Thursday, November 22, 2012


I am thankful for:
  • My amazing husband.  He is my rock, my anchor, and my soft place to land.  He supports me in everything, and loves me completely.  For that alone, I am blessed.
  • My beautiful son.  He impresses me daily with his intelligence, good spirits, and wit.  He is absolutely the best of Patrick and I combined.
  • My littlest babe, growing so quickly.  I cannot wait to meet you, Baby!
  • My comfortable home.  It may not be our forever home, but it is beautiful, well-furnished, and just the right size for us.  
  • The food and spices we are able to afford.  I enjoy cooking for my family, and I love that we have a well-stocked spice rack that I can experiment with.  It is wonderful to know that I can make dinners that my family gobbles down, and asks for seconds of.
  • My blood-family.  No matter what happens, I know that my mom, dad, and little sister will always love me (as I will them) - even when we disagree.  On everything. :)
  • My in-laws.  I definitely won the in-law lottery when I married Patrick.  These people love me as much as my blood-family, and always provide refuge from the chaos of our world.
  • My chosen family.  I cannot even begin to express my love for these people.  I am truly blessed by them.  And from this huge group, I have to say a special thank you for my she'endre - my sisters by choice.  You know who you are.
  • Modern medicine that will help rid me of the panic attacks that make me so miserable.  Already, the edge of anxiety that had taken residence in my chest has mostly faded.  I truly believe God works miracles through science, sometimes.
  • My health, my family's health, and our fantastic health insurance.  I am so blessed to live in a place where I rarely have to worry about illnesses, and to be able to afford the medications that help me live my life on my terms.
  • My chair.  It is old, and frankly kinda ugly, but it is comforting in all the best ways.  Especially when Miles shares it with me.
  • My internet friends.  Without them, I would have a much harder time with this whole parenting gig.
  • Warm drinks on cool evenings.
  • Good books and the time to enjoy them.
  • Pumpkin-scented soap.
  • Miles' train table.  It has provided so many hours of entertainment for him.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Things No One Tells You About Parenthood

I know several people who are about to become first time parents, so here is a list for all of them.  You're welcome. ;)

  • The newborn stage: you either love it or you hate it.  I hated it.  I thought I was supposed to be all rainbows and sunshine about it, but my kid screamed 20 hours a day, and I couldn't get more than 20 minutes of sleep at a time. 
  • Oh, and those early weeks?  No sleep.  Endless diaper changes.  Spit-up.  Figuring out a schedule.  Getting to know a new person.  Trying to constantly meet the needs of that tiny, helpless person.  Who cannot give you any feedback, except by crying.  Seriously.  Nothing.  Lower your expectations for awhile.
  • Things you will need:
    • White noise machine.  Seriously.  Best.thing.ever.
    • Twice as many bottles as you think you need.
    • Sleep sacks
    • Diapers
    • GOOD wipes that pop up easily.  We like the Huggies ones.
    • 4-5 onesies per day (especially if you have a constant spitter, like I did)
    • Bibs.
    • A comfortable chair.  Preferably one that rocks.
    • Plenty of television shows.  For those times when baby is only happy if you're holding him/her.  (Also, this will be the last time for awhile that you get to choose what you want to watch without worrying if someone is going to repeat it.  Enjoy it while it lasts.)
    • Someone else to clean your house.
  • Things you probably will not need:
    • Bottle warmers.  We had three.  We never used any of them.  Ever.
    • Wipes warmer.  Seriously, if they're cold, just hold them in your hand for a few seconds.  However, we learned the hard way not to leave wipes in the car for too long when it's below freezing.
    • Cutesy clothing.  Onesies and sleepers are FAR easier to deal with.
    • A plethora of hats.  Find one or two you really like, but honestly?  They probably won't wear them once their hands can find their heads.
    • Ditto socks.  Unless it's winter, and you're outside, they really aren't worth the trouble at first.
  • At the store, Rock Star parking goes from "Closest the door" to "Right next to the cart return".  I'm not joking.  Try returning a cart across the parking lot with a screaming infant.  This was honestly the.BEST advice I ever got pre-baby.
  • Your car, which was once HUGE, will no longer be big enough for everything the baby needs.  Even if you only have one kid.  And if you have to travel, you might as well rent a bus.
  • You will feel like completely overwhelmed by this child for quite awhile.  Actual time varies for each person, but trust me, you WILL feel it.
  • You need at least two diaper bags - one massive one with lots of pockets to keep every little thing you could possibly need.  Leave that one in the car.  The second should be purse-sized and hold a couple of diapers, some wipes, a change of clothes, and a bottle.  That's it.  That's the one you take into the store with you.
  • Even if you're breastfeeding, consider giving the kid bottles from time to time - even if it's pumped breastmilk.  It's a great way to allow Dad to help with a midnight feeding so you can get some sleep.  Also?  Way easier to hold a bottle with one hand and fold laundry with the other than it is to try to nurse and fold laundry.
  • Those little baskets for the dishwasher?  Invest in one.  They save SO much time on cleaning and sanitizing EVERYTHING your precious baby is going to put in their mouth.
  • Buy a hat for yourself and learn to wear it.  That way, no one can tell when you haven't been able to shower before making the store run.
  • Once baby is big enough to grab at things (which is as early as 6 weeks old), stop wearing jewelry for awhile.  Unless you like being strangled with your own necklace. :)
I have a ton more and may write another of these someday (because they're fun).  The biggest thing to remember, though, is that when it comes to advice (even this advice), listen to it all, then choose what works for you.  Ignore the rest.  Your child and your experience is unique.  No one else has to walk this road.  Just you.  So, make your choices and stand by them.  For all the crazy, awful, sleeplessness and horror, parenthood is worth it.  Promise.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


It is Thursday, a day Miles goes to 'school', and I can relax and get things done in the silence.

I never realize how noisy my life is until times like this.  There is no sound of Patrick, puttering around in the basement.  Miles is not here to make his incessant train noises.  Even the cat is napping, giving me respite from her sometimes-constant mews of conversation.  The TV is off.  There is no music playing.  There is only the hum of the refrigerator and the tapping of the keyboard.

These moments give me time to think, time to reflect.  Time to write, since that is my best outlet for reflection.  I look back at my last post, and remember the sheer panic that consumed me as I wrote it.  I remember it, but I do not feel it.  Not today.  The medicine - even at its super-low-dose - is working.  I still have bad days, and I know my temper is short sometimes, but overall, I am coping - something I couldn't do a week ago.  I still have days that leave me exhausted from the effort of putting one foot in front of the other, but I am managing, now.  In that respect, life is good.

My thoughts drift to other things.  The baby kicks, and I smile.  This child, so quiet, so different from Miles already.  I am terrified by the thought of balancing the needs of two children, especially if they are so utterly different as it seems they may be.  I don't say this lightly.  It is truly frightening, in many ways.  That doesn't mean I regret anything, or that I'm any less excited to meet this child.  But, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to the fear that comes with the unknown.  Especially when people are so quick to tell me how difficult the transition will be.  As if they delight in scaring pregnant women.  The same people who said, "Just you wait," when I was pregnant the first time, trying to terrify me, even then.  But Miles is truly a joy - an exhausting joy, but a joy, nonetheless.  I am sure this child will be, as well.

I look around, and realize all that I need to accomplish today.  This quiet reflection is nice, and even necessary, but now is the time for action.  As I begin my tasks, I leave you with this thought: Find quiet in your day - even if for just a few moments.  You will be surprised how refreshing it can be.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I can feel it. . .

The anxiety, creeping in.

I lie in bed, perfectly safe, and the walls close in.  I can't breathe right.  My thoughts are racing, yet it is nothing coherent.  Mental noise, nothing more, but it makes my heart beat faster.

I swallow, trying to catch my breath, and reach for my talisman.  My tree of life necklace that provides such comfort, even though it is a cheap piece of junk from Wal-Mart.  It doesn't matter, at this moment.  I need that necklace.  I grope for it, unable to find it.  Panic sets in.  My mind focuses down, only able to think, Where is it?  I need that necklace.  It's irrational, and some small piece of my brain is trying to tell me that, but the panic is so great that rational thought is drowned out.  I keep grasping, finally entwining my fingers in the chain.

I breathe a sigh of relief, and clutch the circle of metal to my chest.  Now, it will all be okay.  I have my tree. This world is bigger than just me.  I have strong roots in the ground, and my head brushes the clouds.  I am safe.  I am solid.  I am the tree, swaying in the storm, but refusing to break.  My breathing slows.  My pulse begins to even out.  Eventually, after what seems like hours, the panic fades to a memory, and I am exhausted from the effort.  I slip into a deep, dreamless sleep, the talisman still clutched tightly in my hand.  I am still holding it when I awake, hours later.

This has been my world for the past week.  Panic attacks, one after another, for days on end, until I am rendered nearly catatonic from the effort of breathing.  I take a deep breath, and sigh, and call the doctor.

Today, I begin the medication again.  Soon, these feelings will fade again, and I will be able to once again focus on all that is good in my life.  My amazing husband.  My perfectly wonderful son.  Family and friends who help me up every time I fall.  I have a warm home, a safe vehicle, and a bit of spending money to spoil my son.  I am blessed in every way, and in a few weeks, that will become clear again.

For now, I take that little blue pill and wait.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Birthday Questionnaire - Age 3

I found this idea somewhere, and loved it.  We did this pretty close to his birthday, over the course of several days (because he doesn't have near the attention span necessary for this).  And yes, I realize he's been three for over a month, now, but it's been a busy month. Anyhow, most of his answers were pretty predictable.  I love how when he didn't like the question, he just refused to answer it. :)


Thursday, November 1, 2012


We had a good one.  Hope you did, too! :)

Sir Miles, ready for trick-or-treating.

Done with house #1, looking for house #2.

Had to get his cute little cape.

Daddy & Miles.

Knock-knock. "Trick or treat!"

Nomming on candy and watching tv.
Definitely a success. :)