Thursday, March 25, 2010

What to do when you are emotionally overwhelmed (or not)

What do I do when I am an emotional wreck, not being able to keep up with my daily activities? Why, I try to make homemade tortillas, of course! I found several recipes on You should check it out. Thanks to Jack's dairy intolerance, I had to pull from several different recipes to put together one I wanted to try. The dough was easy enough and kneaded up quite nicely. Then all the recipes said the same thing: make golf ball size balls of dough. Not being an avid golfer, I am not sure that these are accurately sized. (Though I did manage to win the first place trophy in my age group when my dad signed me up for golf lessons. Did I mention I was the only one in my age group?)

After letting them rest for a while, I fired up the griddle and started making tortillas! After a short break to write a blog post, I will go put together the bean mixture for our burritos, which only takes about 20 minutes.

Oh, by the way, I did sample one and they are yummy. I don't know how well they will keep, seeing as there are no preservatives. That is why I was prompted to try this whole experiment in the first place. I am tired of looking at the ingredients in our foods and seeing a long list. I don't even know what half of those things are!

Lastly, this little adventure did lift my spirits. We are trying to gather all of Ben's medical records, as well as Anna's, for the neurologist and it is emotionally draining. Hopefully, it will help him give Anna the best care possible.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my is still dark but I cannot sleep. My mind is full of thoughts that keep me awake.

I am thinking...about Anna, about SUDEP, about how to control my fears, about how to trust God in all this, about how to get her the best care possible. When we went through this with Ben, the doctors seemed so unconcerned by his case and I thought we were doing all the right things and Ben seemed so healthy. Now, the doctors still seem unconcerned, but I am not! I feel the need to fight for more monitoring of her condition.

I am thankful family all under one roof again after a weekend apart.

From the learning rooms...hoping a new week and a fresh start and healthy kids will make for a productive week.

From the kitchen...I need to make bread today. I may try my hand at the no knead bread from "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". I had been using my bread machine while my fingers healed from some pretty bad burns, and while I am grateful to have that machine, it cannot produce a loaf that is as good as by hand.

I am wearing...pajamas and NO slippers on my feet! The weather is warming up and I cannot even begin to describe my joy.

I am creating...a wool diaper cover that is almost finished. The cushions for the kitchen are on hold for the moment. But the sweater I made for Anna is finished! My only frustration is that blocking it did not help the rolling of the edge since I used an acrylic yarn so it would be washable and not shrink.

I am have a busy day.

I am remembering...the words of our priest yesterday. He said that no one deserves mercy, we only deserve justice. Yet God gives mercy to us and so should we to others.

I am take to heart the words of our priest!

I am hearing...the first stirrings of my family above me. As I have been typing, the sky has lightened just enough to see the dark outlines of tree branches against the barely lighted sky.

Around the house...projects galore. I must save the projects for the weekend!

One of my favorite things...Spring! It is just such a happy season, full of promises.

A few plans for the rest of the week: My main goal is to have a good week in the classroom. Pray for us, won't you?

Here is a picture I am sharing...Anna's sweater in the unsuccessful blocking phase.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Place all your trust in Him

There is a little book by my bed. It is the Magnificat and as tiny as it is, it can be the greatest comfort to me. It also never ceases to amaze me that God speaks to me so directly at times through the words within this little magazine.

Six months ago, Anna had a seizure. She had come into bed with me at some point during the night, and as Tony had just started a school where he would be gone during the week, I did not mind the company. As daylight was just starting to dissolve the darkness outside, I became aware that she was having a seizure. Adrenal pumping, I talk to her, knowing that she won't hear me, letting her know she is not alone. As soon as it is over, I call 911. The EMT's arrive and because Anna is frightened by them, they let the hospital know we are on our way in our own car.

The outcome of this event is a normal EEG and the neurologist decides to "wait and see" before starting any medications. The other effects of this night are emotional. I am filled with fear that I will lose another child to epilepsy. I pull out the baby monitor and set it up near her bed, the volume loud enough to detect her breathing. It has been there for the last 6 months. Sunday night, I had been asleep for about an hour when my body was jolted awake by the horrid sounds coming from the baby monitor. I knew. I ran into her room and witnessed the last 15 seconds of a full blown seizure. This time, the doctor decides that it is time for medication. Today, I will start giving Anna the same seizure medicine that Ben took for the last 3 years of his life. That bottle will once again be placed next to the kitchen sink, lest I forget a dose.

Back to my little book. Monday night, as exhausted as I was, I almost talked myself out of my evening readings, rationalizing that God knew just how tired I was. But I opened it anyway. As I started the Intercessions, I knew God was right there beside me, holding me, letting me know I am not alone during this trying time:

For all parents who sit at the sickbed of their children:
-be their strength and hope, O Lord. R: You are light and life.

For all parents who have stood at their children's graveside:
-be their strength and hope, O Lord. R: You are light and life.

Then last night, I read the meditation of the day. Once again, God spoke right to me, through my little bedside companion. The bold is what I felt God wanted me to understand and know.

"Do you want to be well?"
I will not ask God to deliver you from your trials, but I will ask him earnestly to give you the patience and strength needed to suffer as long as he desires. Find consolation in him who keeps you fixed to the cross; he will release you when he judges it appropriate. Happy are they who suffer with him. Get used to suffering, and ask him for the strength to suffer as he wants, and for as long as he judges necessary. The worldly do not understand these truths, and I am not surprised; the reason is that they suffer as citizens of this world and not as Christians. They consider illnesses as natural afflictions and not as graces from God, and therefore they find in them only what is difficult and harsh for our nature. But those who regard them as coming from the hand of God, as signs of his mercy and the means he uses for their salvation, ordinarily find great sweetness and perceptible consolations in them.
I wish you were convinced that God is often closer to us in times of sickness and suffering than when we enjoy perfect health. Seek no other doctor but him. I think he wants to cure you by himself. Place all your trust in him, and you will soon experience the benefits we resisit when we trust more in medical remedies than in God.
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
I will try to keep these things close to my heart, for I know that I will have moments of fear and sadness in the coming days and weeks.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


By 4 am, there is a soft, gentle rain outside that makes cozy sounds on the roof. In the tree outside my window, birds are chattering the morning gossip to one another. It is so peaceful, and all is quiet and I am tempted to close my eyes once again. But I know I must reach across the bed to feel the forehead of a little boy. This time, it is too hot. I gently lift him up to give him some medicine and a sip of juice and he lays back down and mumbles "I love you Mom" before returning to his restless sleep.

Now it is light, and my little boy has come down the stairs to me, cool and happy. I know we are not out of the woods yet, and in a few hours, the glazed eyes and listless body will return. And I will care for a cranky little boy because "I love you too Jack".

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...there were birds chirping! Could it be? Could there be an end to this long winter in sight? They were so cheery, those birds, I could almost imagine sunshine and warm weather.

I am thinking...about this new little baby. Constantly. I ended up buying a fetal heart monitor. I will admit that I am scared of another miscarriage. I know that God's design is perfect and I will accept whatever he chooses for me. In the meantime, hearing a little heartbeat brings me a sigh and a smile.

I am thankful for...a new idea and the determination to carry it out.

From the learning rooms...hoping that offering a reward at the beginning of the week to be received on Friday only if all work for the week is complete may be the ticket.

From the kitchen...a new sink! When we moved in, the sink was the shallowest one I have ever seen. It was only 6 inches deep. Water always went everywhere. Tony and his lovely assistant, Sophie, installed a new sink and faucet, saving us the $300 installation fee. It is beautiful, but even better, it holds water!

I am wearing...pajamas and slippers. I am enjoying my morning.

I am cushions for the kitchen chairs. They are slightly too low and a cushion should do the trick. The prototype is pretty good, but I didn't make a way to remove the fabric so I could wash them. I think I'll make the underside like a pillow sham opening.

Also, starting to knit some wool diaper covers in a tiny size.

I am be getting ready for a visit from my parents! I am so excited.

I am reading...Introduction to the Devout Life. It is slow going, not because I am not enjoying it, but because there is so much to absorb.

I am get my to-do list done today.

I am hearing...a whining little boy who was awakened too early. Will I get him to take a nap? I hope so.

Around the house...I believe I have 8 bags out of the 40 bags goal. Do you think I can count the sink and bathroom countertop that I will be giving to Habitat for Humanity as one bag each?

One of my favorite things...picking out seeds for the garden. I want to try some new things this year. Tomatillos, for one. I have discovered how delicious salsa verde is and want to make my own.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Enjoying my parents visit and going to Colonial Williamsburg for the homeschool days.

Here are pictures I am sharing...the before and after sink pictures. Thank you Tony!

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