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Thursday Thoughts

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It’s raining. The sky is dark. I have a candle burning. Cookies baking. Baby sleeping. Toddler at the sitter. And some Allen Stone playing. Typically rainy days put me in a funk, but I’m actually enjoying the weather today. I truly think that my newfound hobby of cookie baking is helping keep my mind straight and focused. I really enjoy it!
Having a toddler and a baby has been a total learning curve. No one could’ve prepared me for it. Some days I’m pretty good at it and there are days when I walk into the bathroom to find my two year old playing with her poop in the toilet. At least she’s potty trained, though. This morning she put an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet so that was pretty awesome to clean up. Parents-As-Teachers came this morning to work with the kids and the teacher told me that Morgan, my two year old, was doing things that three and four year olds do………..but then she flushed a roll of toilet paper down the toilet and played with her poop, so I was like REALLY? HAHA. So I’m asking all my friends that are parents of three and four year olds……do your kids play with their poop on a regular basis or is that not one of the qualities the PAT lady was talking about? HAHA.
I went to the doctor yesterday for my last follow up appointment since having my baby. They called me the day before my appointment to let me know I was also the proud recipient of a pap smear. Do you even know how much work it is to prepare for a pap? I mean, let’s be real – I hadn’t shaved my legs above my knee since Colter was born 11 weeks ago. Who has time for that? Not me. The doctor asked me if I was sure I’m done having babies and I was like LISTEN DOC, my uterus has closed up shop. My uterus has retired. My uterus wants to be on a beach somewhere in Florida sipping a margarita. MY UTERUS IS DONE. No more babies for this momma. We had originally planned for a tubal but I had too much scar tissue from c-sections so we’ve decided for Chip to get snipped. Well, that was the plan until we watched a vasectomy on YouTube and now Chip says no one is getting near his goods with a knife and cauterizing tool. I can’t say that I blame him, but like I said, momma is done having babies so one of us is gonna have to bite the bullet and get something done. BYE BYE BABY MAKERS.
I talked to the doctor yesterday about anxiety. I’ll be honest with you (all five people who read this HAHA), anxiety has been BAD since I’ve had Colter. Almost debilitating at times. I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life, but after having kids, holy crap, it’s gone to a whole new level. When I was younger, it was mostly social anxiety. I’ve always been pretty good at hiding it because you know, we’re supposed to hide our crazy, right? I would lay in bed at night thinking about conversations I’d had earlier in the day or even the month prior, and how stupid I was for saying certain things or how dumb I must’ve looked. If I was in a crowd of people, I just knew that everyone was judging what I was wearing or what I was saying, or judging my hair, my teeth, my weight, etc. I still struggle with this and I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities because of my anxious fear. It’s so stupid, but it’s a real struggle. Back in January, Chip and I were invited to a friend’s birthday party. I was literally physically ill about having to go. I told Chip to go alone, but he didn’t want to, so I forced myself to go. I sat in the corner and didn’t talk to anyone because I was so sick to my stomach about having to be in the same room as all these women that were surely judging everything about me. It sounds stupid now, but the fear was so intense that I could feel it in my stomach. I’m sure people think that I’m rude, but sometimes it’s easier to appear rude than to put forth any effort in making conversation. Small talk makes me sweat and stutter and fumble my words. I hate crowds, yet I want to be invited. I’m gonna sound ridiculous here, but whatever. I want to be invited to things, but just know that I will more than likely back out last minute because the anxiety is so strong. Since I’ve had kids, the anxiety has turned into a fear of bad things happening to my kids or my family. I have this awful fear 100% of the time that my kids are going to die or that my husband will be in a wreck. It’s horrible. There’s medicine I can take, but it makes you extremely sleepy and well, I have a two year old that plays in the toilet, so I kinda need to stay awake to keep an eye on her. HAHA.
I’m not telling you all this so you feel sorry for me. In fact, I’m sure no one reading this will feel sorry for me at all. Instead, you’ll read this and think I’m certifiably insane. Fair enough. But anxiety is a real thing. I didn’t wake up one morning and ask to be socially awkward or afraid that my kids were going to get hurt. I didn’t ask to think that people don’t like me. I pray all the time for God to help my mind. Sometimes at night when my mind is reeling with a thousand thoughts, I have to pray over and over and over until I finally fall asleep. I’m thankful that I know God and that He helps me, but it is a daily struggle and maybe it’s there to remind me that I need Him. Who knows. Whatever the reason, I do have a tremendous amount of trust in God and know that for some reason, He thought I was the person for this specific job.
Much love.

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Mom Jeans

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There are a couple things that are really giving me life these days. One of those being high waist jeans. Listen ladies, after two babies and two c-sections, jeans that can cover my rolls and flappy skin are basically miracle workers. Another life giver is Halo Top blueberry crumble ice cream. It’s meant to be a healthy alternative to the fattening, sugary (but so frickin’ good), normal ice cream like Blue Bunny. But I don’t think it was intended to be eaten by the pint full….so basically I’d probably be okay to just eat the creamy, smooth, delicious Blue Bunny. I mean, I have jeans that sit higher than my belly button so truthfully I can eat whatever I want. HAHA
Speaking of Mom Jeans, I was doing a little math in my head the other day and realized that I’ll be in my FIFTIES when my kids are done with high school and starting college. When I left for college my mom was 38. THIRTY-EIGHT. I’m only a few short years from 38 AND I JUST GOT STARTED. What the literal heck. My mom was in her forties when all of her kids got married. I’ll be making Valentine’s boxes in my forties. I’ve always said that people should wait until they’re older to get married and start having kids so you can have fun in your early twenties but I TAKE IT ALL BACK. Get married at 18 and start popping those babies out. Then you can enjoy some quiet time in your thirties while I’m over here slapping under eye cream on the bags I have hanging. Okay, I’m kidding about getting married when you’re still a kid and starting a family, but I’d be lying if I said sleepless nights in your thirties are way different than the all-nighters I pulled in my twenties.
I didn’t get married until I was 28 or 27 ….. 28. Crap I don’t know. Who cares?! I’m actually grateful for waiting until I was done with college and had a job. Chip and I were both established and knew what we were doing with our lives….sort of. More so than if we’d met and married at 20. I wish I could say that I had the time of my life in my early twenties, but I lived with a manipulating, controlling boyfriend for close to five years and didn’t really have a life of my own. But he was rich, so there was that. HAHA Honestly, all the money in the world couldn’t have made me stay when I finally made up my mind that I was worth more than the cheating and emotional abuse.
So girls, if you take anything from this at all, let it be that you should enjoy your college days. Live it up. Be single. Go on trips with your girl friends. Date if you want, but enjoy yourself and don’t get tied down to anything that stunts what are supposed to be the most fun years! And don’t worry about being in your thirties to start a family. Your body doesn’t bounce back like it did in your early twenties but they make high waist jeans for that.  🙂

My Valentine

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This year, Valentine’s Day will be a new experience for Chip and me both. We will be in the hospital with our brand new baby boy (who we haven’t 100% given a name yet), and instead of a nice steak dinner somewhere in town, we’ll be ordering off the birthing unit dinner menu. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. The Boy will be born in less than 24 hours, and I can’t wait to spend Valentine’s Day with him and my Baby Daddy in the hospital.

As I sit here checking off last minute lists and trying to make sure I’ve remembered everything I need to do before I have this baby, I can’t help but think about My Valentine. Chip. What a guy. There truly is no one like him. I mean, probably somewhere in the world, there’s another “Chip,” but I’ve yet to meet anyone like him, and I’m glad. He’s special to me. One of a kind. Mine.

When we met, I was pretty smokin’ hot. I mean, I ran every day, ate healthy, didn’t jiggle when I moved. But as the years have gone by, I’ve gotten pretty fluffy and I definitely jiggle in a lot of places. I have stretch marks that look like I got attacked by a tiger. My butt has more craters than the moon. And he’s seen me in those awesome mesh underwear you get right after you have a baby. Actually a couple days ago, he looked at me and said, “I can NOT wait to see you in those mesh underwear again.”  HAHA When I was in the hospital after having our daughter, I’d had an emergency C-section, could barely move, and the doctor wouldn’t let me leave till I’d gone number two. I sent my sis-in-law to the store to get me some laxatives cause I wanted to go HOME! Well after a C-section, it’s harder to turn around on the toilet than one would think. I remember yelling to Chip to get in there quick. He came running and I told him I needed him to wipe my butt. He just looked at me like ARE YOU KIDING ME? I was not kidding.

So long story short, find a man who still loves you after two kids, stretch marks, jiggly skin, and will wipe your butt. I found a keeper. I love you, Chip.

Postpartum Depression: it’s a real thing.

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It seems like everyone I know has either just had a baby or is getting ready to have a baby soon, myself included!! This pregnancy has flown by for me, and I think having a toddler to chase around has helped pass the time!! I have a little over six weeks until my C-section is scheduled, and I pray that these weeks zip by like the last 30 something have!!

With all the babies being born, I wanted to take a minute to talk about my struggle with postpartum depression. I’ve shared my story before, but in my opinion, it’s worth sharing again. Postpartum depression, or the baby blues, isn’t talked about enough and there are so many mommas who struggle with this and need to know they aren’t alone.

When I had my first baby, no one warned me just how incredibly hard it was going to be. I mean, I went from being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it, to all of a sudden doing nothing but breast feeding and changing diapers. I was like IS THIS MY LIFE FOREVER? I knew before I had her that my life was going to change but I had no idea how drastically or in what ways. I was tired ALL THE TIME. I was angry. Then I felt guilty for being angry. I wondered if my baby felt enough love from me. My hormones were raging. I was depressed, but didn’t realize I was depressed and getting worse by the day. I had no freaking clue what was going on with me and my body. There were times when Morgan would be screaming and I’d have no clue what she needed so I’d lay her on the floor of her bedroom and walk out so I could gather my thoughts in a different (much more quiet) room. I knew that if I didn’t, I might be one of those moms you hear about on the news. HAHA. There were days when I was like, “Well, I’m done. I quit. I don’t want to be a mom anymore.” Then I’d have to laugh at myself because those weren’t even close to being options. I remember on St. Patrick’s Day after Morgan was born my cousins sent me a picture in a text of them out and about doing fun adult things and I got so mad at them. How dare they have fun while I’m sitting in a rocking chair with a baby on my boob!! HA. I would get so annoyed with my husband every night around 2:00 A.M. while I was feeding. I could hear him in the other room snoring and I’d have thoughts of shoving his head into a pillow so he couldn’t breathe. I’m telling you guys, birthing a child does a number on not only your physical body, but your mind as well. When Morgan was around nine months old, I knew I had to talk to my doctor about getting some help.

I remember sitting in my doctor’s office, crying, afraid he was going to call DFS on me when I told him I couldn’t stand to look at my baby because I was so depressed and sad and lonely and tired. Turns out he didn’t turn me in,  but he did tell me I was 100% normal and that I needed to try some medicine. I was like DUDE GIVE ME ALL THE MEDS RIGHT NOW. We tried several different medications until I found one that I knew was working for me. My daughter is two years old and I’m almost eight months pregnant and I STILL take 300mg of Wellbutrin on a daily basis. That’s the maximum dose, my friends.

Postpartum depression is real! Not everyone experiences it on the level that I did, and some don’t experience it at all. My mom was like a freaking unicorn with rainbows shooting out of her butt during and after pregnancy. She tells me she loved everything about it. My mom is a rare breed. 🙂 But friends, listen. It’s seriously okay if you’re sad after having your baby. It’s actually kind of normal. Hang in there. I’ve failed my daughter so many times, it’s unreal. But at the end of the day, she is still my girl. She still loves me and she still wants to give me kisses and wants me to play with her and read books to her. I started taking medication so I could be a better mom for her. I know some people don’t like the idea of taking meds every day, and I get that, but listen people — I had to do it and I’m so thankful for my doctor and for modern medicine. My husband thanks my doctor as well. HAHA.

Mommas, hang in there. They are only little once. I remember when Morgan wouldn’t fall asleep without breast feeding or me rocking her to sleep. You know they say there will always be a last time for those things, and you won’t even realize it when it’s the last time………… it just sort of happens. Gosh, that’s so true. Morgan goes to bed on her own now. She just crawls up in her big girl bed and we say her prayers and she tells me goodnight and I shut her door and that’s that. I wish she would let me rock her sometimes, but that’s a thing of the past. All those nights I was angry that I had to be up feeding her and not asleep in my own bed — I miss those. Isn’t that crazy?!?! I’d give anything for her to be my tiny little baby again. Crap. Now I’m crying. Being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but oh the most incredible blessing God has ever given me at the same time. He trusted me to be their momma. Something no one else can do. It’s so worth it, Mommas. I’m on your side. I’m in your corner. And in just a few short weeks, I’ll be up at all hours of the night with a brand new, tiny baby and I’ll think things like “WILL I EVER SLEEP AGAIN?” and “I WANT TO KILL MY HUSBAND FOR GETTING ME PREGNANT.” and “OH MY GOSH I LOVE THE SOUNDS THIS BABY MAKES WHEN HE EATS….” and it’ll all be worth it. Let’s do this together, Mommas. We need each other.

Anxiety, I hate you.

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Anxiety, I hate you so much. I hate the way you choke the life out of me. I despise the way you steal my sleep, and the way you sit on my chest like an elephant. I hate you. I hate the way you stand in the doorway, blocking me from leaving my house when all I want to do is spend an evening out with friends. I hate you. I hate you for making me the mom that worries constantly. I loathe all the times you’ve blurred my vision, made my head spin, and played drums inside my ears. I hate you. I hate it when you wrap your arms around me, disguised as a hug, but instead of feeling the comfort of familiar arms, I feel as though my bones will break, and my insides will turn to mush. I feel you physically in my back and my shoulders. I feel you running around inside my mind, making me imagine worst case scenarios. What if I get in a wreck and the airbag deploys and kills my baby? What if my daughter suffocates in her sleep? What if my husband never makes it home from work? Stupid Anxiety. Leave me alone. You’re an uninvited neighbor that overstays their welcome. I hate you. I hate you for making it impossible to enjoy my pregnancy. I hate it when you take my hand as though you care, but instead you grip me with fear. For years, I’ve begged you to go. Leave me alone. I never asked for you to visit. I never asked for you to stay. I hate you. Anxiety. You make me so tired, yet you steal my sleep. Sometimes I wish that you weren’t invisible so people could see you, hanging from my body like a ball and chain. Then maybe they would understand. Understand what? Why I overanalyze every conversation? Why I replay words over and over and over in my head? Why I fear every person in the room is picking me apart in their head? Why I’ve never felt good enough? Why I’m paranoid about my body? Why I’m only good at being a long distance friend? If they could see you, I wouldn’t be tasked with trying so hard to pretend. I hate you. Anxiety, I hate you.

Yes, I AM Tired

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I’ve had no less than five people tell me that I look tired this morning. It’ true – I AM tired. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. I’m tired. Exhausted actually. I had bit of a – what should I call it – breakdown last weekend. More like a “freak out, call your husband horrible names, say terrible things” kind of situation. I’m embarrassed about it. Part of me wants to blame these raging  pregnancy hormones surging through my body, but I also know that I have to own my actions and words and say I’m sorry then move on. That’s hard to do, though. Especially for someone like me who internalizes everything. I overthink. I overanalyze. I lose sleep over things that I said or did months ago. That is probably part of the reason why I’m so dang tired. Add to that the fact that my two year old, who has been a wonderful sleeper since day one, has not been sleeping well at all for a couple months. That’s part of this parenting gig, though, so I learned a long time ago that complaining about it really doesn’t make the situation better.

If I’m being completely honest, I feel like I’m half-assing everything in my life. Not by choice. That’s just about all I have to offer right now. I’m barely keeping my head above water. Aren’t we all, though? I don’t know. I want to give 100% in every area of my life, but I’m being pulled in so many directions that I can’t really afford to give 100%. Planning lessons, setting up IEP meetings, preparing for IEP meetings, having IEP meetings, updating IEPs, progress monitoring – the list goes on and on – leaves me very little time to be an effective teacher. If all I did was paperwork, I’d be awesome at paperwork. If all I did was plan my lessons and teach them, I’d be a way more effective teacher. If I wasn’t so mentally drained at the end of the day, I would feel more like interacting with my daughter. If I had just a little more time and energy, my house could stay clean and the laundry would be put away instead of the five baskets full of clothes on my bedroom floor. Maybe if I wasn’t constantly trying to figure out how to squeeze in one more thing to do, I wouldn’t dread making dinner for my family at night. Maybe I would actually walk three miles every evening like I did before I was married and had kids. Maybe I would be a better friend and not cringe when I’m asked to hang out with people on the weekends. Maybe I would be a little more excited to have baby #2 in four months. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? I’m excited, but the last five months I’ve been too busy to even remember that I’m pregnant some days.

So, yes. I AM tired. But I have to keep on keepin’ on. What other options do I have, really?

 

Raising a Confident Daughter

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My little girl wakes every morning like a shot from a pistol. She wears a shirt sometimes that says NEVER SLOW DOWN and it’s so true. She is full of life and spunk. She’s independent, smart, and fast! She talks nonstop. She wears me out at times. Oh, but I love her so much. I love to watch her play. Lately she’s been saying “I’m okay…..I’m okay,” when she falls down or gets hurt in some way. She’s tough. She isn’t afraid of anything. She loves to collect bugs and dead worms. She will ride our horse all day long if we let her. BY HERSELF. It scares me half to death to watch her in the saddle by herself, but her daddy is teaching her to sit and hold the reins and how to tell the horse to go and stop. It’s terrifying and exciting all at once. I hope she is always ready to take on a challenge.

I am absolutely terrified of raising a little girl. Don’t get me wrong – she is my pride and joy, the best thing that has ever happened to me. But how do I raise a confident, self-loving daughter when I have zero self-confidence or love towards myself? I’m a teacher. I teach what I know. I learn new things to teach my students. I’m constantly looking for ways to help my students be successful after high school. But how – how on earth- do I teach my daughter to love herself when I don’t know what it’s like to love me? I find myself looking in the mirror and saying nasty things out loud about myself while Morgan is standing in the room with me and I instantly feel bad because I don’t want her to hear those things. I don’t want her to soak those words up and think them about herself. What a sad thought that is. I’m almost always over analyzing every situation. When I’m in a crowd, my anxiety is through the roof because I can’t stop thinking about what everyone else is thinking about me. Are they looking at my jiggly arms? My belly? My thighs? The gaps in my teeth? What are they thinking about me? It’s a disgusting obsession that I have, honestly. I have been so depressed and discouraged lately because I’ve gained weight. I realize I’m pregnant but every time I look down and see my belly has gotten bigger, I feel disgusting. I feel so gross.

So how……………..how do I raise Morgan to be better? I don’t want her to be like me. I don’t want her to hate what she sees in the mirror. She’s so beautiful….her eyes, her smile, her perfect skin, and her curly hair. But it isn’t just her outer beauty. She’s funny, she’s so happy, she’s smart, she loves her friends and her cousins. I never want her to miss out on an opportunity because she isn’t confident in who she is. I never want her to turn down a job because she feels inadequate. I never want her to turn down an invitation because she doesn’t feel pretty enough to hang out in a crowd.

So what do I do from here?