Sunday, June 29, 2008

our little gentleman

i always wonder if the things we teach our kids actually ever penetrate their little brains. things like: using good manners, thinking of other people besides themselves, being kind to others, etc. i mean, they don't really listen when we ask them to stop fighting, pick up their room, sit down and eat their why would we expect them to listen when we teach them important life lessons?

not too long ago we were sitting in the kitchen eating supper together. mr. husband had made a delicous caesar salad as part of our meal. we were all just eating and visiting when i happened to look over and saw captain adventure starting to stand up. (we practically have to chain them to the chairs at meal times to get them to stay in their seats and eat, so i was immediately irritated...but, something made me hold my tongue to see what he was doing.) i heard him saying to grandma, "can i help you with that grandma jingly keys?" my heart melted. he had been watching her try to use the pepper mill so she could have pepper on her salad and because of her arthritis, she was having a hard time turning the mill. he saw her struggling, thought it through and offered his help. it was the most thoughtful act of good will i have ever seen come from his little body.

so, i guess they really are paying attention to us...listening to our words...paying attention to our actions...taking it all in. cool.

Friday, June 27, 2008

my story part 3

i know that i missed quite a bit of baby#2's baby-hood. i was in a funk. there are less pictures of him during that time. less journaling. to be completely honest, i don't remember a lot of his first year. that's why i rely on family to tell me stories and share their pictures with me. because i don't want him to ever think for even one second that i don't love him as much as i love his siblings. he is a blessing in so many ways. he is full of life (or, as my grandma would say, piss and vinegar). he sees adventure where others don' simple everyday events and outings. he sees the world with eyes full of amazement and wonder. he is captain adventure. read part 2

i started feeling overwhelmed in may and didn't ask for help until september, when i completely fell apart. (yeah, i'm a control freak...and i have a hard time asking for help when i need it. shhh!) i took another almost ten weeks off of work at that i could put myself first for a while and learn how to cope.

after i went back to work, things were never the same there for me. there were people who always supported me. but, there were also people who didn't. it didn't take long for me to realize that where i worked was a place that was sucking my life and my spirit from me. the atmosphere was one of back-stabbers and people trying to keep themselves afloat...looking out for themselves and no one else.

anyway, i worked through the winter and tried to figure out what to do about working at a place where i didn't really want to be...a place i didn't believe in anymore. in early march, we found out that mr husband had earned a promotion with a substantial raise...we talked about it...and i quit. my intention was to stay home for that summer and start looking for a new job when the kids went back to school...

however, in june, when i found out i was pregnant again, plans changed. when i saw the positive pregnancy test, i wasn't sure how i'd tell mr husband...we'd been talking and he wasn't so sure he wanted to have more kids. the conversation went something like this...

mr husband: what would you say to moving to north carolina in february

me: what would you say to having a baby in february?

mr. husband: well, once we move and get settled, we could talk about it.

me: um, no, that's not what i mean. what would you say to having a baby in

mr. husband: (silent. mouth open, eyes wide, look of utter shock)

me: i'm pregnant.

mr. husband: (smiles) really? how did this happen?

me: uh, what?

we were so excited! it wasn't exactly what you would call a planned pregnancy, but it certainly was not unwanted.

i was worried about post-partum depression again. looking back, i suppose that i did experience it again after baby #3...not anywhere near the extent of what i felt after baby #2...and it went away within a few weeks. so, in the end, i worried for nothing. just because i had a horrible experience after one baby, that doesn't mean i always will.

i'm happy to report that aside from the occasional feeling of being on the verge of a melt-down, i feel pretty good. i don't take anything anymore. that all stopped a while before i was pregnant again. i'm not the best patient in the universe...i think i know better than the doctors...

i don't have a history of being a good pill taker and when i'm feeling better i tend to stop taking the pills. that's always been a problem of mine. sometimes mental un-health can be a chronic condition...sometimes medication is needed forever. i suppose that i would do that if i had to. but, i'd probably fight it tooth and nail. i like to feel like i'm in control. and if i'm depending on something else, then i'm not in control. (i can rationalize anything...just ask.)

i like to be in control. sometimes that works out for me. sometimes not. it is what it is.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

what's wrong with this picture?

this is a picture of what we found at our house after we pulled the drop ceiling down. this is just as we found it. no bullshit. the people we bought it from wall-papered over insulation...and open holes...and wood pieces. these walls passed an inspection. let me repeat that. these walls passed an inspection.


Happy Birthday Mom!

Dear Mom,

i hope you have a delightful birthday. you deserve the very best of days. you are amazing and strong and loving and kind. you are my role model.

i love you,

momo junior

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the real story is all around you

sometimes i am afraid to think of the world we live in today...the horror that some people have seen...the people who suffer daily at the hands of terrorists, poverty, illness, and starvation...i think about it and it seems a little could i possibly make a difference? what could i do that would have the ability to change anything bigger than myself? what can one person do?

and then i came across something in mr. husband's sports illustrated. you should read it. but i'll warn you, it might change the way you think. Alive & Kicking

Sunday, June 22, 2008

enjoying the company of each other

today we went to a local where my parents took us when we were little girls. there is a pond/lake-ish type thing, swings, teeter-totters, a giant climbing apparatus, tennis courts, a shelter for picnicing, and a wide open soccer field. we had a fabulous time. it was the first time in a long time that mr. husband has been off of work for more than 12 hours at a time...we've really been enjoying each other...all of us. mr. husband and i sort of naturally switched off with the kids, as they changed interests at the park...i played with them on the swings and he took them to the soccer field to kick the giant tennis ball we brought. little sammysosa had a great time between the merry-go-round and the swings. he giggled his little heart out.

captain adventure and sammysosa sharing a snack on the merry-go-round

finally a peaceful brother-sister moment.

mr. husband teaching little mother hen and captain adventure how to throw rocks the right way. (as if CA needs help with throwing anything!)
we all really had a great time with each other. i can actually say that i really enjoyed my family today. yay for us!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

juicy sweet and fun to eat

a few weeks ago, little mother hen left and apple on the kitchen table (you know, the apple she had to have...the one i had to peel right away so she could eat it right away) after taking only two, count them 2 bites. little sammysosa saw it and decided he'd like to take a crack at it. i took like 28 pictures of him eating this friggin' apple...he was totally devoted to eating every little square millimeter that he could get his tiny little teeth on. too cute!

Friday, June 13, 2008

we should all be so lucky

my BFF and i went to see sex & the city (the movie) recently.

E and i have been friends since preschool when i was the president of the tall club and wouldn't let her behind the piano with me and the other two members of the tall club because she wasn't tall enough. (she still brings this up on a regular basis.) we have been through it all with each other...the ups and downs, the crappy boyfriends, the good boyfriends...middle school crap...high school crap...we even went through a period of time when we didn't speak in college. she was there wedding and the births of our children. she's been there for every major (and most of the minor) cries of my life. she has also been there for every major (and most of the minor) celebrations of my life.

she was the perfect companion for this movie.

i never watched SATC when it was on HBO...i never had HBO. i only watched it once it became syndicated. but, i liked it. i liked it partly because of the drama...the love...the vicariously through fictitious people...but i really liked it because of something that i never heard them talk about.

the show and the movie are about way more than new york and sex and fashion and four single women on the prowl. they're about four women who have been together as friends for (in the movie) twenty years...women who have been there, been present, for every major and minor (good or bad) event in the lives of the other three...women who have loved...been there for...maybe not always agreed with...but still fully and unconditionally supported each other.

they are all strong and amazing in their own way. separately they might waiver, but together they are a force to be reckoned with. they are fiercely loyal. there is no question of that...just watch the movie if you don't believe me.

the point is, don't you want friends like that? friends who will come to your side without hesitation, even you are currently arguing with each other? friends who drop whatever they are doing to come be with you because they know that's what you need right now...even if you never would have asked them to do that for you? friends who hear in your voice what you can't get out in words?

that's who i want by my side on this journey...people who i can count on...people who are not wishy-washy or fair-weathered. because anyone can be a good friend on the good days. and who needs friends who are only there to share the rainbows and sprinkles?

not me, my friends. not me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


a boo!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

things i will always do

i will always

  • love my children and husband

  • be faithful to my husband

  • be thankful for what God has provided for us

  • be grateful for the men and women who sacrifice so much to serve our country in the military

  • love cheese toasties and tomato soup

  • love to take lots and lots of pictures

  • be afraid of the boogey man

  • want to tell our kids stories about their family history

  • try my best

  • hate whining

  • second-guess myself

  • think my mom is the wisest person i know
  • love a good cup of coffee with friends

  • wish i was more patient

  • love to have girl time

  • be thankful for my family and the people who are in it

Monday, June 9, 2008

thank you

to mr. husband in honor of father's day...

thank you every day for going to a job that tries to suck your soul and spirit out of your body.

thank you for not letting your job be who you are.

thank you for encouraging me to get away on your days off...even when i know you would really love to be the one who has down time.

thank you for calling to check on me and ask me how my day is going, almost every day.

thank you for making me mix tapes with songs that remind you of me and us...too cute and very romantic.

thank you for always encouraging me to try new things when we go to new places...and thank you for accepting that i'm not always brave enough to try them like you do.

thank you for being my friend.

thank you for working so hard for your family. our kids may not understand now, but they will.

thank you for being such an amazing find interesting and fun ways to engage our children...they love it and so do i.

thank you for always accepting me just as i always have.

i hope you have a very happy father's day.

mrs. wife

Sunday, June 8, 2008

have a little faith

check this out...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

dear little mother hen

i cannot believe that it has been almost seven years since we first met. you have grown in so many ways since that night. (for one thing, you don't take baths in momo's kitchen sink anymore.) your dad and i have been with you for every major (and minor) accomplishment in your life...including graduation from kindergarten last week. you are officially a first grader! what?!

you have become such a sweet, thoughtful, intelligent, kind young lady. i am so proud of your hard school, at home, in life in general. you worked hard in school this're reading at an almost second grade level! your writing is much neater...and it is becoming more creative. you are a great helper to me...with your brothers, with grandma jingly keys, with cooking -- you love to help cook. you are thoughtful. you love to leave love notes.

i just can't even begin to know where the past seven years have gone. i can't believe we have a first grader in our family! you're such a big girl now. i look forward to continuing with you on your life's journey...getting to know each other better and in different ways...watching you grow up and learn about life...seeing you accomplish your own goals. you are an amazing girl!

i love you,


Friday, June 6, 2008

be the change

sometimes you have to get off of your pissy pot and decide that you're not going to keep complaining like a broken record. it isn't enough to just keep talking and complaining about something. take that energy, harness it, and focus it on something making a change.

it is soooo easy to just keep complaining, though, isn't it? sometimes it's fun...when we get together and complain about the same event or person. but the truth is, nothing productive is coming of it. nothing changes. the really difficult work comes with changing...a attitude. it is hard to change. and sometimes it's changing jobs or friends or houses. but, complaining just eats away at our spirit and our soul.

so, i'm going to make a better effort to be the change that i want to see. instead of sitting on the sidelines complaining at every turn, i'm going to get in the game and start being more pro-active, instead of reactive.

be the change. be the change. be the change. (that's my new mantra)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

who ate all the cheez-its?

i really don't think that i need to say anything here. i'll let the pictures do the talking.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"i will be making no decisions tonight"

did you watch hillary's non-concession speech?

well, i did...mostly to see how she explains to her constituants how they wasted their money donating to her campaign.

but, i digress...the point is...if you didn't watch it, find it on the internet and watch it. pay no attention to hillary, but watch the freak in the striped orange and yellow shirt behind her. watch his facial expressions...his nodding...his pointing. it's quite entertaining.

seriously. go find it. watch it. right now. get some popcorn. and a coke. or a tab. or if you had a long day, get a beer. but beer doesn't really go with popcorn. if you have a beer, you should have something else...maybe pretzels or peanuts.

Monday, June 2, 2008

my story part 2 (post-partum depression)

i continued to have problems with anxiety and depression off and on during school. i took advantage of programs on campus...the student health center offered counseling (individual and group) and they had psychiatrists who could prescribe medicine. i muddled through and graduated from the school of nursing. looking back, i think that i literally muddled through...i did what i had to do to get a different time, i could have done better. i wonder what i missed while i was treading water. read part 1

while i was home going to the regional campus, an old friend came back into my life. he and i had been friends for years, only to have a falling out towards the end of high school. he offered me his friendship when i needed it most. he did not understand the way i felt or the way i acted (for that matter, neither did i), but he realized that he didn't have to. he did not ask me for more than i was capable of giving. he accepted me as i was. he always has.

eventually, we started dating. over the few years that we dated, i continued to work my way through nursing school. he was there by my side helping me through every sleepless night...when my anxiety was at it's worst, he would drive 2 1/2 hours to spend a brief amount of time, only to have to drive back home for work later that night...he loved and supported me unconditionally. it was just that simple to him.

six months after i graduated from college, we were married. i continued to take the medicine that the doctors prescribed, but i never felt great. i continued to intermittently go to therapy, but i never felt like i knew i could. i still didn't feel like myself.

during the first few years after i began my nursing career, i had less than a handful of panic attacks...always at work...always when it was very stressful for everyone, including me.

then i became pregnant. although we were overjoyed with the news, it presented a few problems...for one, hormone overload + anxious/depressed woman = problem...not to mention that most anti-anxiety and depression medication is NOT approved for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women. so, after talking to my ob-gyn, i decided to quit taking my medicine. i tolerated the change surprisingly well. i had the occasional panic attack when my mind would wander...mostly about the baby and the pregnancy...but i was doing really well, so i thought.

then came baby. a few weeks after she was born, i experienced what i now know to be a mild case of post-partum depression. i think that's pretty normal to a degree...there's a lot of hormones coming and going piled onto an over-stressed woman who now has an extra human being to be responsible for. for lack of a better description, i worked through it.

so, things went well for the next few years. then baby #2 came along...

let me paint a picture...i was working nights (11p-7a) 4 nights a week. my husband was working weekends and was gone every friday through sunday each week. when baby #2 was born, i took around 12 weeks off for maternity leave. when i went back to work, we were short-staffed...somehow i ended up working both day shifts and night shifts each week. i was overworked at work. i was overworked at home. i wasn't sleeping. when i did sleep, it wasn't quality sleep or long enough. i put entirely too much pressure on myself to be the perfect wife, mother, etc. come hell or high water, i was going to breastfeed...even if that meant even less sleep for me. i completely sacrificed myself. this went on for almost 4 months. during that time, my husband went back to school full time and was working full time on the weekends. i was still working full time with day shifts and night shifts each week. we were in total chaos.

then, work asked me to take over a weekend spot while another girl was off for maternity leave. it was every saturday and sunday 7a-7p. i agreed. apparently, that was my breaking point.

i think i had worked maybe 2 weekends when i hit a brick wall. baby #2 was about six months old. i was stretched to my absolute limit. i decided to see a therapist that i had seen in the past...i had one session with her the day before my next shift. i cried when i started talking about how i had been feeling. i felt so out of control with my life. i was more than frustrated because i continually felt like i was husband, our kids, work, myself. i was sad, exhausted, over-worked...i didn't know if i was coming or going. i felt helpless and hopeless. what i really wanted to do was drive my car into a tree...not because i wanted to hurt myself, but because i wanted to stop feeling so crappy. anything would have been better than how i was feeling.

i went to work the next day and lost it. i had a patient who was being abnormally difficult. i was done. i could do no more. not one more thing. for whatever reason, that was the breaking point. i started crying. i didn't stop for 3 weeks. that was the darkest time of my life without a doubt.

i cried from the time i woke up until the time i went to bed. our poor 3 year old daughter had no clue what was going on. she was so upset that i was crying all day long every day. that only made me feel more guilty. i was a terrible mom. i couldn't handle my life. i couldn't get myself out of was i supposed to take care of my kids? nobody understood. hell, i didn't even understand what i was feeling. the littlest things would set me off...i was resentful towards baby #2 for needing me to breastfeed (something i had chosen whole-heartedly to do -- it wasn't HIS choice)...i felt like a prisoner to my kids, my husband, my house, my head...i was one of two extremes-- either sobbing uncontrollably, or raging. i was completely out of control. i knew it and i couldn't do anything about it. i knew it and i hated myself even more.

i have always been one to take care of other people. i felt so guilty for needing some attention and care. the guilt i was laying on myself just made me feel worse. it was a vicious cycle.

after a series of appointments with various doctors and mental health professionals, i was taken off work for a total of 10 or so more weeks. my husband had to quit school and get another job. we had to survive.

a nurse practitioner prescribed a new medication for me...something i had never taken before. it was an SSRI and a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. she also gave me something for anxiety...and something to suppress the rage i felt. i was still breastfeeding at that point...breastfeeding was the only thing i still had control of...i did not willingly give it up. i wanted to wean him gradually. i felt guilty because i had to wean him so early...i wanted to be able to breastfeed him until he was a year old, like i had with his sister. but i finally realized that i just couldn't have it my way. i had constant chaos in my head. i was miserable. after i started taking the new medicine, i honestly started feeling better within a week. i was finally able to start to take care of myself. thank God i had my husband, my parents, my sisters, and friends to take care of our kids.

after a little while, i started getting out of bed each day with less and less effort. i took better care of myself. and eventually was able to take better care of our kids. i still don't know what we would have done if our family did not live in the same town as we do. what do people do when they have no help? we are so blessed!

my husband took me to many of my therapy appointments and all of my med-check appointments with the nurse practitioner. he did that in between cooking, cleaning, working two jobs, caring for the kids, and caring for me. where would i be without him? i am so blessed!

i know that i missed quite a bit of baby#2's baby-hood. i was in a funk. there are less pictures of him during that time. less journaling. to be completely honest, i don't remember a lot of his first year. that's why i rely on family to tell me stories and share their pictures with me. because i don't want him to ever think for even one second that i don't love him as much as i love his siblings. he is a blessing in so many ways. he is full of life (or, as my grandma would say, piss and vinegar). he sees adventure where others don' simple everyday events and outings. he sees the world with eyes full of amazement and wonder. he is captain adventure.