Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Gears are turning again, but still wonkily

Hope I didn’t make you guys nervous skipping a post last week.
I’m ok. It was just a busy week.

Emotionally I’m in a two pronged place. I’m working on getting back into life again, and I have moments where that’s working and moments where that’s not. Even when things go really poorly, I still feel proud of myself for making the effort.

For one example: I’ve started trying to get to the gym and swim laps again. One day last week I had an anxiety attack moment I was not anticipating. I had been doing a lot better with my grief panic recently, it hadn’t come up randomly for a bit, just during kind of predicable “this is sad” moments. So when it happened in the pool of all places I was pretty freaked out. Of course it happened in the deep end. And while I was no where near actual risk of drowning, the anxiety sure tried to tell me I was. I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I initially wanted to run away and go home to where it was safe, and where I couldn’t drown. But I was also really scared that if I did that, I would never get back into the pool again.
So I let myself stand at the shallow end of the pool for a really long time (feeling awkward in front of the life guard -- I was the only person there that time.) Until I felt under control, and tried a lap. It still felt scary and bad. So I waited at the end again till I could get back in control. Then the next lap I sang a worship song in my head that helped me feel less scared. And that helped a lot. Eventually I was able to finish my allotted amount of workout time without the panic feelings.

So while I was so not excited about having an anxiety attack in a pool. I was proud of myself #1 for getting my butt to the pool. And #2 for not giving up, even though that was literally the hardest workout of my life -- not physically, but still physically -- confusing, but that’s life right now.
That’s just one example -- but the good but bad stuff is pretty much how everything is.
I’m kind of in a constant fumble, that I’m just trying to aim in the right direction.

I feel like a lot has happened since I wrote last, and that I can’t even think of it all.

Well in regards to stuff like the pool (aka being healthy again) -- a friend and I have decided to inspire each other to get back into better shape. We are going to do the Mutu program (not 100% the way the creator lady wants us to, but the best we can) together. (Remember that Mutu program? I bought it at the end of my pregnancy to help heal my ab seperation. Yeah I’m just getting to it now. Better late than never!) This is day two. And sounds silly, but I can already tell it’s gonna work.
I tried starting it before now. But I didn’t do more than two days of it. Emotions and circumstances kept me away till now. But when I tried before, I was so early post-pregnant that I still couldn’t feel my ab muscles at all. The workout felt like nothing. NOTHING. This time around though, my abs REALLY feel it, immediately, as soon as I start the exercise. Which I think means good things. Honestly the morning after the first day, when I saw myself in the mirror I thought my belly looked different. Not different enough for anyone else to tell anything. But I could tell my muscles were activating, so that stuff was just slightly different. Particularly where my underwear line is -- that spot I've always look at since having kids (c-section primed me for that) and after this baby it’s not done what it did after the others and it’s been bugging me.  This morning it looked a lot more like I’m used to pre-this pregnancy. Once again, only I would notice, my belly is not flattened, it’s just moving back towards my normal…BUT….I wasn’t expecting that at all yet -- it actually made me really excited. Helps me want to keep going for sure!
And doing these workouts and the swimming is thankfully having the grounding effect I’m used to from workouts (pre-this last pregnancy -- when working out actually was horrific and then afterwards it has most traumatic stress involved.) So I’m loving that my body will let me have those endorphins again -- they really do help me emotionally.

What eles have I been up to?

I’ve been looking into tons of school stuff for my oldest’s first grade stuff. (I got on a mental role after looking into her math and reading stuff I talked about before. So I just rode the wave, planning out her next year.) I ordered a few books and am tentatively getting a game plan together. I’ll probably share more about it later. But for anyone who’s homeschooly -- I’m kinda of planning a toned down Charlotte Mason schedule, but only using some of SimplyCharlottMason’s book suggestions, and then borrowing from Sonlight’s book selections. But I’m actually really enjoying tailoring our own curriculum per our personalities. I thought it would feel scary, but it’s actually really empowering for me.

Speaking of school stuff. The switches I made a bit ago -- going SO WELL. Jasmine loves each book I bought. The first singapore math books are starting out too easy -- but she seriously LOVES them. And even though it’s easy, she needs some reinforcement on writing her numbers, they can look wonky kind of regularly, so it’s good practice in that regard. But she keeps asking when we are going to do “math” -- like so far it’s so easy she doesn’t think it’s actually math. ha -- oh well. It’s still good.
      And the explode the code, she resists marginally when I say it’s time to do them -- but I think it’s mainly because she feels she has to resist since she thinks she doesn’t like reading. But she actually enjoys the workbooks, they are as similar to the math books as you can get without it being numbers. And I can tell they are really turning her gears the way they need to be.
      And the Bob Books -- those are SO GREAT. She was able to read the first one the first day. And that just blew her mind and made her love it. (Reading anything before made her cry. Having her love the books is soo sweet.) I think I just read it to her the first time through. I wanted it to feel fun and zero pressure. This kid takes the slightest whiff of pressure and lets it kill her. So I just read it to her like a story and then she asked to read it and it went so well.
We got through about three books before she kinda stressed out, so then I just pulled back. We either didn’t read for a bit or we go back and read the easy ones again. We’ll work up to it. With her, she just needs to feel safe from disappointing me -- she hates failing. I tell her regularly I won’t be up set if she gets it wrong and that I will love her no matter what -- but the struggle is real. So I’d rather her go at a speed that keep her heart in tact, than rush her and get her reading but sad. Today she read the first one to Bronson and was just thrilled beyond anything to be being a big sister reading to her baby brother. She just was elated.
But all that just goes to say -- I’m really happy I switched what we were doing to these new books. It’s been a super sweet switch. And we are still reading the library books suggested by our last curriculum.I really like their choices. (Actually the books we read today were all so sweet they made me cry. I’m probably going to drive my kids nuts -- reading out loud makes me cry regularly, I can’t help it, the beauty of life just bowls me over when I read so many things. And that’s me outside of, and prior to grief. So far they put up with me. But I can hear their future selves -- “moooo--ooomm!” getting pre-teen-y with my weepy ways. ha!)


Anyway, enough school stuff --

In our house we’ve started the gears moving on some bigger (and some not big, but lingering) projects again.


We got the baseboards put in the reading room! Woohoo! That feels fantastic. The room never felt finished before -- without baseboards rooms feel under construction. The baseboards still need to have the nail holes filled and the paint touched up. But the difference in the room is great.


Also….

 Two weekends ago, we started working on the tiny closet transformation idea I came up with a long while ago.
It started out long ago (before our time) as a back door, then once the addition was put on that space became this tiny flat closet that must have held VHS tapes. (Picture with door off. It used to be behind a bi-fold I painted white.)

I had no purpose at all for it. (Our DVDs have a home.) So eventually I landed on a picture of a similar sized “mud room” space that I wanted to emulate. Similar but our own.


I knew it was be a sort of small but sort of big project. But then we, of course ran into some unexpected issues (Nothing terrible, just frustrating and time consuming) and so it’s kind of at an ugly standstill for the moment.  Here a picture where the bead board is just propped up in there.


What’s both great and terrible about having started on that is that we put up our sunroom’s ceiling this past weekend!
(Keep reading to see what I mean -- great and terrible.)

Blake’s parents came to town last weekend to help us install the drywall. 


Our brother in law is a contractor so he lent us a drywall jack for the day to get it all up there. I wasn’t part of the installation process, but I got the impression from the times I was near that, as far as drywall jacks go, this thing was a bit wonky, but I also know it was awesome to have something get the drywall up there.  (I didn’t get a picture of it in use -- it’s the yellow thing in back you can barely see.)

The room already feels amazing compared to how it felt for the past many months with either just bare joists, or the brown back of insulation staring at us. 
It immediately made the room feel enormous, having the ceiling back on.

So here’s the meh part.
The sunroom was full of junk. So we moved the junk to the living room for the time being, so we could have space to do the sunroom work.
 So now the living room is a wreck and not really usable. (The picture looks tame -- but there’s way more behind the piano)

And we are thinking “let’s just leave it in the living room till the ceiling is muded and sanded. So we don’t get our stuff nasty with drywall dust.” (Much of this stuff is destined for a garage sale in May, with no great place for it till then.)
But that’s not like something we can just knock out in a day -- I have three kids (one’s a baby!) Blake has a job, which often requires work to be done once he is home.
He’s gotten a decent amount mudded here and there so far -- which is awesome. But it’s kinda hard for me to have three rooms feeling taken apart at once right now. (Sunroom, living room, and family room has that closet taken apart.) I feel kind of lost on which on to prioritize because I don’t know which will move faster, or which will impact more of my life. (The living room is worse off, and getting the sunroom’s ceiling done with make two rooms better at once. BUT the family room is where we spend like 80% of our time currently.)

Either way, I’m really happy we are making the changes. I’m just trying not to let anxiety over the mess bust into the general anxiety issues I’m having overall.


But hey, speaking of my sunroom…do any of you have a three seasons room? Can you tell me about your furniture in there?
I’m trying to make plans about the space and I’m worried that “real” furniture will get moldy out there where there is no A/C. And while we have electric heaters in the space, we rarely use them.
We do have a dehumidifier we could run out there. It’s possible to run it through a timer to make it go on regularly. So maybe that’s all we’d need to do.
But I can’t do my design-idea-ing without understand the situation.
I keep wondering if I need indoor-outdoor furniture in there or not.
Can any of you weigh in on this?


We don’t have hardwood floors in there. But this picture is kind of my general design vibe I’m leaning towards. 

Painting the wood boards this type of color. (Over time I had tried to commit to keeping the cedar wood bare, but a few things make that not really possible. So painting is the plan.)
But I think this color will feel so nice in any season, and very naturey -- which is how I want to space to feel -- like I’m outside, but inside.

I’m liking the fan in the photo too. But we need one with lights on it. So I’m looking at similarish ones with lights.

The furniture layout through -- lost. I basically want more introvert haven out there. Places to read and snuggle and stare out the windows. But also a table to play games at or eat dinner off the grill (inside away from bugs -- but with the windows open so it feels like outside.) But exactly how to execute is kind of baffeling. I once again need to know if I should be using indoor outdoor or not.
So please share your experiences with any of that.

I know there’s more stuff I’ve missed I could share. But that’s good for now. I can catch you up more later when more comes to mind.

2 comments:

  1. Good for you going to the pool and toughing it out! :-)

    As far as the sunroom, I love the vibe in the picture you posted. I think I would go with mostly indoor-outdoor furniture both to keep up with the nature-y feel and because I would be nervous about summer humidity ruining normal things. I don't know how well-founded that fear is, but I am a major mold-a-phobe. Things like tables could probably be more normal indoors stuff with a rustic look/finish, but any cushions, pillows, or fabrics I would go with indoor-outdoor stuff. Just my two cents :-) Can't wait to see what you do with it! The drywall on the ceiling alone has already got it off to a great start!

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