Friday, January 12, 2018

5 Things Making Me Feel Great!

Last week, I mentioned the Winter Blues were hitting hard and early. So this week I thought I would mention five things lately that have been really making me feel almost like a new woman!

No, I am not pregnant. I just really like these vitamins. I seriously, will never swallow another multivitamin again. I take two of these and then some other supplements like Iron, Fish Oil, Vitamin D, B12 and Vitamin C.  So I have been taking these regularly for two weeks. Game changer! I feel so much better physically, more alert and just a tad more energetic.

My daily goal is 96 ounces of water. Definitely do not always hit that goal, but I sure try my hardest. Nothing bugs me more than when someone drinks from my water cup because then I feel like my "count" is over.  Silly but true!  I know we all hear it all the time how important water is to our bodies. However, it is so crazy after barely drinking any water except in the form of coffee to regularly drinking water. I feel so much better!

Now, I know she is not the trendiest work out available at the moment, but girlfriend knows how to squeeze a killer workout into 30 minutes. Jillian kicked my booty after 2 babies. She helped me get into shape for the first time year ago. She is brutal but she is my homegirl for life. (She just doesn't know it). I also love a good kettlebell work out, so this is definitely one of my favorite DVD's to do. It does always get a little interesting when I have two little boys running around me while I am trying to swing the kettlebell.

I have been trying to make sure I read around 30 minutes a day. I really enjoy reading and I love a variety of books. These two I finished this week. They could not be more opposite but like I said I like a variety. Only problem is that I have a tendency when I am reading novels to stay up waaaay too late to finish the book.

  My alarm has been going off at 4am the past two weeks. It is not pretty. Thankfully my husband leaves my coffee on my nightstand before he leaves for work. He wakes up at 3:30am for work. The coffee almost makes up for him laughing every morning when the alarm goes off. My boys wake up anywhere between 5:30-6am. So this lets me having some coffee, and just prep and start the day in a calm manner. Over the past few months, I stopped doing this and I missed it. It is so crazy what a difference it makes in my attitude. I wish I could say I just out of bed and hop on my treadmill, but that would be a lie. I am more like that e-card up there. I need a full cup of coffee in me before I can even stomach the idea of physical exercise. My next goal is to carryover this habit in to the weekend. That one is a tough one.  Really, who wants to be up early on the weekend?

So there are just a few of the things making me feel great this week.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Winter Blues

So usually around mid February or early March. I get really sick of winter.  By that point we have had our deep freeze, a string of couple big storms and I have been locked away for awhile. 

It is the first week of January and I already am SO desperate for summer. Or at least warm temperatures. 

It is been ridiculously cold for weeks now.  Christmas had some decent storms and then this week we had more storms.  My boys were sick basically all of December and now Henry has another minor ear infection and Charlie has another little cold. 

We live in the country which means that there are not a lot of options for things to do. We have play spaces but they are all at least 45 minutes away. So that usually means I will lose my nap time if we go, which basically is my only source of "down time". 

I think I used to have regular monthly "Mama nights". Where I would meet friends for dinner and that definitely helped recharge me. Unfortunately those are not really an option anymore. I have definitely have noticed a difference without a regular break allowing me to just relax and be me. 

So obviously we need some solution because we still have a long time to go before winter is over!  We need ways to break up the cabin fever. One thing I know for sure is that a happy Mom means for a happy house. I have learned that I really do tend to set the tone for the house. If I am cranky and emotional, not to surprisingly my children respond with similar attitudes. It can be a vicious cycle! 

So some solutions I have come up with are

1. Embrace the lazy.  The long summer days means lots of summer projects and yard work. I remember being SO tired during some of those summer days. So right now is a perfect time to catch up on some movies, and read all the books on my nightstand and kindle. If I want to veg out on the couch after the boys go to bed. Well there you go. Enjoy it, because this will only last a bit. 

2. Find some projects. I know this is basically the opposite of the first but oh well. I have so many sewing and quilting projects I would like to get done. I started a quilt for Henry when I was pregnant and it is still only half done.  This is also a good time to get some house projects done as China Man has more availability to get these projects done. 

3. Just suck it up and drag our behinds to the play space or other things. We do live in Maine, we won't die if it is cold. It just happens to have been border line unsafe cold and with two kiddos who keep getting we have been playing it unsafe. 

4. Life of Luxury. Sounds so silly but with the dry and cold weather I have been so OCD about my skin the past few months. I have been doing charcoal masks, hydro masks, collagen masks, constantly using lotion and drinking around 96-100 ounces of water a day.  It really only takes 15-20 minutes but it makes me feel so better. I probably will not be stopping the wrinkles and lines that keep popping up on my face lately, but it must be doing something good. Plus it is just fun. 

5. Welcome to the Grind. Just focusing on some fitness and health goals. Everyone is always eating healthy in January anyways why not join the bandwagon. It is always nice to enter spring and summer in good shape. Also those exercise endorphins are pretty fabulous buddies to have when you spend most days by yourself with 2 toddlers. 

So that is the plan for January. We will shall see if it helps or not. If it does not, you will probably just find me looking for houses in the South. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


It is a new year with a so called clean slate. I am the walking cliche for New Years. I get SO excited. Ask my husband.

I love thinking of goals, reflecting on the past year and the fresh start for the year.  This year as 2017 ended, I was kind of sad. It seems like this past year we did not move forward in a lot of ways which was disappointing. I honestly barely remember the first 4 or 5 months of 2017 I was in such a Post Partum fog.  Then when that finally cleared up, I was trying to regroup and be "me" again but we were busy building a shed/chicken coop, planting a huge garden and just summer in Maine. The church we thought would be our new home, did not work out at all which actually hurt me more than I actually expected. Then again when I was starting to get some mojo going, we lost Baby 3. And that just is not something you bounce back from despite what everyone else seems to think. Seems like all of my relationships weakened this year as well.  Add in some other events were expected to have happen this year that did not and it seems like 2017 was a lot of set backs and disappointments .

This is something that I am working on this year. I really can not control any thing my life with the exception of my attitude and outlook. What is going to happen will happen.  I do not really enjoy being a roller coaster of emotions.

I do monthly goals rather than yearly goals. It helps me stay focused on things better. They also let me stay focused on current needs. So if I need to work on something in my relationships, household or with my kids, it helps me focus that month on what is important.  Usually I pick a word or phrase that kind of describes my motto for the year.
    This is my motto/phrase for 2018. I am not making any big plans for myself or expectations of where I would like to see my family. It seems like the harder I work or focus on things the more frustrated I become and less progress I see. I still have things I would like to see happen this year with my boys and personal projects. However, I am not basing my life on these.

A few weeks ago, I read about Hillary Scott from the band Lady Antebellum. I am not really a big fan of the group. However, I was reading how she had experienced a miscarriage awhile back and one way she dealt with the grief was she wrote the song "Thy Will".  So naturally I found it on Youtube.  The lyrics honestly just described SO much of what I was feeling and thinking.

 Those words are everything. I will probably never understand why God chose to take my baby. People say all the time " He has a plan".  Currently, I still do not understand or even particularly like "The Plan". But I am open and trusting to what God may have. 

So if I had to describe 2017, it was the year that completely broke me in every way. But it is the year that really showed me the person and mother I am supposed to be. I learned to accept things a little better than I used to and to not always think " I can not handle this".  I learned to focus on my boys more, not expect things to be "Pinterest perfect".  To always try and go the extra mile for other people. To wake up early just to drink my coffee in silence ( game changer!), to finally put moisturizer on my face, to not expect my husband to look at the world the way I do, and I learned how to care for chickens.  

2018 is not a clean slate because I am bringing some scars from 2017 with me, but for the first time I do not feel desperate for this year to be the year everything changes and gets better. I just am curious to see how 2018 will unfold, there are a lot of different things it could bring. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Life can be a funny and cruel thing.

When we decided to have a baby the first time, everything happened so easily. Within 3 months of deciding we would try for a baby, we found out I was pregnant. Sure morning sickness knocked me on my behind but everything was fine. Then with Henry he was simply our "surprise baby" and pregnancy with him was actually pretty easy. Just the normal aches and pains of pregnancy.  It was easy and simple.

I think every married couple has that conversation when it is time to have kids to discuss, how many kids they want. Then after you have your first child, you revisit that topic. Because lets be honest, the expectations vs the reality of kids is very different. My number has always been 3. I wanted 3 kids. Even when life was crazy insane with the 2 boys, I would look at them and know. We were missing the final piece to our family.  On Columbus Day, I found out we were expecting Baby Cota #3. I always kind of go into shock after we find out we are pregnant. Like suddenly it hits me how much will have to change and I immediately create a massive mental "to do" list for both China Man and myself.

Even after we found out, I had this nagging feeling that something wasn't right. I estimated to be between 6-7 weeks pregnant and I was not throwing up yet. I always have been experiencing morning sick by then. I made my intake appointment for the following week and we started the funny time period where you know you are pregnant but you want to give it more time before you announce it to many people. Later in the week, I started having weird cramps and I wanted to panic but I told myself cramps are normal and part of pregnancy. They were all in my lower back and hips which Google told me was not a good sign but there was literally nothing I could do. So I just kept on going with life and prayed literally for a miracle. The next morning China Man left for a hunting trip. I was supposed to be going away for the weekend with the boys and my family. So I got up to start packing when I realized everything I had been worried about was coming true. I was losing our baby.

The next few hours were kind of a horrible blur. I had to send the most horrible text to my husband telling him what was happening. I basically went through mini labor with contractions and cramping. You hear about when people go through things like this how sympathetic and helpful their nurses and doctors were. That was not the case for me. The midwife I spoke to, NEVER made any notes that she spoke to me so the ultra sound appointment she said I should have never was scheduled. Until we called later in the morning, and the office learned of it for the first time. Then they very begrudingly scheduled us for the last appointment of the day  in the most inconvenient hospital in the middle of the city. When we did make it to the hospital no one would look at us, or even really explain anything. When I had the blood work done, when the lab tech heard the reason I was there her response was " Well good luck with that, hope it works out". It simply made a horrible experience worse.

The thing about losing a baby that early in the pregnancy is that you almost feel over dramatic for being as sad as you are. I did not carry this baby long, I lost it naturally, we had not made too many plans and we had not even told anyone yet. In so many ways this child had not changed our lives in any way yet. I remember telling China Man on the way back from the hospital that I was okay.  I told him I was not going to be an emotional wreck and we would be fine.  He just kissed my hand and told me we would still go to the mountains for the weekend because they always make me feel better.

The thing about grief is that it comes in waves. Everyone who has experienced grief will tell you that. Friday, I was in shock and denial. Saturday, I woke up with a broken heart, sore body and hole in my heart that will never be filled. I have experienced grief before but the grief of losing a baby is on a very different level. It runs deep and to your core. When I woke up the next morning, I honestly the hole and pain in my heart was crippling. Even now when I remember it, I tear up.  I hurt so much inside, it was a level of pain and grief so deep. I went through the motions of the day, and tried to enjoy the mountains. For the first time in my life, being in the mountains could not fill me with comfort or calmness. All I could think was that for the rest of my life I will have a child, I never got to hold.  A baby I never covered in kisses, tickled their belly or gave them weird nicknames.  My body which has always been strong and capable betrayed me and did not protect our baby. And believe me, I have heard it many times. That this baby was just not healthy and this is natures way. However,  that does not make it hurt any less. Sickly or not, that was my baby.

Life moves on whether you want it to or not. Which in some ways is worse, because then you feel so awful that life is moving on and your baby isn't moving on with you. I read that miscarriage is a lonely thing, and it is very true.   I learned that babies who miscarry at this stage are known as "Angel Babies".  I purchased an angel wing necklace to keep my angel baby with me always.  China Man also bought a lilac bush to plant in memory of our baby.  People will occasionally ask how I am doing still, and it is a funny question to me. I feel like I will never be okay again. My life is my children and I will forever be missing one child. Every week at some point during the week I am reminded that I should be carrying a baby.

The funny part about all of this is that I really wanted this third baby.  China Man had been on the fence about a third child, and I was the one that pushed for this baby. I was so excited for this baby.  This was the first baby, I was just pure happy about, no other emotions.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

My Experience with PPD

I have been open on here that in the past I struggled with depression and anxiety. I also stated that everyone expected me to struggle with post partum depression after Charlie was born. That was not the case. Even the standard two weeks that you are expected to be "extra emotional", I was not that emotional with Charlie. I just jumped into Motherhood and honestly, it felt like a natural fit for me. As though, I had finally found something I was good at.

Then we unexpectedly found out we were expecting our second child. I think there was SO many changes and so much happening after we found out that we were pregnant that I never really had any time to fully accept it. I knew it was happening, and I prepared for it in the appropriate manner. However I never accepted it or got super excited about it. And honestly, no one else really did either. Everyone kind of treated it the pregnancy like something that had happened to us. People were obviously politely happy, but no one was celebrating our baby. Which it was not their jobs to do that either. Everyone was super helpful with everything, so I 200% appreciate that.

Then our sweet little Henry was born. This time when he was put in my arms, I knew he was mine. He was my second baby and he was so sweet. Immediately, it seemed like he was happiest in my arms and I honestly never put him down in the hospital. He was born at midnight and I stayed up almost all night just holding him and admiring him. Because he was mine, and I could do that.  Literally from the moment he was born, he has been a Mama's Boy.

I think my first clue that something was not going right was when we left the hospital and started driving home. My husband, called his mom to update her on everything. I heard her make a comment about how crazy things at home were going to be now and how much was about to change. For the first time in my life I had a legitimate panic attack. I started crying, I could barely breathe, it was like the world was crashing in on me. Poor China Man was driving through a busy section of town, holding my hand and encouraging me to breathe. I kept telling him, that I was not ready to be the Mom to 2 little ones. I felt like I barely survived the day with an 18 month old most days. How was I going to survive with a newborn and an 18 month old?  He kept telling me that it would be okay and that I was a good mom.

The first few weeks, I had a few more anxiety attacks over relatively minor things. But we just assumed it was the "2 week emotional period". When China Man went back to work, I was so scared. I cried a lot the day before he went back to work. Even though my Mom was coming up to help with dinner, bath and bedtime ( China Man was still on second shift). I felt like I was in such a fog and I could not shake it. Henry was a very, very gassy baby. So I eliminated a lot of food from my diet, and he still just cried ALL the time. China Man left for a hunting trip when Henry was 3 weeks old. Everyone thought he was nuts for leaving me so soon, but I kept telling myself. " I am an Type A, independent person. I can do this". My sister even came up to help for some of the time. She took me out for dinner, and I remember sitting at the table listening to her talk and all I could think was "I want to run away".

When Henry was a month old, we finally came to the understanding that he had colic. Aka, he cried from 3pm to 9pm (at least) every single night. It was awful.  For anyone that has had a baby with colic you know, how nothing makes your baby happy. How no matter what you do, or how hard you try he will just scream and scream. So naturally, people don't really want to hold a baby with colic and China Man was usually busy with Charlie. So I always was holding the fussy colic baby. Which means, I got really good at learning how to soothe him. Which meant, I held him even more. When other people would hold him, I would get so nervous because just the slightest wrong movement might mean 30 minutes of pacing, rocking and swaying for me.
Passing around Henry during family photos had me SO stressed out at 6 weeks old 

Then when Henry was between 1-2 months old, Charlie hit a HUGE sleep regression. He started waking up for 2-3 hour chunks in the night himself. I was going 24 hours a day on Mom duty with no real break or substantial sleep. The thing about your 2nd baby, is that everyone expects you to have everything under control a lot sooner. The thing about being Type A is that you expect yourself to have everything under control and when you don't you get very upset with yourself. You start to lecture yourself about getting it together, and telling yourself lies such as "You are weak, and a bad mom". Now I see that Charlies sleep regression was his way of dealing with all of the changes in the house.

I was in a fog and I could not wake up. I would look at my children and feel nothing. I knew what I was expected to feel and I could go through the motions very well. I would wake up and just start the countdown to bedtime. I tried to talk to the midwife about it at my follow up appointment, but I am not very good at talking about how bad things. I portrayed it like things were getting better. To be fair, at the time I really did think they were. I believed they were getting better because when I look at my 2 month old, I actually was starting to feel some fondness for him.

One day I tried to go to the store with both boys and it was not the most successful trip. Henry screamed the whole time. Charlie tested his limits and I remember sweating through my shirt. People made comments like " Oh you are the screaming baby I heard on the other side of the store". Which is not a big deal, but to a sleep deprived, sensitive Mom it was the meanest comment ever. After that trip I refused to go anywhere with both boys alone for 3 months. I saw pictures of friends with their newborns and they were just loving life and adoring their baby.  I wondered what was wrong with me. Why did I not love newborn life? Why was my baby so unhappy? Why was I failing as a Mom?

When Henry was around 3-4 months old, I had to rush him to the doctor because apparently he had developed a really bad ear infection but never gave us any clues until that one afternoon. They said scary things to me like " Permanent hearing loss". I cried and cried on the way home because I felt like such a bad mom to this little human. I wondered what he did wrong to get stuck with me. Everything just seemed so hard and impossible. For the record, his hearing is totally fine and it was just freakish scare.

In January, I just stopped trying. I just did not have it in me anymore. For as cliche as it sounds, when I stopped expecting certain things and for life to be a certain way, life improved for me. I stopped worrying about everything.  I did not worry what I was not getting done in the day. Instead when I got annoyed about how messy the house looked, I started listing off the things that I did accomplish so far. It also helps that Henry is no longer colicky, Charlie is back to sleeping normal, and we sort of have a routine around here. It was a gradual thing and did not happen over night. Hindsight is always 20/20 because now I see a 100 things I should have done differently. I basically did everything they tell you not to do. I did not ask for help,  I kept assuming it would get better and just struggled for six months in lonely fog. People will frequently ask "Why I didn't say anything at the time".  But honestly, I was so tired, so depressed and so isolated. I was always hoping someone would notice me drowning and just take over. That is not real life though.

Now Henry is 12 months old. He is almost completely mobile, definitely a climber and life has reached a new level of crazy with 2 mobile little boys. I still have days where I am extremely happy to see bedtime arrive but I do not spend my days counting down for it. I am no longer afraid to leave my house with the 2 boys. In the spring, I made a goal to visit one place a week with the boys. That helped all get really good at going places the 3 of us. We have been lots of places exploring this spring and summer. We have tried music classes, story times, visited parks and been beach bums all summer. I absolutely love my boys with all of my heart and love our little adventures. Some may not always be successful but we try.

I don't really know why I decided to share all of this. And mad props to you if you actually made it all the way through. I think maybe just to say, even when you think someone has it all together, that does not mean they really do. If you have the thought to do something nice, or even just say something encouraging. Do it. Because how many other people do you think are thinking about doing something nice for that person? Sometimes don't just say " Is there anything you need?" If that person looks like they need something just deliver that freezer meal, just help fold that laundry or ask to spend time with them. Little things go a long way I think.

Linking up with Annie and Natalie today:-) 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday Happiness!

Happy Friday Friends! It has been a sickly week around here so many runny noses and so little sleep! But that is okay, the cold common cold and yuckies can't stay here forever.  Not to sound too selfish but my one goal is to not get sick myself. I am pretty sure there is nothing worse than being a sick Mom. oih!!

Despite the excessive sniffles and coughing happening around here, there are have been some fun moments too.

1. Leprechaun Bait

One day, I opened Pinterest and this was ALL over my feed. It looked sugary, disgusting and I had to try it! It is also perfect because Charlie loves to "cook" so he could pour and mix these ingredients. Until the melted white chocolate part, of course.  We made it for a play date. Unfortunately the play date got cancelled thanks to all the sickies. Soooo, it is up to me to finish it ;-) 

 Charlie has started this habit of just randomly coming up behind me, wrapping his chubby little arms around my neck and kissing my shoulder. How can you not melt when he does that. 


   This little squish is just killing it in the cuteness department this week. Even though he is a stuffed up mess, he is still in such a good mood. I have to admit, I was a little surprised. He is not always the  most low key child. We have been working on eating our solids and sleeping through the night. In true Henry fashion, it has not been the easiest transition. I am starting to think Baby Led Weaning might be more his style. He really enjoys gumming things on his own. 

    We tried this dinner this week 

 It was pretty tasty! It is a big meal so we had leftovers for a few days. I think I would make it again. I do love a good casserole. 

5. April the Giraffe  is anyone totally sucked into it? I checked in on her so much this week. Like at 2am when I am nursing my little babe, I check in on that Giraffe mama. I feel like my odds are really high when I check at 2am. I told my friend, I just know she will go into labor when I am nowhere near my phone. 

So those are some highlight from this week that do not include lysol, vitamin C and lemon tea 
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Birthday Weekend

It's official, I am now the mom of a 2 year old.

If you need me, I'll just be in the corner crying and hugging his newborn clothes. 

Don't worry, I am only half kidding. I may have had a minor emotional "moment" after he went to bed on his birthday. These past 2 years have been so incredibly challenging, exhausting, and fun. He seriously does make me laugh every single day. While I am so, so sad that he is not my little baby anymore I love seeing all the things he is learning and figuring out. He is just turning into such an independent little boy. Then when I look back at who he was on his first birthday compared to now... such a big difference 

 This year his birthday theme was donuts. Charlie loves donuts and is kind of so-so about cake. So it was the perfect theme. 
 The closest, I will ever come to being a pinterest Mom. 

We had my family and best friend over for pizza ( his favorite food) and donuts. If there is one thing that Charlie loves more than anything else, it is being the center of attention. So he was tickled pick on his birthday. 

I really wanted to get a family photo of the four of us, but that it such a difficult thing to achieve. I do not even understand why but it is. 

It is hard for me to believe that I have now been a Mom for two years. I remember when they put little newborn Charlie in my arms and I had to keep reminding  myself that he was mine and that I was his mom. Now everything I do is based around him and his brother. Even when I went shopping on my birthday, I mostly shopped for him! 

So that was our big fun for the weekend. Now lets all take a deep breathe to see if I can survive the Terrible 2's! 

Crystal at Hall Around Texas | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
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