Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tough Choices

It's a fact of life. Sometimes we have to make difficult choices that we don't want to make. I'm not talking about the choice between mint chocolate chip or brownie sundae ice cream (pick both!!) or whether to wear our super cute jeans with our super cute sweater.  I'm talking about those really tough choices that life puts in front of us.

Byron and I have been having to make those choices lately. Money is tight. We have six kids. One needs another cochlear implant. Two have dental work they need.  One keeps growing and going naked isn't a choice (although she's super cute and squishy, so surely no one would mind...too much).  Medical bills need to be paid. Tummies need to be fed.  So, we have to make a choice.  Do we sacrifice some of those needs so I can keep staying home, or do we send me back to work?  After a lot of thought and consideration, we think it's best that I find a job to help us catch up on the bills and meet the kids' needs.

We've been blessed so far. Things have fallen into place such that we have all our basic needs met.  We have a safe, warm home. We have healthy food in our tummies. We have clothes on our backs. Those are the most important things.  The thing is that we need to bring in just a bit more to insure that we can maintain those things.  I've decided to be a consultant for doTERRA, and that might help a little bit (and it's a whole other blog post. Who knew those oils could do so much????), but we also need something consistent.

I found my "dream job".  It's exactly what I would choose to do when I grow up if I could do anything.  It is a position coordinating services and working with families who have children with varying levels of disabilities. I would LOVE that job. It's my passion, and I think I'd be good at it.  The trouble is the hours. It looks like they're open until 6pm. My babies need me home much earlier than that after school, so I'm not sure my dream job is all that much of a dream.

I've found some jobs teaching pre-school, which I've done in the past and was very successful at.  We have to weigh the options on that one.  Will I be too drained at the end of the day to give anything to my own children?  It's a tough call.  I found an assistant director position at a pre-school as well. That might be a little bit better. 

I think that the job we're looking most closely at right now is as a paraprofessional in a special ed. classroom. It isn't as glamorous as the "dream job" and probably won't pay quite as well.  It would, however, allow me to be home when my kids get home and it would give me the same vacations and days off as them. I'll take less glamour for more time with them.

So, now we wait. We have to see if anyone even calls me in the first place.  Hopefully I get some interviews and then offers. Either way, I feel a sense of peace and calmness that this is what we need to do.

I put some prayer into it. I don't like praying out loud because I always feel dumb when I hear myself. Last night, though, I was able to let my guard down a little bit and just really have a chat with my Heavenly Father. I told Him what my needs are, what my fears are, my goals, and what I want to do for my family.  I prayed for each child by name and with a need specific to them individually. I prayed for Byron and his specific needs.  It was probably my best prayer ever because it was just me talking to Him.  That felt good. It wasn't mind-blowing and didn't yield some huge epiphany about what I should do, but it felt good. It felt peaceful.  It felt like I have someone in power on my side making sure I make right choices.

Now, I just have to wait. Hopefully, when the time comes, the answer will be clear and there won't be nearly as many tough choices to make.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

So, A Friend Gave Me Essential Oils

A little over a week ago, a good friend called and asked if she could send me some essential oils to try. She swears they're changing her life and that of her son, who has special needs. I was admittedly skeptical, but this is a VERY good friend and I trust her completely.  Plus, it was a gift, so I had nothing to lose.  I agreed and she placed the order.  She sent me quite a variety of stuff from doTERRA

She sent me the physician's kit, the onguard toothpaste, some Frankincense, orange, lemon, slim and sassy, and in focus for CJ and Liam.  Today was day three of trying the oils.  I've been keeping a pretty consistent log of what I've seen and giving my friend all the feedback as I've tried it.  I have to be honest: I'm completely shocked.

Day one: I put some orange in the diffuser and the kids couldn't get enough of it when they came home. They just had to all be around it.  I also put some lavender on their feet at bedtime. Liam was out cold in no time and slept through the night. In fact, he's slept through the night both nights he's had it so far. That's kind of a big deal for him. 

Day Two: I put some peppermint in the diffuser in the morning along with some OnGuard.  I keep the diffuser in the kitchen where all the family comes together.  This way, everyone gets it.  Both yesterday and this morning were amazing mornings!  The kids all got right up, dressed, fed themselves, brushed teeth, packed their bags, and made it to the bus with no crying or fighting. This. Was. HUGE!! Huge I tell you!!!  I also put some of the in focus  and onguard on CJ and Liam's neck and feet. 

When they came home from school, I again had the orange going.  The house was just kind of like usual, but not quite so wild. I'll take that.  I gave them the lavender at bedtime, and haven't seen a huge difference in getting them to go to sleep (except Liam. He is out like a light the past two nights.), but I have noticed that all the kids are sleeping through the night nicely. Plus, like I mentioned, they're getting up on time and moving out the door in a much better way.

Byron and I also starting some drops of slim and sassy in our water. It says to put 4 drops in 8 oz. of water. Not enough water!! We have to do about 1 drop to 20 oz or so of water to choke it down. Awful stuff. I won't lie. I can't say right away if it's working, but I do feel full after it. Plus, I have the energy to actually exercise like I should be. 
Day Three: I maintained the same morning routine as yesterday. CJ asked that I not put the oils on his neck because he doesn't like how it feels, so I just did his feet. I did do Liam's neck, but won't do that again because I noticed that it made his skin a little bit red. I asked his teacher, and she said there was no redness an hour later when he arrived at school. Still, I think I may stick with the feet. 

CJ stayed after school for scrapbooking club, which is run by his SLP. I came to pick up, and she pointed out that he managed to stay on task and accomplish a full page today. That's no small task for my sweet CJ.  His ADHD usually gets the best of him by the end of the day, but he managed to stick to his task. Good job, CJ!!  I'm not sure if the in focus is what did it, but I'll keep testing that one.

After school, I did the orange again and noticed something I didn't pick up on yesterday even though it was the same yesterday. Our daily "witching hour" didn't happen. Usually 4:30-6:30pm is utter chaos around here. Kids are whining and arguing over who gets to choose a show on tv, they're bugging me for snacks, fussing over not wanting to do homework, etc.  That didn't happen today or yesterday. In fact, after a long day at school and then scrapbook club, CJ managed to put a good hour and a half into math (his hardest subject) homework without whining one time.  Rachel also got her homework done, and the kids just all played nicely. No fighting or arguing or whining or anything. It was a lovely day. I intend to have that orange stuff going every day as they get off the bus and through our usual witching hour. 

At bedtime, I noticed that the tooth I need work on was hurting again. I went to the website my friend gave me where you find your symptom and it tells you what to do for it and it suggested using the onguard toothpaste. She had given that to me, but I was afraid it would taste like the slim and sassy, so I'd avoided it. I was pleasantly surprised. It just tasted like cinnamon gum. Yummy! I did take two ibuprofen, but after brushing with the toothpaste, the pain is completely gone. 

I found another use for the oils I think, but I found it totally by accident and I want to test my theory first. Plus, it's pretty TMI. 

Anyway, this is a fun experiment and I'm enjoying learning about essential oils and how they work. It's completely new and way outside my comfort zone, so I like that aspect of it.  For more information, you can go to my friend's website where she has lots of essential oils information and take a look around.

I'll keep posting about what I like, don't like, and everything in between.  If nothing else, my house smells lovely. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's Time to Get Back on the Bandwagon

I haven't touched the blog in ages. I've been putting all my updates on Facebook and thinking that was good enough, but I'm realizing that it's not good enough.  I need something that I can print out someday and make into a book. Or a binder. Or something.  I want my kids to really know who I am when they're not with me every single day anymore.  When they have some sort of question pop into their wacky little heads, I want them to wonder "I wonder what my mom would have done in this case" and already know the answer because they've heard my thoughts before.  I want them to know that I make mistakes because I've been crazy enough to put them all down in black and white.  I want them to know that I have a strong, deep, unwavering testimony of my faith. I know my God. I know my Savior.  I know they love me.  I know that I am a child of God and that my children are simply on loan from Him.  I want them to know that I know that. 

I want them to know that I'm funny. It's true. Sometimes I can make people laugh. At least a little bit. Really. Hey! Quit scoffing. It's true.  Okay, so I have to work on the funny. I'll make that a goal.  One bit of laughter for each family every single day whether they like it or not.

I've recently started working on family history, and I think that's when it occurred to me. I see all these names, dates, special events on paper, and I wonder to myself, "What were they like? What did they love? What broke their hearts?  What was their greatest treasure?  What was their great love story?".  So, Facebook is great. It's a perfect place to put my snippets and funny thoughts so I remember to blog them.  It's not enough, though.  It all needs to be written in full. So, here I am. I will put it all in writing's likely no one will even notice or comment or really take much notice, but at least it will be here. Someday that might actually matter to someone. That's enough for me.  That, and the fact that someone somewhere may find me to be even a little bit funny. 

Byron took this picture of the kids and me visiting Frontier Santa at a local festival after Aiden's shift as Tiny Tim.  What an amazing holiday season we had!