Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Facing our fears...

***For those of you tired of my posts lately, just move on... This is the only place I have to vent- and it's become my journal & family record- so just know, this is 100% for me and my sanity. Writing is therapy for my crazy soul. If you are looking to be entertained, you have come to the wrong place my friends- this is just my rambling so I can clear my mind and try to sleep a little at night. ***

I was watching Anderson Cooper today, which I love, and it was all about facing your fears. I was glued and hooked within seconds as the show started because, right now in this very moment- I am living one of my biggest fears. The Dr on the show talked about surrendering, and my heart stopped and the tears began to fall. I listened as Anderson talked about in his moments of fear- he pictures the scene from Dances with Wolves, where Kevin Costner is riding his horse with his arms spread and his head back- completely letting go, or surrendering. I stopped, because there was my answer.
For 3 weeks now I've been begging God to reveal the lesson in all of this madness. So many times I cried out, "Just hurry up and show me what I'm supposed to learn so I can learn it and move on to the next trial." But nothing was coming. No answer. No lighting bolt, nothing.

Last night as I sat for a hour & 1/2 while eggs were being removed from my head- I told Trav- "I'm just waiting... I don't know what the lesson is, but I wish this would end... I listed about 20 things I thought the Lord was trying to teach me or could be factors, and I'm sure they are all apart of it as well- but my answer came as I heard the words today- just surrender to your fears.

The truth is, it isn't about the lice anymore- it's about everything else. It's about my mind, my obsessions, my addictions, my compulsive behavior, my wild thoughts that prohibit me from so much and my insane rituals that I cannot rid myself from. I have worked so hard in therapy over the years to overcome and get a handle on some of it, but the past 3 weeks I have been so out of control I have felt defeated, weak and so small.

I know I am crazy. I have been running from me my entire life. I have hated me for so many years and the time I have wasted cleaning, and sanitizing- thinking it would make me feel better. It hasn't. Everything is contaminated and I know it, That's why I have feared it- because it is everywhere and I can't clean it all well enough so I can rest and feel at peace. I've had a cleaning/germ fetish for years. That's what I do. I clean. I make the germs go away. But periods in my life have been really difficult.

For a long time I couldn't have anyone in my home. I couldn't handle the germs they would bring into my house and if they did, I had to wash and sanitize everything after. I ironed my dish towels for years because the wrinkles drove me crazy. I couldn't look at the mismatched silverware in my drawer,so I got rid of it until we didn't have enough utensils to eat off of. I haven't been able to sit on the fabric pewes at church for years because of the bugs I knew were crawling on them transfered from everyone's clothing- I always changed my clothes after church so the germs wouldn't cling to the surfaces in my home and contaminate everything there. The sacrament trays have always been an issue, shaking hands, holding the dirty hymn books, touching doors and handles. The grocery store has always been a awful place too. The people stalking the shelves with dirty hands touching all the boxes and cans of food, putting the stuff into dirty carts, then putting them onto filthy conveyor belts to then be handled by dirty hands from the cashier who's been handling money all day. It's taken all my will power someday's not to wipe down every purchased item from the store. Grace knows to just wash her change if she's going to play with it- "Don't worry Mom, I washed the money with soap."she says all the time.

It's everything. I hate airports and the putting my luggage on the belts. I hate knowing all the germs from people's suitcases are now touching mine, So i have to clean them every time. I don't want to travel because I know I will catch a diease or bring back some horrible germ I won't be able to get rid of. Trav has gone to movie theaters alone for years because I can't sit in the seats. They are filthy and I am convinced that every germ soaked into the fabric will attack me and I will be surrounded by bugs. I can't share water bottles either, or eat off of other peoples' forks. I hate keys and cell phones, checking out books from the library knowing so many people touched those pages before me. I hate computer keyboards, steering wheels & refrigerator handles. I wash Trav's gym bag and wipe down everything in it because I know those places are not clean. I hate public restrooms, I can't handle Chuck E Cheese or Pojo's, I want to vomit when we go to pot lucks because I don't know if those people washed their hands before preparing the food. I wear clothes once and make the kids change when they come home from school, so I can put them in the laundry. There is soap everywhere and hand sanitizer on the wall in my home, in the diaper bag, van and on my key chain. I take Lysol wipes to hotels and clean everything there- bathrooms, remotes, toilets. I bring my own pillows and it's the only time I keep my shoes on. I am horrified of them and hate it when we travel. When I have my babies in the hospital- I wipe everything down too. Hand rails, push buttons, toilets and chairs- it is all too much I can hardly stand it. For a long time I couldn't go anywhere, and then when all I was doing was cleaning for 8 hours a day- I had to get out of my house before I went insain there too. I have rarely felt at peace because my mind has not allowed me to calm down. I have been trying to fight a thousand unseen germs around me and then move onto a thousand more irrational thoughts in my mind.

What has become so unreal for me is that right now is... I can see these bugs. These ones are real. These ones have been crawling in my hair and drinking blood from my head and then laying eggs and I have not been ok. I have done 4 treatments on myself, worn a shower cap non stop (except for the unfortunate moments I have had to be around people), then covered my head with a pillowcase and then wrapped that in a shirt tied closed at the bottom. I have felt so dirty. So revolting and so humilatied I can hardly breathe.

I just broke down today and sobbed in the bathroom. I couldn't hold it in and so I just sat with the uncomfortable. I cried until there was nothing left and told God- I surrender. I can no longer control this. 106 loads has not made it go away. All the empty bottles has not made it stop and I give it to you. I just give it all to you."

I have worked so hard at controlling the only thing possible- my home.And it's been under attack and I haven't been able to save it. I haven't been able to clean it enough or well enough. It's become personal because I was so good at it before, but I can't seem to do enough, which in my mind says: I am not good enough. I have lost all control and my world has been in a state of panic, everything touched has had to be cleaned over and over and over. The paint is coming off the walls in places because I keep scrubbing. I can't do it and I am so angry. I am so mad that the only thing I had to control is not mine right now. Everything feels dirty- but I know it's the cleanest it's been in awhile. I want to throw everything away because I don't know where the bugs have been.

Who is going to want to be around me? Or come into my home? Or come to the girl's birthday parties? Or borrow anything of mine anymore? I wouldn't. I can hardly stand to be in this body right now and I feel so crazy I'm going to explode. It just won't stop. My mind just won't stop racing. I can't seem to catch my breath at moments and I just want to drop myself off somewhere and drive away. I cannot stand me, and I'm just so tired.

Today was about facing one of my greatest fears- realizing I am living it and surviving it. It has become so much bigger in my mind because it has tapped into every unhealthy behavior I have tried to stop, every tendancy, every urge I have had to push away, every ritual I have despised and everything I have been trying to kill for years. It has brought to the surface so much that I have tried to hide from my children, husband, family and friends. I've tried to act normal when I have been screaming at the top of my lungs and for some reason it just lingers. I don't ask for this. I don't want this part of my life. I know why my G-pa vacuumed so many times a day. I hate the footprints in the carpet too. I hate things out of place, I hate feeling crazy when the toys are out and the cans of food are not stacked straight with labels facing out.

I just want to feel peace... I hate surrendering, but I will...

Monday, October 24, 2011

100 load party...

In honor of my 100th load of laundry approaching-I am planning a small party, which included's only myself. I've been planning for awhile now and after much debate with my Mother's idea's- I think I like mine a lot better.

Her idea's were: Eat deviled or scrambled eggs (Seriuosly Mom?)
or do the lice dance. That was it from my amazingly creative Mother.
My idea's are:
drown my sorrow's in a bag of Albertson's choc. chip & M&M cookies, while snarfing down a box of Old fashioned Glazed donuts and topping it off with a pint of Chubby Hubby! It sounds deleriously perfect! And I can't wait!!! my challenge to you, in honor of the: Berthelson Head Lice Month, is: to do as much laundry as you possibly can for 1 day and then celebrate by consuming 50,000 calories in 1 sitting!

*** My sweet friend brought over a poster yesterday which included her deepest sympathy's involving candy bars. It was super cute Thanks Kara- it was honestly the best therapy ever!!!

Why Not???

Let's add another family member to the mix of dreadfulness. That makes half the family now!
Seriously, I cannot do anything more. I have cleaned, washed, soaked, dried, frozen, disinfected, shampooed and sanitized EVERYTHING a thousand times!!! Why won't they leave???

I've used bottles of disinfecting wipes, 2 bottles of killing shampoo, a bottle of killing spray,a full can of Lysol spray, bars & containers of soap, boxes of dryer sheets, bottles of detergent, 2 spray bottles of tea tree oil spray, 97 loads of laundry and 16 just in the dryer- I've washed my hands so much that they are cracking and peeling, I've vacummed the van, shampooed the van, revacuumed the van, removed eggs for hours every day, cleaned the car seats,toys, coats, underwear, socks, toys, furniture pillows, bags, back packs, combs, hair bows, hair stuff,washed walls, washed hangers, washed the rods the clothes were hanging on, changed clothes 5 times a day, made everyone wear shower caps throughout the day & at night, plus put a pillow case over the shower cap to protect everything else... what else is a girl to do but cry???

Seriously, my morning routine consists of:
(Just for cleaning the beds)
remove pillow cases
remove sheets
remove blankets & comforters
vacuum pillows
vacuum mattress
change clothes
put clean pillow cases on
put clean sheets on
wash sheets & pillow cases
wash or dry blankets & comforters
(every other day I wash sheets
the other day I started just drying on high heat)
put clean pillow cases on
put clean sheets on
wait for blankets to be washed/ dry and replace
vacuum carpet.
Move to next rooms and repeat 4 times.

I'm so tired...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The 12 days of horror...

Let's just say the past 12 days have been the most difficult of my parenthood journey, thus far. If you have been sparred from revolting and awful lice, thank the Lord right now and all the surrounding angels, because you are one blessed family!
The past 12 days have been filled with the most intense cleaning & disinfecting I have ever been apart of in my entire life, (Cleaning, scrubbing, vacumming, soaking, bleaching, spraying, shampooing & washing), hours and hours of discusting egg removal EACH DAY, and laundry like you would never imagine. Try 78 loads, my friends. I wish I was kidding- but I'm not. That's 78 washes AND 78 loads to fold, plus 5 on just high dry. That's how crazy it has been over here. And did I mention, another family member was blessed to get it as well??? Yeah, life has been a joy. I have had more panic attacks and out- of- my- mind experiences, to last a lifetime. Thanks Mom, G-ma & Angie for talking me through this- it's been so awful.

And did I mention I'm in charge of Super Saturday in 4 days? In the wee hours of morning and quiet hours of night, I have compliling, cutting, sorting and organizing 314 items & putting them into baggies with everyone's name on them. I am offically wiped out. I am offically crazy. And I am seriously contemplating running away for a month or two! I think I learned this year, if I am still in charge next year, to SIMPLIFY. The funny thing is- I did compared to last year! i just wanted all the ladies to have fun making all their cute crafts... I think there are about a million things wrong in my head.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My worst nightmare is happening!

First, plese don't judge me, or look down on my family. I am humilated, embarressed and horrifed all at the same time.

Daisy has lice. I cannot believe it. My absoult worst nightmare on the planet is happening right now. I am dying. I am freaking out. I cannot believe it. I am sick to my stomach that we are now one of "those" families everyone will avoid for 30 years.I am so grossed out I could scream. The truth is we caught it super early (based on the horrifing online photos)
If you have the stomach to continue reading- here is the horrible story, events and facts...
Daisy told me a few days ago that her head was kind of itchy, i stopped dead in my tracks and said, "Hurry and get in the bathroom!!!"- I checked her out, but didn't see anything. I didn't worry because she said she only itched it once or twice and I hadn't seen her scratching at all.(Almost from conception, I have talked to the kids about lice (remember 2 years ago when Daisy was playing T-ball and the coach tried to put the helmet on her and she said, "No, I'll get head lice!" Well, that's how much I've talked about it with each of them.)

A few days ago I noticed a small rash at the bottom of her neck and told her we would put some creme on it before school. Later that evening she mentioned itching again, but only once at school. Determined to figure out what was going on, I took her in the bathroom and examined her head longer this time. i thought it was just the little rash she had- but I was now in "freak out mode" and had to get to the bottom of it.Her scalp looked totally clean, nothing was crawling- she looked fine, until I noticed a few tiny little white/clear specks about a inch from her scalp.
They were so small, but I ran to the computer and typed in every parents nightmare: What does head lice look like.
Oh.mi.gosh. I almost vomited right there over the key board. I read and read, and then I read about about the eggs. Sick to my stomach , I wondered if those little things could be the eggs- so I went back to the bathroom with a ziplock bag and extracted 4 strands from her head and closed the bag. I got her out of bed and raced to Walgreens at 9:40 PM to show the pharmasist. After they examined it they said, "I really don't think it is, it looks like dry scalp." They even looked at her head and the woman said that it would look like pepper on her head if she had it and she would be itching like mad. After a few more minutes of talking, we left and drove home.
I came home and told Trav but still felt really unsettled about it. I thought it was me just being extreme and over reacting, but something was really nagging at me. I was pretty much freaking out but tried to calm myself down. I told the Lord if it was nothing- then to calm me down and give me a peaceful feeling, if it was something- let me continue to majorly freak out. I put The Office in and finally fell asleep after midnight.
When I woke up at 4:45 the next morning, my brain was seriuosly crazy. I was panicked, and I couldn't calm down. That was my sign, thank you Lord. When Daisy woke up, I checked her again and found a few more little specks in her hair. I removed them and kept searching for a really long time, but didn't see anything alarming. Right after thinking that- I saw something move. I freaked out, but looked again. There on my precious daughter's head was a nasty tiny creature with super tiny legs- that were moving!!!. I grabbed a piece of scotch tape and put it on her head- the lice came off on it and then I taped it to a red post it note to take to the Doctor for examination.
After I found the 2nd one and got it out, I was almost in shock. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING????
I searched longer, but saw nothing. Again, her scalp looked seriously clean. Even the silly Walgreens pharmist's looked and said, "no she doesn'tt have it."

I kind of went into shock mode and didn't know what to do next. I put her in the tub, checked all the other kids, looked online again as what to do, and just freaked out.
I ran to Walmart for the shampoo and had a little melt down with the pharmist there after she looked at the post it. I bought the stuff and grabbed new pillows for everyone and raced home. I called my Mom crying- who at first thought there was a death in the family or something. When I told her what was happening she said, "Oh my gosh, Em, I thought Travis lost his job or something- this is babyfood compared to that."
Thanks Mom. She let me have my freak out and told me what she did with us when we were little. She gave her sympathy and then we hung up. I called everyone who had been at Willow's party, friend's I had recently babysat for, neighbor kids who had been over, Trav's parents, the school & canceled several appointments for the week. I apoligized a million times for the discustingness of it all and they all reassured me, "Em, you couldn't have prevented this." I know, but dang it!!!!
Yeah it wasn't breast cancer, or a divorce, or a drug addiction like what was going on in the family- but THERE WERE NASTY BUGS CRAWLING IN MY HOUSE!!!
I treated all the kids, Daisy first, and after rinsing her hair- there were 8 to 10 bugs on the bottom of the bathtub. We combed her hair and one more came out. We were offically tramatized!
After rinsing the other kids, nothing was found. They looked good. After removing a few more eggs, i wrapped her head in a plastic bag and sat her down in one place of the house. i began removing everything from the house: clothes, bedding, pillow & started washing things immeditaly. i ran to the store for more shampoo, more Lysol wipes & even more disinfecting spray. When Trav came home, we vacuumed mattresses, sprayed matresses, moved all the furniture and cleaned & vacuumed around/under everything.
I sanitized every comb, toy, drawer, counter top, cabniet, closet floor, door knob, bag,computer keyboard, phone, remote- anything in sight! It was either wiped down or sprayed the living heck out of. We went to the laundry mat for a few hours and did 6 loads of blankets and comforters so we could sleep that night. We came home and put new sheets and pillows on the beds, washed hands, put dirty clothes in a bag, put a shower cap on Daisy (and then Tristin & Grace wanted one too, which I thought was a lovely idea, just incase.) The kids brushed teeth and then we prayed like you wouldn't believe.
I've never asked God to protect our home more than I did last night.
After the kids were asleep, I checked Trav, he checked me and then we treated each other. Nothing came out. I stayed in the bathroom for a long time scraping my scalp to see if anything was coming out- but when I looked down, I didn't see anything. I stayed over the tub, pulling on my hair forever- but nothing. Praise everything on the planet!! I put my hair in a bun, and then folded laundry for a hour- I actually slept really well last night, I was completely worn out.
Today, I am shampooing the couch & couch pillows, the carpet, the van and I'm on on load 17 of laundry so far.
We've changed clothes, washed hands, used towels only once- everything you can think of- I've done it. My hands are dry from bleach, but at least things are getting clean, right?? I am forever changed. i can never go back to "normal"Oh, wish me luck, and may your house & kids be sparred from this horrible nightmare.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Willow's Party...

We finally had Willow's actual birthday party this evening. It was nice and small with only 15 people this time! We could actually see the kitchen floor, which was quite amazing!
We waited to celebrate because G-ma & Gpa B. went out of town for the weekend and today seemed to work out best.
I kept this party super simple with a potato & salad bar, cupcakes, cookies, Angie's peanut butter bars, veggies, strawberries & dip and water. the kids played, Willow changed into a swimsuit half way through the party and everything was lovely. Happy Birthday week Little Miss Muffet.

(Oh, and P.S, I didn't even do the girl's hair today- that's how cool I am! So here's to orphan pictures!)

Trav's amazing spider web...

A few years ago around this time, Trav asked for some rope or yarn to make a spider web outside. Shocked by his unusual request, I handed him a ball of red yarn and peeked out the window to watch him do his "craft project."
Much to my surprise- he constructed the coolest (8 foot in diameter) spider web.
My Mom and Brent saw it when they came to visit that year and they were both in awe of it's awesome-ness and couldn't stop talking about it.
He didn't make one last year, but yesterday when he came home after a long day at work- he once again asked for some yarn to make his web.
I skipped to my craft stash and grabbed my huge box of yarn so he could pick his own color this year. He choose grey and off he went with the kids to construct, once again, an amazing ginormous web outide our door.
I wish the picture was better- because it is honestly a work of art. All by himself he just figured out how to do it- and he didn't even look at a craft blog to get the idea like I often do! Way to go Mr Amazing!

The cheapest therapy...

One day while Kara & I were canning, conversation turned to The Office. I told her I couldn't wait for Season 7 to come out because I was in desprete need of "new material."
She looked at me and said, "Em, it's out!"
"Shut up" I squealed. "I've been meaning to check online for the release date, I just never have!"
"Yeah, it's out, we just bought it (but then returned it because she has a way better consious than I do!)It was $ 39.99."
I ran to the computer, hopped on Ebay, found a new one for $ 24.24 which included shipping and bought it that second without hesitating, (and no, I didn't order it from China again, although I could have saved $ 4.00 by doing so- but the lingering smell of noodles that incased my boxed set was so unsettling to me last time I opted for the sold-in-the-USA version this round.)
I knew 24 bucks was a small price for the months of relief it was about to bring into my life (and I missed a Dr app and had the $)
It arrived a few days later and I'm on Round # 3 of watching the entire Season already. Yeah, I know I have issues & yeah I know there are 24 episodes plus bonus footage that I have induldged in for hours for the third time- but I simply adore it. When the day has been incredibly long, the kids especially difficult, when dinner hasn't turned out and the laundry seemed to explode throughout the day- I know that after the kids are asleep and my chores are done- I will have sweet, sweet relief when I see Dwight's handsome face staring back at me!

Bigger than the world...

I had to write this one down quickly before I forgot it. Less than a hour ago I was taking a picture of Grace sleeping- you know, just one of those Mommy momments. She opened her eyes (probably due to the flash) and said, "Mommy, I love you."
I smiled and said, "I love you too Grace."
"Bigger than the world?" she asked.
"Yes, bigger than the world, twinkle toes." I replied.

"Bigger than the atonement," she asked.
"Just as much as the atonement." I answered with a smile on my face.

Afterwards I had one of those moments were I was completely overwhemled with gratitude for the gospel in my life. I am beyond grateful for the sacrafice Jesus Christ made for each one of us. He died because he loved us and because we were worth it.
There were several General Confrence talks that really sttod out this past weekend, and I walked away realizing that even if I don't believe it as much as I should- I am important. I am seen. I am loved. I am heard. I do matter. My life does count & I am a remarkable woman.
I am truely grateful for the atonement in my life and for the postive example of Christ's life we have to look to. I am grateful that we are teaching our children what we belive to be true. In a world were so many people do not believe in God or his son, I am so thankful I have the knowledge and testimony that they are very real and very much apart of my life.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet girl...

I can't even tell you how much I love this girl! It is so much fun watching her turn into a little person. She loves:
chicken noodle soup
baby dolls
being wrapped like a burrito at bed time
putting clothes on
going for walks
pinecones, bugs and rocks
playing at the park
getting potty treats

What were you doing 2 years ago?

This is what we were doing!! Welcoming Little Miss Willow into the world! Here's a peek back...

Willow's silly cake...

Call me cheap, but I refuse to spend $ 20.00 on a cake. I always make cupcakes, but today after General Conference, we decided to make one for little Miss Muffet. Trav had to leave for the Priesthood session, so we have yet to eat it or sing happy Birthday to Willow- but tomorrow is another day, right? And thank goodness because today has been one of those days I seriously contemplated running away for a month by myself!
Happy Birthday Willow!

Canning is complete...

Canning was done a little bit ago, but I still had a few apples and peaches lingering around and because didn't want them to go to waste- I canned 7 more quarts of applesauce and sliced & froze bags of peaches. I think I am offically done, it's always so bitter sweet. I look forward to it all year, it comes, it's fun and wild and crazy and exhausting and messy and wonderful and time consuming yet so worth it. It's amazing how much your feet can ache too!

Guess who's 2...

Somehow our baby girl grew up. It's crazy to think it was 2 years ago already!