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.