Life, Motherhood

Anxiety Has Many Faces

Anxiety is nothing new by far. It just lingers around waiting for its moment to shine. It hangs over my head for its chance to jump in and take hold of my life. It has many faces, none of which are the same as the other. Ironically it wears different masks hiding its true identity. Lately I like many others have experienced anxiety. Where does anxiety lurk and hide? Well it is practically invisible and attacks when least expected. For me my anxiety it sneaks up when I am trying to get to sleep and feel nothing but worry about my infant child at night especially or worry about things that are not likely to happen but what if always hangs stalling. I used to be able to just go to sleep so easily and never really had this much of an issue with insomnia until now. My anxiety is an old friend who I thought I had left behind in this race of life of what ending is unknown.

Anxiety is not discriminatory it doesn’t care who you are or where you come from it happens to everyone even if you don’t meet face to face. Anxiety has many friends that often tag along to join in on the fun that it has with all of the emotions that a person gives out into the world. Some days I feel like I am on display for all of these different types of anxiety to pick on and have at. A free for all and it tries on all of its different masks on me. Trying to find the best fit. I feel helpless and stuck.

Who are anxiety’s friends, have I met them?

I am no stranger to those groupies who follow anxiety wherever it may go. They revel in the spot light and will make sure to fill in the gaps of a person’s emotions to better fit there agendas. Anxiety often travels with depression, stress, suicidal thoughts, the feelings of feeling less than, worry, panic, anger, and sadness. Most of which I have experienced first hand and don’t wish those feeling upon anyone. If you do find yourself masked with anxiety or one of its many other masks know that you are not alone. Alone is what they intend to make you feel like they want to self isolate you so that you feel like nothing can make things better and that you will just be stuck forever. When a person is alone it makes the process of cutting that person down and making them feel less than until they actually believe it in their own minds a reality. Anxiety and it’s other masked friends brainwash you they set in worry little by little creating a fear that paralyzes a person it beats that person down to a new level where they feel a variety of feelings all meant to cause a person to feel like they are not themselves and are losing their minds little by little until they do.

What does anxiety look like?

Anxiety and it’s cloaked friends live in the shadows of our minds and only come out to play with our emotions when they see fit. We all have a different way to show that we are going through anxiety or it’s other cloaked friends the infection isn’t always going to look the same for all the different types of people in the world. My anxiety, depression, worry, fear, less than feelings, & stress are different than yours. My anxiety makes it hard for me to sleep but other times I may have a hard time enjoying the stuff I want to enjoy like time for myself. Depression for me is silent usually I don’t cause a ruckus and there is no kicking and screaming it just eats away at me in silent lunges. I get beaten down in my mind and as the sadness takes over the tears pool into a puddle inside and out I feel worthless but no one would know it as I always put on that smile. A half cranked smile forced and at the ready to put on a show for the world because they don’t need to feel what I feel. I am too stubborn I don’t need any help out of this place I’m trapped in it’s not so bad once you get used to it. My feelings aren’t worth being cared about by anyone else but me they are after all my burdens to bare. They weigh me down and as I feel chained down to the ground hunching me over breaking my strength little by little I somehow must still stand tall as if nothing has changed because my pain is invisible. To the outside world it doesn’t exist. To me it exists they all exist they all wear their different masks. Stress lately has had me stretched out to the limit I can feel it’s toll that it has taken on my body. Reminds me of the medieval times the torture devices that stretch the body to its literal breaking point is how I feel sometimes with my stress. The feeling of less than will set in next as if the anxious worry and fear wasn’t enough nor was the depression induced sadness. Then put some stress on the woman… surely that’s enough right? Wrong because anxiety has many faces and so does the rest!

How can you make it better? Is it even possible to feel normal again?

Even though most days feel never ending and that the mask i am wearing the mask that has auctioned itself to me is never coming off it somehow does. Anxiety and all that follows it have that end goal of isolation to make their victims feel alone; I aim to make sure I am not alone even if most of the time I am not physically alone. I have to make sure that I talk to someone anyone who will listen. Talking helps so much more than your mind will let you think that it does. You have to push yourself to escape that box you are in even if it doesn’t seem possible. All that the cloaked box holds is sadness and loneliness. It is a lie. If you let it control you with out fighting you might end up in a real life or death type of situation that can be fatal for you or even others who try to intervene at that point. I’m not saying it is easy because it is far from easy you are literally fighting yourself. Your mind, to be more specific . You are fighting a brain that thinks and plots and twists everything in order to win then on top of that you are attempting to win using can you take a guess what you are using? Your brain! The same one you are fighting against to win what seems to be an unbeatable enemy. It’s okay to ask for help because it is hard but doable. Ask for help, talk to someone! People may not talk to you because they cannot see what is happening to you the feeling you are feeling is invisible on the outside sometimes. When I feel like I am sliding down into a place where I don’t think it is possible to get back out of I know I need to talk to someone I need to get it all out and expel those emotions. I have gotten down to my breaking point to the actual point where I break, what happened? I sank and just kept sinking down further from the surface and that’s exactly what it felt like. It felt like drowning in my mind; eating wasn’t important at that point, talking wasn’t necessary, doing anything was pointless, because why was it worth it. How did I escape my waterless prison in the depths of my mind? I made a choice that I could either die at some point what would have been a horrible way to go, I could be sent to some sort of mental institution and live what was left of my life I gave up on, or I could fight back little by little and piece myself back together. I chose to try again because I believed that there was more to my life that I needed to experience still. Now I’m here sharing it with you. I make it a point not to get to that point ever again; I push myself and reach out to someone anyone who will listen.

Don’t let those masks those cloaked downers get ahold of you forever. They will come and eventually go if you continue to fight back!

homeschooling

Our First Week Homeschooling Update

We survived! Our first week as home schooler’s went just as planned, great! I was a bit nervous to begin with but I found that I actually enjoy this versus sending them to a traditional school. We get all of our work done with in 3 hours which leaves time for playing outside and other fun projects. We ended up only having to do a couple of subject books for a couple days during this week and probably every week as we flew through the lessons quicker than anticipated. For our schooling we need to do 2 lessons per week for each subject to stay at a even pace. I thought that it might be too much but not at all the case.
As a mom I found that I am enjoying teaching my kids school work even more than I thought I would. At home there are no boundaries for all of the ways you can teach no regulations on when you have to do schooling its very flexible. We are able to do double work leaving us ahead of schedule and more time for other electives like Art or even to practice more of other subjects.
We don’t do a set schedule, instead school is after breakfast so when everyone wakes up we get into gear and get school work done! Having always sent my kids to a traditional school in the past I always hated getting up at the break of dawn and having to rush around getting everyone ready & out the door by a certain time. We always ended up cutting it real close with the schools tardy policy which where we live results in a court date that may lead to a variety of punishments. I think its absurd because not everyone is perfect to fit in that mold. Some of us are naturally all over the place and so are our kids! I feel a relief to not feel that threat of getting fined money because our kids were late to school one too many times. As I think about it more I have come to the conclusion that kids need to have more sleep than they are allowed to get by schools starting so early in the mornings not knowing if that kid is sleeping through the night or if they are having trouble falling asleep; so my point is that my kids can sleep in and rest for the day ahead of them. There is no stressful rushing around in the morning, no arguing with them to get dressed and stay that way. Most of the time my kids would have eaten at school unless they were late then they had to rush and eat at home. Something quick at that. Now they get that balance meal no worry about filling a time slot for school.
Before school started I asked both of my boys if there was anything that they would want to learn about besides what I would be teaching them. They told me they wanted to: learn to cook, learn to do art, learn about animals, & learn about bugs. Since we are learning at home and since we also have more of a flexibility when it comes to learning maybe they should learn about things that interest them also. In school it is a set curriculum plan that isn’t individualize per student instead it is for the whole class where everyone learns the same thing. I think that this approach will be better for them in the long haul. They are getting the main curriculum and something they can be excited about just for them.
Our first week has been great and enjoyable as I predict we will have many more great weeks to come. I know they won’t all be perfect some weeks I will think about pulling my hair out or I may scream into a pillow; but I think that it will continue to be less stressful than that stressful morning rush for traditional school and less stressful than dealing with all the things that come with sending kids to traditional schools. We are going to have fun the best that we can and just do homeschooling the way that works for us!

Thanks for reading this post! Drop a like and follow this blog! Follow me on social media!

Questions for you: Is anyone else doing home schooling for the first time? Were any of you homeschooling already? How have you liked it? What differences do you like doing school at home versus in a traditional school building? Feel free to comment below.

Meal Time

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer

I have been really enjoying being able to cook & share recipes here with you guys; I try to mix it up a bit so its not always the same old meal time recipes. Here’s one that will help save some money as you may have these ingredients in your kitchen already. They just need to be put together to make something else! I have three boys two of them are always loud and the other will join them as he grows. Raising loud always on the move boys means I may not get the best sleep as there is always something then what little time I do get to myself has to be divided up or I will never get anything done, good bye nap & hello everything else that I need to do. One thing that I look forward to and that coincidentally helps with the lack of sleep is Coffee!
Some people can do straight black coffee nothing else I am not that person. I enjoy trying all kinds of different flavors of creamers. They are just so expensive and now with trying to just make it by with money being tight I have started looking at the ingredients in my kitchen a lot different than before. Throwing this & that together to make something else will save you money especially if you would have just bought it at the store knowing you have these simple ingredients on hand at your own home. You get the most out of ingredients that you have bought previously or on the cheap versus paying an extra fee for a store bought luxury item/items.
Recently I used up all of my coffee creamer that I have on hand; sure I can just have sugar as a sweetener. However I really like using coffee creamer because it really transforms my coffee into something luxurious. Don’t we all enjoy some sort of luxury at some point. Anyways I discovered a way to make my own Homemade Coffee Creamer. I chose to make vanilla as that is the kind of flavoring (extract) that I have on hand but you can make all sorts of flavors. You just need a few ingredients & a container to put it in.
(possibly a funnel for putting mixture into the container)


Ingredients

2 Cups Milk
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2-3 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

Add together all ingredients to a small medium sized bowl.

Whisk together until well incorporated.

Carefully pour mixture into container of choice to store it in, I am using a old coffee creamer container. I am also using a funnel to pour my mixture into the container.

Store in refrigerator for as long as the milk you used is good for.
I would recommend writing in marker on a piece of tape and sticking it on the container to remind you of the date of the milk depending on if you use up all the milk that you had.
(I am using milk that I thawed out from the freezer so the date doesn’t matter much for me. I will just taste it as I use it to make sure it hasn’t soured.)



Thanks for checking this simple easy recipe out! Check out my Meal Time page for more recipes.
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Meal Time

Homemade Crock-Pot Yogurt

There’s always something new to learn even when you think you are not capable of learning. Recently I have been challenging myself to learn new things; coincidentally you have a lot of time during a quarantine. One of those things, making homemade yogurt in the crockpot. I have been thinking about it for sometime reading through recipes trying to find well the courage to just go for it! I like many other people am afraid of failing; it’s silly but if I failed I would have wasted and I don’t like to waste things especially food.
I went ahead and made this recipe once already because I wanted to make sure I did it right! Seeing to how I am now sharing it with you guys must have turned out great! Now there are a variety of ways to make homemade yogurt with all sorts of fancy gadgets; the fanciest gadget I have for cooking in is a crockpot. I will start off by saying this is not my recipe; I found it on pinterest and will leave the link at end of this post to credit the owner of the recipe I used. I am sure that like me some of you are skeptical about making food at home that is just so easily bought at the store; that is why I felt like a post needed to be written. Someone needed to test it out, showing that its not that hard to do! And yes it is easier to buy yogurt from the store by the larger amounts but in the end this will save money & you can make it healthier because its tailored to you.
In order to start your own yogurt you will need 1/2 Cup of store bought yogurt with live cultures, but after that as long as you keep at least a 1/2 Cup of the yogurt that you make for a starter for the next batch after and so on you won’t have to buy it at the store. Imagine one less thing to have to purchase at the store. Sounds pretty great to me! Let’s get started.


What You Need

Crockpot (the recipe calls for a half gallon of milk)
Big Blanket/Comforter or Large Beach Towel
1/2 Gallon Milk (whole milk works best)
1/2 Cup Yogurt With Live Cultures (you can use plain or flavored)

Quick Notes

After doing quite a bit of research I found that this may be the easiest recipe out there; this makes a good yogurt but it is a bit thinner than other recipes out there that require a few more steps. I found that this is an enjoyable recipe since I don’t like really thick yogurt anyways.
Something else to note is that if you use a flavored yogurt starter there may be an after taste to it. I used a container of the Cherry Starburst yogurt with live cultures for my first batch and have not noticed an after taste; I also added strawberries to it and a little sugar to sweeten it. If you want a plain yogurt I would use plain yogurt; it is up to you. (Note: I made this second batch of yogurt using a starter from my first batch where I used a yogurt that had a color to it because it was cherry so that is why my yogurt is pink in color; I did notice that the second time round the color has become less noticeable in the final product.)

Making Crockpot Yogurt

1) Add the 1/2 gallon of Milk to your crock pot; I put a crock pot liner in before hand just a preference of mine when using my crock pot.

2) Put the crock pot on low & cook the milk for 2 hours 45 minutes

3) When the time is up, turn off the crock pot and unplug it. Keep it covered with the lid.

4) Let it cool down for 3 hours Just leave it on the counter in the crock pot with the lid on it.

5) When the 3 hours are up take a small bowl and add the 1/2 cup yogurt starter & a few spoonfuls of the heated milk to it; stir together until well incorporated. (just a small amount of milk)

6) Next add the mixture back into the crock pot and mix it into the rest of the milk. Mix well. Put lid back on.

7) Now wrap the crock pot up with the blanket/comforter or large beach towel, making sure it is unplugged and the lid is on it. I set mine on the kitchen table. (make sure it won’t get knocked over or messed with) It will need to stay wrapped up for 8-12 hours, from the time you wrapped it up. (overnight works best)

8) After it has set for 8-12 hours it should be thickened. At this step you can strain out the liquid which is the whey or leave it in its your choice. I left it because I don’t have any cheese cloth to strain it through. Cheese cloth is what you would generally use for that step. If you google alternatives for cheese cloth you may find something that will work. (Here’s an updated Cheese Cloth Hack)

9) Put it into what ever airtight container you will be using.

10) Let the yogurt cool in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating.

It will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Be sure to save 1/2 cup of this yogurt for the next batch.
After it has cooled you can enjoy it as is or add fruit & something to sweeten up a bit like honey or maple syrup. You can even freeze it for a summer treat. I am hoping to write a post about making homemade frozen yogurt so stay tuned in.

I hope you enjoyed this step by step recipe by Crystal Paine. Make it, Share it, Enjoy it!
Thanks for reading. I hope I can encourage you to try new things and share them with others. There is nothing like learning something new!

Original Recipe HERE.


I am also linking video to Jamerrill Stewarts Video on how to do this in both crock-pot or instapot. Then I am linking another video from Our Tribe of Many doing their homemade yogurt. These are just to show you some extra steps and I love watching these ladies cook they really know their stuff!

Thanks for reading; Check me out on social media help me get some followers! Drop a like below.

Adventure

When You Feel Like Your Failing.

Photo by Ken Ozuna from Pexels

Some days I feel like a failure! When I feel like a failure I often wonder why I was chosen to raise these little lives and why I was chosen to be their mom. Don’t get me wrong I love my children and I have always wanted them, no changes there! I wouldn’t change anything about my life. It’s just that some days I feel like complete mush. That disgusting feeling of failure. It’s a dark feeling that sends you into another plane of existence. Some days I don’t even recognize myself. Energy-less, laziness, & paralyzed are what I feel. It happens from time to time just springing up out of the clear blue; the feelings of being helpless while still dragging myself through my day the best I can manage. Even though I feel like this I must keep in mind that I am depended on by three little boys. Whom cannot make it through this life without me. They have their dad, but some how I am the glue that keeps everything together; just a little better.
When my boys grow up I hope they understand that I tried my absolute best to raise them the best that I could as their mother. I hope that they know how hard I worked at making those ordinary days a little more magical and filled with wonder. Not all of those days are going to be great along the way through our journey together. No matter how hard I try to give them the stars; those days where I fall short are gonna happen! I want them to know that I did my best. When I look into those little eyes all 6 of those eyes I want them to see one of their heroes staring back, Mom! I hope to inspire them to never give up especially when they feel like they have failed!
Now don’t confuse these times in my life with the terrible danger that often lurks with feelings like these. I have never felt like such a failure to get to the point of self harm or anything of the sort! However some people do get to that point which is why it is so crucial to know the signs of depression because sometimes in a blink of an eye everything can change.
Depression is that word that people associate an almost ugly feeling with, like it should be kept in the dark! When it is the exact opposite. I believe that if depression were brought into the light and more people were educated to know the signs/symptoms of it they could change many lives! Feeling like a failure as a parent is part of parenting even if it doesn’t feel great. Depression isn’t just something that happens to parents; it happens to everyone. It can look very different from person to person, as we don’t all walk the same paths in our lives. Laziness, lack of energy, not eating, or feeling paralyzed are just some of the different faces of depression. Sometimes you don’t have any change at all. When I feel like a failure it may not be caused by anything that makes sense to anyone else except me; mental health is unique to the person it is effecting. Just like no one person is the same. Feeling depressed should not make you feel like an outsider among your peers or family, but some how it does. It’s gonna make you feel like your not good enough, like your a failure,or you may feel like your stupid & unlovable. The mind games that a person goes through are real!

What Are Some Things That Help With Depression?


It helps me to be able to talk my feelings out I enjoy being able to have someone to talk to and it makes me feel much better inside. Sometimes I have to force myself to snap out of the funk. It isn’t something that I can just flip on & off and it usually takes quite a bit of time to come out of it completely. The great news is, it can be done! I try my best to align myself with positive thoughts and feelings the best I can do. For each negative thought I combat it with multiple positive ones instead! Talking it out with another person is a great tool that anyone feeling this way should utilize! If your someone who has no friends or family you can strike up a conversation with a total stranger; some may not care to listen and that should not discourage you from continuing to try to talk to someone because there are a whole lot of people in this world. Some of them may surprise you; doesn’t hurt to ask if someone will listen. Talking to yourself just runs you around and round walking the same path and usually getting the same old answers back in return. When you are able to share your thoughts with another person they change that pathway from the same old stuff that clearly isn’t helping to new answers that just might be what you need to hear!
Talking with someone about your feelings is a great way to combat depressive feelings, but if I don’t have someone around to talk to besides children I find that another thing that helps is a healthy dose of sunshine, by going outdoors. Sitting outside in the fresh air even if its a cloudy day, watching my kids play and burn off that built up energy makes me smile! Breathing in air that has been recycled and being stuck indoors looking at a bunch of walls all day can really take a toll on a person. Confinement can cause lots of anxiety and sad feelings, so what better way to combat being stuck indoors than to break free outside! While you are out there might as well try moving around a little bit. Depending on your location and ability to move around that is. Try stretching out your arms and legs, maybe going for a walk in your yard to start things off if you are able to. Moving around & getting exercise has been proven to help you feel better; at least it tends to help me.

Even when you feel like you are failing, or you are not doing it right whatever that may be, please keep in mind that you are enough! Don’t let those feeling of being less than or not good enough overwhelm you and take over. There is always a way to combat those dark feelings. There is always someone to talk to even if you haven’t met them yet! If you are not going through or if you have never felt those kinds of feelings remember you can and just might be a light in someones darkened path! Keep an eye out and learn the signs. Talking about depression may just save someones life!
(I am not a medical professional)
You can talk to your doctor about any depressive thoughts or feelings you have even if they aren’t overwhelming.

What are Some Signs of Depression?

Depression does require a medical diagnosis, however knowing what to watch for may save someones life.

The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide. (as taken from The Mayo Clinic)

Are There Resources That Can Help Me or Someone Else?

Yes!

* Talk to Your Doctor!
* Call 1-800-273-8255 To Talk to Someone!
* Chat With Someone Here!

Never be afraid to reach out to someone, anyone!

Thanks for reading. If you or someone you know is going through a depressing time use the resources above!