Saturday, January 31, 2015

2014 Roundup ... A Little Late

Once again I am late on these type post but as I am enjoying the peace in my house if only for a moment I thought I would do my 2014 Roundup!

2014 has been full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. I am not sure where to start so the easiest way I thought about going at this was hitting 12 highlights/moments of the year. These are not going to be in any sort of order just things that I wold like to share.

Me: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

So lets get started with my 2014 Roundup...

1. My husband has had an interesting year for sure. Back in 2004 he actually tumbled/fall down a mountain Afghanistan on a deployment and screwed up his knee. However, like most Marines he kept on pushing, fighting, band-aiding his knee, and the straw finally broke the camel's back. So it was decided that he would have cartilage replaced in his knee. He went through the surgery like a champ and the recovery was interesting. It was decided that we would take him down to my parents upon his command approval so my family could help me with the kids and of course him. However, that had a twist in it. While we were at my parents' house my dad's cat bit him on his hand and it did not look so good I took him to the ER because he was being stubborn. Well come to find out it became infected and he ended up in the hospital. So when he got home we had two grown men to take care of! I must give a huge shout to my sister-in-law Shelly who stepped upped and helped play nurse to those "big babies"!!!! They are both doing well and back up to no good.

Christopher: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
2. Caydance turned 1 in August! She puts us through our paces, fearless, tom-boy, princess, and so smart!! She loves her big brother so much and loves to annoy him as well. I could not be happier with the little girl she is becoming. Health wise she has been staying on the small size and has not been wanting to gain weight like she should. It is sometimes so odd to have such a tiny child when we are all taller but then I realize I am actually the odd one in the females in my family most of them are short! So maybe she is just taking after them but until then she is just monitored.

Caydance's 1st Birthday: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

3. I closed down my small craft business Gifts By Vaughn and it is okay it was one of the best things I could have done. I lost the will to create and be me when it came to my crafts and crafting. When I closed Gifts By Vaughn I became free again.

Image Found On Google Free Images 

Image Found On Google Free Images 

4. My husband I celebrated 10 years of marriage actually on the last day of the year! Had an amazing date at the Melting Pot.

Christopher and I on our Wedding Day: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

5. We have adopted a more frugal lifestyle. It has been a learning process and it has not been perfect! In 2014 we still have made mistakes but have paid down a lot debt minus my student loans. We also had a debt free Christmas. However, our savings sucked eggs but agreed to keep moving forward with trying to be frugal.

6. It was wedding season for 2014! Christopher was his brother's best man and I was my friend's Matron of Honor. I made the custom favors for Christopher's brother wedding! I cannot believe how beautiful the came out. However, my friend's wedding was in Florida so Christopher and I got a little vacation! So not only was I part of a beautiful wedding but Christopher and I could sleep in!!!!

The Brothers: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

The favors I made: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Sierra and I: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Rocking the flowers: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

7. Caleb turned 3! He has become such an amazing little boy and each day he grows and grows. Last year was big changes for him. In the past year his speech delay needed be addressed. So he started speech therapy lessons and has improved so much over the months that he was in the program. It was decided he needed he needed to be transitioned into the preschool program after he turned 3 to keep his speech therapy going and improve his socializing skills. He is such a loving little boy and very energetic. Caleb is also very protective of his sister.

Caleb and Daddy: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Caleb and Daddy: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

8.  I launched my facebook page A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life to go along with this blog shortly after I closed my craft business and it has been one of the best things I could have ever done. I had no idea how fast it would take off in that short amount of time. It makes me excited to see what 2015 has to hold.

My Facebook Cover: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

9.  Sadly I was more isolated this past year. I am an introvert by nature who much rather read, listen to music, and enjoy my own company. However, this can be a bad at times for some reason I felt no desire to see anyone or do anything. Well I take that back I know of reasons that made me not want to see anyone but that is nothing to bring up here because it is past and it is move forward.

Was Me On an Off Day: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

10. We had amazing holidays! Easter- The weather was on the bad side but we had a lolly pop garden along with Easter Bunny visit. Halloween- we carved pumpkins, painted pumpkins, watched movies, and went trick-or-treating. I made Caydance's costume and let Caleb pick out his costume for the very first time! Christmas included not only a debt free Christmas but 24 books advent count down, Christmas eve box, feeding Chickens, and a Christmas scavenger hunt in the dark.

The Lolly Pop Garden: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Halloween 2014: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Advent Christmas Countdown 2014: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Caleb and Caydance: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

11. My friend Sierra and I came up with the plan to become "Pen Pal Crafters". We use to craft all the time together and because of normal life events are now separated by a couple of states. So we came up with the idea to do crafts about once a month and share, talk, and have a good time creating once again even though we are couple states apart.

Sierra right before the wedding ceremony: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

The Crocheting Gloves!!!! : Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Pen Pal Crafts: Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

12.  In 2014 I struggled with my faith and what I considered to what was becoming a toxic religion. However, later in the year I never have been stronger faith and beliefs. I could not be happier, positive, grateful, open-minded, faithful, giving, loving, and hopeful person.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO USE : Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

So Yeah.... That is my 2014 Roundup

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : A Message To My Readers

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : A Message To My Readers: I have been making a lot of changes to my blog. No personal blog layout yet but that is a small goal... but one thing I have written for the...

A Message To My Readers

I have been making a lot of changes to my blog. No personal blog layout yet but that is a small goal... but one thing I have written for the blog which can be found right now at the bottom of the blog and hopefully in the future "about me" section of a new blog layout what the whole concept of "A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life". This is my goal or concept for "A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life".

The Face Behind The Concept and Dream of "A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life" : Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

 This is my message...

 I thought I would write this message to my readers and hopefully future readers. What "A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life" is really about. It is more than a blog but a goal and ambition to hopefully to change the world. I must first share a little information about me. I am a bad example of a Domestic Goddess. I have a very active three-year-old little boy and a beautiful one-year-old daughter. I have been married for 10 years to a wonderful Marine! I have a B.S. in Psychology and currently applying for my Master's program. I craft, cook, clean, finding something new to try, and everything in between. I tend to function on auto pilot and live in pj pants. I am on the nerdy, geeky, and a little introverted. I am a huge bookworm, music lover, love games, and love to sing and dance badly. I march to my own beat and color outside of lines as often as I can. However, something else about me is I live with two health issues. The first is PCOS and Bipolar Disorder. I prefer the term live with instead of suffer because this is something that I live with daily.

One of my huge goals in my life is to fight the stigma of mental illnesses and bring much needed education and understanding to these invisible illnesses as well others. I also want to show parents and anyone else who "live" mental illness that they are not alone!!! That they too can live, thrive, survive, and show the world that we are no different than any other person who does not live with a mental illness. We often approach life situations differently and deal with issues of the mental illnesses a little different than a physical health issue. I started this blog and the idea of "A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life" to be part of the goal of stopping the stigma and educating about mental illnesses. An I believe in one way to stop this stigma and show people they are not alone in their mental illness and we are not the illness.

So this blog is just not all about being bipolar or other health problems. It is about my journey on how I manage this world. So you will see life events, good days, bad days, crafts, cooking, information, and anything else I can think of. I am still very new to the blogging world and also not the best writer and still have a lot to learn. I am also at the very early stages of this goal. However, this goes beyond just a blog. You can find me "A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life" on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Goodreads and hopefully other social media platform even a website to follow this journey. On these social platforms you will find positive, up lifting quotes, education facts, jokes, what I am doing for my therapy, if I am having an off day, also when I am at doctor for my monthly visit, and so on. You also can talk to me and share! I love to communicate!

 I am hoping to further my education and research to help aid this goal. As I stated earlier I am currently applying for my Master's program and maybe one day even a doctoral program. I love science in general, research, social aspects of psychology, therapy techniques, neurology, and so much more. If my goal and dream of "A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily" takes off I would also not to love to just not personal experiences but credentials an qualifications as well. Not sure where my education will take me but I sure hope this dream is part of it.

 I am hoping to make a huge difference in this world so I hope you will follow me as this dream and goal grows. ~A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life~ Courtney

Sunday, January 25, 2015

10 Years and Counting!!!! Married To The Most Wonderful Man!!!

So I know this post is late but I still had to do it! 

On December 31, 2014 Christopher and I Celebrated 10 Years of Marriage and Counting!!! So I thought I would write a 10 year count down to being married to the most wonderful man of my life!!!
Our Drinks From Our 10 Year Annev Date At The Melting Pot: Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

December 31, 2004 we got hitched!!!

Our Wedding 12/31/2004:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Our Wedding 12/31/2004- He Dropped Cake Down My Dress:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

1- Christopher is my one and only! He is so loving and caring even though he is a big strong Marine ;) . He is willing to do anything for his family to include defending our country. He is not only my husband but he is my best friend as well!!! Plus he looks damn good in his uniform.

My Marine:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

2-  We have been through a lot such as deployments and living with my bipolar. We however went through one of the biggest struggles and journey of our lives and that would be to have children. It took us almost 6 years to have children but we were finally blessed with two miracles... Caleb and Caydance and with these two precious miracles we know our family is complete.

Christopher and I pregnant with Caleb but actually did not know it was him we were finding that out the next day:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Caleb and I at Christopher's Homecoming 2012:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Caydance 2013:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

3- We are oddly obsessed with C-names.... All of our fur babies start with C's as well (Charlie, Chloe, Corona, and Casper). Please note Caydance came way before I even met Christopher. Her name was inspired from the movie Shallow Hal. Cadence was the little girl in the burn unit.

4- Christopher and I have celebrated many holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays apart. You got to love the military!!!
One of the Valentines Day we were seperated from due to a deployment:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 

Homecoming kiss 2012:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

5- Christopher and I did not go on real honeymoon until our 5th year of marriage after he returned home from a deployment. We went to Helen, Georgia and also visited the Cabbage Patch Hospital...Lets just say Christopher was a real trooper and we adopted a soft face cabbage patch baby.

6- My husband and I do not fight. We do bicker from time to time. We also do not get along on the phone because he cannot hear. It is actually a little funny because we met via an online chat room (when chat rooms were cool) and also talked on the phone. We are also given a grace period when he deploys... other than that we hardly talk on the phone.

7- I punched my husband in the face once on accident when we first got married and he has yet to let me live it down. The story goes we were driving to see my parents from Beaufort, SC and we were talking about wrestling and fake punches and my brother practicing those type moves on me when we were little. I proceeded to show him and have no sense of space and punched him right in jaw. He swears his head bounced off the window (I debate this fact). I however not let him live his "night in shining armor moment down". This was also early in our marriage and we were camping with his parents. His brother, mother, and we were all playing in the ocean. Christopher and I were having romantic moment when all of sudden he drops me! When I finally come up I find me running towards the shore and turn around just in time to see a wave about to pummel us!!! So until he lets me live it down I have this...

8- I turned my Georgia boy into Oregon loving man. He is still southern as all get out and eats those nasty grits aka wallpaper paste! No I am not from Oregon it where most of my family is from. I was born in Germany via the United States Army and then lived in multiple areas where my Daddy was stationed.

9- It is amazing what we have learned and what you do for each other. When we first started dating Christopher found out my best friend was a guy. Was he jealous? Nope! In fact they are really good friends an act like brothers from another mother. Our friendship has evolved to show that platonic relationships do exist and his wife is just the same. We also learned new things about each other such as I do like on anime (spelling) series "Bleach" however after that I cannot tell any other ones apart. He however puts up with my mini craft store. He will go antiquing with me as long as I give him a mission to look for something (must be the Marine in him). We cannot be game partners and I refuse to be his spade partner he is a meanie! We will also learned how much we truly enjoy each other company and how much our time is cherished each other!!!

Christopher and I through the years:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Christopher and I through the years:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Christopher and I through the years:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

10-  We knew we were going to make it this far. We however did not know what we were going through to get to this point... so if we could go back of course we do it all over again but we would tell our younger selves to keep holding on  to each other and there is light at the end of tunnel.

The Man Never Smiles But I Promise He Is Happy:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

So this is our first 10 years of marriages <3 . We still have much more to do and learn about each other! We know it will not always be easy and I sure there will be more ups and downs. There will also be more adventures to come and personally I cannot wait to see what the next 10 years has in store for us.

Christopher and I at 10 years:  Property of A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Saturday, January 10, 2015

When My Life Crashes For A Moment

Image Found on Google Free Images
In my world there will be times when things will just get the better of me. It is the title of my blog so to assume these type events would not occur would to be foolish. I have debated about sharing this with you because I was truly shaken about it myself because for a moment I felt my life just for a moment crashing and I could nothing to do stop it. This moment was brief and in reality nothing horrific was happening but in that moment my emotions could no longer be controlled and I felt useless and powerless. The reason I did decide  to share this with you guys is because I know that I am Bipolar and have generalized anxiety and moments likes this are going to happen. This is not the first even though has been one of the most unusual for sure and will not be the last. By writing this it is slightly therapeutic knowing that I am not the only one out there and can only hope someone can find comfort in this.

Image Found On Google Free Images
I have to admit that I probably have come off a "high" of emotions. With the stress of the holidays and the good and the bad comes out of it. There was a lot of good out of it! However, towards the end my kids are off routine and life is a little chaotic (for a later post). When we are getting home tyring to get back into routine I am dealing with a new set of emotions of getting Caleb ready for his day of preschool. I was really worried about his first bus ride and as much as I like to think I wasn't I was a huge ball of emotions on all the what ifs on his first week of school (that will be for a later post).

Property of Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
The day my life crashed for a moment... started with the power going in and out and a two hour delay so Caleb's preschool class was canceled. I guess the wind did something to one of the substations near our housing section was damaged. So it was a lot colder in the house and so been trying to keep the warm clothes on the kids. Which for Caydance is a challenge these days who is going through I prefer to be naked no matter the weather. Once the power clicked on I was able to make some grits and thought getting warm cereal in them just in case the power went out again plus it did not require me open the fridge. However, this is probably about the last sane moment of that day. The kids were fighting, no naps, and getting into everything know when your angels have been replaced with some sort evil clone. Towards the end of the day I was just breathing counting down the hours to bedtime and hoping for a better tomorrow. When I thought brief calm in the storm I was getting something to drink when I spilled it all over the fridge. So by the time I have gotten the bottom of the fridge clean out it was time enough to discover one of my kids dumped out an entire box of crackers on the floor. I remember just feeling so frustrated with myself and so many thoughts and feelings were going through me. I was in the process of rapid cycling and for me and a lot of other people who live with bipolar rapid cycling is often a night mare because you become or feel so useless as your body becomes the light switch. So when I felt my body and mind going through this I kept telling myself I can get through this I am stronger than bipolar. So I began to pick up the crackers when one of children required my attention. As I was getting up I felt like I twisted my back out and my whole right side for a moment was in enough pain that I sent out an SOS to my husband to ask him to come home if he could (he is a Marine and just simply cannot come home when he wants or needs too and there is no schedule) because it was close enough to their "usual" quitting time. He told me to rest in the chair with the kids and he would be home as soon as he could....

Image Found On Google Free Images

I was in pain and was in the process of sitting in my husband's chair when one of children required attention. Then I started to cry.. I cried because I was hurting... I cried because there 700 thoughts running through my head... I cried because I could no longer control the emotions running through my body all at once... I cried because I no longer understood what was going on.... I hate it though when I cry when it is related to this because it makes me feel like a failure and the bipolar and anxiety has won a huge battle in the war. I was crying and my children were so the more I would cry... I mean it was a big crying bubbling fool. I was able to get everyone calmed down  before my husband walked through the door. As he as asked how I was doing and I was explaining to him and the tears started falling and falling. I could no longer hold in the emotion ball of chaos that seemed to no longer contain itself. My husband wrapped me in his arms and just let me cry and then he made me go to our bedroom so I could detach from reality and go where I need to go briefly to gather myself.

Image Found On Google Free Images

Now why am I telling you this?

I am not perfect and sometimes I loose battles with Bipolar (not the war) and sometimes I loose bad. I also do not understand why I loose these battles and I get so frustrated with myself. However, is I show you that it is normal and okay to loose the battles once in a while. The fact is this was not first and will likely not be my last. I know it is not my last battle but the key is never to focus on these battles for too long. I noticed the longer I dwell on moments like these the longer I stay in the up or down state in which I have lost. Now I will admit this battle has taken me a bit to get back to some point of normal. For the last several days I have felt like a fog and going through the motions of my daily life. I do however choose not live in this crash or stay in the fog that has resulted from this crash.

So how I do I survive the crash?

I have to do what I always do. I have to remember what I always stand for when it comes to Bipolar disorder. I HAVE BIPOLAR I AM NOT BIPOLAR! My children did not ask for a Bipolar parent and I strive to be the best Mom they could have and knowing I can overcome this crash and any other battle helps my recovery from my ups and downs. I also surround myself with positivity, love, music, creativity, and  whatever it takes to move forward from that moment... I also know that I need to stay on my medications (personal choice) and whether or not if I need to see my doctor again.

Am I there yet?

No to be honest I am not back where I would like to be. I am slowly getting back though. I was taken back by this moment I am still in ways do not understand why it even happen. I know in the same breath not to focus on events like this but I am still trying to figure out why I did not recognize any triggers or feel like this coming (which I have been able to do). I still feel weak and almost ashamed of what happened. I guess it still does have progress and not where I want to be...

There will always be a battle to fight in this war.... I know one thing... I will over come and be strong and fight...  I AM A BIPOLAR MOM AND THIS IS SOMETIMES WHAT HAPPENS IN MY DAILY LIFE!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : Christmas Eve Box

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : Christmas Eve Box: I know this is late but I still wanted to share this Christmas Eve Tradition! I have seen this idea floating now for several years now on ...

Christmas Eve Box

I know this is late but I still wanted to share this Christmas Eve Tradition!

I have seen this idea floating now for several years now on Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media websites....the Christmas Eve Box. When I saw this box a couple years ago this is something I knew I wanted to do with my children. This is the first year though I have actually put Christmas Eve Box Tradition into action because I wanted to wait until my children were old enough to enjoy the box and hopefully have some understanding of what this tradition is and will be about.

You can go Pinterest and I am sure other social media websites and Google terms like Christmas Eve Box you will find tons of ideas an how you would like to do you to do your Christmas Eve Box. There are tons of ideas out there but I thought I would show how we did our this past Christmas!!!

My husband and I wrapped up a huge box with some Christmas Wrapping Paper. Than we decided on the items for the box.

~Items is the Vaughn Christmas Eve Box~

The first ever Vaughn Christmas Eve Box! : Property Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life 
* New PJ's for the family 
* A couple of movies (Christmas themed one and the new Ninja Turtle Movie)
* Game
* Coloring Books
* The Books "Night Before Christmas" and "Christmas Story" 
* Hot Chocolate 
* Slippers for the kids
* Reindeer Food (See a special Thank You a little later to a wonderful shop owner) 
* Cups for the kids 

About 3pm we presented the Christmas Eve Box to the kids! To see their eyes and reactions to the box was surely entertaining and heartwarming enough! With Caleb's saying "wow" and "what's that?" to Caydance climbing in the box!

Caleb and Caydance- The Best Picture I got: Property Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
So we had them change into their pjs, played games,ate junk food, watched movies, and read stories! I have no idea why these pictures kept coming out like this!!! However-here are my little ones in their new Christmas Jammies!

Caleb: Property Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Caydance: Property Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

One of the special moments of the night though is when we went to place the reindeer food! Now before I continue I must send out a wonderful and huge thank you to the lady who sent this wonderful gift to my children! The owner of The Sweet Season  sent my children this amazing reindeer food and it just added such a special touch to their night! They make wonderful handmade goodies so I really encourage you to check out her shop and check out her amazing and drool worthy items. I have been trying to find a way to thank her and wanted to share this with her! I know I do not have a lot of followers or readers but if you check out The Sweet Season  I promise you will not be sorry!  I put their contact information down at the bottom of this post!

Reindeer Food- Property Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

Reindeer Food: Property Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

So to round out the evening we put on our coats even though it was raining and sprinkled the reindeer food so Santa surely would find the house!

Caleb messing with the lights: Property Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life
Caleb getting the food from his Daddy and Caydance missing a slipper! Property Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life

This will be a tradition that will be going strong in our household! I am sure we will adapt and make changes as our children grow and get older. I however, know I will be loving this for years to come!!!

The Sweet Season Contact Information

The Sweet Season - Gourmet Hand-Wrapped & Dipped Chocolate Covered Cherries are the specialty of the house. Other items include specialty breads, cakes & trifles. No designer cakes here...just made from scratch goodies like grandma used to make!