Thursday, June 28, 2012

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur...

We have a new kitten. He's called Sid Vicious, and he is SO adorable.

After Patches died, we were all so sad. He was such a wonderful cat, and it took months to get over him. But the kids and I were finally ready to welcome a new cat to the house.

We picked Sid up and brought him home on Friday, and he's fitting in just fine. He's a fluffy little ball of black and white fur. He's incredibly playful, but very affectionate and cuddly for a tiny kitten. He's also very smart--found the litter box on the first try and is learning how to climb up on all the furniture. He's going to be a welcome addition to the family.

The kids are a little bit scared of him.

It's kind of funny :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flamborough Head

Dylan wanted rock pools, so we went to Flamborough Head up in Yorkshire. There are no rock pools in Lincolnshire--too sandy and flat for that. Amazing day!

Have I mentioned lately how beautiful I think England is?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Shhh, don't tell!

After nearly two years of almost constant exhaustion, I finally have my energy back. So what is my secret, you ask? A little pill, taken every night after dinner, called fluoxetine.

Yes, that's generic brand Prozac.

I have seriously been struggling with nearly debilitating exhaustion for that long. Combined with the most horrific mood swings and explosions of anger I've ever experienced (and I've even been on fertility drugs!), life has really been difficult. For everyone in the family!

For some reason, I never put the two symptoms together in my mind. It wasn't until the whole situation with the neighbors that I cottoned on to the fact that I was actually pretty depressed and needed to seek professional help. So thanks, J., for bringing that to my attention. I started taking the fluoxetine about 10 days ago.

A few nights ago, I realized that the medication was starting to work. I'd spent the night mostly alone, and it wasn't a particularly easy night. Edith was difficult at bedtime, as she has been for about 6 weeks now, and I just watched a few programs on telly by myself. But as I walked to the bathroom to start my skin and dental cleansing regimen, I realized something. I was content. Like, properly content. For the first time in longer than I care to admit. And apparently, I won't even feel the full benefit of it for 4-6 weeks.

So how do I feel about going on anti-depressants?





Obviously, there can be some pretty nasty side-effects from going on SSRI's. It's a concern. I've already experienced two days of horrific side effects that I'll not go into on a public forum. But I should only be on the meds for a maximum of about 5 months, and so far, the benefits outweigh the risks.

I'll be combining the medication with some form of talking therapy, as well. I have a mental health counsellor named Will, who I really like because he is a) super nice and b) Scottish, so he says things like "lassie" and "can'ny." And he's helping me realize that needing a little bit of help is nothing to be embarrassed about. We've only met once, but he pointed out a lot of things to me that I'd not realized before.

Mostly, he made me see that my life IS actually pretty stressful, even though I am a full-time mommy and housewife. The way he described my life to me was a bit of a revelation. And it's not so much stress in the stereotypical sense of the word. More isolation and powerlessness. And I am a control freak, so being helpless IS stressful.

I guess the feelings of shame about my depression and needing the medication stem from a belief that I actually have it much better than so many other people. I feel like I ought to be able to cope with my life, and that my failure to do so is a major character flaw. I'm so privileged to have my life, and not being happy with it seems like self-indulgent nonsense. But what it all comes down to, in the end, is a chemical imbalance and/or deficiency in my brain. And if medication corrects that deficiency, then why shouldn't I take it?

The relief is by far the most overwhelming emotion I am experiencing right now. I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel like I can start to trust myself with my children again. I feel emotionally stable for the first time in years. I feel like I can breathe.

And I feel like getting out of bed in the morning again, which feels like nothing short of a miracle.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Fun Day...




Almost like a day at the beach.

Fun for the Jubilee...

Christine's company had a "fun day" for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and she invited us to go along. It really was a fun day, too. Long, but fun.

Dinner at Nanna and Grandad's

We finally got a new camera!

One of the few sunny days of the school holidays, spent at the Humber Bridge Viewing Area. Amazing day!

Monday, June 04, 2012


Every summer we would go out camping at Palisades State Park. Well, every year after my sisters and I started demanding we go camping somewhere with electricity and hot showers. And MAN, I have good memories of that place.

Camping with my family was like a military operation. Mom would be in charge of packing up the tent trailer. Dad would be in charge of loading up the boats and life jackets. Mom did the grocery shopping. Dad was the menu consultant. My sisters and I were responsible for packing our own bags, but we never ended up bringing what we wanted to bring. Mom would go through our bags and take out anything that she thought was "too nice" for camping, and make us take horrible old clothes that we hated.

Mom, dad, and the younger sisters would sleep in the tent trailer. Velecia, Angie, and I would sleep in the tent together. I still remember how slick it was, setting up and taking down our camp. We could get it done in about 20 minutes flat, because we all worked together as a team. And once we were set up, the fun began.

There were geese at Palisades, and they were pretty aggressive. There were also very cool trees, which grew at 45 degree angles to the ground. The geese chased us up those trees more than once when we ran out of bread to feed them.

But the best part of camping at Palisades was the floating dock in the middle of the reservoir. We would swim out to it (with life jackets, unless mom wasn't looking) and then sun-worship for all we were worth. We'd lay out on that dock until we were bone dry and toasty warm, then dive into the water to cool off. And start all over again.

Oh, the epic sunburns that resulted!

I remember one year Angie got so sunburned that her skin actually looked purple. And we had school pictures like three days after we got home.

Ok, so I know it was totally irresponsible of us to tan that much. Laying out was just so nice and relaxing. Mom warned us that we weren't doing our skin any good, but we were all so obsessed with having a good tan. And Palisades State Park definitely gave us that!