Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : Weekend Wrap Up To Include PUMPKIN POOP AND WITCHE...

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : Weekend Wrap Up To Include PUMPKIN POOP AND WITCHE...: I hope your weekend has been a great one!  Our weekend was full of pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting, and a fun movie themed snack!  ...


I hope your weekend has been a great one!

Our weekend was full of pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting, and a fun movie themed snack! 

One of my personal favorite holidays is Halloween with the pumpkin patches, movies, decorating, and all sorts of fun activities However, this year with hubs recovering from knee surgery there is not a lot he can do in terms of walking and the more stressful events on the body. We stress family time as a whole so this would include him and with our kids being so young and him being here I would feel horrible going to a pumpkin patch or a fall festival without him. As a military family there are often times we have to do so many things without because he is gone to include huge milestones so when he is here even if he recovering from knee surgery it is family time and we will find a way to enjoy it! 

So I went to the grocery store and bought a very nice pumpkin and two little ones so we could still carve and paint the pumpkins. Christopher loves to carve pumpkins and for him to pick out a design for a jack-o-lantern is very much like a woman picking out a pair shoes for an outfit! However, once the design was decided upon it was time to get messy!!! 

Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life: Daddy Cutting The Top Off Of  The Pumpkin

Have you ever noticed with little ones? When you encourage your little ones to get messy they are slightly hesitant but if they find the mess themselves they are all for it? 
Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life: Caleb not sure about the seeds

They were not sure of the pumpkin guts but they most mess with it! Which made this mommy very happy!
Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life: Caydance was the first to go all in! 

Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life: Well if Caydance can do it I can do it! 

When it came time for the cutting of the jack-o-lantern mommy brought out their little pumpkins to paint! Which I must admit was a hoot ! Caleb had a blast painting his pumpkin while Caydance enjoyed painting herself! 
Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life: Picture of  the Painting Pumpkins aka Messy Messy! 

After they had showers we snuggled down for a movie... for the life of me I cannot remember the title. I decided instead of popcorn which is the often go to snack in this household for movie night that I would do a Halloween themed treat! Now I know this is not super healthy and only a sometimes treat but we had PUMPKIN POOP and WITCHES NAILS!!! or in others word bugles and cheese balls! The pumpkin poop was the kids favorite! I tried to show Caleb how to wear the bugles on his fingers but he was not having it.  

~I found the Pumpkin Poop and Witches Nail Idea on Pinterest~

Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life: Pumpkin Poop and Witches Nails can be found on Pinterest 
After it got dark out side! We turned on the Halloween lights and broke open a glow stick to see are Jack-O-Lantern glow!!!! Caleb had the honor of putting the glow stick in the pumpkin and he thought that was the neatest thing ever!

Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life: Not our best work for Halloween decorating with one man down. I hate that half of my tree is out. Christopher promised to figure out what happen to it.
So that is what happen in the household of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life House Hold! 

Have a great Halloween! Stay Safe!!! See You next Week!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : Pen Pal Crafts ... Why Did We Not Think Of This So...

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : Pen Pal Crafts ... Why Did We Not Think Of This So...: Pen Pal Crafts Version 1.0                                                                                 I am sure some of you have h...

Pen Pal Crafts ... Why Did We Not Think Of This Sooner?

Pen Pal Crafts
Version 1.0                                                                                

I am sure some of you have heard of this idea before and some may have even put their own concept of pen pal crafts into actions. This blog post is to tell you how my friend Sierra and I are still able to craft together even though we are a couple states apart! 

~Small Introduction/Back Ground~

I love to craft and more than I love to craft I love to craft with people. I have some of my favorite memories of crafting with friends. One of my memories I have is remembering crafting with my friend Sarah on New Year Eves, drinking Sparkling Grape Juice, and waiting for Kevin to get home to see who got the first arrest of the year. I have been lucky to come across a couple of people who in my life who truly love to craft and that includes Sierra.

Say Hi Sierra! Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

I first met Sierra soon after my husband and I were stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We soon learn that we had a lot in common to include crafting. There were many nights that we crochet, dabble in other crafts, and spend many hours just talking. However, life normal events happen and we are now separated by couple of states.

Sadly since Sierra left a couple of years ago I have not been able to find anyone who wants to craft with me! I have asked friends and even a couple of family members and no takers!!! It really sucks!! Because I said they do not have to buy anything I mean I own my little craft store but no matter how you lead a horse to water you cannot make them drink not that I am calling my friends horses... :-) . Sierra and I would talk about crafts here and there what we were up too in the crafting and so on... and always we miss are crafting buddies!

Then one night not so long ago we decided to become Pen Pal Crafters! 

Why did we not think of this sooner? DING! DING! DING! DING! 

DING! DING! DING! Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life


These are Guideline and the concepts of how our pen pal craft system works 

1. Find ideas that you would like to do and make a list!

Sierra and I established a list on Pinterest where we are both able to pin ideas that we would like to perhaps one day try. We pinned crafts that are not in are norm and will make us step out of our comfort zone.

2. Pick out an idea!

We both pick out a couple of ideas and if we could not decide on one we run it through a random number generator. We also alternate who will run the ideas through the random number generator. There are tons of free random site generators online you simply just need to look one up. Also consider picking out themes depending on what month the crafts falls in! Once your idea is picked out make sure you discuss the rules or guidelines of the project. For example, will they be identical, the same theme, can be different as long as the contain one item, and so on. 

3. Pick out a schedule! 

Each persons schedule is different so you will want to make sure you guys work out a schedule that best fit you. For us are progress photos are shown towards the end of the month and are big reveal within the first week of the following month. For example, this Pen craft progress pictures will be shown on October 25th and the Big reveal pictures will be Nov 8th. 

4. Show a picture of your initial supplies!

Without revealing to much to your project take a picture of all your supplies you intend to work with for that project for that craft project. This way you guys can be curious about each others project!!!

My initial supplies picture: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Sierra's initial supplies picture: Property of Sierra Henderson Permission to use by Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

5. Have fun discussing and take pictures!

Have fun chatting and discussing about your projects. Talk about your tips and even bumps/fails that you have learned a long the way. Ask questions? Maybe the other person has stumbled upon something that you have not yet.

Take lots of pictures! Remember you have progress and reveal pictures to take! Close ups, far away, anddifferent angles.. your crafting parenting is not there with you.

Maybe even thinking about skyping, chatting, or something a long those nature if you can

6. Consider when to actually exchange your work!

Just like actual pen pals decide a couple times each year when you should actually exchange your work with each other. Whether it is on Birthdays or just a unique craft. 

7. HAVE FUN!!!!

Remember to have fun with these projects! There was a reason you and your friend got together in the first place and craft together. 

Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

The most important rule just have fun!!!!!!

Sierra Henderson is credited as of 10/20/2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : I Am Bipolar But Not Crazy

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : I Am Bipolar But Not Crazy: If you have not figured out by the title of my blog... I am one of 5.7 million Americans who lives with Bipolar Disorder. Notice I sai...

I Am Bipolar But Not Crazy

If you have not figured out by the title of my blog... I am one of 5.7 million Americans who lives with Bipolar Disorder. Notice I said the word "live" and not "suffer". I really do not like to the term suffer because if I use the term "suffer" I believe I hinder or limit myself to merely what people think someone with Bipolar Disorder is capable of.

image found of Google free images

I guess I should first tell you what my full diagnosis is because in the mental health world there is actually a couple of types of Bipolar Disorder. I have Bipolar II Disorder with rapid cycling and generalized anxiety and they symptoms are very similar to someone who has Bipolar I Disorder expect my ups or elevated moods are not as extreme or less intense and are called hypomania or hypomanic episodes. I also experience the unexplained mood changes of the up and downs at least 4 times a year. Someone with Bipolar II tends to have more episodes of depression but still cycles between high and low moods.... I know it is a mouthful.

image found of Google free images

I often get questions so I thought I would address them here

How do I function?

I often have to laugh at this question and want to ask back... Well how do you function? Well the answer is simple I do just like anyone else. The fact is most people with Bipolar Disorder especially Bipolar II lead normal functioning lives. I think people are often confused with this question and really want to ask question what is to be Bipolar and what happens when you are either "up" or "down". However, I will get to that later on in this post.

Am I Crazy?

I love this question!!! I am no more crazy than you!!!... Haha. There is still very much a stigma around mental illness and I am very aware of this. I have never been ashamed of being Bipolar as living PCOS. I strongly believe Bipolar disorder and along with a lot of experts believe this disorder underlying cause is caused by problem in certain brain circuits and balances of certain chemicals in the brain. I basically point it out like this.. why I am going to be ashamed of something I have no control of? I did not cause or ask to be this just as someone did not ask for particular illness mine just so happens to be in my brain.

I guess what else people want to know or hint around about "am I crazy" question is if do things differently, do off the wall things, or think differently? The best way I can answer is that "perhaps". Each person who lives BP disorder is truly unique individual and how they approach their disorder and their symptoms and what they do with them. I know often people are concerned with someone who is bp that because they think or act differently and sometimes in a negative manner that they jeopardize a lot things. I can tell you I have probably made my share of bad decisions (but has not everyone?) but I strongly make an effort not to make choices that would harm my relationships, careers, and reputations.

Is It Hard To Be A Wife And Mother?

image found of Google free images

I also love this question and I can only assume what is daily life for me with adding the normal life stresses of being a wife and mother. I honestly really do not know how to answer this question or what people are looking for. Are they wanting to know what happens when I feel down or up? Well I can answer that a little bit a later but what I thought I would do is this section is right about what I experience in a "normal day" or my daily life.

One of my symptoms for BP disorder no matter what my mood is...normal, meh, up, or down is rapid thoughts, flying suddenly one idea to the next, the inability to shut my mind down. I often look at this symptom as my blessing and curse. My mind basically runs 24/7 and with this I often come up with ideas, things I want to try, how I want to approach a problem, and so on. However, with a mind that runs 24/7 it can often be a nightmare when I am laying there and my mind won't shut up. I can lay there for hours just thinking sometimes solving the world problems to thinking about a spot light I saw and how pretty it seemed.

I can lose my attention/day dream during the day no matter what my mood is and having two little ones can very much aid to this so I have to try to stick a schedule/routine. This is a huge benefit for my family and me. The reality is if I do not stick to schedule everything and anything happens as well as nothing. However, this is one of my biggest battles because I love to fight my routine/schedule often.

Rapid cycle the fact is my mood can switch without notice... I know nice huh? My moods I am actually really aware of and some days I can feel tiny bounce back and fourth from the daily events. Now these events are no different from any other wife or mother but they for some reason trigger mood changes for no reason. Now you think this would a be a nightmare for my family? However, not really because I usually do not show these mood changes outright....usually.. these are something I keep inside until I am can right them out that night. As I said earlier in my post I make an effort and choices not to harm my relationships. My family especially my children are not the reason for my mood changes so they do not be feel results for something they did not do. They are also too young to understand what is going on and it will be a long long long time to even understand what Bipolar even is.

So Umm... What Happens ..When You Know.. You Have A Major Episode?

Well the fact is I live with Bipolar and I have gone through major mood episodes and I will likely go through more down the road. I have gone through both up and down major episodes both leaving damage in its pathway. I can go into detail explaining how they happen or when they happen but in reality I cannot pin point when they actually started but rather I was in them from my support system. These major episodes can last up for months if left untreated. However, as far as I know I have never had a major episode last that long but I can never pin point when the actually start but rather when I am in the middle of them and need to get back to normal.

When I am in the major episode the first thing I do is get back to my doctor as soon as I can. I take medications to help treat my bp disorder as well other things. I am strong believer that bp disorder or the most part should be treated with medication with other types of treatment because of being related to a chemical problem in the brain (even though each case is different). With a major episode I figure my medication is no longer doing its job and it needs to be adjusted. I not only go to a doctor but I actually go to a psychiatrist and have great insurance that allows me great care. I also try to figure out what my "trigger(s)" was and if it is something I could change in my life. I also amp up of my daily therapies of music, reading, and crafting! Having these type therapies helps brings out of whatever episode I am in and back to me.

The key or goal is when you are in episode is to get out of it as soon as possible!

How Do I Treat My Disorder?

image found of Google free images

I am very proactive. As I stated early I go to the doctor asap if I am in episode but just because I am not in episode does not mean I am monitored. I see my doctor at least once month who helps monitor my medication and whether I need additional health like needing to speak to a counselor, which I have done in the past. However, having an almost 3-year-old and a 1-year-old counseling is not an option.

I seek alternative therapies for my bp disorder. Even though I take medication for my disorder that is no the end of the story. I cannot simply take a pill and will be good (I wish). I listen to music, craft, reading, clean, cook, and enjoy time outside to keep my life as stress free as possible. If you are happy and stress in life the happier you are in general.

I have a support system. A lot of times I cannot tell when my mood is shifting but I am luckily to have a wonderful support system my mother, husband, and a couple of close friends who are willing to stand up and ask me and tell me they think there is something wrong.This is often something very hard for someone to do for both the person who is bp and the people living with the person bp. However, when you reach this level of trust and love your disorder is very easy mange and you are able to get out of your episodes easier (usually).

I understand my disorder. I slightly have a leg up on my disorder and and a lot of other people, ironically I have a bachelors in psychology ;-) . I also have a strong background in biology and chemistry. I am not only reading books, peoples personal experiences, but also published articles, peer review journals, and so on. I also plan furthering my education and helping others with mental illness I just have not narrowed what area of psychology I want to go in yet so just dabbled in a few master level courses.

So here it is.... I AM BIPOLAR NOT CRAZY

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : I AM ALL FOR DABBLING!

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : I AM ALL FOR DABBLING!: So you saw something somewhere and thought to yourself... "I should try that" or "I wish I could do that"!!! ......Then....


So you saw something somewhere and thought to yourself... "I should try that" or "I wish I could do that"!!! ......Then..... NOTHING... there wishful thinking or idea just gone...

I ask you why?

There are often blessings and down sides to being Bipolar but one of the huge blessing is I am always up for trying something new. Luckily this wanting to try something new is not in reckless activities but in my creativity. So when I can get some down time I am on Pinterest, in craft groups, reading books, and so forth seeing what sparks my interest...and I can tell you it does not take much to get these creative juices flowing and growing. Now there are often 900 thoughts, 900 ideas, 70 different directions going off at once but when thing stands out I make a plan for the creative idea, go with, and DABBLE!

When  I dabble I have learned 2 majors concepts and within those concepts tons of other concepts that can go on and on but there is truly not enough time for that!

1. It was an EPIC FAIL...what in the world was I thinking!!!

2. It was a Success!!!

I have tons of what I views of successes and what I view as epic fails or something that did not turn out what I thought it should be!

I started a blog

I view this as a success. By no means is this some major blog with tons of readers but I now have an outlet of somewhat. When I first started writing my blog was really all over the place and I mean all over the place.  It was almost diary like..who wants to read that? So I narrowed it down and focused on really what I wanted my blog to be about. Even though it is far from perfect I am very happy with the direction it is going in.

I started experimenting with recipes 

I was so blessed with great eaters as kids and of course I have a husband that is a great eater as well so I can explore some awesome recipes. I view these as both as successes as an epic fails! Some have turned out awesome and others have turned out others have ended up in the category of what was I thinking to even try this!!! What I love about this hubs finds recipes and they magically appear somewhere for me to try ;-) .

Fresh Strawberry Tart I Made! Photo: Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Roasted Aspargus Photo Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Craft dabbling

This is probably the biggest area where I dabble. With this major area of dabble I have produced some epic successes and epic failures. However, with each success and failure I keep dabbling and my list keeps growing of things to try.

Crochet Hat Photo: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

My Love Bug One of My First Attempts Of A Small Lovey Photo: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

One of My First Bows For My Daughter Photo: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

My First Deco Mesh Wreath and As You Can See It I Need A lot of Improvement Photo: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life


This is probably the second biggest area where I dabble but always on the growing the side. With this other major area of dabble I have produced some epic successes and epic failures. However, my list of  DIY projects is always growing and on my to-do-list to try.

My DIY Nails for the for my friends party. I loved how they turned out but it took me over two hours to get the stuff  off!!! Photo: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

So stop saying "I should try this", "I wish I could do that", " I do not have creative bone in my body", and so on. Just do it!!! It is amazing what you will discover about yourself!!!!