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Heather's Parenting Journal

Entry 18 ~ November 21, 2007
~ Disney!

Magic KingdomIt has been a tough year. I think any of you can see that. I just got done looking at my past journal entries; my positive words, the scares, the losses, and all. And I'm getting tired. I'm admitting it. I am tired. I've put on such a strong front. For Brian. For my kids. For myself. And the other day after reliving some of the past, I had a panic attack. It was horrible. I felt nauseous, my breathing was labored, and my hands went numb. Of course, I was driving . . . so I had to pull over and get help. Just as I pulled into the parking lot and was getting ready to dial 911, a cop was in the parking lot waiting for me to move so he could turn. I immediately rolled my window down and waved him to come help me. Once he was there, I felt an almost immediate calm. It was if someone else was finally in control. They could take care of me. Was I that bad off? By the time the ambulance came, I was much better. I guess that is how panic attacks work. They come on strong and are usually gone within 10 minutes.

Since then, I've been seen by my family doctor, had blood drawn, and am fine physically. But, mentally I guess I have issues to work out. And the worst part is . . . I don't feel like there is anything to work out. It must be that instinct of needing and having to get through after such a difficult year. I had to be strong; they could not pick it up in my body movements or emotions. I had to sell myself on the fact all was well. I guess now that things are calm, it has caught up. My mom has a friend who suffers miserably from migraines. When she has family stress in her life, she is the pillar and the rock of the family. Once the stress is relieved and they can do it on their own, she immediately gets a migraine and is out of service for days. I guess your body is smarter than you think and it breaks down when all is calm.

Brian and Alex at the beachWith all that aside, I do have to say one thing about all this and that is I am truly having fun raising my kids. People ALWAYS ask me how I do it. But, I just do. It does not feel difficult. Honestly. And that is not me tying to 'mask' my emotions heading toward another panic attack. I truly, down deep LOVE where I am at in life. I don't wish my kids one minute older or one minute younger. I am taking lots of time to enjoy them. I'm taking lots of time to be with them. Sure I could get some more alone time and pampering time in for myself, but I don't feel like I have to have that right now. I know my place in life now. It has taken many years, but it is right here.

Space ShuttleSo . . . on that note, we went to Disney World in October! Alex has a 'fall' break and we booked a vacation with my parents and all the kids. It was so fabulous. Brian had never even been to Disney World, so it was a first for all the kids and him. We took in two days of the Magic Kingdom, saw the space shuttle lift off from across the river from the Kennedy Space Center, had a day on Coco Beach, and a day on Clearwater beach. The trip could not have worked out any better. All the kids, Katelynn included, were so good. The lengthy trip (we drove) never bothered them. We only stopped to nurse Kate, feed the kids, and take potty breaks. On a side note, I turned 35 on the day the Space Shuttle lifted off. I was so thrilled to share that moment with my husband, my kids, and my parents.

Our trip home was actually too terrible to describe in lengthy detail. But the short of it was; 3 of the 5 kids threw up (all at different times), our alternator in the Expedition went out so we were changing a battery at midnight only to drain the new battery and need a police escort off the highway to an auto zone to recharge the battery and limp the remainder of the trip home. It took us 28 hours to get home and we were in the car almost all of it. Again, the kids were such troopers and never complained at all. I don't see how, but they did not. But, we did manage to make it home. I walked in to the house to a broken glass top stove. My dog sitter accidentally dropped a bottle of olive oil on the stove and shattered it to pieces. But, the car and the stove are fixed. It just made the comical trip home even more comical. You see, I say 'comical' because when that many things can go wrong at one time, you have to laugh at it all.

Halloween 2007!Then came Halloween. How fun! Alex was Batman. Maria was a tiger (again), Sydney was a dragon, Isabella was a cheetah, and Katelynn was a chicken. Oh yeah, Brian was Superman (sprayed on black hair and all). I wore my Minnie Mouse ears, I probably could have done better, but I just did not have time. The candy was great and I think we had about 165 treaters at our door this year.

That brings us into November and Thanksgiving is actually tomorrow. I am hosting 15 people (all family). So prior to that, I decided to have hardwood installed in the final 2 rooms on the main floor. Now the entire first floor is hardwood and tile. Very nice for clean up and traffic. So that led me to begin painting the entire house again, baseboards and all. It is not finished although I had hoped it would have been done. And we wonder where the panic attack came from? I am doing much better now though.

My final thought is a somewhat crazy idea, but I have been told by many people they are going to do this in their homes too. So, I'll share it to see if it could help you. Our house had a main 1/2 bathroom on the first floor. There are 2 other bathrooms upstairs, but those are more privately used (one kids, and one ours). Anyway, I was so tired of the wet hand towel in the downstairs bathroom. I never knew 'why' it was wet; I was always washing the towels only to have them on the floor a second later. So, I decided to install a paper towel dispenser. Yep, the kind you see in a public restroom with single fold dispensing towels. Then, as if I'm not already crazy enough, I added a soap dispenser that attaches to the wall. Why not at this point? The kids LOVE it. They even told me how to wash my hands. Not that I did not know how, but since it looks like what they use in school, they wanted to share their knowledge. Alex even told me I buy the most awesome things. Well, he is 8, after all. But, the new additions are working out wonderfully. I hope to stop the spread of germs and such through this house this winter. And we are all washing our hands so much better.

Have a fantastic month! Get that Christmas shopping done!

~ Heather

Maria at the beach Isabella at the beach
Baby Katelynn with her shades Maria, Sydney and Alex at the beach

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