Sunday, April 24, 2016

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going

Six twenty three p.m. Boys on the couch,  me at the table. I have to write. It has been so long.

Writing used to be part of me, something I loved to do, even if I didn't hit "publish."

So to sum up quickly in an old-school set of bullet point posts.

I used to be mad at mom friends who had their baby and then stopped writing. I thought "How rude! Certainly there has to be a way she can post, even without pictures!"

And then Post Partum Depression smacked me in the face. It's an angry and difficult dragon, and it brought along with it the worst thoughts about myself. Whenever I say Post Partum Depression, people automatically think I wanted to hurt the baby or myself. But really it wasn't that way. It was more like I was a dirty dishrag sitting in the sink molding every day and I couldn't seem to get things right. I felt out of place, I felt out of sorts, I felt like a bad mother all the time. All the tiiime.

All I wanted was for everything to be okay. I was in survival mode for many months dealing with it, just day to day functioning. Pouring coffee, drinking coffee, taking the baby to daycare and making complicated childcare swaps. Coming home and feeling so tired even though I had scored a job that wasn't as physically demanding. Coming home and feeling like I didn't have the energy to do what a good mom might.

I got a work at home type job for a while and we made it work, though every month around bonus day I spent hours hyperventilating about whether my bonus would cover the missing chunk in our rent check. My anxiety was through the roof and I worked a lot of hard and wasted hours but at least I was home with my baby.

Things slowly got better as I ironed out issues in my life and with my health...starting Trim Healthy Mama in September of 2015.

Finally in November I went back to work at my old CNA job at the hospital on a very part-time basis. We no longer pay through the nose for childcare, and anytime Lucas is not with me he's at home with his dad, which I am way more comfortable with.

Now here I am, busy as ever but working at a fulfilling job and finally feeling fulfillment as a mom. Finally things feel okay. Finally.

I am currently juggling lots of projects including going back to school for nursing and decorating my house, and I am hoping to share it with you! :D

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

First steps on a grown up bedroom

Time to write. I have been taking the day off from work. Even though I am much less filled with anxiety thanks to lots of prayer, essential oils, and attempting to take a break, I have been overwhelmed with my work lately. It's all what I have allowed myself to do though rather than any particular demands I am faced with.

So today I have taken the day off and I am trying to do something that I have been meaning to do ...well, just about forever.

I have been painting the bed.

It's a big painting project, but I have hated the color and finish ... since I can remember. Orangey wood finish is NOT my favorite but James was adament we keep it... until the dogs started sleeping on the bed, scratching the base, and various moves have bestowed dings and dents.

Someone gifted me a couple quarts of blue paint, and three coats used about half a quart. I still have a few touch ups to do (and I need to fluff the pillows and put them on the bed) but here's the transformation:

There isn't really a "before" for me to show... I didn't take all that many pictures of our room. But I am super excited to share progress pics and have a "grown up" bedroom :) More to come! :D 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Some things I wish I had shared when I was pregnant

I kind of clammed up here when I was pregnant with Lucas.

It was a time I thought would be full of joy and excitement. Instead it left me a wreck. I felt like I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. Ever.

For example when we found out that Lucas was going to be a Lucas Gregory and not a Jessica Lacey (that was our girl name, by the way) I didn't know that I was already supposed to have a nursery theme chosen. If I could be completely honest, I was extremely surprised that I was still pregnant. After eight years of no-baby-whatsoever and three years of ...somewhat spotty "protection," I was kind of expecting a miscarriage. I thought something was wrong with me. Lucas' nursery was still full of boxes from our recent move. James' family joked that Lucas' bedroom theme would be "hobo chic." No help at all.

I guess after all that time imagining having a baby, I lost my vision and I couldn't really visualize what that meant. Nor did I want to. I was really scared that I would be a bad mother, that I wouldn't be able to give Lucas the love or attention he needed. That our family would many couples split up after children (but not us!).

We also had a lot of medical drama going insurance wasn't covering enough, even though it was provided through the hospital. I was anxious about the medical bills that were piling up. I was working up to twelve hours a shift on my feet, moving up large overweight people in bed by myself, worrying about abruption every time, until two weeks before I delivered. I had to have my boss change my last day of work, I was scheduled to be induced that day.

I had a velamentous cord insertion too, meaning if I went into hard labor at any time the cord could have detached before the baby was out leading to catastrophe. If they catch it early there is a 100% survival rate, but my OB didn't tell me that. I didn't like him -- he threw terms around and then gave no corresponding information. He treated me like I was stupid. My second OB was better, but it took a lot of courage to go and see her. Dr. Brenna did NOT pull any punches with me. I liked her a lot.

All the preparations I made for our new baby were mostly thrifting clothes and putting the nursery together. When we were at the hospital I had to send James to Wal-Mart for newborn diapers because we didn't have any! My little baby stash did not have enough hats and socks, and we were constantly going to the store for diapers after Lucas arrived.

Anyway that's all I have to say at the moment :) I am sure there will be more later. <3

Monday, April 27, 2015

About that essential oil fad...

I know essential oils seem to be everyone's favorite thing.

And I like them too!

(No, I do not sell them. :-P)

I "discovered" essential oils just about when everyone else did. I had been pregnant for a while and I realized that I wasn't able to have many of the medications that I was used to. No Excedrin Migraine for my -- well, migraines. No ibuprofen for the tendonitis that was plaguing me thanks to extra blood flow. No good cold medicine even. I could only have Tylenol Cold, which doesn't work for me.

So I sought out a nurse friend who I knew was a little "crunchy." I asked her what pain medication or...anything...I could take for all of the pain I was experiencing. She directed me to an arnica-based pain reliever called Traumeel. It cost almost twenty dollars...but it worked. After that I was a little more trusting of natural remedies.

I like essential oils for lots of things -- cleaning for sure. I love to make my own disinfectant with 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water, and some lavender (which has natural disinfectant properties). Sometimes I put orange or tangerine or grapefruit oil in my water and that is yummy. I put a little cotton ball with whatever oil I want (usually peppermint or grapefruit) in the chamber of my vacuum cleaner to prevent the stinky dog air from escaping :). I also make natural carpet deodorizer with baking soda and essential oils, and it works super well! :)

At night if I am wound up lavender helps me sleep. Peppermint helps me with my migraines (both pain and nausea) and I also smear it in the corners of rooms on a cotton ball to keep away ants and spiders -- it has worked so far, and this house used to have many many spiders! I have rubbed Tea Tree Oil on my feet when I have a cold coming on and it helps reduce the cold symptoms. I carry orange oil in my bag to sniff when I am feeling grouchy. While this is no replacement for a relationship with God, sometimes a prayer and a quick sniff of something bright and "happy" can put me right when we are at a family event or I am out for work.

If you are thinking about trying them, I would give you  two thumbs up! :) If you don't know where to start or wonder what things smell like, most "natural" grocers have an essential oils section. Although some brands smell better than others! :) It at least will give you an idea. I would also start using them in your cleaning products if you DIY them -- it helps mask the vinegar smell <3