Category Archives: guest blogging

Guest Blogging–Come Visit

Hello y’all.  I wanted to let you know I am over at Birthing Beautiful Ideas today sharing my story about postpartum depression and anxiety.  Come see how depression looked in my life and the many resources I have found as I seek to become whole for my girls!

birthingbeautifulideas

Baby Talk with Story3girl

I have met many lovely ladies on twitter, via the twitter #ppdchat.  Story3girl is one of those.  And I have loved hearing how she signs with her baby.  I used to be an interpreter for the hearing impaired, and I rarely remember to use sign with my girls..I have done better with Patrice, but not near as well as Story3girl.

Check out her post here and then her blog, Sometimes Its Hard.

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I wish I could talk to my baby.

Okay, perhaps that’s not entirely accurate. I talk to her a lot. I mean, she’s the only other person around all day, so I pretty much talk to her constantly. I just wish she’d talk back.

So instead we sign.

When Baby Girl was a newborn, I read about baby signing and was immediately sold on the idea. I get to communicate with her? It prevents tantrums? It improves her vocabulary and maybe even accelerates her speech. Boom. So almost immediately, I started signing to her. Just a few words at first, and whenever I remembered. By the time she was 6 months I was pretty consistently signing “milk,” “diaper,” and “all done.” This is a piece of cake, I thought. I’m so on the ball, she’ll be signing in no time. I’m a genius at this baby thing.

Not.

By ten months, I had decided we were complete baby sign failures. No matter how much I signed, no matter how much I tried, she showed no interest in signing back to me. For months, people had said to me, “Oh no. You don’t need to worry. Mine didn’t start signing until 8 months. They say 9 months is average.” But, people, she was 10 months old. And nothing. Was I doing it wrong? Was my baby broken?

Then, one day, when she was about ten and a half months old, Baby Girl signed “more.” At first it just looked like she was clapping, instead of bringing her fingertips together, but she was clearly doing it in response to the question of whether she wanted more. She was actually trying to tell me something.

It wasn’t smooth sailing from there. For the next couple months, “more” was the only sign she made, and she didn’t make it consistently. She still found it easier to get what she wanted by screaming or by throwing her high chair tray. And when she did sign more, it was still indistinguishable from clapping. Once again, I was frustrated. “Use your words. . . err, word, Baby Girl.” I was sure we’d never get this right, and I’d be doomed to signing purgatory FOREVER.

Except not.

A little after her first birthday, she had a signing explosion, just like the books said she would. She signs “more,” “food,” “milk,” “dog,” “ball,” “duck,” “all done,” “mommy,” and “daddy.” The past couple of weeks she’s been signing “baby.” A few times I’ve seen a confused sign that resembles “diaper” right after she’s, ahem, used her diaper. She doesn’t sign “bed,” but I’m pretty sure that’s just because she doesn’t want to….

And it’s amazing. It doesn’t prevent the screaming 100% because, let’s face it, my girl is a bit of a drama baby, but it does help both of us to figure out what is necessary faster. If we’re playing and she signs, “eat,” I can get her into her high chair before the tantrum sets in. And while there are definitely days when I ask whose idea it was to teach her the sign for milk, I do prefer it to her ripping my shirt off or biting my shoulder.

It’s amazing to see what’s going on in her head too. She recognizes that her pink stuffed dog and grandma’s living,breathing pet are the same thing. She could tell that a rubber ducky was the same thing as her blanket ducky. But she thought every animal she saw at the zoo was a “doggie,” even the panda bear. (Even the emu, which she could not be convinced was a “bird.”)

Sometimes, I’m convinced, she messes with me. She will sit in her high chair and sign “more” “all done” “more” “all done” She will sign “eat” “duck” “milk.” Sometimes when we’re out,she’ll just start signing “baby” in her stroller, when there’s no one else around – no doubt, to remind me that she is, of course, my baby. When she doesn’t know what she wants, I think she just runs through her entire lexicon of signs, hoping that one of us will figure it out.

Now go check out her blog, Hard to Mommy

And I don’t always. I try, sometimes probably too hard, but I don’t always get it right. And that’s okay. I’m just glad that she’s starting to hold up her end of the conversation.

Self Care and a Mama’s Alarm Clock

Sometimes things pile up on you.  This week has turned into one of those.  So, I sent out a call for guest posts.  My lovely friend, Lauren, from My PostpartumVoice, was gracious enough to send me a wonderful gift; Let me share it with you.

The alarm clock screams out at you (read: your three year old is screaming at the top of their lungs because YOU’RE NOT AWAKE YET AND DEAR LORD GOD I NEED COOKIES RIGHT NOW SO GET OUTTA BED ALREADY, MOMMY!) as you cover your head hopelessly with a pillow in a futile attempt to ignore your human alarm. Snooze button kicks into motion as knees and elbows plow into every hard part of your body, feet too.







“Ok. Ok. I’m up.” Muttering, you stumble to the bathroom, then the kitchen to get cookies because hey, maybe it’ll keep them quiet. There’s nutrition in cookies, right? Right? Turn on the TV and pop on a movie. There. Parenting at its finest, right?






Wait. There’s something wrong with that picture, isn’t there?






What did you do for you? Anything? One could argue giving the kid cookies and putting on a movie was for the sake of your sanity. Perhaps, but do you have food? Drink? Are you watching a movie you like too or just one that the kid likes but is more like listening to Fran Drescher on helium for you?






Self-care does not have to be some huge long-drawn out and expensive process. It can be as simple as your favourite beverage. A movie YOU like to watch too. Sharing the classic flicks with your kids is precious and character building. Sure there are day to day tasks we must complete. Why not make those tasks as pleasant as possible by infusing them with a bit of self-care? Cleaning? Use one of your favourite scents while doing so. Laundry? Pay attention to how the fabric feels. Child care? Use your child’s innate sense of humour to fill up your laughter tanks. Laugh with them.






If, however, you don’t find yourself wanting to do any self-care at all, and instead you’re gloomy, dragging, and struggling to find the light in even the simplest things, it may be time to talk to a professional about your mental health. There’s no shame in reaching out for help. If you or a loved one are feeling suicidal, call 1-800-273-TALK or reach out to @unsuicide on Twitter. There’s always hope.

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

I’m Not a Bad Mama Guest Post

I am thrilled to be sharing my second guest blog post today.  This time I am over at Motherhood Unadorned.  She is a fellow #ppdchat mama who works to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. 
Last week she started a new blog series, “I am Not a Bad Mom (or dad)”…  This is a powerfully freeing series.  Mamas, and maybe daddy’s but I can’t really speak to that, tend to compare ourselves and our kids to others.  And I don’t know about you, but I often see myself as coming up short.  This series is a place for us to put those thoughts to rest.  To expose our comparisons to the light of day, acknowledge them for what they truly are, letting them go and moving forward. 
I am thrilled to be taking this opportunity to share some of my parenting thoughts.  Won’t you head over to to Motherhood Unadorned and see what I think about myself as a mother?

It Might Be Hope, from PPD to Joy!

I am so excited to be guest blogging over at PPD to Joy. Won’t you check it out?

I shared this song previously but decided today was a good day to revisit it.  My journey with Postpartum Depression has been anything but easy.  Has left   me feeling like a yo-yo as I have a good day and then will turn right around and feel like I am back in the doldrums. But thankfully those good days help me have hope during the rough ones. So I am able to say more often “It Might Be Hope.”

I have also met up with a great group of fellow mamas that know this PPD road I am on. They are strong amazing women. Some who are still in the depths, others have found the other side. Yael is one of those women who has found the other side, and has made it her mission to help other women as they journey with PPD. She has a fantastic site full of amazing resources, as well as a monthly support call women can join. It is truly awe inspiring. I invite you to not only head over there to check out her amazing writing and journey, but also to check out my guest post on her blog! That’s right, today I am sharing another facet of my PPD journey on Yael’s blog. Please head on over, explore her blog and let me know what you think of my PPD musings.