Monthly Archives: March 2012

Love & Mommy Hugs

I’ve been reading, researching and reflecting a lot on postpartum depression lately. Not because I’m feeling back in that dark place, but because I’m finally at a point in my life where I can start to see my dream of my Love & Mommy Hugs business come to light.

My mission behind L&MH is to support women with, or at risk of, postpartum depression. I want to share with other Mothers (and even the husbands, fathers, boyfriends, partners, children, etc.) that there is hope. I want to share that the first step is acknowleding that you need help, and that it is NOT your fault! I know that PPD sucks. BUT, I also know that the reason I had to experience it was to support others. If I can even help one woman get through her PPD, then my experience was worth it. Anyway, I am just so excited that I actually get to work on a business for ME – and especially on something that is really not talked about enough.

As far as an update on how I’m doing, I’ve been on half-doses of my antidepressant medication for almost 2 months now, and I am not noticing any regression, so I’m sticking with it. I have some other health-related issues I’m working out, but I honestly feel like my PPD is under control and I feel good about that. I don’t know that I will ever feel “back to normal,” since my life is compeltely different than it ever was pre-kids anyway. What was once my normal will never be again. Kids change everything – and I opt to make that a positive thing. I know there are people out there that try to resist their lives changing (I won’t go there today…). Not me. I embrace it. My life is fuller and happier with kids.

So, someday (sooner than later I hope) I will be launching Love & Mommy Hugs. In the meantime, take my virtual hug!

Supporting Women With, or at risk of, Postpartum Depression

In The Spirit of Sunday

Hello again friends. I want to post tonight, but have a billion other things to do (not like my blogging isn’t important to me, but it doesn’t always take priority – I know, huh?!). So, I’ve decided that in the spirit of Sunday’s stream of consciousness post, I will devote 5 min to whatever comes out (sorry), and then call it a day! Enjoy…

I just broke my wine glass. It was sitting next to my computer and a little tiny toy car fell from off the top of the printer directly onto my glass. It didn’t completely shatter, thankfully, but it broke enough so that I did not attempt to finish my wine. Maybe it’s a sign I shouldn’t indulge in my several-times-a-week break, or maybe it’s a sign that I should wrap that tiny toy car and send it with my husband to drop off at a friend’s house for her son’s 1st birthday present! Yes, I think it’s the latter. A girl can have a glass of wine can’t she? Especially after running around crazy all day, back and forth to school, from school, to school again – for Zack’s Celebration (a monthly wonderment – just made that word up! – his preschool has for all the parents to come see what they’ve been learning all month). They sit all nice (usually) in a circle and sing songs, recite lines, and today they did a sort of show-and-tell from shoe boxes that they decorated and then filled with a few of their favorite things. It was great, as always, but it really breaks up my day. In a bad way. In the way that I feel like I don’t get anything done. Which is why I’m writing for these 5 minutes right now, after a (partial) glass of wine.

Time’s up! 🙂

Here Goes Nothing

It’s Sunday Stream of Consciousness – thanks to Kenya G. Johnson at Here’s the thing… and All Things Fadra, the host of the Sunday SOC.

I’ve never done this before, so if after 5 mintues I’ve written nothing of importance, forgive me. BUT, if it’s pure genius, well then, you can thank me. *smile/wink* Okay, here goes…

It’s 4:55pm and I’m sitting in Wild Cherries Coffee Shop. I had to get out of the house because I couldn’t concentrate or focus. I’ve worked from home before while my husband watches the boys and I hole myself up in our home office / guest room. But I get distracted. I know the boys are just on the other side of that hollow wood door. I can hear their laughter and I want to go out and see what’s so funny. I hear their cries and I want to go out and help. I recently found out (well, I kind of always knew this about myself but never really had a logical explanation or way to explain it to anyone else) that I am super sensitive to energy. Not energy from the gas company or anything like that. Energy from people. I was at a networking event and there was a woman who did hand readings. She wasn’t that psychic, gypsy, I can tell you the future kind of woman (although I have nothing personal against those people). She took my hand, looked at it and immediately saw these rare lines just below where my fingers attach to the palm. I forget what she called it, the something something venus lines – I think. Anyway, when she was describing what that meant, I was completely in awe because now I could actually “show” someone my super powers – ha! It’s good and bad. I choose the good.

Okay, well that was exactly 5 minutes of non-edited, un-scripted writing. Hmmm, it’s hard to stop at 5 minutes! And now that I am re-reading the “instructions” I see that I completely ignored the prompt of what to write about. Oops. Sorry. Maybe next time I won’t be so in a hurry to get a blog post done – yeah, probably not.

Alright, I’m rambling… See ya later folks! 🙂

P.S. if you want to try the 5 min SOC – here are the rules. Have FUN!

It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Dear Zackery

Dear Zackery,

I wrote to your brother last week, so I thought this week it would be your turn. I don’t like to have to “take turns” with you boys, but sometimes I have no choice.

I just want to say how very proud I am of you. I know I’ve been saying that a lot lately and I really mean it. Whenever we go places – either to someone’s house or a restaurant or the KidZone or Discovery Museum or anywhere! – I never worry about you. That’s not to say I don’t care about you, of course I do, more than anything, but I don’t have to worry about how you will act, behave, treat others, etc. You are courteous, polite, respectful, and patient. I could go on…

I know that how you are is in some way a reflection of me. So pat on the back for Mama! Yay me! 🙂

I also know that how you are is because of YOU. You have a wonderful personality, always (well, for the most part) happy and excited. You get cranky when you’re tired and hungry – but hey, so do I. You are getting so good at playing with Brayden and helping him out. One of my most favorite times of the day is in the morning when you are so kind and loving towards him as he adores you so much. The way you make believe play with him, and use your imagination, and talk so gently and genuinely engage with him – it melts my heart and puts the biggest smile on my face. Most of the time I’m still in bed, but I am awake, lying there listening to you two. I wish every Mother could experience moments like that.

You have always been my first, and will always be my baby, but you are growing up so fast! You will be 5 years old this summer and starting kindergarten in the fall. Wow! I can’t believe it. You just went through a total growth spurt and I had to scramble to find you shoes and pants that fit; you are getting so big! But, you will always be my Big Snugglebug. 🙂

Thank you for being a wonderful son, brother, friend and human being.

I love you forever.

-Mommy xoxo

Dear Brayden

Dear Brayden,

It’s been a while since I’ve written to you (or your brother), so I figured today was as good a day as any. You are getting so big, and I can’t believe you are going to be 2 years old in just a few months!

I feel a little bad because I skipped Mommy group this morning so I could have you all to myself, and I’m glad I did. It was so wonderful to watch you and see you learning and talking. You had one of my old nalgene bottles and were trying to put all sorts of things inside – a truck, a tractor, a train (yes, all boy things of course). You tried to shove the tractor inside, but it was too big. You looked at me with those beautiful, precious eyes that I could stare into for hours and hours, and after I told you it wouldn’t fit, you asked “why Mommy?” “It’s too big.” I replied. “Okay,” you answered. We had a real conversation! It may have been short, but you understand so much and I love that we can communicate. It sure is easier when we understand each other, isn’t it?

Right now you’re napping. One of my favorite things is to watch you sleep – I don’t think I will ever tire of that. You are so peaceful (after the 35 minutes you spent happily playing in your crib before zonking out). I love when you wake up and you have those sleepy eyes and put your head on my shoulder and just snuggle. It fills me up just to hold you so close, especially because I know someday you will be all grown up and I won’t have you to myself anymore. It’s still a long ways away, but I think of it, and that’s why I want to love you up as much as I can now!

When you wake up (and hopefully I won’t have to wake you – which I often unfortunately have to) we will go pick up Zackery from school. I’ll give you your milk, maybe a little snack, and buckle you into your comfy cozy car seat. Zack will be excited to see you, and you will be happy to see him. Mostly you two get along great – it’s typical I’m sure. You have your moments when you don’t want to share (especially your snacks – you always want your own container or bowl), but you love your brother and (try to) copy everything he does and says. He makes you laugh, which makes me laugh – he loves that!

I could go on and on about how smart and fun and strong and caring you are. I hope someday you’ll understand why I scoop you up into my arms all the time. You and your brother are the best gifts I have ever been given. I love you forever.

-Mommy xoxo

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Ever have those days when your kids are perfect little angels, and you get all sorts of compliments from both friends and strangers alike? Those days when you feel like you could take your kids anywhere – a fancy restaurant, the symphony, a 5-hour plane ride. Yes, those days are the best. When you feel proud and happy and a tiny little inkling in your brain thinks “wow, I’m actually doing something right!” Those are the days when you pat yourself on the back for raising your kids right; for doing a good job. You look at your kids and see all the hard work you’ve put into them (in the form of discipline, manners, respect, and all the other good traits you want to rub off from you to your kids). You just can’t help but smile, right?

Well, flip the coin, and ever have one of those days when you literally want to disown your kids? I have to admit, I’ve never gone as far as to have those thoughts (well, maybe not that I remember…), but I know how parents can get to that. I’ve had those days when everything I’ve ever taught my kids about *see above* seems to have gone out the window. WTF? What happened to my perfect little angels?

I also have to admit (sorry for the confessional today) that it’s mainly my older son who has the “dual personality.” My younger one just isn’t old enough to understand everything yet – but I’m prepared for that day (as much as I can be). It’s funny as I am writing this and look back on the phrase “dual personality” I just have to laugh. My whole point of this post is completely summed up in that phrase. You’ll see why in a minute… patience.

So, your kids are having a “moment.” The kicking, screaming, whining, completely melting down kind of moment. The kind where it is just impossible to get through to them; where you have to just walk away because any attempt at calming them down, let alone talking to them simply exasperates the situation. I am lucky. Most of these moments for me happen at home.

Once, I had to diffuse a moment in the grocery store, and with all eyes looking at me (you know the feeling, hundreds of pairs of burning eyes penetrating through the air, staring right at you with that evil sympathetic look of “why can’t you control your child?”) I eventually got out to the car and called my husband to “come quick to the parking lot of Safeway!” By the time my husband got there (a long quick 10 minutes later) everyone was all better and he was questioning why he even had to rush there in the first place. Um, sorry Hon, it really was necessary at the time I called.

What I have begun to learn from these “moments” is that when my kid is acting up, misbehaving or whatever, generally it is a behavior that he has learned from watching someone else. I know that some of these behaviors he learns at school (and there’s really nothing I can do about it, other than address them and discuss with him why it’s not okay to do or say that which he just did), but mostly, the person he’s around the most is me. So where does he learn to raise his voice? Me. Where does he learn to be stubborn? Me. Where does he learn to express his frustration or get a mean face or roll his eyes or say “fine!” or…???  He learns it from me (It’s like that commercial on tv – “I learned it from watching you, Daddy.”). Yes, that’s a hard one to swallow – gulp.

What I’m trying to say is that our kids are a reflection of us – good or bad. We all want to believe our kids are perfect all the time; that they listen, are patient, are smart, have good manners and play well with others. Well, are WE perfect all the time?! I’m pretty sure I don’t need to elaborate on this one.

I’m a Gemini. I’m not a super astrological person, but I do believe that my “sign” is uncannily spot on. A Gemini’s symbol is ‘The Twins’ – which could be interpreted to mean having a “dual personality.” Ah ha, now do you get it? When I said above that my son has a dual personality, I didn’t mean it in a medical, psychological way (and I certainly have no intention of making light of those people who legitimately suffer from it), I meant in a one minute he is my perfect little angel, and the next he can be the brunt of my yelling and the cause of both of us in near tears.

I also have learnt that when I stop, take a breath, and re-engage in the “moment” with calmness and love, the “moment” seems to diffuse much quicker and I am able to actually talk to him without screaming or forcing him to sit and look me in the eye. My boys are quite smart (no, really they are – just like yours!) and they follow my cues. When I’m frustrated and tense, they are. When I’m calm and silly, they are. Whatever energy I’m putting out there, chances are they’re going to emit the same.

We all have friends or know someone whose kids are just crazy, off-the-wall hyper all the time. Ever stop to think about what their parents are like? I’m not judging or pointing fingers, just making an honest observation.

Next time your kids are acting like anything but the perfect little angels you know they can be, take a moment to see what’s going on with yourself. Is something causing you stress? Is there a reason why your energy might not be the most positive? I’m not saying that every time your child is bad or uncontrollable it’s because of you. Let’s face it, kids are kids and sometimes they will have a moment, for no logical reason. I’m simply saying that the overall behavior of how your child reacts to certain situations could be a reflection of how you react to the same or similar circumstances. If you’re always running around crazy busy, then it’s likely your kid will also mostly seem crazy busy. If you’re calm and peaceful, it’s likely your kid will also mostly seem calm and peaceful.

I really do feel blessed. I get to be home with my boys and together we are constantly learning. This lesson has turned out to be one that has taken a while to understand, but I see it every day and I do believe that our children are most definitely a reflection of us.

I Don’t Want Flowers

Call me crazy, but I don’t want flowers. Let me qualify this by saying if it’s a choice between flowers and an act of service, I choose the latter.

I love flowers – the colors, the scent, the brightness they bring to my home and my heart. I also love a tidy house, clean dishes, the laundry put away, the trash emptied, the floor vacuumed, dinner made, the boys bathed, the bed made, the mail opened and filed, the shopping done, my water bottle filled (had to throw that one in), and on and on. So, if someone (a.k.a. the husband) wants to do something special and/or show me their (his) love and appreciation, I would much prefer help with any of the above-mentioned chores. To me, helping out around the house would equal a garden full of roses or a valley painted in wildflowers.

Perhaps it’s just the timing of my life right now, because I used to absolutely love getting flowers. And don’t get me wrong, I still love it and I’m thankful and appreciative, but there’s a part of me that secretly wishes that “someone” would “do” something for me instead of buying me something. I guess it partly has to do with the fact that money is tight right now, and I know how much nice flowers cost – they’re not cheap – and I get nice flowers. My challenge: how do I tell someone thanks, but no thanks, especially when it’s a gift of love (from my husband) with the best intentions?

I know that men are different than women – in more than just the obvious ways. I know that generally (sorry, I don’t want to offend anyone here…) men don’t “see” everything that women do. Women tend to be more aware of their surroundings and notice every little thing. Whether this is a curse or a blessing is up to each individual. I am constantly going back and forth on that one myself. Either way, I am mindful of literally everything that needs to be done around the house. I notice when the dinner plates aren’t rinsed and put in the dishwasher. I notice when the hook from the shower curtain slips off the shower rod. I notice when a jacket falls off the hook on the wall and is covering up the heater vent. I notice, I notice, I notice…

The point is, there is ALWAYS something to be done, and I hate being a nagging wife asking my husband to please “do this” and “do that.” For just once, I would love to have something at home taken care of without me having to point it out. Am I asking too much? Is it even possible for my husband to “see” all the “little” things (which yes, might be little, but to me they add up to a whole lot)? I’m not faulting him. He does help around the house (when he’s home – he works his butt off!) and he’s a wonderful Dad. But, I just wish…

I guess my answer to my dilemma is to (oh my gosh, wait for it…) communicate with him – what a novel idea! J I would bet that he has no idea what I’m thinking. I bet he doesn’t get that all these little things that he walks right by every day absolutely drive me crazy. I suppose if I told him what I was feeling and share my thoughts with him, maybe next time he would skip the flower shop and decide to fix a yummy dinner instead (yes, Hon, I know you can do it!). Maybe, I simply need to tell him…

I love flowers, I just don’t want any.

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