COVID-19-Anxiety, Annoyance, Overwhelmed

In February we started to hear about this sickness at that time called Coronavirus but I know my family believed it could never affect us like it was in Asia. Good, bad, or ugly all of my diagnosis’s cause me to be more anxious and I’m a preparer in general so I started picking up a few things here in there in case things would change here. I never really stockpiled just picked up a few extra things. It became an ongoing joke with my daughter and husband because I would go to the grocery store and ask my family if Coronavirus came here and we were quarantined what would you want to have to eat or do. So yes I picked up some comfort items that we would have in the house if we would be stressing about going out.

In March, things became more real where cases were starting to appear and people were talking more about having to be quarantined. Grocery stores started to empty out too. I told my husband several times during this that it was great to be gluten free as the gluten filled breads and other items would be all gone but the gluten free areas would still be full. Still at this point I hadn’t hit the anxiety, annoyance, or just being plain overwhelmed.

The end of March our state decided to lock us all down. The Friday before this all happened we had made the executive decision to take our daughter out of school so that she could spend a day with a set of her grandparents. We weren’t sure what the future would bring and when the next time we would see them again or if we would even see them again. Who knew that Monday the governor would shut school down and change everything so dramatically. We are incredibly thankful that we did that though.

Now starts the phase of our life change. The first thing that happened with me was the fear/anxiety. I started to hear that people with PBC are higher risk (later learned that it depends on what stage you are in). We also started reading about what COVID does to the body and it scares me to no end. Its not just that we might end up with bad symptoms its that we might end up in the hospital when there aren’t enough doctors, hospital beds, etc. It leaves me sleepless. I worry that my husband and I are going to leave my daughter parentless. I worry that I’m going to lose my parents (one of whom has multiple health conditions that cause him to be higher risk). I worry that my daughter will get it and develop bad symptoms and end up in the hospital. I worry about what this is going to do to society as a whole.

With all this fear we as a family haven’t been into a grocery store since March. We have done pickups, thank goodness for instant cart and target pickup. I have made us all face masks and we have gloves. Yet with all of that we still go out and walk and live in a small town and you can tell most in our small town do not believe that this is a thing.

Now on to annoyance. So many things can cause annoyance depending on the moment. Politics in general are driving me crazy. I can’t even imagine opening things back up currently. I get people wanting to work since they have lost their jobs but is it worth losing your life or someone else life for it. If you can shelter in place for that much longer it may take the risk down a lot more but instead of our leader leading us like he should he’s encouraging other to protest people who are saying to shelter in place. I can’t imagine why our leader would do that its just ridiculous.

I love my daughter dearly but there is a reason we chose not to homeschool. Teachers are desperately trying to learn how to do this distance learning. Its going better then I thought but I do feel bad for my daughter as she is an only child and because we are higher risk she can’t even play with the neighbors. At least she gets to talk to friends online but us doing schooling at home and us entertaining her is getting old for her I’m sure.

One final annoyance, at the beginning of this gluten free shopping was getting easy. Now I’m having to shop at new stores and trying to learn what is gluten free. Also now companies who made great gluten free stuff are stopping that to make gluten stuff because everyone is hoarding stuff. Therefore finding gluten free stuff is getting harder.

Overwhelmed, that seems to describe my constant state now. I don’t know what to expect everyday when we wake up. I pray that we won’t catch it. I pray that government can make smart decisions and quit spending their time ripping each other apart. I pray I can control my anxiety so that my daughter doesn’t get scared. She’s definitely going to grow up in a different world. I pray we can get past this and somehow get back to some sort of normal. I basically am just trying to put one step in front of the other at this time.

Final Diagnosis, I hope-PBC

So after I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease my GI doctor decided to run the gamut of tests to see what was off in my body. We already knew my iron was off and so I got to go on iron for that but he attributed that to my celiac and my other issue (previous blog posts), but he also said other things could be off so why not test some more.

Can I just say I have never had any issues getting blood drawn. My mom hated getting her blood drawn as her veins always rolled but I never had an issue, oh wait spoke too soon. Sometime in the middle of all my diagnosis’s and blood draws my veins decided that they had enough and decided they were going to be stubborn. From there on out every time I went in the lab people would have to spend 10-15 minutes digging in my arms for veins and let me tell you not fun!

Anyways so my doctor noticed on my blood draw that my liver enzymes were slightly elevated and so he decided I needed a liver biopsy. That scared me a lot. I questioned him thoroughly because I had been on multiple medications that would impact my liver and so didn’t want to go through with it if it was just those medications. He pushed back and wanted me to have it and after much debate back and forth decided to go through with it.

Now I didn’t get a lot of information on what the biopsy would entail just was told to plan to be there with someone to drive me home after 4 hours. Needless to say my mind started right up on the anxiety. If you look things up online it makes it even worse… don’t!

By the time I got there for my biopsy I decided what will be will be and had shaken most of the fears away. They took me first to get blood drawn (yay!) and then I went back where I got an IV put in for getting something to slightly take the edge off. They then took me back to have the biopsy done. First before I tell you about the biopsy I will say I loved all of my doctors and they immediately put me at ease with the process.

That being said for me it was not a pain free process. The doctor who was doing the biopsy said for some they feel no pain at all and others its a bit more it just depends on how your body takes to the meds. Mine was lucky in that I felt it. They took 5 samples from me and on was fine but the others you could feel everything. It at least was a quick process and the doctor did his best to distract me. After they get done with that they then hold pressure on the area for 10-15 minutes to stop any bleeding and then you lay for a few hours after. They monitor your blood pressure every 15 minutes.Recovery was fine, I had a bit of discomfort that day but nothing like my surgery.

Then came the waiting game. They told me it would take 3 days to hear results. By 5 I still didn’t have any. Finally a week and a half in (I did get an update from the doctor telling me it was taking longer) I found out I had been diagnosed with early stage of PBC Primary Biliary Cirrhosis.

PBC is another auto immune disease (they run in groups). Basically my body is attacking my bile ducts. Slowly but surely my liver will get cirrhosis and need to get a transplant. This could take years and years though as it depends on the stage you are in when diagnosed and how well your body responds to medication. I am now on Urisidol capsules twice a day and I will be on them the rest of my life.

Some of the not so fun things about this disease is you can develop terrible itchiness, dry eyes, dry mouth, teeth issues, extreme fatigue, amongst others. Not everyone has every symptom. Me currently I only have some mild itching as the disease progresses though it could get worse. I’m doing my best to keep up with my family though and not let this diagnosis slow me down. I’m still in the try to accept this phase but hopefully I will get there.

How do you decide to Home school and still support your family?

My daughter is currently in Kindergarten at a great school.  She is doing good, not above average but keeping up with everyone.  Her class size is 24 kids which seems like a lot.  Lately I have been looking into homeschooling and what you need to be able to do to home school your child.  There are many things that make me contemplate homeschooling from, being able to set your own schedule, not necessarily having a huge summer break, controlling what your kids are exposed to/learn, etc.

The major thing that holds me back though is, how do you afford it?  I have been home with my daughter for 3 years and its been surprisingly easier on our budget then expected but its still not as easy as when I was working.  I’m concerned as I know we have some major expenses coming up that I don’t want to just ignore and so I’m torn.  Do most home school parents find jobs in the evenings?  How do you do it?

Next concern what happens come high school/college time.  I have a 4 year degree in accounting but I don’t know if that means I can teach her well enough to get through High School.

How do I know homeschooling if the right choice?

Pregnant after 35 is it worth the risks?

So my husband and I continuously talk about whether or not to have a second child.  we were blessed 5 years ago with a wonderful little girl and even though I wasn’t sure about it at first I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Since then we have halfheartedly tried for a second child.  Never going over the top with all the extreme methods to conceive.  I am now 35 and to be honest overweight (even though I battle it and exercise daily 🙁 ).  We started seriously talking about the fact that we both wouldn’t mind a second child.  I have read about the risks associated with having a child after 35 especially if you are overweight of course if you are even lucky enough to conceive.  It sounds like everything is stacked against you.  Is it worth risking everything including the child’s life to do it?

Trying to figure out what to do next

Do you ever just feel lost?  Right now everything is changing around me and I’m feeling very lost as to what to do next.  My dad got a job in Oklahoma in July and so has been living down there but my mom has been living up here while trying to sell their house.  All of us knew selling their house would be a challenge as they living in a dying town of 500 people and their house was built in the 1800’s.  We all felt horrible that my mom was playing the visit my dad and then come back up here but yet my family enjoyed that she was still here.  With her being here she still played a major role in my daughters life and in mine.  She was around if we needed a babysitter, if we needed help with anything, or just when there was a concert or something that we wanted her to attend.  Yes we were selfish but with her being the last family of mine to still be in Minnesota I wanted someone here.  I wanted someone here for holidays, for summer outings, for shopping with.  I’m not one who goes out and socializes easily and family has always been extremely important to me so I enjoyed having my parents nearby.  So anyways in December, they got 2 offers on the house, one with an inspection and one without.  They jumped on the one without and are now officially planning on moving January 24th.  I spent my last night visiting their house last weekend.  It was hard.

Now of course this makes me question a few things, we have been talking of moving for a while but have unfortunately been stuck in a house that had been underwater (bought it and then the bubble burst).  Do we move?  My husband is fortunate enough that he can work wherever he wants to but he never moved in his life until he got to college and has definitely never lived outside of Minnesota.  I on the other hand had moved every three years until I was in High School.  To me moving is exciting and expected.  To him moving is scary and doesn’t necessarily need to happen.    Plus then there’s the fact that his family is still here.  Unfortunately with his family we aren’t as close to them.  We don’t see them as often and when we do its usually just a day trip here and there.

Next there is the fact that I’m supposed to be getting a job here this year.  This scares me to no end as I have been staying home with our daughter for the past 3 years.  It doesn’t help that now I look at my family spread all over and I think of all the vacation days that will be spent visiting family versus doing our own thing or spent on a sick child, or school closed now that we don’t have someone who can come up.  I loved staying home with our daughter and am very sad to be thinking about it ending.  I look into Homeschooling her as I thoroughly enjoyed doing her preschool at home but there are so many questions about this that make me worried.

So many questions about things lately and nothing being decided.  I’m one who has to plan things and knows where things are going to go.  Quitting my job to stay home with my daughter was the first thing I did without having a back up.  It scared me but was so worthwhile.

Stay at home to working mom

So for the past 3 years I have been blessed in the fact that I got to stay at home with my daughter.  It was a very tough decision to come to originally as I was working hard at being an accountant and was definitely rising to the top but the question I kept coming back to was at what cost.  I was working probably around 50-55 hours in a 4 day week plus driving 45 minutes each way to work.  By the time I got home at the end of the day after starting at 5 AM I was exhausted and not much good to my family.  On the weekends I would stress about trying to get done those things that had been missed and then start stressing about my upcoming week at work.

To say the least I wasn’t very happy.

Then work started making some changes which pushed me to realize I needed to make some changes in my life.  I did and became the stay at home mom that I am today.  It has been 3 years and I don’t regret much about it.  The biggest fear now is the day that its time to go back to work.

Now that my daughter is in Kindergarten I have decided that I need to start thinking about next steps in my life and probably get a job.  Can I just say this terrifies me on so many levels?

First off I keep thinking that I need to go back into accounting as I was obviously good at it but after being away for 3 years can I still do it?

Second its going to be a huge adjustment on our family in so many ways.  I currently plan all of the meals and home cook most of them, I am hear when our daughter is sick and can’t go to school, I clean the house thoroughly, I research and plan things to do, and I help my parents who are currently having issues selling their house.  If I go back to work how do I balance all of that and a job.

I have time before I have to go back but I’m using some of that time to actually research what is out there.  Ideally would be staying at home and working from home but I’m not sure how to find a legit opportunity.  Stress!:)

Preschool at home- Not for the faint at heart

About a year ago this time, my husband and I decided that instead of sending our daughter to preschool in town that I would teach her from home. It was a very hard decision to come to as that meant all the pressure to have her ready for kindergarten rested on my shoulders. After much thought we decided it was best as that would still enable her to travel like we always do and experience real life learning that she wouldn’t get in a normal preschool setting.

Do I regret it? No. Is it easy? No. I am a person who considers this my job on top of the normal day to day such as budgeting, grocery shopping, household cleaning, etc. I sit down every week and try and figure out themes for the week, the letter of the week and activities, counting activities, shape activities among others. I gather most of my information from Pinterest and other websites. I spend a good chunk of time on the weekend researching, planning, printing, laminating, and cutting things out. There are times when I think why didn’t I pay someone else to do this? But then I see my daughter excited about a theme or an activity or proudly telling someone she does preschool at home and I have my reasons. She has learned so much in her time and I can proudly say I did that!

Now don’t get me wrong it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. She (and I if I’m honest) have those days where we don’t want to learn. Where I’m forcing her to sit and do something (such as practice writing right now) and it ends up in her melting down, but overall I would not change anything.

Every week we pick a theme and aim for 3-4 hours of preschool 4 days out of the week. We attend storytime at our library about every other week, do play dates, and are able to spend a week out of town without worrying about what she might be missing in school. I read somewhere that 75% of a child’s emotional well being is learned by the time they are 5. Do I want that taught by someone else or me?

Thanksgiving Turkey Shirts

A while back I was looking through pinterest, for ideas, when I stumbled upon this link:  I thought these shirts were adorable and decided since Thanksgiving was coming to attempt these (I’m not a great sewer, but I’m learning).  I decided to make one for my nephew Iestyn and one for my daughter, Lily.

I started out by trying to find brown shirts.  Do you know how hard it is to find plain brown shirts for a 9 month old and a 3 year old?  I finally found them at Wal-mart just plain brown turtlenecks for $3.88 not a bad deal.  I then basically followed the instructions on the link above with a few changes for my daughter, she had to have a purple feather as its her favorite color and the turkey needed a bow to identify itself as a girl:).  Total supplies cost under $20 for the two shirts together and it only took me less then 2 hours to complete both.  I have included my finalized shirts below.  Lily will be wearing hers on Thanksgiving with a purple tutu and Iestyn many miles away will also be wearing his.  I highly recommend this as it was so simple and the results are adorable.

Hyundai Car dealerships-Like Car not the dealer

So after much searching around several years ago to determine what brand new car I wanted to buy I bought a 2002 Hyundai Sonata.  I have like the car allot.  It had all the features at the time I was looking for and it was a reasonable price.  I have to say though I have decided I will never buy another Hyundai again.  The reason behind it is not due to the car again its due to the service centers.  After buying my car and moving I realized there are not alot of Hyundai service areas around.  Mind you I can get the oil changes and what not done whereever but whenever I needed something fixed by a the dealer it was a pain trying to get my car there.  Every service center I have taken it too has treated me because I’m a woman like I don’t know anything.  They have also had horrible service hours which are most car dealerships not just hyundai and that is more because we have to drive 45 mintues to get to the dealer.

The final straw though came on Saturday, we scheduled an appointment online to deal with a recall situation on my car.  We had tried the phone but always got put on hold forever.  In our online scheduling we asked how long the service would take.  My husband was told the oil change would take 40 minutes and the recall would take a couple of hours to a few days.  Mind you they got back to him about this the night before we were scheduled to take it in and at that point we had already waited several weeks to be able to get in.

My husband took my car in an they told him as he dropped it off there was no way it would be done until at least Monday.  Why they didn’t tell us that right away I don’t know.  So my husband asked if they had a loaner or even a rental vehicle.  They said that we had to schedule that out 3 weeks in advance.  They offered to let us reschedule but that would have meant waiting several weeks again.  Since this wasn’t the first bad experience but like the 5 or 6th I have to say even though I’m thinking of looking for a new car it won’t be a Hyundai!!!

Baby Clothes Sizes

We had a baby in August that was 6 pounds 13 ounces and had bought a variety of clothes for her.  Some we bought in newborn size, some in 0-3 months.  Newborn sizes state they fit babies 5-8 pounds and 0-3 month fit 8-12 pounds.  Some of the newborn outfits fit perfectly on her and some she drowned in.  I don’t understand how they can be so different but I suppose its like adult clothes.  She is now 6 weeks old and almost 9 pounds.  She fits in most newborn clothes now (a few are still too big) but definitely doesn’t fit into 0-3 month clothes.

I never know what size to buy her and its not like you are going to take her into a dressing room and try clothes on her.  I’m lucky to get into a store and out without her screaming.  The other thing I have noticed is that certain brands run bigger then others but yet I can’t even rely on that as certain outfits in a brand will fit and others won’t.  Its just amazing the differences.