Wednesday, August 31, 2016

School Again

    People seem to assume that having three small children, so close in age would be absolutely more than the average person could handle. For us, though, after the second tiny, we had so many tools in place that adding to our kid pile was relatively smooth.

    Having a 10 yr old and a new baby, on the other hand, is much more challenging.

    My oldest is very sensitive so this morning, on the first day of fifth grade, she had a panic attack and we missed the bus. I had to put clothes on the littlest and pack her up in her inconvenient car seat, which I was not planning on doing today.

    Unlike many moms I see on blogging online, I'm not excited for her to go back to school. I'll miss her during the day, like I have since she started preschool and I find it terribly sad how little time I get with her from 4pm to 8:30pm. That's less than 6 hrs to raise my own daughter.
    I don't like my daughter's school. I don't like that she's back in that school today. I don't like the other kids at her school and I don't like the school's anti-bully program, which is really a how-to bully program.

    Over the years my husband has gone manic over a lot of different money-making ideas, and I really, really wish a few of them had worked before now.
    I deeply want to put our little girls in private school.

    As a parent, there are few things I want more than for my kids to be safe and happy.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In Other News: Coffee

    So there are a few other things I love, other than my husband and my kids.

   One of those things is coffee. 

   I love coffee.
   I love coffee this much! If you know what this beauty is, then I love you to. 
    For those of you who don't know, this is my lovely, Delonghi espresso machine. With the gentle caress of her buttons, she makes lovely, creamy espresso for me.

   The absolute best part about having our own, very special, espresso machine is that our coffee is ALWAYS perfect.
    Always just exactly the way I want it for me, and it's always the way my husband wants it for him!

    I love stevia in my coffee. Don't get me wrong, I'm not diabetic, and when I make cookies, I use 3 cups of sugar. Sugar has its place, and its place is not in my coffee, coagulating in the dregs, making a heavy, grainy paste in the bottom of my mug.
    No! No, I say, my coffee deserves a light, amazingly sweet powder. Ah, stevia, with its mildly bitter aftertaste that perfectly complements my espresso, covered in a pile of fluffy, steamed milk. Mmmmm, tastes like marshmallows.

    Yes. I love coffee 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mania Update

    Hopefully, my beloved bipolar husband will sleep in this morning. That will help with his hypomania.

    Usually, his hypomanias show up when he's gotten a bit too passionate about something. It's dangerous to his mind, but it is beautiful to see so much passion, that he literally loses control.
    However, this particular hypomania is very obviously due to sleep deprivation, caused by having a teeny tiny new baby.
    His manias usually look like hours and hours of research, with bright, glassy eyes as he pours over information or gushes about what he's learned. It is beautiful. While he's researching, he becomes an expert in whatever he's researching, putting those who've gone to school for years and years to shame with what he can pop off the top of his head and the discoveries he has by putting pieces together.
   And then, it's gone. A week or two later, he has a mild grasp of whatever he was researching, but the genius is gone.
    I keep meaning to write books when he's in a mania, to harness the amazing piles of knowledge he amasses, but I haven't managed to yet. The knowledge builds up so fast, I haven't been able to collect it from him that fast before it fades away.

    Purely sleep deprived hypomania, however, just leads to off-the-wall craziness, a bit like Jim Carry. I suspect Stamper is bipolar. (Warning, this Stamper video contains inappropriate stick figures, cursing and potato salad spitting).

    Manias, of all kinds, are a lack of inhibition similar to being drunk. The actions tend to come before they can be properly thought out and/or filtered.
    Knowing what I do about hypnosis and NLP, I know that people never violate their very core belief system.
    If you've ever been drunk and "said something you didn't mean to" while drunk? I bet you really felt that way, or maybe you needed to say it for your mental health. That's a lot how manic inhibition works, but it also comes out physically.

   I was doing dishes and handed my husband three cooking utensils and asked him to "throw these over there for me?" I was implying to put them in their container which he was closer to, but I saw he was in a mania, so as he was arching his arm back, planning on throwing my clean dishes violently on the floor (with an adorable smile) I added, "not that way, throw them into their home."

   Last night he said was going to take a quick shower, and as a funny, he added: "unless I was opposed."
   I responded that I was highly offended, so even though we both knew he was kidding, his plans to shower had gone away. I'm not too witty, so it took me a while to form the comeback that I was offended that he would take a quick shower, that quick showers aren't professional enough, and I told him the only true shower to take was a long one.
    That fixed it and he took a shower.

Friday, August 26, 2016

They Don't Know

    I love honesty. Once I started fully embracing open honestly, it really changed my life. I try to say whatever I would if I were drunk in a situation, only with better words and gentler if need be.
    There are a few situations where I don't spontaneously volunteer information and generally stick to yes or no answers.
    One of those situations would be around my family.

    Once upon a time, one of my very close cousins was dating a boy who was bipolar and to hear my grandmother complain about him and the relationship was quite grating. Especially since her sister in law was also bipolar.

    "I really don't know how anyone can have a relationship with a bipolar." She'd said.

    They don't know my beloved bipolar was diagnosed. They don't know my adorable Bubbles goes manic sometimes.
    If they asked, I would tell them, but I'm not randomly bringing it up because if they did know because I suspect they would attempt to violate all sorts of HIPA. I'm sure they wouldn't believe me anyway because they attributed strange things to my great aunt's bipolar, and not necessarily the things they liked about her, like her decorating skills.

   I often wonder if the price of their relationship is worth it to me. They cost me a lot of stress.

   I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't believe my very sane husband and daughter are bipolar.

   One of my husband's little brother is also diagnosed as bipolar, and their father believes his teenage angst and anger is the bipolar part, not his passionate bouts of drawing.
   Their father is also probably bipolar, but without a diagnosis. He would be absolutely shocked if someone mentioned that he might be bipolar.

   He also doesn't know that my beloved bipolar was diagnosed.

   They don't know.
    They wouldn't understand if we told them and I think the average person wouldn't either.

    I guess that's why I started this blog.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


    I knew it was coming. With our tiny new ball of sleep deprivation, manias are almost inevitable.

    Since our littlest daughter isn't quite two weeks old yet, we've been adjusting to having her around at night. By that I mean, she frequently cries at night and wakes everyone up so I take her out to the living room for us to zonk on the couch.

   Well, my beloved bipolar hasn't been getting much sleep lately and when bipolars don't get much sleep they tend to slip into manias.
    He's diagnosed as Bipolar II (or two as it's said out loud) which means his "manias" are a milder form called "hypomania."

    At around 3 am, while I was on the couch, zonked with our littlest daughter, he came out with a crying Icy.
    He laid her down and covered her with her blanket. After a bit of fussing, she fell asleep, and he went out for a walk.
    As soon as he closed that door I knew. I knew the babies had finally broke him into a mania.

    When he got home, he plunked down on his computer and began his crazy typing.

    This is what a hypomania looks like. It reads from the bottom up

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Much Love

    My beloved bipolar let me sleep in this morning, and cooked me and the kids biscuits and gravy, which is not something he is currently eating. (He's on the keto diet right now).

    It's amazing and sweet that he can be so selfless and caring.

    Our life together has been pretty calm. The ups and downs of both our difficult childhoods have been ironed out by love and a cultivated calmness that has helped us face challenges as if they're nothing more than the next thing on our "To Do" list.
    We're poor right now. We have to be extremely careful with our money because every dollar we make has a specific thing it needs to pay for. Sometimes we have to scramble to find $20-$50 because a bill went through early, or we needed emergency diapers or medicine.
    We choose to be poor because when my beloved bipolar was making a "Living Wage" with his last  job and the job before that, we saw him no more than two or three times a week.
    It got to the point where when I went to drop him off, Bubbles burst into tears. It was obvious that she was having an honest, mental breakdown, and right then, we both realized it was more responsible to be poor, and have him home, than have the money we wanted.
    It was possibly the most heartbreaking thing I've ever seen.
    My little girl, barely speaking, unable to make eye contact through her violent tears, chocking out "Bye-Bye Daddy!"
    Because of one of those jobs, he missed the birth of his third daughter, Icy. I don't believe he will ever get over that.

    I have an incredible amount of respect for military families. I don't know how they manage it because I can honestly say, that having gone through those jobs, I know we could not make a military job work.

    I realize that we must still be pretty in love, even after these 8 years because It's so worth the $3,000 a month pay cut we took so we could be together.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sunlight for the Little One

    Outside exercise is a glorious thing!
    One thing about living in Montana is all the lovely hiking trails and parks available to us at all times.

    My girls are particularly fond of one called Greenough park, which is named after the couple who donated the land. It's a long, beautiful walk filled with pine and aspen trees, all manner of Montana birds and occasionally bears.
    It really refuels Robot Princess, who sometimes sneaks out a contraband leaf or pine cone and leaves my tiny girls, Bubbles and Icy, peaceful and happy for a day or two.

    The only problem is the massive exposure to sunlight, which can send Bubbles into a tiny toddler mania.

   If I want to let my girls play in our sad, 5' wide, miniature yard every day, I have to keep all the curtains down so Bubbles can save her sunlight for outside time.
    With Asperger's I'm sensitive to the light, so I really don't mind living with the light shut out, but a sunlight is something to be EXCEPTIONALLY aware of, and it changes, each day. In Missoula it can be storming with angry hail and then 10 minutes later, a perfectly beach sunny day.

    Keeping track of how much sleep Bubbles has gotten, how hyper she is and how likely she is to go into a mania really dictates how much outside time we have or if we can go explore our lovely state.
    I have to admit, it's all exceptionally worth it. Living in Montana, with my little cutie, carefully planning around the weather, I'm just saying it's work that takes practice and skill.

    I do recommend visiting Greenough park if you're ever exploring Missoula.

Monday, August 22, 2016


    Sorry if I disappointed you, but this post contains no nudity.

   I'm not diagnosed, but I'm almost certain I'm an Aspie, or someone with Asperger's syndrome.
   I could have started an Aspie blog and gone on about how jealous I am of normal people's ability to "tune out" noises that I CAN'T ESCAPE FROM, like the never-ending refrigerator buzz, or how eye contact is such an intimate, physical sensation that it can nauseate me. I chose instead to blog about my husband's brain difference because honestly, there are a bunch of Aspies blogging about being Aspie. A gift of Asperger's is being well written, so anything I could say about my life and experiences has pro'ly been typed out already by another Aspie.
    Bipolar on the other hand, tends to come with inconsistency, which makes blogging a challenge, so I felt that my life experiences would be put to better use if I use my Aspie writing skills to improve bipolar exposure.

    As a note; I really like the descriptive word "Aspie." It's not a horrifying label and I feel it's similar to describing myself as "brunette" or "freckly." It allows me to explain to people with one word that I'm sensitive to smells, mistake noises for human voices, have a hard time talking to people and sometimes take stubbing my toe on the table leg as a personal slight from the table. I might spend the rest of the day wondering what I did to the table to make it so mad at me.
   I see it as a useful, descriptive adjective, so I do tend to use "bipolar" as a descriptive adjective instead of the more popular, removed description of "with bipolar," which sounds to me like a dog's name.
   "He was diagnosed with bipolar," sounds like he was diagnosed in the presence of a puppy named Bipolar.

   My grammar corrector seems awfully offended that I refer to bipolars that way, but I hope humans persons feel differently.
    I hope bipolars can use it to explain with one word that sleep is extremely important to them. That they need extra hugs and sunlight in the winter time, and if they don't talk to their friends for two weeks, they are still good friends, and that when they research something for three days without much food or sleep, what they really need is a good, long night's rest.

Friday, August 19, 2016

"How can you tell?" (That my toddler is also bipolar).

    On the rare occasion that I do share that I feel my three year old daughter is bipolar, the same question seems to pop up. That and the same "you're a bit stupid," face.

   "Well, why do you think that?" They'll ask me, eyebrows raised and furrowed in the middle. "Little kids are just hyper." They'll tell me, trying to convince me that my adorable little girl can't possibly be manic.
   "All little kids are moody," is another they'll frequently use to explain away her depressions.

   I understand, and it's so sweet that they can't imagine her as "having a mental disorder." Honestly, even in her teenage years when she can possibly be diagnosed, I doubt anyone would be able to see her symptoms because of how well she's adapting and using her tools at such a tender age.

   With three other kids though, I know the difference between kid hyper and her mania.

   One of the key differences is that she can't process what she's doing before she does it.

   A good example was last night.
   She hadn't napped, which makes her susceptible to mania.
   She was sitting on my lap, repeatedly kissing my cheek. Adorable. I knew, however, that the excited way she was repeating an action was a sign that this could become dangerous.

   "Honey, can you take a breath for me?" I asked her in my gentle-but-firm Mommy Voice.

   The lack of nap was too powerful and she gently opened her mouth to hold my cheek between her teeth.

   This is where Daddy swooped in and laid her down for a very, very late nap.

   Obviously, if she wasn't taken off my lap, and wasn't able to take her breaths, she would have bitten me. Not could have. It was inevitable at that point and I'm so glad I had Daddy to jump in because sitting on Mommy was part of what was triggering her mania.

   Most little kids can be redirected at that point, but for her, sleep was about the only thing that would keep her from hurting someone or breaking something. I can tell you that unlike her non-bipolar sister Icy who delights in causing destruction, when Bubbles hurts someone or breaks something, it ruins her day.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Impressively Normal

    Before my beloved bipolar was diagnosed as bipolar he believed that the feeling of mania was how normal people felt, all of the time so he pushed himself to maintain his manias.

   He got really into finding gold so we bought a highbanker and some metal detectors.

   He got really into gem cutting, so we bought a faceter.

   These were certainly maniac purchases, but we never bought anything we didn't have the money for and these are things we can, and have, returned to.

   We still take road trips and collect gems or dig out the metal detectors and take the kids on a treasure hunt. It's still a fun, recreational bonding experience. I'm certainly glad we made those purchases back when we had the money to, and I'm so happy to be able to use them now that we're lacking money.

    I've heard lots of stories of people in manias selling their houses and what not to feed their manias and it really makes me appreciate how impressively normal our lives have been.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Light Fight

   Oh boy!

   Those of you who've had a baby might be familiar with the concept that babies need sunlight to help them develop.
    Their tiny new livers have a hard time processing the large amounts of bilirubin produced in their little bodies. Bilirubin is the yellowish pigment that makes the color in bruises. Babies who are a bit early (like mine usually are) tend to turn a little yellow, especially in the whites of the eyes.
    This is called jaundice and while it's not necessarily dangerous in itself, we happen to have a happy lamp for my husband's bipolar and I'm using it to help our littlest dissolve her bilirubins.
    Our seven-day-old daughter needs a sun lamp on and pointed at her to help her little liver filter bilirubins out of her blood.

    Bubbles, our bipolar 3 yr old has been avoiding naps and waking up in the night. She's sleep deprived and too much sunlight can easily trigger a tiny mania in Bubbles.
    I've been keeping the curtains all down all day so we can still go outside for a half hour to play.

    Now, for whatever reason, Bubbles LOVES sitting between the light and the baby.

   It takes all of my Mommy Patience to keep distracting her away from the light, and with my own sleep deprivation, my Mommy Patience is running on its reserves.

   Oh the light fights!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Beloved Bipolar on Keto

   My beloved bipolar husband has been on a keto (ketogenic) diet for almost a month now for weight loss and it seems to have helped his bipolarness out quite a bit!

   Weight loss has occasionally been something he'd get manic about so for up to two weeks, he'd go crazy working out and avoiding carbs or what not, but since being on the keto diet, he has logged his food on his MyFitnessPal app for twenty-eight days.
    Twenty-eight days is a staggering consistency for him, and I assume it is for most bipolars as well.

   He's been consistently, and moderately motivated, being able to push himself to work out when he doesn't quite feel up to it, but not digging himself into a video game hole or working out seven days a week when he perhaps should be sleeping. It's so nice to see!

    He has lost noticeable weight, 10 lbs that I know about, and has gained so much mental balance.
    He is visibly thinner. His good friend repeatedly gushed about how much thinner his face looked, and such when they were out together. I bet he'll be on the keto diet soon. He was noticeably impressed, (and possibly a bit jealous).

    I am so very proud of my beloved bipolar.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sad vs Depression

    As of now, my beloved bipolar takes no medication for his bipolarness, relying on his own willpower and his happy lamp to stay out of hypomanias and depressions.
    We had a long, unhelpful bought of dealing with doctors, who prescribed him something that sent him into a terrible depression, deeper than the natural depression we both found ourselves in when I miscarried my beloved bipolar's first baby. After almost eight horrible months of fighting, we decided maybe medication wasn't quite worth it and he's been impressing me ever since.

   With a 10 day old baby comes sleep deprivation, and with sleep deprivation comes manias. My beloved bipolar is very excited about food lately, going so far as to cook sugar-free dark chocolate, but he's managed to stay out of a mania.

   Also, his mother was here in Montana for a visit, all the way from Iowa.
  With the thought that she was here to see the new baby and visit with us, Mr. Professional set about making paneer cheese the night before. A great endeavor that does leave an uncomfortably large mass of dishes, along with making my butter cloth dirty. He researched and jumped into a new recipe, chili paneer, pouring love into his cast iron pan, obviously excited to impress his mommy with his cooking skills. She owns and operates a catering business and is one of the reasons he's so passionate about cooking.
     He bought a sparkling red wine with some bleu cheese to try. He was ready and poised, aimed and ready to impress!

    She showed up and chatted briefly, grabbing Bubbles and Icy, and whisked off, a half hour away to her parent's house, with no intention of coming back into town.
    The heartbreaking fact became obvious right then. She wasn't quite here to visit her son.

    We ended up inviting his friend over to enjoy his beautiful meal, and wine and cheese.
    It was a very nice evening, but like any normal human being who feels rejected, he was crestfallen and sad, really sad, but he wasn't depressed.

   It's really easy to be proud of him. He's stayed motivated enough to keep on top of chores, helping me keep the house pleasantly clean lately without going over the top into a cleaning mania.
   Cleaning seems to be an easy thing to set off a mania for most of the bipolars I've known.

    Even bipolars can get sad without getting depressed.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mild Depression

    My beloved bipolar husband hates the term "depression" when applied to himself because he rarely perceives himself as sad. I suppose he might not be feeling sadness, but it does certainly look like he is to me.
    His depressions mostly come out as a lack of motivation with a touch of moodiness. It usually represents itself as boredom and a strong desire to bury himself in video games for a few days.

   I've learned that giving him extra physical affections really helps cuts down on how long these phases last.
   Extra hugs, quick kisses or back rubs while I'm walking past him and any opportunity for physical contact goes a long way.

   The hugs may seem different, maybe a bit quiet, or hollow on his end but I know he needs and likes them.
    He doesn't sigh like he often does when we hug, or smile, or bury himself in my shoulder and sigh. The hugs are a bit robotic and complacent like it's difficult for him to go through the motions, so I try to let him go as soon as I feel any resistance.
    I don't want my hugs to be oppressive, especially when he's in a depressive swing. I think he'd say that he loves my hugs, and I doubt he'd feel like he doesn't like them when he's depressed, but I'm not sure how accurate his own emotional read-out is when he's feeling like that, so I'll just keep holding him loosely, but as frequently as I can.

   When he's had a particularly strong hypomania, I go all out with the extra cuddles and it can turn a week's worth of video games into two days of video games.
    Video games are certainly not the problem, and he does play them when he's feeling normal, or even occasionally fiending maniac-ly over them while in hypomania.

    It's simply a visible symptom of his depression when he quietly disappears into a video game. One of his most beloved pastimes is finding clues in the backstories in games, movies, and cartoons to piece together conspiracies.
    Another sign of depression is when his conspiracies go away.
    When he's depressed, his automatic socializing skills seem to turn off. Normally he'll gush about what he's doing in his RPG or how impressive the storyline is in his new game. While in depression, he quietly sinks into his computer, facing directly into it instead of at an approachable angle to it.
    It can be quite a discrete change, one which has taken me a long time to be able to pick out.

   I suppose the moral of my post today is that bipolars need hugs.

Friday, August 12, 2016

My Beloved Bipolar's New Love

   If you ask a bipolar person what their hobbies are, you'll likely get a very meaty chunk of whatever manic topics are holding their interests currently, or something very vauge implying that they haven't found a hobby yet.

   It seems to me like they have a hard time discerning what their manic hobbies are as opposed to the passions that run deeply within them, like ribbons wrapped around the very core of their human being.

   For my aunt, one of her true passions was decorating. This came out in impromptu five hour room makeovers, complete with new furniture and wallpaper. Magic.

   For my beloved bipolar husband, one of his core passions is being a daddy. I believe it has shaped a lot his life, both consciously and subconsciously. 

   We had our fourth, and probably last daughter Aug 3rd, 2016 and to see the incredible love radiate off him is one of the best things in my life. 
    Don't get me wrong, we got together so that him and I could be together, and we charish the rare alone moments we get, but the the volume and depth of his adoration for those little girls is something you can feel.
   It's comparable to standing in awe of the cool ocean waves on a warm day or staring into a fire while enjoying it's warm glow.
   His daddy affection is very much a comforting, majestic natural wonder. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016


   Having been with my husband for as long as I have, I can see so much of him in my second daughter and I am 90% sure my little girl is also bipolar.

   Honestly, I have no negative emotions knowing this.
   I'm glad that we did notice because Daddy was able to impart his own coping tools.

   I'm glad that we know, and I wish it more ok for other parents to know when their tiny kiddos are bipolar because those skills are so helpful to learn early in life.

  I'm grateful that I know to just hold her when she needs it, and every day, I am amazed to see her take deep breaths to calm her 3-year-old self down when she starts getting overexcited.

   My daughter is impressive because we love her and because Daddy knew what to teach her to help her help herself.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pokemon Go

    Pokemon Go.

    It seems like, at this point, sunlight's effects on bipolar is pretty understood. Sunlight pulls people out of depression and can possibly trigger a mania or hypomania if used too much. However, since the release of Pokemon Go, my husband has been outside pretty much every day. It's pro'ly the most natural sunlight he's gotten in perhaps three years.
    (He's shedding his adorable, pale, nerdy skin and getting all tan and freckly! So happy I married a man I find so sexy!)

    Despite this sudden, intense exposure, he isn't manic at all. Not even a bit.

   One thing I don't think people really understand is that Bipolars are often, well normal. I mean, they have times when they aren't in a mania and they aren't in a depression.
    During those times, they have passions and great hugs, just like anyone else!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Humanizing Bipolar

  My husband is exceptionally professional, driven and absolutely lovable.

    While I could say pleasant things like this about each of my children, I would say that being a mother is sometimes, a challenge.
   (It's really polite mom speech meaning that sometimes, you need to lock your screaming toddler out of the bathroom and just ignore them while you pee so you don't break down crying yourself. Oh and P.S the toddler would be screaming because she needs on your lap while you pee. Just to wiggle on you.)

   Even though the advice for people in a relationship with someone who is bipolar seems to be "How to Tolerate your Bipolar Spouse," I can honestly say that it has never been a challenge to be with my beloved bipolar.

    Despite his ever shifting interests and tendencies, he is my rock.
    Despite his glowing ups and grumpy downs, he is an amazing ray of hope that I can always think of when I need a pick-me-up.

    I know that he does not have the drive to continually update a blog, pretty much for any reason, so I've taken it upon myself to show everyone what being married to a bipolar is really like, because, you know what? He's cooked me gourmet dinner pretty much every night for the past 8 years.