A place to share the joys and challenges of our little, but growing, family. Life with three girls, ages 5, 4 and 1 year, is a joy most of the time. But, there are challenges to every life and this is my place to share some of that.
Today, I had to take my oldest to the dentist for fillings. I thought she would be pretty freaked out, so I told her afterward we were going shopping.
The dentist is very impatient and declared he could only do one, she was too fidgety…blah, blah, blah…but we got one. She was so good. And it just kept going. We headed to the mall. We had some Christmas shopping to do (as I will head over to my family later this week to celebrate).
We started with some clothes shopping for a niece and nephew. It was so fun picking stuff out with her. Talking, Giggling. Having her listen.
Then we got a pretzel, once her hour had passed and she could eat. And on to two more stores where she helped me pick out gifts, her tastes run a little expensive in the toy store!
When she got tired, she said, “let’s find some place to hang out.” And started hinting at the play area. I said, “you just want to go play.” “That’s what you think mommy.” Then a little later, she said, “you’re right mommy, I do want to play!”
So we did for a bit.
Then off to do more errands. And finally, lunch. I decided to treat us to a real, grown up lunch. Too bad I chose something neither of us ended up liking to split…ah well. We got it sorted out. And then to head home.
It was a joy and a pleasure to spend the day with my Caitlyn. Oh, the heartbreak I felt when I got home and the bickering, whining and crying started up with all three girls. I LOVE having my three. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I do wonder, sometimes, if we are raising them correctly. Is it supposed to be so hard to have peace with all three of them together? Are they supposed to bring out the worst in each other? What are we doing wrong???
I am so thankful for today:
250. Fun and bonding with my oldest daughter.
251. A nice Christmas.
252. Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus using a cake I decorated!!!
253. Running 10 miles without stopping.
254. Finishing a fitness challenge.
255. Signing up to run a half marathon in the spring.
256. Hugging a good friend at church on Sunday.
257. The generosity of family to my girls.
258. A green Christmas.
259. The support of my hubby and friends during a rough bit yesterday.
260. Still being here a year after writing this post.
261. Singing, “My Hat it Has 3 Corners” and thinking of my dad.
I know the blog has been a little quiet lately, and the posts I do share, a little dark, but that has been life lately. I have been quiet, except to beg for help as the depression and I go another round.
Last Thursday I reached a level of despondancy I have not known in many months. I cried like I haven’t cried in a long time. And that brought an eery calm.
Have you ever been afraid of the calm and the quiet? It is a scary place to be.
But the Lord is not leaving me there. He has brought so many to walk with me. He will give me strength I do not have in order to continue to fight this demon of depression. Thursday I will head to a new doctor, actually a team of doctors. I am scared. I am scared of the questionaire, I am scared of sharing my story again. I am scared of trying another therapy and having it not work. And yet, I will walk. I will walk when I would rather hide. I will speak out when I would rather be quiet. I will fight for my girls. I will show them mama loves them enough to go another round with the doctors and depression.
And I will be thankful:
243. the love and support of my hubby. He posted this comment, under my name, on my blog last Saturday–
“Right now my Honey is running a 10k. As I will not really understand her bad days and is hard for me to FIX IT because I am MR. FIX IT ya know. All I can say is I Thank the Lord for you and am in WONDER as I watch you DOWN one moment, then crawling out of the hole to run a 10k or do laundry or get yourself out of bed to start another day. Sweetheart I might not understand but thank you for telling me when you are stuggling so I can pray FOR the Lords help because HE is more powerful than any dark hole. I will listen to HIM as HE gives me what I need to support you through….. LIKE A HUG!!!! (sorry) As I said I do not understand BUT I love you and am so proud of you!!! NOW run girl like you have never run before. Good job Luvy!!!!”
244. The ability to run. 6.2 miles. I was not the fastest by any means, but I ran every step.
245. The swans I saw flying overhead as I ran.
246. The Christmas music the residents of Holly played for the runners as we made our way through the race.
247. The continued support of so many who love me, even when I am not lovable.
248. The wonderful Christmas pictures we did as a family on Saturday. 249. Running with a friend.
I finished reading 1000 Gifts this last week. It took me about a year. It has never taken me that long to read a book in my life. This was a very hard season in my life to be reading this book.
To be thankful in the pain of postpartum depression. It was hard. Some weeks I could not bring myself to do it. Other weeks my heart was full of thankfulness, but I could not put it into words. Often, my heart was working so hard to hang on, it couldn’t be thankful for little things, it had only room to focus on those things that had guided my heart through another week.
I often stood in front of my computer struggling to remember enough of the week to list those things that caused my heart to give thanks.
There were weeks it was honestly impossible for me to read. I assumed it was a failing of me. That I wasn’t praying hard enough or trying hard enough. It wasn’t until I was at an appointment and the person I was talking to said, “you can focus to read?” No, no I could not. It wasn’t me, it was the illness, the depression and anxiety.
Thankfully the days of not being able to think clearly are getting much further apart, and most of the time, it is just minutes that I struggle through. I was able to begin reading again. And pressed through Ann’s book.
And now I shall work more dilligently to see the Lord’s hand in the big and the little.
234. Girly giggles as they do a Thanksgiving project.
235. Baby girl shreaks as she learns more about the sounds she can make.
236. Colorful vegetables ready to go in the crock pot.
237. A dog willing to the eat the pot roast my girls think tastes like chicken.
238. Babies toddling around with Daddy’s Bible.
239. Illness moving quickly through the household, not tarrying.
240. Upcoming family festivities.
241. Bright colorful foam stickers made into hair adornments.
I am standing in my warm kitchen with my hubby and three kids. Caitlyn in playing with play dough. Sue and Daddy are making salads and Patrice is watching all the activity while playing with a toy.
Caitlyn couldn’t be left out of the salad fun!
We are blessed beyond measure. We have food, clothing, our needs are met. Do we wish we had more? Yes. Do we have needs that we wish were more met? Yes. But all in all, we are very, very blessed.
This is a knowledge we need to pass on to our children. I wonder often how to do this. Christmas gives us so many opportunities, but what will the understand, what will they grasp?
Over the last many years, I have gotten involved in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child by packing shoe boxes for them to give to children all over the world. This year it is time to have the girls help me pack the boxes. I am going to take them to the dollar store to pick out items to go in a box. I want each of the girls, well okay, Caitlyn and Sue, to do one and pray for the child who will open the treasure box. And this is the week.
This is National Collection Week. Won’t you consider getting involved? You can search for a collection point, suggested items to give and all necessary instructions on Samaritan’s Purse.
So thankful for:
226. love in my kitchen
227. coziness and warmth as fall settles in
228. support and encouragement of my husband
229. amazing generosity of my family to my girls
230. accessibility to health care
231, abundance allowing me to give gifts
233. listening to my hubby teach my girls
234. days off work
235. piles of laundry to be folded because it means we have clothes to wear
For what are you thankful?
This attitude of gratitude also works in well with this weeks Self Care Challenge. It is to find 3 three things every morning you are thankful for, and doing the same every evening. Head over to Real Mom Experts.
This week, really the last few weeks, have been full of illness. Colds, ear infections, pink eye, toe cramps–that last one caused lots and lots of tears…LOTS! I am hoping this week we get a break. Because, wow, I just can’t even think about what new things would be coming. But, through it all, I’ve been thankful that the illnesses plaguing us have not been big sleep disturbers or overly painful for the girls. I think it has been much, much harder on mommy and daddy. For this, I am thankful:
216. We are done with eye drops for the older girls.
217. Baby lets us do them without much fight.
218. The drops work quickly to relieve the discomfort of pink eye.
219. Girls actually let us sleep in a bit on the first day without daylight savings time.
220. Heart-to-heart talk with hubby that was very healing and encouraging.
221. Folded and put away laundry.
222. Having too many clothes for our dresser drawers.
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.
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.
It is fall. And after much rain, the last week has been breathtakingly beautiful. Amazing. I’ve been able to enjoy running outside. The girls were able to go on a hayride and pick pumpkins as well as playing outside. I love having them play outside as I know soon enough it will be too cold for them to do so. Even now, darkness is falling very shortly after 7 pm.
But fall is spectacular. The amazing colors as the leaves change, the crispness in the air. The soups to cook and treats to bake. Yum.
Last fall was hard, oh so hard. It was when the postpartum depression and anxiety cloaked me in such darkness. October especially was hard. As I started medication, waited for it to work, found little relief, finally ended up in the hospital for a horrible 24 hours. It was hard.
I was afraid this fall would be stolen by memories. And there are some. There are moments that I feel life being sucked out of me again, but in general, I am thrilled to say I am doing well. I am able to employ my coping mechanisms and sometimes even, just shake off the blackness. And it is a glorious thing.
I am so thankful.
180. babies inching their way closer to taking that first independent step.
181. watching hubby glory in the cute things baby is learning.
182. seeing each of our children’s personalities come through.
183. antibiotics working quickly.
184. a very approachable family doctor.
185. praying with my hubby.
186. little girls reminding me of prayer requests.
I have a friend who is doing her family medicine residency at a local hospital. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. The friendship started with her and her hubby, who is also doing his residency, bringing us a meal after Patrice was born. They go to our church but we had somehow not met them. She was just weeks from delivering their first baby when they brought us dinner. As we talked to them, I wondered how she kept up the schedule of a resident with being pregnant. I couldn’t deal with all 40 hours of my week. And how she had found time to cook for us, who were home with a new baby. How did she find time.
I remember them sitting there, so politely, watching our kids be absolutely crazy. They were nuts. Caitlyn was talking a mile a minute, Sue was climbing all over me and Patrice and managed to fall off the chair arm onto the floor. Tears ensued. In the midst of that I forgot to even ask her if she wanted to hold the baby. I told hubby after they left “good thing they are already expecting a baby or we might have scared them away from parenthood all together!”
But we didn’t scare them away. She has become one of my closest friends. We are so looking forward to their son’s first birthday in a couple weeks. She has been a great listener through the postpartum depression. She hasn’t shyed away from the hard that is sometimes part of being around me this last year. But she also hasn’t seen me only as my depression. We are moms. We are friends.
We get to chat at rare lunches and dinners, sometimes via text message and every once and a while we find time for a play date. Due to our schedules being very different, and hers being crazy demanding, we often don’t see each other. And this week we definitely won’t.
This week she is in Haiti working with other doctors to help those who need medical care. I am praying she has a safe trip; I know her skill and compassion will be a great blessing to those she meets. Won’t you join me in praying for her and her team? Pray that Dr. L would have a great week, learning, teaching, helping, blessing others.
175. For friends, I am thankful.
176. To those who have listened to me cry and struggle without judgement, I am thankful.
177. Several have literally dropped what they were doing to come just be with me when things got very, very dark. Words can never express my thankfulness.
178. Beloved family members who took my girls in when I was hospitalized for the postpartum issues. Our gratitude will last til the ends of our days.
179. Text message upon text message truly kept me going when I saw no light in the darkness, no value in myself. Thank you for seeing value in me. Thank you for helping me fight for me.
A place to share the joys and challenges of our little, but growing, family. Life with three girls, ages 10, 9 and 6 years old, is a joy most of the time. But, there are challenges to every life and this is my place to share some of that.