Monthly Archives: October 2011

Taking a Deep Breath–201-215

What a week it was.  The ups and downs of postpartum depression and anxiety continue, but Glory to God, even on the rough days there are hours of good.  Hours, not moments, hours.  And during the rough, there is help and support.  There continues to be a loving midwife/friend who answers my e-mails, wonderful mamas on twitter, #ppdchat, who check in, answer my calls for help, bloggy mamas who took time on their blogs to share encouragement for a tough anniversary this weekend, friends who hug you close and celebrate getting to know you during the hardest year of your life.

201.  Really accessible doctors for when pink eye whips through the girls.

202.  Freedom of saying, I can’t do this.

203.  Hubby who steps in at that point.

204.  Repairing cloth diapers.

205.  Welcoming new babies.

206.  Patrice taking her first independent steps at 14 months and 23 days.

207.  Life is Good shirt to celebrate a hard anniversary.

208.  Words of affirmation from hubby.

209.  Bloggy world hugs.

210.  Twitter hugs.

211.  People with skin on them hugs.

212.  Pictures from school events that I can’t attend.

213.  Sleeping babies.

214.  Listening ears.

215.  Baking pies and cookies.

Sweetness, Crazy, Crazy Sweetness

Yum Nutella!!
Nectar of the gods, Nutella
No bread, just nutella!
There’s the great Pumpkin
See my butt…er…bottom?
Did you see the great pumpkin?
I’m telling you he’s there…
Did you see him?

Today.  Today is good.  Today is better than I ever dreamed life would be.  A year ago life was harder than I ever thought it could be. A year ago today I went to my midwife and asked her to take my kids home and love them.  Because I didn’t?  No way.  Because I loved them so much but could not figure out how to be mommy to them.  My anxiety was so high.  She let me cry and got me help. A year ago today I spent 24 hours in mental health institution.  It was hard, really hard.  And I can’t really tell you that story today.  I can’t go there today.  But know today is so sweet.  Especially since today, a year ago, was so hard.  Please know if you are dealing with a postpartum mood disorder, there is help, there is hope.  It won’t be an easy journey, but it is worth EVERY.SINGLE.MOMENT of the hard.  If you are walking the hard, please check out my page of postpartum resources, read my posts under depression, contact me on twitter at @signingcharity.  Reach out.  You’ll be glad you did.

Also head over to my friend Ali’s and see how you can pray for her and her family.

A Short Rant–Witches and Jesus

I’ll try to keep my rant short. 

I did not want to send Caitlyn to public school.  I knew we would end up hearing ideas I did not like.  It’s not that I don’t want her to be well rounded and grow up to be a critical thinker.  I do, but I also want information she is given to be balanced.  Time given to different ideas to be equal, with all sides presented.

I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed and upset with the situation.

In case you didn’t know, Monday is Halloween.  For the last month she has been bringing home papers, books, stories and books related to Halloween.  Yes, we do trick or treating and carve pumpkins, but we are careful to talk about what we believe as it pertains.  For example, we do not dress up as witches because witches don’t love Jesus.

So let me tell you how thrilled I was to have my 5 year old tell me all about two witches and how one came to the other and was upset.  The one told her she didn’t have to be evil, but she said that was what she was made to be…there was more and with every word my heart sank. 

Not because I think she is now going to turn to wicca, but because I know in December she will not spend a month preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  That will be considered taboo because it might offend someone.  That will be silenced because it might upset people. 

In the name of tolerance I must accept her hearing about witches, but that same tolerance is not extended to Jesus. 

That ruffles my feathers.  What ruffles yours?

Just Under the Wire–Handiwork Photos

iPhone Photo Phun

My phone keeps telling me it’s full and that I need to switch memory, but I don’t know how.  Yes, I have the manual.  I’ve been carrying it around with me for a week so I can look up how to change my memory.  Some day I’ll get it opened and then another day I’ll actually read it.  For now, I’m a little light on phone pictures, but I do have one for this week…

This is hubby’s handiwork. 

So my hubby is very handy and practical.  He and Caitlyn were having trouble with their shoes coming unglued…so he glued them last night.  This is what I saw after “surgery.”

Both declared their shoes well this morning and wore them for the day.  Hubby said tonight, “it worked!”

More of daddy’s handiwork

Patrice’s handiwork which will cause daddy to make a bookshelf at work tomorrow

Some of God’s handiwork.

I am linking up for iPhone Photo Phun.  Come check out other fun posts.

What handiwork have you seen lately?

Damn Dog

Hubby did bedtime routine last night while I moderated #ppdchat on twitter and then did a conference call for work with collegues in China.  They all headed to bed.  It was late and dark.  Almost quiet in the house.  And the doorbell rang. 

My heart skipped a couple beats.  I hoped hubby would come downstairs to answer it, but then was pretty sure he couldn’t hear the doorbell.  What to do.

I prayed it wasn’t a polite robber or mass murderer wanting in my house as I walked to the door.  I opened the door…and saw a shadow of a guy holding my dog. 

“Damn dog!”  Yup, those were the first words out of my mouth.  That was the second time yesterday a neighbor had returned the little escaping houdini dog.  Grrr….

Ha ha ha. “Yeah, I was taking out my garbage and I heard this rustling noise.  Kind of scared me.”

Would have scared me to bits, but thankfully this guy was a little less timid than I, found the source of the noise to be my dog and returned him.  I thanked him and went back to the safety of my kitchen.  Hubby came down toward the end of this and got my version of the story.

I even admitted the “damn dog” greeting.  Hubby was nice enough to add, “Oh yeah, Jesus saves.”  Yes, He truly does and I believe that with all my heart. 

Now here’s the question.  Did I ruin my witness to this guy with my dog comment?  Or, more to the point, when I am at work and that word escapes, do I ruin my witness there?  Does that negate all else I may say about God, Jesus and the Church?  Does it damage what I may say or does it make me more real, more approachable?

I’m not perfect, but I do work on my language.  I work on not saying everything that pops into my head.  And I succeed in not saying a lot!  Trust me.  But other things…

What say you?  How has your language changed since having kids?  Better or worse?  How is the internal monologue?  Better or worse?  What does mild swearing do to someone’s witness?  Do I need to eradicate it all or is it okay to Just Be Enough here?

Also, did you see my guest post yesterday?  Please head over to Sometimes It’s Hard to check it out, browse and enjoy other great pieces of writing there!

Also linking this with Thought Provoking Thursday

Continuing the list of thankfulness 191-200

As I talked about yesterday, I am slowly working my way through the book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I am also slowly making it through writing my own list of 1000 things for which I am thankful.  Bit by bit I am seeing this exercise working it’s way into my life.  I often think, oh, I have to remember that one for my 1000 gifts list.  Sadly, I often forget.  Here is what my heart and mind can remember after a very long, busy, week, day, evening.

191.  The warm feeling my home has as the days get shorter and a bit colder.

192.  Running in this.

193.  Wonderful scents of a candle hubby got me for our 7th anniversary yesterday.

194.  Hubby doing bedtime routine so I could moderate #ppdchat.

195.  New ideas on how the Lord might be able to use my journey with postpartum depression and anxiety to reach other mamas.

196.   Friends who check in on me when I am sick.

197.  Not feeling as sick at days end as I did at daybreak.

198.  A simple, benign diagnosis of something that could have been so much more.

199.  Neighbors who return our dog when he escapes the yard again.

200.  Technology that allows me to reach others for education, work and edification.

What is on your list?

Reading Blog Hop

James and Jax

I used to fly through books.  One in a couple hours or, at the very least, in a weekend. I remember those days.  I even indulged myself in one of those marathon weekends while we were camping this summer. I felt guilty.  I buried my head in my book every chance I got.  It was a murder mystery.  Not at all uplifting but it was compelling enough to help me engage in something as I began a spiral back into the postpartum depression.  That book might have been one of the few things to help keep me from a second hospitalization.

Most of the time, books take me forever to get through now.  Kids don’t really like to let you sit and read and not pay attention to them.  And I’m too tired to read after they go to bed.  My choices are read, blog or run.  Right now the blogging or running get chosen most often.  I’m not as grumpy about being interrupted when blogging as I am when interrupted by reading, and the mind clearing I get from running is priceless. 

But I digress.  I have been slugging my way through One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  On the surface, it’s premise seems like a light read, but it is anything but.  Ann walks the reader through her journey to see every day things worthy of praise and thanks, from the simple, the colors in a soap bubble, and the hard, the death of a child.  As we run toward the moon in abandon, or we talk our child through the anger in their heart.  As our thanks in all as worship and obedience to the Lord.

Her book is worth the work it is to read, but don’t be lulled into thinking making a truly meaningful list of 1000 things to be thankful for is an easy read or task.

You can get your own copy here

321910: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

By Ann Voskamp / Zondervan

Drawing heartbreaking beauty out of the simplest of details, Ann Voskamp invites you into her grace-bathed life of farming, parenting, and writing—and deeper still into your own life. Here you will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of living that is fully alive, and a way of becoming present to God that brings you deep and lasting joy.

Join me tomorrow as I continue my thankful list.

Geoff Moore And The Distance – If You Could See What I See Lyrics

Hubby and I have been married seven years.  It is a joy to say that.  I was sure I would never find someone who could love me and my health issues, Multiple Sclerosis, asthma, both of which are in remission and have been for several years.  So glad my boyfriend, then fiance, could look past those things to see me. 

The above song was in our wedding.  Two of my cousins did an incredible job singing it. 

And my very soon to be hubby cried.  A girl can’t ask for more than that! 

taking a moment to relax at the reception before being announced as Mr. and Mrs. 

A quick picture with my beloved cousin and maid of honor, Lisa.

You Know that Moment You Realize You’re In Trouble???

Daddy dressed me.  I fed me!

 Yeah, here it is!  We are in big trouble.  She won’t let go to walk, but I’m sure some time today she will figure out how to get on this chair, and from there the table…

Please head over and see how you can pray for Ali and her family.

Tantrums and Life Lessons

I am reflecting on the last week with Life Lessons.  Come Join the Fun.

What did I learn this week?  Hmmmm….has it really been one of those weeks where I just survive…there’s got to be something…somewhere in this brain that wasn’t there before…

1.  This has been a week of temper tantrums from both Caitlyn and Sue.  Wowzers.  So this week has been a blur of screaming.

2.  But in sharing with my midwife about Caitlyn’s, she hit the nail on the head…Caitlyn is looking for our attention.  Since starting school she is away from family the most she ever has been. The last couple days I have been intentionally giving her attention before the fit and voila’, no fit.  Also found out, in passing, her best friend at school moved away and is not there anymore.  That might contribute to her stress.

3.  Sue, on the other hand, is just 3, almost 4.  I remember these were painful weeks last year with Caitlyn right before she turned 4.  So we are dealing with them, and biding our time.

4.  The new weapon in Sue’s arsenal during a fit, “you’re ugly, ugly, ugly.”  That kind of stung.  2 minutes later she was distracted by something and the fit ended quicker than it started.  Whew.

5.  My kids are hard taskmasters!  Caitlyn knows I gave up sweets.  And part of the reason is sugar overload makes me angry.  Now, if she sees me eating something I ought not, “don’t eat that, it’s sugar, it will make you angry!”  She’s right and has saved me from lots of cheating.  Let’s not tell her there is sugar in the strawberry lemonades I have fallen in love with and treat myself to sometimes.

6.  Running in the park is WONDERFUL.  I love it.  I am hoping to go tonight.  We’ll see…

7.  And now it is time for me to get myself ready and run off to work…