Monday, January 31, 2011

What my dog and I have in common

You've heard me talk (write) about my love/hate/hate relationship with my dog Max. I have always loved dogs and been able to love them through most of their shenanigans. I gravitate toward dogs more than cats because cats are still mysterious to me since I never had one growing up. I don't dislike cats I just don't really relate to them very well. Dogs I understand. They like to eat and go chase something. They like to be rubbed around their neck and that's pretty much all you need to know. We had a chihuahua that lived to be 18 years old. Did you know that? Anyone who grew up with me remembers Maverick. Ah Maverick. There are some dogs that you could stand to have for 18 years and I'm not sure he was one of them. But we loved him. We didn't have a choice.


Max is Sean's dog and Sean is his master. If there was ever a question of who Max obeys just camp out in my house for a few hours and it'd be clear. I am like Max's big sister who feeds him and makes sure he goes out to potty but my no means does that make me his master in his eyes. He likes me just fine and I tolerate him. It's a beautiful friendship. Well. It's a friendship. A partnership at best.

When Max was a puppy he freaked out every time Sean left him at the house. He'd tear things up and have kind of panic attacks yelping and would even eat his collar off so he could chase after Sean's car. He was kinda pitiful. (So I've been told...see I wasn't in the picture at this point.) Sean took him to the vet and explained his behavior. The vet said that anxiety is common in labs when they are away from their masters and he prescribed Prozac for baby Max. Sean thought it was funny and a little excessive but he gave Max the meds and they totally helped. From time to time once we were married Sean would tell me stories about when Max was on anti-anxiety meds and how he had outgrown the need for them.

Fast forward four years and three kids later. I was battling Max at all ends. He'd be fine when Sean was home and then lose it when Sean was gone. Lose it like chewing holes in our wooden fence, color our carpet upstairs with diarrhea, eat things like soap, starfish, rabbit poop, yada get it, he was losing it. So we asked the vet, (a different one than before,) for advice. Guess what he suggested. Yep, Prozac. So we started giving our dog Prozac again and within a month I could totally see a difference. He was still eating food off the high chair with a child in it but he didn't have stomach issues and seemed to calm down and just relax a lot more. We were thrilled.

So that's the Max portion of the story. Here is the me portion.

After I had Joy and a tubal at the same time, I recovered as I normally did after a c-section plus about ten times the pain. Call me before you have a c-section and tubal at the same time if you're thinking about it. We need to have words. Anyway. Once the pain was gone all seemed the same except that now I had reason to be a little overwhelmed more than I was just with Ty and Charlie. Joy was a miracle baby and we were thankful for her health and her life but she was a testy baby. Much like Ty, she didn't love sleep and had stomach issues so she was often fussy. She screamed every time she was in the car until she was four months old. I'm not exaggerating. I've never been one to avoid asking for help so I always asked for it when I felt myself getting overwhelmed. Mom and Dad have always come to my rescue when I needed help during Sean's trips, (and when Sean is home and WE need help!) so the problem stayed at bay for a long time. When Joy was about 6 months old I realized I was having severe PMS symptoms for the first time. I'd always had bad cramps and mood swings, (hello I am female,) but this was more of a "I can't take the pressure, the crying, the pressure, the crying, the pressure..." that comes with tending to my kids. I would break down often and feel like I couldn't keep up. I'd get really frustrated with the silliest things the kids did. I literally cried over spilled milk more than once. My friends helped tremendously and my family did too. I kept everything in a delicate balance then would always feel like I needed a vacation when Sean would come home to trade off with me.

I felt a strong need to get away and calm down.

I thought it was normal and to a certain extent I think it is. Stay at home moms can feel like their job isn't really contributing to society. They can feel trapped and forgotten. They can feel frustrated and bored. Moms who work can feel the exact same things. They can feel like they are doing wrong because they aren't with their kids all day every day. They can feel trapped in their job when they would love to be at home with their kids. Being a mom, it seems, equals feeling pulled in many directions. The great news is that God has given us the ability to live with our heart outside our bodies. He has given us the gift of carrying a child and bonding with it before anyone else can. We can feel their movements and really know them without even seeing them. It is a gift. It really is.

When I felt myself seeing it more and more of a job too hard for me to keep up instead of a gift, I decided to ask for more help.

I talked to my husband, my family, and prayed about it constantly. It took having multiple panic attacks in the middle of the night to help me stop fighting the battle with the tools I already had. Prior to these last few months the only time I'd ever felt true anxiety was when I was flying. Anxiety wasn't one of my battles. I had other battles-jealousy, pride, discontent, etc. but wasn't an anxious person. I believed that I was aware and in control of my emotions. I was, and am, after all, a counselor. (enter the chuckle from God...) I hit a wall. If you have ever had either a panic or anxiety attack, you know the wall. You can feel reduced to the size of an infant in the feeling of fear that overtakes you. A helpless, defenseless infant.

I talked to my OB at length about the symptoms I was having that weren't going away as Joy was getting older. For me, older kids=easier. I always struggle after having a baby with feeling overwhelmed, and I think we all do. People who say being a mother is easy are lying. They're just lying! Ha! But they really are. For me, though, when they start sleeping well, it gets easier. Then when they are able to feed themselves, it gets easier. Then when they can move around, it gets easier. I'm just the type that eases into motherhood I guess. Anyway. He suggested taking either hormone therapy or an antidepressant. He suggested the antidepressant over hormone therapy since the circumstances contributing to my anxiety, (the ones I can identify,) are temporary. For me, the things I could feel contributing to the anxiety were normal stress-producing things-in other words, things that would cause anybody to have issues. The house, trying to sell the house, finances, looking for another house, the concern for Ty and his progress and taking him away from his teacher when we move, etc.

So I started taking what I now refer to as, "the pill." As in, "Did I take the pill? I can't remember." Sean saying, "Mar, you forgot your pill..." To an outsider it sounds like I'm taking a birth control pill I'm sure. :) But it's my pill. And in the words of my sweet husband who sees me more often than anybody else, "You're back. Your old self, it's back." I'd say that's indicative of how well it's working to help me with what I was feeling.

I love being a mom. I always have. But I didn't always enjoy it honestly. I talk about the funny side here and I also talk about the frustrating side. The lonely side. The hard stuff. I do that because God didn't create us for a life of solitude. He gave us each other. My belief is that He allows us to go through things and walks with us through them so that we can then help other people. He gives us compassion for people who are hurting. He gives us grace so that we will give it to others. He gave us life, didn't He? So that's why I, at His urging, share things like this that may not be easy to talk about. To me they are because guess what: other people have helped me through it so that I know I'm not alone.

And you're not either.

"Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings."

Psalm 61:1-4

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hey Joy whatcha got there?

What? Huh? What are you talking about?

Oh you mean this? Well I just found it and it's pink so I took it.

That's stealing. But since it's caffeine-free it's ok.

Not that you were asking permission.

...and there she goes

Mission accomplished.

The cup was full when she started.

And now it's not.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday

Remember the old times...

And the all-time greatest

You're welcome

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Welcome to the world

Miss Kylie Mae

She is so perfect and so tiny...I can hardly believe my eyes. She weighed just over 5 pounds and is doing great. We are so happy for our friends newest addition to their family. May she be showered with her brothers' kisses!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Trying it on for size

So help me if he really has to wear a boot or cast one day. That would mean he broke something and I'm not sure he would handle extreme pain well.

In other news, I'm still enjoying the boredom that fell upon our house last week. A few cars stopped to look at the house yesterday and I had to fight the urge to jerk the door open and say, "Go away! We are off the market!" To which one might think I meant that we are married. But in this case I bet they would get which market I'm talking about.

Anyway. I also wanted to yell, "Where were you the last five months??!!!!"

Clearly I'm still bitter about the loads of people who saw the house and never made an offer.

In other, actually important news, Jennie is scheduled to have baby girl tomorrow. If you're new here, Jennie is a good friend of mine who is thrilled to welcome some pink into her house full of boys. We are all so happy for her! Please pray for them to have a restful night tonight :)

Ok at the risk of sounding my social age (75) I'm settling in for a little knitting and TV watching.

I know what you're thinking: if only I could live a life as fun and crazy as that.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You are not alone

If you've found yourself thinking of ways to help your dog run away and find a new family,
you are not alone.

If you occasionally eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,
you are not alone.

If the sound of drums sends you into an alternate state of consciousness, where you can actually parent while pretending you're on an island by yourself,
you are not alone.

If the words, "Uh-oh Mom, I pooped," are heard more than once around your home every day,
you are not alone.

If the good Lord above is the only reason you haven't checked yourself into a self help facility,
you are not alone.

If a new pack of gum in a summertime (watermelon) flavor makes you happy for at least three days,
you are not alone.

If you have every Baby Einstein video memorized,
you are not alone.

If your social calendar resembles one from a nursing home,
you are not alone.

If your pediatrician and/or your OB nurse knows your phone number by heart,
you are not alone.

If your idea of a perfect day includes a trip to Sonic during happy hour,
you are not alone.

If you can wipe a nose and a rear-end simultaneously,
you are not alone.

If, when you hear the words, "Honey, I'm home," you break into dance,
you are not alone.

If you or your spouse once asked where the "returns" department is at the newborn nursery of a hospital,
you are not alone.

If you accumulate more ziploc baggies in your purse than any other item,
you are not alone.

If you grow to appreciate Barney and Elmo and even Yo Gabba Gabba,
you are not alone.

If you ask God to give you patience 400 times a day,
you are not alone.

Edited to add Emmy's suggestion: If the interior of your car hasn't been clean in four years,
you are not alone.

I am with you.

Don't forget about my giveaway. You still have time to enter.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Freedom and paint

After a few meltdowns on my part and a few conversations with our realtor we decided to take the house off the market for a month or so and re-list it during the 'busy' season. Once we signed the paperwork and all was said and done, I felt a huge bigger-than-I-would-have-guessed sigh of relief. I knew I was more stressed than normal and I was more anxious but had I realized to what extent I'd have probably made the decision a month ago. Whew. No pressure to keep the house show-ready. No fear that leaving the house might also mean staying gone for a few hours. Maybe it was just our luck but we got calls quite often asking permission to come look a mere 10 minutes later. Can you say, "Um no but if you have cash in your pocket then maybe we will consider it?" I'm thinking you can't say that. I totally would have more than once if I could have.

This is how my heart feels now. Bright, shiny, free. I made this yesterday after seeing it on Lisa Leonard's blog. It is so easy to make and free since I already had extra turquoise paint and glitter. I just picked a flat picture I didn't like anymore and painted over it.

This is how Joy experiences freedom. Big girl has started learning how to hold onto the stroller to walk with me. Against all odds she is actually doing it most of the time. Turns out my most active baby loves praise from me and will do a whole lot to get it. She's so proud!

This is how Ty and Charlie spent their day yesterday. They pushed each other around for hours in the shopping cart that Joy got for Christmas. Nice parenting, I know. I was actually painting while this was going on. I mean I'm quite the example of hands-on parenting.

I actually do pay attention to what my kids are doing. I even make them sit/stand still while I take pictures of what they probably shouldn't be doing. Sometimes I just have to laugh at the crazy and join in, what can I say?

Good night, y'all. Don't forget to scroll down and read about the cute bag giveaway going on over on my giveaway blog! You have until Saturday to enter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My glamorous life

Want to know what I was doing while Joy made herself at home in the (running) shower?

With her clothes on

Like a drowned little rat?

Cleaning up the potty accident that Ty left on the floor for me.

Be jealous. Be very jealous.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hope for Spring

I know what you could all use on a day like today. Hope for Spring cuteness on a dreary, (at least here,) day. I've mentioned before that I really like browsing the many things that CSNstores has to offer. I've found cute and great shoes for me and the girls, rugs, purses, and light fixtures for my own enjoyment. I've asked for a few things for my birthday already, the first one being a laptop messenger bag since I've inherited Sean's laptop. The products from this site are fantastic and there is free shipping on many of their items, which for a stay at home mom who is often at home for naps, meals, etc. and shops online a whole lot. I honestly just really like all of the employees I've worked with for giveaways, reviews, and just when I shop there in general.

Did somebody say giveaway?

Hmmmmmmm. I think I did.

How would you like to win this beauty

It also comes in green

and in black

But my personal favorite is this one.

But the great news is that you get to choose if you win the giveaway.

Just head over to my giveaways page to enter.

Giddy up y'all.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The weekend

I feel like I'm way behind on updates but I can't remember much beyond yesterday so I guess that will do! Sean travelled last week for the first time in a while so we welcomed him back home this weekend with open arms. Which is pretty much how we usually welcome him.

Then I headed out for a bit to decompress, (go somewhere by myself, doesn't matter where or for how long, I'm sure you can relate.)

Then I fell in love.

I don't know that I've ever loved a totally useless object more than the little birdhouses I found. They're not even real functioning birdhouses. But I love them. I picked the one on the right for my birthday present--two months early--from mom and dad.

On Saturday i took Joy on her first date. We met Carley and Cody for an early lunch at Jason's Deli. The kids had a great time and only kissed once at the end of their date.

Since they both just started giving kisses we didn't think they'd give each other one if we asked but we were wrong. Any kisses with boys before age 2 are fine with me but after that I'm watching her like a hawk.


A www such a cute little gentleman!

I took this this morning before church. Charlie was being a toot and Joy was already in panic mode. Bless her heart doesn't like church yet. I'm hopeful that once we move she can start over with a clean slate and like it.

No news on the moving front. We are still trying to be patient. Sometimes we don't do a grew job of it. Sometimes we do and amaze ourselves that we're okay with how slowly things are moving! But sometimes we go crazy. Did I say that out loud?

Stay tuned for a fun giveaway this week!

And last but far from least I love my new blog design that Heather made for me! She is so talented isn't she? Thank you Heather!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ten ways you can tell I have a kid that's potty-training

10. I have two different "cozy" seats in the front seat of my car.

9. I buy apple juice and Miralax in bulk.

8. I no longer schedule play dates around nap times but potty times.

7. I keep track of potty times.

6. I keep Christmas presents hidden to give as rewards.

5. We've saved approximately $43,000 dollars by not buying diapers.

4. And put every cent of that into laundry detergent.

3. I've called my parents and Sean's parents at least two times a day to share THE BIG NEWS and also called/texted my friends with each "accomplishment." And they have all cheered with me. That they have all cheered=they know my happiness totally depends on each "accomplishment."

2. I write "potty" as part of a blog post title.

1. I've googled "waterproof pad for bed" more than once in the last week.

Oh and one more: I've started viewing Joy as my easiest child since she wears diapers.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

But first, proof that I'm not normal. See this kid?

My beloved firstborn? He got in trouble at school yesterday. I'm so proud! I couldn't be more excited. But why? Why would that EVER be good news?

He got in trouble for talking to his friends in the hall.

Just like that, his teachers had to jump into action and tell him to NOT talk even when he has "somethin' he need to tell Gabe."

When his teacher told me I nearly cried out of excitement. I mean, he has to obey his teacher and if she says ______ he needs to do it but you have to step back and see the progress. It's amazing, y'all. Amazing. A year ago he'd barely talk to us let alone another kid he was playing with. His school has helped him learn how to become a little social thing. Woohoo!

Okay so that was my proud mommy moment. Here is what I wore:

Um don't expect too much this week. In this one I'm wearing a hoodie that I got when Ty was 3 months old. I got it for my first Christmas as a new mom and the reason I got it is because I was nursing and got so flustered/hot/sweaty/frustrated that I had to wear things I could easily do away with in a moments notice. Really, if that's not something to base your life's glamor ambitions on I don't know what is.

Dress/tunic depending on how old you are-Nordstrom BP on sale for $12.99 the week after Christmas.

Jeans-Forever 21
Boots-Anthropologie and no, not getting one bit tired of them yet

Weird angle, I know. I realized this afternoon that today was Tuesday and I was like 4 outfits behind and I'm too lazy to go upstairs to take a picture in front of the (covered in handprints) mirror.

Sweater dress-Forever 21
Plaid shirt-Target last year
Jeans-Old Navy (maternity) ha
Boots-Old Navy

Okay y'all, someone else needs to join in the WIWW fun. Leave me a link in the comments if you have a WIWW post!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I'm copying my favorite weatherman's word-he has been calling this storm we got today snowmaggedeon and I liked it. It was a fun day that didn't disappoint.

Killing time waiting for the snow


What is that, mom?

I think I like it...

But I'm not sure

No I do NOT like it

At least these two did

Yep we are thinking of moving somewhere that it snows more than once a year.

Well, not really. But we like it when it snows.

The End.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Things I love

Hot chocolate in a Valentines Day mug. Don't forget the cool whip. It's of extreme importance.

This face that she makes approximately 100 times a day.

This cutie patootie (resale place) find for Charlie. $4.99

When she wants to do what Daddy is doing, just because she likes being with him.

When someone tries to fill my shoes

When waiting for brother makes them this happy

When we have a zillion showings and no offers on the house.

Oh wait. I DON'T love that. At least I have a million things going on that I DO love.

Happy Day Y'all.