August 31, 2010

A tale of Postpartum Depression, part one

I break.  When things become too big for me to handle, I break.  It's not a fact that I'm proud of.  This has happened to me twice in my life.  This first time followed a traumatic incident, the second happened to be after a joyful event.  I won't discuss the first time on here (or anywhere), but I will tell you all about the second time. 
3 years ago, I gave birth to our second daughter, Kennedy.  Afterwards, I started having a little bit of a problem, so we decided to have another baby.  So 14months after having Kennedy,  I gave birth to Georgia.  Let me start by saying that it is not a good idea to try to cure postpartum depression by having another baby.  A couple months before I had Kennedy, I had quit my job to stay at home, which is a HUGE adjustment that I could not seem to grasp.  I had also spent the better part of 2 years being pregnant and all of a sudden, I wasn't.  All of a sudden, I had to figure out how to take care of my house, myself,  a preschooler and 2 infants. Overwhelmed seems like a gross understatement.
I knew something was wrong when I had no desire to nurse Georgia.  I'm not saying that I had successfully managed to nurse the first 2 girls, but I had at least tried my best.  I think I was too exhausted.  It had already been a year since I'd had a good night's sleep before I had Georgia and between her and Kennedy, we were getting next to none.  In the morning, my husband would go to work and I was left alone with these tiny people who  I didn't know how to take care of.  It didn't take me long to become resentful.  Georgia was a fussy baby.  She was always crying and spitting up.  We tried so many types of formula for her.  We couldn't seem to find one that worked well.  I think she was almost 6 months old when we finally settled on one for the next 6 months.  It is very hard to play with and cook for 2 children when you spend your day holding a baby who will not stop crying. 
My house was a wreck, my children weren't getting enough attention from me, I couldn't cook, I didn't sleep...I was a failure.  It didn't take long for me to figure this out and start to spiral.  I realized that I didn't belong with these kids and they could do much better without me.  So, I started spending time away from home.  I realized that because my husband is a man, people would come over and help him out when I wasn't home.  They would feed the baby or give baths to help out.  This made me realize 2 things:  1-that I should be able to take care of my kids (nobody thought it necessary to come over and help me) and 2-that yes, my children would be better off without me because people would come over and take better care of them than I could.

Please note that I am writing this story in hopes that it will be helpful to someone.  I ask that you understand it is hard for me to think about and even harder to write about.  I am not writing this to place blame with anyone, there is no one to blame, and I am not writing this to be judged.  Please keep this in mind, should you decide to comment.  Thank you.

Apple Crisp: A recipe

Fall is right around the corner and with fall comes apples!  Here's a recipe to get you in the mood. 

First, start with 5 granny smith apples

Then peel them, put them in a bowl

Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon


transfer to an 8x8 dish


In a separate bowl,
 mix 1 cup flour,
1 tsp baking powder,
1/2 tsp salt and
1 cup sugar


cut in 1/2 cup (1 stick) of cold butter until crumbly



sprinkle the mixture over the apples and press it with your hands to make it even
pour 1 cup water over the top

sprinkle with 1 tsp cinnamon

bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes
Allow to cool. If you know what's good in life, you will top it with ice cream...

And ENJOY!


What is your favorite apple recipe? 

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August 30, 2010

A wedding Shower

In a little over a month, my little brother is getting married. Yesterday, the girls and I went to a bridal shower for my soon to be sister-in-law Amanda. I always get a little nervous when I take all 3 girls anywhere. Time and time again, they have proven that the 3 of them should not be let out of the house together without adequate parental supervision (meaning myself and my husband).  Yesterday, however, they were so good, I was amazed.  I even began to think that maybe I had left my real children at home and accidentally picked up these impostors.  After the shower, when we got home (they even behaved in the car for the entire 35 minute drive), I wrote it down on the calendar to be framed.  A day like that is about as frequent as Hailey's comet! 

Anyway, I wanted to share a gift idea with you.  I love buying gifts for people for any occasion.  I put a lot of thought into the gifts I buy (usually).  I don't like buying things from a registry, I like giving something special and maybe personalized.  I'm not saying that no one should ever buy from the registry.  That's what it's there for, but it's always nice when one or two people go the personal route. 

One of my favorite wedding shower gifts is personalized champagne flutes and a personalized bottle of champagne.  At personalwine.com, you can design your own labels for any occasion.  I gave this gift to my sister-in-law a couple years ago.  Then, I got the glasses from weddingaccessories.net.  They were nice and had a large selection.  This time, for Amanda, I bought the glasses from personalcreations.com.  The selection was smaller and they didn't have exactly what I was looking for, but I was very happy with what I did buy.  Also, they participate in the Box Tops for Education program.  If you go to btfe.com and shop through their marketplace, personal creations gives back 4% of your order to your school.  Also, I found a 20% off coupon, so the order was good for everyone!

So, there is my gift suggestion for a wedding shower.  The glasses and champagne totalled to just under $100, that included the crazy shipping costs I had to pay for waiting to order it a week before the shower. 

And congratulations to my brother Andrew and his Amanda!

August 26, 2010

Get outside!

Yesterday was the most beautiful day!  The girls and I were focusing on the color blue.  It was a great day to get out and take pictures of anything blue we could find.  Later, I will print them out and put them together in a color book.  For now, though, I'll just share some things we found.
A Blue Bucket...
A house with pretty blue stairs...


Rocks that were painted blue...



A beautiful blue sky...




A girl in a blue shirt...

and beautiful blue eyes.

You can find more pictures of the great outdoors at
Photobucket

also linked to
Jenny Matlock

1+1=4?

Summer is almost officially over.  My oldest daughter has gone back to school and I'm preparing for my favorite time of year.  Yesterday, the weather was gorgeous.  I was able to open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.  The happiest time in my life was when I was about to have my oldest daughter.  It was wonderful!  I would open the window next to my bed and let the chilly fall air into the room.  I would drink the most wonderful mint hot chocolate (which is no longer made) and read biographies.  Every night I did this and thoroughly enjoyed the last quiet time I'd have for at least 18 years.  A couple years later, there were 2 wonderful falls in a row when I learned that I was having another baby.  Two falls later, I have learned that fact again.  Indeed, my husband and I just found out that we will be having another baby in the spring!
There are so many emotions surrounding this news.  First and foremost, we are ecstatic and thankful.  We are hopeful (at least my husband is).  This could be our last chance to have a boy.  We are worried.  There is a chance that my husband could lose his job and where would that leave us?  We are scared.  After giving  birth to my last daughter, I had a severe case of postpartum depression, it might have even been postpartum psychosis.  No, I never thought of hurting my children, but I did everything in my power to hurt myself and ruin my own life.  I'm lucky to still have my family.  This lasted a year.  It was the worst year of my life, the black year.  Perhaps there will be more on that later, I think it's something that should be shared at some point, but for now, let's get back to this new baby. 
We are thrilled to be adding another person to our family.  Some people think we're crazy and didn't think it though.  I don't like hearing "you already have 3, do you really need another" or "don't you think you should focus on the 3 you have", "isn't 3 enough".  In the end, it doesn't matter if our house is too small or if our bank account is almost empty.  What matters is that we give our children every thing they need to be happy, healthy, kind, caring individuals.  What matters is that we give them every bit of love we are capable of and then some.  We have so much to give this baby and the 3 we already have, so why shouldn't we? 

August 20, 2010

TGIF

Reasons I need a drink today:

1.  I spent ALL morning trying to fix a slow running drain.
2.  After fixing it, I took a shower and found out I somehow clogged it completely
3.  I only got one leg shaved in the shower before the water got too high
4.  I went to the store in the rain
5.  The only umbrella I could find was a small, pink Dora umbrella
6.  I had to worry that I would get struck by lightening and be found dead, clutching a  Dora umbrella with only one leg shaved
7.  I had to buy my 6 year old her first bra this week
8.  I've had a cold for the last couple days
9.  I have a huge headache.  I think gray matter may be leaking from my ears
10.  I got no housework done today because of the drain, now i have to do it tomorrow.  
11.  I have a twitch in my eye-I'm not sure if other people can see it
12. It's Friday-I never get to have a drink on a Friday!

I hope your day was better and your week wasn't as nerve wracking as mine.  I hope your reasons to have a drink today are celebratory!

August 16, 2010

Margarita Madness

So, yesterday, I took my book for a late lunch at the Mexican restaurant.  This is something I started doing a little over a year ago.  When I think I've had enough and need some time to myself, I head to the Mexican restaurant after the lunch rush.  I think that's the best time because no one is there.  The reason I chose this particular place is because they don't speak English when there are no customers and I don't understand Spanish.  Therefore, I am not tempted to be nosy and listen in.

 I also happen to greatly enjoy margaritas.  They have always been liberal with the tequila and I think they play a game to see how much I can drink (they obviously have no idea who they're dealing with).  Lately, though, I think they might be trying to kill me.  I get half way through one margarita and expect to pass out and wake up in Tijuana with a kidney missing.  I'll probably be in a back alley-you know, the ones that no one goes in unless they're looking for heroin or velvet Elvis paintings.  So, now when they bring me my drink, I go on about how I shouldn't drink it because of the dialysis and whatnot. 
I never go on Sundays, but my husband told me I was being a...well, he said I was disagreeable, so I thought it would be a good idea.  So, this couple came in with a baby.  I'm not a fan of children in restaurants (I spent a good part of my life waiting tables).  We don't take our kids out to eat very often.  It was allot easier when there was only one kid and she behaved, but it's almost impossible to keep the 3 quiet and I know that NOBODY wants to sit next to me and my 3 kids who can only behave for short periods of time.  When they act up, we leave and then they get in trouble.  I know that NOBODY wants to listen to me scold my 3 kids.
 
Anyway, this couple came in with a baby who was maybe a year old.  Everyone was happy and the baby was content and quiet.  I was enjoying my book and my ruffie margarita.  Then out of nowhere, the baby starts wailing.  The parents did nothing.  I think I even heard them giggle.  This goes on for a minute, then the baby is quiet.  After a minute or two, the baby starts again.  This time, I'm almost positive I heard one of the parents giggle.  After a minute, the baby is quiet, then starts again.  Now, I KNOW the parents are giggling.  I turn around to see what is happening.  When they walked in, the baby had a pacifier.  The parents were taking it out of her mouth, holding it out of her reach and teasing her with it.  They thought this was great fun.  I almost got up and took the baby away from them, just to hold her out of their reach and make them think they weren't going to get her back.  I'm not sure which pissed me off more, the fact that they were intentionally being cruel to their kid, the fact that they were doing it in a restaurant or the fact that they were ruining my meal and my much needed alone time.  That is one couple who should be thanking their lucky stars that the bottle of tequila in front of me was preventing me from walking across the restaurant and smacking them in their heads.

August 10, 2010

Watch out for Supermom!

I have recently become very worried about my oldest daughter.  I wonder if I'm doing enough for her, giving her the knowledge she needs, encouraging her enough, loving her enough. 
Lately, she has a very sassy mouth and seems to be seriously lacking in the respect department.  She seems socially awkward and laughs at inappropriate times.  I don't know what to do with her.  I have seriously cut back the amount of TV she watches and what she watches.  I want her to be a confident, caring, intelligent person, but I just don't think I'm doing anything to help her become that kind of person.  When she was younger, I used to monitor TV and we spent so much time learning new things.  After she started school, and I had 2 more babies, I kind of slacked off.
Today, I was talking to her about helping other people who don't have as much as we do.  Her main concern-Nintendo DS!  She couldn't fathom that some kids don't have one.  Then she said "when we go to help these people, can I take my DS?  Is my 6 year old so far gone that she doesn't care about actual people?  Is she that socially awkward that she feels more comfortable with electronics than actual people?  How did this happen?  How can I fix it?  Tomorrow, we are going to bake the cookies that we made today and take them to someone.  We haven't decided who, but I suggested someone we don't know or someone who could use a pick me up. 
I'm sure things will get better, but for now, she is driving me insane and there has to be a way for me to fix it.  I wonder how happy she can be if she's acting out like she has been.  Someone, please give me the answer. 

What do you do when your kids talk back?  How do you teach your kids to care for others?

August 2, 2010

What's in Brandi's Bowl?

I'm back! I know it's been a while and you're probably thinking that I lost my mind and had to be locked up due to mommy burn-out. However, that is not the case. That's the thing about mommy burn-out, it only lasts for a couple hours until one of the kids does something cute and makes me forget. I've been busy. I've been trying to take care of the massive amounts of produce coming out of our garden.
So, today, we're going to play a little game called "What's in Brandi's bowl?". I will send a box of homemade Drunken Houswife goodies to the first person who can guess what is in my bowl. I'll throw a bonus out if someone can guess what I'm making with it.

Can you guess what's in my bowl?

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