Saturday, October 8, 2011

Seriously. A tangent post.

For some reason, my blog has seriously taken the back burner in my life. And when I say back burner, I mean the back burner on some stove in someone's possibly abandoned house that I've never been to before. I've been turning into a ravenous crafter of late (and spending most of my online time perusing Etsy for ideas or Ravelry for patterns). I'm definitely more likely to have a crochet project in my lap than a new post idea in my head. Maybe because it's much more brainless? And I really feel like this stage of parenting has totally decimated my thinking powers. Some of the things I've had running through my mind lately have been: Why do toddlers like to eat crayons? And how do I get a specific one to stop? And speaking of eating and stopping, how do I get this toddler to stop biting? And how am I going to piece that reconstructed shirt dress together? And how do I get my kids to play nicely? And should I take a nap today? And how do I keep this crazy toddler from getting into everything and climbing onto everything and whining about everything and begging to nurse 24/7 and messing up everything that I clean withing .02 seconds of me cleaning it?

As you can see, I have a lot of questions about how to have the perfect toddler. And by perfect toddler, I mean a responsible adult in a toddler body.

Basically, the toddler stage is by far my least favorite of the stages I have encountered. (I'm sure people will tell me that teenagers are worse, but in my particular stage of life, I really don't know if I can accept that.) I think having a toddler is harder because I also have a preschooler who still acts like a toddler sometimes....and hasn't quite figured out how to play nicely.

And speaking of preschool, some of my friends from church and I have put together a joy school for our preschool aged children. We meet once a week at our church building and we take turns teaching about letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and various other topics. It's pretty exciting that Bug is old enough for this type of stuff! And I really love being so involved!

Shortly after celebrating Gizmo's first birthday, we cut his hair. It was a sad and difficult thing for me to do. I loved his curls so much! But, everyone was calling him a girl, and the hubby didn't appreciate that. So he said the curls had to go. The really sad thing, though, is that people still call Gizmo a girl...even without the curls. I guess he's just pretty.

And speaking of pretty, we let Bug pick out his own Wii remote (because he's learning how to play Mario, and that's awesome and fun) and he chose a pink one. There's actually something that I really love about having a boy who has the favorite color of pink!

Bug is really growing up! He reminds me all the time. ("Mom. Me big, right?") I am thrilled that he is totally potty trained. He sits in a booster seat in the car (and even buckles his own seat belt sometimes!) But he is turning into a total drama....king? He fake laughs. He fake whines. He fake cries. And he exaggerates practically everything. (His coloring isn't right...."OOooooohhhh man!!!! I haaate that!!!") I've started having to remind him that if something frustrates him, then he needs to put it down and walk away. He isn't very good at remembering that, though. If the hubs talks to him, when he was talking to me, he says, "Don't talk to me! I talking to mommy!" Or if he goes to the bathroom (usually when he's pooping) and I ask him -anything- he will yell, "DON'T TALK TO ME!" Like I said. Drama.

And Gizmo is growing up. Or at least climbing up. He climbs on EVERYTHING. Bookshelves, kitchen cabinets, bathroom drawers, computer desk, beds, tables, chairs. He is either a monkey, or he has sticky tree frog pads on his hands and feet, because he climbs onto things I had no idea he could. His balance is impeccable! And my nerves are always on edge.

So....that's what's up right now....and now I need to go crochet some more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

*New Pictures Added* Not just another day

Ok, ok, ok....I couldn't NOT post today (and I'm wondering how on earth I've let myself go so long...again).

Today is Gizmo's first birthday! We actually celebrated on Monday night with family. I made a super yummy carrot cake and I actually frosted it! (I didn't frost Bug's, pumpkin bread...when he turned a year old. I must be relaxing my parenting style already!) I still think Gizmo might have liked the roasted potatoes for dinner better than he liked the cake, though.

I am really struggling to accept the fact that it HAS been a whole year since I birthed my second child. I don't know if it is just because every year seems to go faster no matter what, or because of some other reason. I suspect that because Gizmo was born at home, and I'm home all the time, it seems like it could have been any time (yes, even just yesterday)! When Bug was born, I was at the hospital. That out-of-home experience gave me more of a frame of reference for how long ago it actually occurred. But I didn't get that (thankfully) with Gizmo's birth.

So, a little about Gizmo's personality: He is really laid back. Don't get me wrong, he is still very active (climbing on the table, walking at 10 months, etc). But he isn't hyper-active (like Bug). It's a bit harder to get him to laugh, and when he does laugh, it is usually more reserved. Although, when he is upset, he definitely lets it all out!!! He is a thinker and observer. I often say that when the boys get into trouble when they are older, it will probably be Gizmo who thought up the plan, and Bug who carried it out.

Gizmo has wild, red hair. We haven't cut it yet, even though it is getting long, because it curls all over the place. It gets him A LOT of attention. It also, apparently, makes him look "too pretty to be a boy", because he gets called a girl quite often.

Gizmo is a pleasure to have in the family. I'm so happy to be him mom! Happy Birthday, Gizmo!!!

(*The original picture from this post was from over a month ago, so, after taking new pictures, I removed it and added some of the new pictures from Gizmo's actual birthday.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On the move. On the table.

Bug and Gizmo are very different, but at times, so very alike. Bug physically active. And hyperactive. Gizmo seems to be just as physically active as Bug, but he is so much more mellow about it. Or maybe just quieter about it? I can't really tell. It just seems that his physical milestones are less in-your-face than Bug's a different way than the "Oh, he's just the second one, so you don't notice as much" kind of way.

Gizmo started walking withing the past two weeks or so. It started out with just two or three steps in between over enthusiastic family members. Then he started taking more steps, moving from the couch to a toy in the middle of the room.

Now he can walk quite a bit without grabbing onto anything. And he stands up on his own, too.

Of course, if you notice him and give him praise, he gets really excited....which apparently shuts off his balance completely. Then he will stand up, fall, stand up, fall, stand up, take two steps, fall...all while flapping his arms with joy and grinning like a maniac.

This morning, while I was making a pie, I head Bug sternly telling Gizmo, "No Gizmo! No climbing! My water!!!" I turned around and Gizmo was ON THE TABLE!!!! Our kitchen table. Apparently, he had used a stuffed animal as a stepping stool onto a chair that was pushed out, and then from the chair climbed onto the table. And he was about to dump Bug's cup of water everywhere, right before I intervened.

I have to admit, I was shocked to see Gizmo up there. He isn't even 11 months yet (just 5 more days for that), and he climbed onto our table! Without me noticing until he was up there! I actually shut him out of the bathroom this morning while I took my shower....I'm just beginning to realize that might have been an unwise decision. I guess I'll have to start making sure chairs are all pushed in before I leave Gizmo to play by himself for longer than 2 minutes! But then I'm sure he'll find something else dangerous to climb on!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bug sings the ABCs

Bug has been learning his ABCs. And he loves to sing them. Except....he's really not that great at it. It usually goes something like this:

"A, B, S, 9, 10, 18, a wunney, A, B, S, O, P, orange, X, Y, Z....."

Over and over and over again. I haven't quite figured out how his alphabet seems to have WAY more letters in it than mine does (and it also has way more numbers, colors, and made up words that resemble real words). Sometimes he starts out singing "Twinkle, twinkle little star" and it turns into his alphabet. Which, you can't blame him for that, since it's the same melody. It's actually all unbearably cute, though. So cute that my little sister recorded it on her phone for her ring tone.

I just have to keep telling myself that someday, he will be a genius and all this hassle of learning numbers, letters, shapes, colors, animals, etc. will get sorted out!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Intestinal Revenge

Warning: This may be one of my less enjoyable posts...especially if you are reading during a meal! 

A couple weeks ago, I enjoyed some pepper jack cheese. I -love- pepper jack cheese. Unfortunately, whenever I eat jalapenos, Gizmo get the most disgustingly stinky poop and farts known to all mankind. It's actually quite amazing how a little bit of pepper can affect him so strongly...though my milk.

Nonetheless, I ate my burger with pepper jack, and Gizmo enjoyed a raisin, a green olive, and some bread.

Then, just over a day later, I sent my hubby on an airplane to Texas for a week...and Gizmo started having diarrhea. Stinky, mucous-y, blood-tinged diarrhea. I was near tears thinking about spending any amount of time with a sick kid and an absent husband.

But I was unsure what was really going on in those little baby intestines. Jalapenos had never caused such a bad reaction before. Could it have been the raisin? The olive? Those were new food items for Gizmo. Maybe it was a triple whammy of pepper/raisin/olive distress. Or was it a virus? Whatever it was, I hoped it would quickly get better. And as I Googled, I got more worried about the presence of blood in my kiddo's dipe...and I got more prepared to make a visit to the pediatrician.

But the runs kept coming. And then came the diaper rash on top of it. We were not a happy mother/baby pair.

Then, after a couple days of pain-in-the-butt diaper changes, out came a hard, solid....popcorn kernel! And all the sudden, the symptoms started clearing up. After going though nearly a whole (and huge, I might add) box of diapers, and a whole tube of Desitin...things started to get better.

I can easily blame my husband for this horribly exhausting mishap....because I am never the one that makes the popcorn in our home (and I -very, very rarely- eat it). But, that lucky guy, he didn't have to change a single one of those wretched diapers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bad Neighbor/Awesome Mom

As spring turned into summer, the heat started rising and rising, and all the local pools opened. But, we don't have (free) access to any local pools. And I'm cheap. And lazy. So, instead, I decided to put up our very own splash pool outside.

There are just a few things to note about this situation.

1. We live in an apartment complex.
2. We live on the top floor.
3. We do have a downstairs neighbor.

I tried to do this the smart way. We bought the smallest kiddie/wading pool available (splashing all summer from home for only $6.99? Yes, please!) I thought about putting a tarp down on our deck first...but I neglected to do that when I first started filling the pool. Of course, I decided it needed to be done once Bug dumped nearly a whole bucket full of water down to our neighbor's patio below. So, I emptied the little pool and got out our tent tarp. It easily covers the whole splash area (which is pretty much the whole deck, minus some room for our camp chairs/mini grill/tiny stack of firewood/bag of charcoal).

With the tarp down and in place, I was able to fill up the pool again. And then I sat out there with a book while Bug made big splashes, and Gizmo crawled in and out of the pool. (Of course, I also had to keep getting Gizmo and returning him to the pool when he tried to touch anything he shouldn't...mostly our baby bird nest....which is another post that I'm hoping to get up soon.)

Within a week of having our splash pool up, an apartment complex notice went out reminding upstairs neighbors that what they did above would affect those below (pinpointing water as one of the things to be polite about). Er...we were feeling guilty, and a little like the notice was directed at us. But, then the hubby talked directly to our neighbor about the water. She said she noticed a little (I'm assuming the initial non-tarp dump) but it wasn't bothering her. Phew! Of course, she is so nice, she probably wouldn't tell us. But, I think the splashing has been kept very minimal now that we have the tarp down.

All in all, I'm probably a horrible neighbor. But there is no denying that I'm an awesome mom! (If only I could now keep Bug from deliberately peeing in the pool!)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Who doesn't love chocolate ice cream?

When my mom tells me that she misses my blog....I guess it's time to sit down and type up a post. (Where the HECK has my motivation gone???) And I have a list of nearly a dozen post ideas, so I really have absolutely no excuse.

A friend of mine had a baby 10 weeks ago. She had invited me to attend the birth, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I couldn't get a babysitter to watch my kids, so I couldn't go. And 7 weeks later, I still hadn't had a chance to meet the new baby. So, we marked our calenders and got our butts over there! I tell you what, I don't understand the fertile-aged woman who can hold a tiny baby and -NOT- have a pang in her ovaries to have a[nother] baby! Gizmo is over nine months now, so I can have a baby any time and he'll definitely be in nursery by the time the baby comes. (Every LDS mom knows how nice that is, right?) Alas, I guess things will have to wait a bit longer before we have another one, though. 'Cause no matter how much those dang ovaries of mine are panging, they are the servants of my breastfeeding relationship with Gizmo....who says "no baby yet".

But that isn't the point of this post. I just can't get over how cute and tiny new babies are, and how much I really want another one.

So, we were visiting with friends. We ate dinner. We talked. We ate chocolate ice cream with brownies. We let the kids (minus the tiny baby) run around and play. We sat at the table to play a card game (Bohnanza anyone?). Then, my friend's sister (who lives in the household) came home. She walked into the kitchen...which is right by where we were playing cards and -totally- visable to us....and exclaimed, "Oh, hello!"

There was Gizmo. On the floor. With a bowl of Bug's chocolate ice cream remains over his face.

He had chocolate ice cream all over his face. All over his hands. All over the floor. And he was sad to see it go when we took it away and cleaned up the mess.

Apparently, Bug left his bowl on the stool he was sitting on, and Gizmo was just tall enough to reach it. And he knew he needed to be stealthy. We had no idea what was happening just 6 feet away!

But who can blame him? It was chocolate ice cream!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let's Eat!

This is a shameless plug for a new blog I created on a blog I already have established. ('Cause I can do that!) I have been trying to share recipes with some of my friends and family members. But, of course, I don't have them all typed on the computer. Then I type an email for one person, only to realize I want to send it to someone else, too. So I have to find the sent email, or retype...and before I know it, I'm trying to share one recipe for half a dozen people through half a dozen emails and typings of the same recipe. I just knew I was making it way more complicated than it should have been (and who needs that when you are a busy mother!!?!) So I will now just put all these yummy recipes in one spot, and I'll stop worrying about sending emails. I am pleased to introduce: Tasty Thalman's! Go check it out!

Friday, May 20, 2011

'cared more!

Every now and then, I have one of those mothering moments that makes me laugh....and then promptly makes me feel bad for laughing.

Last night, The Hubs put Bug down to sleep with a bedtime read. Bug hadn't had a nap all day, so he was more than ready for bed. He actually kicked Hubby out of his bedroom before the Hubs was even done reading his chapter! Thinking that we were finally ready to get some semi-alone time (depending on how quickly Gizmo fell asleep), the Hubs and I were quickly brushing our teeth before jumping into bed....when all the sudden I heard Bug crying and running to our door. Then he was frantically trying to open our bedroom door, while screaming and pounding in terror.

I rushed to open the door to soothe him and take him back to bed.

"Loud! 'cared! [scared]" he cried in between his desperate sobs. I could practically feel the energy coursing through his little body, trying to escape from the fear that he was feeling.

I was thinking over all the reasons he could be so terrified. I could hear a lawn mower outside, but I wasn't sure that was the culprit. With Bug in my arms, I marched back to his bedroom. I ran into the door, then fumbled with the knob in the dark, trying to get it open.

"Beep-bee-beep! Beep-bee-beep! Beep-bee-beep!" It was the sound of the alarm clock. I flipped the light on and walked over to the table where the clock was dangling over the edge by its cord. I turned the offending noise off and stifled a giggle.

I don't know why the clock's alarm was turned on, but Bug certainly wasn't expecting such a rude awakening just moments after he fell asleep! I plopped him back in his bed as Hubby removed the offending alarm clock from Bug's room. We turned the lights back off and I sang Bug a song. I told him that he didn't have to be scared anymore, to which he whined, "'cared more!" along with a few after-cry hiccups. I calmly explained what had happened and then I asked him to say a prayer. He did, then requested that I say one, too. After kisses, hugs and several "goodnight"s, I crept out of the room and left Bug to fall asleep again.

As soon as I got back into my room, I looked at the Hubs and started laughing. "Poor kid!" we both lamented.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ok, Ok...I'll find something to blog about!

Obligatory "sorry I haven't posted in a million years" paragraph: I wish that I could just say, "Our life has been boring and normal, and I have absolutely nothing to blog about." But, we all know that is not true. I've just been a lazy blogging bum (not including working fabulously hard and losing 9lbs so far in my weight loss competition, of course).

But, we have some exciting's excited if you're a dorky mom, like I apparently am! WE BOUGHT A MINIVAN! Oh yes. We did. I told my mom that I now feel this camaraderie with with all over van drivers. She just laughed at me. But it's true. I'm in the Minivan Club now. And my family would be way more excited to plan a fun and comfortable road trip if gas wasn't over $4/gallon!!!

Also, Gizmo has FIVE teeth now. He crawls at the speed of light. He pulls himself up to standing. And he can walk with support. Seriously, wasn't that kid just born five minutes ago? I don't understand how it is even possible that he is as grown up as he is!

Speaking of THAT...we just celebrated Bug's THIRD birthday yesterday. I think I might be living in a warped dimension. He loves the gifts he got....a tricycle (from Grandma and Grandpa T), a dinosaur puzzle, train whistle, canteen, new outfits (from Grandma Marty and Grandpa Mike), and a "You-bot" (which is Bug-speak for robot) backpack from Mommy and Daddy. He puts everything he can into the backpack to carry around...unfortunately, his bike doesn't fit.

So, tonight, when I was making dinner, the boys were playing together in the cabinets. Sometimes they play nicely. That is so refreshing. And they were doing just that. I heard Bug saying prayers. (They are almost always the same, "He'y Fodder. Day. Foo'. Jee Cwhyst, Uh-men.") I looked over and saw Bug putting his hands on Gizmo's head while he was saying his prayers. Then Bug excitedly exclaimed, "[Gizmo]! Prayer! A head!" Bug was definitely giving Gizmo a "blessing". Abso-stinkin-lutely hilarious! I guess he knows it is his divine nature to become a holder of the priesthood!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bye, Bye Baby Weight!

When I was pregnant with Bug, I gained 40lbs. After he was born, I was able to lose 30lbs of that baby weight.

Then we moved to a new apartment, and I mysteriously gained 20lbs. (Yeah, I know. What the heck?!) But, I lost 10lbs of that...

And then I got pregnant with Gizmo. And I gained 40lbs. And then lost 30lbs.

Are you seeing a trend? Of all the weight I gain, I can never seem to shed the last 10lbs of it. And I am 30lbs heavier than I was when I got married.

But now I'm changing things!

My mom (a twin, and consequently, a highly competitive woman) has blessed me with her competitive nature. And together, we are motivating each other to lose weight. We both need someone we love and trust to motivate us to lose it. We need a punishment for failure. We need a great reward for success.We need healthy competition. So we have formulated a weight loss competition:

We have one year to lose FIFTY pounds -each-. We will have weigh-ins every two weeks (using the same scale and time of day, for accuracy). For every one pound that I lose, she will put $5 in the weight loss pot. But, for every one pound that I gain, I will have to put $5 in the pot. And vice versa. Whoever loses their 50lbs first (or whoever has lost the most when the deadline has passed) wins the money from the pot. But, the loser won't be completely forgotten...they will get the dollar amount x2 of their weight lost (from the pot). And, of course, they will have all that wonderful weight lost (assuming they lose any)!

We discussed the advantages and disadvantages that we each had, wondering and hoping that this would be a fair (enough) competition. We decided that it is. My mom is older, and has lower metabolism, but she also has a bit more weight to lose. And she has better control over her time (meaning, she doesn't have young kids that will prevent her from getting her exercising done). I am younger, so I should have better metabolism. And I'm a nursing mother (which, according to different sources, could be a help....or not?) But I don't have to ability to get out to a gym (or park, or anywhere, for that matter) because we only have one car. And my exercise time if often cut into because of diaper changes, nursing sessions, and other kid necessities.

The only exit clause we have is me getting pregnant before the competition is over...which I don't think is going to happen. (And, we are keeping very good track of our money. It has all been set up in an Excel file and everything! So should we need to end the competition, I'll know exactly how much I should get back!)

My weight loss plan involves: eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, cutting out most refined sugars, exercising at least 30 minutes a day (which usually means doing the "Just Sweat-Intense" mode of Just Dance 2). I have practically eliminated desserts from my life...with the exception of Nutella, honey and fresh fruit. I even passed up chocolate in RS the other week! I eat my meals on a small plate, to help with portion control. Unless I am eating salad....I always give myself a big plate of salad! I am also trying to drink more water, (and I've cut out all other liquids, except for a glass of milk a day).

I am proud to say, that after a full month, I am down 5lbs! That is right on target with healthy weight loss goals (about 1lb/week). And my pants are starting to feel a little loose! Of course, my mom is down 8lbs, so I'm currently in second (er...last) place! But I'll take it!

I keep teasing my hubby that once I lose the 50lbs, I'll end up getting pregnant and I won't be able to really enjoy my sexy, new body! But, for now, I'll just keep up my good work and say, "Bye, bye baby weight!"

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thank you for everything! And you're welcome, too!

My two year old is growing up. In fact, he's almost three.

And he is showing that he is growing up. Last week, he asked to help change Gizmo's poopy diaper. (And, remember, we know that when Bug says, "I hep you!" it really means, "Let me do it!") It was quite funny to watch Bug trying to wipe the baby's butt clean.

He also has started saying prayers. All by himself!! Ok...well, I do have to prompt him a little bit, after he's gone on and on and on saying the same things. ("Thank you. Thank you. Welcome. Thank you. Blue's Clues. Thank you. Play. Thank you."  "You need to bless the food." "Food. Thank you.")

The first prayer he said by himself, he kept pausing after every word, wanting me to repeat it. I don't know if that is because that's how we taught him how to pray. Or if he wanted to make sure that I actually understood what he was saying.

Bug is also learning how to count on his fingers. He has been (kind of) counting to 10 for several months now. ("One, two, three, eight, nine, two"). But now he is learning to hold up his fingers. And...just weeks before his third birthday, we taught him how to hold up two fingers and tell people his age. Usually, when people ask him what his name is, he'll hold up his fingers and say, "TWO!".

Hopefully, if we make a big deal about his birthday, he'll transition easily to holding up three fingers!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inch Worm

Last Saturday (March 12th...for the record), at 6 1/2 months old, Gizmo turned into an inch worm.

It all started when I sat him down on the floor after nursing him. I probably needed to eat some lunch, or go pee, or wipe Bug's rear end for the 50 millionth time ("Poop, candy? Poop, candy?" He gets a piece of candy if he poops in the potty...which means he squeezes out a little bit of poop a gazillion times a day.)

Anyway, so I turned my attention away from Gizmo for a minute or two. And when I came back to him, he wasn't where I left him.


So I wait and watch. And he is busy going after the wipes container on the living room floor. Or is it the crayon? But he scoots his butt up into the air, and then he slides forward. Butt up, body forward.

My 6 month old is crawling! Like an inch worm.

But he is crawling!

I can't believe it. This kid is so chill and relaxed, yet he is soooo fast at growing up. He already has two teeth, and now this?!

The inchworm has now turned more into an Army crawl with some inchworm-like tendencies. Either way, it means that Gizmo now frequently has crayon breath.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Please Research: Postpartum Depression

She may seem completely normal to you. But inside, she's broken. Confused. Angry. Scared. Sad. Tired.

She has no motivation. She exhausts herself trying to get her daily chores done. She has trouble interacting with her kids as often as she knows she should. She knows her husband is sorely neglected. She can't form complete sentences. She feels that she has no friends. She can't sleep, even though that is all she wants to do. She gets angry about even the smallest of things. She often doesn't feel like cooking good food and sometimes doesn't want to eat at all. She feels guilty that she isn't well. She feels like she should be able to shake it off, but she can't. She has zero desire for physical affection. She doesn't show much interest, or take much time to enjoy, the things that she used to do all the time. She has headaches and body aches and heart aches. She's unhappy with the way she looks. And even more unhappy with the way she feels.

Sometimes she has good days. Days where she is happy and productive. But other days, she cries.

This is the life of a woman who suffers from Postpartum Depression (PPD).

PPD can happen to any woman. It can happen a couple weeks after the baby is born, or it can happen months after the baby is born (sometimes depression comes even a year after baby). And if it happens to you, don't feel as if you should have been able to prevent it. That will often make it feel worse.

Instead, start doing things that will make it better. This is definitely easier said than done, because those who have PPD have a hard time finding the motivation to -do- the things to help...even if they desperately want to get better.

First, you should tell someone, that you love and trust, how you feel. You NEED someone to be your anchor to reality. Ideally, this should be your husband. Make sure he doesn't go into "Mr. Fix-It" mode, though. Tell him that you need him as a sounding board. And help him know what ways you are comfortable with him helping (i.e. doing the dishes, making dinner, changing poopy diapers, practicing healthy living with you). You can also have your mother, sister, or a close friend be your anchor. Women, especially mothers, can often relate. They may have even suffered from PPD themselves. It might be hard to tell someone that you are depressed. It might make you feel ashamed or embarrassed. But once you feel like you don't have to hide your feelings any more, it will be easier to find ways to alleviate them.

Now you need to start figuring out how to feel better. This may seem like an impossible task. But pick something that you think seems easiest, and put your energy into doing it. It might help you find the energy to pick another thing off the list. Then another. And another. Until you find that you are back to feeling like yourself again. Here are some ideas for how to kick PPD to the curb:

-Focus on good nutrition: When you don't even feel like eating, or you would rather sit on the couch with a spoon and the sugar bowl, good nutrition can be really hard to fix. Start off by taking a vitamin supplement. Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is especially good for helping with depression. You can also continue taking your prenatal vitamins, these are really good if you are nursing. Then you can look into taking an herbal remedy for depression, such as St. John's Wort. Go to a health food store and find brands of vitamins that are minimally processed. (Or send your husband, because chances are you didn't feel like showering today...and getting out of the house may seem like too big of a task for you right now.) Once you start taking the vitamins, you might start feeling better. Whether it is a real effect or a placebo, it doesn't matter. You have your foot in the door of "better health". And now you can start eating better food. Cut out the junk foods and pre-packaged dinners. Eat lots of raw foods, fruits and veggies. Drink plenty of water. Minimize sugar intake. Try asking if your husband would be willing to cook dinner during the week, even if only on a couple days.

-Focus on light therapy: Fresh air and the shining sun can do wonders for improving mood. But getting ready and dressed for public (and getting all the kids dressed and ready for public) is not always easy. There are nap times and feedings and diaper changes to contend with. Or you don't have a car. And sometimes the sun -isn't- shining. Or sometimes it is too daggone cold. If you can't get out and about, try at least playing in the yard, if you have one. Or sitting out on a deck/balcony. At the very least, open the curtains and blinds to let the natural light into your house.

-Focus on exercise: If you can, combine exercise and light therapy and go for a walk outside. But if that seems too hard right now, try to find a quick and easy workout that you like...and just do it in your underwear at home. You could just put on some music that makes you want to move and dance around. If you have a toddler, it will be even more enjoyable, as those little guys love to dance.

-Focus on music: Like with exercise, upbeat music can help you get going. Put some music on, even without the plan to exercise to it, and see how it makes you feel. Or you can try calming, classical music that helps you relax.

-Focus on spirituality: Heavenly Father knows what you are going through. Sometimes, depression can put you out of touch with your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Rekindle that relationship. Work on saying prayers. Use God as your sounding board and begin by addressing Heavenly Father, then rattling off your list of woes. Finish by asking for help and expressing love and gratitude where you can manage it. Try reading your scriptures for 15 minutes a day...even if done in 3 minutes intervals (upon wakening, mid morning, after lunch, mid afternoon, evening). Or watch an episode of Veggie Tales and talk about it with your toddler. Sometimes it is the littlest things that will help!

-Focus on grooming: Wake up, eat breakfast, change diapers, nurse the baby, take a shower, change diapers, do hair, get the toddler a snack, do makeup. Whatever your morning routine -needs- to be, make sure to include personal hygiene. Make the time to shower, brush your teeth, put on deodorant. Make yourself feel as pretty as possible. Put on a bra and clothes, like you are going to go somewhere. Use soap that smells really good to you (not just something that smells ok, but find something that you -really- like). Wax or shave your legs and armpits. Go ahead and put on a movie for the kids, if it will give you time to take care of yourself.

Focus on cleanliness: This is not a focus on bodily cleanliness, this is for your house. Ask your husband to help you clean the house in the evenings. Then do what you can to keep it clean during the day. Make sure you keep up on laundry and dishes. Sometimes those chores that you -have- to do are the only ones that get done...because, let's face it, you need to do laundry if all your underwear are dirty! The task is to keep them from piling up. A week's worth of dirty dishes is a daunting task, and can aggravate depressed feelings. But getting the dishes done every day or having a freshly vacuumed floor can feel like a wonderful accomplishment!

Focus on hobbies: Remember those hobbies that you used to have and used to love. They seem dull now. So, remind yourself why you used to love them. Pull out your pen and paper and write some poetry. Or get out your paints and a canvas. Or your crochet hook and yarn. Get a new book from the library. Watch your favorite movie. Design a new ball gown. Shoot some hoops. Whatever it is that you used to do, find time to do it. Get the kids involved if you want. Or get them busy with something else (or down for a nap), so you will have time for yourself.

These are just some ideas for combating PPD. Like I said before, pick ONE of these and work on it. Don't try to do them all at once. It will not work. It will probably make you feel worse. But, picking one that especially appeals to you might make the world of difference. Get as much sleep as you can, and devote your days to getting better. You may not have much motivation or energy, but gather what you do have up, and put it to good use.

PPD is not healthy or normal (common...but not normal), but there are natural ways to make it better. These suggestions may not take all your troubles away, as PPD is often caused by hormonal imbalances that need time (and sometimes medical intervention) to be fixed. However, if you have thoughts of harming yourself or your child(ren), you need to get medical help immediately. If you feel like things are too hard to handle, and you haven't had any success with natural remedies, you are not a failure. PPD is a real illness. Just as you couldn't help it if you got cancer, you cannot help getting depression. But you can help get rid of it.

You are not alone.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Oon Arteeest!

On Sunday, we had a friend over with her kids. These kids are crazy when they are together. Fighting, jumping, wrestling, chasing, playing. Most of the time, we just sat on the couch and laughed. But, the rest of the time, we were chasing kids around trying to keep them out of trouble.

We had to contend with know...getting the right kids to eat the right food off of the right plate.

We had to lock doors.

We had to fish a whole roll of toilet paper out of the toilet. (And when I say "We" on this part, I mean the Hubby.)

We had to remove toys.

And just when you think they are settled down and being quiet.....(this is when seasoned parents know something is up) find them using marker to practice their art skills on the walls.

And doors.

And window.

And bed.

And glider.

And toy bins.

And their bodies.

I had to laugh when I saw it. Of course, you have to laugh at disaster sometimes. So, we got out the rags and soap and those supposedly wonderful Magic Erasers. We were able to get most of the marker off of the doors and window. We don't really care about the marker on everything else....except the wall. And that's exactly where we -couldn't- get the marker off.

The walls in our apartment have exactly -0.01% gloss in them. My father-in-law says that makes it easier to paint them after tenants move out...which they are required by law to do, I guess. I say it is so that the walls soak up everything and are impossible to clean. And that means little bits of our security deposit are being manipulated away by the glossiness-less of our wall. But, whatever.

So, because our walls are flat as flat can be, nothing we did took that marker off. Sure, it faded a bit. And smudged around a bit. And that Magic Eraser was able to remove a fine layer of paint. But the marker scribbles are definitely still there.

At least it was in the kid's room.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stupid Scouts

I vacuumed today. Actually, I pretty much cleaned the whole house. The dishes are done, the toys are all put away, and the floor has been de-crumbed.

And, the reason for it all (apart from the house just really needing attention), I am ashamed to say, is to make my husband feel guilty.

You see, he is at Little Philmont for Boy Scouts today. And I'm jealous. Jealous that he gets to get out of the house today, and I'm stuck at home. Again. With no car. With two attention starved (they believe) boys. And my husband won't be home until this evening. Just like another work day. And it is supposed to be my Saturday. The day where I have a hubby home to help me take care of things...or take me on a date (which we didn't get last night, like I originally wanted). To give me the support I need so I don't feel like my head is slipping under water.

Usually, that help is to clean. Or to watch the kiddos so I can clean. But that hasn't happened for a while. Because the hubby is always too busy. And so I cleaned alone. AND took care of the boys. Just to show that "I don't need no stinkin' husband to help me!" But, really, I do. Because it's miserable here without him.

I know I am supposed to happily support my husband in his church callings (Scout leader). And I did sustain him. But sometimes all the support I can offer is to begrudgingly kiss him goodbye as he goes on another camp-out or another day long activity.

Blast those character building wonder-boys!

Friday, March 4, 2011

"Blue Book" mess

I can't believe this is only my 6th post this year. Honestly, I've been having such a hard time with the motivation lately. Well, other than getting dishes and laundry done. I've actually been getting pretty good at that. Although, I think I've been neglecting my kids to do it.

Bug is always begging me, "Mommy, wahss". (Which, if you didn't understand that, it is "Mommy, watch".) I hear that sentence in my head even when I should be enjoying a moment of silence.

I also get a lot of "I hep you!" ("I'll help you") Which really means, "Let me do it." Or "GET THE HECK AWAY AND LET ME DO IT MYSELF!" (I really have NO idea where he gets THAT!)

I kind of wish Bug would "hep" me write a blog post. Or something else that I can't seem to just water our one plant that is miraculously still alive. (Just an idea, if you want plants, but have absolutely no green in your whole body...let alone your a pathos plant!)

I do NOT, however, want Bug to "hep" me wipe his nose (by actually wiping the boogers on our back door).

And I do not want Bug to "hep" me with the leaving his "blue book" (his "notebook" from Blue's Clues) in his pant leg. Whenever he doesn't have pockets, he stuffs the book in the waistband of his pants. And my most recent laundry mishap is not discovering it until after it went through the wash.

Let me tell you something: a 2"x2"x1" cardboard book makes A LOT of cardboard fiber mess.

That load of dark clothes looked hopelessly ruined. There were fibers over every inch of every item. I shook things off as much as I could and ended up with a huge handful of soggy cardboard pieces. But the clothes were still looking pretty hairy.

So I ran the load again. And then I dried it. And cleaned out the lint trap.

Luckily, that worked to get everything mostly clean. Now there were only fibers in the creases of the shirts and pants.

But I must say, I have never felt more distressed with a laundry mishap than I did with that one. Not even dying my whites yellow could compare with how I felt when I opened the washer to those "blue book" mess.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Every day I run through recent family events in my head that would be perfect fodder for blog posts. Every day I click on the "new post" button, and then I stare at my computer screen until one of the kids starts screaming for attention. For some reason, I haven't been able to actually get the stories down. Like, my most recent laundry mishap....that definitely needs to be forever immortalized as a Mother's Lament. But I don't even have a draft of it in my folders. (Unless you are counting my brain folders...but these days, those are getting pretty fickle.) Or I could write about when Bug and his second cousin decided they were going to run away. Or I could write about the death of my family's cat. Or I could write about my birthday and how I discovered creme brulee. How about I write about totally spacing the Relief Society meeting that I -really- wanted to go to last night (that I actually only remembered while I was writing the last sentence) and instead wasted my time shopping at Joann Fabrics? Or I could write about all the other crazy things that have happened within the two weeks since my last post.

But, for now, I will write about Gizmo.

Gizmo, my sweet, perfect, laid-back, easy-going baby has been getting less-sweet, less-perfect, less-laid-back and less-easy-going. Even more so within these past several weeks. And, there is only one thing to blame when your baby turns sour (and I'm not referring to the smell of the old drool starching his collar). Teething. Blast that wicked teething!

Now, the unfortunate thing about teething is that is lasts from about two minutes after they're born until you finally cut out those perpetually impacted wisdom teeth when they are sixteen. (That should tell you why kids can been such twits when they are teenagers...they're just teething!)

But, we are also blessed with some sweet relief...even if it is brief. And that is when those pretty, pearly whites break through (or when your kid is giggling under the influence of post-surgery anesthesia).

So, someone please tell me that my temporary relief from a fussy baby is nigh at hand, because...Ladies and Gentlemen (er...Gentleman. Hi, Honey!) Gizmo has his first tooth!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm so out of it, I can't even give this post a title

I feel like I've spent a large portion of this week being grumpy...and trying to find at least two minutes to have completely to myself to recharge. Of course, is hasn't happened. I sit down on the couch to read after putting Gizmo down for a nap...and Bug goes and wakes Gizmo up. I go to the bathroom, and Bug follows me. I have to make meals, I have to read tacky toddler books, I have to change diapers, I have to nurse, I have to clean up messes (I know...all those required chores of motherhood). Even now, typing this post, I am having to reprimand the two year old as he is bending the baby's arm back awkwardly trying to give kisses. Tough love....really.

I don't like getting out of bed before 8am unless I really have to. Unfortunately, Bug has woken me (or Gizmo...and up no later than 7:58am EVERY. MORNING. THIS. WEEK. Yeah, yeah, at least he wasn't popping into my room all cheery and awake at 3am. But pre-8am is still early enough for me after a night of nursing and insomnia.  The knots in my neck and shoulders (where I carry all my stress) have been getting so much tighter and tighter that it feels like my head is about to pop off.

Apparently, it is too early for Gizmo, as well. Because he has been cranky all week. (Or, maybe he is teething. Actually, he is definitely teething.) But, Bug thinks it is his personal mission to annoy Gizmo as many times as possible, starting from the minute we wake up. He cranks his arms around to give kisses. He steals toys. He squashes. He says "NO! Bad!". So, combine a cranky 5 month old with an overactive and overbearing toddler and you get seriously disturbed naps for everyone, more crankiness, and a mommy who has zero patience. I have been short with Bug so much recently, I should start a fund for his eventually therapy needs.

And bring on the attitude and tears. I've heard some say that the terrible two's are nothing compared to the terrible three's. And we're almost there. Bug has been incredibly emotionally sensitive. Last night, the Hubs pretended to eat off of Bug's plate while Bug played on the floor under the table...and it make Bug cry. Everything makes him cry these days. (I'm adding another dollar to his fund right now...just because I feel bad for making him cry so often!) And he has a HUGE attitude. That's probably my fault, dangit. Whenever he does something bad and I tell him to knock it off, he steps back from what he's doing, throws his hands up in a defensive posture and says, "Okay! Okay!" in a snotty, sarcastic way. I don't know WHERE he got that. But, the other day, he did squeeze out some poop into the potty just to get a piece of candy. To which I say, "I'll take it!" I'd give him candy all the time if he poops in the potty!

Gizmo, apart from the teething monster that occasionally rears its head, is mostly adorable. Loud. But adorable. As babies should be, right? He is the most slobbery kid I have ever seen. He is starting to sit up on his own. And he can scoot himself around in circles when he is laying on his belly. But he gets upset if he is in one spot for longer that 33.7 seconds. He does enjoy being in his jumper most of the time. This morning, however, he went from jumping around, drooling and having a ball to being slumped over, drooling, and fast asleep within minutes. (What did I say about not enough sleep?)

Speaking of the jumper...The other day I put Gizmo in the jumper for a few minutes so I could attend to something of importance (like lunch, I think). When I looked over to check on Gizmo, Bug was there spinning Gizmo around in the jumper like he was a little top! Then he let go to have Gizmo spin the other way. I immediately went over to rescue the little whirlwind from his twirl in the jumper and reprimand Bug. I wanted so badly to stress to Bug that he should not do that, but it was SO HILARIOUS to watch Gizmo spinning around like that, that I couldn't properly punish Bug through my giggles.

I guess I need to have a few laughs during this crazy week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Finally February

January this year has been particularly exhausting to me. Recovering from the holiday madness, dabbling in potty training, and a full week of sickness has made blogging the last thing that I get around to. On the bright side, however, I have been getting really good at keeping the house mostly clean, keeping the laundry in check, and cooking dinner. The hubs usually cooks dinner...he's just better at it...but the week he was sick, I had to do the cooking. And I haven't stopped yet. Someday, maybe I'll be completely domestic, scrapbook and all.

Bug has finally been shooting forward in the language department. Most of the time, I know what he is saying. Most of the time. Unfortunately, he uses the "f" sound a lot. He doesn't say his t's or sh's. He replaces them with an "f", and it sounds like he is swearing more often that I wish it did! He loves putting his books on the floor to build a "fwain fwack" and he loves watching the movie "Fwek".

Gizmo is getting so big. His gums are bumping up where his little teeth are trying to push through. He is drooling buckets and buckets of spit daily. And he is trying so hard to sit up. And he wants to eat food. Gizmo really knows how to make me feel bad when I'm eating in front of him. He stares at my food and reaches for it. And stares. And stares. And stares. We'll be having fun with eating banana and avocado later this month, for sure! Yesterday, he had a huge poopy blowout diaper, and as I was undressing him, I ended up getting poop everywhere. I was trying to wipe him off the best I could before I gave him a bath, and he was laughing the whole time. He might be less hyperactive than Bug, but he is still a boy!

The Hubs and I finally got a kid-free date this year (our last one was mid-December). We ended up just running errands after going to dinner. The Hubs says that he doesn't consider that a very good date. But I think it's great! Going to the grocery store with my husband, without towing along two kids, feeling accomplished for getting something important done, and having my hair and makeup done while doing it....yeah...that's a pretty good date!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

*Whine whine whine* "Nose" *Whine*

Thursday: Bad day. Bad, bad day. Potty training horror. Mommy kidnapped by Grandma Marty (thank goodness!)

Friday: A better day. Productive. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming. Mommy felt good.

Saturday: Wanted to go get the Hubs a new suit....fever struck Bug. Potty training on hold until further notice. Suit buying postponed. Mommy kind of enjoying the feverish Bug (he's quiet, still and cuddly).

Sunday: Mommy and Gizmo up early to get to church and print church programs. Bug still feverish. Daddy stays home. Mommy and baby come home after sacrament. Mommy and Gizmo go to family baptism. Everyone being lazy. Daddy goes to church meeting at 7pm. Bug still feverish.

Monday: Bug still feverish. Daddy now feverish, too. Mommy and Gizmo are fine. Mommy taking care of everyone.

Tuesday: Bug no longer feverish. Daddy still feverish. Bug very cranky. And whiney. Daddy sleeping all day. Daddy running to the toilet to yak it up (luckily, Bug escaped that part of the sickies that have been here).

Wednesday: Daddy's fever broke. Daddy coughing and enduring sinus related torture. Bug also enduring sinus related torture. Bug whining, "nose" every waking minute. Mommy enduring cabin fever and whining related torture. Gizmo enduring "I rolled over to my tummy and for some reason can't figure out how to get back over...but I'm still healthy as a horse" torture.

What a week it has been so far.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beginning a New Year

Last night, I had a dream that we bought a house. It wasn't the nicest house, but it had enough room. And two kitchens. With 5 stoves (with ovens) and 4 dishwashers.

When I woke up, I couldn't decide if that would be a good thing, or just more to clean.

Aside from keeping up with my blog, I think I've started off the new year fairly well. I went to bed before midnight on New Years Eve, which is a good habit, I assure you. I've kept my [one] kitchen clean. The ever-increasing laundry has been kept at bay. And I'm pretty sure the house has been vacuumed once.

And then I started Round Two of potty training for Bug. Round One didn't go well. After cleaning up half a dozen accidents per day, I gave up on day 3. THIS TIME, I've only cleaned up 4 accidents total, and we're on day 3...and I haven't given up yet. Although, Bug refuses to poop in the toilet. He can squeeze out one nanoliter of urine to get a sticker on his potty chart...but he won't poop for candy. So, on day one...he just didn't poop. Then yesterday, he went and hid in his room to do it. I assure you all, the first time he poops in the potty will be a day of much rejoicing in our home!

Gizmo is growing like crazy. I'm pretty sure I have February 24th marked on the calender for his 6 month mark and subsequently the Day of Starting Solid Foods. He wants to eat solids so badly right now. He watches us so closely when we eat, it makes me feel bad. Like he's staring at me wondering why I would torture him like that. But I'm sticking to my grounds. He's healthy and growing, he doesn't need solids yet, and I don't want to mess up his little baby intestines. Also...he's been teething. Normally, Gizmo is the most mild and lovable baby in the whole wide world. Recently, he's been a cranky little booger. Sometimes. He is surprisingly happy and easy to settle, even when he is long as I stand up with him. But I'm so used to him being incredibly easy and good that whenever he cries it is all that more upsetting!

It's been fun having two kids. Seeing how they are similar. And how they are different. Being a mom is great!