mean, I know it is a season, but it was a hard one. I won't miss it! 

Both kids go to sleep on their own, in their own beds (still room-sharing with Daddy) but without mommy! It's amazing. I am no longer a part of their bedtime routine, nor are my boobs. YAY. 

It's thrilling. I feel like a new person. I am a new person! A tired, stressed, person with chronic fatigue but a bed-time-free person nevertheless. 

I did end up going to the doctor and they ran bloodwork and it all came back "normal" which actually made me very unhappy, because I thought it would give me answers. It did not. Apparently I am fine, except that I am exhausted all the time and can barely function. When I asked what our next step was, the doctor, instead of ordering more labs, diagnosed me on the spot with depression and sent me in a prescription for lexapro. Subsequently, the measly amount of good faith I had in medical doctors has diminished. 

I am not depressed. I have no energy and feel fatigue all the time. I am tired all the time. Unless depression means "so tired I can't take care of my kids" and "am happy and look forward to spending time with my family but can't get up to make dinner, would rather sleep all day?" I don't think those things, or what I am experiencing, is depression. I know I had a miscarriage, and I am sad. I actually had a major depressive episode after my third miscarriage, 6 years ago--I know what that is like (at least, that one, perhaps depression can be different). I also understand I have anxiety and stress--but I feel there is something wrong with me, some hormone or other issue that is affecting my bodies ability to do what bodies are supposed to do. My mind is just stuck in my body and it's actually doing rather well, besides being frustrated over piles of dirty dishes and laundry and my inability to stand up for long.

A few days after I went to the doctor, I started feeling better. I'm not 100% yet, but my bar isn't at 0 any more. Whatever happened to me, due to the hormones of my miscarriage or other bodily ailment, it is getting better. And that is what I am going to seize upon. I'm on the mend, I hope. After six weeks of chronic fatigue, and two of those weeks where I was basically bedridden, I have a lot to do. Our routine is somewhere at the back of my mind, buried under a mountain of lapses. I have not knit in weeks and I have not read books to my children in days. Everything and everyone feels neglected (but that isn't true, my husband stepped up and took care of a lot!! I just feel guilty). 

Anyway, I am going to take it one day at a time. I'm here for as long as God needs me, no longer. And while I am praying that he needs me for many more decades, until I meet my grandchildren, until I attend the weddings of my babies and their babies--I am resting content in his plan and his will for my life. God is good. His plan is good. I will be okay, and my babies and my babies babies are in his hands.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

what is wrong with me

This started in 2012. Well, actually before that. I had issues. Autoimmune issues, although I didn't know that is what they were called and I didn't know that some of the things I was experiencing were not normal. 

In 2012 they escalated to the point where I was in pain almost all the time, had debilitating brain fog and other serious issues that I won't go into (but I did blog about them starting in 2013 so you can snoop if you are really bored and want to read my horrendously bad grammar) Okay, I still have bad grammer. But in 2013 it was a lot worse. 

a woman takes a selfie while pretending to sleep with her baby, who is asleep on her arm
we take naps now, and sometimes I take selfies

In the middle of 2019 I was doing great. I had the best gut health in years. I actually felt hope! I was able to enjoy life and we were even thinking about having another baby.

Now, in 2020, my health has spiraled out of control. It's the worst it has been since 2012-2013 which was an awful set of years. What started the downward trend? I had a round of antibiotics (my first in 8 years) for strep in November of 2019. Nothing has been the same since. All my years of work were reversed in one. week. ONE WEEK. Now after two miscarriages in 2020, my health has declined to the point of despair. 

Before I get into my current health issues, I want to tell you about how I eat. We started eating the Weston A Price diet mid 2019, after around 5 years of being paleo and 2 years of being keto (we did take breaks here and there). I was doing GREAT on it, before the aforementioned antibiotics. In desperation I have switched back to mostly paleo diet, but have not been on it long enough to see results yet.

I love diets. I do. I like not being in pain and being able to function as a human. But I am tired of diets. I want healing, not temporary relief from my symptoms until I eat a "bad" food. So, what "healed" me in 2019? The Nemechek protocol. But it quit working after the antibiotics in November of 2019 even though I was still (and am, even today) doing his protocol. Why did it stop working? I don't know. If I did, I would be writing a different blog post. 

There is nothing wrong with diets, but I don't want to stay on one forever. The paleo diet worked for me in 2013 and took away almost all of my symptoms, but as soon as I eat a "bad" food, I have symptoms again. Foods are not good or bad. (Well, unless its preservatives, food coloring, or sugar, but that is a different post for a different day...) It's my body that is bad with food, not the food that is bad for my body. Hey, it only took me 6 years to realize this, so yeah, not that major of a revelation... (sarcasm) 

In 2019 I was eating everything and I felt great. In 2020, the list of foods I can eat without pain, brain fog, constipation and malaise is shrinking and I am panicking about it. I don't want to go through this again. I can't do this again. Why is this happening again. 

What is wrong with me?

Every day I am so tired. Bone tired. I take a vitamin (5-mthfr, whole foods) and vit-D daily. I take juice plus. I eat grass fed beef and raw dairy. I eat organic vegetables. I've been eating this way for YEARS. I pay an arm and a leg for my food and I still feel like crap every day, have horrible brain fog, a huge amount of bloating, constipation, and want to sleep for hours lunch. After my nap I STILL WAKE UP TIRED.  

The only good thing is I don't have any pain like I did in 2013. I remember that pain. Horrible joint pain. Sometimes I couldn't get out of bed it would hurt so bad, up and down my arms (I found out it was from dairy and gluten) No pain now, thank goodness, but everything else is crushing me. I can't parent. I can't homeschool my children when I can't keep my eyes open.

I've been to the doctor before, back when this all started and my concerns were always dismissed. I am hesitant to try again, but I might. I'm desperate. I'm desperate enough that I ordered some crazy expensive tea with mushrooms in it and am praying it helps. I know I probably have a hormone issue, but I don't know what one. I have low sex drive (but doesn't everyone when nursing?) am irritable (but I have small children and there is a pandemic going on) and definitely deal with stress. I also know what a doctor is going to do, or at least I think I do. They are going to want to order a ton of blood work. I absolutely hate and despise and am terrified of blood work. This is keeping me from reaching out. Usually, I will just take my husband with me and I'll be fine...he will hold my hand. He will tell me I am being a big baby when I cry. But with Covid, I can't even do that, he won't be allowed to come with me. And I just don't think I can do it alone right now.

Anyway, send prayers. And I am okay with some internet diagnosis. If you have heard of something, please link it below and I will research it. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 10)

This week was a hard week for me, once again. I tried to help a friend but ended up just confusing a bunch of people and making the situation worse (sigh) and I also argued a lot with my husband. It's okay now--but that is what made me not vlog a lot.  Life has ups and downs and I will cling to Christ. Love you all! 


Thursday, June 11, 2020

the greatest secret of homeschooling

God is so good. We are homeschooling through the summer! I am hopeful we can take a break this fall, if kid-related places are allowed to open! It's been going great. I finally realized the greatest secret of homeschooling: MY home school is MY SCHOOL. It does not have to look like a public school. It does not have to look like Karen's school from Facebook. It does not have to look like an Instagram picture. It does not have to look like a Pinterest post, or my next door neighbor's school (hi Carrie). My school does not need to be compared to any other school. Comparisons are honestly the idols that I hold in my heart: Instagram pictures and facebook posts of what other people do fill me with uncertainty and envy. But this is ridiculous! I am not that mother, so why would I expect my school to be just as fun as hers?

My school is only responsible for teaching my children (and myself, if I'm honest) and since it's so tiny I can cater it exactly to Reuben and Rebekah's needs. I don't need to feel guilty that my day isn't scheduled if I don't want it to be scheduled. I don't have to feel guilty that my kids aren't Instagram models. And I don't need to ask any more questions from other homeschoolers because they don't parent my children. Their school is not my school. We all have freedom to learn any way we want! The goal is a life-long appreciation of learning, not fitting X activity into Y box.

Honestly, the main goal of my school is learn about Jesus. That's our foundation. We also want to learn math, science, crafts, bible, history, Spanish, music, reading and writing, just to name a few. There is literally 500 million ways to learn these things and not one way is best. The best way for my school is the one that teaches my kid. And that is why my school is going to look different than every other school on the planet.

Learning this has helped me shift through the internet's homeschool ideas and throw out what doesn't work for us and keep what does.

This is the beauty of homeschooling. It's educational freedom. I am free. My kids are free. I'm not going to make the right choice every time and I know learning isn't going to be easy, but I am determined love teaching and learn alongside my children. And this means: if something doesn't work, I have the freedom to try something else without feeling like a failure!

There is no pressure for my school to resemble any other. Literally anything goes! This realization has taken a lot of the educational weight and guilt/stress off my back. I simply think of our goal (learning about Jesus/ learning how to learn/ having fun) and pick a curriculum (or make my own) that I like or think my kid will like. If I end up hating it, I give it away. No regrets. If my kid hates it, we do something else. No pressure, no self condemnation needed. Learning is the end goal, and even if the only thing he and I learn is we don't like that, it's still something.

I hope this encourages you if you are on your own home-school journey! Cater and build a school for your own family--take what you like and what works for you, and throw everything else back into the pot. Someone else will love it if you don't.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 9)

I didn't really vlog this week. This was the week of my miscarriage. It was rough. I picked up the camera only when I really wanted to capture something cute. And I did a heart-to-heart talk at the end of this viedo about my miscarriage. 

This is really the last covid-19 vlog because as we are starting week 10 now, our state is reopening with what they are calling "Phase One". This includes restaurants allowing outside seating at half capacity and churches can gather with social distancing guidelines in place. I feel so much hope as we go into our first week  Phase One with Virginia. I can't wait for gyms and children's areas to open. My kids miss the YMCA and our kids museum, but I am glad for our safety and I hope we continue to be safe.

Love you guys. Thanks for all the kind words and prayers. 


Thursday, June 4, 2020

white woman talks about race?

So, right after masks became mandatory in VA, George Floyd was murdered. It was awful. I still have no words.

But then the looting started. First Minnesota, now Atlanta. 

I have not joined in on any of the debates. I've honestly been too scared of saying the wrong thing as a white woman. I'm very white. Not only did my ancestors probably own slaves (on my dads side?? my moms relations immigrated from Germany around world war one) we whites also completely destroyed the Native American culture. The face of America would look a lot different if Columbus had never "discovered" it, conquered it, and began the systematic destruction of the indigenous peoples. 

This is a lot of space to hold. I have to acknowledge that can't make restitution for the people my ancestors hurt. I'm barely able to touch the surface of healing my own generational abuse and trauma, much less the magnitude that is slavery for Africans and theft of land and life from Native Americans. There is nothing I can do to make it better. 

However, looting things is not the answer. (And I am not saying the protesters are the ones doing the looting. Many who are out there are showing how the BLM protesters are telling the looters to stop) But, how does rioting and looting bring justice to George? Korboi Balla, a black business owner, had his life's work destroyed during the looting. So yes, justice for George but also justice for Korboi. These looters and arsonists NEED to be apprehended.

I firmly believe that citizens should not take the law into their own hands. We are not heroes. Two white men killed Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging. They took the law into their own hands, playing neighborhood vigilantes. They thought they were "saviors" or "heroes" and instead they are murderers. The rioters and looters are taking justice into their own hands, too. They are wrong. Vengeance is the Lords. Let the law work. I have not heard ONE person say George was not murdered. I mean, we have it on tape! Everyone is appalled. Yes, I know it should not have happened. But it did. The looting and rioting should not have happened either, but it did. It seems to me that someone is using the death of George to cause anarchy and strife. 

I am appalled at the state I find our nation in. I am appalled, but not surprised. With the decline of education, and world with rampant child abuse that runs on the degradation of morals, fueled by the "if it feels good, do it" life foundation, what else can we expect? We are a nation divided into liberals and conservatives, who can no longer communicate and who have lost respect for all sides. We can't trust our media or even what we see posted by regular people anymore! Everything seems like a scam. Whatever happened to acceptance and tolerance? I see the Coexist bumper sticker everywhere, but guess what: we are utterly failing at coexisting. 

If you are a liberal, I see you. I love you. You have space to feel how you feel and your vote counts.

If you are a conservative, I see you. I love you. You have space to feel how you feel and your vote counts. 

Let's make America UNITED again. Let's not fight anymore. We are getting nowhere. And let me be honest: the corrupt politicians and greedy "one percent" are THRILLED that we are at each other's throats and our focus is off them. THRILLED. Let's end the fighting and have civil conversations and treat each other like people and not emotional punching bags. 

So, how? It starts small. It starts with our children. Raising kind children who offer kindness to others. Offering kindness ourselves as an example. Not abusing or neglecting our children so they have to raise themselves. Teaching them strong morals, teaching them to honor their elected officials and care about the country they live in. Most of all--teaching them that even if they don't agree with someone, that person still deserves respect. Ending the entitlement generation-- returning to our roots of hard work and gratitude. Glorifying the quiet life--instead of the rich and famous. 

Repent and believe. Repentance is what we need, white or black, brown or cream. Nothing we humans can do can cover the racism and pain that people of color have dealt with across the world. No hashtag or protest can cleanse the welts from the backs of slaves. Our past is dirty and riddled with shame. But the love of God, and his nail scared hands...his blood is a beautiful picture of forgiveness in death. Only Jesus saves.

Only racists can end racism. Just like only rapists can end rape, and only arsonists can end arson. 

What do you think? I am bowing my knees in prayer. I am listening and I am here. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 8)

Week eight was really nice and relaxed. I felt awesome and loved and we had all sorts of fun! I even made cheese (the highlight of the week for me) and we were outside a lot. Week eight will always hold a special place in my heart.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

still thinking about a facebook argument I had weeks ago

On Tuesday (May 26th) Virginia's Governor announced that masks must be worn inside all public places and where people are gathering indoors (not in private homes). I have several feelings about this audacious proclamation that I will attempt to calmly address below.

 I got this mask from here)

First off, this is three months later. THREE MONTHS after VA shut down due to coronavirus. People don’t even wear masks here!! About half of the people I see in the store wear one, and even the employees working don’t wear them. This is how it’s been for weeks, and Lynchburg is fine.

But now, masks are needed? This is Virginia's second week in a "soft opening" (called phase 1) where some non essential business can reopen (under strict guidelines) and things have been going great! We Virginians have been walking around for three months with only mask-wearing being suggested, and we are doing fine. There was absolutely no reason to make masks mandatory. Many people do not even have access to masks because you can't find them anywhere! Also, children under 10 are exempt, so if wearing a mask actually protects me/you but my kids are walking around with me, you will catch it from them if our family has it because my kids/me breathe the same air and live in the same house. My children are too small to wear masks, Reuben is 4 and Rebekah is 2. I do sometimes have to bring them places (we spent the first 5 weeks staying home absolutely because we didn't know how hard our area would be hit but I need to get things we have run out now, and my husband works a ton) Anyway, me wearing a mask while they don't doesn't do anything. Nothing. At all. Read the studies. This one is particularly interesting

"One randomized controlled clinical trial of cloth masks, published in BMJ Open in 2015, compared their effectiveness with that of medical masks worn by hospital healthcare workers. (2) The study, involving the industry partner 3M (which makes medical masks), reported that healthcare workers 'should not use cloth masks as protection against respiratory infection. Cloth masks resulted in significantly higher rates of infection than medical masks, and also performed worse than the control arm.'"

To make matters worse, I got into a facebook argument with someone who posted that "those who don't wear masks should think of their children dying." Here is exactly what the post said that I was angry about.



Excuse me? I should think of children dying if I go out without a mask?! Or my mother? Also this low-key calls people who don't wear masks uneducated. 


Needless to say I tried to explain why this is rude and awful, but I just got yelled at. Because, masks. And fear. Here are some of the things I said. 

I didn't get everything because I started getting upset/anxious reading all of this again. You can see the actual post here (its open to everyone right now) and participate in the argument if you wish. Even if you believe different. Just be kind.

But, first of all, I have worn masks. I did for a long time. It makes me super claustrophobic to wear a mask. I just can't anymore. Yesterday we were in Walmart and I had to leave and go sit in the car to wait for my husband because I was having a panic attack from wearing my mask. I do want to follow the rules, but please, don't act like you are special or a better/ more caring person because you wear a mask. I hate the elitist attitude of mask-wears who put themselves on a pedestal for wrapping a piece of cloth around their face. Like, wear a mask if you want to. I fully support you. But don't vilify or verbally assault those who don't. And definitely don't tell someone who doesn't wear a mask for whatever reason that they don't love others or that they should imagine their loved ones dying. It isn't kind or nice.

ANYWAY. This is an angst-ridden head canon brought to you by me. Please resume your normal isolation activities and yes, I need to stay off of Facebook. I actually have only been on once since Tuesday. My anxiety can't take this. My kids need a mom who isn't upset about drama. And I definitely couldn't function if I had to imagine them, or any of my loved ones, dead. LIKE WHAT THE FUDGE?!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 7)

two year old girl holds tree limb and looks to the left

Week seven was another hard week. I didn't film much and I struggled with my mental health. But God is good and I am doing okay! We went to more parks and just took it easy. I found myself getting increasingly frustrated with the political side of all the covid debates. It's so hard to read hate when I just want everyone to love everyone! Hahaha. I wish we could all talk about our different ideas without anger, name calling, and all the vitriol. 

God is good and he is working out his will in the world and we are here to worship him and glorify his name. I keep trying to remind myself of that as I pray and play with my happy children all day.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 6)

Week six was a sweet spot! I started a sourdough starter, read a lot, we saw friends and even ventured out to the park to play!! I went to the store without a mask for the first time. I began to calm down about the news, pray more, and refocus my attention on God and my tiny family. Our area is not hit hard, and I am continuing to pray for those who are.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

April Mother Culture

a smiling woman in a flower covered long dress sits on a swing with two small children

Are we still doing this? Writing progress posts about my personal goals in the midst of a pandemic and a miscarriage? Yeah, apparently I am. 

I have finished books through March! Yeah! But I feel zero percent like reading. I have not started on anything for April at all, and now it's May. I NEED to read Home Education as we will be starting a Charlotte Mason home school in August and I kind of need to read the book. So, that will be my goal for May: read that book. Some of it. Hopefully. Ignore everything else. Read book.

I have not felt like knitting at all. AT ALL. I finished half of my Happy Mitts (aka one mitt) and...I just could care less about knitting anything. I don't want to crochet anything. I don't really want to paint because I suck at it, and I don't want to read because I am tired all the time and it hurts my eyes. I probably need to go to the eye doctor, but alas, my care-o-meter registers no response to my brains futile wishes for an eye appointment. Maybe I'll do it next week. Knowing them, they are probably closed. Or require me to wear a mask. Meh.

So, what do I want to do? Um, I don't know. I've been playing a lot of animal crossing and eating sourdough bread. I think I want to sew something? But the thought of pulling out my sewing machine exhausts me. Also my husband is working from home in that room, so that isn't going to happen.

Lately, mostly what I want to to do involves sleep. April, the month of sleep. I have actually been sleeping a lot: taking a nap when Becky does every day. It's great. I don't know why I am sleeping so much. Hormones? Aliens? The Covid fifteen? Oh well. It's my new hobby.

Here is a picture of my bread. That I made. Why? I don't know.

All of this to find out I really don't like sourdough. And neither does anyone else in my family. I don't know why I wasted two weeks of my life fermenting flour on my kitchen counter, but no one will eat it. So I am eating it because I am not wasting food. And I didn't spend an hour making bread to throw it into the trash can. (also can we talk about the fact that I made it twice just in case the first time was a fluke? Nope. Still not tasty. Sigh.)

Mostly the indecision (over what to create, knit, read, write) is driving me crazy. I want to do something, I just can't decide on what to do. So I do nothing. A lot.

That's April! I feel like these posts just get worse and worse each one I write. Hahahaa.

Oh, I did start writing a book. It's horrible and I'll probably never finish it, but I did write. Something.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Covid-19 Vlogs (Week 5)

Week five. Week five was when I slowed down, stopped trying to do EVERYTHING. We drastically reduced school, did some easy meals for mama, and tried to reconfigure our expectations. I decided I needed to hang out with people. Starting next week (6) I hung out with two other families who also had been staying home for five weeks to limit our exposure. It was so needed. Not only was I lonely, I had begun to experience some depression. Opening up my circle safely helped boost my spirits!! And looking forward to those planned play dates also helped me clean my house.

This is also the week I began to suspect I was pregnant again, which seriously stressed me out due to my infertility and miscarriage issues. I'm so happy to say my little one is still around! (or was when I scheduled this post)

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Tea Cozy

Was bored of knitting, so whipped up this cute tea cozy! I just made it up as I went along. What do you think? I love it!!!!

What should I make next?