Too much

Great news! 

I’ve been on my current antidepressant dose for almost a month…it worked for like 2 weeks. 

Now I’m just in this stupid, neverending cycle if mood swings.

 It took 2 months of calling the doctor for me to get to go in…for an appointment I scheduled 6 months ago. I’m really not in a hurry to start that again. 

Meanwhile, I’m really not enjoying being a mom, and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual. So that’s fun, considering “be a mom” IS what I always wanted. 

What I really want is to run away. I’m not sure where I’d go. Somewhere with no kids, I guess. Somewhere with no one around so I can just be angry and yell. Somewhere…not here.

What I really want is to go back to the first part of last February, and just start over. I want my friend’s brother to still be here making people smile. I want to go back and have Laney, and not feel all mixed up to be excited, while his suicide is so fresh.

I want to go back to May and fix my Papaw’s gallbladder surgery…fix it where it doesn’t send his cancer into overdrive and take him from us. I want to go back to July and visit him while he is healthy and laughing, instead of fading and dieing. I want him with us for Christmas.

I want to go back to November and save the kid’s pup. I don’t want to scoop her spattered remains from the highway at 10:30 on a cold night. I don’t want to tell the kids she is gone. And then I don’t want to realize that my own dog is on a downhill slide.

I want to go back to Veteran’s day and be in a good mood. I want to be happy, smiling and excited about packing shoe boxes for children. I want to start the day on a good note. And I want to finish it on one too. I want to go back and save my Memi. I want to skip the text about the heart attack. I want to skip yelling no, no, no over and over when Mom told me she was gone. 

I want to go back to December and enjoy my favorite holiday. I want to bake cookies and sing. Shop, wrap gifts, enjoy lights, smile, laugh, anticipate. I want to go back and enjoy a trip home. I want to skip hating being there. I want to skip my children being sick. I want to actually have fun. 

And I can’t do any of those things! And I can’t bring any of those people back! And I can’t take a year of broken out of my 4 year old’s heart. And I can’t even functional at all, without medicine that is barely keeping me out of a mental hospital.

So now I can’t even hug my kids. I can’t smile at them. I can’t love them. I just sit here and care for them, as though they belong to someone else. As though this is just a job. Nothing special. Nothing to devote my heart to…as if I have enough unshattered pieces of my heart left for anything, anyway.

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Yeah, right!

Insert blog here.

My children has some 6th sense to go absolutely INSANE every time I open my blog.

Correction. They use that 6th sense if I answer the phone, pick up a book, get out bills to pay, try to cook, walk into the bathroom, or have a thought to try any of the above.

I’ll blog in 18 years…give or take.

Stay tuned for that.

Behold

Fear not for I bring you good tidings, of great joy, which shall be for ALL people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10,11
A saviour. Born for ALL. Every one who believes is welcome. No exclusions based on race or Creed. No exceptions for the moms, like me, who have “lost their religion” way more than once this week. No secret pass word. No social requirements. Just salvation for ALL who will believe.

Thank you, Jesus.  

How Do You Santa

**disclaimer, this is typed on a phone. Please ignore typos and I’ll try to correct them later. Cool. Thanks.

Gracie is still convinced Santa is real. We just roll with it. The other day she asked for a Barbie house. I said it wouldn’t fit in the sleigh…”noooo it’s the kind that comes with instructions. It’s in pieces in a box.” Today we read a book with a pink ride on pony… she’s been asking for one and I asked if that’s what she meant. Then I told her that santa doesn’t make them anymore…”well, he can just check for one in his attic.” 

Her little brain never takes a break, so I’m super surprised she hasn’t just figured out Santa on her own. But like I say, she’s convinced. I never planned to be the mom playing up Santa, big time. I mean, of all of of our Christmas decorations we only have about 4 Santas anywhere. I never even said much about the old guy before last year. But remember that book with the “pink ride on pony?” (You forgot already, didn’t you? She hasn’t)

 The book in question is The Bernstein Bears Meet Santa Bear. It showed up last year; I don’t even remember wear our very used copy came from. But somehow that book youched sweet Gracie’s little 3 year old imagination — and presto! Santa must be real! 

So, last year we had some concerns when Gracie started telling us things she had asked Santa for… mostly because by the time she started talking about him, her gifts were all here and wrapped! This year, we’ve played it up. “Hey, you need new boots. Have you asked Santa for some?” *Wink, wink we already got ’em! It’s actually been a little tricky for me, even though we still don’t really DO Santa.

And while all of this is happening here, I have friends all across the spectrum, from forget it “there is no Santa. It’s me. Move on,” to “shhhhh my kids are close watch what you say!!” 

I’m really good with both ends, but I think either one can go overboard. I once knew a guy who offered to buy the preacher’s Santa tie so the preacher wouldn’t wear it again; because he’d “tried so hard to eliminate Santa from (his) kid’s lives.” Um…what? Does he buy all Santa decorations from everyone?! Y’all that’s extreme. I also knew a lady that grabbed a boy up by the arm and threw him out in the hall – at church! – because he was about to squeal. Later she cornered and attempted to chew out the kid’s mom and wanted the boy to apologise. Can you say crazy?! 

I’ve heard moms say they don’t want to lie to their kids. Admirable. But maybe misguided. Of course, Santa gone overboard turns to lieing… Simple Santa (like we have in our house) is just a great imaginary game to play at Christmas. I’m personally all for big imaginations — why not have a little fun with a Jolly old Elf?!

Anyway, I guess from Elves to Grinches we all love… Or hate Santa for our own reasons. But I’m curious. How do you Santa in your home? Drop me a note, to let me know, in the comments.

Nursing Tips

Considering breast feeding your little Bundle? Perhaps you think you know what to expect. Maybe you plan to “try” nursing and see how it goes. And then again, may be you hadn’t even considered that there might be anything to know about breast feeding. I kind of fell into that last category with my first child. My philosophy was: it’s perfectly natural and women have been doing it without any training for thousands of years; how hard could it be?! Turns out I was in for a few surprises, so here are just a few pointers for future nursing moms.

  • It will probably hurt at first. All the books say “a proper latch will not hurt.” Phooey. The first few days, or maybe even for over a week, nursing will hurt. It will hurt because your breasts will be tender and full. BUT it will also cause your uterus to contract for the first couple of days. This helps with healing and such; but crud, yes, the cramping will be painful.
  • After a day or five your milk will come in. Lactation consultants and books like to tell you milk typically comes in about 3 to 5 days after baby is born. Don’t take that as gospel truth. My milk came in roughly 36 hours after delivery with my first; but I had nothing for about a week the third time around.
  • When your milk comes in your baby will most likely go nuts! My first child just about drove me mad. She was sooooo cranky. And she would nurse for 2 minutes, be done. Nurse for 3 minutes, stop…. it was an awful, long night. My second was a little more laid back but he still ate a lot in those first days after my milk came in. Baby number 3…oh boy. Nursing her has been a roller coaster at best.
  • Three words: disposable nursing pads. Seriously, stock up ahead of time. Your breasts will leak. Flood. Pour…. Just know, if you don’t want a wet top, you need these little boogers.
  • “Trying” to nurse is not the best approach. I will admit bottles have advantages. Nursing can be hard. You’re tied to the baby’s need to eat. That means you have to allow time to feed the baby before you head to town, and you have to think ahead to maybe nurse in the car before you go eat (unless you are comfortable nursing in Chili’s.) Plan to nurse and set a short goal at first. Say “I will nurse for 3 months” or whatever and then tick those off; there’s a good chance by then you will be enjoying your time with baby and things will have gotten easier for you. After I hit my goal, I kept going for another 7 months until my first two children were each 13 months old. My third, is a daily decision. (She is pretty much down to nursing at night, and bottles all day, because she gets too distracted to nurse.) Every month your child nurses is a good thing!
  • Feeding formula while nursing is not the end of the world. Let me just tell you what I did with my first daughter. When Gracie was a few weeks old and nursing good, I tried a bottle. I pumped bottles at first, but you do what you want. This got the little one used to taking a bottle and then I could be free to mix some formula instead of nursing in Chili’s or going to the cry room at church. You can still nurse full time at home, but now you have an option if the plumber is working on the dishwasher, or you need to hire a baby sitter. My son was having none of this! He refused a bottle until 9 months! Laney started bottles in the hospital (not ideal) because she would not wake up to eat.

Nursing is very rewarding, but it can be a challenge. Just “trust your gut” and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I hope these hints help!

Just call me Gertie Cow =)

Out of the Dark

Since my recent post about my depression (This is Not) I have had many people asking how I am doing; here is the update… And a song that has meant a lot to me during this time.

~~~~~~~~

Monday, November 27th was a turning point for me. I woke up feeling so disconnected. So angry. So, so…. done. I told my husband, my mom, and my mother-in-law that I should not be trusted with kids. I told them I belonged in a “home.”

And they are inside your head
You got a voice that says
You won’t get past this one
You won’t win your freedom
That day was so long and hard. I have 3 kids 4 years old and under. I did not really care. They lived their little lives around me, while I did the bare minimum to keep them all well. I lay on the floor, or in a chair, and slowly scrolled through Facebook. There was nothing new to see. I typed a blog. I called my doctor’s office — again. They phoned out a different dose of medicine, but offered no appointment.
It’s like a constant war
And you want to settle that score
But you’re bruised and beaten
And you feel defeated
Late that evening I felt myself smile. I intentionally frowned again. “You’re depressed,” I thought. You do not get to be happy.” That thought scared me. It felt like giving up hope. It felt totally dependent on someone, or something else to make me smile; to make me happy.
This goes out to the heaviest heart
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over yet
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over yet
That night after the kids were in bed, I went for a shower. I just stood there wasting more water than I ever allow myself, and thinking. I determined to TRY to feel better. If the doctor was not going to be able to see me for another month; then I HAD to do something on my own.
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over
Yet, woah
Yet, woah
Tuesday morning, I got up determined to be a little happier than the day before. I took my medicine (I had taken it all along, I don’t let myself skip it.) I gave the kids breakfast, then put Laney in her bouncy seat and turned on a movie. I went for a shower. We did school. I made fudge. I smiled — even laughed a couple of times. We went outside for a while.
Oh, game set match
It’s time to put it in your past, oh
Feel the winter leavin’
It’s redemption season
Long live the young at heart (here we are)
Cheers to a brand new start (here we are)
We’re revived and breathing
To live a life of freedom
Wednesday I repeated the breakfast, movie, shower. That seemed to help. We did school, and enjoyed it. We played outside. We baked cookies together, and I had patience (forced, but there) with my children. We went to church, and when “my people” the ones who really knew asked me how I was, I got to say I was good =) and mean it! The asked about my day… it was good!
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over yet
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over yet
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over
Yet, woah
Yet, woah
Thursday was good. Friday was good. Saturday. Sunday. I’m only having brief spells of sadness. I was able to shake them off. Each day I have to remind myself to be happy. Each morning starts with a calm shower, and a pill. But the pill is helping. And the CHOICE to TRY is a good one.
And life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (here we are)
Oh no never give up (here we are)
Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (here we are)
We will never give up (here we are
So to answer “how are you doing now?” Better. I’m not well, I don’t guess; but I’m better. And better is feeling oh so good! Now I only have to deal with asking how on earth I always let myself get so far down before I realize there is a problem. (Laney is 9.5 months old. Skeet was about the same age the last time I had a dip this low. Motherhood is a beast. And the slide is slow and steady until you just wake up at the bottom.)
And oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over yet
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over yet
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over
Yet, woah
Yet, woah
Yet, woah
Yet, woah
It’s Not Over Yet. It’s really not.
And if you want (or need) to hear the song, it is:
King and Country It’s Not Over Yet, and you can hear it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmTmTMcdxOs

Free (or Cheap) Christmas Fun

I am all about traditions. I love holidays, especially Christmas, because there are so many ways to make memories, and have fun. But I’m also cheap… cheap, cheap. Cheap. So, obviously I do Christmas on a fairly tight budget too. So for those of you who also share my love for all things frugal — and for those who should! — here are a few free, or really inexpensive ways to have fun this Christmas.

Some of these are super obvious, But I’m going to include them because I think sometimes we forget how important little things were to us as children. We find ourselves always chasing some bigger, better THING. And that’s crazy. Christmas is a great time to wind back the clock and just be a kid again. Relive those little memories. Laugh. Maybe cry (I have and will this year.)

Ok, here we go. Get ready for some deep stuff here. Ha!

Hang lights outside. Wow. How simple is that?! Just pick a day, like the Saturday after Thanksgiving, or whatever; and just know every year the lights will go up on that day. Tada, new tradition that just costs a little time and a bit of electricity, but it will bring joy to you, your family, and every one who passes by.

IMG_20171119_192035200_BURST000_COVER_TOPNew Christmas Pajamas on Thanksgiving. Ok, so there is a little expense here, but really kids need pajamas anyway! I just let mine sleep in whatever randomness they could find from summer, to Thanksgiving because I knew they were getting new jammies then, so who cares, right?! And by the way, this is not just fun for the kids. Mom, dad, great-aunt sue, or whoever can get in on this.

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Deck the halls. I mean, duh here too. But it’s fun. Kids really do not care if it’s perfect. They do not care if it’s expensive. They just want a CHRISTMAS TREE!!!! Yay!!! Don’t stop at the tree though. Add some nativities. Put out some art they made in kindergarten. String lights in the house too!

 

 

IMG_20171119_192350334Bake cookies. This is one of my all time favorites. We were so broke the year we got married. I had no business doing anything that cost money… but I did. I believe the number that year was like 30 dozen cookies — in an RV oven! I can’t help myself at Christmas time.

Go out driving to see the lights. I’m not talking about a drive through light place that you have to pay for. Those are fun and all, but $10-15 a car, and an hours long wait for 20 or 30 minutes?! No. Thank. You. Just go to a swanky neighborhood near you and drive around. Ooooh, aaawe. Maybe even do it while wearing Christmas pajamas and eating cookies! It’s free, and I promise your kids will remember it.

 

IMG_20171130_142338820Wrap books to read each night. I don’t mean buy new books. I mean wrap books you have. We started this one this year and so far the kids love it. Thanks to my mother-in-law we have a huge pile of Little Golden Books she snagged almost free at a garage sale or some place. We had enough Christmas books already here to read one each night until we leave to visit family. If you only have one book, then read it Christmas Eve. And when the after Christmas sales hit your neighborhood Walmart, grab a few more. Maybe add a book each year, slowly stretching out how many days before Christmas you get to unwrap and read a book.

Let your kids put on a skit and tell you the Christmas story. My sister and I did this all the way up through high school. When we started it was sing 2 or 3 songs we knew, then dad read the Bible story. By high school we had gotten pretty creative. It was fun!

Obviously, there are tons more ways to have free fun during the Christmas season. You can write cards to friends, take cookies to a place of business just to share, or go visit people in nursing home to sing carols and share smiles. Be creative. Forget that pesky Elf and just have a good old fashioned Christmas like you remember from your own childhood. (And if your childhood wasn’t so great, then create what you dreamed of having back then.)

Merry Christmas to all… I’m going to eat another cookie =)

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****Update, because I totally forgot about the magic that is the Christmas Parade. If your town doesn’t offer one, or if it’s too crowded to enjoy, then find one near you. Grab a Hot and Ready pizza (or make a frozen pizza like I am this year). Find a great parking place, eat the pizza while you wait (picnic style in the back of the suburban is how we roll.) Then bundle up the kiddos… DO NOT TRAVEL WITH THEM IN CAR SEATS WEARING FLUFFY COATS…. Then get out, dance around in the cold. Be a kid again. Your kids will thank you.