Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My Friend Shannon

I met Shannon when I was six years old. My family had just moved from P.E.I. to Nova Scotia, and we had been through a lot. I was determined that my new life in Nova Scotia was going to be different. It was going to be great. My sister and I were thrilled to meet Shannon and Allyson - sisters our age and living very close to us. We came from different worlds - mine a bit broken and hers warm, safe and nourishing - but we had so much else in common that we were fast friends.

We grew up together. We went through so much together, and created so much together. When we were very young, we made up a game called "Spook," which was best played at night and involved one team of players trying to scare the crap out of the other team. It was soon famous in the neighborhood, though our parents frequently complained of all the screaming going on.

We talked about everything. We learned together. We fought sometimes. Sometimes we just didn't talk. As we grew older, we grew apart in some ways. Shannon had that enviable quality that I've always yearned for and have never been able to manage; she seemed to ooze self-confidence. Even when I knew she wasn't feeling confident, her demeanor said she was. She was difficult to faze. She was popular. Though we didn't see much of each other in school after a while, we remained friends at home.

Shannon's family was like a family to me, too. I always felt sisterly toward Allyson and still love her dearly. And her parents are the kind of people you instantly love. It's impossible to feel uncomfortable around them. They made my sister and I (and later Jim) part of their family.

We went through so much's impossible to describe it all. But when I think of my childhood, she is there, in so many important ways. I didn't always understand her...sometimes I felt like she wouldn't let me in...that I didn't really know her. Most times, though, I felt like I knew her better than anyone. And she knew me. We laughed so much together...and though she was one of the popular kids, I never felt that I had to pretend to be something I wasn't around her. I was me, and that was cool.

Shannon, thank you. Thank you for teaching me so much about life and love and relationships. Thank you for letting me be part of your family. Thank you for knowing Jim and I were meant for each other, and for letting me cry on your shoulder when he wasn't so sure.

Thank you for playing junk poker with me.

Thank you for inspiring me to play my flute better, even today.

Thank you for playing Playboy Barbies with me, and laughing your ass off the entire time.

Thank you for being unselfish and honest.

I love you!

On Shannon's birthday, ten days ago, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She became a mother, and something inside me more piece of the puzzle of life sliding into place. I am so happy for Shannon, and for her husband and her family. And I love little Jessica as if she were my own niece.

I guess there's no denying it now, huh Shan?

We've grown up.

Our days of Spook are over, and now we'll be the ones complaining when our kids are running around like maniacs and screaming their heads off.

But maybe this parenthood thing is one more thing we can go through together, even at a distance.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ghost Story Tuesday

Today, I’ll be answering a question from the lovely Lauri who, incidentally, could use some get well wishes right now!


OK-here's what happened...

I was laying in bed and Steven and the kids were all asleep. So I decided to try and "open up" and see what happened.

So I'm laying there and said something about inviting people in, blah, blah, blah...can't remember exactly. Then, all of a sudden, very quickly and easily (much quicker and easier than I thought it would be) there is this big, carved, wooden archway with these big, heavy-ass wooden doors that open inward...not out toward me.

The doors start opening, and there are GOBS of all kinds and ages of people pushing and shoving and clamoring all over each other to get out. But, because the doors are opening inward, and there are about a gobzillion people there, they can't open very far and nobody ever actually makes it out. But they are all trying frantically to be the first one out and/or get my attention...yelling "Hey! I'm here!" or "Can you see me!" and stuff like that, holding their arms up in the air.

It kind of scared me because it was such an uncontrolled thing, so I just cut it off and I haven't done it again.

So...let me know what you think, and what you do to control things.



First, I think it’s important to acknowledge that you’re obviously a very sensitive person. I congratulate you on having the courage to open up like that…it can be scary. It can also be a little hard to control, as you saw. In opening yourself and making yourself so vulnerable, you opened the doors to anyone who wanted in. It’s why I say stay away from Ouija boards…the open invitation is just too tempting for those tricksters or any darker energy that senses you. Usually, just opening yourself up won’t result in such an onslaught of attention from entities, but your level of sensitivity may be higher than average.

You may be the type of person who receives messages through symbols or images. The doors are a very strong symbol of opening. As to why nobody could get out, I could speculate that there were too many trying to get through at once, or you hadn’t acknowledged anyone specific…or, it’s even likely that this experience was meant simply to show you that you can do this, and that there are people waiting to talk to you. Only you can interpret what you saw.

The bad news is, often when people have an experience like you’ve had, they get scared or weirded out and they don’t do it again. I say it’s bad news because if you’re capable of these types of things, you could help others…or help yourself. You could have experiences that can open your mind and your heart and change you as a person.

The good news is, this is possible to control! Remember, there are countless entities out there…many waiting for someone to acknowledge them. So, opening up and inviting anyone in is probably not going to be productive for you. Here are a few suggestions:

-Are there any deceased family members you can open up to? If so, then do like you did last time: relax and open up. This time, think about that person. Say their name…concentrate on how they make you feel. That’s how you connect to their energy. Just feeling a presence or an acknowledgement is enough here. Later, when you’re more confident, learn to pay attention to any images, sounds, smells, or messages you may get, and then validate as best you can by talking to family members or doing some research.

-Pay attention to everything…often, the dead are communicating with us and we don’t even see it, or we pass it off as coincidence.

-Practice connecting to the living! If you can connect to the dead, you are sensitive enough to read living energy. It’s easier than it sounds. It’s best to build confidence by focusing on family first. How is your husband feeling? Don’t ask in words, just connect to his energy and see what you get. Next time someone tells you their neck hurts, connect to them and feel it for yourself. When you talk to a friend on the phone, don’t just listen; connect to them and feel what they feel as they’re talking to you. Test yourself. If you think your husband is stressed, try to validate what you’re getting by talking to him. If you’re right, cool! If not, you’re interpreting wrong. Remember what you feel when you connect, and use it next time.

Let me know how you progress…if, that is, you decide to explore this further. If this is something you simply do not want in your life right now, that’s ok, too.

Who else has questions for me? Just write it in the comments or email me, whichever you prefer. This is fun!

And by the way, the exercises I suggested up there are great for everyone, especially the last one.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Breathing Is Important

My therapist suggested I make some purchases. So, I've been reading Full Catastrophe Living and doing Mindfulness Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I've managed to fall asleep both times I've tried to make it through the entire 45 minute body scan. Ironically, I fall asleep right before I get to the part of my body that hurts the most right now. Hmmmm.
Anyway, so far, the main focus of this whole meditation business is breathing. Watching your breathing.
Feel your belly rise and fall with it.
Focus on the toe on your left foot.
Breathe into your toe.
Breathe from the toe.
It, my friends, is challenging.

Yesterday, we decided to go to the Byward Market and walk around. The weather was gorgeous. As we loaded the kids and their various accoutrements into the car, our pregnant neighbor appeared. This is her third child. She already has two girls. I like my neighbor, by the way. Just so's you know.

Neighbor: Guess what? I had my ultrasound today!
Jim: Oh yeah? What's the verdict?
Neighbor: I'm having a BOY!
Tree: Wow, that's awesome!
Neighbor: I get to have both.
Tree: You're very lucky!
Neighbor: I'm one of the 20%.
Tree: Huh?
Neighbor: You don't know? Once you've had two children of the same sex, there's an 80% chance that your third will be the same sex as the first two.
Tree: (Looking toward my van full of beautiful boys). Ah. Well, that makes sense.
Neighbor: I'm in the 20%!
Her glance toward my van says, you're not!
Tree: You must be so happy! Congratulations.

We get into the car and as we back out of the driveway I observe my neighbor take a deep drag off her cigarette.

I am breathing.
I am breathing in...and out.
I am feeling my belly rise...
and fall.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I Love Liam

I have an idea! Let's not talk about teething or sleepless nights today! Or illness! Yay! I know! Let's look at pictures of a cute baby instead!

And use lots of exclamation points because they give the illusion of positivity and of being excited!

And not tired!

Which I most definitely am not!

This is the look that stays glued to Liam's face when the Teletubbies are on TV. I can't decide if he likes the show or just doesn't get it:

Liam is suddenly into everything. With the other boys, there was sort of a gradual change - they were in my arms, then on the floor, then rolling, then crawling...a very predictable, easy to navigate course of events. Liam has gone from wanting to be in my arms all the time to commando crawling all over the house. Don't get me wrong, he still wants to be in my arms. But when he's not, I'm chasing him around.

It all happens so fast, doesn't it?

Yesterday, to keep him occupied, I gave him a pot to play with:

He liked it. Then, he discovered the stairs. Rather, he discovered the treasure laying tantalizingly out of his reach mid-way up the stairs:

He sat at the bottom of the stairs, yelling at that box of cheerios, demanding that they make their way down to him. He was quite pleased when I helped out:

Ignore the drool. Because we aren't talking about teething, remember? Right! We're focusing on the smile!

I'm not tired!

But Jim and I are going to the movies this weekend and I am so excited for a break.

Not that I need one!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Happy And Sad

Aidan is on the mend. His fever seems to have calmed down and he's quickly getting back to his talkative, happy little self. At it's worst, his fever hit 104.7, measured with an electronic ear thermometer. This was rather distressing, especially considering that this is the boy who used to seize when his fevers would get that high. No seizures this time; just a miserable little guy, red-faced and silent. The pediatrician told us to get him into a cool bath, which I did, and Aidan wailed the entire time.
Not so fun.
Today, though, he is better.
Now, I must tell you the marvelous things that have happened on the daycare front. In Quebec, we are very lucky to have access to subsidized daycare. This means we get government-regulated, excellent daycare for $7 a day. It's hard to get in...for the first two years we lived here, we paid $800/month to have two kids in daycare. Of course, most of that was refunded at tax time...see, if you can't get into a subsidized daycare and have to pay private fees, those are returned to you. To say this is wonderful is an understatement.
Aidan goes to a daycare which is so great that we frequently have to pinch ourselves to be sure we aren't dreaming. His daycare worker adores kids and truly loves taking care of them. They do fun activities and get outside often. Aidan loves to go. When Liam was born, we fervently hoped we could get him in, but it looked pretty hopeless; subsidized daycares are only allowed a certain number of children. Up until a week ago, the plan was to get him into a different daycare, meaning we'd have three different places to drop the kids off before work every morning. Not something to look forward to.
Then, a miracle happened.
One of the mothers whose baby goes to Aidan's daycare decided to open up her own daycare...therefore opening a spot for a baby.
That baby, friends, is Liam!
Not only does he have a spot, but it starts on Monday...meaning I have more than a month before I go back to work to transition him into daycare. This means so much, as I'll have to wean him (at least from daytime feeds) at the same time.
We're going to try two half-days next week!
Isn't it wonderful?
Don't I sound excited!?!
Truthfully, while I'm very happy that this turn of events has been so beneficial for us, it's all brought home a few realities which I have been conveniently avoiding.
I have to go back to work on May 1st.
I have to wean my sweet boy.
I will no longer have the privilege of staying home and caring for my baby.
Caleb can't come home for lunch anymore.
I won't be able to decide to keep Aidan out of daycare just because I want to be with him.
I am very, very sad about all of this.
This morning, as Liam practiced crawling and Aidan watched cartoons, there was a knock at the door. I was surprised to find our daycare worker, and all the kids from the daycare standing at the door. They had walked over to check on Aidan, and to drop off a card that they had made, a coloring book, some crayons, and some stickers. "How is he?" she asked, looking concerned.
When I brought Liam to the door, she jumped up and down. "He's coming next week!" she exclaimed.
Before they left, she asked hopefully if Aidan would be back in daycare tomorrow.
We are so very lucky. As anxious I am about going back to work, about weaning, about leaving my boys...this woman is making it easier on me.
Now to figure out what the heck I'm going to do on the days I bring Liam to daycare during the next month.
I could go shopping!
I could do errands!
Visit friends!
Or, more realistically, I could lie on the couch and worry about whether he's drinking enough milk.

Aidan coloring with his new crayons:

Look at this face. How can I leave him?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ghost Story Tuesday

So here's the deal, peeps: I'm running a little low on ghost stories (gasp!). Don't get me wrong; I've got tons...but most of them are from readings. Readings which are confidential. So, they're not really my stories to tell, you know? Man! There was this one that scared the living CRAP out of me for weeks! That ghost hung around and was nasty and showed me things...anyways. That was somebody else's ghost. I have lots of things I could talk about, but the well, my friends? She is running a touch...dry.

So, there are a few things I could do with Ghost Story Tuesdays:

-I could keep on keepin' on - exhaust my well of experiences including energy work, etc. I could include my thoughts and theories and how this has affected me personally (like I always have).
-I could contact past clients and ask permission to tell their stories. This sounds great! But it's tough - I don't even know how to contact most of my past clients. Also, I don't know how I feel about telling other's stories...
-I could post occasionally, as I have more experiences.
-I could post the most recent conversation my brother and I have had about the expansion of the universe.

There's also this: I could find my creativity and realize that I have lots of stuff to write about. Maybe I just have the ghost story writer's block?

So here's what I'll do today: I'll ask what you'd like. And I'll offer the following choices for next Tuesday:

1) The Ghost at My In-law's
2) My Mom Saw a Ghost in the Window!
3) A Remote Energy Read (I haven't asked anyone permission yet for this but I have a couple people in mind...that said, feel free to volunteer to have me write about a read I've done for you! I'll change names, o' course)

See? I still have some material. Heck, I had to pare it down. Maybe the well isn't so dry. Maybe I'm just so tired I could melt...and my brain has already started the process.

In other related news, my brother and I are in the planning stages of starting our business. Jeff will specialize in tarot readings and I'll focus on evergy work/readings for people. Jeff will help out with those as much as possible, and hopefully we'll end up teaching classes. We are excited! Expect to be asked for your input very soon...we're a little lost regarding some of the details. And of the utmost importance to us is not being lumped in with the crackpots out there who are doing this for the wrong reasons and without the gifts for it.

Sort of a lame GST entry, huh? Apologies. Can we calk it up to stress? How about distraction? Aidan has given me a running dialogue of everything that passes through his mind since I've started writing. And Liam is yelling at me from his exersaucer.

There's always the brain melting thing, too...

**Edited to add: What if I used Tuesdays to answer your questions about all this stuff? And if I have an experience that's particularly relevant or simply one I'd like to share, I'll post that?!?**

Monday, March 20, 2006

You Know Your Baby Woke Up Waaaay Too Early When...

...he's desperate for a nap at 7:30am:

He has two teeth coming in. His first two. When I noticed the first last week, I was excited. So early compared to his brothers! Liam never ceases to amaze me with his personality and his uniqueness.

The last few days have been significantly less exciting and exponentially more frustrating. Never in this young lad's life has he found it necessary to scream - not cry, but scream - the entire time he's awake unless he's being energetically distracted. The usual toys don't do it. He needs animated jumping about! Funny faces! New toys that he's never seen before!

Tylenol doesn't help. Nap times? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ha! ha. oh. As I write this, I am listening to him scream from his crib. I've tried it all...twice.

Besides that, things are great! Aidan has a 102 degree fever and threw up during the night! He is lethargic and red-faced and lying prostrate on the couch! Watching Lazy Town!

I fear that my mental state is not benefitting from the extra stress. But what can you do?

I sincerely hope your day is going better than mine.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


The Coldplay concert was amazing. They did a wonderful job. They did all my favorite songs; Clocks, Politik, Don't Panic, Fix You...the light show was incredible. The sound was awesome; it beat in my chest and made me breathe fast. Chris Martin was gorgeous, of course, and the huge screen behind the stage added so much to the show. For those of us in the nosebleed seats, the live video of the group shown on the screen was a blessing.
I danced in my seat from start to finish and I sung so loud I was hoarse.
So you'll understand why I had a hard time describing why I felt disappointed as we left.
I think the reason I love Coldplay so much is because they make me feel. I listen to their music and I ache inside. I feel a little sad, or happy...or sometimes enlightened. The lyrics are beautiful and Martin's voice adds life to them; describes them...makes them something more. These songs speak to me. The words take hold:

From Clocks:
Come out upon my seas,
Cursed missed opportunities
Am I a part of the cure
Or am I part of the disease, singing

From Fix You:
And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

From Talk:
Are you lost or incomplete
Do you feel like a puzzle
You can’t find your missing piece
Tell me how you feel
Well, I feel like they’re talking in a language I don’t speak
And they’re talking it to me

There's something in every one of their songs that gets to me like that. It's poetry and it's truth.
On Friday night, the group did their job very well. They poured their energy into it, made jokes and included us in the songs. But I didn't feel anything. Jim's right; I imagine when you're on tour, it becomes sort of monotonous and that, even if you're doing a great job, it is a job. And you want to get through it and then go home (especially if you have a pregnant wife and young child, I imagine). I just didn't feel like they loved what they were doing.
Who knows, maybe my expectations were to high. Or maybe I was too far away from the stage to really tell.
Last year, when I saw Jethro Tull, I was blown away and changed by the show. Ian Anderson was incredible; he poured himself into each song like his life was woven into it, and we all felt that. He played that flute like it was an extension of himself, and sung not with his throat, but with his heart. He shared that music with everyone listening so that we could feel it too, and told the stories behind the songs.
I love Coldplay, and my opinion of them hasn't changed a bit! Everyone loved the concert Friday night, and I did too. They were amazing. I just don't think they had as good a time as everyone else did.
That said, I'd still jump Chris Martin's bones in a flash if the opportunity presented itself.
It's ok!
He's on my list!

Friday, March 17, 2006

What Are You Doing Tonight?

I'm going to see these guys:


-nervous about leaving Liam for the first time ever? Check!

-still got the flu? Check!

-still have diarrhea* (who knows why...Zoloft? Flu? Nerves? A stomach bug which is going to make me puke or pass out or poop right in the middle of the concert? A combination thereof?)? Checkerooni!

But, people, I am going to go. Why? Because it's Coldplay!

Wish me luck!


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Why I Am Pissed Off Today

1) I have the flu, which means:
2) I have a fever, and:
3) I am nauseous. Oh, and:
4) I am tired. So very, very tired
5) And my body aches
6) The side-effects from Zoloft are still going strong
7) And my anxiety is not reacting well to all of this
8) Nor is the depression
9) I am so sick of being sick

I know I'm blowing this out of proportion, but sometimes it seems as though the world is against you, you know?
Before you tell me I've got it good, I know that. I do. On a logical level, I know that, and I want to smack myself for feeling the way I do.
But I still feel the way I do.
I feel like nothing is ever going to get better.

ps: I know things are going to get better
pps: Logically
ppps: But I still feel...ah, you get the gist now so I'll stop.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's Just Too Cute Not To Share

Jim: You speak french, don't you Aidan?
Aidan: Yep! And Francais, too!

On This Ghost Story Tuesday, I Shall Write About The Lord

The one thing I can count on when people learn about my gifts (aside, that is, from the inevitable looks of disbelief, fear, or delight) is the eventual question, “how does faith/spirituality/religion fit into all of this?” Well, I’ll tell you how it fits into all of this for me.
I want to say, first, that I believe that the most beautiful (if not equally frustrating) thing about my gifts is that I simply don’t fully understand them. Why me? What, exactly, am I supposed to do with all of this? What does it mean? How far can I stretch myself? What can I accomplish? How? Now, after many years, I’ve been able to embrace those questions as proof of endless possibilities. Never, ever in this lifetime do I want to know everything there is to know about my gifts. I want to learn more, always. But I know there will always be something more. And that, to me, is wonderful.
After many years of struggling with my beliefs and spirituality, I’ve finally settled into a similar space. Who is God? What is God? How, when, where is God? What is God to me? How do I reconcile all of the different religions? Which one is right? How do we know? Well, I believe this:
We don’t. We just don’t know. Nobody does.
After I realized that, I decided to try and figure out what I believe. First I took what I do know:
There is something more than this…more than all of this we see around us. So much more…so much that is bigger than us.
I feel a connection to that.
Humans, in their quest for understanding, have tried to make sense of things they don’t understand by explaining them. We like to place rules around things to gain control over them, don’t we?
Organized religion, so far, just isn’t for me. I’ve tried it. Lots. I went to Sunday School as a kid. Heck, I taught a Sunday School class when I was older. I went to church. I sung in the choir. But, even as a young girl, I could never fully commit. I knew there were many religions, and I wanted to learn about them, too. I wanted to keep an open mind, and I found that that was sometimes hard in church. In University, my wonderful friend encouraged me to try her church. Open to new things, I agreed. I sung in the choir, I went every Sunday…but try as I might, I was uncomfortable. I didn’t like that women seemed to be second class to men. I didn’t like that I was “immoral” because I lived with Jim (whom I was only engaged to, and not married to, at the time). It just didn’t seem right…and when I was told that I was working with the Devil when I used my gifts, I cried.
I think that for some, organized religion is wonderful. I think it provides a support system, a family, and a comfortable set of parameters to live your life by…it makes you feel good, and safe, and assured that someone is taking care of you. And that everything in life has a reason. That feels good.
But I can’t ignore all those questions…all that unanswered stuff, you know? For me, the not knowing and accepting that is better than trying to explain it away just so I can feel comfortable.
So I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t know what’s “right”. But now, I know what’s right for me.
I believe in God. I don’t know exactly what God is, but I believe in God. I love God. I feel God around me every day. I see God in my children’s eyes and in the sunlight and in the rain. I see God in tragedy and miracle alike. In life, in death, and in the quest for more. I have a beautiful relationship with God. God guides me and teaches me, and I listen and question. I live my life believing that every decision is important, that someday every decision I make will be reflected back to me, so I make my decisions very carefully. I try to be a good person, and I try to improve my failings.
I talk to God every day.
I don’t know why I have gifts, but I’m sure it’s the same reason that a singer has the gift of a beautiful voice. Or a scientist has their gifts. I think we have to take our gifts, whatever they are, and use them for good.
Simple, isn’t it?
I have lots of questions. I’m going to learn for the rest of this life, and I’m going to keep learning when I die. While I’m learning, I’m going to try and live my life in a good, productive way. I’m going to talk to God, and I’m going to learn. I’m going to use my gifts, and learn. I’m also going to teach what I’ve learned. I’m going to be open-minded, and I’m going to be ok with not knowing. I’m going to be accepting of others and their beliefs, and expect the same in return. That’s all.


Last night in therapy, something amazing happened! My therapist started talking about meditation and related techniques I could use to relax. Somehow my decision NOT to tell her about my gifts dissolved, and I told her. I did get the looks, but they were surprisingly positive. I think it’s safe to say she was thrilled. She opened her purse and handed me a brochure. It described a similar energy work technique to what I do. She had gone for a session a few weeks ago!
She suggested that this is something I should focus on when I’m healthy. Something I should do for a living! She said local clinics would let me work from there.
I’m so excited! I’m so pumped!
And oh yeah…I have found a new respect for my therapist.
I know I could do it…make this my work. I have to do it right, though, and I’m not sure what’s right yet. I’ll figure it out!
Thank you for your support…and for letting me use this blog as a place I can talk about it!
Oh! She agreed that my gifts contribute to my anxiety. I have to look into this more. Interesting that my sister and brother also have gifts and also have anxiety issues. Hmmmm.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Liam Writes A Post

Hi everybody!

This is very exciting...Mom finally gave me the reins and I get to really let you all know what's going on around here. I have so many things to tell you.

Guess what I can do? I can move forward! For the longest time, I could only move backwards, see. I would see something that looked like it would be wonderful to chew, and I'd concentrate really hard on getting it...and slide further and further away from it. Mom can vouch for me when I say that I've been very frustrated, but who can blame me? Sometimes I slide right under the couch and then someone has to rescue me! So I've been screaming a lot. It seems to get my point across, and while I can write very well, I can't seems to be able to form the words with my mouth yet. Hey, I'm working on it. I have lots to do, here, people!

Anyway, as I was saying, I found a great way to move forward! I use my arms (which, incidentally, come complete with fascinating, delicious, and very useful things called hands (ooooh I love hands!)) to pull myself forward! Wriggling my legs helps. Right now I'm working on getting up on my hands and knees and moving around. I'm still only able to go backwards that way, but the position does give me a bit of a height advantage and I'm able to get to this magical thing called honey, don't put your fingers in there! Sometimes they also call it a VCR. Either way, it's fun. There are buttons! And lights! And if you push the right button, things happen! Like something might pop out of that hole that I like to put my fingers in. Or suddenly a new show is on...the TV. People, don't even get me started on the TV. Let me just say this: I love it.

So Mom says I'm 9 months old now. That meant that I had to go get a needle today but guess what? Guess what happened? Well the power was out at the doctor's office! That means that they couldn't open the vaccination fridge...and that means...NO NEEDLE FOR ME! Mom says I'm getting it Friday, but who knows when that is. All I care about is that I don't have to get it today. I know it's supposed to be "for my own good" (bah!) but those things hurt. They HURT! So I'm in a rather good mood.

Something cool happened at the doctor's office, though. I was biting Mommy's thumb (it's nearly as good as mine!) and Mommy said I have a tooth coming in! She got all excited and I did, too! I have been wondering what that hard thing is. Apparently, Caleb and Aidan (I love my brothers so much they are so fun and cool and they play with me!) didn't get their teeth 'til way later. Ha! I may not crawl like they did, but man, I can sure grow teeth good!

Things are pretty good around here. Mommy went and got some medication and she says she'll start feeling better soon. That makes me happy. Mommy is a good Mommy, and I want her to feel happy. Like me!

We had fun on the weekend. I love when everybody is home! Caleb and Aidan like to make me laugh and they act so funny. I can't wait 'til I can act just like them, though Mom says she hopes maybe I'll be a bit calmer. Whatever. I want to be just like my brothers! Sometimes I make my brothers laugh, too. Sometimes Mom and Dad do silly things with me and everyone laughs. I'm not really sure why. They spent a lot of time trying to balance a little bath toy on my head the other night and take a picture at just the right time. They were laughing and acting like it was the funniest thing. I just don't get it. Mom said it looked like I had a tiny hat on. Here's a picture:

I don't know. I think they've lost it. They took this one a couple minutes later, and by then I'd had just about enough.

I mean, I'm a good sport and all, but I'm not laundry! Mom thought I was cute. She says that a lot, you know. I can tell she loves me a really, really lot. Sometimes, when she's holding me, she squeezes me tight and whispers to me. I don't know what she's saying but I know it's something about love because I can feel it. I just close my eyes and let it sink in. It feels so nice to be held that way. I wish I could be in Mommy's arms all the time, it feels just so nice. She's so warm and I like the way she smells, too. And she feeds me! Mommy says someday I won't want to be in her arms or Daddy's arms all the time...that someday I'll want to run around and play and get dirty and I won't even want to come inside! Can you believe that? Well, me either. Maybe someday, Mom, but not now! You can hold me as much as you want right now.

Hmm. I'm getting that drowsy feeling. I get it a lot but I don't quite know what to do with it. My eyes get all heavy and my thinking starts to get foggy. I don't really understand it, so sometimes I get mad and yell a lot. Mom says I need to sleep...that I'm tired. I'll tell you something, though, I don't really like to do that sleeping thing. Not at all. BORING! But Mom says I'm doing better. I'm in such a big bed now, called a crib! And I can roll around and stuff. Mom pats my head and I get my soother. But I still cry when I go in my crib. I just don't know what to do with that drowsy feeling.

Well this was fun. Maybe I'll come back and write some more sometime! But right now, there's a boobie calling my name!



Sunday, March 12, 2006

Please Hang Up And Refrain From Trying Your Call Again

I don’t seem to be sticking to my New Year’s resolution. This whole answering the phone when it rings thing is HARD! How do you people do it? I was doing ok for a while, then the depression hit and suddenly it got so…complicated. I would hear the ring, take a look at the display, and think, “they can wait,” or “wow, I’d love to talk to her!” or “oh, I’ve been meaning to call this person…” and then let the rings fade out, frozen. Doesn’t matter who’s calling; it could be the doctor’s office calling to confirm an appointment, or a friend, or my Mom. Sometimes I work up the motivation to call back. Most times, I don’t.
Writing is harder, too. I have so many words in me! So many things to say. But it’s all stuck, somehow…lodged between my anxiety and my depression.
I’m trying.
I started Zoloft two nights ago, and I’m working through the side effects. It hasn’t been too bad so far, but really not very much fun, either.
So, to all of you who I owe emails to, I’m sorry I’m late. But be consoled, you’ve got the highest chance of hearing from me if you email me! That’s the easiest.
To all of those who have tried and failed to get me on the phone, I’m sorry. The worst calls are those that I so want to return, then I let a couple days go by and the guilt of waiting so long makes picking up the phone even harder. Christine, I got the message about your purse! How wonderful that someone brought it back! How amazing! I’m so happy for you. To my dear, dear friend in Nova Scotia who has tried several times to get me on the phone, congratulations. CONGRATULATIONS! You guys deserve this and so much more. To my dentist: no, I will not be returning your call to schedule a cleaning. Because, you see, cleanings SUCK. And I don’t want one. To my therapist: thanks for the message. I did go get that Zoloft. Oh, do you think we can talk about this whole phone aversion thing?
Liam has offered to write a couple of blog entries for me:

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Shameless Flirt

If You're Happy And You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Note the absence of clapping.

I'm having a hard time posting lately. I'm very busy, you see, with the obsessing and whatnot. The good news on that front is that I will be going to the clinic tomorrow to ask for drugs. I talked with my Psychologist (who, incidentally, cannot prescribe medication. I learned that in first year Psychology, which I got an A+ in, and apparently have some selective retention going on) about it and she agrees; my level of anxiety is just too high to be able to focus on the behavioral and cognitive stuff she has me trying out.

The relief I felt after she said that was immense. Somebody understands! WOO!
In other news, Caleb has finally decided that he's no longer afraid to walk to school and back. So, he's been walking to school in the morning and coming home for lunch. It's been a joy and a wonderful way to break up the monotony of the day. I'm proud of him, but at the same time, my heart hurts just a little watching him run down the street, his backpack bobbing violently on his shoulders and a huge, proud smile on his face. He usually stays at the school daycare, and will again once I return to work, but for now he has this new freedom, and with it, a new sense of accomplishment. I'm so proud of him!

I am hesitant to write this next bit, because if I do, I may be jinxing things. But for you, I shall write! Why? Because of the love. The love for you!


The situation with the Sleepless Wonder is improving.

There! I said it! I did get Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, and although it hasn't really taught me anything new, it has reinforced my resolve to make some changes, and prompted Jim and I to take action. So, for the last 5 days, we've been putting Liam in his crib, patting him on his downy blonde head, and leaving. Two minutes (and lots of screaming) later, we go in and pop his soother back in. Some more head-patting and some whispered sweet words and we leave again. Each day, we have to do this less. He cries less. And he sleeps longer. He's still waking up twice a night, and 4am still seems like a great time to start the day to him, but...things are better. And that's all I wanted!

Well he's tired right now so I'll try for the first nap. But let me leave you with some pictures! Ok!

Who the heck is holding me?

Oh, it's Caleb! I love Caleb!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ghost Story Tuesday

Once again, The Ghost Whisperer has influenced my entry this week. I was going to talk about where religion fits into all this, but a scene in Friday's show brought back a memory from my childhood that I've tried very hard to repress, and I thought I'd write about it. I'll write about spirituality next week, 'k?
Remember when I talked about tricksters? Those entities that hang around and feed on our fear and get pleasure out of freaking us out? Children, being more open and thus having less control over these types of things, are much more prone to have experiences with these unpleasant (but usually harmless except for scaring the crap out of us) beings. When I was a kid, I had most of my experiences with those who have passed on when I was in bed. I still do, actually; it's when I'm most relaxed and able to open up.
My sister and I shared a room when we were kids, and together experienced many incidents involving the dead: voices talking and whispering in our darkened bedroom, invisible fingers tickling us and bouncing on our beds...etc. I would wake up in the middle of the night and hear the tv on downstairs, then go down to see who was up only to find myself in an empty, darkened living room. Very often, I would wake and see people in my room...sometimes thier faces would be on the wall beside my bed, and sometimes they would be standing in the corner or by the door. Every time this happened, I would close my eyes, take a deep breath, and open my eyes to find that they'd gone. And I would convince myself that they had never really been there.
Often, I would open my eyes in the morning and find someone leaning over my bed, their face directly above mine. Sometimes their features were blurry or unclear, and sometimes it was as if I could reach out and touch them, they were so perfectly clear to me. Sometimes, they'd be peering into my eyes without expression. Just...staring. More often, they'd be making faces, stretching their features unnaturally. Sometimes, these faces were attached to a body, standing beside my bed. Sometimes, it would just a head...or a face. I started waking up every morning with a stomachache, terrified to open my eyes. The fear was paralyzing! The only consolation was that every time I closed my eyes and reopened them, the entities would disappear.
One morning as I awoke, I knew there was something there. I could feel the heat of it on my face before I opened my eyes, and a ball of hot, intense fear gathered in my gut. I consoled myself: it was morning and I could tell the sun was shining into my room. How bad could it be? Also, all I would have to do it close my eyes if I saw something, right? My confidence at least partially restored, I opened my eyes.
Directly above my face was a head, floating. The face contorted hideously and consistently, rolling it's eyes and stretching it's mouth into a grimace. It did not look at me. It's features moved and writhed non-stop. I remember being transfixed on that face, not breathing, not thinking, just being frozen there for what felt like forever. Then I gasped and shut my eyes. I could feel tears roll down into my ears. I reopened my eyes.
Still there. It was still there.
You know those dreams where you're being chased and it feels like you're running through quicksand? You keep looking back as your pursuer gains on you and try breathlessly to scream, but only a weak wail escapes your throat? That morning, I screamed for my mother, and only a whisper of sound came out of my throat. I tried again with the same results. I remember gathering everything I had in me...all the fear, the desperation, and the strength, and finally screaming as loud as I could.
As soon as my Mom came in the room, it was gone. Of course, she reassured me it was just a dream; that could never really happen. And maybe that day was the very beginning of me learning to shut my gift out. Because I tried very, very hard to believe her. I wanted what she said to be true, and I worked on my faith in that.
Honestly, I still try very hard not to think of that morning. I swear, though, if I meet that entity in the afterlife (though that being is hopefully on a very different level from where I'll be going...), there will be some payback. Can you do that when you die?
Anyway, probably as a result of my decision that it wasn't real, I never woke up to faces above my bed again.
People standing in the corner is a different story altogether.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lots O' Stuff

Well I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine was busy, but fun. Our friends Jill and Phil brought 6-week olf Sasha (did you know that's short for Alexandre? Did you? Is that cool or what?) to meet us on Saturday. Amazing how, in just a few months, the feeling of holding such a tiny baby became nearly forgotten to me. There's nothing like that weight in your arms...anyhoo, he was delicious, as were his parents. Jim made some awesome pasta for dinner and I made a rather exemplary strawberry shortcake for dessert. That was delicious too.
All in all, a rather edible time.

Those first baby smiles are so precious:

Caleb is back in school today, and Aidan is in daycare so it's just Liam and I. Liam, who thought it fitting that I only sleep for a few hours last night. Liam, who is joyfully rocking back and forth on all fours right now and saying, "aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!" with exuberance. Liam, who smells like heaven and greets me with a whole-body hug and a wet kiss on the jaw whenever I pick him up. Sleep or no, the child holds a very large portion of my heart.

So, today is Monday, and for those of you who've been following along, it's therapy night. Unfortunately, the cogs and wheels inside my head have been turning, and I think that if my therapist doesn't do an excellent job of convincing me tonight, I will lose my faith in her plan. This whole focus on getting over my emetophobia is fine and dandy...but isn't it treating the symptom rather than the problem? I mean sure, the phobia affects my life, but WHY do I suffer with it in the first place? Why can I barely make it through the grocery store because I'm panicking so badly that I fear I will pass out? HEY! I know! Because I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder! And anxiety and panic disorder! And right now, for one reason or another, they're worse than usual.

Now is it just me or shouldn't we be treating the disorders? The underlying causes of the symptoms? I mean, I am paying this woman some serious coin. Seriously folks, how is throwing up going to help me?

I must say that exercising is helping me. In the past, exercise and I have never been friends. I would watch my friends take their walks and bounce off to the gym (*shudder*) on thier lunch hours and console myself with a very convincing "exercise is for CHUMPS!" attitude. Which is why I'm so surprised that I look forward to exercising each day. I love my walks. It gives my mind time to be blank and clean, and gives me a chance to get out and breathe the air. And afterwards I feel that tired feeling I have always loathed...but now I feel proud. My sore legs are like an accomplishment. Something I'm doing for me. I think it's far too early to know whether it's going to help in the way my therapist wants it to help, but it is helping in other ways.

So what would you do? Would you voice your concerns? Would you go armed with internet information or just with logic and smarts? Hmmm?

Oh! Family Night on Friday was fun. We went out for dinner and the kids were well-behaved and charming. We are loving Family Night! Here is the problem: Family Night is freaking expensive. So, if you have ideas for Inexpensive Family Night, I am all ears!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Three Year-Olds Are Entertaining

Aidan: Mom, I can't bite this thing!
Me: You're supposed to suck it. That's why it's called a sucker, hon.
Aidan: And it's called a licker too, right Mom?
Me: (Laughing) Sure, I guess so...
Aidan: Because we have the tongues!
Me: Yep, we definitely have the tongues.
Aidan: And we can lick on there! Right?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I’m a Little Bit Crazy and That’s OK

*This is post number 100! On this momentous occasion, I invite all you lurkers to leave a comment. Thanks to all who visit; this blog has brought me more than I dreamed it could.*

My appointment on Monday night was fine. Two important things happened: 1) she didn’t prescribe any medication, and 2) I decided I'm ok with that. For now.
My psychologist listened excitedly as I described my vomit phobia. She had dealt with a similar case about 10 years ago, and the treatment (mostly cognitive/behavioural) was successful. We talked about the steps we’d take for a while, and I begun to have hope. She gently walked me through her plan, which includes several weeks of “steps” I’ll take to get me thinking about things differently, and which ultimately culminates in a purposeful, ipecac-induced barfing session. Seriously. When she said that, the fight or flight response was swift and harsh. I wanted to bolt out of there and never look back. But she’s assured me that we’ll take it slow, and that I won’t have to do it until I’m ready.
Wanna know a secret?
There’s no way on this side of Hell that that is ever going to happen.
See, my problem isn’t with the actual puking. I’ve puked before. It sucks monkey ass. But it’s not the end of the world. My problem is with my puking obsession, most likely related to my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Logically, I am aware that vomiting is not dangerous…it’s my obsession (unable to be controlled by me) that’s causing the angst. So I’ll take the steps…hey, I think changing my behaviours and thoughts on the subject will help. However, friends and neighbours, I have nearly perfected the technique of not throwing up, even when it is most advisable to do so. Throwing up makes me tired and sore and, oh yeah, EW! So, if I don’t have to do the deed, I won’t. I don’t think the actual act will help.
Who knows, that view could change as I become more sane.
Anyway, my doc. was looking all bright-eyed and proud of herself as our barf conversation drew to a close. Then I sprung the rest on her. As I regaled her of tales of debilitating panic, daily problems with obsessive behaviours, overwhelming anxiety, and the like, her face took on a bit more of a tense look.
THEN we talked about my family history.
Ah, it was almost funny.
Poor woman.
Anyway, I’m going to post updates on my weekly treatment. Maybe I’ll help someone. Or maybe it’s just therapeutic. Or maybe someone will see some humour in it. I hope so – I do! Here’s what I’m doing this week:

1) I am to have my kids and my loving husband record themselves pretending to puke. Then I will shut myself in my bedroom, recline on my bed and attempt to relax, and listen to the tape for as long as I can stand it. I am supposed to do this daily. It sounds kinda funny, huh? But although I hide it well, my stomach does a nasty lurch every time anyone makes any type of barfy noises. So this is a challenge.
2) I am exercising 20 minutes a day. Supposed to be as good as taking an anti-depressant, what with the release of adrenaline and nor-epinephrine and other happiness/relaxation hormones. I’m actually enjoying this part. For the last two nights, when all the little ones are snug in their beds, I’ve ventured into the out-of-doors and I’ve walked, briskly, for 20 minutes. It’s freezing out there at that time of night! On Tuesday night, the wind was blowing harshly and the snow stuck and froze resolutely to my cheeks, but I pressed on. Sure, I could stay inside and do yoga or play Dance Dance Revolution, but I like getting out of the house and breathing the air…even the snot-freezingly cold variety.

So, what else? Jim took the day off yesterday and Aidan stayed home from daycare. It’s Caleb’s March break week, so we decided to spend a day together. We went to Denny’s for breakfast, which was YUM. Jim’s breakfast was shockingly ginormous. It was HUGE. Disgustingly so. But well worth the money.
I’m going to leave you with a sweet picture of our non-sleeper, whose hair was recently assaulted by static. Here’s the result:

Oh! Many, many thanks for the suggestions on that whole pesky sleep issue. I’ve ordered “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” and look forward to devouring it in record time so we can make some positive changes around here.

Oh! Also! Several of you want remote energy readings. I’ve done a couple and have a couple more scheduled, and I must apologize for the delays to those of you who haven’t heard from me! Rest assured, I want to do your reading; I love doing this work. I know that eventually I’ll be bogged down with requests, but for now, all is well and good except for the whole time issue. I’ll get to you!