Category: Family Life

New Year Update!

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve neglected my blog for the last several months. So much has happened that I couldn’t possibly blog about it all. It turns out my son is not bi-polar and we also ruled out several other disorders. Apparently he is now considered PDD (pervasive development disorder), and he does have Sensory Integration Disorder. He is doing much better since his doctor put him on Intuitive. He’s on 3mg daily which has really helped with his anxieties and behavior.

I finally did something about my anxieties in October. I was so ashamed to admit how anxiety ridden I was to my friends and family. A couple of close friends strongly suggested I get on a medicine like Lexapro to help me. I agreed to talk to my doctor and she put me on Zoloft which I’ve been since October. What a difference it has made in my life. I felt so much better after the second week and the worst side effect was being drowsy. A month later that has pretty much went away. I am now in control and have conquered all of the anxieties I was experiencing plus I was able to help my son. I feel like a new woman and like my old self before all this started. I lost my youngest son to Spinal Muscular Atrophy and he was 5 months old when he earned his wings. We decided to stop having more children since it was possible for it occur in the next baby. We had our oldest which is more than many couples. I would have panic attacks in his final weeks and they continued for a few more weeks. It started with one fear that multiplied to several more over the next few years. I kept telling myself it was ok and that I could handle it. But I really couldn’t and became a person who hated leaving the house. I would also stress about having to travel. It was controlling my life, and I even went to therapy which helped some, but the medicine was what I really needed. I’m just glad I stopped ignoring the problem and got the help I desperately needed. My life is so much better, and I love driving again. I enjoy getting out again.

I also started losing weight at the same time. I had really let myself go after I lost our baby. I became depressed and eating was how I comforted myself. I was gaining weight before kids, but I really packed it on after kids. I will write another post about my weight loss journey that I am still on, but I just wanted to write a little about what I’ve been doing the last few months. I plan to write about how eating healthy doesn’t have to be so expensive. I am getting healthier again and exercising daily. It feels good to take care of me first so I can take care of my family. As women we always neglect ourselves and put everyone else first. How can we help others if we don’t help ourselves first? Many of us are also trying to be super woman by doing it all. I can’t and I am no longer ashamed to ask for help when I need it. I enjoy getting some alone time to pamper myself or just go in my bedroom to read quietly. My family knows the rule that when I’m in my bedroom with the door closed it’s my time. If you aren’t bleeding, on fire, or dying then don’t bother me.

Check Out Savings from the Library!

library-savings

Your local public library is your best way of saving a lot of money. A library card is free (just don’t lose it). Since I am living in a rural town, then it really saves me a lot of money in gas since I can do more than just check out books. They have lots of services and many times have clubs that meet. My library also offers classes on different things and not to mention the great kid related activities. Summer reading programs are very popular and many offer rewards for your kids to read. Check with your local branch to see what they offer. With your library card you can check out savings!

FAX/PRINT: I can pay a small fee to have items faxed, sent to me, or print/copy. It’s much cheaper than many places including grocery stores and the post office.

FREE Computers: If I need it, then I can get on the computers for free. Mine has a time of 1 hour per patron as they only have 3 computers. Many times the bigger libraries offer more so no time limit.

FREE DVD RENTALS: I can rent DVD movies and many are new releases! I find a great selection of movies, how to videos, seasons of tv shows, and kid’s movies/cartoons! My library gives me 1 week and the other one 2-3 weeks rental.

FREE Magazines/Newspapers: I can read many of the current magazines for free and my newspaper. They also give me the coupon inserts since they don’t want them. I have also been given older back copies for free as they would just trash them. Handyman magazine is great as diy tips last for years.

Story Time/Kid’s Activities: On weekends and in the summer, they have story time and crafts for the kids. My son loves participating in the summer reading program. Each child receives a free small cheese pizza to a pizza shop for participating. They also get entered into a drawing. He won the grand prize this year which was a $15 gift card to Wal-Mart! If you don’t go to your library then it’s time you check it out.

Naturally you can check out books. Of course libraries can also offer free classes on computers and other things. You just never know what you will discover at the library!

My Unexplained Absence

I do want to apologize for not writing for the last 3 months. So much has been happening in my life that I just didn’t make this blog a priority. I was going to go back to work full-time, but my son had other ideas. I don’t want to get into all the details, but it’s been a very long and stressful time for us. We thought he was ADHD, but had him evaluated with a Pediatric Psychiatrist to find it he is actually Bipolar. I never felt he was truly ADHD, and some scary events took place that really made me question it. I’m glad I did since we took him off stimulants and he has been on a new medicine. His anxiety levels were extremely high which the stimulants contributed it to greatly. It hasn’t been a miracle, but I finally feel we are on the right path. Between the new medicine and therapy we are seeing some improvements and he sleeps and eats so much better now. I have been putting all my attention on him and I’m continuing to stay at home which is where I’m needed for now. I have many years to go back to work so I’m no longer stressing about it. I am going to slowly start getting back to my blog as it’s a nice release, and I could really use to make some extra money.

Furry Visitors

My hubby and I went outside yesterday evening to water our plants in the garden. We noticed a cute little bunny eating grass in the yard right outside the carport. It was about 3 feet from the house, and barely flinched as my husband walked near it to take pictures. It’s a very bold bunny, but his friend was more timid since he hopped near the cane fields. They aren’t eating my plants but I only have cantaloupe and watermelon growing at the moment. They do the like the shade my fig tree offers them since I frequently see one sitting underneath it. I just thought it was so cute that I wanted to share the pictures we took. The rabbits are perfectly safe from us since we don’t eat rabbit.

Know Your Three R’s

No this isn’t a post about Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Instead this is a post regarding the environment. Today is Earth Day and everyone should be practicing the Three R’s. Most people know they are Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. It’s ironic that the generations before us practiced this daily, and it’s only in the last century that we have become so wasteful of our resources. There are many ways we can practice them daily and teach them to our children. There are actually too many ways to list them all but I will discuss each one with some examples. Being frugal or thrifty goes hand in hand with the Three R’s. You help the environment while helping your pocket book. It’s a great combination.

Reduce: Think more about your purchases. There are many items we buy in our lives that we don’t really need. Instead of stopping daily for a cup of coffee, how about making your own. You can put it in a commuter mug or thermos which helps to cut down on those cups. So less trash in the landfills. Stop buying bottled water. This is a major landfill contributor. I have a water filter which is more expensive upfront, but I am definitely saving more money yearly. Many bottled water companies aren’t selling you pure spring water. It’s just tap water so do some research. Stop using throwaway dishes and utensils. Start using dishes that can be washed and reused over time. Stop using paper napkins and switch to cloth. I just throw mine in the load of towels and doesn’t cost me any extra in water or energy. You can buy less convenience foods which create more trash and aren’t good for you. Use ingredients that can do double duty. I buy vinegar and baking soda which can clean my house, my laundry, cooking, and so much more. Instead of having to buy several cleaners for each job, I make a general cleaner that can do all those jobs and only paid for 2 ingredients. I also feel good about using them in my home around my son. No toxic ingredients going down the drain plus no harmful fumes.

Reuse: This is a harder one for some people. Don’t use paper napkins and throwaway dishes but use ones that can be washed. Not using those items are both great examples of reducing and reusing. Packaging isn’t always made in a way that could be reused like flour sacks. They used to be made with a material that could be reused into clothing. There are still ways to reuse like vegetable and fruit peelings. These can be put into a compost pile or just chop them up smaller and use as mulch around your outside plants. This can also be done with tea bags, coffee grinds, and egg shells. Most non-meat food scraps can go into a compost pile. This is good for the plants and less trash. Compost makes the most wonderful soil which adds the needed nutrients that plants need. You can also rake up leaves to add to the pile or bag them up and let them rot. They make wonderful mulch. I actually rake them up in the fall and let them rot on top of garden during the winter. The soil looks wonderful when Spring rolls around. Clothes or socks that are full of holes can be used as cleaning rags. A sock makes a great dusting mitt. Old towels also make great rags. I take my son’s school pants or jeans and will turn them into shorts, which extends the life of his clothes, plus saves me lots of money. I’ve also done this with a favorite shirt or pair of pajamas.

Recycle: This is the one that we hear about on a daily basis. This is a very important one, but if more people practiced the first two, then there would be less to recycle. Plastic, paper, cans, and glass bottles are all items that can be recycled. You can also recycle your ink cartridges and electronic batteries like cell phones and laptops. My school participates in recycling them and get a small amount of money for each one collected. The CFL bulbs have to be disposed at certain locations since they contain mercury which shouldn’t be in a landfill. You can also donate your used items instead of putting them in the trash. It will help others and you may elect to take a tax deduction. There is also a great website called Freecycle.org to help you find items and donate your used items. Check the website to find a local chapter near you. We all need to work together to preserve our wonderful Earth for our children and future generations.

A Frightening Experience


We have gotten a lot of severe weather late last week. On Thursday night, we were hit by a tornado! This is rare for South Louisiana unless it’s associated with a hurricane or severe weather. It still doesn’t happen that often with most thunderstorms. This was my first experience with a tornado and hoping my last. This was definitely one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced. It’s even scarier since we don’t have basements or cellars, because of the sea level, and the ground is too soft to support one.

It was late Thursday night before it happened. We had a line that just passed, and I was watching the Weather Channel to get updates. I was waiting for the second line to pass, and they just dropped the warning for my area. Not even 10 minutes later, close to midnight, I got in my bed just waiting for the impending bad weather. Suddenly I could hear a whooshing sound outside the windows. It didn’t sound like a train to me, but more like a strong rush of wind. I could tell it wasn’t wind either and I had a bad feeling wash over me. I shook my husband awake frantically asking what was that noise. Of course he was trying to wake up and asking me what noise. I asked him again louder what’s that noise and it sounds like a very loud gust of wind coming. I knew it wasn’t wind in the normal sense but something else. As he listened, his eyes grew large and his face turned pale. I knew what it was when I saw his face. He commanded me to get in the hallway with our son. He was already in our room laying on a sleeping bag. I grabbed him and ran into the interior closet we have in our hallway. My husband grabbed the flashlight and braced the door from the outside. The house was shaking and you can feel the pressure being sucked out. It didn’t last long and probably passed in less than a minute, but it seemed like it took much longer. Of course we lost electricity, and it took a few hours to get it restored since it hit right before the rain and lightening passed.

We had so much adrenaline pumping through our bodies, that we couldn’t fall asleep until almost 3AM on Friday morning. We were very lucky that nothing serious happened and we are all safe. I won’t lie in saying that I was very frightened, though I was trying to put on a brave face for my son. I am glad that I had all those drills at school when I was a kid. I knew what to do when faced with one. The yard was littered with metal from roofs, awning, and buildings from neighbors. None of it was for us since we don’t have any metal structures. My porch took a beating with screens torn and some of the wooden slats were knocked down. My garage and shed also took a beating along with some shingles pulled off my roof. I didn’t lose a single one after Gustav. It did a lot of isolated damage and more than any hurricane has ever done. I’m sure this was a small one so I can’t even imagine how much damage a large one would cause. My neighbor received more damage than we did. Her neighbor lost their carport (metal) and it was thrown at her house. It mostly broke a window and pulled the window casing out, along with some roof damage, her house is intact. My house also has siding that was cracked from debris hitting the house. We also had metal hanging in our trees. My yard has large and deep gashes from debris hitting the ground. I have never seen that kind of damage done after a hurricane. I also had some damage done to our cars. I have pictures of the damage done, but again we are all safe.


Feeling Overwhelmed with Vacation Plans

I posted earlier that we are going to Walt Disney World for a family vacation this year. The closer we approach our departure date, I must admit I’m feeling overwhelmed with the planning process. We are staying on grounds at the Port of Orleans French Quarter resort. With the current buy 4 nights and get 3 free promotion, we were able to stay at the more expensive resort for only a couple hundred more than a value. We are also getting 7 base Magic Your Way tickets for all 3 of us. This is a fantastic deal considering last year we would have spent almost as much for only 5 days at Pop Century in a standard room with base tickets for only 4 days. We are also going to fly and use the Magic Express service Disney offers.

This was the easy part for me. Now I’m getting overwhelmed with all the smaller details of making a daily ternary for each park. Not to mention, I need to figure out which day we will be going to the parks. I am finding all of this extremely stressful. I do have a couple of books and maps of the parks that a friend of mine is letting me use. I also frequent the DIS discussion boards which has been very helpful. I do love organizing and planning, but I find this process to be intimidating. I decided to just take it one step at a time with which rides we want to do, and which we don’t care about. We are planning on spending 2 days at Magic Kingdom since it’s so big and has the majority of the rides on our list. Luckily we are mostly eating at counter service places so I don’t have to worry about making reservations. We are definitely planning to eat at the T-Rex restaurant. My son is so excited and hitting the Lego store is also on the top of must do list at Disney. If anyone has any great tips, then I am definitely all ears (no pun intended).