Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Imagination or Insanity??

As I sit and listen to the inmates play I am struck by the fine line between imagination and insanity. If I as a grown adult lay on the floor saying I was a mermaid on a regular basis I would be viewed as insane. As the little ones do it they are "So Cute" and have vivid imaginations!

At what point are we no longer allowed to play pretend? Children who have the capacity to imagine whole worlds later become world leaders with their out of the box thinking. Punk overcomes challenges on a daily basis with creative thinking.

In todays world Peanut is an Ice Princess who has been locked in a tower by Penguin the Evil Queen!! Batman (Punk) rushes to her rescue! Alas, the Evil Queen has hidden the key. Have no fear, Batman has found a key buried in a cave (under the couch). He pulls it out but it is covered in dust and cobwebs. "Nothing a little spit shine can't fix" so he pretends to spit on it and vigorously scrub it clean. Low and behold the key has writing on it! "This key will unlock any cage, locked by any Evil Queen" (Thats a great way to not have to search any more Punk).

"Oh, no Punk!" The cage also has a magic spell on it! He roots around a bit. "Oh goodness! I didn't clean the other side!" A bit more spit. A bit more scrubbing. The other side has words too! (Imagine That) "This key also unlocks any spelled cage" So now the cage is unlocked, The Ice Princess is free, and the Evil Queen has turned into a mermaid and swum (army crawled) away to the ocean (behind the couch)!

The End

Friday, February 8, 2013

O.C.D. at The Asylum

  An asylum is a sterile environment, a home is one filled with comfort and love. When the mother in the home has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder you achieve The Asylum, a comfortable homey atmosphere that is constantly being cleaned or a raging disaster that the peacekeeper is to stressed to clean up!

   It is surprising how many people don't understand that O.C.D. doesn't only manifest in extreme neatness. Many expect my home to be clean 24 hours a day and for 3/4 of the year they'd be correct. It's that other quarter that would shock people if I allowed them near my home at the time.

    I need to clean The Asylum for a minimum of 2 hours a day. For a 900 square foot condo that might sound a bit excessive. That's because it is. It probably also would seem that I could get busy for a day or two and not have much to catch up on. For a typical person that is accurate. Sadly, I am not typical.

    A day or two worth of clutter stresses me out and I need to clean it immediately before I can do anything else. Therein lies the problem. I have extremely packed Wednesdays and Thursdays so if the build up starts either Sunday or Monday then my need to clean it up falls on days I just don't have the extra time.

    A typical person sees a few days build up and devotes the next available day to cleaning it up. I on the other hand have to shut down in orders to tolerate the mess. This means I don't clean at all the next available day and the cycle begins to spin out of control. The mess stresses me out, I shut down, I don't clean, the mess gets worse, and repeat until I snap out of it. This can and has taken up to two weeks. Now imagine your home if the only cleaning done for two weeks was the garbage being taken out and dishes being washed!

   This leads to the third manifestation, compulsive cleaning. When I reach a high stress point; whether with the condition of The Asylum, financial concerns, problems with the kids, or outside forces; I clean compulsively. I clean constantly for days until the stress goes away, I stay up late or wake up early to clean, and when it's at its worst I wake in the middle of the night to clean.

   I have been struggling in finding balance. I don't want my kids to live in a sterile environment nor in total chaos. So I give myself a certain amount of time each day to clean and make sure I get that time each day so that the peacekeeper does not go insane at The Asylum!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Loathing Edward Murphy

    Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. This past week The Asylum and all of its staff and inmates have fallen victim to the loathsome Murphy's Law.....both versions.

    The original Murphy's Law reads: "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in catastrophe, then some one will do it." This seldom heard form resulted in me being locked out of The Asylum during a rain storm, followed by hail, at 11:30 pm. Followed by maintenance taking two full days to fix the lock and ending with them replacing it with the wrong lock. All staff and inmates are locked out of the front door of our building until it gets fixed! They tell me now that it will be fixed this afternoon. They may be crazier than any of my inmates.

    The more popular version reads: "Anything that can go wrong will." sometimes with the addendum of "and at the worst possible moment." I fault this version for the mobile asylum getting a flat tire on Sunday, getting four new tires on Monday, and the serpentine belt falling off on Tuesday. We can also attribute our cell phone company "accidentally" disconnecting our phones for 24 hours to this version!

    So, today I sit before this screen trying to relax and vent all at the same time. This breather wont last long though. 3:00 pm will lead to me running to the store, picking up Pumpkin for school at 3:45pm, feeding him in the car to play practice at 4:00 pm staying there for any messages, coming home, feeding Peanut dinner, taking her to dance class, and getting home around 8:00 pm to discover if I get to go to the gym tonight to relax or if the husband is going to make snow tonight!

    Well, wish me luck and sanity!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Committing Oneself

    There has never been a moment in my life as a mom that I have doubted my commitment to my family. I've questioned if I'm appropriately committed to cleaning the house, If I have the right level of commitment to the inmates schooling and activities and as of most recently if I should be committed.

    In the last 48 hours I have been to the library, both schools, the church, play practice, dance rehearsal, the gas station, the grocery store, cleaned The Asylum twice, done two loads of laundry, and spent more time in the Mobile Asylum (AKA Mini-van) than I care to admit.

    I can't help but ask why we do this? Why do we participate in the insanity of it all between the house, school, church, and all of the activities in between? Is it for ourselves, doubtful  Is it for appearances, maybe. When it comes down to it I know the answer is in the happy faces of the inmates looking back at me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Screaming like a Banshee

   So we all know there are ups and downs to parenting. Baby's first smile...up, baby's first boo-boo...down. First friend...up, first day of school...well you get the point. My absolute biggest down, the thing I fear most in normal parenting is this terrifying thing called shots! Pumpkin always handled them really well. Sometimes I think it was harder for me to watch than it was for him to get them.

    So when Peanut came along I couldn't help but get my hopes up a little. She's my brave one, she asked to go skydiving the first time when she was two. She thinks bungee jumping looks like fun and doesn't understand why she has to be a grown-up to bounce by a big rubber band. So when the big day came recently, we weren't to worried.

    We talked to her about it ahead of time and she took it in stride. Everyone has to get shots to stay healthy and she could understand that. I picked her up early from school that day to take her to the doctor. Right there in the office at school she asked me where we were going and I told her "to the doctor".

    That went fine. She looked at me and said "to get shots right" well I hesitated a bit but since we've never lied to the kids I wasn't about to start now, "yep, that's it". She just said "O.K." grabbed my hand and we headed out the door. Heading to the doctor she sat in her seat playing with her LeapPad just having a good time.

    Pulled in, hopped out, and headed in to sign in. Chatted in the waiting room, read a few books and went potty. I thought "this is great we're in the clear". The nurse came out and called her name and Peanut chatted with her all the way back to the exam room. As I sat talking with the nurse about her immunization schedule Peanut listened to Les Miserables on my phone. The nurse heard her singing along and asked what she was listening to. My chest puffed up a little as I told the nurse and she looked astonished. My five year old loves opera and ballet, Classical music and Musicals, I was so proud of my big girl.

     The time came and all Peanut asked was if she could keep the headphones on. The nurse and I both said yes because it would be easier if she wasn't scared or anticipating the shot.

    Next thing I knew, that needle went in, Peanut went board stiff, and let out a scream that would have made Jamie Lee Curtis jealous  I swear I must have looked like a deer in the headlights. Peanut was hysterical, I was pretty close myself, and the nurse had to do one more!!! The worst moment of my life was having to hold Peanut down,  while she was screaming like a banshee, to get the last shot. The second shot went in. The nurse pulled out a sucker, and my precious, injured, helpless baby.....stopped crying instantly, said thank you, and began singing along again.

   Oh, goodness! I I had just aged 10 years and had to walk out into the office to schedule an appointment for the next set in the schedule.......I love being Mommy!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Creating The Asylum

    I'm going to start by welcoming you to The Asylum! This place of insanity, creativity, mayhem and all around chaos is my home. There are many different components to The Asylum such as location, staff, inmates, and outpatients. Let me give you a slight overview.

    The Asylum is a 900 sq ft, two bedroom condo that will hopefully soon be relocating. We have outgrown our current treatment facility and are hoping to move on to a 3 bedroom house with an outdoor treatment arena (a.k.a. a back yard). Currently all outside treatment requires group outings to parks, libraries, etc.

    The staff consists of one full time volunteer (me) and one part-time volunteer (my husband). I say volunteer because aside from hugs, kisses, and tantrums we don't receive any payment for our services.
I am the PeaceKeeper, I am a stay at home mother of two (inmates) and I watch two others during the day (outpatients). My husband works during the day so he volunteers for evening and weekend shifts where for the most part only the Inmates are present.

    The inmates are my children. I have a nine yr old son, hereby known as Pumpkin, and a five yr old daughter, hereby known as Peanut. Pumpkin is currently involved in a high school performance of The Wizard of Oz as a Munchkin and attends two different tech classes to explore his interest of computers. Peanut is a hyperactive Girly-Girl who loves to dance. She is currently enrolled in a combination class for seven-thirteen years old  Needless to say our schedule during the week with school, homework, chores, activities, church, and family time gets kind of crazy!

    The outpatients are my daycare kids. My four yr old Nephew, hereby known as Punk, and my three yr old niece, hereby known as Penguin. Punk was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome last spring. Since then he has been attending school and rapidly improving. Penguin is my only all day patient but it looks like even she will be attending school either next semester or in the fall.

   That is our crazy world! I am routinely asked why my home is called The Asylum, apparently some find it offensive. The answer is simple, I learned a long time ago to overcome stress and adversity with humor and positivity. My home is The Asylum, my children are inmates, and when I was pregnant they were my little parasites.

   If you have found any of this offensive in anyway I apologize and advise you to never read my blog again. This is going to be an outlet for me and hopefully a humorous read for those who find themselves in the same position I'm in and also try to use humor to get them through when the going gets tough and the tough have to stick it out.