This morning I finally made it to the lab to get tests done. The doctor wanted to run several tests, so they drew five vials of blood. I know from the paperwork he’s testing at least 10 things. I also had to do a test where you breathe into a bag, drink a weird drink, wait 15 minutes, and breathe into another bag. This is to test for certain stomach ulcers. I had to bring Angelica with me because this was the only morning that worked for me all week, and I couldn’t get the babysitter for today. Of course Angelica was extremely well-behaved. She asked if her Bible was allowed inside, and then brought one of her little Bibles with her to the waiting room.
I was glad that they were able to get the blood for me without too much trouble. I am usually a pretty hard stick. The first time she tried she had to dig around and it didn’t work. She had that long needle just moving around. I hate that feeling. But on the second try she got it on the other arm.
Shortly after I came home the really nice girl who cleans for us came.
Angelica has been playing non-stop with a friend since we got home. We got home before noon. We’re approaching five. She’s been playing all day.
School starts in a few weeks! We are coming up on August and everything is getting so real. It felt pretty real when we toured the school and then when Angelica had her evaluation and Craig and I did the parent interview, but it’s amazing to think that before I know it I will be dropping her off. Time is running out.
This spider is really pissing me off. It keeps trying to spread its silk in the air around my back porch swing. That’s not okay. I keep finding fresh string but I can’t seem to find the spider himself.
It is some sort of weird spider season. When I look out the front windows I can see spider threads flying down the street. Some species of spider do disperse their babies that way. The little babies propel with silk and just glide through however many feet or even miles they can before landing on something to build a nest. I just really don’t want to get one stuck on me. I’ll have a heart attack.
Angelica has been doing work to earn an allowance lately. Fundamentally she has to have a perfectly clean room at the end of the night. If she does, she earns a quarter. This morning she is earning an extra quarter by bringing a load of her father’s clean clothes upstairs. Naturally she has to take more than one trip. I appreciate it because getting up and down the stairs is a lot and the fewer times I do it a day the better. She is really enjoying earning money for different things.
Neighborhood kids have been coming over to play constantly. It gives me joy to see her play with other kids and have so much to look forward to! Lately our home has been fun central with kids circulating through. Sometimes one of the girls is here for hours. Angelica is so happy!
Academically Angelica has really been blossoming. Her love for science bodes well for her academic future. She wants to go through the books we have. She also loves to watch video clips about a variety of subjects. YouTube kids is a great way for her to learn and see different things. I really like that app. It’s great for parents because you can add what channels you allow your child to watch.
I really wonder what Angelica will be someday. Will she be a scientist? Storm chaser? Video producer? There are so many things that she could be. It’s fascinating to watch her bloom. That’s the thing with kids. If you plant a rose bush you know you’re going to get roses. When you make a baby you have no idea what you’re getting. What is my daughter becoming? Whatever it is I can’t wait to see. She might be a hairdresser or an artist or own a grocery store. She can do anything. It’s all dependent on her aptitude, interest, and work ethic. This is one of the joys of being a mother. Giving your child the resources and then allowing them to become what they are meant to be.
Angelica and I had a great morning. I got some housework done while she played. Then we went on a playdate with some friends to Chik fil A.
Right now she is watching Minions. Soon, we’ll go grocery shopping.
I want to do whatever I can to make the most of the rest of June and then July. She will be starting school before I know it. I can hardly fathom just how much I will miss her. It wells up in my mind sometimes and I have to think of something else or I will cry. These years before a child is school age are absolutely precious.
We were planning to homeschool, as I have written before. But for now we have decided to send her to school. She will love it. I will cry. But I am happy for her. I want her to make friends and build good memories.
Today I was told that there is actually an amusement park around here. There’s one near Colorado Springs that’s a winter-themed one, and then there’s one up in Denver that’s kind of like a Six Flags. If Craig has a weekend day that he wants to take to do that it would probably be a lot of fun for Angelica. I’ve become a boring old lady. A lot of rides make me really sick or give me headaches. Because of that, I don’t really want to take her by myself because at her age there’s probably a lot of rides that she’ll need me for and I’m not much use. When my husband and I were dating he wanted to ride the same rollercoaster repeatedly. There was no line, somehow, so we got to go on Apollo’s Chariot a bunch of times. And then… I threw up all over him. We got off the ride and were walking around the park and I felt queasy. And then I just threw up everywhere. I threw up on him. I threw up on myself and the ground and the restroom building. Everything. I swear that if it was in a 10 Mi radius I threw up on it.
I want to make sure she gets swimming lessons this summer too. I haven’t wanted her to take lessons in the winter because it does get rather cold here and I remember what it’s like to come out of the pool and put your clothes on and go out into the cold air. Maybe I’m sissy but that wasn’t fun to me and I don’t see the necessity of her doing it. We don’t live by the ocean anymore so learning to swim is not as urgent. However, it is still important and I think once she gets past fear so really enjoy it. In future summers I would love to just be able to take her to the pool in the afternoon and let her play. There are lessons on base but from what everyone says, and from what our experience was this past spring, the classes fill up within an hour or two of opening. It’s hard to catch that. There’s another swimming place around here for kids that I’m going to look into. I’m also going to look into private instruction. She really does need to learn and I hope I can get that done in July.
We got home Saturday night from a trip back to the East Coast to visit family and friends. We went to TN, GA, and NC. Angelica spent time with her great grandfather, and then her grandparents in Georgia. Craig and Angelica went with my inlaws to Easter services. I WAS TOO TIRED TO EVEN GO! Part of this was that the hotel pillows were truly the most horrible pillows I have ever laid my head on. I ended up sneaking out at 330 to go to Walmart and buy some at 4 am. I had already tried folding a bath towel onto my hotel pillows to no avail.
We spent time in North Carolina and Virginia visiting a friend – relaxing, talking, shopping, eating, spending time by the water.
We arrived in Tennessee last night for Craig to see his grandfather and Angelica to see her great grandfather. We had salad and pizza for dinner, and then hung around in the sunroom for awhile.
This morning I am relaxing at the hotel while everyone else has breakfast and hangs out at my grandfather inlaw’s house. I needed the extra sleep and the time to myself. I am so introverted that it is hard if I have no place to retreat to.
We drove for two days to get this far, and that was difficult. I spent a good portion of the ride to TN not speaking and/or with my head in my hands. It has been exhausting.
It’s always really frustrating whenever we travel to see my inlaws. While it is true that I have anxiety and mood swings regularly at home, people I see while I’m traveling usually get the worst of me. I don’t do well with travel, especially if that travel is combined with socializing or big cities. So on top of the craziness that I already have, my relatives see me even crazier because I’m not meeting up with them until I’ve been traveling for two or three days. We took a road trip back in the fall and even though there was no socializing in that and we stayed in very quiet areas almost the whole time, I felt like crap part of the way back and when we actually were in the city for a while I got anxiety. It was the trip of a lifetime and I absolutely loved it, but it was a very different sort of trip.
Basically, my relatives see the worst of me. Even when I traveled last summer across the country to see my own side of the family I had to spend hours by myself in the room that I lived in when I went to high school. Even among my own side of the family I could not deal with full days of socializing or going places.
Hopefully my stomach settles too, because alongside a sinking feeling in my chest and being so introverted that I feel like I’m crawling into my own body this morning, I’m nauseous too. Knock on wood it’ll pass soon. It might have been the breakfast that I ate cold.
It isn’t that I don’t look forward to seeing my in-laws. It’s just that it’s hard to travel and it’s hard to do a whole lot of concentrated socializing at once.
Craig is 35 years old today. I am so blessed to have this man in my life. This morning was the present opening. He opened a bunch from me. I basically bought everything on his wishlist. Then he opened a lovely air fryer cookbook from his parents. His Mom also sent me a personalized sketchbook just as a treat.
Today has really been a beautiful Friday. Unfortunately Craig has to work a 12-hour day, so I saw him off by 10 in the morning and he won’t be home until it least 10 this evening. I feel bad for him having to work so many hours. But soon after he left Angelica and I went to Target and she got to pick out some new clothes. We grabbed some household items while we were there too.
After that we went to Red Lobster for a mommy daughter date. We talked about all sorts of things, but especially monsters and unicorns. Angelica really educated me. There are monsters that are microscopic, and there’s a unicorn on Pikes Peak.
When we were finished eating we went home and it was time to do some serious housework. Angelica decided to be a buddy helper the whole time. She helped me scoop lavender into a new container to make the kitchen smell nice. She helped put away the towels that I folded. She put the detergent in the laundry machine. She put her clothes away in her drawers. She picked stuff up. Angelica was a busy little bee. Angelica wiped down counters with Lysol wipes as well. She helped me take out the trash and the recycling. And this is just a partial list. My buddy helper has been a very good helper today.
We worked on two collages together. I bought a bunch of white poster board awhile back, and gradually I’ve been putting together a collage. Every day or two I add a couple of more materials, whether it is a sticker or a piece of cloth or something. I even have some curling ribbon on there. She helped to add to that one, and then I started a new one that’s going to be just stickers of different kinds. She gave me a hand adding the stickers where they were supposed to go. It was nice to have my little artist-in-residence help me with my projects. One day she won’t be in residence, and I will really miss her.
Part of the afternoon was spent hanging out on the porch swing in the backyard. Now we are unwinding some more and in a little while the babysitter will be here. My Friday night is free and I get to decide what to do with it.
Today we are locked inside by a blizzard. There has only been a couple of inches of snow fall, but the wind is really high which makes it a bigger storm. Part of our flagpole snapped off and broke. The wind is blowing so hard that the snowflakes can hardly fall to the ground because they keep being pushed sideways across the land. Angelica’s occupational therapy was canceled because the clinic was shut. She did her speech therapy in a video chat. I had an appointment up near Denver and I had to cancel it.
Craig is sleeping because he works a mid tonight. I’m trying to make the most of this day being shut-in. Truthfully I’m really grateful. I feel like I’ve been on the go so much and I’ve just gotten tired of it. There’s always an appointment or something to go to. Sometimes that’s nice, like earlier in the week I got to get the first massage I’ve had in ages. It was absolutely phenomenal. My body felt so good. I’m going to start going more regularly. Other times the speech therapy, tutoring, occupational therapy, psychiatrist, therapist, and all the other appointments really add up. I just want to recharge at home and have a clear schedule.
Earlier this afternoon I set up an art space on the dining room table for Angelica. She used acrylic ink, her watercolors, and alcohol ink to create some art. I think she had fun and it was good to get her using her creativity. Right now I have a TV show on for her. We lost power for a little bit, and now I’m afraid that the power could go out again at any time. I’m running appliances as much as I can. Laundry and dishes are running. I’ve been charging up my phone and charging up my Kindle, since if the power goes out again light will just get dimmer and dimmer and my Kindle will be the only thing I can read from. And then in between charging my phone and my Kindle I am recharging the charger that charges them. Charge. I just had to say that word one more time.
Anyways, I’m just trying to enjoy electricity as much as possible in case we don’t have it again. That probably won’t be an issue, but I want to make sure that everything chargeable is charged just in case, and that I’ve gotten as much housework as I can finished. That’s why I’m letting Angelica watch TV now. Usually I let her watch a little bit in the evening after a day of playing or making art. However, since it’s a possibility we might be sitting in a dark house later I’ve decided to put it on now.
Today was packed with homeschooling activities. Angelica had tutoring for English and for math. Things seem to be going really well with her teacher. Angelica is dyslexic, so learning to read and do numbers is not easy for her. She is making progress though, and I’ve been really happy with her tutor.
We also did a whole lot of science. We read about cloud formation. We talked about rainbows and the colors of light. We talked about earthquakes, and watched lots of videos of earthquakes. Angelica was impressed! She has also been watching a ton of educational videos from an illustrated Youtube series. I’ve got a playlist going right now and she is loving it.
If the day wasn’t so busy and I wasn’t so tired, we would do more. I read her a story and she thoroughly enjoyed that. If I can muster the energy I will read her another before bed.
This has been a crazy week between two speech appointments, an OT evaluation, and two tutoring sessions. To be fair, we usually have two speech appointments and at least two tutoring appointments. But add that to my own appointments this week and being down for the count on Thursday and things just feel dizzying.
I am so glad that Angelica seems to like homeschooling. I really enjoy teaching her and spending that time together. I would hate to send her off to some government school for 8 hours a day. I would rather be with her – and I can give her an education more suited to her needs at home.
The new year is here. I hope it will be a good one. A big focus for me in 2019 will be reading. I know that sounds silly since I read a fair bit anyway, but I want to make a conscious effort to dive in and really educate myself and stoke my imagination. How much can I learn this year?
Spending time with my husband is another major goal I have. I want to go on more dates. It isn’t that we don’t date; it is that we don’t date enough. Right now Craig is on a really awesome tour where he never deploys and seldom goes out of town. His hours allow him to be home with Angelica and I. I need to take advantage of this. His next tour could be a sea tour and he might be gone all the time. During the past few years before we came to Colorado I didn’t see Craig very much.
I want to rest and really focus on keeping my mental health strong. Bipolar is never easy, but by keeping my stress at a minimum, sleeping when I can, doing things that make me feel good, and asking for help when I need it, I can relieve some symptoms. When I am able to say yes to a social function I will, and when I feel like it is just too much I will say no. I do want to try and do more social things though. There are people I want to spend more time getting to know.
Welcome, 2019! I hope you will be good to me, and that I appreciate you. Time is such a gift.