Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Babe

Dear 1 year old Taylor,

My sweet little stinky girl.
I am not sure how you got that nick name, because you do smell very good I promise.
You are a little bit of a stinker now, it the best way of course.

The time has really flown.
Like everyone said it would.

But knowing that time with you as a tiny little baby would be gone so soon,
I didn't forget to cherish and soak up all those special moments, even the not so fun ones.
All your firsts, all the smiles, all the baby giggles, all the sleepless nights.

This also meant that I was a little more confident as a Momma this time around.
Not always doubting myself, my decisions, my Momma instincts.
People told me that is why you are such a mellow little one.
Because I am more relaxed.  
Maybe so, but I think its also just part of who you are.
You are so easy going, and sweet.
You just go with the flow.
Whatever we are doing, you are happy to be there with us.
You don't care about cartoons at all.  
You love your brothers toys, and toilet paper.
You rip it up and when I come to try and take it away, you rip faster.
You get so excited when you see me, you smile, kick your legs and whine until I pick you up.
You love to be held, even though you can walk now, which I love. 
You are a such a little snuggler.
You know how to use a kazoo. 
You have always made the silliest faces, and of course you love to be tickled.
You actually know how to say tickle tickle I caught it on video, it was adorable.
You try to take your shirts off as I am trying to put them on.
You sit down after I put new shoes on you, and inspect them for a bit before deciding to try them out.
You make this face all the time..... We all think its the cutest thing we have ever seen!!

You get excited when I get your sippy cup and you do this evil sounding little giggle.
You have always loved  bath time, you splash,
and babble very loudly while playing in the tub.
You started walking about 11 months, and now you are almost running.
You love salty food like chips, cheese and bacon.
You put your hands anywhere on your face when I say peek-a-boo, and clap when I sing Patty Cake.

You have 11 teeth.
You like to go into rooms and close the door behind you, you think its funny.
You love your brother, you light up when you see him.

When I say "where is brother?" you look around and say Bubba.
You are so very smart, and learn to fast, I have trouble keeping up. 

I am enjoying your littleness so much.
I want you to stay little forever sometimes.
But I know that I will enjoy every stage, and every age.
You have brought me so much joy stinky girl, I can't even put it into words. 
And I know that maybe one day I won't be the center of your universe anymore.
But I want you to know, that you will always be the center of mine.


Your Momma


Monday, November 24, 2014

My Week in Pictures

Some real life  moments, that are less than picture perfect.  But depict a real idea of what its like sometimes.  Its perfect, and messy, and difficult, and beautiful, and wonderful all at once.....

This little drink thief.... stealing her brothers green smoothie

Logie wanted me to paint him a zombie #nailedit

The night she ate an entire hamburger bun for dinner.

What the dinner table really looks like when you eat out.... This doesn't happen at home, I don't understand.  #smh

Putting on the crown for the princess.....

My view from guess where?  The toilet, he was dragging her away and nothing I could do....

Baby wrestling.....

Trying on some hats at Target.  :)

Me and Logie made a snowman, he needed a scarf because "he was cold"  And of course we had to use a real carrot for his nose.

Relaxing before naptime with some Calliou....

Hope your week was great!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

About Depression

Apparently I am dealing with some depression, I have depression, I have a bout of depression, I am still not sure how to define it. 
Not the kind where I had to put my cat to sleep, or they cancelled my favorite reality show, but the real kind. 
The kind that gets worse, and keeps me from doing things I like to do, because I don't feel anything when I do them.   My therapist has confirmed, as of last night.

I was not quite sure what depression entailed, but I was sure I didn't have it. 
I have heard people talk about it, read articles, I have friends who have it, but I still never fully understood the depth of it.
Until now.
And I can tell you, that it is a kind of complete misery, that I have never before felt in my life.
I am angry, and sad, and frustrated, and hopeless all at the same time. 
Depression also tells you that its always been this bad all the time, and that it can never get better, and that nobody cares anyway.
There is a heaviness in my heart, for almost no reason.
I cry over the smallest, most irrational things.  
I have  zero patience most of the time.
I am intolerant, argumentative, and antagonistic.
At times I have been impulsive, and compulsive which is very unlike my character.
I don't trust anyone, and feel like they are against me and trying to hurt me on purpose. 
Things that use to excite me or bring me joy, have become things that I just want to "get it over with."
I feel like I am just going through the motions, hanging on, trying to get through the day. 
Just thinking about having to do things have become difficult and burdensome.
I have a hard time being grateful, and happy for others. 
The other really shitty part, is I have not told ANYONE.
It didn't even really occur to me to, because I kept ignoring these thoughts and feelings, pretending that all is fine, hoping they will pass, and thinking that I am just being dramatic or selfish.

I have known something wasn't right, but I have not been able to figure it out. 
I thought it was just a funk, the moon, PMS, or mercury in retrograde.
But I am relieved to have a name for what I have been experiencing. 
That gives me hope. 
Its not like I woke up one day and I was here.
It was a slow gradual change, which made it really hard to see.
For me it comes in waves, one minute I am doing okay, the next minute, the world is going to end.
It's to the point now, where it is extremely painful and difficult to bear.
Its affecting my life, my relationships, and my work.
From what I have learned the longer a person stays in their depression, the worse it gets, and the harder it is to get out. 
I used to judge this illness as personal unwillingness, lack of proper diet and exercise.
How completely arrogant and naive of me.

I used to think if people would try natural remedies and do things that make them happy and they can be cured.
The part of that I didn't understand is, even when you are doing all these things, and its not working, you start to give up, whats the use in trying to do the things that bring you joy, when they no longer have that effect.
That is the downward spiral.
You stop doing these things, your brain gets used to the decrease in dopamine, and serotonin, and continues to produce less and less of it. 

There is a possible cause in my case, but not always for everyone.  I don't think all cases have a known cause. For about 2 months now I have been on a bio-identical hormone replacement.  Blood tests have revealed abnormally low hormone production across a number of fronts.  After trying a few "natural"things to no avail, I opted for the HR.  I have a Dr. appointment in 2 weeks for follow up, and I have put a call into her about this. I will keep you all posted. 

The other danger is this: 
Now I know what I am dealing with, I can use it as an excuse for everything.  If you only knew how I felt you would do the same.
Yes, those thoughts have already entered my brain.
Justifiable anger, and righteousness are very dangerous places to be.
I do have that awareness, so I have to pay close attention, and be mindful of that.
Even getting dressed in the morning is stressful.  
Add 2 kids to the mix and trying to get out of the house on time, and that is a recipe for disaster.
I thought depression was like the people I saw on medication ads, sad, disheveled, unshowered, and couldn't get out of bed.  
I am sure it looks different for everyone.  

What I have learned of this illness, is that it's encouraged to continue to do things that make me happy even if they don't feel like they are.  
Exercise can help, and get enough sleep- well that one I may need to work on. 
Also talking to others about how I am doing- trust me this is THE LAST thing I feel like doing. 
Getting outside, taking walks, writing, praying, and meditating.

"That for which I have EVER judged another for, I have been blessed to experience myself."
This lesson has happened for me a NUMBER of times in my life.  
I say blessed because anything that has ever brought me intense pain, either physical or mental, has also made room for remarkable growth.
It has allowed for compassion, and empathy. 
Things that are the building blocks of being human.
When I have these towards others it changes my interaction and experience with them.
I know today that I do not have to understand or agree with what they are going through to have that compassion for them, but I didn't use to think so.

That is going to be my focus now. 
I am a know it all sometimes, and you should do it this way because it will make you feel better. 
I am a diagnoser, I know whats wrong with you, and I can help you. 
I certainly don't want to force my "help"or opinion on anyone who doesn't ask for it or want it. 
That has become clear.
I do this in the name of helping them.  I want to help you, you should let me!!!
I asked myself why the other day, why do you want to help others, really?
What is it that you are getting out of it, especially when they are not ready or willing to hear what you have to say? 
That was an interesting question where and who did that come from?
And something answered back: "because it feeds my ego."
But its true.
And that truth hurts. 
By trying to be helpful, I am being unhelpful, unattractive, and unapproachable. 
Sometimes all people want is someone who will listen, without the intent of responding.
Once something has been revealed for me, I can't help but to acknowledge it
and try to do better. 
I have no idea what one has to do with the other, but that is the message that has been revealed during this journey.
And I feel truly blessed to have that awareness today.

 Love, and thank you for listening


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Taking in the Moment

Having one of those days where I want to dye my hair and get a tattoo.
All you ladies know- the ones which usually follow a break up or major life change.
None here.  Just another Tuesday.
I am everywhere and no where all at once. 
I cannot stay focused on one thing to save my life. 
I keep hopping from one thought to the next, and one task to the next. 

None of them having to do with anything.
Then this thought: I haven't written in a while maybe its time.
Its hard to write after you haven't for a while.
Nothing seems to flow, or even make sense. 
I wish I could do it more often, wish I remembered, wish I felt like it.
So many emotions today, for no apparent reason.  
I am trying to just go with it.
Mostly fear.
FEAR, FEAR, FEAR that evil and corroding thread of my existence.
I have a full plate these days.
Between work, the kids, the house, the husband...he always seems to come last.
As do I.
But we are working on that...still.
But, I had a really nice evening with Logan last night.
He has a been a bit of an a-hole lately.  
Yes I said it.
No other way to describe it. 
But last night I spent time with him. 
And that is something that this babe needs MUCH more of.
More than I give him.
More than I have the patience for.
And I was reminded of that last night. 

Not the kind where we are in the same room and I am on my phone or watching TV, and he is next to me playing and saying look Mom... I half halfheartedly peel  my eyes away from 
my IG feed and say "Oh yeah" at whatever it is he is showing me.  Not really paying attention.
But this time it was the real kind.
He didn't want to read with me when I first asked him.  
He said "nope" and he sat on the floor playing.
So I grabbed a book and emphatically started to narrate, to get his attention.  It worked.
He immediatly stood up and looked away from his super heroes, and crawled up and took a seat in my lap.
I read him "Brown Bear, Brown Bear".  
Watching one of his super heroes clenched tight in his hand, start to loosen, and I felt his wound little body begin to relax. 
He started to move slower, his voice got softer, he got sweeter.
Usually he is whirling about, at speeds unmentionable all the time until he collapses.  
Reasons why our nightly reading needs to be a ritual.
Then I asked him to put the book away and get another one that he would like. 
"No you do it, I am busy" 
His new favorite phrase.
So I asked again in the same gentle voice, he snatched the book and put in softly on the shelf.
He said "I want the caterpillar book!"  "Okay buddy get it"
"I dont see it!!!"
I pointed "Its right there on the shelf"
He brings it to me and crawls in my lap again.
I read to him the Hungry Hungry Caterpillar with great emotion of course, that's how you are supposed to read to kids-they get so excited its adorable. 
He turns to look at me with a huge grin on his face everytime I say a higher number: "FOUR strawberry's!"
Normally after story time he hops up and heads to his bed.
And last night he stayed. 
He rolled over to face me with his head in my arms, cradled like a baby.
We sat there and looked into each others eyes and just talked. 
I don't really think I knew the meaning of what it means to connect with someone until now. 
Because that is exaclty how I felt, connected to him.
I stared into his eyes... I asked him questions, and I really listened to the answers. 
I asked him questions about his answers, and why he said them.
I told him that he needed to stay small and not grow up so I could hold him like this forever. 
He said okay, he would.<wink>
At that moment, I had reprieve from all of the " I am not doing it good enough" thoughts.
And right then and there I was doing it right.
I had no doubts.
We needed that time.  
We need it everyday.
But it doesn't always happen.

And then I remembered to take in the moment.
That exact moment.
And I focused on all the little details I noticed in that moment.
The way he smells.

The softness and shine of his little blonde head.
His tiny  fingers, still look the same as they did when he was one.
How long and dirty his little boy fingernails are, oh wow I need to cut them where are those nail cli- STOP back to the moment!!
I notice how small his legs are, and how he has his Dadda's crooked toes.

And it occurs to me.....he is only 3.  
He is still so small, and so innocent, and tender. 
I sometimes forget that. 
Then I think back to the times I get impatient with him, because I think he "should know by now", and my eyes well up and I get that lump in my throat from holding back tears.

He has only been on this earth 3 1/2 short years.
And in that time he has learned to walk, talk, run, sing, dance, and do all kinds of things with his physical body. 
And THAT is A LOT of things.
And I so proud of him because of it.
He doesn't have to know how to spell his name or say his ABC's perfectly, or act like a big boy all the time for me to feel this pride for him. 
It exists simply because he does.
And that is enough to make my heart full for a very long time. 

 Now an inordinate amount of pictures for your viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It Doesn't Matter What People Think of You

That little phrase that still rings true in my head....
Until I became a Mom.
I'll get back to that it a bit.
My Mom told me that when I was a little girl.  Probably about Kindergarten age, 5.
I remember it like yesterday.  The kids at school were teasing me, and I came home in tears...
Why were they teasing me you are wondering?  (Yes you are don't lie)
All kinds of things my name, my ears, my teeth, and who else knows.
I had uneven bangs (Mom used to cut them) totally put her on blast for that one.
You can check out her handy work here... (Love you Mom!!!)
Did I mention that ear?

I have a left ear that sticks out much like an animated Disney character who will remain nameless.
I had a chip in my front tooth like Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber until I was in 11 grade, and when I was 5 who knows, maybe they made fun of all the dresses my mom picked out for me to wear to school.
I liked them, but maybe they were a bit "old school" for that time.
Hard to believe in the 80's, but kids are mean so who knows.

My newborn picture...the one my husband says I look like an Ewok (yep he's a keeper)
So back to my story, I came home in tears upset about what happened at school and my Mother told me,
"It doesn't matter what other people think of you, it only matters what you think about you, and if you know in your heart that you are a good person, then that's all that matters."
She also told me that its whats inside that counts, not how much money you have, or how cool your clothes are, or how long your hair is.
Profound ay?
I thought so.
Armed with a new confidence, I remember going back to school the next day thinking, I will show them.
And when they started teasing me I told them: "It doesn't matter what you think of me, it only matters what I think" and stormed off.  Not sure what they said or did after that,
I don't even remember if the teasing stopped.
But I sure felt better.  I had peace.
I didn't let what they thought affect me or the way I was going to be.
And I think I grew into a pretty confident adult because of it.
I didn't ever wonder if I was beautiful, intelligent, or kind.
I knew I was.
Not in the conceited kind of way, but in the confident kind of way.
And that confidence helped me through some really tough times in my life.
Because no matter what happened I always knew those things about myself, without having the need for someone else to tell me, and because my Mom always told me these things as a little girl,
I grew to believe them.

3rd or 4th grade first T-ball photo 

Me here with my chipped tooth,  Prob about 11 years old.

Even through High School, lets just say I had some....interesting wardrobe choices.
I didn't care if  people thought I was weird, or goth, or poor, or dorky.
I really didn't.
I was happy with myself, and I loved me just the way I was, and I surrounded myself with those people who loved me like I did.
Me in 7th grade

Me in 9th grade

Me with my skinny eyebrows and fake tan....21 years old
Before I became a Mom I was pretty critical.  Of myself and yes, of others.
Always silently of course.
Silently judging.
Judging the mom trying to wrangle her 2 kids out of the car, into strollers, to get to the store.
I would notice her half brushed hair and mis-matched outfit.
I would wonder why she couldn't at least run a brush through her hair, and find a pair of matching socks.
Well little Miss Judgey Pants!!!
Judge and thou shalt be judged.  Or so it goes.
I wouldn't be one of those moms, no sir.
My hair will be perfectly coiffed, make up done, and never sweatpants in public, GOD NO!
So when I had my son, so it was.
It was a pretty tough act to keep up, and really annoying sometimes how I felt I couldn't leave the house,
looking any less than I was ready for a photoshoot.
I couldn't let people think I was that lazy mom, who couldn't manage to keep her child busy long enough to get dressed properly.
Yeah, that's what I thought people would think, because that's how I thought.
Shallow, yes.
Was I jerk, yes.
Fast forward
Now I have baby #2.
And a pretty colicky baby too.
Which made it IMPOSSIBLE to get the most mundane task completed.
I just never understood how moms would say: "I got to take a shower today".
Well I thought you are just not doing it right.  (in my most righteous, no children having self ) attitude.
Baby #2, my darling sweet little daughter Taylor.
Has changed my life in the best way possible.
She has brought a much needed balance to our family, and restored me to sanity.
The sanity that I don't have to be perfect, or even "appear" to be.
That I am still beautiful even though I left the house in an outfit I didn't want to be caught dead in,
with yesterdays makeup on, and un-brushed hair, pulled up into a knot on the top of my head.
I am still a good Mom, and  a good person, and a good wife despite not being able,
or not wanting to get ready in the morning.
Most days I forget to brush my teeth, and have been known to leave the house (on several occasions) in
pajamas I wore the night before.
Oh yeah, I did that.
Not even because the babes were outta control or anything, but because I was to exhausted to even care,
let alone change my clothes.
I literally woke up one day, and it just didn't matter anymore.
It didn't matter what people thought, or might think.
I don't cringe anymore when I leave the house looking like a hot mess, and then both my kids are screaming bloody murder in the checkout line, drawing even more attention to my hot mess-ness.
I could give 2 shits.
Its not so bad, pretty freeing actually.
I don't look at Moms the same way either.
Because I understand their struggle.
And maybe that Mom did want to brush their hair and find matching socks before she left the house,
but her crazy little ones were bouncing off the walls and wanted to play,
and what she wanted became second priority.
Yeah, I get that now.
Why am I sharing this?
Because I realize that I have been wrong, and now that I know this,
I am responsible for healing that part of me that is not pure, and not whole.
And admitting is the first step in any recovery.
So I needed to say out loud, who I am sometimes, and its not always nice.
But I am always working toward becoming a better person, a better mom, and wife.
And it doesn't always look good.
But its not a destination.
It is not something I will always be, or someday achieve.
Its a journey.
Thanks for letting me share the ride.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday to My Little Man

I have made it a tradition to write you a letter on your birthday each year, and one day I will give you all of these letters.  So here goes....

Dear 3 year old Logan,

I can't believe you are 3 already.  It seems like just yesterday we brought you home from the hospital.
We both said to each other out loud....  "Who let us leave the hospital with a kid?"  We had no idea what we are doing.  When we got you home we put you in all of your seats.  Your bouncy seat, your swing, your boppy, your basinet.  We weren't quite sure what to do with you, so we tried out all your new stuff.

Coming home from the hospital

Kinda funny, mostly sad but true story.... I only changed your clothes 3 times and gave you a bath but once in about 10 days when we brought you home.  I blame the nurses.  In all the classes I went to before you were born, they all kept harping..."don't give them baths everyday they don't need it".  So I didn't.  But probably 10 days was a bit too long.  You just slept and didn't really do much and you sure didn't get dirty, so how was I to know?  Well eventually Grandma came to save the day.  She said to bathe you every night, it wouldn't dry out your skin or your hair and it would start you getting used to a routine. So that's what we did.  I cleaned your face with a warm wash cloth and changed your clothes every morning, and gave you a bath and fresh jammies every night.  You came to expect these things.  Ever since, I have tried hard to keep to a routine and I think we have done pretty good.  You still nap from 12-3 everyday.  You go to bed every night at about 8, maybe a few cartoons later, but you eventually doze off.  You still have a bottle before bed, and your monkey & ni-nite.  (Thats what you call your pacifier)  But you wont have to put any of that on your college application I am sure.  You are almost potty trained, you just won't #2 in the potty.  But we are working on it.  We have come along way since those first few months we brought you home.  I have learned so much about you and who you are and what you like and what you don't like.  It has been nice to be able to stay home with you on several occasions when I wasn't working.  You looooove superhero anything and everything.  Everything you find is somehow a sword or a gun.  You love to climb on EVERYTHING, and jump off of it too.  You like to run and chase kids, and have them chase you.  You are not shy at all.  You go right up to kids and try to play with them, or point out when they are wearing any type of super hero shirt.  You have discovered candy this past year, and its your favorite....all kinds.  You have become the picky eater and will eat pasta every night for dinner if I let you.  But I worry. I worry all the time about everything.  I never think I am doing a good enough job.  I worry about your diet, if you are getting enough nutrients, so I got you a liquid multivitamin, and I sneak it in your juice.  Every morning you see me do it and say, "no meh-cins!". You think its medicine,  I tell you its vitamins and its good for you.  I worry that you watch too much tv.  But then I caught you one day, counting to 15 all by yourself, I guess Mickey taught you, so TV can't be that terrible.  I feel bad that you are not in school with your friends, so I try to take you out to fun places every week...the treehouse, giggles n hugs, the park, swimming, friends and family's houses to visit.  I do my very best to see that you are happy, healthy, and growing. It can be hard sometimes, because I am hard on myself.  But then I see you eat an entire plate of steamed carrots, you say "pwease" and "kank you", and your great big smile tells me....okay maybe, just maybe I am doing something right.

 One of our favorite things that you say right now is "nooooot yet".  And you call us Buddy, and Honey its hysterical.  You love your sister so much, and you kiss her everyday, you say good morning to her everyday, you pat her head and tell her "its okay baby", when she cries.  I hope you love her and look out for her like this for years to come.  It melts my heart when I see how much you love her.  You have also tried to wrestle her, pick her up, and bonk her on the head with your toys, but I am sure you are just anxious for her to be big enough to run around with you, and don't worry very soon she will be, and I will have to chase after the both of you!  I love you so much baby bird, I wish I could tell you with words how much love and happiness you have brought my heart.  I know that one day you will know just how much.

I love you


(You can read the letter from last year here----->To My Sweet 2 Year Old )