Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A little perspective

Yesterday was an interesting day.

I did my grocery shopping while Edith was at school, and I was in a bit of a hurry. I'd left Martin home in bed, and I knew he wouldn't get up in time for work if I didn't wake him up.

I made it through Tesco in record time, and picked the checkout line with a mom and her young kid. I figured she'd be in a hurry.


She'd let her son open up a package of pies and eat one, and he'd ripped the bar code up. An employee had to go get a new one so they could scan it through. Then she finally got her total, and she didn't have enough money with her. So she had to take things out of her bags until she had enough cash to pay for her groceries.

I stood behind her, eyes on the clock, getting more and more frustrated. Then I remembered the lesson I'd taught the day before in Relief Society, "Consider the Blessings." And instead of getting angry about the delay, I remembered the times I was in the same situation. And instead of being mad, I felt blessed to have enough money that I was able to fill my shopping trolley up with the things our family needed and not worry about having to put stuff back at the till.

I started my counseling yesterday. It went well, I think. I got a little bit stressed out before my appointment, worrying that I was wasting time and NHS resources. I've managed just fine for all these years, and I wonder if I'm really that bad off. But when I spoke to Debbie (the clinical psychologist) and started opening up to her about things from my (slightly sordid) past, I could see her eyes filling with tears for me. And I knew I wasn't wasting her time, or mine. This is necessary for me. I need to talk about the things that I've kept hidden for so long. I need to understand, to come to terms with my past so that I can move forward.

The main thing that came out of yesterday's appointment is that I am going to go back on Prozac for a little while. The last few weeks have been really hard. I'm not losing my temper with the kids too much, though I have been slightly snappish. I've actually been, ugh, depressed. Like, hiding in my bedroom unable to get out of bed depressed. I wanted to be off the happy drugs, but I'm just not ready yet. The goal is still to not be dependent on chemicals for my happiness, but I need that extra help still. I don't want to go back to how I was before I started taking the meds. That was a bad situation.

Today was a better day, actually. Being stuck in the house has been driving me nuts, so I picked Edith up from school and took her shopping. I had gift vouchers for New Look that I got last year for Christmas, and I spent them. I got some new jeans, a lovely sweater dress, and some accessories. And I only spent £.98 of my own money. Edith is a great shopping buddy--she loves to try on shoes and necklaces. She loves to spend time with me. I hope that never changes.

Basically though, I just decided to have a better day. Sometimes, it really is a question of making that decision.

Kids being adorable...

Halloween pictures, for slackers like me...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why I wish I was back in Utah for Thanksgiving...

My dad sent this e-mail through a few days ago:

We are just putting the menu together, we still have a few holes to fill.
Ham- ?
Potatoes/gravy Neil/Sharlene
Rolls- Neil/Sharlene
Cranberries Neil/Sharlene
Green Salad- Velecia/Eric
Stuffing- Angie/Greg
Yams- Krystle/Blaine
Cheeseball- Neil Sharlene
Crackers- Krystle/Blaine
Fruit Salad- ?
Relish Tray- ShaNeil/Russell
Apple Pie- Angie/Greg
Deswert- Velecia/Eric
Pumpkin Pie- ?
Paper Products- ?

Here's my list:

Ham-Not enough people attending to necessitate
Rolls-not bothering, since father in law won't eat bread
Green Salad-what, in winter?
Stuffing-Jamie (home-made stovetop since Stouffer's isn't available in England)
Cheeseball-why bother? It's just dinner
Crackers-see above
Fruit Salad-crap, hadn't thought about that. Jamie? Might have to run to the shops!
Relish Tray-see cheeseball
Apple Pie-nope
Dessert-Jamie (pecan pie)
Pumpkin Pie-Jamie (once again, made from scratch as canned pumpkin is not available)
Paper Products-puhleeze! I will be doing all the dishes afterwards.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother, but then I remember that my children are half American, and I want them to celebrate that fact.

Happy Holidays, y'all!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Erm, yeah...

Nothing clever is coming to me, but I've been neglecting Gilbert's Fridge for so long now!

I guess I could talk about Edith--my little budding artist. She's started drawing instead of just scribbling. Her monsters are quite terrifying. Today she was drawing spiders for me. She drew a skull, too. She's amazingly good for a 3 year old, though perhaps a touch macabre. It's especially nice to see her takng an interest in drawing because Dylan was so NOT interested in writing or drawing. I hope she got a little bit of her mom and dad's artistic ability.

The kids and I did yoga together tonight. Nothing hard-core, just on Wii Fit. We did "Warrior" and "Tree," and they were both amazing. Then we did some hula-hooping, ski jumping, snowball fighting and bubble bursting. Dylan was sobbing that he didn't want to do it. He is so afraid of failure, and he freaks out when his little Mii is hurt or injured. I'm somewhat afraid that this will be crippling for him later in life, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I've filled holes in damaged plaster and touched up the paint in the front room. We need to hang some pictures and then the living room is as done as I want it to be. For now :) I'd really love to have the sofa re-upholstered, but that's probably not going to happen.

Christmas presents are going to take priority for a while, so the home improvements will have to wait. I'm still feeling fairly ambitions with the projects. Lost a BIT of momentum, but not too much. For instance, today I defrosted my fridge so I could repair the ice compartment. Which I did. With a golf tee, a rawl plug, a screw, and my own bare wit. Awesome!

Such a rock and roll lifestyle :)

Thursday, November 08, 2012


I spoke to the Poesis team today about my counselling. I have been referred to the care of a clinical psychologist. That was surprising to me. Apparently, the therapist I was seeing before didn't feel qualified enough to deal with my issues. Wow. I must be even more messed up than I thought.

It's funny how you just suck it up and get on with things for years without really noticing lots of stuff. Then you start to think about the past and really analyze it, and all of a sudden the weird things you do start to make sense. The strange moods become clear. The quirks become understandable.

Martin told me that I think too much, and that I should start doing puzzles.

Oh, I love my husband :)

So I will start seeing a shrink on the 26th of November. I'm actually really looking forward to it. I know it sounds crazy, but talking about all of the things that I've kept bottled up inside for all these years is amazing. It's like lancing a festering boil. All of this vile, poisonous crap is coming out. It leaves me feeling totally drained, but in a good way. Breaking my silence is so liberating.

Enough about me. Let's talk about my kids!

We had a parent teacher conference yesterday with Ms. Clayton, Dylan's teacher. It was really good. He is doing well in almost every single area. She had nothing but praise for his reading, spelling, and vocabulary. He is keeping up quite well in his maths, but she said that he's so advanced in his other areas that being average seems like he's behind. But he's not. The only area that he's struggling in is writing. He's keen, but his grip on his pen is weird. She showed us how he holds his pen, and he's writing like a lefty. But because he's right handed, it means he can't see what he's writing.

I asked how he was doing socially, and even that was a glowing report. Ms. Clayton said that Dylan is doing great socially. He is apparently very popular and always has friends to sit with and play with and is never lacking for a partner when they work in teams. AWESOME!

Edith helped me make bread and coleslaw today. That girl is going to be a fantastic cook when she grows up. She already knows all the ingredients that go into coleslaw. She's got such a good memory, and she is incredibly observant. She was really grumpy tonight, but her behavior has been much better lately. She's been sweet and kind more than she's been whiny.

In house news, I have nearly finished working on the bathroom. I have one small corner to plaster and paint, the ceiling to re-paint, and then that's it. Last night I patched some plaster and painted. This morning Martin helped me hang a few things on the walls. It's looking really good in there. I just need to get some new bath mats and a new shower curtain and the bathroom will be in great shape.

Martin got the extra door out front painted. There's just a bit of trim to paint white, some render to patch, and the hardware to fit. The front of the house is looking seriously good.

The DIY stuff is keeping me busy. It's such a good way of taking some control of my life. I can't make someone buy my house, but I CAN make sure it looks amazing and is more desirable to a potential buyer. Every time I work on the house, I feel like I'm taking a step closer to moving back to Utah!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

We did it!

We made it through the half term holidays without any melt downs.The kids started back to school on Monday. The house was so quiet after we dropped them off. Bliss.

The kids were actually really good. And we had a good time, all things considered. Helped enormously by my in-laws having them over on Friday night...

Dylan and I had a particularly awesome moment on Saturday. It was a hard day for me. I was having a hard time keeping it together,and we had errands to run. So I told Dylan and Edith that if they cleaned their bedroom I would give them 50p each to spend at the sweets stall on the market. I told them explicitly what needed to be done, then I cleaned the kitchen and left them to it.

Once the kitchen was cleaned, I went upstairs to check their work. And let me tell you, that bedroom was immaculate. So I called Dylan down, and he crept into the bedroom. He looked a little bit scared, so when I gave him a big hug and told him he had done an amazing job, his little face just lit up. I told him how proud of him I was, and how pleased I was with the job that he had done. And when I handed him his money, he looked so pleased with himself that he was about to burst!

It was a totally amazing parenting moment, and it shook me out of my 2 day depression. I felt that I must be doing something right, and that moment with Dylan helped me make it to Sunday (and Martin's day off) and then to Monday and the return of my child-free time.

Man, I love those kids. I hope I'm doing right by them!