Monthly Archives: December 2010

New Years Thoughts–5 Question Friday

1. How long does your Christmas tree stay up?

It goes up the weekend before Christmas and if I could, it would come down today, but “Grandma with two doggies” (my mom) is coming down to celebrate Christmas with us next weekend and I promised we would keep the tree up.  Sue has discovered taking the ornaments on and off and is making us a bit crazy.
2. Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve?

We’ve been invited to a family party, but it is a ways away and we would have to stay the night, so we will likely just veg out here.  I’ll make some carmel popcorn and we’ll have some fun.

3. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Hubby and I are going to start eating weight watchers style again.  I also am going to start exercising in the morning before work (eeek, 4:30 am that is) and I am going to figure out how to get the kids to daycare without yelling.
4. How did you spend New Year’s Eve when you were younger?

I don’t remember, but if I had to guess I would say we went over to our friends house where my folks played cards while us kids watched TV.

5. What was the best way you’ve ever spent New Year’s Eve?

I was engaged once (to a guy I did not end up marrying).  He proposed on New Year’s Eve.  At the time it was awesome.  But, Praise the LORD, that relationship did not last, so I guess it wasn’t that great, huh?  Truly the best is just being surrounded by my kids and hubby.

What are some of your New Year’s thoughts?  Hop on over to Mama M and see what others are thinking.  After you take a gander at these cuties.

Making pizza with my girls for Try Something New Thursday

As far back as I can remember my mom had this old aluminum cookie sheet she always used to make pizza on.  Yup, she made ours until I was in high school, then we started buying it.  At the time there was a brand, I think Apian Way, that she always bought their basic mixes but then she added flour to make the crust go further, and mushrooms we picked in those woods behind our house, and green peppers she had grown and frozen in the summer.  And we had pizza.  I loved helping.  I would help with rolling out the dough, though my mom was better at it.  I spread the sauce around with my hands, but actually thought it felt gross so she ended up finishing that.  I sprinkled cheese, which she then had to even out.  But I was pretty good at putting the pepperoni on the pizza, after my mom cut it into circles.  Yup, even that we did ourselves, though I think she started buying the pre-cut around the time I was in Jr. High.

I remember it was a normal thing to me, but one time we had the church youth group over for dinner and we made pizza.  One of the girls was shocked we made it ourselves, “you can MAKE pizza?” she asked.  Yup, you sure can.  When I was in high school we started buying our pizza from Papa Joe’s.  It was good and for some reason it felt cool to be buying it pre-made.  Not sure why.

We, as a family, buy ours normally, though my hubby can dress up a store bought pizza to make it taste awesome; he adds more cheese, ground turkey burger, it is yummy.  Today Caitlyn said, “when daddy calls, you should tell him to pick up pizza.”  For some reason that made me think wistfully about when my mom and I made pizza.  I can still see the pan we used every time.  So, while grocery shopping, I picked up a pizza mix.  And the girls and I made pizza together.  I felt grown up and like a little kid all at once.  I didn’t see the brand my mom used to get, but the one the store had was pretty close.  We added (pre-cut) pepperoni and cheese and mushrooms (on half).  And it tastes an awful lot like my mom should be here.  We just might have to make our own when my mom comes next month to celebrate Christmas with us!

I have to say, the sauce still felt gross on my hands, and Caitlyn didn’t much like the feel of it either, so I had to fix it up. 

Sue had her own ideas for the pepperoni

They did a fine job on the cheese, I was surprised they did not take joy in spreading the pepperoni, but I did. All in nice rows.

We topped it off with homemade chocolate milk using An Ordinary Mom’s cocoa recipe. 

I must be blogging my kids a lot.  As I gave Sue the water to pour in the crust mix, Caitlyn said, “wait, mama needs to take a picture before you do that.”  Ah well, I’m capturing memories, right?

What new thing are you doing? Write your own blog post about it and link up here!

Body After Baby Week 4

Still NO progress on my weight.  I am officially stuck, but on the upside, we just did Christmas and I am stuck, not going up in my weight.  I’ll take the victories where I can get them.

Another victory is my hubby committing to start an eating plan with me after the holidays.  We did weight watchers after Caitlyn was born and both did well with it, so here we come again.  I think we will skip the meetings this time, but still do the eating portion.  Wish us luck!

Exercise is still an area I am enjoying and doing well with.  I keep telling hubby I totally understand how people get addicted to exercising, especially running.  I can see how it could become an idol in my life.  Instead, I try to remember where the strength came from to run and make every step I run an Amen, every mile I go a hallelujah.  Ten years ago I was very very sick with Multiple Sclerosis, now I run because it is fun!  Any day now it will have to translate to the scales…

In the meantime, I have found I can not go two days without exercise; when I do, the lack of exercise impacts my mood, so the challenge will be when I go back to work full-time, I absolutely HAVE to get up earlier and exercise before work.  I have to.

So here’s hoping for more success this next week.  I hate being stuck!

What a Year–looking back

A year ago right now I was dealing with horrible, horrible morning sickness (worth every second) and praying every day all woudl be well with baby. I must say I never imagined our biggest concern with her during the pregnancy would be breech presentation. Wow, all the ups and downs with that, baby is breech, baby is not breech, breech again, head down again. But even in that there were blessings. We found a great chiropractor who has helped myself, hubby and Sue. I am so thankful for that. So happy.

All in all this has been a year with lots of giggles and some grimaces. Here are some of the posts that I liked this year.

Talking about enjoying the moments

Reassurance for a Pregnancy

A Sick Little Girl

Great Pregnancy News

My Perspective on Biggest Loser

A Different Weight Struggle

Another Weight Struggle

Remembering My Dad

The Middle Names

Finding Silver Linings

Oh the Cuteness

Looking for Meadows

What are some of your faves?  If you blog, what are some of your own favorite posts?  Leave a link and I’ll check it out!

It Might Be Hope–Multitude Mondays–27-30

My sister shared the above video with me after reading my post, Very Dark Woods.  It communicates where I live right now, perfectly.

And for that I am thankful.

28.  For people who care, even when we think we are alone
29.  For the outlet of writing, whether in a journal, a blog or twitter 🙂

30.  People who reach out, go above and beyond, in short, allow themselves to be used by God in our lives.

And I am not alone in my thankfulness.  Please see what others are comtemplating today at A Holy Experience.

Very Dark Woods

Have you ever been in a forest where the trees are extremely close together?  You know it is a summer day, because you were in the sunlight when you got to the edge of the woods, but now that you are in them, you’re not sure where the sunlight has gone.  Every once in a while a sunbeam breaks through, but for the most part, things are dark and cold.  And even the long sleeve shirt you brought is no longer enough to keep you warm.  It is darker and colder in these woods than you thought it would be.

Or have you gone into the woods at one path and come out, not where you expected, but far off course of where you thought you would arrive?

I have been in both of those places, both literally and figuratively.  I grew up in Northern Mitten country.  And was lucky enough to grow up in a rural area on 20+ acres.  Our property backed up to some woods.  My mom and I would sometimes head in there to hunt for morel mushrooms.  Now, neither my mom and I are terribly blessed when it comes to directions.  And we never managed to come out where we planned to.  Rather, we always ended up behind the neighbors, two houses down from our house.

We went in one place, and intended to come out at the same area, but in our wandering, we never quite found the same exit.  So we then had to get ourselves home. We knew where we wanted to be, but it wasn’t quite that easy.

I have, as of late, been where I wanted to be, but some of the trees have gotten too close together and the area around me has grown dark.  My land has been that of new motherhood.  Not for the first time, no, I blessed to be here a third time.  I know what to expect.  I enter the woods at one place, expecting to come out at the same place, knowing myself and my family, but this time I ended up coming out a very different place.  I have come out, not to the clearing, but darker and darker woods.  I came out in postpartum depression.

I knew to expect baby blues.  They hit me after each birth.  This time was no different.  Day 2, into day 3, I started crying a lot and my emotions got erratic.  I also felt a little abandoned.  During pregnancy I am blessed to not only be cared for by my midwife, but also a wonderful family doctor.  There is a schedule of appointments, there are people making sure you are okay, making sure the baby is okay.  You are never alone.  All the sudden, you bring home this baby, and especially with the third, it seems now you are just out there.  Alone.  Yes, you’ve walked into these woods before, but never with this baby, never with this number of children.  And for the first time, my baby was a good weight gainer, so where in the past we had lots of appointments with the family doctor, this time, Patrice gained well and once the jaundice resolved, our doctor didn’t need to see us for several weeks.  I was terrified to be doing well enough to be this alone.

My midwife continued to be her wonderful self, but I must admit I felt a little guilty still contacting her.  Like my time was up and I needed to move aside for other mamas.  So I tried.  I really did.  But it continued to feel very dark around me.  I just cried so much.  For no reason.  I was ecstatic with Patrice.  Thrilled beyond words to have three girls.  Happier as a mama of three than I had been as a mama of 2.  And yet, terrified and in a very dark place.

Then week three of Patrice’s life came and I felt better.  A lot better.  I had found the sunshine again and was out of my woods.  Yay. I felt like running in the meadow.

But what I ran into was more woods.  And it got really dark.  And I couldn’t tell people.  They would think I wasn’t happy with my life.  They would say we shouldn’t have had Patrice.   They would say I was ungrateful for my three perfect children.  And how could I ever explain being deliriously happy and crying all the time and feeling like I could/would fall apart at any moment.  I couldn’t tell my husband.  How would I explain such a thing?  I didn’t understand it.  And I hated it.

As hard as I tried, I couldn’t make sense of it.  So I didn’t.  I did find that if I was busy, I didn’t fall apart as much. I felt a little more in control.  I learned to hold in my tears until I was in the basement.  I didn’t want to upset my girls with my unexplained tears.  Above all I did not want my girls to suffer or think they brough me sadness. So we had fun, lots of fun.  We went to the park, the library, made cookies, pie.  We had fun.  And mommy stayed busy.  And told only 3 people, including my midwife, what was going on.

I owe a great deal to those three people.  They were, and are, a gift from the Lord.  I am alive due, in large part, to those three people.  They checked in on me via text message and phone calls.  They reassured me there was hope when I didn’t see any.  But they could not help me will away the darkness.  It refused to leave.

Finally, when Patrice, was 7 weeks old, I consented to trying a medication.  And at the insistence of my midwife, told my marvelous hubby what was going on.  His reaction was loving and an amazing gift.  But having told him left me feeling depleted.  And during the first weeks of the medication, I continued to feel awful as I waited for the initial period to pass.  But it did, just a little, but it did.  So we tried a little more meds.  And that did not help.

After one week of the higher dose, I was completely destroyed.  I ended up at my midwife’s office unannounced, totally distraught.  Begging for help.  Pleading.  Terrified there was no help.

I ended up in the hospital for 24 hours.  That was like descending into the depths of hell.  Truly.  Now I was desperate for help and separated from my children, from everyone who I loved or loved me.

When I got out I felt even more lost.  I felt like I had used my one chance for help, going to my midwife, and the people she trusted to help me had let us all down.

I felt abandoned, but the Lord continued to bless me through the people He had in my life.  My midwife continued to be very responsive to my e-mails and told me, “I will always listen, I will always try to help you.”  I asked her if I could e-mail her sometimes for a reminder that some day I would be okay.  She said, yes, daily if need be. Not only did she support us emotionally, but she gave me the name of a doctor who specialized in postpartum depression.  She thought he had left the area, but I set out searching and was able to find him.  He got me in that day.  That same day.

In the ensuing 7 weeks, I have started to improve.  It is not the straight path from dark to light that I would like it to be.  But it is better.  I am no longer crying, much. The constant unease has lessened significantly and even the dark days are now just minutes or hours of a day.

My hubby and I have shared with more people where I have been walking.  What we have found is the path is full of others experiencing the same, but none of us are talking to our fellow sojourners.  We think we are all in the woods alone.  Nothing could be further than the truth.  It turns out there is someone who understands near every tree.

And there is visible meadow again.  I now get to be in that meadow more often than not.  This journey is by no means finished.  Nor is my sharing, but for now, I will leave my story of a very dark woods.  If you are a mama who has walked in these woods, please let me know.  And know you are not alone.  I am getting help with a map to the meadow and you can too.  Maybe we can find it together.

I have had many great resources so far and will share more about them, but for now, please check out if you, or someone you know, is walking in these woods.  Don’t continue without hope, without a lantern.  Reach out.  To me or to someone who can help you find a hand to hold, a lantern to light your way.

Decorating Cookies–Try Something New Thursday

I had heard friends talk about how much they enjoyed cooking projects with their kids. But I was always afraid to try with the girls; I recently discovered how much fun it can be, so jumped at the idea to decorate cookies with friends.

Here is some of the fun we had.

Us girls loved decorating cookies as we tried something new.

What have you tried new?  Link up and let me know!

Body After Baby Week 3

I am not seeing ANY progress on the scale.  Uggghhhh.  But I am exercising.  And enjoying it.  Right now I have decided to focus more on exercise and see where that gets me.  I get really nervous about dieting while nursing.  Whether it affects my supply or I just feel like it does, I don’t know, but I do know it causes me more stress.  And I don’t need more stress.  So for right now I will exercise. And love it!

Speaking of the exercise, I can really tell a difference in my mood and personality when I exercise or don’t exercise.  I had a couple rough days last week and couldn’t figure out why, until I got my hiney back on the treadmill and started running.  I could feel my mood improving with every step.  It was amazing.

I never exercised growing up.  I much preferred being inside reading a book.  I have no athletic skills whatsoever, so did not participate in sports much. I took up walking the summer between high school and college and lost 25 pounds.  I kept them off too for 9 years.  Then when the Multiple Sclerosis got really bad, I was doing massive doses of steroids and was in and out of a wheel chair, and then I started dating this guy, who later became my husband, well in all that, I found those pounds.  Then I found a few more.

I lost the few more before getting pregnant with my third baby, but now the few more seem stuck.  But I refuse to get upset about it.  Instead, I will use the pounds and moods as motivation to run.

My goal for tomorrow is to get up early for work and run.  That means 4 am, yup, I mean early.

What are your personal goals?  Do you have exercise goals or other areas you are working on?  Let’s work on them together!

Multitude Monday–Celebrating Yummy 24-27

Last week I went to the grocery store with all three girls.  They were very good.  Well two of them were good the whole time.  The third had a minor, little itty bitty, all out screaming fit that ended with me picking her up by one arm, using one arm, to hoist her into the cart; it also got me lots of sympathetic looks and some, grumpy, how could your kid scream like that looks.  One sweet older lady, came over, patted my shoulder and said, “we’ve all been there.”  And for some reason I was okay with it.  None of it rattled me.  At least for that day I had arrived at the point where you just know some things are going to happen and you just have to deal with them the best you can. 

But anyway… 

While at the grocery store I got ingredients for a couple meals.  And I made one yesterday.  It was good and pretty, so I decided to get kind of creative and take pictures of the process.

Did my girls like it?  Nope.  Declared they “did not prefer it” before even one bite was eaten.  But oh well.

24.  I am thankful my girls have enough to eat that they can sometimes refuse what is put before them and go without that meal.

25.  I am thankful we have enough to give a little to others.

26.  I am thankful for people like We Are That Family and their ministry Mercy House that serves those who likely do not have enough to eat.

27.  I am thankful for a God who thought to make food fun, interesting and colorful.

Others are sharing what they are thankful for over at A Holy Experience.

Cutie Patootie

We recently had Patrice’s 4 month check up.  It is amazing to see how much she is growing and changing.  She is now over 12 pounds, in the 25th percentile for weight.  The crazy part is her height.  It was in the 70th percentile.  My child.  That makes it two of my three children above average for height.  Mine.  I think that is God showing His sense of humor.

Our little girl is also rolling over now.  She started last week.  The first time was when she was mad, but a few since then have been when she was just as calm as can be.  It’s a good thing, since she is calm most of the time.

Patrice is the most laid back, happiest baby you have ever met.  She is content to just look around, watching her world, sometimes from the Bumbo Seat, other times the swing or playpen.  And she loves to smile.  All the time.  She is just happy.  She does not yet play with toys, but she positively lights up when someone makes eye contact with her.  I like to think her brightest smiles are for me.  But I digress.

I love watching her smile.  I love watching those little eyes crinkle at the corners.  And those adorable toothless grin is enough to make my day.  She is positively adorable.  I am completely taken with our newest daughter.  You will be too after you see these pictures!

Could she be any cuter?

This time, I mean it…is cuter possible?

Well okay, adding another of my kids makes it a little cuter.

The cuteness is truly overwhelming.

Say it with me, awwwww!!!!

Didn’t I tell you that smile was amazing????