Here I am again.

I began tapering off my Zoloft several weeks ago (under medical supervision; I'm not THAT crazy). I've been completely off it for 2.5 weeks. I thought I was doing fine, but a few days ago, I was suddenly a train wreck.

I am drowning. I am suffocating. Any bit of light or joy is fleeting. Only the darkness will last. I know this feeling very well.* I don't like this feeling.

But I deserve it. I am a horrible person, and I should obviously be miserable. I am impatient and snappish, despite there being real arguments to be made that my husband and daughters are some of the awesomest in the history of ever. I can't manage basic chores around the house. I can't focus. What kind of person is only patient or kind or caring or tidy when she is medicated? I'm going through the motions with the girls, but it's all an act. I (try to) do the things and act the way I normally would, but the motivation is all wrong. It feels unnatural, and so difficult. I love my family more than anything, but right now, it wouldn't take much to convince me that any stranger off the street could fill my role here better than I do.

When I'm medicated, I know that my brain chemistry is whacked and the Zoloft simply puts it to rights. That it enables me to be my best, true self.

Without the meds, I know that this useless, pathetic sack of misery is my true self. How could adding something from outside of you reveal your true nature? That doesn't even make any sense. This is who I am.

I'm not sure why I want to post this. Sometimes, I just feel like things need saying.

*Fortunately, I recognize it perfectly, and I know exactly how to make it go away. I emailed my psychiatrist yesterday. I restarted the Zoloft yesterday. It'll take a couple weeks to get back up to my full dose, but I'll be back to enjoying my incredibly blessed life soon. Because I choose happiness over misery, whatever that means about my brain and who I really am.

Christmas Break

Okay, the first thing to know about our break is that we've been sick almost the entire time. Heather threw up on Christmas Eve, and Corinne started a fever on Christmas afternoon. But Heather was mostly fine after throwing up, and Corinne's fever cleared up after a day. After that, it was basically just a cold for each of them: congestion, coughing, runny noses...you know, the usual. Nothing too dramatic. And there were plenty of up times in between the periods of misery.

(Also, a lot of these pictures are not great. They're mostly candid shots of the girls in their natural states of frenzy, which lends itself to blurriness. But I wanted to get them blogged anyway.)

We've had some fun playing with different arrangements of the fort (I learned that blocking the TV is not ideal, but they found a way around it regardless):

Heather gave Kyle Wii Sports Resort for Christmas. I think he's played it for a couple of minutes so far, but she's dedicated quite a bit of time to it:

By the 28th, this kid was not looking great. She was snotty and eye-goopy and coughing and all-around yucky. Her mood was a bit improved, though.

We had made a date to go to the zoo with the Spencers on the 29th, and we figured the girls were doing pretty good, health-wise. Heather seemed to be mostly recovered from her cold, and while Corinne was still a bit yicky, she was going to be in the stroller most of the time anyway. And we knew everybody needed to get out of the house, so off we went!

Liam, Heather, and Emma

The goats are always a hit.

The zoo was Thursday. Kyle spent Friday-Sunday at death's door. I was also sick, but not as bad. (My biggest issue was the migraines flared by the congestion.) Aaaand the girls got worse again. New Year's Eve was Heather's turn to spike a fever, so we didn't do any special festivities that night.

Corinne is currently obsessed with moving her food to other containers. Also, practicing her spoon technique.

Heather comes by her bookworm tendencies honestly, at least. I love it!
Trains, yo! And tangrams!

January 2nd, we got the girls in to see the doctor. Corinne's fever was gone by then, but this virus was just dragging on forever. Both girls were still super snotty and coughing and lethargic, though Heather was showing real signs of recovery. Corinne was diagnosed with the first ear infection either of the girls have had. Very special! So she started antibiotics and started improving very quickly.

I don't know if it's clear what Corinne is doing here, but it's one of her current passions: feeding the critters.

Corinne loves pillow corners MORE THAN LIFE.

Wednesday morning, Heather was bopping around, happy as a lark. That night, she crashed pretty hard. Thursday afternoon, she had a fever. Thursday night, she had a coughing fit so long and hard she was vomiting and I had to call the nurse line for suggestions to make it stop so she could eat (pro tip: there are basically none).

So this was us back at the doctor's office again on Friday, where Heather was diagnosed with an ear infection. Same ear as Corinne, even! The doc pointed out that that's one thing they really didn't need to share.

Both girls are doing much better now. For reals, I think. [fingers crossed!] Heather still wakes up very congested, and she didn't go to church this morning. (Actually, none of us went to church on Christmas or New Year's Day. And Kyle missed 2 full days and 2 half days of work this last week. This illness has been a beast!)

I'm hopeful that Heather will be able to go to school tomorrow, but I'm not 100% certain it'll be a great experience if she does. I'm envisioning her coughing for the first 2 hours and crying/screaming for the rest because she's worn out. But she'll be devastated if she has to stay home. So I guess we'll see how she is in the morning!

Coloring this afternoon.

One is such a fun age!

This is from a couple weeks ago:

I prompted her to get it on video, but Corinne started doing this spontaneously. I looked up and she was burying her face in her onesie, then peeking up to see if I was looking. Peek-a-boo is her favorite, but I've always done the covering before, so this was awesome. And so adorable!

Here's a link you can right-click and download if watching it in your browser doesn't work: 2016-03-28_17-04-3 - Corinne Peek-a-boo

June Junk

Okay, not junk. Not at all. But alliteration, you guys! And I get sick of titling these posts "miscellany" or "camera dump." But anyway, here are all the fun pictures from June that didn't already get their own blog post. Enjoy!

Heather with some art. She loves to art.1-IMG_20150602_164523as

If you're going to be realistic about feeding your doll, you need the Boppy. Obviously.2-IMG_20150603_105238as

On any given day, looking into the family room, you may see something like this: 3-IMG_20150604_133348asTotally normal, right? Isn't this how everybody uses their tablet?

Sometimes feeding the baby gets boring. That's when you move to the family room and watch TV.4-IMG_20150605_092807as

Kyle turned 30 this year! Wahoo! The girls helped him open his presents.5-P1010506as 6-P1010508as 7-P1010510as 8-P1010519as

And blow out the candles.9-P1010527as 10-P1010530as 11-P1010532asSo we decided to experiment with the cake this year, and it came out YUMMY! I just used the recipe for chocolate cake and frosting off the back of the Hershey cocoa tin (also found here), but the secret was the filling. Kyle has invented this mousse stuff (it's essentially instant pudding made with whipping cream instead of milk) that is divine, and that's what I used (vanilla flavored). Kyle needs to blog the recipe, and when he does, I'll link it (Edit: Link!). He also declared it's even better the next day. It did not last long.12-P1010533as

Heather really likes to snuggle up in blankets. Even when it's 100F outside. She's also started piling up the cushions and pillows and making all sorts of comfy arrangements.13-P1010536as

I'm the Primary secretary in our ward, and our chorister asked me to help out a few weeks ago. To help the kids review the song for Father's Day, they got to put something in my hair for each line they remembered. Everybody had a lot of fun with it!14-singing time

One afternoon, Heather came up to Kyle and said she wanted to marry him. (When I asked her what that meant, she said they dance!) So she put on her flower tiara thing and they danced. When I showed her this picture and asked her what it was, she said, "Me and daddy...being married..." in a sweet, sing-song voice, and she twirled away. She obviously has fond memories of this event.15-H and K marrying

 

Kyle walked by Heather's doorway one morning to discover her in bed with what she declared to be her "perfect family." I don't think that requires any further explanation.17-perfect family

This is Heather's dance class at their in-studio dress rehearsal. Too cute.18-dress rehearsal

And this was a Mommy fail. I packed the sunscreen! I just forgot to put it on her. Poor thing. Ibuprofen and aloe vera helped, but she was pretty uncomfortable for a couple of days.19-sunburn

On Father's Day, Heather helped me make some peanut butter brownies for Kyle.20-Fathers Day brownies

In Primary, the kids got cards with Pop Rocks candy to give their dads, and Heather thought the candy was amazing. She liked watching it pop in Kyle's mouth:21-Fathers Day pop rocks

And lastly, Heather had swim class the last two weeks in June. It was her first time not being in a parent/child class, and she loved it! They were in a 2-foot pool and the class was very small, so she had a lot of one-on-one time with the teacher. I love watching her learn new things!IMGP3277as IMGP3279as IMGP3281as