The lamps now glitter down the street;
Faintly sound the falling feet;
And the blue even slowly falls
About the garden trees and walls.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson

I can't believe it's been a week since I last wrote anything. It's been a very busy week. At the same time, I've felt like I didn't have anything to talk about. I suppose the reality is that I didn't feel like disciplining myself to sit down and arrange my thoughts after the busy days.

I'm finally feeling quiet-of-spirit enough that writing doesn't feel like a chore. It was an oddly silent afternoon. Eli, who is usually unbelievably chatty, hardly spoke a word on the way home from school. At home, he mostly busied himself with Legos.

After we picked Lila up, we went to the library. Everyone picked out new books and then we headed home. Both kids stuck their nose in a book, as soon as we got in the car. They were quiet all the way home and then did not utter a word for 40 minutes after we got here.

I was just about to tell them it was bath time when our neighbors knocked on the door. We chatted, they bathed, then they went back to their books. They barely acknowledged Doug when he got home. I've seen Lila do this before, but not Eli! He typically only shows that kind of focus with Legos.

And I'm so very happy to report that I'm feeling like my normal self again. My doctor agreed with my assessment that 25 mg is the right dose of medication for now (that's half what I was taking a year ago), and I'm satisfied that I'm not taking a drug that I don't need.

One thing I'm kicking myself for: Today was the 2nd Grade Renaissance Festival at school and I forgot to bring my camera! You may have seen the photo I posted on Facebook. It's the only picture I got, but I love it.

Confession: I wanted, with all my heart, to dress up for the festival. I bought a dress for Lila, with the justification that it can be her Halloween costume too. Adult costumes are much more expensive, however, and I couldn't bring myself to buy one.



There's been a whole lotta weird going on since I picked Lila up from school.

Actually, it started while we were waiting for Lila in the carpool line, because that's when Eli decided to start counting. I didn't know why he was counting. He had been talking for the better part of two hours and, to be honest, I wasn't really listening anymore.

I only became fully aware of what he was doing when he got stuck and asked me what came next. Some part of my subconscious told me that the last number he'd said was 99, so I said the next number was 100.

I hope that my subconscious was telling the truth. I can just see this coming back to haunt me later...

"But Mom, you said that 100 comes after 35!"

Lila got to the car shortly after that and she became his What-Comes-Next Helper. I only stepped in when she told him that 1000 comes after 199. By the time we got to our neighborhood, Lila's voice had taken on a bit of an edge.

When I got out of the car and came into our house, Eli was going strong. Several seconds later, Lila came in, quickly shut the door behind her, and said, "He's still counting! He's at 300 now!"

She had such a perfect look of consternation on her face that I just started giggling. Shortly afterward, Eli came in the front door, still counting, and that made me giggle even more. As he sat down and started taking his socks and shoes off - still counting - I managed to ask him,

Me: "So... what's your plan for counting? Like... when are you going to stop?"
Eli: "Stop me when I get to 101."
Me: "Dude. You passed up 101 a long time ago."
Eli: "I did?!? Wow. I didn't even know I counted to 101."

And, just like that, he was done.

Then I noticed that my daughter wasn't wearing any pants...



"Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size." -- Mark Twain

It seems that many things are grieving me this week, but I suppose it's really only two.

1. My Sanity
2. My Daughter

On the topic of my sanity... [sigh]

I fought hard, but I've decided to begin taking the higher dose of Paxil CR again. The physical side effects of withdrawal have all passed - no more dizziness or headaches or tummy trouble - and the emotional roller coaster has settled down to a normal level.

Unfortunately, in place of those things, I have anger. Lots of it. It's big and irrational. By yesterday afternoon, I didn't like any member of my family anymore and I realized I also didn't like who I'd become. I feel hostile all the time.

If I had to guess, I'd say this is a sign of my obsessive/compulsive tendencies re-emerging. I feel, increasingly, the need to have things "just so". Things from tidy piles of paper to the actions of every person within my home. That perceived need + real life = Not a Good Combination.

I've also become hyper-sensitive to noise. It feels like my children never stop talking. Ever. I have recently encountered people whose normal voice sounded like a worm in my brain and made me want to punch them in the face. And it's even worse when I'm in a crowded place.

So, I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor on Friday, but I consider that a formality. I am going back to 25 mg. Even that makes me angry! To make myself feel better, I keep reminding myself that this is still half the amount I was taking several months ago.

On the topic of my daughter... [sigh]

I have to admit that Lila's recent behavior could be, in part, a reaction to my own behavior changes (just another reason to get myself sorted out), but whatever the cause -- she's lost her ever-loving mind. You would think this child had been raised by wild animals.

Really rude and nasty wild animals.

Really rude and nasty anarchist wild animals.

She spent the better part of the day in her bedroom, refusing to take care of her school responsibilities. This has been a problem for a couple of weeks now, and she's so far behind that we didn't even get to start on today's homework.

I finally told her that she has lost all privileges, of every kind, until she has caught up on school work. I cannot make her do the work, but I don't have to give her any special treatment while she's being disrespectful and defiant.

I also told her, quite plainly, that I love her so very very much, but when she's being this rude and contrary... I don't want to be around her. At all. And I pointed out that it's not just me. When you are mean and unpleasant, people don't want to be around you. At all.

If one or both of these problems does not improve within the next week, I might have to run away and join the circus. I could tend the animals. And line up the tickets in very tidy stacks and rows. Oh, wait -- circuses are loud, aren't they?

Fine, I'll sell my family to a circus and stay in the quiet house by myself.



My photo shoot with the kids was actually a success! They are not professional, but they are candid. That's the way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it!

The scrub in the background makes this a very Hill Country setting.

You really aren't as funny as you think you are, Mom.

I'm kind of obsessed with this shot.

Eli had the camera.

Lila's turn with the camera.

And this is where the bluebonnet became a weapon of some sort.

Nothing like picking your nose in the bluebonnets!

I was instructed to "do something silly."




I despise April Fools' Day.

I tend to trust that people are telling the truth when they speak (though sometimes i wonder why), so I fall for everything.

Jump out and scare me - okay. Tape all my possessions to my desk - okay. Trick me into believing something is true when it isn't - HATE IT.

I'm still bitter about last year because www.thinkgeek.com tricked me into believing they were making the most awesome alarm clock ever.

(It was so awesome that I don't even want to talk about it.) I was so excited that I sent the link to Doug and told him that was what I wanted for my birthday. I was seriously upset when I found out it was a trick.

This year, I started preparing myself last night. I reminded myself repeatedly throughout the day that I should believe no one and no thing that I see. It was so bad that I was doubting legitimate news stories!

And that's just ONE of the reasons I'm glad this day is nearly over!

It was actually a fine day, up until about 4 p.m. That's when the world (or rather, my brain) came crashing down around me. I'm still not sure exactly what happened, but it ended with me curled up on my bed, sobbing.

I was remarkably patient all day, even when Eli was being a butt about his school work. (At what age do children learn that being a butthead does not make your responsibilities disappear?) We got a lot of work done and were on target to finish everything.

Then, suddenly, I had no patience. At all. I felt irrationally hostile toward everyone and everything. I got so exasperated that I was being quite rude to the kids. I finally called it quits on school and sent myself to my room.

We always tell the kids that they are welcome to be mean/rude/throw a fit/whatever - they just need to go to their room to do so. That way they won't hurt anyone else with their words or actions. If I can say one positive thing about the afternoon, it's that I modeled this principle.

I went to my room and stomped around and yelled into a pillow until I got it all out. Then I started crying because the whole experience was so discouraging. I have such a fear that this is the new normal. That I will forever be irritable and unstable.

First, I know, logically, that this is unlikely. For one thing, I remember being in this exact position when I reduced my dose the first time. I was crying in my bed, convinced that I was not going to be a good mother (or person, in general) without the medication.

I know, logically, that my body is still adjusting. As physical proof, I've had a headache for two days. That happened the first time too. And my doctor prepared me that this transition would likely be worse than the first time. [sigh] Okay.

I also know that, if this doesn't go away, if I continue to struggle so severely, then I can always go back to the higher dose of medication. And I know - again - logically speaking, that this would be an okay outcome.

But, I am a very stubborn person and a perfectionist. So it would FEEL like a failure.

And now, I need to go separate my darling children into different bedrooms, so they'll actually go to sleep. In closing, I'm glad this day is over. I will continue to be patient and to ask for forgiveness from my family. A lot.

And I'll ask you to continue to pray for me, send me hugs, and remind me as often as you can that God is powerful and I am surrounded by people who love me.

- - - - -

I know there are certain people who read my blog primarily for the photos of my children, so here's one for you!

Eli, with The Cat in The Hat!



Sometimes my children seem like normal and delightful humans, destined for a bright future.

At other times, they seem like deranged clowns, intent on destroying my sanity.

Case in point:

Eli recently came into possession of a Jack in the Box Christmas tree ornament. It's just a Jack head, wearing a hat. Cute, but destined to be another piece of discarded plastic, cluttering up the house.

For a few days, he's been hanging it in various places around the house and yard. He seems fascinated by how long it does or does not stay hanging and what happens to it while in that position. On the way home from the grocery store today, he had me hang it from the ceiling of the minivan.

Then I got to listen to a play-by-play description of the motions caused by the movement of the car:

"He's nodding yes. . . .
Now he's nodding no. . . .
Now he's dancing. . . .
Now he's swinging. . . .
Now he's dancing again. . . .
Now he's nodding no. . . ."

I really don't know how long that went on because I eventually disappeared inside myself and let one of my alternate personalities take control of the driving. I do know that I had a splitting headache by the time we got home.

(On the plus side, the effects of my medication change are fading, day by day. I had more motivation today than I've had in two weeks. Tomorrow's homeschool day will be a good test of how close I am to being leveled out. Hopefully the extreme irritability will not resurface!)



I was just sitting on my bed, reading a book. That's a shockingly difficult thing to do in the same room as children. They don't seem to understand that you can't read and listen to their constant narration of life at the same time. I swear I spent five minutes trying to read one short paragraph.

Anyway, I was sitting there, reading, and Eli climbed up next to me. Naked, and fresh out of the bath, mind you. He buried his head in my gut and said, "New Braunfels is in your belly button."

You really just never know what's going to come out of that boy's mouth.

Now, Doug and the kids are taking a walk/bike ride to the mail box, which I usually love to do, but it's chilly out there and I'm tired. It has been a great, but very long, day and I'm finally making myself the cup of coffee that I wanted five hours ago, but didn't have time for.

I went to BodyPump this morning. It was great! I hated it, and I'll be back there next week, hating it again.

Next, I went to the dentist. I got an A+ for taking care of my teeth. The hygienist said it was the cleanest mouth she'd seen all week. Of course, they also said I have the beginnings of a cavity between two of my teeth. If it gets worse, I'll be looking at my first-ever filling. Boo!

After that, I read The Sneeches to Eli's Pre-K class. After forgetting I'd signed up to do that last week, I rescheduled for today. Then I talked about it, out loud, every day, just to make sure it stayed in my brain. I wrote it on the calendar too, but that obviously didn't help last week!

This afternoon was the Defender Dash. Eli ran with the 3:10 group and Lila ran with the 4:10 group. I've never seen such stamina and perseverance from Eli! He was a compact little running machine! He worked hard and really enjoyed himself!

Lila, just like last year, approached it as more of an afternoon stroll. She did jog a few laps, but mostly walked. At one point, she and two of her friends were walking in a row, all holding hands. I love how different the two of them are! And I'm proud of both of them.

Once everyone had finished up and collected their nifty Defender Dash water bottles, we took them to Toastie's Sub Shop for an early dinner. They were both very excited about that and I don't think I've ever seen them eat so much food! The exercise did them good!

And now, as I mentioned, the kids have had their bath and I am finally sitting down.

Yesterday was terrible. Today was great. Tomorrow, I'm just hoping for normal!