Where I go from here

A couple of things happened this week that have made me think about this blog.

First off, my laptop died. I had put it in sleep mode before I left the house to go get my hair done on Tuesday evening, and when I got home a few hours later and went to turn it on, nothing happened. It went to sleep and just never woke up. Talk about a good way to go.

There are some things on the hard drive that I’m going to try to recover, but pretty much everything is gone. Luckily, most of our family photos are backed up on our external hard drive. But I had filled that up about 6 months ago and we have yet to buy a new one, so some pictures and videos are lost. I won’t really know what all is gone until I need something and realize it was on the old laptop. Oh well, it’s a tough lesson in backing up your files, I guess.

I had just begun looking into buying a new laptop when I started wondering how we’d afford a new one since it’s not really in the budget for a one-family income. Then yesterday, my old boss called and asked if I’d be interested in doing some work from home. $$$ Cha-ching!!! $$$

For 6 months. $$$$$$ CHA-CHING!!! $$$$$$

Yes, please.

Now the only thing I needed to figure out was how I’d do the work with the kids around. She wanted me to think about it and get back to her tomorrow with an idea of how many hours a week I could put in, and when I’d most likely be logging those hours. I started to think about how I could find reliable, low-cost childcare so that I could put in 2-3 hours a day of work and still rake in a decent hourly rate.  I immediately thought of my friend’s babysitter she uses a few hours each week and called her up to see if I could hire the highschooler too. She doesn’t see why it won’t work out. Their family is actually going on vacation for a few weeks so they won’t be able to keep her busy all summer, so this might just be the perfect situation for everyone. I’ll find out on Sunday if she’s interested since she’s on vacation this week with her family. If she’s up for the job, it could work out perfectly since her rate is right in line with what I wanted to pay and I know she’s qualified since she’s done a great job watching my friend’s kids who are the same ages as mine.

If the babysitter works out, this will help me with the issue of when to do the work because ideally I’d like to be able to do an activity with the kids in the morning or early evening, and get my work in around the lunch hour. That way, I’ll still be able to enjoy my summer with the kids, while not feeling like I’m missing out on much with them since my daughter will nap part of the time I’m working.

It’s all coming together a little too perfectly. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the babysitter is interested and available, and that my old boss will pay me what I’m going to ask for.

I’d like to try to keep my evenings free because that is when my husband and I have been doing P90x. We’ve been getting the kids to bed by 8/8:30pm and then putting in an hour {sometimes an hour & 1/2} of exercise for the past 9 days. It’s an intense commitment, but we’re both on board and are hoping to see some incredible results by the time we’re done. Nine days down, only eighty-one to go.

With all that has been going on, I’m wondering how I am going to continue blogging as much as I used to. I also keep a family blog, which I haven’t been able to update nearly as much as the grandparents would like lately. I feel like something has to give right now, and with work {hopefully} starting soon, it’s going to have to be this blog.

I’ve decided I’m going to stop doing link-ups for the time being, as much as I love them and it makes me sad to drop them right now, solely because they take me so much longer than jumping into my dashboard and writing a stream of consciousness. Instead, I’m going to use this space to journal what has been going on with my health and my life and my feelings because that is what’s going to work right now.

I created this blog as a place for me to write about my feelings, struggles, and triumphs as a wife and mom raising two small kids. A wife and mother who just happens to be Bipolar Type I. This blog was also developed to serve as a springboard to hopefully publish my memoir someday. I still want to accomplish that goal. I am a young woman living with a mental illness, but I do not feel limited by my diagnosis. I lead a very full, happy, creative, successful life and I want my story to be out there to give hope to other young women who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I believe I’m here for a reason. I hope my readers will continue to follow and check in on my blog here because I will continue to be a positive voice in the face of such a misunderstood and stigmatized condition.

Because my diagnosis doesn’t define me. It’s just a part of me that I have learned to live with.

The people and experiences of my life are what make me who I am.

And the journey will go on.

Brilliantly. Because that’s how I roll.

Secret Mommy-hood Confession Saturday

I am, quite easily, the world’s worst cook. And yet, I still try my darndest to do it because I’m a little embarrassed that my husband is ten million times better in the kitchen than I am.

Case in point: yesterday morning I went along my happy way, despite the fact that Little Man had woken me up at 5:45AM, looking up a recipe online for a whole wheat pancake mix from scratch since we were out of my favorite 7-grain mix that I usually use. Found a perfectly good recipe and set off about the kitchen, gathering up the ingredients I needed which we happened to have on hand.

Maybe it was due to being up at the ass-crack of dawn, but I doubt that I would have followed the recipe correctly if it had been 7am versus 6am. It called for 6 cups of whole wheat flour, 2 Tbs baking powder, 2 Tbs baking soda, 2 tsp salt and 1/3 cup sugar. I decided to half the recipe, measuring out only 3 cups of flour. I was letting Little Man help with the measuring, and we followed the rest of the recipe to a T, unfortunately for us.

When I took a bite of the first pancake off the griddle, I immediately knew what we had done wrong. Oops. Even with the amount of sugar for the full recipe, the double baking soda and powder was apparent. Nothing quite like bitter tasting pancakes first thing in the morning to wake up your taste buds. Bleck!

Thank goodness I had added a decent-sized handful of dark chocolate chips to each one before I flipped them over. Otherwise, I would have had to throw out the whole batch of 4 gigantic cakes that we had cooked up. I added more flour to the mix that remained, so that the early morning cooking effort wasn’t completely wasted.

My cooking tip of the day: chocolate just makes everything better. No matter how bad of a cook you may be. ;)

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Five Things Friday {3}

Here are the five things I’ve been loving this week:

  1. Spray sunscreen – For reals, yo. Whoever invented this stuff is a bazillionaire and is most deserving of the fortune he or she is {sun}bathing in. My daughter cannot stand to wear her sunhat, so I just hose her scalp down, in addition to the rest of her body, and she’s good to go. Her hair looks like a grease-pot, but who cares? Not like she’s trying to impress the 2-yr old boys at the pool, ya know? Let’s hope not, at least!

  2. Frozen grapes – I picked up this trick from Brandy at MannlyMama, and I am addicted! They taste like candy. So far we’ve only done red grapes, but I’m sure the green ones would be just as awesome. My kids love them at the pool, and it’s such a fun way to cool off with a healthy snack. I had also come across it on Pinterest, but not as toddler food. One pinner said to pop frozen grapes in your wine to keep it cold at a summer party. Genius!

  3. Julienne veggies – We joined a crop-share with a local farm this summer, and the past few boxes I’ve picked up have been full of yummy summer squash. I saw something a friend pinned on Pinterest, a simple photo of julienne veggies tied up neatly as a wedding reception appetizer, and I decided that slicing the squash in strips was a great way to cook them quickly. I chopped up a zucchini, a yellow squash and a couple of carrots, and cooked them in a teaspoon of olive oil and chopped garlic. Yes, they stuck to the pan a bit, and it took some good old elbow grease to scrub the brown gunk off, but I’m trying to use less {or no} oil in our cooking lately to reduce the fat in our diets, so it was worth the extra effort. It only took about 5 minutes to soften them up a bit, then I dressed them with fresh-squeezed lime juice, grated ginger, honey and soy sauce. Served over cooked quinoa, this was so yummy and easy!

  4. Fresh-picked fruit from the farm – we go out to the farm each week to pick up our box of produce, and while we’re there, we pick our bonus for the week. This week it was two pints of tart cherries, 1/2 pint of black raspberries, and a pint of blueberries. Even though it was 100-degrees, we ended up picking another 1/2 pint of black raspberries and two extra pints of blueberries because they are SO DELICIOUS {and a million times fresher and tastier than grocery store berries}. Baby girl was a superstar at sampling while I did the picking. I don’t think she even got one berry into the container because they always ended up in her mouth.

  5. P90x – the hubby and I have begun the journey. We’re only on Day 4, but already I can tell that it is going to have a major impact on our bodies. I have a Love/Hate relationship with it. Love how I feel afterwards, but Hate having to put the kids to bed then do an hour {or longer} DVD before I can finally go to bed.

    The kids and I are off to meet The Daddy at his work Family Fun Day today. Happy Friday friends!! TGIF!

WW: Daddy’s girl

This is the dance we shared on my wedding day, almost nine years ago. I chose the song “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle and my Daddy surprised me with a big screen playing a slide show DVD of images from my childhood up through college graduation. I choked back tears the whole time, but as hard as I tried to keep it together, I wasn’t able to make it through the dance with dry cheeks. It was the most special thing anyone has ever done for me.

I have always been a Daddy’s girl. And I will always be. I love my father fiercely. There is no one in this world who better understands me than my dad. Probably because I inherited my mother’s Type A personality and tendency to go from calm to super irritable and –  dare I say? – bitchy {sorry, Mom, but you know that’s how we get sometimes}  in mere seconds.

Anyway, when I first got sick, it rocked his world.

I know this because I have read his account of what happened when I had to be hospitalized.

I asked him to write it it down for me and as difficult it must have been for him to honor my request, to go back deep {because I’m fairly certain he had buried it away} in his memory and relive it, he did it.

It starts with, “How your world can change with a simple phone call.” and he goes on to document what happened on the night that I called him when he and my mom were at a dinner party with their friends, while I was going completely manic on the other end of the phone, over a thousand miles away.

I’m planning on including it in my memoir. I think it would be incredibly valuable, coming from a different perspective than just the person experiencing the episodes of bipolar disorder.

This is what is on my mind on this Wordless{ful} Wednesday. How much I love my father and how he means the world to me.

xoxo

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{Also linking up with Live and Love Outloud, The Paper Mama and Baby Baby Lemon!}