It feels like I've disappeared the last month. I stopped doing the book reviews for The Connected Child. (Though, I tell myself every week that I'm going to catch up!) I haven't been posting much at all. But I don't want to go into hiding. I got so much support when the girls were here. I don't want to lose that community.
I feel like I've been on something of a roller coaster. The girls left on November 6. That made me rather depressed. As a family, we cycled through some interesting behaviors as we began to heal. The girls were only in our home for eight weeks but they sure made an impact! At first we seemed to almost revel in the fact that the huge weight of unending stress was gone. Then, it seems, all three of my boys had to "try out" some of the behaviors the girls so readily displayed while they were here. It was almost like all three of them wanted to see what would happen if they acted that way. I had to learn how to not overreact (again). I found myself tightening up the minute something stressful would begin. I had to remind myself that just because an argument was going on didn't mean we were going to be in for hours of dysregulation. The boys had to learn that the rules hadn't changed.
After a couple weeks of healing, we began to get excited for the company that came to visit us over Thanksgiving. We were blessed to have my Mom, Dad, sister and her kids come for the holiday. It was positively wonderful.
Then, even more wonderfully, Mr. Amazing came back from his 3 1/2 week long work detail that had him all the way across the country from us. We had missed him and it was terrific to have him back home. He came home the day before Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, my stress level didn't dissipate completely. On the last day of my family's visit here, my dad suffered a TIA (mini stroke) while we were on our way home from South Padre Island. I was driving and watched it all happen in the front seat right next to me. At first I could see it in his face, though he wasn't saying anything. Something just didn't feel right. Then his speech got all mushy and hard to understand. Then he said, "Something's wrong." We pulled into the closest hospital and Dad was monitored. Thankfully he began to recover almost as quickly as the symptoms had started. So, just a couple hours later he was released and we went back home where they packed up that night. The next morning everyone took off for the 1255 mile drive back to Iowa.
I'm always depressed the day after my family leaves. I absolutely hate living so far away from everyone I know and love so deeply. The TIA didn't make things easier for me either! I was doubly depressed. My dad told me "goodbye" before he left. Not..."Goodbye, I'll see you soon." But "GOODBYE". It really messed me up in the head! (Thankfully he's agreed to talk to a therapist about his depression.) I know my dad is not well and isn't going to be here forever. But I'm not ready for goodbye just yet.
So, that was Monday last week. On Tuesday, Cherub 2 had surgery. Minor surgery (tubes in his ears)... but surgery nonetheless. I woke up at 3:30 that morning and never fell back asleep. Nothing is worse than being depressed and tired. Needless to say, I was a mess on Tuesday. I did try to take care of myself and went to bed just after 8:00 that night. Wednesday was better. I drug myself to Bible study and church and actually had a good time. I'm an extrovert by nature. I have to be around people if I'm going to snap out of my funks. Unfortunately, Mr. Amazing and I had a disagreement of epic proportions on Thursday. I was still pretty ticked off all day Friday. (Thankfully we kissed and made up!)
This weekend has been pretty good. I am bound and determined to NOT stay in a funk. I even managed to decorate for Christmas with the family and didn't get grumpy during the process. For me, that is progress. I don't do well with the putting up and taking down of decorations. I enjoy them enough once they're up. But I'm just not a fan of all the hassle.
Mr. Amazing went on a motorcycle fund raising ride for licensing agency. We are also members of the Christian Motorcycle Association and they take part in this big annual Christmas fund raiser for the Foundation every year. Yesterday they raised thousands of dollars plus collected many, many toys to donate to the foster children in our region. While at the party after the ride, Mr. Amazing got to talk to the director at our licensing location and the SW supervisor. He let them know that we're "ready" for our next child(ren). So, I'm back to having that pregnant sort of feeling.
The house is ready. All I have to do is put clean sheets on the beds. We've got room for up to three kids. Any age and sex BUT middle school girls. (We just don't need those hormones in the house with our middle school son.) We aren't ruling out anything. We're just going to wait to see what God orchestrates. It's quite a ride to be on.
Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Here we go....