Monday, October 15, 2018

Regurgitated Sentiments

I don't hate small talk. One of my favorite parts of making small conversations in the grocery store, parking lot, or post office is making people smile.

Because I usually have my kiddos with me, many times the conversation is geared around them. Because my husband and I grew up in this small town, many of the people aren't strangers, but aren't friends, they are more like familiar acquaintances.

This can lead to questions that mere strangers might not ask. Like "So, did you and Chad decide to stop with 3?" I was talking with an old coworker of Chad's in the hardware store parking lot. It was cold, it was windy, I was trying to wrangle all 3 kids into the store. My mouth went into automatic mode and replied "Oh yeah, we hit 3 and decided we were tired enough." We both chuckled and parted ways, he to his truck and us to buy our tarp for leaves.

I know I've read that and heard that sentiment multiple times, so my mouth took over while my brain was busy and spoke without thinking.

And I regret it.

Not because of the coworker, that doesn't matter. But because of my kids..."we were tired enough"...ugh

There is no denying we are tired, like 99.87% of the adult population. But I just equated the worth of another child to the importance of me feeling well rested. And I don't like that. Especially I don't like that I said that in front of my kids.

I'm not afraid to talk about why we are done having kids, but my mouth doesn't always let my brain remind it of that, it just wants to continue the conversations and make the other person smile.

I'm therefore going to take this moment to set the record straight, and maybe next time I get asked this question my mouth will refrain from regurgitating sentiments other people have said. (And note, this will be my reasoning, as I can't speak for Chad, but know that we are in complete agreement on this subject)

We have 3 amazing, energetic, bright kids.
The youngest 2 are one year apart in age.
From the time I got pregnant with my 2nd until 2 years after my 3rd was born (3 years 9 months) I had emotional hardship. I was never diagnosed with depression, because I never went to the doctor about it. But the woman and mother I was for those years, I don't recognize. I have never been in a place so scary, dark, and hopeless feeling.
During those years, I experienced panic attacks for the first time.
I had intense episodes with anxiety like I had never had before.
My social anxiety skyrocketed to a point where I thought I had lost my ability to be an extrovert.

I am terrified of ever going through that again.

It was a no-brainer for Chad and me, I never wanted to be pregnant again. So we decided to be done having kids.

My youngest is now 3 1/2 and I have had moments of questioning our decision. Brief seconds of, "I love babies so much and I wonder what we could have had next". But like those unwanted bad dreams you can't forget no matter how hard you try, I remember losing myself to the hormones and how I can't do that to myself or my family ever again. I have 3 little ones depending on me, it's not okay to tell them "I just can't get off the couch today, just leave me to cry. I know we have no clean clothes, I know we have no clean dishes, no I don't have anything in the house to eat." No. That would be irresponsible of me.

So instead, I'll love on my 3 precious gifts from God and remind myself...
I'm not too tired to have more kids, these 3 kids deserve the best me I can give them.

Mrs. Troyer

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Exterior Progress


*source notes*
New door purchased from Lowes
Door installed by Chad and his dad
Hello decal from Krystal Klear Designs
New windows installed by Northern Woodcraft (local business)
Trim Color Sherwin Williams Shoji White
House Color Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze
Both paints color matched by DoItBest Hardware so I could buy it locally

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Social Anxiety

Yesterday I attended the wedding of a wonderful young couple from our church. It was a beautiful ceremony. I had only taken my girls to the ceremony then we drove home and picked up Chad and Brian for the reception.

Some people, I've discovered, can attend a party, an event, a fundraiser, etc. with no trouble. They go, they have fun, talk to people, dance, be themselves, and at the end of it go home smiling. They crawl in bed and say, "Wow, that was fun." and go to sleep.

I am not some people.

Growing up, I thought everyone had the same experience I did. Social events and situations pulled the most bubbly and outgoing side of me to show up. So much so that I grew up believing what everyone said "Oh, Bridgette, she's SO outgoing and friendly!" Then I would spend hours that night, or over the next nights and/or weeks replaying every uncomfortable moment, every time I wish I had kept my mouth shut, every time I could have been misunderstood or I felt like someone was judging me by my words or actions in a way I didn't intend.

The years of doing that have worn on me.

Married life, then having kids, has afforded me the privilege of excuse. An out if you will. So for the last 6 years I've limited my social events out of fear. If I just don't go, don't interact, there will be nothing to over analyze and kick myself over. But that hasn't made it better. On the contrary, staying away from those social situations has only made my anxiety about them worse.

I've skipped out on bridal showers, baby showers, birthday gatherings, sending my gifts with other people.

So if you are one of those people that have missed me being at your gathering, please understand I want to come. But my people need their momma to be sane more.

Now excuse me while I try to forget every time I awkwardly made eye contact with someone yesterday.

Mrs. Troyer

Sunday, September 2, 2018

September Homemaker Check-In

Okay August, you threw a lot at me. Considering I spent a week husband-less (with my parents out of town too), had a trip to the emergency room one night, tore apart a bathroom, and had our windows replaced (3 and 1/2 days kicked out of our house) and started our homeschool year, I'm pleased with my habit progress. Was I perfect? Not even close! (right now I have a load of clothes in a basket to be put away, in the dryer to be folded, in the washer that needs to be rewashed, and in the bedroom waiting to go down).

I didn't end up using my phone checklist, not once.

As I was going through the month, I involved my kiddos as much as possible and look forward to the day that they get to contribute to our household maintenance 😁

With that in mind, my list of habits for September is with the understanding that for my own sanity, I need to equip my kids to assist.

Make Bed (which, dare I say, I think this one is actually a habit. 1 day this past week I went back into my room to make the bed only to discover I had already done it, without thinking about it)
1 Load of Laundry
1 Load of Dishes
Pre-Naptime and Pre-Bedtime 10 Minute Tidy

So much actual cleaning is hindered by the stuff that just multiplies on our surfaces and floor. If I can have the kids help me blitz tidy 2 times a day, when I need to actually clean I won't have to tidy first.

Check back with ya at the beginning of October!

Mrs. Troyer

Friday, August 31, 2018

Little Thoughts... 08-31-2018 Fall Edition

The temperature the last 24 hours has been my ideal! Mid 60s, cold evenings, in a word, fall. (or autumn if you are fancy like that) I know summer isn't gone quite yet, the weatherman won't relent putting 80s in the forecast. But I can pretend, in my own little corner (in my own little chair...musical people sing along with me) that fall comes early.

Coffee is much more comforting hot than cold.

Want to feel more secure and relaxed? Add a blanket!

If I had enough clothing items to have a seasonal wardrobe, I'd be pulling out all the fall colors right now.

One of the best parts of fall is the largely reduced number of insects outside (aka my archenemy). Looking forward to sitting in the sun, with a blanket, hot beverage, and book. Maybe the dreaminess of that picture will spurn me on to finish my books that have been in progress since the spring.

In the colder temperatures, my sun-warmed car seat will feel good instead of burning my skin off!

Want to secretly bringing a blanket with you everywhere? Wear a scarf!

Socks. I want all the socks.

You mean I can actually bake something without making my house an unbearable oven?

In summary. Fall you are welcome anytime!

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, August 27, 2018

Curriculum Choices 2018 - 1st Grade

Alexi is a 1st grader this year.

Language Arts & Spelling: Abeka Grade 1
Arithmetic: Abeka Grade 1
Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting A
Science: Abeka Discovering God's World Grade 1
Bible: Sonlight Core B - Leading Little Hearts to God
Bible Memory: I Can Learn the Bible - The Joshua Code for Kids
Read-Aloud Literature/History: Sonlight Core B - Introduction to World History
Music: John Thompson Piano Primer A

Last year we adapted Sonlight Core A to what we could accomplish with 2 toddlers in the house while trying to homeschool a Kindergartner. That covered Bible, Literature and History for Alexi.

We finished and loved A Reason for Handwriting K and I'm stoked that from here on out using that curriculum she is writing scripture. Honestly she loves writing and is always jotting something down in her many notebooks, so I'm not too worried about her handwriting.

Phonics and Reading was the subject that was a bit of a struggle bus for us. I chose Horizons for both Phonics and Reading and Math for Kindergarten, knowing that many people found it to be advanced. Math was great (and is by far Alexi's favorite subject), but Phonics and Reading was a drudgery. The concepts were easy enough for her to grasp but the entire workbook had so much writing that her hand would hurt after doing the entire lesson (and those were long too, sometimes 3-4 pages) and almost every lesson was set up the exactly same way. By the end of the regular school year we weren't even half way through yet and I had tried a bunch of different ways of tweaking what we did with the curriculum. So this summer we snagged Abeka's K5 Phonics and Reading (which is what I learned to read with) so we could be prepped to do Abeka's 1st grade this year. We are on track to be done with the K5 program mid October.

Because we are switching to Abeka for Language Arts, it just made sense to switch math as well. As far as I'm concerned, I'm thrilled that we have switched to "my" curriculum from my elementary years!

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, August 20, 2018

Scariest Motherhood Moment To Date

*Warning: Injury description follows*

Last week, Chad was away on a work trip, so I was in single parent survival mode. First 2 days went fine. As much as I hate it, we have found a groove for when daddy is gone. Wednesday is my normal work day and my mom-in-law babysits and that's exactly what happened. The exciting and terrifying part of the day was the end of it. They kids were crazy (most didn't nap) and I was just done with the day. We were just about ready to be tucked in, jammies were on, the last kid was going to the bathroom, everyone had taken their last drinks. I was heading to the girls room with a book for everyone to join me there.

THUD

It was a terrible noise. Immediately I knew it was the sound of a head hitting a wall (that's way more common in this house than it should be) but it sounded slightly different. I spun around in the hallway to see behind me just in time for Brian to collapse to the floor clutching his head, wailing, with blood dripping onto the floor.

First issue: I don't do well with blood.

For a half second I froze. Then I knelt down next to Brian and scooped him up. After peeking under his hand to see a sizable gash I reached into the linen closet for a rag and held it against the wound. For the most part I feel extremely ill-equipped to be the adult handling emergencies, so my next thought was "who is more adult-y than me that will know what to do?" Normally that would be Chad or my parents, but they were all out of town, so my next thought was "who is or was a nurse?" So I'm trying to walk Alexi through finding our church directory in my desk drawer while still cradling a crying Brian and applying pressure in the hallway. It didn't work, I ended up lifting him and heading out to my desk to find the number.

Phone call made, nurse on the way. Now to help calm Brian (making sure he never loses consciousness) and calm the two little girls who are about in tears now too. By the time the nurse arrives the bleeding has pretty much stopped and we are left with this deep gash on Brian's forehead. The suggestion is that I take him to the ER to get stitches so it heals well. All the crying has stopped and Brian even had to be reminded that he shouldn't run to the entryway to put on his shoes.

Second issue: I don't do well in hospitals.

I had said over and over that whenever our first ER trip with the kids happened, it would be Chad, not me going with them. Unfortunately, as previously said, he was gone. The girls stayed at home with my in-laws and Brian and I made the 40 minute drive to the nearest ER at 8:20 PM. From this point on, Brian had no crying and instead just talked non-stop to EVERYONE -- it was the most entertaining couple hours as we waited in the waiting room, triage room, and exam room through the different nurses. He earned quite the reputation and everyone was smiling by the time they left the room. By 11 PM Brian earned the gold star from the doctor as her best patient. 5 stitches later we left the ER and drove home in the fog.

Third issue: I hate driving at night and in the fog.

Made it home, Brian fell asleep right away in his bed. 5 days later he now has his stitches out and is as healthy as healthy can be. He has some residual anxiety related to it (aka doesn't want to leave my side).

It took me 4 days to finally break down and cry. That was terrifying.

God is good. He gave our bodies an amazing ability to heal. He gave some people awesome ability to learn medicine and I'm so thankful. He gave 4 year old boys an indescribable charm. Still working through some of my own anxiety related to it. But that's your update from this past week.

Mrs. Troyer