Friday, February 21, 2014

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

One of the most difficult parts of moving are the hundreds of little things that need attention in order to get established. Registrations, licenses, new healthcare providers, schools, guide dog puppy requirements, changes of address, outfitting a new home, and many other tasks need to be done quickly, and still live a normal life. Dogs need to be walked and cared for, homework needs to be completed, chores need to be done.

Then unexpected road bumps pop up. I can't find the potato peeler. A tub leaks. A car breaks down. The kids get sick.  The computer charger dies. The puppy gets an ear infection. Someone used our credit card information illegally. A mailbox lock breaks. A migraine comes on. I have to find a book so my son can do his homework, only to find out, after a visit to the library and searching online, that he was using the excuse of not having the book to not do the homework. Yes, he tried that old trick and I didn't suspect it until after I went to so much bother.

But I can't let the thousand little things keep me from enjoying life. So each day I try to accomplish at least one moving task. I paint a room. I change an address. I get a library card or a dog license.

And I play in the snow with the kids. Well, I try to play in the snow with them, but they think it's too cold. But I did get Mr. I to make a couple of snowmen with me.

Then I take the car to the mechanic and learn the bus system on the way home, pay some bills, clean the house.

And take a walk and admire the flowers. Or meet hubby on the ferry and walk the beach way home.

I change some addresses, go to school IEP meetings, and do so much paperwork my eyes get tired.

And take impromptu visits to see the extended family, and admire the rainbows.

Spend time on the phone and computer with teachers, nurses, and the fraud department.
And have fun at an outdoor store on the way home from the grandparents.

I cook meals, clean the house, and put together furniture.

And step outside our back deck and listen to the chorus of frogs on the island.

There is so much to do to get back to the swing of things, to find a rhythm of life that is healthy and happy. But I'm getting there, one step at a time.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Vying for Better Health

Last year was a bad one for my health. No, I didn't get a major illness. But all the stress of a teen with FAS who was acting out, sleepless nights, a major move, and ignoring my own health because of family emergencies did affect me. I gained the weight I lost earlier, only to lose ten of those pounds again when the stress of moving was at its peak. I've had more migraines, asthma, and foot and knee problems. Thankfully, I don't have a major illness. But if I continue on last year's track, I very well could.

So now that I'm settling down in our new home, I am slowly adding a few life style changes to take care of myself.

  • I am exercising more. I've been walking 1-5 miles a day. I try to do some lifting or weight training each day, even if it's just carrying some boxes down to the lower floor from the garage. 
  • I am beginning to eat healthier. I'm not one to go to extremes in diet, but I'm slowly adding more vegetables and fruits. I'm cooking more at home. I'm so glad to be able to cook again after over two months of the moving process. The kids are complaining, but we'll get our diet back on track, even if it is more slowly than if it was just Hubby and me. 
  • I put the kids in school. To many homeschool families, this may seem like I'm selling out. But my kids have some special needs intellectually, physically, or emotionally, and homeschooling was becoming a major stressor in our lives. It was good in some ways, but it didn't help in others. Now that we are in a community with great schools that actively help kids with special needs, we decided to enroll. I know there will be trade offs, but it's nice to have someone other than me to be the one to make them do the work. I'm sure there are some moms with kids with attachment disorders that understand. Besides, it's hard to get involved in a homeschooling community when your kids are doing all the things the other homeschoolers are trying to insulate their own children from. 
  • I've been practicing deep breathing. I hold my breath when stressed. 
  • I've begun knitting again. There is something to the rhythmic motions that reduce stress.
  • I've been getting more sleep, at least seven hours a night.
  • I've been taking my vitamin D, especially since we are in the cloudy Northwest. If I was vitamin D deficient in San Jose, I certainly would be even more so here.
I've been slowly adding things to help me live a healthier life. I'm trying to add things in a way that will become a lifestyle and a marathon, not a sprint that I will drop after a month.

There are more things that I'm planning to do, maybe even starting today.

  • I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I should save sweets for when I'm with others. They will be for parties and family times, not to boost my mood in the middle of the day when I'm alone. I can do that, especially if I have plenty of fruits and vegetables to munch on for snacks.
  • I want to stretch more. A few days ago, I saw a picture of an elderly lady stretching her leg on a street sign, straight up! She would be able to easily do the splits. I can barely get my leg on a hip-high counter and I'm much younger. It's obvious I need to get my muscles loosened up.
  • I want to be more focused on exercise once I get more settled. I don't know if I'll join a class or a gym, or just do it myself, but I'd like to have some time set aside to get my body moving. 
  • Church involvement and social interactions will be good for me, especially since I'm more of an extrovert. It's work to meet people in a new community, but it is a priority for me. I've been walking with a neighbor a few times a week, which is a start, but I need more local interactions with others. 
  • Continuing to improve our diet is a desire of mine. I don't know if it's what the kids want, but I'm working on it. 
  • I need to find doctors, a dentist, optometrist, and a therapist in our town. Then I need to go, not just make appointments for the rest of the family. I know too many women who have put off their own health to take care of others and have paid a large price. 
There are other things I can do to improve my health, and the health of my family, but this is a start. I'll add more as time goes on. Like I said, I'm going for the long haul, not a quick fix. Things will stick better if I make a few changes into habits before I go to the next. It will be a challenge, but the results will be worth it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Discovering my Neighborhood

This morning was cold! But I decided to take the dogs out for a walk after I dropped the kids off at school.  I wore a headband that my daughter-in-law made for me.

I found a nice little path that runs through our neighborhood.

I'm discovering more and more treasures on the island every day.
I finished my walk with a new friend. As we were about three blocks away from my house, I heard a bird. The neighbor said "That's an eagle!" She showed me where the bald eagles had a nest.

Eagle's nest in the broken top cedar
I am awed by this place! I'm not sure, but I think I can see the nest from our house! 

Beautiful view of mountains and the sound as we walked

There is so much natural beauty on the island. We are so blessed!