Thursday, March 15, 2012

30 Things in 30 Years

Today I am 30 years old. Holy shit! So, to commemorate this monumental occasion, I wanted to make a list (YESSSS!) of 30 cool things I've done in my 30 years. I will try my best to keep this succinct. ;) Alright, here goes (in attempted chronological order)...

1. I was born. I already knew how to nurse, cry, pee, and poop. I nursed for 18 months. I still cry, pee, and poop. :)

2. I learned to walk and talk. And run and jump and climb. And talk. And ride a bike, and roller skate. And talk.

3. I discovered my love of music and singing. I randomly burst into song, and have a song for just about every situation.

4. I learned to read, 'rite, and 'rithmatize (<--i a="" br="" made="" new="" up="" word="">
5. I became a ballerina, and a pianist. Today, I cherish my electric piano and its 88 weighted keys.

6. I learned to crochet. I have since crocheted afghans for 4 of my children (child #5 is getting a knitted one).

7. I learned to sew. I made doll clothes with my grandmother. I have dreams that someday, a good portion of my family's wardrobe (and other useful fabric items) will be handmade by me. We shall see...

8. I learned to knit. (I looooooove to knit. I make mostly wool diaper covers and toys. I wish I had more time/energy to knit, and I wish I could knit faster. That's a tall order because I'm already a fast knitter. Maybe I should revisit the time/energy issue...)

9. I lived in Switzerland for a year. I attended a local school and was immersed in the culture. I toured Europe on weekends and holidays.

10. I became fluent in Swiss German in a matter of months. Years later, in high school, I learned French.

11. I learned to snow ski...quite well. (I also learned to water ski.)

12. I became a kick-ass cook.

13. I got accepted into and participated in a rigorous high school program that burned me out on school for the rest of my friggin' life.

14. I took an IQ test. The result astounded me. It still does. And it annoys the hell out of me, too.

15. I discovered that I suffer from mental illness. I have accepted and embraced it, and learned to cope as best I can. That journey will never end.

16. I got involved with the wrong crowd. I got hurt. I got in trouble.

17. I conquered an addiction. I am currently working on conquering another one.

18. I survived abuse. I am still learning to live with it; to recover. It seems like an impossible task. Maybe it is.

19. I had a lot of boyfriends. A lot. Not the healthiest relationships.

20. I got married to a childhood sweetheart.

21. I birthed 5 people, the last of whom I birthed unassisted, in a dimly-lit, peaceful corner of my bedroom. It was the most incredible experience of my life.

22. I accepted my body after the birth of my 4th child.

23. I survived my husband's deployment to Iraq.

24. I started a blog. Personally, I think it's awesome. :)

25. I accepted my physical limitations due to scoliosis, and learned how to cope as best I can. This was after I learned that you can pull ribs out of their sockets in your spine. Yeah. Ouch.

26. I broke my ankle kicking the dog, and dropped a tree on my foot. (Totally different scenarios, years apart. Just stupid-ass things I did that resulted in painful physical injury.)

27. I dropped out of college in order to pursue my real dream: to be a stay-at-home mom.

28. I took on the responsibility of facilitating my children's education. I effing LOVE it.

29. I let my firstborn go. He lives with his dad now. It's bittersweet.

30. I successfully made it through the first year of my 5th child's life without feeding her a drop of formula. We are still happily nursing.

I went and wrote my whole life story (well, maybe not the WHOLE thing) -- in a LIST! What could be better?! I do so love lists.

Happy 30th Birthday to ME!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Six Senses Saturday


Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1. Yup. I'm a Twilight fan. (Team Edward, in case you are wondering ;)). I devoured the books years ago (much to my housework's chagrin, heehee) and LOVED them. I have never been into vampire anything, so this is it for me! So of course I have to keep up with (and own) all of the corresponding movies! :) I went to see this one in the theater on Thanksgiving day with a gal pal (and NO ONE ELSE - WOOT!) and then just purchased it at my local Portal To Hell Walmart last week. LURVE.


My whiny baby cry a lot. She's always been a crotchety old man trapped in a fat baby girl, but now she's getting over a cold AND cutting 2 canines. I am so over hearing her cry. I have been tending to her needs her whole life, and I wholeheartedly ascribe to attachment parenting philosophy, but there comes a point when...well, let's just say I have (not-so-)jokingly referred to her as "The Baby Who Cried Wolf" (if that makes any sense) on more than one occasion recently. She is just so. damn. fussy. Wears me out.


Yarn. And fabric. I have been crafting. It's part of my... "therapy". It's what I have been doing during my alone time.

As for sewing, I have been making soakers and longies out of old wool sweaters, and then my most recent endeavor has been upcycling some of my late grandmother's wool skirts into double-layer wrap-style diaper covers. I have a favorite fleece wrap that I have been trying to copy and I think I've just about got it down, 3 prototypes in. I plan to do up a tutorial for this here blog when I am confident that it is worth sharing. :)

As for knitting, I am currently working on 2 soakers. (I am obsessed. My baby really doesn't need as many as she has, but I am refreshing her stash, so there!) Then tonight I cast on the Pebble, something I have seen many times over at SouleMama, but wasn't sure how I felt about it until I saw it made in pink for a baby girl (lurve!). AND, I didn't realize until today that 1) the pattern is free (score!), and 2) REALLY simple (double score!). So tonight, as I watched TBDP1 (think about it?), I cast on a Pebble for Brigit, in lavender cotton, to be worn alone as a tank top this coming summer (this is Florida, you know. It's often pointless to knit warm woolies...). Pics to come when it is finished, I assure you! :)


Not much of anything. We are having major pollen around here, and it turns out I'm allergic to pine! I mean, I've had allergies for-like-ever, but this is the first year that I've paid attention to WHAT pollen was actually in the air when I'm having symptoms, and that's only because I noticed that I wasn't having symptoms back during the last pollen season, which was in the fall. That was cedar. Not allergic. Pine? CHECK - VERY ALLERGIC. So I've had this cold - or is it hay fever? Who knows...whatever it is (probably both, because hay fever isn't contagious and we've all been sick...but I supposed it is possible that we all have the same allergies!), there has been lots of sneezing and snot, hoarseness and a slight dry, itchy, scratchy cough. I actually lost my voice the other day. I was talking in this silly high-pitched "voice", which was so weird because I have a rather robust voice for a woman (I sing alto, if that says anything). Using Sinupret and garlic oil pills to try and kick this sucker to the curb.


My snack of choice lately has been popcorn (the horrible, chemical drenched microwave kind, of which my husband purchased 4 boxes, because they were BOGO and he thought he was doing a good thing, bless him). It's hidden from the children in the coat closet because they are not allowed to eat such junk (I'm such a hypocrite), so I've been sneaking it after they go to bed.

I also found a very old box (yes, box) of Twizzlers, another vice of mine (that's like, all HFCS and red dye - ACK!), in my craft room...I've indulged in a few of those here and there recently...bad crunchy mama!

I need to get back on the wagon of healthy snacks (which I do love!)...I love apples and peanut butter, and I actually got to eat that the other night! It's rare that I get to eat apples. My children consume them like water. I would venture to guess that we go through 10-15 POUNDS of apples a week. And considering that apples are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list so I buy the organic ones, that's a lotta money spent on apples!! But I swear, every time I want to eat apples and peanut butter, we are fresh out of apples, dammit. :/

I bought 10 avocados that were BOGO a week or so ago, and of course they all ripened at once and by the time I realized it, they were overripe and mealy and gross. Not even worth making guac or anything...and I don't even really like guac anymore since I've eaten so many avocados straight (yummm). Guac tastes weird to me now!


[This may not really fall under "intuiting", but it didn't really seem to belong under "feeling" as a sense, either] As several of my recent posts have shown, my feelings have been all over the place, but generally leaning toward the SHIT-TAY end of that spectrum. I've been "ill" since I hit puberty, so I know by now what "symptoms" to watch for and how to treat them. (I put all these illness-related terms in quotes bc being mentally ill is not commonly equated with being "sick", although that is what it is - a chronic illness! I use the terms as a kind of hybrid analogy, if you will.) Anyhoo, it sucks that I often have to get close to rock-bottom before I realize things are that bad, but I do know what needs to be done to pull me out. It just takes time. It's a slow, painful process, and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, but I know I will at least get to a point when I will not HATE so many things anymore. I'm just working on it, and waiting for that day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Why didn't I do this sooner?"

so. lots of changes since i quit smoking. more time in the thick of things, less time hiding out on the porch, sitting in my tattered old la-z-boy, computer in lap. a LOT less time on facebook...

i didn't want to quit. i HAD to for money reasons. i still have some anger about this.

i ceased contact with the QuitLine people when, in one of the followup phone calls, i admitted that i'd "slipped" twice, and they changed my quit date to the last slip date. fuck that shit. i've put myself through hell to quit my pack-a-day habit. if i have a cig every now and then bc i've had a shitty shitty day or i'm out celebrating and drinking, then that does NOT count. that does NOT mean i am a smoker again. i don't care what they think, or what you think as to whether that counts. i'm no longer a pack-a-day smoker. THAT'S what counts.

so i have smoked 4 cigs in the past 48 days. normally, i would have smoked close to 1,000 cigs. !!! so suck on that, QuitLine. i guess i should give them some feedback about that, since re-setting my quit date is extremely discouraging and guilt-inducing.

i like that i no longer stink, that i am no longer spending ~$100/month on smokes, that i don't have to be ashamed or try to hide it. i like that my family is proud of me. i am proud of myself. i like that when my kids get sick with a cough, i no longer have to wonder if exposure to 2nd hand smoke is causing/aggravating it.

i love that i am more connected to my kids, that i am spending less time hiding out on the porch in my computer. granted, now i am at the dining room table, but still on the computer a lot bc that's where EVERYTHING I DO is. i mean, we get out of the house almost every day, but everything is tied to something online. this is my WORK. when i say work, i meant the stuff i do that makes me feel like a productive member of society. and i do it all for free. anyway...i am more present for my children, and being at the dining room table enables me to be there to answer questions and converse with them as they work on their art/craft projects and do their school work.

my view one day from my new perch (and playing with my new phone's cool camera options):

i DON'T like that i no longer have that immediate calming device. i have been an emotional wreck since i quit. crying, yelling, being numb. my bipolar disorder is so obvious right now. combination of hubs being gone too much (school and work) and me therefore not getting enough breaks from the kids (and it has ONCE AGAIN been suggested to me that maybe i should think about putting the kids in school...uh, no, the ones who are the most high maintenance that i need breaks from are too young for school!!! AND, i would regret it, i promise you. school goes against my personal educational philosophy). so all that, plus the fact that i have essentially removed a mood stabilizer from my cocktail, and the fact that i have anger and resentment over the fact that i HAD to quit at all.

anger and resentment toward those who wanted me to quit so badly, the fact that it is a shameful, stinky, unhealthy addiction, the social stigma, etc. i LIKED having that crutch, i feel like i was forced into quitting. i kind of was.

i did back down on the wellbutrin again bc it was contributing to my extreme moodiness and irritability (constant hypomania + constant anger triggers! bad combo!), AND i laid down the law about needing major breaks so i can reclaim some identity, and both of those changes have helped a lot.

and every time i talk or write about it for any lengthy period of time, i want to smoke. hubs gave me one the other day when i was practically catatonic with apathy after pretty much hitting rock-bottom in the burnout department, but i set it on the wooden shelf in the kitchen and haven't smoked it yet. i might. i might not. 5 days of seeing it right there and i haven't smoked it. i really want to right now. so i'm going to end this entry and go refill my coffee, so that i can get my mind off of it and allow the craving to pass.

Monday, February 13, 2012

am i having a nervous breakdown?

i am so fuckin fucked up right now~ i don't know whether to call it depression or just the irritability of smoking withdrawal or the resentment surrounding quitting or if i need to back down on the wellbutrin or if i'm just plain sleep-deprived and break-deprived. i can't function. i guess it's depression. i'm totally burned out. i hate my house, i hate my life, i hate my children. (what a horrible thing for a mother to say!) i don't want to have to take care of anyone or anything. i guess that's the mindset of a spoiled child because i don't want to have to work or do any chores or have any commitments or obligations. but this isn't a snobbery thing. i am just so sick in my soul right now that i can't.function.

i want to be able to read, write, knit, sew, watch tv, eat, SLEEP, even clean/organize/purge --- all of this WITHOUT INTERRUPTION. i need a fucking vacation, is what i need.
B Y M Y S E L F. but i worry that i might not come back. and i'm so depressed that i have little interest in doing any of those things anyway. i WANT to knit, sew, write, watch tv, sleep, but strangely...i just...don't want to. no energy. no motivation. i'm even having to remind myself to eat.

or i need a staycation and everyoneelsegocation. i'll be getting a half-assed one of those this weekend when drew takes at least 2 kids to paintball (even though that leaves me with the two most high-maintenance of the children, sooooooo... not much of a break!), but how is that going to get me through the next 5 days??? even tonight i will send drew to his parents' house for dinner...and he doesn't know it yet but he'll be taking all the kids with him. and i will stay home and do whatever the fuck i want.

i'm so burnt out that i am going to need frequent, long breaks to recuperate from this wreck that i am these days. it's to the point that i need major breaks, like, all the time. i am in this so deep i don't know how long it's going to be before i don't need "intensive break therapy" (ha.) anymore. even having "just the baby" isn't cutting it anymore. i need more breaks from her, too. i feel consumed by her, by her needs, to which i am a slave. i just need.more.breaks. having a REALLY hard time adhering to the oxygen mask theory. i'm trying, but they are getting in the way, so i'm getting angry at them for preventing me from taking care of myself. like i'm to the point where i am seriously considering starting smoking again, just in case that's why i'm in such a funk. but the guilt about "failing" quitting would just make things worse, as well as throw me right back into the shameful social stigma. more guilt and shame? no thanks.

i went shopping for 9 hours on saturday. drew took the older kids to church yesterday and let me and the baby sleep in (not that it made a dent in the sleep deprivation since i have been up until 3, 4, 5am every night for perhaps over a week now for various reasons - AND i missed church, which means i missed my weekly spiritual recharge). i went to choir practice last thursday and then went for coffee with a friend after. gone for 4 hours. i'm getting a few hours alone this evening. i'm getting a few hours alone this coming thursday from grandma and then choir practice again thursday night. then this weekend with the paintball tournament (but that will still leave me with theyounger two, or at LEAST the baby).

i hope this all will help because right now the only thing i can think of that will really help would be running away. just packing up and leaving all of this. not that i would get far. i have no money of my own. and my littles are quite attached to me. and i am to them. although the way my mind has been lately i can feel the threads of attachment thinning, breaking...and not in a healthy, natural way. i feel pulled between the primal mother in me and the crazy, insecure, depressed, confused, lost, exhausted woman in which that primal mother resides.

i just want to hide.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2012

So, I have decided that I don't already have enough on my plate (HA!) and volunteered to host our city's chapter of The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2012, which is an attempt to break the world record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time. It is a great way to show the world how many people are already choosing and using reusable cloth diapers successfully.

The event is still 10 weeks away (happening on 4/21/12), but I'm so excited! My co-host and I have grand plans for our little town (well, not so little -- population 120K and a very progressive, crunchy-friendly place!) . There is actually very little required to carry out the event, but we are going above and beyond. We have cute bumper stickers to sell, awesome items to raffle off and goodie bags for the participants that are going to be THE SHIT. We have contacted a TON of companies/manufacturers of various cloth-diaper-related and/or "crunchy" items, many of whom are sending us samples, coupons, or even full size products or gift baskets for our raffle!

Here are the (3"x5") bumper stickers we are selling.

And a T-shirt for the raffle (size 2T)

(I ordered all of the above from cafepress.)

After we recoup our expenses, all proceeds will go to the Real Diaper Association, a non-profit organization that provides support and education to parents all across North America for the use of simple, reusable cloth diapers.

More on this as it unfolds! :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Six Senses Saturday


~ My twins learn to read and write. I believe in delayed academics, and we unschool, so this sudden interest and progression was a delightful surprise. Coincidentally, this is occurring right after their 7th birthday (which was December 30th), and 7 is the age that is supposedly most appropriate for introducing academics; when the brain is finally, really ready for it.
~ Once Upon a Time, that new show on ABC. Like I needed another show to get hooked on. Thank goodness for TiVo, so I can feed my addictions at my own convenience. :D


~ Children: Playing outside. Fighting. Being silly and loud in the early mornings while I am trying to either catch a few more winks, or sneak out from under a still-sleeping baby. Joy. Innocence (well, sort of...).
~ Audiobooks. The twins love them. I love that they love them. I love that they are being exposed (repeatedly) to classic children's literature before they are able to read it themselves, and without me having to read it to them (I am lazy...ahem, busy, and reading aloud makes my voice hurt).
~ Soothing music. I have had my "birth music" playing on repeat 24/7 in my bedroom. It helps the baby sleep, and whenever I walk into my bedroom, whether to change a diaper or haul some laundry, I step into a magical, tranquil world, even if just for a moment.


Lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils coming from the vaporizers in both bedrooms. Someone has inevitably had some kind of illness requiring such treatment for over a month now. It is a comforting smell. Dropping those oils into the water as I fill the vaporizers each evening is one of those times I feel like I'm "giving from the heart"'s one of those things that I lovingly do to care for my family. I am the healer in this house, which is both a duty and an honor.


~ The warm (yes, warm) "Winter" weather. 75-80 degrees almost every day. Only a handful of rainy days or freezing nights so far. Cold fronts few and far between, lasting only a few days. Azaleas are blooming in January!! A winter wardrobe seems like such a waste of space this year! I love it. It's as if my wish came true: "I wish it was 75 and breezy every day!" -- said when discussing my hatred for both cold winter weather and stifling hot and humid summer weather...I prefer Spring and Fall only, thank you very much.
~ Overwhelmed. So many projects, commitments, activities, responsibilities. Every now and then I get to this point where I have to step back and start saying "No." We don't have to go to every playdate. We don't have to go somewhere every day. Need-to-do vs. Want-to-do. Priorities. Must maintain sanity. Must take care of myself. And if that means spending a few days homebound puttering on the computer (and spending WAY too much time with my blog...ahem...), well, that's okay. I deserve it, dammit! #oxygenmasktheory :)


~ A lot of pasta. I prefer mine with olive oil, salt & pepper, and a healthy dose of fresh, grated Parmesan. (That is, of course, if there is no fresh Alfredo sauce available.)
~ I have also been eating a lot of avocados; sometimes scooped right out of the skin with a spoon, sometimes carefully diced and drowning in red wine vinegar and seasoned salt.
~ Oh yeah, and these super-thin organic corn chips with a dip i make out of sour cream with some "Condimento Completo" in it (whose first ingredient is MSG...a fact I did not discover until I had tasted it, fallen in love with it, and then bought a jar of my own. *sigh*).
~ I also discovered these nifty "steam in the bag" sides at Target that are useful as entire single-serving meals. I really like the Thai veggies & rice one. Too bad Target is such a trek for me. :/

I could go on, but I'll stop...have I mentioned that I'm a foodie?


Apparently there has been a return of paranormal activity in our house. Years ago we had a lot of weird things happen (mainly through electronic devices) but then a psychic friend said "he just wants to be acknowledged" we made an effort to acknowledge him, and miraculously, the weird shit stopped.

Well, recently, my almost-4-year-old son has had some scary experiences at night. He woke up Daddy (who sleeps with him) and, terrified, spoke of a "scary guy looking at me" from the hallway. 4-5 nights in a row. Anyway, we did a whole-house smudging with white sage, chanting "EVIL SPIRITS, I BANISH YOU!" over and over and over, and they started sleeping with the door shut. Problem solved (or at least masked). For now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's a New Year, and I Quit Smoking!

My life has changed a lot just in the past few weeks. Why? Because I quit smoking on New Years Day. Yup, that's right. If you never knew I smoked, well, ya do now. (Woohoo!) I smoked full time for 13 years. It was part of me -- part of my identity (you know, that dark genius vibe - HEH), a major part of my mood-stabilizing medication regimen, and a BIG source of shame for me. BIG.

This is me sitting in my chair on the back porch, ritualistically smoking my Last Cigarette on New Years Day (in the morning...I am also hungover. The plan was to smoke my last one right before bed the night before, but I drank a whole bottle of champagne on an empty stomach and didn't even make it to midnight....yeah.....)

So, it's been quite an experience so far. I have had days where I am totally confident, days where I suddenly dipped into a severely depressed state, days when I feel like a heroin addict must feel while detoxing (I don't really know how else to describe feeling like I wanted to jump out of my own skin). I made it through those infamous "first 3 days", slipped on day 7 (BAD, BAD day. freaking out. but that cig tasted like ashes, so that was a good thing to experience), then again on day 10 (this neighbor bitch stole my cell phone and we were dealing with the cops...again, the cig tasted like an ash tray). So then I make it to the 2 week mark. I have made it through both of the "hardest" parts. But yet, I still have cravings. STRONG cravings. The nicotine gum and lozenges don't hit me fast enough when I really, really need a nic hit QUICK.

I guess the difference now, is that I am used to not being able to smoke. I'm just used to having to deal with the cravings. The cravings still totally suck. Even typing this, all I want to do it go light up. I keep reminding myself about how bad it tasted those 2 times I slipped, and how I can still get that nicotine through a piece of gum or a lozenge (but that is so TIME CONSUMING -- it takes 30 minutes to get the full dose from one of those things!). So, on top of all my other meds, I'm somehow surviving, but my moods are all over the place and my mental illness is more apparent now than it has been in a loooong time. Just like I was afraid it would be. And I hate it. I mean, I gave up a mood stabilizing drug that has been coursing through my brain on a regular basis since before my brain was fully formed. (I think. I'm actually not sure at what age the brain is fully formed, but I was 16 when I started smoking regularly, and hooked at 17.)

I have had a lot of anger and resentment surrounding my quitting, actually. I did not quit because I wanted to. I did not quit because I was ready to. I quit because I felt like I HAD to. We simply cannot afford to support my smoking habit anymore. We are living on grants and loans as my husband finishes college. Smoking is too expensive. The guilt about the money we were spending on cigarettes was suddenly too much. Then, of course, there is the shame and humiliation of being a smoker when the rest of my life/social circle/philosophies are soooo nowhere NEAR smoke-friendly. (I AM bipolar, you know. ha. ha.) It was the one vice I had brought with me from my youth. Of course I could see all the good things about quitting. But I DIDN'T WANT TO. So, as a result, I often have periods of sullen resentment family? society? the world? existence? I didn't want to quit. I wasn't ready.

This is an excerpt from an email I sent to a friend several years ago, trying to explain my addiction to her:

the addiction is stronger than i am. it is stronger than my love for my children. and that sucks. but, it is basically part of my treatment for my crazy-lady issues, and the doctors have even told me not to worry too much about it. for some people (like me), quitting can be more detrimental than continuing to smoke, depending on the circumstances. i know it sounds totally ridiculous. the statistics about people like me (bipolar) are scary. we have shorter life spans due to reckless behavior (which i guess smoking could be considered one), and a huge majority of us smoke.

for me, it was not long ago that the thought of quitting would literally cause me to panic. i want to quit for all the right reasons, but that want is only 49%... the other 51% is the addiction telling me i can't live without it, and that's the dominant part. that has caused be to become defensive about my smoking, because i KNOW it's awful but the addiction is too powerful.

i have always been very self-conscious and ashamed about the fact that i smoke. i don't advertise it because i know people judge -- i'm either ignorant white trash or crazy. either way, i don't want to be judged any more than i already am for things i really CAN'T hide. not that it's that easy to hide the fact that i smoke. i know i probably stink most of the time.

my mom gave me such a complex about it because she's probably the most anti-smoking person on earth. i remember her disgusted snarls when she smelled, saw, or just TALKED about smoking when i was growing up. and when i became addicted as a teenager, i was everything my mother hated. isn't that what every teenage girl wants? ;)

well, that was one part of my past that i couldn't leave behind. i took the addiction and the shame into adulthood. i'm supposed to be myself and not worry about what other people think of me, but i don't want to burn bridges either, ya know? so many people have told me to get over it, own it, if they don't like me for me then sod 'em! well, that's easier said than done, especially when you want to surround yourself with positive influences, not many of which smoke (because it's bad for you and your children and it costs too much money and you stink, blah, blah, blah, thanks mom). i have always tried to be respectful of other people's hatred of smoking by not doing in front of them, going far away from them to do so, avoiding children as much as possible, etc.

i recently confronted my mom about my shame, and she assured me that she doesn't see my sister and me as monsters because we smoke, and that she doesn't think i love my children any less. that made me feel better. it's ridiculous how powerful our mothers' words are, regardless of our age.

So, I finally became (deep breath) ready after contacting the Florida Quitline. They did a Quit Coach session with me over the phone after some initial screening questions. We went over my history and my triggers, and developed a plan. They sent me (for free) 2 weeks worth of nicotine patches and a quit smoking guide (which was very helpful -- full of checklists and exercises to help you prepare). I put the rest of the supplies I would need for the 8 week program on my Christmas list, and got them! They have an online support forum which I spent a bit of time in before my quit date came up, but have since abandoned it, for some reason (too many other social networks?). I had a few weeks to mentally prepare, and when Quit Day came, I was ready.

Anyhoo, that's all I have to say about that right now. I have a whole 'nuther post planned about all the awesome changes that have occurred since I quit. There was a day a few weeks ago when I cried to my husband, saying "Why didn't I do this sooner?"...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blog Makeover Amendment

Last year, in this post, I wrote this:

"I have taken some time this morning to make a lot of changes here on my blog in order to make it more...appropriate...for the public eye. I hid several posts that are very personal and/or FML-style venting. I want to be able to use this blog for positive things, more like recording the happy memories and successful accomplishments, as well as participating in all these fun blog events I keep seeing."

Yeeeeeeah. Wellllll, I went back and re-published most of those posts. This is MY blog, about ME. I want it to be REAL. I am nutty, so my blog is allowed to be all over the map, too. And over the past year or so, I have learned the value of being authentic (for several reasons: the unassisted birth of my 5th child, my Nonviolent Communication study group, and the suicide of a dear friend -- the latter two will perhaps be blogged about in the future). Not only does it make the writer feel liberated, but the readers feel better, comforted, knowing that others have struggles and quirks, that they aren't the only ones that are "weird" or have shameful/embarrassing secrets. So, I will still participate in blog parties or whatever, but I don't want to mask who I really am. And truthfully, it's the "inappropriate" things that I am drawn to write about the most. So be it. :)