(all below photos taken in Humboldt, CA)
3. Summertime and my kids: we started a new chore system and it seems to be going well. The kids are actually doing chores!! Hooray! This is going well for the most part because I am doing well enough to enforce it - ta da! Magic! ;) And Zac and I are both actually amazed at how well it is going. It took a couple weeks to get some of the complaining to stop and to not have to drag certain children from step to step but after 4 weeks, it seems to be going somewhat smoothly. They have a room for the week to clean and maintain everyday and then "deep clean" once a week and we have incorporated doing the laundry and some extra things into the basic rooms. They have a printed list of what they are expected to do every day. I help Samuel and Elisabeth as needed. That's basically it. They seem to be proud of their work, happier throughout the day, they keep things cleaner because they take some ownership in it. Ahh finally seeing some growth in this little garden!! We are also taking steps to limit screen time and that seems to be helping the overall tone in our home. Other than that, we've made our list of "fun things to do" and we're trying to do them. Except Elisabeth wants to do things like "make hats" and I'm really like, really? do we have to make hats?! I'm not crafty and I don't really want to sit and make hats but there it is, sitting, staring at me on the fun list, wanting to be done. Crap. So yeah. There's things like that. I'm more into the "make homemade ice cream" - lots of it. Let's make lots of homemade ice cream, and popsicles, and smoothies, and cookies .... and forget all about counting calories .... ever . . . again. Ugh. It's too hot here.
We are also doing lots of pooltime and hopefully growing lots of great family memories. Summertime...
4. Finally, because I haven't updated in a long time, I'll just give a quick pain update. It's still there. The beastly trigeminal neuralgia and chronic migraine. I added another medication that is supposed to be helping the migraines and could also combine to work with my other med to help my TN. I started in April and have been increasing the dose. April I had 17 migraine days. May I had 14. June I had 10. So you could say perhaps it's working. It could be coincidence. It could be any number of factors. You could say any way you look at it, 10 migraine days in a month is still an awful dang lot of migraines!!! I was disappointed when I counted it up because it felt like it had been such a better month for me. hahaha. That's still an awful lot of days. And then I still have the daily TN pain. But I'd have to say that pain is mostly down a notch. So instead of generally being at a 6-7 on a 1-10 scale, it is mostly at around a 5-ish most of the time. And I have some small hours at a time when I am almost without pain, which is glorious. I have been able to exercise, or I am able to force myself to exercise most of the time, which I am grateful for - and I have been counting calories, which is miserable. But it is a necessary evil, because I hate the weight I gained on the meds and being bedridden that first year and a half with the severe pain. It is/was a definite contributor to my depression. I never know if or when I may be at that point again so I need to do all I can to become more physically healthy while I can or whenever I can. It's been hard but worth it to see even small results. So my pain is a little bit better. Mostly now I get the ache and stinging pain across my cheekbone, occasionally aching in my upper jaw, occasional aching and shooting pain in ear, pain around eye and in eye, tingling along tip of tongue, feeling like someone is pinching my ear - then the migraine either in my left eye and left side of forehead and head, or on my right side of head (I know that's
weird). So that's the strange garden of my brain (these messed up neurons). Just leave it alone - only the professionals can tell what's growing in there (metaphorically).
And there you have it. Lots of growth and weeding and watering and fertilizing and nourishing and waiting and watching and hopefully harvesting. All of it. That's what life is, right? Gardening. :)