Summers Stories: The Shut-Ins Get Out!

Summers Stories The Shut Ins Get Out

Well, hello, there, strangers!

Betcha thought I’d fallen off the face of the earth, right? Well, sort of. Not exactly. Okay, here goes:

Let’s start with a little bit of trivia about me: I’m a Reader. A HUGE reader. If given the choice, I’d rather have a gift card to a bookstore than a weekend at a spa or a free for all clothes shopping trip.

I’ll read almost anything: non-fiction, great literature, brain candy comedies, well, really, the only thing that usually skeeves me out is romance novels, but I have even found a few authors of that genre that I enjoy.

For the past almost 3 years, 97% of my reading has been medical literature, message boards, articles and tips on FPIES, fructmal, salicylate intolerance, and living and cooking for special medical food needs. 

Necessary, but not what anyone would call “fun” or “relaxing”. 

As a matter of fact, little about our lives the past almost 3 years could be called “fun and relaxing”.

Since returning to work last May, every month has gotten harder, more stressful, and more overwhelming for me. After the extremely  rough winter we just endured, I found myself battling depression, anxiety, and just general “being burned-out”.

I’m not an ostrich. I face problems head-on. But after nearly 3 years of facing so many complicated challenges with determination, I just…couldn’t anymore.

The emotional exhaustion finally got to me. I couldn’t cope any more.

I needed a break.

I didn’t really even realize how much I needed a break, until I noticed a new installment of one of my favorite book series out in the stores. Since I’m compulsive about re-reading an entire series before reading the latest installment, the beginning of March found me picking up the first Eve Dallas novel.

(In case you haven’t read them, the Eve Dallas novels are written by J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts. There are 40 books in the series, plus almost a dozen novellas written in compilation books. They’re excellent stories!)

I’ve been plowing my way through them ever since. I’m currently on the 26th book on the series (not counting the novellas that were published in compilation books).

Yes, I read insanely fast. 

Between all the craziness of my life, my work, and my escape into books, I have completely dropped the blogging ball. 

Apparently I can’t read and write at the same time. Who knew?

So that explains where I’ve been the last few weeks. Either flying, hanging out with my family, reading, or taking some shaky steps into re-engaging with the world.

Oh, yeah…I haven’t mentioned that part yet.

Yes, the Summers Shut-Ins are stepping out of Mama’s comfort zone and attempting to try for some normality.

It’s making my stomach cramp, but it’s the right thing to do.

We started Jed in martial arts last January, and that has been going beautifully for him and for us. Jed loves going, and is already showing great leaps and bounds in personal growth and maturity from the small exposure of two half-hour classes per week.

It’s really phenomenal.

Then, the weekend after my last post, when I was at my most drained and discontent, I went to the Ladies Prayer Retreat our church puts on every year.

I’ll write a LOT more about that later, but the short summation of the weekend brought about two changes in our household: Tee Ball and Sunday School.

There’s far too much to go into about those right now, but I promise to flesh out the Tee Ball, Sunday School, and Prayer Retreat stories later.

Basically, at this point, our lives are expanding exponentially…and it scares the crap out of me. I’m on pins and needles trying to figure out how to navigate the outside world with two little boys that have such confusing issues!

However, it needs to be done.

I need to break out of my comfort zone and stop living our lives in the confines of our house. The boys need to experience the world beyond our walls.

Even if – especially if – we homeschool the kiddos, the outside experiences will be good for them.

Beyond all the reading, world expanding, and work, we have continued on much as before.

We managed to squeeze in an entire zucchini trial on Zac – and gained our 14th safe food for him!

As is typical for us, it wasn’t an “easy” trial. The first part went like clockwork, then the three day break.

The day we reintroduced the zucchini after the break, though, Jed got sick.

The day after that, Zac started having some disturbing diapers that made us worry…until we remembered that he and Jed had blown bubbles on the porch the day before. We already knew about Zac’s issues with bubbles, but we let them blow them anyway in hopes that he had gotten old enough that he wouldn’t put his mouth ON the bubble wand this time.

Sadly, he did.

Hence, the weird diapers.

No sooner had the diapers cleared back up, and Zac got sick, too.

Both boys are now coughing, sneezing, have heads so congested I imagine they’re dizzy, are whiny and uncomfortable, and have ear infections.

I didn’t think to look in their ears until Thursday night, and when I did…WOWZA! Those were some seriously messed up little ears!

Since we only have rocephin shots as a safe antibiotic for Zac, and those take 3 days to administer, we decided to hold off through the weekend and try using garlic oil in their ears to see if that worked to clear up the infection before heading off to the doctor for the heavy-duty antibiotics.

Their ears haven’t gotten worse, but they haven’t gotten better, either. So it’s off to the doctor this afternoon.  Sigh.

At least we got one more food trial done before this latest sickness throws everything out of whack, right?

Oh, and while I was absent from here, Darrel and I went on a date. That’s always fun. And the weather was nice enough on several days that the boys and I went to the park to play. Again, always fun (and more about that later, too).

I’m sorry I disappeared the way I did. I didn’t realize how much weight I was carrying on my shoulders until I unwittingly lightened my load. It was good to take a little time to do something – no matter how trivial – that didn’t TAKE from me in some way. I needed the recharge.

And yes, I’m feeling much better now. 

So while I can’t promise I’ll be able to stick to the 5 days a week publishing schedule I prefer to keep, I can promise that I’m back from my impromtu hiatus.

Thanks for sticking around!

How have you been doing?

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5 Responses to Summers Stories: The Shut-Ins Get Out!

  1. Rebecca says:

    I am glad you got lost in a book(s) for a bit… I bet that made a huge difference in your overall mood and outlook. Good luck with the continued social immersion! In schools, when we talk about kids with special needs, we talk about a “least restrictive” environment a lot… Where and how can we serve this child with the least amount of encroaching on the “normal” way a child that age would do things. You have to keep kids safe… So for some kids the regular playground equipment or regular PE is just not an option. You have to keep kids learning… So some kids can’t do all of their learning in a regular classroom.. They need time in a special education classroom. But everything we do is supposed to come from this place of, how can I serve this child and still keep everything as normal as possible. And sometimes, as the kids grow, we see their needs go up… Or come down… And the environment needs to shift with those changes. That’s what I hear you doing for your boys… Finding their least restrictive environment.

    • Carrie says:

      You remember how much I read…yes, the reading did help me quite a bit!

      I like that. “Least restrictive environment”. That’s a really good phrase to describe what we’re trying to do. Thank you for telling me this!

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