Sunday, January 31, 2010

Not Me Monday-February 1st edition

So Auz is making his pine wood derby car and is totally thrilled at having to do all the sanding himself! And being the loving mom I absolutely did NOT help him and made him do it himself.

Colton worked so very hard, as is evidenced by the precise way he's holding his tongue. He absolutely did NOT want my help. Truly. 

We got all geared up for the race, I DID sit there and video tape each finish to make sure we got the order right, but I did NOT accidentally delete the 1st 3 heats and cause us to have to run them over again.

Colton's car DID come in 3rd place and we are all thrilled for him!  And of course NO WAY did I feel a  secret extra bit of joy over the fact that he beat out his big brother.  I would never think that my oldest loosing to his brother was a GOOD LESSON in sportsmanship.  Nope NOT ME!

And there is no way I am even more excited than this amazing little boy to be going to the District Race! LOL!!!!!

Colton's Creation

Austin's OSU inspired roadster.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-January 27th 2010--Silver Falls State Park

Lonely path into the future. Who knows what it holds.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me (My Child) Monday- January 25th, 2010 Edition

So my oldest son went home with a friend on Friday to spend the night and go sledding on Saturday.  Knowing how much he loves snow I was excited for him.

What I did NOT expect is for them to end up going skiing.  There is no way my "shy to try new things" son would strap on a pair of skies, use a lift, and go barreling down the slopes. Right?

WRONG!! According to Rebecca and Nate he did just that! And had a grand time doing it! I was so surprised how much he loved the experience.  It is all he's talked about since he got home!  I will post pictures as soon as I get them from Rebecca.

So one would think that after being brave enough to ski for the 1st time, this same son would be brave enough to try skating again after having fallen his first time last year.  I mean we were at a skating party for his classmate and one usually skates at skating parties right??  UM no. NOT MY KID.  He stayed at the rink for 2 1/2 hours and never once tied on a pair of skates. 

What can I say he's an enigma.

Welcome to Not Me My Child! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless (almost) Wednesday--Jan. 20th 2010--Lilybug's New Friend

A grey kitty is chosen

A hug is given and a wish is made.

A heart is kissed and placed inside.  

And it's done! A friend is born!

A quick fluff in the air bath, with brothers' help.

And here she is! "Stormy the Girl Cat"

Not to be confused with "Stormy the Boy Cat"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not Me Monday-Tuesday January 19th edition

So here's the deal, I did not spend hours at the mall yesterday with all 3 of my kids and actually have a tremendous time!  Because everyone knows how absolutely nightmarish taking kids to the mall can be right? 

There is no way the my boys would actually have fun helping their sister pick out a new stuffed animal at build-a-bear, and likewise no way she would enjoy helping them choose legos!

We did not enjoy sitting down for lunch with out any bickering, spilled food, or stressful moments. And I did not have some really amazing conversations in the car.

And lastly I did not have such a good time that I ran out of time to write my Not-me-Monday post and end up having to do it on Tuesday!


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where I've been

Just for fun I thought it would be neat to make a map of all the states I've visited!

Where have you been??

Go here to create your own map.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blogging with Boldness--Postpartum Depression: One mom's truth in despair.

As the saying goes my family has a "history of mental illness".  Bi-polar, manic-depression, social anxiety, depression, postpartum depression (PPD), general anxiety disorder,etc etc. My family also has a history of not talking about it. Or if it is talked about it's in hushed, whispered tones behind the afflicted person's back.  So I had no idea what to do when I first was diagnosed with a mild form of Bi-polar and Situational Depression in 1997-8.

I got treatment, sought therapy, turned to alternative approaches to stress management like yoga and meditation and pretty much got better.  As my situations changed my depression would ebb and flow much like a tide.  More stress, more emotional bombardment equaled more depression, sadness, and melancholy and vice versa. After meeting my husband, leaving my boyfriend, relocating, and settling down, I had such a change in my environment for the better that I went off medication, stopped therapy (actually I never made the effort to find a new therapist upon arrival in TX), but continued the yoga and meditation.  After the birth of my 1st child I went normal hormonally induced "baby blues". I was able to function pretty well, got out of bed, went places etc. etc. just had moments of unexplained sadness and what I liked to call "the downs."

At the time I as pretty involved in API and LLL meetings as well as a women's spirituality group at our local Unitarian Church. I had started to make some pretty cool mama friends, and all of that helped so much when it came to getting out of "the downs."  My husband was an incredible hands on papa, who would do just about anything we needed done. He went out and bough us our first sling when little man was diagnosed with reflux after seeing how helpful babywearing could be at one of the parenting meetings he attended with me. He then learned how to use the sling and would wear our son doing all sorts of tasks around the house just so I could take a shower or get a moment alone.  Our first son didn't sleep well, so we were both tired, and pretty strung out, but we had a good teamwork ethic and I had a ton of support from my new found friends.  The baby blues subsided and I put the thoughts of sadness and melancholy behind me as I delighted in being a mom. No one told me that this history of "baby blues" and my prior history with mental illness put me at risk for PPD.

Fast forward about 19 months....I was pregnant with our 2nd child and our world sort of imploded.  My husband was laid off from his job. Because of that I was now on state health care and I had to switch from my midwife and the home birth I so dearly wanted that wasn't covered back to my OB and another hospital birth that terrified me because it was paid for by the state. Also  in order to keep ourselves fed I went on WIC.  Just being in that office was enough to depress me! About a month before boy number two entered the world, my husband got a new job.  Joyous occasion right?  Well sort of.  It turned out that the headquarters for the job was in Baltimore and his training was schedule for 1 week after my due date.  He'd be there for 2 weeks.  So the best case scenario was I would deliver early and have some time with daddy home with us before having to parent a newborn and a toddler on my own. Worst case was I'd be late like I was with number 1 and daddy would even be there for the birth.  I often wonder if what I went through in the next year didn't start right then and there when my husband lost his job.  Can it be postpartum depression if I was depressed before the baby was born??

What did happen was that boy child number 2 arrived a week before his due date.  The hospital ended up not being so scary, and I got my intervention free birth I longed for. I had another beautiful baby boy, two weeks to look forward to with my husband home all day and night, and friends who were going to take our oldest for a couple of days so we could settle in.  I had loads of women caring for me and my family. They brought food and pampering and gifts for my toddler.  They cared for us so well!  I was happy!


At 7 days postpartum I developed a sudden high fever, body aches, and nausea.  I called my OB's office and  although she was on vacation they got me in to one of her partners right away.  After examining me the doc was pretty sure I had  retained placenta and that I still had a piece of the placenta attachted inside my uterus and it had become infected.  I had an ultrasound just to be sure, then she gave me a shot in the ass of Rocephin, called ahead for me to go next door to be checked into the hospital and have an emergency D&C.

It was all too much. I hadn't pumped any milk, I was away from my newborn baby, I had just been celebrating a very non medical birth and now I was off to emergency surgery under general anesthesia!! Everyone did all they could to rally around me. Looking back even now I can't adequately express how blessed I was to have the friends I did, to have my husband so willing and able to take care of a toddler and baby on his own.  I was so grateful, and yet I felt soo incredibly sad. It was as if this separation from my baby, this surgery somehow negated how hard I had fought to have a natural birth in that very same hospital.

I healed from surgery, recovered from the infection, and survived the 2 weeks of training my husband had to do on the east coast again with the help friends, family, and much internal will.  But after that the reality of what our life was to be like with this new job set in.  There was sooo much travel involved. I would be asleep when my husband left in the morning and barely getting the kids to bed before falling in bed myself when he would get home, if he came home that night at all. So many weeks he'd be off to Los Angeles or New Orleans for days at a time.  The boys were barely 21 months apart. In so many ways I still had 2 babies to care for. I was tandem nursing, co-sleeping, and tandem babywearing just to keep up with their needs. My friends helped, and I still tried to get to meetings, but getting out of the house with 2 little ones and getting anywhere on time was more and more difficult.  The energy it took to go anywhere just wasn't there the longer I was alone with the boys.  I spend a lot of time alone at home and became really really depressed.  I didn't see it though.  And neither did my husband.  I would put on a happy face when ever he was home, not wanting him to feel guilty for being way, and not wanting him to worry about me while he was earning the money that kept a roof over our heads.  So I kept it to myself.

I would have visions of walking out the front door and not looking back. Just keep walking away from all the crying, stress, poopy diapers, stress, demands on my body, stress.......You get the picture.  I would cry at the drop of a hat.  I would be instantly angry for the littlest of things.  I stopped wanted to be touched by anyone. Even my children. Especially my children.  Breastfeeding stopped being a sweet moment between mother and child and started being torture.  During this time I also had some severe nipple damage due to a latch issue and contact dermatitis from food left in my toddler's mouth from a meal he had before he nursed down for a nap.  So now not only did I not want to be touched or hold my children, nursing them was painful beyond imagination. It took months to finally get our nursing issues fixed, but in my head I still had bad feelings associated with breastfeeding that led to huge amounts of guild and sadness.  I hated sharing my bed with little squirmy boys who routinely soaked my bed.  Yet I couldn't bear the idea of them sleeping any other place but next to me. There was a constant push pull of emotions.  Truly despising my "job" as mom, then absolutely delighting in something one of the boys would do, then the guilt and self loathing that came all to often because of the hate I had felt towards them earlier.  And still I told no one. I kept it to myself with the exception of the occasional complaint to my mom or my friends about how tired I was or how much I missed my husband.

Looking back now I really can't say how long I suffered in silence.  How long I would despair over my husband's next trip and break down in tears the moment he left the drive.  All I know is that it was absolutely the darkest time in my life. Ever. And I was afraid. Afraid I would actually walk out the door and leave it all behind, including my kids.  Afraid of what my husband would think, what my family would think or say. Afraid of what my friends (all crunchy natural mamas who didn't so much as take cough meds) would think if I went to a shrink or took meds.

Thankfully my fear was unfounded.  Thankfully one of my closest friends and eventually my husband saw what was going on and they convinced me to go into my OB for evaluation.  Thankfully my OB was very well aware of what postpartum depression is and how it can affect a mom's life, a child's life, a family's life.  Thankfully she was knowledgeable about medications and breastfeeding and she was able to offer me treatment that wouldn't mean I had to wean my baby. Thankfully she told me what I had longed to hear, that it was ok to feel the way I was feeling and that there was help for me.  Thankfully I got help.

Sadly though there are many women out there who, like me, don't realize what's going on.  So many don't understand why they cry all the time even though their baby is 4 months old because they are told early on, "Oh it's only baby blues! It will pass."  I was lucky I had a friend who saw what I didn't see and helped me to get help.  Many women out there don't have someone paying that close attention to them and their daily struggles to see when/if it becomes severe enough to need help.  Many still struggle with the guilt and stigma associated with mental illness so they remain quite.  It is for those women and the people who love them that I boldly tell my story.

If you have any of the symptoms of PPD or if you know someone who does seek help.  There are so many mom support groups specifically geared toward PPD, some even online, and so many treatments from natural to pharmaceutical.  But most of all know that you are not alone.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--Jan. 13th 2010--Snow Play

Snow Play the last week in December 09 made Christmas/Yule complete for my kiddos.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blogging with Boldness

A fellow mama and blogger, MckMama, had the following to say about "blogging boldly" and it really resonated with me:
Instead of being hung up excessively on what others are going to think of me when I blog this, say that, do whatever, I can finally stand firm, not giving a rip if my well intentioned words are still twisted by someone with nothing better to do.
 I think that is the key, "well intentioned words."  The fact that truly in my heart I do not mean anyone any ill will. I only strive to express MY truth as it manifests in my daily life as a mom, a wife, a volunteer, a knitter, an advocate, and an American.

So much of my life I've spent excess energy trying to please people.  Keeping the peace in my family and stuffing all of my own beliefs way down until my own identity became somewhat ambiguous.  It took years for me to realize I just needed to be me.  I give my husband a lot of credit for helping me wake up to that fact.  Even now though I have moments where I back track on my stance and try to smooth ruffled feathers because someone thinks I'm too abrasive or too over the top in my point of view.  All to often I end up making it worse or devaluing my original stance to make it more "acceptable."   No more.  If I don't stand for my beliefs I loose something even more important that the acceptance of acquaintances. My integrity.

So here's to 2010 and speaking my truth as painful as it might be for me to do. Blogging with Boldness about life, love, kids, crisis, passions, and politics! So here's your warning dear readers, tread with care from here on out there might be monsters.....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Not Me Monday-January 11th edition

I absolutley do not still have my Christmas tree up and the boxes all the decorations are supposed to go in are not still stacked in front of my fireplace where they have NOT been since Saturday.

And since it wasn't me that left it all there in it's cluttered glory, I suppose it will be me that as to deal with it all today! Hurray for Mondays.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thursday Quotes-

And now for your Thursday reading pleasure...some Breastfeeding quotes*:

Breastfeeding is an unsentimental metaphor for how love works, in a way. You don't decide how much and how deeply to love - you respond to the beloved, and give with joy exactly as much as they want. ~Marni Jackson

No one could give her such soothing and sensible consolation as this little three-month-old creature when he lay at her breast and she felt the movement of his lips and the snuffling of his tiny nose. ~Leo Tolstoy

If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce and could be delivered in quantities controlled by the consumers' needs, the very announcement of their find would send their shares rocketing to the top of the stock market. The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically. Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breastmilk, since the beginning of human existence. ~Gabrielle Palmer

A baby nursing at a mother's breast... is an undeniable affirmation of our rootedness in nature. ~David Suzuki

A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three. ~Grantly Dick-Read

While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby. ~
Amy Spangler

Breast Feeding should not be attempted by fathers with hairy chests, since they can make the baby sneeze and give it wind. ~
Mike Harding, The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac, 1981

My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard. ~
David Allen

When an actress takes off her clothes onscreen but a nursing mother is told to leave, what message do we send about the roles of women? In some ways we're as committed to the old madonna-whore dichotomy as ever. And the madonna stays home, feeding the baby behind the blinds, a vestige of those days when for a lady to venture out was a flagrant act of public exposure. ~Anna Quindlen

When we trust the makers of baby formula more than we do our own ability to nourish our babies, we lose a chance to claim an aspect of our power as women. Thinking that baby formula is as good as breast milk is believing that thirty years of technology is superior to three million years of nature's evolution. Countless women have regained trust in their bodies through nursing their children, even if they weren't sure at first that they could do it. It is an act of female power, and I think of it as feminism in its purest form. ~Christine Northrup

In modern consumer society, the attack on mother-child eroticism took its total form; breastfeeding was proscribed and the breasts reserved for the husband's fetishistic delectation. At the same time, babies were segregated, put into cold beds alone and not picked up if they cried. ~Germaine Greer

*Quotes from The Quote Garden

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"Alien Smoothies"

"Alien Smoothies"

So after getting this horrible evil illness known as Strep Throat, I tried a number of things to help the pain. What ended up helping the most were really cold things like popsicles and smoothies.

So today I ended up making a smoothie made out of the following:

1 cup of mixed frozen fruit (strawberries, mango, peaches)
1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 banana
1 avocado
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup of rice milk
1 cup of vanilla yogurt (Tillamook)
2 T flax seed meal
a packet of Emergen-C
2 capsules of Omega complex (squeezed the oil out, didn't put the gelatin capsule in)

The result was a greenish, creamy, frozen concoction that my 4 year old promptly dubbed "The Alien Smoothie"

It tasted absolutely amazing!! And felt great on my throat.